This Old house rust in water

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by vaman77, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Was watching this old house this weekend. Homeowner had rust in bathtub water and was told it's time to replace the water heater. Is this really true? Our home is about 18 years with the original water heater. We rarely use the tub but whenever the water is turned on rust comes out. I never thought much about it and it's been doing it for years.I figured I'd keep the heater until it dies;can't see replacing it it because of some rust in the water. Some some earlier posts on this topic and have concluded it's no big deal.Wondered what someone else thought.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If it were the water heater, it would not just manifest at the tub. You/they would be seeing rust at all hot water outlets. Perhaps you don't care if your whites don't come out white and holding onto an old heater makes sense to you. A heater that's rusting is not long for this world so replacing it before it springs a major leak at an inopportune time may be the prudent thing to do.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    If it's only rusty in the tub, it's probably not the WH, but a steel nipple that was used to attach the tub spout...change that to a brass one, and the problem goes away. But, at 18-years, you are well past the average point when a WH needs to be replaced. If it truely is the WH and not a localized problem from say that nipple, then it is probably on its last legs, and you should replace it now, rather than the inconvenience of having it start leaking when you are say away for the weekend or worse.
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    South*East
    Not to get off the subject but I also watched the same episode. Did you notice that Richard was putting the T- tape on the heater nipples backwards?

    John
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you have an 18 year old water heater, its a good rig. Todays are DESIGNED to fail in 6 to 8 years.
  6. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Replacing Water Heater-Good Brands

    Think I'll start checking out prices for a new one. Two questions First what are brands to stick with? This one is a Bradford White .have heard it's a good brand along with AO Smith. BTW it is a vented gas model Thought I'd stick with one of these two brands. Also I have no interest in one of those super efficient heaters like the Vortex.Out of my budget and will not be in house long enough for payback. What is reputation of these brands?

    Second, I thought I'd replace it myself.i'm a homeowner not a pro. But I think I can solder two new plumbing connections(resoldered my exterior sprinkler system connection fine) and refit new gas line. The heater is in our basement with plenty of room. Just doesn't seem like it's that difficult.Is it?

    As an aside my father home still has the original Rudd water heater;it's now 44 years old. Was used for years by 5 people. Now just one. What's different about these things?
    Thanks
  7. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Missed that detail but I'm not a pro. Was just trying to get overall idea of replacing a heater.
  8. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Easy enough. It is only this one tub. No the other and not in the washing machine water or kitchen
  9. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Reminds me of another question. He installed some kind of solenoid to the cold water pipe connected to water alarm. What exactly is that device called and price of it?
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,814
    Location:
    New England
    Technically, a BW WH is only supposed to be sold to a plumber, but some places will sell them to a consumer. It is still a good brand. GE WH sold at HD are made by Rheem, but to a slightly lower quality. Rheem is also considered one of the better ones.

    Codes have changed in some places, and (at least where I live) a tempering valve may now be required, so it's a bit more plumbing than just the hot/cold supply lines. BW has a nice package with one included that has a secondary output with full hot for things like the DW, which works better with hotter water.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,828
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The debate about the useful lifespan of hot water tanks comes up often. Unless your father has unusually soft water, after 44 years it must have so much limescale that it's efficiency is poor.
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?30978-WH-lifetimes/page3

    I lived in a rental home once where the old tank was so heavy from limescale that the plumber just left it where it stood and ran the piping over to the new tank beside it. It took three strong men to carry it up out of the basement.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Rusty water will be apparent in a tub, but NOT in the sinks because of the volume of water, but if it is only the one tub, then there is a steel fitting SOMEWHERE near the faucet causing the rust. Several companies, including BW, are using the new I-Con thermostat, and we are have IMMENSE issues with them failing on new heaters. AND when they fail, it is a laborious process to repair because the problem can be in any one of four components and sometime you have to change all of them before you find the problem. A single supply house may NOT have all four because the demand is so high it is hard to keep the replacement parts in stock. It is not like the old days when the only part that caused a problem was the thermocouple.
Similar Threads: house rust
Forum Title Date
Water Heater Forum, Tanks two water heaters, new whole house filter, max 90 psi, can I use one Expansion tank? Jun 10, 2014
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Rheem Water heater models--Plumbing Supply House v. Walmart models Oct 24, 2013
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Smallest/best combination household/radiant floor heat water heater ?? Sep 10, 2013
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Water Heater Replacement in unconditioned Farm house Jul 16, 2013
Water Heater Forum, Tanks Pressure valve flooding house Jan 17, 2012

Share This Page