Discolored hot water

I live in an apartment building that was constructed in the early 1970s. We have hot water heating (baseboard), and I have no idea if the boiler is the original, or what. But, hot water from the tap is always slightly discolored, like diluted tea. Obviously, nobody drinks it, but we shower in it, and it runs through the dishwasher and clothes washer. And, it leaves deposits on things like the white rubber dish kitchen sink drainer mat.
By the way, it doesn't matter how long I let the water run or what time of day - the color is always the same.
Anyone know what potential kinds of crap might be present in a very old hot water system?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug Kanter wrote:

The domestic hot water has no direct connection with the water in the boiler used for heating. They may or may not even use the same heat source.
The discoloration could be from several sources, like galv iron piping, or even a galv iron storage tank for the hot water. (I'm assuming the color is from rust particles.)
If it troubles you, ask the management what maintenance they plan to do near-term to correct it.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Much depends on what kinds of crap came in from the water main. You could ask your utility for (a) specifications for iron, calcium and other common minerals, (b) performance measures (how well specifications are met over time.) Then the proprietor should consult a reliable plumber. -- Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada) dphillipson[at]trytel.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don, the problem with that is that the vast majority of plumbers do not get involved with water quality issues or know the equipment used to solve them. The better choice is someone involved in the water treatment industry, and independent dealers do water better than others. Plus there are no enforceable specs for iron in potable water and calcium won't cause his problem..
Doug, if the boiler is used to heat domestic water that is usually done with what is called a domestic coil. As Jim said if there's any galvanized in the hot side of he plumbing that could be rusting and discoloring the hot water.
Gary Quality Water Associates
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.