Orange/Red deposits from hot water tank

Hi
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?
Thanks.
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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.
Jon
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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:
http://www.diy-hardware-store.co.uk/screwfix-17843.php
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.
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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.
W.

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