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Thread: Yellow Water?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1

    Default Yellow Water?

    When we come back from vacations, we have to run our water for a minute or two to clear some discolored water. The water looks yellow. Any ideas about what might be causing that? And how to fix it?

    Both hot and cold look the same. The discoloration seems to happen at every sink/toilet/faucet. This house is from 1924.

    Thanks for any thoughts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NorthWest Florida
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    Sure sounds like rust in the lines to me. Next time you return, run the tap and capture some of it for water quality testing. Odds are it will come back with rust. As to whether or not the (most likely) cast iron pipes need replacing or not, you'd need to discuss that with a plumber.
    Tom Stangl
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    Caveat: IANAC (I Am Not A Contractor) - I am simply a DIYer that tends to do a lot of research. Contact licensed Contractors/Architects/whatever for the final legal word on any advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    from yAlameda County Water District, in Fremont, CA:

    Brown or yellow water from either tap on the FIRST DRAW:
    The internal plumbing of your house is probably the culprit if discolored water only appears for a minute or two after your tap is turned on. When the zinc coating on the inside of galvanized iron pipe begins to wear thin, water becomes discolored as it comes in contact with bare iron. The longer the water sits in the pipes, the worse the discoloration will be. Thatís why you are most likely to notice the problem first thing in the morning or when you have just returned from school or work. After running your tap for a few minutes, clean water from your water heater or water main will replace the discolored water. Since iron is an essential nutrient, this condition poses no health hazard. If the discoloration bothers you, however, flush the tap until the water becomes clear, saving the water for iron-loving plants.

    Brown or yellow water from either tap, CONSTANTLY:
    Sediments in water mains sometimes get stirred up when fire hydrants are used and when the flow of water in mains is reversed. These sediments may cause your water to turn brown or yellow. Thirty to forty minutes after you notice the discolored water, try turning on the cold water in your bathtub for a minute or two. Youíll probably notice that it clears right up, since sediments settle quickly back to the bottom of water mains. Discolored water due to sediments such as these poses no health threat, but for aesthetic reasons you should avoid doing laundry until the water clears up.

    good luck- -Fishfool @ The Reef Tank

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Memphis, not Egypt
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    You have an old house replace everything or move or live with it. How much do you want to spend? Decide from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    What if you have copper pipes and the water is yellow in the morning or after an absence? This is an intermitent problem but is really annoying. It usually clears after flsuhing for 3 - 5 minutes. It is not rust from the county system.
    I have a water softener. Could that be effecting it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    You might have some galvanized pipes in your copper system. Look at the tub spout for the typical example. The ends on hoses and crusty valves are other contenders.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    This post is old, the PO didn't respond to any of the answers, so he abondoned it.
    No need to guesstimate, since the PO left out do much of the important information.
    At this point everything is possible and there is no definite answer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,371

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    I was responding to post #5 Its not active?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,103

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    #5 is from today...cool. Good answer too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Yellow Water?

    "Since iron is an essential nutrient, this condition poses no health hazard. "

    Cool. From what I know, there isn't really any hazard from Iron. I pretty much surprised where that myth came from.

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