: We have all copper plumbing but we still get occasional slugs of rusty water that is particularly noticed in our clothes washer. We have discussed the problem with the water company and they have not been able to help except to give us some rust remover to use. Could our Rheem water heater be the problem? It is about 16 years old.
You would need to do your own testing to determine if the rusty colored water is strictly from the hot side, cold or both.
A couple of well known causes could be a galvanized steel nipple possibly installed somewhere on the water piping system that is deteriorating internally or the glass lining of the water heater is split or cracked.
Good Luck. e-plumber