Brown hot water?

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8 months 1 week ago #559073 by mattib
Brown hot water? was created by mattib
So our hot water has started coming out quite brown, according to google it apparently needs to be flushed out. This is the first i have heard of the hot water cylinder needing to be flushed out , in our other houses they were fine even after 15-20 years but we had kids at home that would empty the hot water occasionally spending too long in the shower... when they actually showered. We were also on town supply at those places so the water was clorinated, now we are on roof supplied tank water with no additives.

Is flushing the cylinder a normally needed thing on roof supplied tank water?

Living with my head in the clouds in the Waitakere Ranges

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8 months 1 week ago #559074 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Brown hot water?
It's caused by bacteria and dirt getting into the system, especially after heavy rain. I think you need to watch this video and conduct a review of your whole setup.  BRANZ has a good video on how to setup a rainwater collection system.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 months 1 week ago #559075 by mattib
Replied by mattib on topic Brown hot water?
Some interesting thoughts in there with the pickup area in the tank, and the inlet pipe. Something to think about.

In ours though the cold water coming in from the tank is fine and clear, its only the hot water that has the brown colour to it.

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8 months 1 week ago #559076 by Muz1
Replied by Muz1 on topic Brown hot water?
Had a similar problem at our bach. Problem was old galvanised pipe joiners rusting. Had to flush small quick-return cylinder then all was good.

Everything Must be Somewhere
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8 months 1 week ago #559081 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Brown hot water?
some blame rust for brown water but you would not find many steel water heaters in NZ nor steel pipework unless it's really old. Do you have oak trees nearby as the leaves can cause brown staining? I guess the best place to start is to do a water sample test?

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #559082 by mattib
Replied by mattib on topic Brown hot water?
All the pipework i can see is plastic or copper, HW cylinder is Rheem so reasonable quality.

As mentioned we have Rimu trees overhanging the roof, so i think it is probably something connected to that but not 100% sure. Going onto tank water has been an interesting learning curve so far.

Living with my head in the clouds in the Waitakere Ranges
Last edit: 8 months 1 week ago by mattib.

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8 months 1 week ago #559092 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Brown hot water?
OK, Rimu leaves were used to make brown or black dyes, could have something to do with it. I think if you install a floating take off from the tank it would help, but to install it you would need to drain the tank.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)
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8 months 1 week ago #559095 by Alan Gilbert
Replied by Alan Gilbert on topic Brown hot water?
Since the problem is only with the hot water, the most likely source is the hot water cylinder. It probably has a zinc anode, which is supposed to protect the other metals from attack by the water. (Rain water is dilute carbonic acid—rain dissolves atmospheric carbon dioxide as it falls.)
If that anode has been used up over the years, it may be that the steel plug it's attached to is now rusting inside the tank.
I suggest you contact Rheem for advice.
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8 months 1 week ago #559096 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Brown hot water?
Could be Alan but it would have to be a considerable amount of steel to continually stain the water?

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 months 6 days ago #559099 by mattib
Replied by mattib on topic Brown hot water?
Rheem just said to contact a plumber to flush it out. TBH they weren't very helpful at all if you aren't a tradie. That was my first though as well but having paid enough to plumbers to come and fix stupid stuff at this place i am trying to negate as much of the spending as i can. I tried what i thought was going to be a flush on the weekend but turned out the valve that looked like it would be the exit was just the inlet bypassing the tank, bizarre as i cant imagine why you would want that.

Sigh, i guess i am spending more money on a tradesman again... :/

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8 months 6 days ago #559102 by Alan Gilbert
Replied by Alan Gilbert on topic Brown hot water?

Could be Alan but it would have to be a considerable amount of steel to continually stain the water?

 
Possibly, but it wouldn't hurt to check out the anode anyway. 

It may also be that the OP's cold water is also a bit stained, but looks cleaner than when it's heated. I did first-year chemistry at university, but that was sixty years ago, and if I ever knew what naturally-occurring water-soluble chemicals go brown with heat I have certainly forgotten it.

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8 months 6 days ago #559103 by Alan Gilbert
Replied by Alan Gilbert on topic Brown hot water?

Rheem just said to contact a plumber to flush it out. TBH they weren't very helpful at all if you aren't a tradie. That was my first though as well but having paid enough to plumbers to come and fix stupid stuff at this place i am trying to negate as much of the spending as i can. I tried what i thought was going to be a flush on the weekend but turned out the valve that looked like it would be the exit was just the inlet bypassing the tank, bizarre as i cant imagine why you would want that.
 
Is that actually the tempering valve? (That's the gadget where the hot feed from the top of the cylinder is mixed with a bit of cold to ensure that the resulting hot water at the taps in the house is not so hot as to scald the user. The water in the cylinder should at a high enough temperature to kill Legionnaire's bacteria (>60°), but the water at the tap should not be above about 45-50° IIRC.)

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8 months 6 days ago #559104 by tonybaker
Replied by tonybaker on topic Brown hot water?
what does the inside of your jug look like? Is it brown as well or lots of scale? Try heating a saucepan of cold water on the stove and see if there is any discolouration.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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8 months 5 days ago #559106 by mattib
Replied by mattib on topic Brown hot water?
Inside of the jug looks fine, previously boiled water is nice a clear. No visible scale or discolouration.

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8 months 5 days ago #559107 by mattib
Replied by mattib on topic Brown hot water?
Hmm not sure, i don't know what exactly each valve is just the general understanding of the setup (Dammit Jim i'm an engineer not a scientist/plumber ). The pipe comes along under the floor and though a Ajax? valve to a ball valve which i thought was for draining, then up through the floor and loops up and back down to another ball valve and then into the bottom of the cylinder. I will try and remember to take a photo next time i am down there.

It did make me wonder later if i could turn off the water pump and open a hot tap to let the air in and then drain it from that "drain" valve?  Only problem i could see is the loop up in front of the cylinder would only let the water get down to about 1/4 full.

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