Orange water from fairly new AO Smith water heater

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Bojacked

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Hello folks. I have a three year old AO Smith water heater that is producing orange(rusty) water. My setup is as follows:

Well ->pressure tank ->10" carbon filter ->water softener -> hot water heater ->house.

When using hot water for laundry or the tub, the water is orange. From the cold side I get clear water.

I have drained the hot water heater multiple times, yet the issue persists. The water heater has a electric anode installed.

Is it normal for water heaters to begin rusting internally at such a early stage? Other than installing a new water heater is there anything else I can try that will remedy this?

Thanks for your input.
 

Jeff H Young

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orange water isnt normal where I live, Maybe get a new one on warranty 6 yr on tank
 

Reach4

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What electric anode? Weird as it sounds, it is possible for a failure to cause the polarity of the anode to be backwards, or the installation could have wired the lines backwards.
 

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What electric anode? Weird as it sounds, it is possible for a failure to cause the polarity of the anode to be backwards, or the installation could have wired the lines backwards.
Thanks for the reply. It is a AO Smith Powered Anode. It's wired correctly
 

Jeff H Young

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age of house ? type of piping? got any black steel or galvinized fittings anywhere? could be the tank isnt coated inside properly or defective So you might think of going with a new heater if its not in the piping, hopefully free under warranty or with substantial credit
 

Fitter30

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It only takes one small iron/ steel pipe plug, fitting or valve to show up orange in the water. Pull the relief valve ,anode rod and expansion tank to inspect them.
 

Jeff H Young

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Good points on checking the x tank could be rusting out or the bladder, anode etc.. of cource if house is 75 years old galvinized id be suspecting the piping
 

Reach4

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Humor me. I think the anode screwed into the top of the WH tank has two male connectors.
9006247005-1.jpg


The wires connect via a pair of female FASTON connectors, right?
440px-Female_Faston_Style_Terminals.jpg


Could you measure the number of millivolts (with attention to plus and minus) between the outside of one of the steel water nipples and each of the FASTON lugs? Put the black test lead on the nipple, and the red lead probe onto each lug.
 
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age of house ? type of piping? got any black steel or galvinized fittings anywhere? could be the tank isnt coated inside properly or defective So you might think of going with a new heater if its not in the piping, hopefully free under warranty or with substantial credit
The house was built in 1969, with copper piping and brass valves throughout the house.

Thank you.
 

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Humor me. I think the anode screwed into the top of the WH tank has two male connectors.
9006247005-1.jpg


The wires connect via a pair of female FASTON connectors, right?
440px-Female_Faston_Style_Terminals.jpg


Could you measure the number of millivolts (with attention to plus and minus) between the outside of one of the steel water nipples and each of the FASTON lugs? Put the black test lead on the nipple, and the red lead probe onto each lug.
Reach 4, thanks for the reply. I get between 1.824 and 1.836.

What does that tell me?
 

Master Plumber Mark

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if you have orange water and you have all this done to your water, then I suggest you just look at the fittings going into the heater....
We have seen folks install heaters and use black gas pipe nipples instead of galvanized
pipe .....

The black fittings will rust up and act like a "tea bag" and the rust off the nipples will turn the hot water orange.

post a picture of the top of the water heater I am willing to bet that is the issue..
 

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if you have orange water and you have all this done to your water, then I suggest you just look at the fittings going into the heater....
We have seen folks install heaters and use black gas pipe nipples instead of galvanized
pipe .....

The black fittings will rust up and act like a "tea bag" and the rust off the nipples will turn the hot water orange.

post a picture of the top of the water heater I am willing to bet that is the issue..
I'll bet you a new water heater! Thanks for the input, I'm open to any suggestions.
 

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Reach4

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Reach 4, thanks for the reply. I get between 1.824 and 1.836.

What does that tell me?
It tells me the voltage is +1.824 and not -1.824. I know you were sure it was correct, but with blade connectors, it would be easy to reverse the connectors it would seem to me. And if it were backwards, the anode would draw iron out of the WH rather than protect the iron.

I presume the voltage on the other blade connector was near 0.00.
 

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It tells me the voltage is +1.824 and not -1.824. I know you were sure it was correct, but with blade connectors, it would be easy to reverse the connectors it would seem to me. And if it were backwards, the anode would draw iron out of the WH rather than protect the iron.

I presume the voltage on the other blade connector was near 0.00.
Thanks again for the info. I get the same reading from the other blade connector. The way they have it wired it's "idiot" proof as there is only one way to wire it. One connection onto the blade connector the other ring terminal connector is attached to the water heater jacket. If you've got any other ideas I'm all ears!

Thanks again for all the responses. I really appreciate the insight.
 

Reach4

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What I had pictured was two blade (Faston) terminals. I now think you are saying that one wire goes to a big ring terminal. So no polarity reversal due to wiring could happen.

Poke around your WH plumbing with a magnet, to identify steel pipe. The shell will be magnetic. The outside of the nipples will be magnetic. It would be OK for the output of the temperature and pressure relief valve to be magnetic. But other pipes and water connectors should not attract a magnet.
 

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What I had pictured was two blade (Faston) terminals. I now think you are saying that one wire goes to a big ring terminal. So no polarity reversal due to wiring could happen.

Poke around your WH plumbing with a magnet, to identify steel pipe. The shell will be magnetic. The outside of the nipples will be magnetic. It would be OK for the output of the temperature and pressure relief valve to be magnetic. But other pipes and water connectors should not attract a magnet.


The dialectric nipples coming out of the top of eh water are galvanizzzed steel... which is ok...
looks good to me ,,,, maybe you need to look further away from the heater on the incoming cold side
but it probably is all copper
 

Jeff H Young

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determine at water heater if orange water is coming from the tank or not I didnt see picture of the connection. I am assuming built in 1969 copper plumbed means it was built that way and not repiped in copper and owner is sure no galvinized would be expected inside walls , could have just done the basemen in copper on a repipe sounds wiered but we see gal in the walls where somebody didnt want to bust out walls.
Im not saying its the tank but wouldnt suprise me at all
 

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Here's a test that I did today.

1. I filled our washing machine with hot water, which of course was orange.
2. I then drained the hot water heater completely.
3. I then filled our washing machine with "hot" water, which of course was not hot as the cold water did not have time to reach temperature.
4. The water from #3 was for the most part "clear". Much more so than from #1 above.
5. I then let the hot water heater run for 2 hours.
6. Once again, I filled the washing machine with hot water, which by this time was hot.
7. The orange water returned.

This tells me that the orange water is being created during the heating process of the hot water heater.

Unless I'm missing something.
 

Jeff H Young

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well you have been given many possibilities. if water coming in is clear and going out orange Id be thinking what I been thinking
 
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