red water?

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  #1  
Old 08-13-02, 09:55 PM
jinx2900
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Smile red water?

I'm about to buy my first house & was just checking one out. I tried the tub, and the water that first came out was red. I assume that's iron - which is a sign of rust. Am I right? The basement is dry, and I could see the pipes - they looked old, but fine. The water heater is a big grey box. It's all pretty old I'm certain.

I'm wondering if the red water is a big flag that the plumbing is rusting out - or the heater is going sour. We'll be getting the house inspected, of course, but I'd love to get someone's outside opinion of an older house that gives off a little bit of red water.

I'm a really excited girl here- just don't want the excitement to push me into denial or anything. thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-14-02, 12:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,952
Cool

Yep. Sounds like rust.
Could be from the water heater/boiler (grey box) sitting up. That can usually be just flushed out.
Could be from pipes, if galvanized (grey steel), although you usually see black scale particles instead of rust.
If this house has galvanized pipes, they are obsolete, and will continue to scale up inside over time, restricting the water pressure, until they plug up completely. The only solution for galvanized pipes is to totally re-plumb the house.
A little bit of red water out of a tub spout could also mean nothing more than a steel nipple has been installed between the tub faucet wall fitting and the spout. (That can easily be replaced with a nipple that isn't steel to eliminate this shot of rust everytime that the tub is turned on.)
You're doing the right thing in having the home thoroughly inspected (structural and mechanical) by a licensed general home inspector.
It can get expensive re-plumbing, re-wiring, etc. an older home, and you need to take all of this into account when purchasing one.
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #3  
Old 08-14-02, 06:36 AM
jinx2900
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Talking Thank you!

Thank you Mike!!!! That will help me ask some good questions at the inspection. I really appreciate you!
 
  #4  
Old 08-14-02, 11:37 AM
Davef15
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Is the house on a well or city water system. Red water could indicate high iron content in the water supply. Just another possibility.
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-02, 08:38 PM
jinx2900
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The house uses the city water. I'm a couple miles away from the home now and have never seen any iron where I'm at now - but you never know. I want to look in to everything - so thanks, Dave! It never crossed my mind that it may be the source as well.
 
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