Rusted water lines?

Our house was built in the 30s. Some, but not all, of the hot water faucets are starting to dispense red water. It gradually clears up if we run it for a few minutes.
Does this mean that we have iron pipes that are rusting away?
Is there anything we can do about this other than replace the pipes?
Is this likely to be a huge (and expensive) project?
Thanks
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probably water heater going bas, but, WHO you need is a neighborhood older experienced plumber who's as old as your pipes to answer these questions as they apply to your home and climate and water supply. WHAT to also check: have you drained out the sediment from the bottom drain valve regularly? WHERE the problem doesn't appear in the cold but only at the hot would suggest you check the hot water tank. WHEN was the tank installed? see its label. WHY: to maintain dependable hot water supply to your home.
"Tank material:The typical tank is steel lined with "glass" (actually porcelain enamel). It contains anodes - magnesium or aluminum rods - suspended in the tank to fight internal corrosion, the number-one reason water heaters fail early. Stainless steel tanks don't rust (and therefore don't need anodes), but they're more expensive than glass-lined tanks. Their higher cost may be worth it in areas where the water is highly corrosive (acidic) or reactive (full of minerals that encrust the tank walls, slowing heat transfer)." this and more at: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/heatingcooling/article/0,16417,397226-3,00.html
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wrote:

The water heater was replaced about 2, maybe 3, years ago.

That is going to be difficult to find. He'd need to be at least 90.

I think we did that once since the water heater was installed about a year after it was installed.

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How often do you use hot water.....
My mother started complaining about this about two years ago. Basically, everyone has moved out of the house, she lives alone and she has gotten to the point where the only faucets she uses on a regular basis are the kitchen and the toilet.
They run clear. Use anything else, such as the bathtub, etc., you have to wait 20-50 seconds for the line to clear.
The only neighbor with a problem is another little old lady down the street.
Mom keeps complaining, I just nod and agree.
And, yes, she has a three year-old water heater.
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On 3 Mar 2006 09:05:28 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

You may be on to something. The faucets that we use regularly, even the hot water faucets, don't show the rust. It's just 2-3 that hardly ever get used.
So, that suggests it's not the water heater, since we only have one. Does that mean iron pipes someplace?
We don't get it at all in the upstairs faucets. The second floor was added in 1988 or so.
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LurfysMa wrote:

You have galvanized pipes, after time they rust inside. No big deal, normally you don't notice unless you don't run much water. If you have them "someplace" you probably have them throughout.
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LurfysMa wrote:

Despite what others might say, I would say don't worry about it. Sure, lots of folks will be glad to replace the pipes at $$$$.
And someday, that will have to happen. I just doubt it will be anytime soon. I could be wrong, I'm not a plumber, but I know lots of folks in 1920s to 30s era homes that are still going fine.
If you have lots of cash lying around, nothing to do with it, well, maybe you might think about it. Otherwise, they'll probably last another 20 years or more.
Funny thing about galvanized, it is sort of self-healing. When one spot develops a small seep, usually enough gunk from another spot will drift in and stop it. Sorta of its own "stop leak" system.
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If you have lots of cash lying around, nothing to do with it, well, maybe you might think about it. Otherwise, they'll probably last another 20 years or more.
life of galavinized very dependent on location location location. since water varies over nation.
how is the flow at the effected faucets, lower flow is a common sign of worse pipes
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wrote:

The flow is good everywhere.
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Is this a new thing? Are you on a well or city water? Can you look in a basement or crawl space to see if you have iron pipes? Cant see it from here. Replacing pipes would be VERY expensive and likely not the problem.
First suspect, as buffalobill said, is the hot water heater. Probably time for a new one. If thats not the problem, and you are on city water, I would ask my neighbors if they see this too. Could have a local water quality problem. If you are on a well, have your water tested, you may need some type of treatment.
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would
Water supply pipes ought nowadays to be either PVC (plastic) or copper tubing. You can check yours by applying a magnet. If it sticks to the pipes, they may be iron or steel.
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Don Phillipson
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Your galavinized 1930s water lines are failing. Eventually they will start leaking. So start saving money or get prepared for a DIY replumb:(
You could replace the existing lines with a wiide variety of materials, now is the time for research.
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