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Rightway Plumbing
Rightway Plumbing, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 228
Experience:  Journeyman Plumber, Owner Right Way Plumbing LLC. 7+ years exp.
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Why does my hot water turn out out faint dirty hot water when

Customer Question

Why does my hot water turn out out faint dirty hot water when the cold water that enter the tank is clear?
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Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rightway Plumbing replied 6 years ago.

As a water heater ages, the tank starts to rust. This rust sits in the bottom of the tank. When you run water, the rust gets into the water. The best way to get rid of this is to open the drain valve of the water heater, and running a hose to a nearby drain. Then you drain the water heater completely. When water stops running you turn the cold valve on while the drain is still open. This will flush out any rust at the bottom of the tank. When the water out of the drain stops being rust colored and clears up, you should be good. Also you may have to run every faucet until the hot clears up.


If you have galvanized piping in the house, it could be rust in the hot water line as well. The only real way to get rid of this is to replace the piping. You will just have to run the hot water until it clears up before every use. It isn't "dirt" just rust from either your piping or the water tank.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have tried this using cold water as a flush to the entire tank and still have the problem. My piping is all copper. How long do hot water tanks usually last?
Expert:  Rightway Plumbing replied 6 years ago.
Water heaters average life expectancy is 8-12 years. If it hasn't been flushed in a number of years, there may be too much rust to flush out. It isn't coming from the piping at least then, and is localized inside of the hot water heater.

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