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plumbing help needed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by natethomas, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. I tried searching for some plumbing forums, but didn't find much. So, I thought I'd ask the members here a question.

    In on of our bathrooms there seems to be brown water coming out of the tap and also into the toilet. It only happens with the cold water on. It sounds like some sort of pipe problem to me, but I really don't want to call a plumber ($450 bill last time for an hour of work!).

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Seneca


    Dec 4, 2006
    If Your Tap Water Appears Brown,
    Red, Orange, or Yellow in Color

    Brown, red, orange, or yellow water is caused by rust in the water. 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: 1) the Water Board's water mains or 2) the water pipes in your house, apartment, or business

  3. Like Seneca said. I suspect the water board repaired a main and disturbed some crud in the pipes. If this is the case your neighbors would have the same problems. If you still have black iron pipe in your house this could be a source of rust. It's the horizontal supply pipes that accumulate the most crusties.......Hope this helps........


  4. Seneca is right on. how long has it been going on? Are you on city water? Are you living in a dwelling that may be 40+ years old, with iron pipes? Is there water main work in you area? Have you called the water department? Did this start suddenly? Does the water run clear after a short time?
    A whole house water filter may do the trick, easy to install, if the pipe is plastic.
  5. Another cause....

    If you have a well...

    If the well casing in the ground is the original, Then the casing could be rusted out and needs to be replaced
  6. Muonic


    Jun 14, 2006
    If it's only one bathroom, and only cold water, you have it narrowed down pretty well.
  7. Thanks for the wisdom - this forum is always extremely helpful!

    My wife did say that she saw a sign that the town was doing some work on the fire hydrants in our area. Could that be the culprit? (I hope so!)
  8. Is this ouucring in a seldom used bathroom? I have noted discolored water in fixtures that are used less than others in my home(s). Cruddy water gets into the line at some point and it takes a while for the line(s) to flush (un intended). Have you tried running the tap(s) until the water clears up? Have you contacted your water board regarding recent work near where you live?
  9. Hi Nate,

    Around here they flush out the fire hydrants each spring and fall. That roils up the water in the mains and can make the water in the house rusty for a day or so. Just don't run the washer until it settles down or the white clothes will pick up the color.

    Bob & Nan
  10. Yes!!!

    Hi Nate:

    Yes!!! The Fire department does periodic flushing of the fire hydrants to make sure the water pressure is good and that it is working. When that happens, the water color changes. It is suggested that if you are in a house, that you let the water run from a tap that is in the lowest part of the house (generally the basement) for good 10 minutes to flush out the gunk.

    If the problem still persists, call the Water Department for further checking..

    Hope this helps.
  11. Thanks so much!

    I'll run some water in the basement (the cats will love that!!!) for a while and see if that solves the problem.
  12. I got some very useful information from here several years back when we were remodeling our home:

    Hope this helps!
  13. I do some plumbing related work and I would suspect that for sure.
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