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Old 11-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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Help! Yellow Hot Water

My hot water has a yellow tint to it at every place in my house. It stays yellow even after it cools to room temperature. The cold water is crystal clear at every location. At first I thought it might be the hot water heater, so I replaced it yesterday. Now I am not so sure. I ran the water continuously for over 1 hour today and no change.

I have copper pipes out the the hot water heater and under my sinks, so I am assuming all the lines are copper.

Any ideas???


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Old 11-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Well or City water?

Brown, Red, Orange or Yellow Water

Brown, red, orange, or yellow water is usually caused by rust. The different colors can be attributed to varying chemical oxidation states of the iron (rust) and by varying concentrations of the rust in the water. There are two major sources that can cause water to be rusty:
  • The water mains, or
  • The water pipes in your building.
Rusty water occurs from sediment in the pipes or rust from the inside walls of the water mains.The rust can be disturbed and temporarily suspended in water with unusual water flows from water main breaks or maintenance or by flushing of a hydrant. This discolored water is not a health threat. When the water is discolored it is recommended to either not wash laundry or to use a rust stain remover or regular detergent but not chlorine bleach as it will react with the iron to form a permanent stain.

The other major cause of brown, red, orange or yellow water is rusty water pipes in your building. If old, rusty pipes are discoloring your water, consult a licensed of plumbing materials or an experienced plumber. Water that is being discolored by rusty pipes is not a health hazard; however, it is an indication that the pipes are corroding and they can eventually leak.

The first step in solving a brown or yellow water problem is to distinguish if the problem is located in your building or if it is in your city or town water supply. The following are some common characteristics of a water main disturbance:
  • The water was clear earlier but suddenly became discolored.
  • Only the cold water is discolored.
  • The water is discolored at all of the water faucets in your home and does not clear or improve after the water has been run for several minutes.
Some common characteristics of a corrosion problem in your building include:
  • The water is discolored every morning or when first used after several hours of disuse.
  • The water clears after it has run for a few minutes.
  • The discoloration is only at one or several faucets, but not all of them.
  • The discoloration is only in the hot water.
Iron can also occur naturally in a well supplying a public water system. The presence of iron can be confirmed through analysis of the water.

Another possible cause of brown (or black) water is manganese, the presence of which can also be confirmed through analysis.


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