View Full Version : rusty hot water

11-07-2005, 01:01 PM
we've been getting some rust from the hot side on initial turn on, especially first thing in the morning. The hot water heater is a 3-yr old gas Bradford-White. Plumbing is all copper. The installer says it's from fixtures or something on the line. B-W tech support says it's probably the anode rod. I tend to believe the latter.

So, any ideas where this thing is? I don't see anything obvious on top to remove, and so far can't find the book. And the B-W website isn't much help (their answer for the DIYer seems to be "call a plumber").

the BW guy also claims our softened water (NaCl) may actually accelerate the anode rod depletion. Does that make sense? Should I consider a different type of rod?

TIA! :)


11-07-2005, 01:20 PM
My first guess would be that maybe there is a galv. nipple near the tap in question and not the w.h. Make sure that the nipples on the in and out side of the heater are not galv also.

Is it always rusty from the same tap?

Hang on and someone will answer about the water softener and you will find out about the anode rod too.

master plumber mark
11-07-2005, 01:21 PM
the anode rod on a bradford white heater is on the
hot water line outlet.....

you unscrew the nipple and it will simply
be attached to the bottom of it...

maybe its the rod , but where exaclty
are you getting the rusty water from anyway???

all the faucets or just the tub and shower faucet???

if it is just at one outlet, especially jsut the tub, their is a
good chance some one put a black nipple on the faucet
for the tub spout nipple and its rusting up......

also their is a possibility the heater could be leaching rust into the
system whhich would mean its got a tear in the porceilin liner and
its a mater of time before it starts to leak.....

11-07-2005, 02:40 PM
If you're getting rusty water from all hot water taps, it is probably the HWH. Note that is a probably, not an absolute. One way to check things out is to open up the drain at the bottom of the heater...if that is rusty, and all of the cold taps are not, then it is the HWH, or somethingon that dedictated line to it.

11-07-2005, 04:21 PM
I first noticed it on the tub/shower when I first turned it on in the morning to take my shower for work. So I got one of those white plastic drink cups and one morning turned the cold water only on letting it run into the cup - no rust. Then I did the same for the hot-only - rusty water. It does appear to clear up pretty quickly.

I thought it was just the tub until I started paying attention and then noticed the vanity fixtures. Both have separate hot/cold knobs of clear plastic (PF, I believe). There is a definite yellow-ish tint to the hot knob on both, and there seems to be a collection of yellow 'crud' around the hot knob over time.

I should also say that this tank has never been flushed in the 3 yrs - which I was told by the BW tech is incorrect. However, we were sold this system (HydroJet) on the claim it was "maintenance-free." should have known better! :mad:

there are no galvanized fittings that I'm aware of, but will give it another look. :)

11-07-2005, 05:09 PM
My suggestion to drain some out of the tank was to verify thatthe water was rusty from there, although it doesn't hurt to try to flush out any sediment, too. But, if you've determined that you have rusty water at each hot water tap and none on the cold, then it appears to be safe to assume it is coming from the hot water tank. But, it doesn't take long to flush some out of the tank directly and verify it is rusty there, too - it could (but not likely) be something after the HWH that is the source of rust.

11-08-2005, 11:09 AM
Ok - tonight I get out the hose and drain the tank. We also called out the softener folks to check that out just to make sure it isn't contributing to the problem. Seeing as how it's about 8 yrs old we could have a resin issue. :confused:

(we're also getting a strange ring in new toilet - probably unrelated but who knows? details posted in the Sanagloss poll thread.)


11-08-2005, 11:38 AM
As a matter of curiousity, are you on a WELL or municipal water sytem?
IF your answer is a " Well".... it can make a lot of difference .

11-08-2005, 12:13 PM
city. Technically, it's 'city,' but part of the water comes from municipal wells. But it's processed through the city system and must meet all those standards. It's also very hard. My last house had it's own well. that was always fun. :rolleyes:

11-08-2005, 12:41 PM
Looking at your last statement, maybe the softener or iron filter is the first thing to be looked at.

Maybe you should make sure your toilets are not wasting water.

Are you using more water lately?

11-08-2005, 02:59 PM
it could be "clear water Iron", which ,if not too great can be rectified by the softener resin,etc.
But too great of a iron content and it has to be treated by a iron filter. Best to obtain a lab report on your waters' content as to iron (ppm)

11-11-2005, 05:56 PM
well.... hot water tank was checked out and found a little sediment but nothing else. anode was fine. then softener guy showed up and right away diagnosed the resin as gone. really gone, aparently. turns out there was considerable resin residue in the toilet tank, so we were getting it on both sides.

looks like the "rust" was really the yellow-ish residue from the resin that was falling apart. problem solved (I hope!) :o

11-12-2005, 06:27 AM
If you had said you had yellowish "sand" in the toilets and faucet aerators we would have diagnosed it immediately. Rust, and rust just in the hot water as you originally stated is something entirely different. And the resin did not deteriorate, the softener broke, which is why the resin escaped.