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brown dust in hot water - who to call?

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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default brown dust in hot water - who to call?

    Hi everyone,

    We recently discovered that after filling up a bucket of water from our shower and laundry with hot water only, there is this brown like stuff at the bottom. It looks a bit dusty, but it is very fine, so I cannot tell if it is dirt or something like copper. The cold water seems fine though. Our (electric) hot water system we have is about 10 years old and in the manual the only thing that might indicate a problem is the anode, well apart from being old :P

    So I am not sure who I should call, could it be the pipes or the hot water system? will any plumber know or do I have to call on something like hws service persons like rheem.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    My opinion (as a mug) is the brown is most likeley rust from your hot water system, indicating that it is probably on its way out....

    Have a look at your unit and see if there is any visible rust staions down the side of the unit.

    (Keep using it to get the nice wintery looking fake tan look from your shower.)

    A plumber or sparky could replace it....or I have known people to DIY a simple swap out for the same size unit.


  3. #3
    3K Club Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010


    You can access the anode and check it's condition, it's a matter of turning off the water and power then removing the plastic plug located in the middle on top of the unit, under the plug is large bolt head, pop a socket onto this and unscrew it then lift the anode out.

    you will see the original thickness at the top, compare this to the rest, if you see some areas with only very thin section left, it's the wire that runs through the anode and it's past it's replacement time. Note: if it looks like a row of sausages all regularly spaced on a wire it is OK to keep, this is the type they use to insert when head room is limited and it had to bend to get in/out.

    Good luck.

    Replacement anodes are available at plumbing outlets, take the old one to match the thread size and anode length.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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