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Ask Mike R. Your Own Question
Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2666
Experience:  20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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I am getting dirty water when I turn on the cold water in my

Customer Question

I am getting dirty water when I turn on the cold water in my bathroom for a few moments the it turns clear. What is the problem. This just started and my house is about 20 years old
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience as a plumber. I'll be glad to assist you today. Does the dirty water only come out when using the hot water? Have you ever flushed your water heater?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No but I noticed it mor on cold water then hot
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Do you know what type of piping you have? Maybe galvanized piping? Do you have well water or city metered water?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cooper piping. Lake Michigan water. Water heater is two years old
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Is the main water line from the meter copper also? Is there any construction near you or have they been working on the water service anywhere in your area? Have you heard of any broken main water lines in the area?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Main is copper. No construction. No water main issues
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
You may have a leak and it is drawing dirt into the line. Is your meter inside in your basement or outside in the ground?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
In the house
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
The problem is that the rubber seals in the supply shut offs are deteriorating. You could try to replace the seals in the shut offs but the easiest thing to do would be to replace the shut offs with ball valves (quarter turn valves). The quarter turn valves do not have the rubber seat in them so the problem would not return.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I know if I already have
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I know if I already have the ball valves?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
If you have to turn the handle around and around then they are gate valves and a quarter turn is a ball valve. Better to not turn the gate valves if they are really old as they will often break if you try to turn all the way off.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I already have quarter turn valves. What else could it be?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
Could be that your water is soft water and is slightly acidic. It will deteriorate the lining of the piping and that would be a likely cause. Could also be that the existing service lines are quite old and possibly galvanized. The lining of old galvanized piping will deteriorate and the dirt colour could actually be rust. Most likely the latter. To fix that you would have to install a sediment filter on your incoming service line and use a carbon filter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What would something like that cost? Ballpark?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
If you do it yourself about $60 and if you have a handy man do it about $175 and if you have a plumbing company do it then about $300
Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 year ago.
I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?