We recently moved into a 1930's house and we've noticed that around
the hot water taps and in the basin and bath there are orange/red
deposits where the water has dried. Hot water is supplied by a
emersion heater tank and looks fairly old. There are no signs of the
deposits around the cold water taps. Is it a case of rust? Is it
harmful? Can anyone shed light on this?
Can't help that much, but we also get this on ours and have just put in down
to rust / impurities in the water tank. The only way it could be harmful
would be if you ingested it, but as you normally only take drink water from
the cold tap you'll be fine.
It does sound as though the hot water systems needs a good flush out. Have
a look around the hot water cylinder, and pipework close to it, for a drain
cock, which should look something like this:
and put a hose on it and into a basin or a big bowl or bucket and open it
up. You should see what colour the water in the basin is and if it is
really dark coloured, then you'll need to flush the system thoroughly for a
good few hours to make it suitable for use.
This normally happens if the system has lain unused or dry for a time
without having water flowing through it. The heavy debris falls and gathers
at the bottom of the cylinder and pipes, and when the system is then charged
up again the water causes the debris to float out through the taps.
You shouldn't really be drinking any kind of tanked water anyway, but this
sounds as if it is also bad enough to stain things, including your skin, if
it were to be used for washing as well. So give the system a good flushing
through until you see that it is running perfectly clear and you will be OK.
Good luck in your new home.
I had that problem after fitting new taps. Orange/red gush at
first from the hot tap, then clear.
Turned out to be a bit of stray casting inside the tap rusting
between uses. Only found out when it corroded enough to break off
and come through after a couple of months. Until then I had
assumed it was some type of bacteria or algae colony growing
inside the nearby pipework which hadn't been used for several
years. I was trying to think of an easy way to disinfect it.
The tap probably isn't your trouble. I'm adding it for the
benefit of future Google searchers who find this thread.
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