It may be many things.
Did it just start? How long have you been at that home? Has it even
happened before? When how often? What color is the dirt? How do you know
it is not rust? What does it look like? Do you have a water softener?
Some possibilities and thoughts.
Some dissolved solids do not dissolve as well in hot water so they
precipitate out when the water gets hot. This can end up in the bottom of
the water heater or other places.
Problems with pipes can cause corrosion of various types including pipes
How old is the water heater. A while back a number of water heaters
were made with a new plastic dip tube. It turns out that some waters cause
the plastic to go bad and that will clog stuff (generally white granulars).
happens in my hallway bathroom faucets. I noticed it was dirt not rust when
my tub was draining slowly. After it finally drained there was a black
residue in the botton of the tub.
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