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New bathroom, rusty water from tub spout

ckib's picture

I hope there is a plumber out there that can shed some light on this ... we just had our bathroom remodeled.  We have very nice Jado fixtures in the tub/shower.  The problem is, when you first turn the taps on, for the tub or the shower, the water comes out rusty then runs clean.  The plumber doesn't know what the problem is but the tile guy thinks it's because the plumber used steel nipples and that is causing any water that stands in the pipes to get rusty.  He thinks the plumber should have used copper or brass nipples.  Help!

(post #65370, reply #1 of 41)

I think the tile guy is right. Only good thing is that the rust sometimes abates after a while if your water is hard.

(post #65370, reply #4 of 41)

Can't the parts be replaced? 


 

(post #65370, reply #2 of 41)

sounds right or just a galvanize pipe instead of a black pipe.

(post #65370, reply #8 of 41)

Black iron piping in a potable water line is a code violation. Galvanized is still legal in some areas, but most only allow it in short supply nipples. Stainless steel, brass, and chrome plated brass are all correct niplles.


My question for ckib would be; is this the only fixture with the rust discharge? If so, call the plumber back, he has a problem to correct.


If the rust appears at other fixtures, you are proabaly erroding old deposits form you main, before your new house shut off. You may have to renew the line from you meter or well on in to correct  the problem. The plumber  should have warned you that this could happen when he renewed your lines, but even if he didn't, he is not responsible for conditions outside the work he was contracted to do.


 


Dave


 

(post #65370, reply #9 of 41)

Dave,


About 9 months ago we had all the exposed copper pipes in our basement replaced.  There were no problems with the water anywhere after this installation.  We did this because we were plagued with pin hole leaks.  We now have an acid neutralizing system installed to correct the high acid level in our well water.  The acid neutralizing system was installed after I noticed the rusty discharge from the tub/shower, so I know this system has nothing to do with the rusty water discharge.


We just had both bathrooms in our house gutted, everything new, including the pipes running from the basement up to the downstairs bathroom and then up to the second floor bathroom sink and toilet.  There are separate supply pipes dedicated to the tub/shower from the basement. There is NO problem with the water in the downstairs bathroom.  There is also NO problem with the water in the sink and toilet in the upstairs bathroom.  The rusty water only comes out of the tub spout and shower.  And, as I explained before, it only comes out rusty for the first 10 seconds or so, then runs clear.


What could it be?  I've had so many problems with this plumber that I'd like to know what I'm talking about before contacting him.


Thanks. 


Cynthia


 


 


 

(post #65370, reply #10 of 41)

Wrap a rag around the shower head pipe and use channellocks to remove it from the fitting inside the wall. Do the same with tube spout.


Look at what type of fitting or nipple he used in the wall. You can also stick your finger, or a screw driver with a rag on it, in there and swab the inside of the fitting. If either one comes out with a layer of rusty gunk, you have found the problem.


Your tile man is most likely right. Sounds like your troublesome plumber used the wrong type of material somewhere in the supply side on the tub/shower piping.


Fixing the tub filler is straight forward because the supply nipple usually sticks out past the tile surface, and can be easily removed. That would be the one I took out , and replaced first. Keep it to show the plumber.


The shower supply fitting is likely a female ninety fitting burried behind the tile and wall. Getting it out without taking out tile is possible if you have access to the back side of the wall, and are willing to demo some of it to get to the pipes.


If the tub filler nipple proves your plumber screwed up, make the shower supply fitting his project. If the tile must be removed to get to the fitting, put the plumber in touch with the tile man. They can coordinate and plan thier repairs and schedules, so it doesn't drag out over more than a day or two.


BTW the plumber eats the cost of the repair, if he put in the wrong fittings.


 


Dave

(post #65370, reply #14 of 41)

Galvanized is correct black wrong.

"If all else fails, read the directions"

(post #65370, reply #15 of 41)

This should definitely be either a brass or stainless nipple, NOT a galvanized nipple, otherwise the problem will be back shortly.  The fixture is brass, and the water sitting in there will produce a galvanic cell which will rust away the black pipe OR galvanized nipple on an accelerated schedule.

(post #65370, reply #17 of 41)

You are not reading my message  correctly.  Whe are talking about a time frame, I didn't say that you should use galvanized, but it is legal where I live (MD.)  I did not say anything about  black iron, except that it was non-code where I live.  Electrolysis dosen'thappen that fast

"If all else fails, read the directions"

(post #65370, reply #21 of 41)

You're right, you didn't mention black pipe- I merely pointed it out for the benefit of the original poster.


Electrolysis certainly can "happen that fast"- with a direct connection between brass/copper and galvanized in a conductive fresh water, particularly an acidic water, you can say goodbye to the zinc on the inside of that galvanized nipple in a period of weeks since you'll literally have a 1.5 volt battery driving the corrosion in that case.  And since most people make galvanized nipples by threading galvanized pipe, the pipe ends themselves are often bare steel- you could see rust out of them even before you've lost all the zinc off the ID of the nipple.


