Rust Coming out of Faucet

Hi all, When I first turn my bathroom faucet on I get a a LOT of rust-colored liquid that comes out. It takes about 15-20 seconds for the water to start running clear. It's a single handle faucet - I have not yet determined if it's only happening on the hot side, cold side or both. I have copper pipes.
Any idea what this is, or what causes it?
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RS wrote:

Bet you don't have *all* copper piping. Is the house old enough (pre ca. 1950 for example) to have been galv iron originally?\\
I doubt that it's in the sink faucet itself. You didn't mean tub faucet, did you?
Jim
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Thanks Jim, No I did not mean tub faucet - I meant sink faucet. And it only happens in the one bathroom. No other sinks in the house (or the tub for that matter) have this problem. I beleive the house was built in the 1960s.
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RS wrote:

Ah! (lightbulb goes on.) In houses plumbed with copper, a fitting is used in the wall (drop-ear EL) to transform from soldered copper pipe to 3/8" threaded pipe size. A short length nipple is screwed into the EL and protrudes from the wall where an Angle Stop or angle supply fitting can be screwed on.
The plumber is *supposed* to use a brass nipple. But the truck always seems to be out of them that day, so a galv iron nipple is substituted. The galv iron has a life expectancy of ..... 45 years!
His sons and grandsons are guaranteed a job.
If my theory is right in your case, I wouldn't let this go; those nipples often fail completely and usually when no one is at home.
Jim
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wrote:

My house was built in 1967 and my previous one was built in 1973 and both had all galvinized steel water piping. The changeover happened at different times in different regions.
Depending on conditions, use and any old repairs, rust can occur anywhere in the system and probably a little everywhere by now.
In your case, it seems the rusty spot is close to the faucet. It is likely to eventually appear in more if not all of your faucets eventuually. Normally this is only a nusence but can get much worse with the rust choking off water pressure or bursting spontanious pinhole leaks (I had 5 of these in 10 years at my previous house). I have seen up to 3 surges of rusty water before it runs clear at my old kitchen sink. Fortunately my new house, though older, has much less rust but it does have some, just not as concentrated unless I go away for a week or two then it gets darker.
Not really practical to fix one pipe unless it is just a section of galv pipe or nipple in an otherwise copper system. You're more likely to stir up more rust with the wrenching that would be needed. Get a quote for a copper repipe but you don't NEED to act unless it becomes a regular problem of repairs. A repipe can cost $4k to +$15k depending on how much work your house presents.
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Probably a long shot -- Shortly after I moved into a house in Manhattan KS I had a similar problem, but it did not take that long to clear in my case, but it was only one sink. In my case, I had to cut the copper lines going into the slab before I found out the problem. Sometime between the time the slab was poured and the sink was hooked up, some $#^&*# dropped nails down the end of the copper pipe! I had a heck of a time getting them out with a magnet.

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-> Hi all, -> When I first turn my bathroom faucet on I get a a LOT of rust-colored -> liquid that comes out. It takes about 15-20 seconds for the water to -> start running clear. It's a single handle faucet - I have not yet -> determined if it's only happening on the hot side, cold side or both. -> I have copper pipes. -> -> Any idea what this is, or what causes it?
Is it only in your house, or are your neighbors having the same problem?
Where I live, in central Texas, each summer our water gets brown. The hotter the temperatures, the browner the water. No one is happy about it, but the city doesn't seem to care too much about it. Our city supposedly has a "superior water system." (I drink the stuff and it gives me the runs. It's horrible water!)
Anyway, before you panic, check with your neighbors.
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
~~~~~~
  Click to see the full signature.
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Suzie-Q wrote: ....

I suspect there's little they can do owing to reduced water flow into the supply during the summer months combined w/ higher demand. (Of course, they could raise taxes/water rates to pay for the bond issue to increase the system's capacity, but I don't suppose the folks would be real happy about that, either... :) )
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