Mysterious Yellow How Water in Tub only


Old 10-22-13, 12:09 PM
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Mysterious Yellow Hot Water in Tub only

Hi All, I hope you can help with this very mysterious problem we are having with our hot water. About two years ago we noticed that the tub in our older bathroom was pumping out yellow water. We didnít see any dirt, sand or mud just yellow water (like really yellow water). The strange part was that the rest of the sinks and showers in the house produced clean looking hot water but once we turned on the tub all the outlets in the house ran yellowish water for a short while after. Just to be clear there is absolutely no issues with the cold water in the house from any faucet and therefore we ruled out any issues with the main water line. Less than a year ago we changed out the hot water heater thinking this was the problem but sure enough the yellow water is still coming out of the tub. We called PSE&G and they didnít know what the cause was but was confident that it isnít the new water heater (itís under warranty so they would have to replace it free of charge). They suggested changing the valve on the hot side of the tub. I called a trusted plumber and he shot down the valve idea since that is unlikely to cause yellow water and it isnít leaking so it probably isnít faulty. He also didnít think that it would be the hot water tank since it is basically new. I flushed some water out of the bottom of the hot water tank and it was dirty but not yellow. We canít seem to figure out why only the tub starts the problem with yellow water and none of the other faucets. The only think we can think of is that the old tub has an unrestricted faucet and therefore maybe it is clearing out the tank faster and pulling up junk from the bottom of the tank. This would also make sense that the other faucets would also show some yellow since the junk was disturbed but once it settles the yellow goes away. Some have suggested a water softener but no one on my block has this issue and until two years ago we never had yellow water. We even called the town engineer to see if there was pipe work being done in the area but they confirmed that nothing is being done and that would show up in cold water also. We have exhausted all our resources so I figured I would give you guys a try. You have always been very helpful in the past.
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Old 10-22-13, 02:29 PM
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Your theory sounds plausible,,, Let me ask you is that tub seldom used?
Old 10-22-13, 02:39 PM
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Steel plumbing? If so change it to Pex, CPVC or copper in that order.
Old 10-22-13, 03:46 PM
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I'll be very interested in the answer as I have a whirlpool tub that often goes for several weeks between use. Occasionally I will get colored water from the spout when first filling. I just checked and it is clear but I did use it a week or so ago.

And Joe, my supply plumbing is all copper so that's not the problem.
Old 10-22-13, 03:53 PM
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Its often from lack of use. Deposits sit at the bottom of the pipe... Water constantly flows one way and not too much disturbance... When I change a heater and there is a brown water issue I back flush the piping..

Turn off hot water valve and drain heater. Turn on tub faucet between H/C. The cold will go back down the hot line backwards and reverse flush the hot line back to the heater...

As you hit every faucet in the home one at a time the heater will fill with dark brown crap. The heater will need to be flush again...

Wait till you see what comes out...

I do this before installing a new heater becuse I let all the crap go into the old.

Then I install the new heater with clean backflushed pipes...

You can do it with the old heater, but you will have brown water for several days. You can never get all the crap out of the heater... It takes days to settle...

Ask me how I know...LOL
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