There are several different situations that could cause the hot water emitting from the water heater to turn brown. This could be due to iron corroding the plumbing lines, the presence of copper plumbing pipes and a malfunctioning hot water tank. The information listed below provides some tips for troubleshooting your hot water tank for possible causes for the presence of brown water.
Brown Water In Plumbing Pipes
When there is a presence of brown water, it could be due to galvanized iron plumbing, which corrodes and turn your water dark brown. Sediment from a corroding hot water tank can also cause brown water. In addition, if you have copper plumbing pipes and there is standing water in the pipes, it could cause the water to discolor. In order to verify if the brown water is coming from your water heater, turn on the cold tap water and let it run. While the cold water is running, if you notice the water is still discolored, then it's possible that the brown water is not due to an issue with your water heater.
Flushing Your Water Heater
There are several steps you should take to troubleshoot your water heater, if after testing the cold water in your home, it's the cause of brown water. The first thing you should do is to flush out the water heater to get rid of any sediment build up. In order to do this, you must first turn off the power to your water heater. Then the cold water inlet valve must be shut off as well. Next, you will need to connect a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of your water heater. This will enable the water standing in your water heater to flow out, without soaking up the basement floor. Then in order to fully flush out the water heater, you will need to open the water inlet valve so that cold water can run through the tank. The cold water is used to flush the water heater out. Once it has been flushed completely, you will hear the drain taps make a hissing and popping noise. This means the process is finished and you can release the hose from the water heater and turn on the power.
If you are unsure about following these steps to get rid of the presence of brown water in your water heater, consider consulting with a contractor.