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Brief discoloration of bath water at turn-on
August 21, 2008 3:50 PM   Subscribe

I've been staying for about a week at a friend of a friend's apartment while he's on vacation and pretty much out of contact. Every time I turn on the bath there's a yellow discoloration of the water for the first half-second or so, and then it becomes completely clear. I haven't noticed any like discoloration when I turn on any of the faucets or the shower, but I'm nevertheless getting worried about drinking the water here. Any ideas what this could be? Thanks in advance.
posted by electric water kettle to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
 
Rust. Nothing to worry about. Probably.
posted by wilko at 3:57 PM on August 21, 2008


Yep, rust in the lines. It flushes out pretty quickly. Just let the water run a bit before drinking or using it for cooking. If you are really worried, get a filter to put on the kitchen faucet. You can remove it before you leave. Or get a Brita pitcher and fill it up every day.

The house I grew up in was very old, and the tub did this every time, probably because the tub faucet was not ran as often as the sinks.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:01 PM on August 21, 2008


Previously.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:02 PM on August 21, 2008


Yup, rust.

If you are worried, buy a couple of gallon jugs of drinking water, they are usually about a dollar each.
posted by yohko at 4:18 PM on August 21, 2008


Rust. Just let it flow for a bit until it's clear, as you have been doing. You're already drinking the stuff anyway if you drink from the tap, it's just this fixture is being more obvious.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:27 PM on August 21, 2008


i have this problem with my kitchen sink. i assumed it was rust. i let the water run until it isn't yellow anymore, fill up the brita and go to town. i am still alive. i promise you'll be fine.
posted by janepanic at 4:40 PM on August 21, 2008


electric water kettle posted "very time I turn on the bath there's a yellow discoloration of the water for the first half-second or so, and then it becomes completely clear."

This isn't uncommon, usually it is caused by some one "saving" $10 bucks by using a black iron nipple instead of a brass one for the internal spout pipe. The clue is that it's the bath that is rusty.

Even if it isn't just the bath that is rusty the dissolved iron won't hurt you, it just tastes bad.
posted by Mitheral at 7:48 PM on August 21, 2008


Even if it isn't just the bath that is rusty the dissolved iron won't hurt you, it just tastes bad.

Don't brew beer with it, either. Yuck.
posted by eriko at 8:31 PM on August 21, 2008


Could also be chunks of rust clogged up in the faucet- disassemble the faucet, get the chunks out and you will be rust free.
posted by gjc at 5:05 AM on August 22, 2008


It is absolutely nothing to worry about. It sounds like your tub is old, or has an old valve behind the spout. The clear water has no rust in it, and drinking water with Iron in it can actually be considered healthy (though it tastes like butt). If it isn't coming out of your kitchen faucet (or wherever you get your drinking water from) I wouldn't think twice about it.
posted by warriorengineer at 6:26 AM on August 22, 2008


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