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Question DetailsAsked on 10/9/2016

Rusty water from the hot faucet in my big tub

. I have 2 sinks and a shower in the same bathroom as my garden tub, they are fine. My other bathroom is fine, kitchen is fine also. Just my big tub and only hot water side. My home is 14 years old, this problem started in the 2nd year I think. What is the issue? I have tried to let it run in hope is clears out. No luck :(

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1 Answer


Sounds like corrosion or algae/mineral buildup in just that one pipe run - assuming there is not hokey plumbing that diverted the water to that tub around a water softener, so it is getting unprocessed water. Could also be the plumber did not disinfect that part of the system - maybe the line and "big tub" was an after-thought during construction or an addition by a prior owner (if any) - allowing iron algae or such to grow in the pipe.

Could also be this tub is more remote than the others, so the water in the lines is not so hot when it gets there, therefore is in the tempeature range where iron or manganese precipitation or algae can form.

Or maybe pipe to that location is different materials so is building up deposits whereas the others are not.

While sometimes chlorinating a line will stop this, after 14 years I am guessing there is enough corrosion or growth in that line that it will have to be replaced. May be tough or easy depending on where line runs and whether your basement (if any) has a finished ceiling or not.

Plumbing would be your Search the List category for someone to trace your pipes (or you might be able to do that, using stethoscope ifneeded while water is running only in that tub). Then, once line is traced and bypassing of water softener (if you have one) is ruled out, checking if pipe is different type and cutting into it to check the inside can be done.

Cutting into the pipe to check the internal condition is normally needed to tie this down, and determine the amount of buildup or corrosion.

Also remotely possible, though usually if this is the problem it is only the initial burst of water that is rusty then it clears up as it runs, is corrosion just in the faucet at that tub - due to water chemistry or incompatible pipe type joined to it.

Also equally remote but easy to check - is it possible this tub/bathroom is on a second water heater just to that tub (not uncommon for large soaker or jacuzzi tubs) that is corroding or has not been flushed yearly, allowing mineral/algae buildup ?

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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