Over the past few months, I've noticed that when I turn the shower on the
2nd floor on, the hot water is rusty in color. -- HOWEVER, the rust color
does go away within 30 seconds or so. The 1st floor kitchen, on the other
hand, does not have this initial rusty colored water.
Other facts .. 80 year old house, plumbing probably matches. Gas water
heater was warranted for 6 years, is now on 12th year. I occasionally will
drain some water out of the water heater. -- Other item .. throughout the
house, over a few months, every faucet will collect rusty colored pieces in
all aerators from all faucets.
So .. no doubt, my hot water heater is getting near the end of its life. --
BUT, if that was the case, why would the hot water color clear up after
running it for a while?
The other possibility, is the pipes are rusty, being so old. So when I turn
the hot water on, the first gallon or so has been sitting in the pipes,
collecting rust. When "fresh" hot water gets to the 2nd floor from the WH,
it's clear. This would indicate the WH is NOT to blame for the rustiness.
Furthermore, why wouldn't the cold water also appear initially rusty, if the
pipes were to blame? Those pipes would be equally old. Is there something
about hot water that makes pipes rust quicker?
Could this possibly be a sacrificial anode problem in my WH?
Last question .. if it IS the pipes .. with each rusty piece I collect in a
faucet aerator .. does that mean my pipes are eventually going to bust? How
in hell they'd ever run new pipe in my house makes me wonder. You'd have to
tear so many walls open, move so many fixtures, it might be cheaper to
bulldoze and start fresh! Is there some magical plumbing technique to
replace pipes in walls, etc?