new gas water heater and new iron bacteria/rusty water

Old 03-11-09, 07:45 PM
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new gas water heater and new iron bacteria/rusty water

Please help! At the beginning of February we had a new gas water heater installed. Ever since then when we initially run hot water we have clear water and then as soon as it's hot about 32 oz of rusty colored water and then it goes back to clear. Before the new water heater we never had rusty hot water. This happens hot water only.

We do have an Ecco water system - installed when we built the house 11 years ago. We do not have a well - we are on city water.

We've been told by the plumber we now have an iron feeding bacteria. He first had us turn the water heater as hot as it would go for several days - no effect - still rusty colored water.

He then drained, the refilled/bleached the tank (1.5 gallon for 50 gallon tank) he then hot water to ran to all faucets and let set for hour - he then ran all faucets until no chlorine smell. This had no effect.

We then turned Ecco off for 2 days (continued to use hot water) He then bleached the water heater this time with 2 gallons of bleach and repeated above steps. Again - no effect.

My questions are -

What in the new water heater could have caused this? We've never had rusty water before. The day our old heater started leaking we didn't have rusty water.

How can we tell if we really have iron bacteria and then how do we really get rid of it?

Is there any other potential cause for rusty water in a new tank -faulty metal part/pipe work - anything?!!?

I've read many posts but it seems most people with this bacteria have well water...THANK YOU!!!!
Old 03-12-09, 07:40 AM
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Since you are not on a well it doesn't sound like you would have Iron bacteria to me. Check this out ---> Iron Bacteria

If you still think you may have it call the city. They may be doing some service to the water system.

I'm no pro, but we had to chlorinate our well to pass the water test so we could buy the house. We used a pool shock. You get it at pool suppliers. Mix with water and dump it in your tank. Let sit over night. Next morning flush out all taps. When we were buying our home another guy tried to disinfect the well two times and failed. I took a crack at it (with a few phone calls) and got it done. Sometimes you got to take the bull by the horns.
Old 03-12-09, 01:33 PM
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I had the same problem with an AO Smith electric heater I installed last January. After contacting AO Smith they recommended just what you and you plumber did. I never got around to doing it and somewhere around November I noticed it no longer had brown water. Not sure what fixed it but it now runs clear. I am on city water also and could only assume the utility changed their chlorination procedure or the temps of the warmer water from the summer allowed the heater to remain hotter longer and killed the bacteria.
Old 03-13-09, 12:25 AM
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make sure they didnt install a steel nipple at the water heater connections

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