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    Brown Water Coming Out of the Faucets After Water Has Been Shut Off for Awhile

    Asked Mar 21, 2009, 01:21 AM 6 Answers
    Hi!

    Is that normal after the water supply has been shut off for a short or long while? Also, is brown water coming out after doing that a sign that there is something wrong with the plumbing system?

    Thanks!

    Last edited by Clough; Mar 21, 2009 at 01:25 AM. Reason: Improved the title.
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    Perito's Avatar
    Perito Posts: 3,139, Reputation: 150
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    #2

    Mar 21, 2009, 05:34 AM

    It's pretty common. I doubt that there is anything wrong.
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,581, Reputation: 1908
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    #3

    Mar 21, 2009, 07:38 AM


    Quote Originally Posted by Clough View Post
    Hi!

    Is that normal after the water supply has been shut off for a short or long while? Also, is brown water coming out after doing that a sign that there is something wrong with the plumbing system?

    Thanks!
    I disagree with Pento. Brown water indicates iron oxide,(rust) in your system and that just ain't normal. Before I can answer I need more information. Pump or city water? Type of piping? Plastic, copper or galvanized? Age of the house? Both hot and cold brown or just one of them? How long do you hafta run the water before it runs clear? Answer me and I'll answer you. Tom
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    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,681, Reputation: 1647
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    #4

    Mar 21, 2009, 02:23 PM

    Hi, Tom!

    It's city water.

    Pipes are a combination of galvanized and copper at my home. Where I'm house and dog-sitting right now, the pipes are galvanized, copper and plastic. My home is really old, where I'm at right now, the home is around, I think, 40 years old and in an upscale neighborhood and the water was off for about 30 minutes last night. Don't know the cause of it being shut off.

    At my home, both hot and cold are brown. Here, if I recall correctly, it appeared to be just the cold water that was brown.

    At my home, I have to run the water for about 10 minutes before it will be clear. At this home, it only took a few minutes for the water to be clear again.

    Thanks!
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,581, Reputation: 1908
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    #5

    Mar 21, 2009, 03:23 PM


    Here's your culprit, (see images). This is what happens to galvanized pipe over the years. What's happening is that between draws the water in the pipe will absorb some of the rust. When you run the water it will flush the rust out and the water will run clear. The solution is a repipe job. No instant fix here. Sorry I couldn't have more helpful. Regards, tom
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    Perito's Avatar
    Perito Posts: 3,139, Reputation: 150
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    #6

    Mar 21, 2009, 03:34 PM
    Plumbing systems that mix Galvanized with copper (usually for historic reasons) are bad news. The iron dissolves and the copper causes an acceleration of the iron corrosion.

    Having to wait for 10 minutes for the water to clear is excessive and I have to agree with speedball1 that it is a problem -- especially from hearing your description.

    I have seen pipes that are clogged from iron and scale that have to be replaced throughout the house. This can be pretty costly.
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    afaroo's Avatar
    afaroo Posts: 3,370, Reputation: 199
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    #7

    Mar 21, 2009, 10:15 PM

    I agree with Tom, 40 years old house with a combination of galvanized and copper, will have Build up of rust inside the only solution is a repipe job, good luck.

    John
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