Regardless what's "code" in your area, just say no to direct connections between galvanized pipe and copper pipe or brass valves, fixtures etc.  You might be able to get away with it for heavily treated cooling water or the like, but not for fresh water.  If such a transition is necessary, you must take measures to reduce the galvanic effect by using a stainless or non-conductive component between the two.

(post #65370, reply #3 of 41)

did the plumber tie into old gal pipes ? if so my guess would be the improved flow is creating tubulence braking off rust accumulation on inside old gal pipe , it should decrease then stop 

(post #65370, reply #5 of 41)

The supply pipes are brand new copper pipes, running up from the basement.  All new pipes in the basement too cuz we were plagued with pin hole leakes, so we replaced everything.  The bathroom has been in operation for 3 months, with no change/improvement. 

(post #65370, reply #6 of 41)

3 to 1 odds the tile guy is correct.

(post #65370, reply #7 of 41)

could your water main from the street or well is still steel, the improved flow would cause the rust to break loose. I have a hard time believing that a 4" steel nipple could cause the ammount of rust you are talking about. In any event the pipe should be changed to brass to prevent galvanitic problems.


 


james

(post #65370, reply #11 of 41)

What the tile guy said.  Probably just the nipple feeding the tub spout.  Easy enough to replace.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #65370, reply #12 of 41)

Thanks to everyone who posted.  Plumber hasn't been over yet ...

(post #65370, reply #16 of 41)

You are probably right; but who should be resposible??

"If all else fails, read the directions"

(post #65370, reply #13 of 41)

It was common practice to use galvanized tub spout nipples years ago.  They would not show that problem for many years.  If you are getting rust after a short time, it could be that the plumber installed a black iron nipple; thats a code violation where I live!

"If all else fails, read the directions"

(post #65370, reply #18 of 41)

Sounds like the Tile Guy is right. Here's why.

Many times when plumbers complete their rough-in plumbing, they install galv. nipples and caps which serve to temp. terminate the line, are low cost and expendable if marred during tile installation

Dollars to donuts, the Tile Guy noticed this but didn't say anything because he considered it to be SOP and would be addressed during final fixture/ trim installation. Appearently the nipples were forgoten to be galv and only the caps were removed. Other than forgetting about it, it may be an issue of he could not get at it easily, and since it was not a part of the pressure side of the plumbing, the plumber disregarded it. Very little cause for alarm in the short term but definitely an inconvienience.

The plumber, or you the HO, can remove the nipples using a tool called an Easy-out, available at a plumbing supply house or even HD/ Lowes. Pick one up, Take off the shower head and tub spout. Insert th EO to remove the nipple. Take the nipple back to where you got the EO and get the same length corresponding nipple in brass.

Pick up some teflon tape too. Re-install the nipple, but this time connect the nipple to the spout or head first.

F


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


(post #65370, reply #19 of 41)

Man, I love this message board!  The NEW plumber just left.  He took off the shower head and tub spout.  Sure enough, all rusty gunk in the steel nipples.  He just left to buy the correct brass parts and will be back soon to replace them.  Check out the photo ...


The plumber doesn't think he can remove that nipple with the easy out, so he is going to cut the pipe and re-do.


Thanks again to all who contributed to my education on this problem.


 


 


 

(post #65370, reply #20 of 41)

As long as he is careful and doesn't damage the threads of the remaining pipe, cutting should be ok. I erred in refering to theextraction tool as an Easy-Out. The proper name is Nipple Extractor. They/ Sets are readily available - even at Home depot for about $15. So much easier to use that rather than cutting which is very tedious.

Great to read that it is getting resolved and you no longer have to take henna showers. HA!

F


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


(post #65370, reply #22 of 41)

The picture shows what looks like a galvanized wing ell fitting. Probably  left in when the bathroom was replumbed. In this case it would be a thread/thread  ell with the mounting wings on each side.


Can't remove that without cutting the pipe since it is a female fitting, and is attached to a cross brace or other framing member with screws or nails through the wings.


 


Dave

(post #65370, reply #23 of 41)

HA!

I see what you "think" you are seeing - or is it me? Take another look. I see a nipple coming out of the wall and pointing to the left. I believe you see a female thread pointing to the right. Pretty wild!

Kinda like the picture of the ugly woman's face and the pretty woman's figure. It depends how you look at it. Are you familiar with that drawing?

F


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


(post #65370, reply #24 of 41)

Thanks again to all who posted.  I have another, smaller issue, and also hoping someone may know what could be causing this problem ... see photo.  There is a gold color stain appearing around the bottom of the polished chrome hot and cold water taps in the downstairs bathroom.  I can't get it out with any cleaner I've tried.  What could this be?  There is no staining in the upstairs bathroom sink (both bathrooms just redone, polished chrome Jado fixtures used in both bathrooms).  Could this also have to do with unlike metals?  Help!

(post #65370, reply #25 of 41)

Have you diassembled the hot water valve and removed the bell escutcheon to see if it is worse underneath? That will tell you/ us a lot.

Be very careful when removing it, so you do not scratch it with your screwdriver or wrench. DO NOT use a pair of pliers. They will definitely mar the fixture.

F


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


(post #65370, reply #26 of 41)

That's wild! I saw it as a female fitting with photo taken from left side, but after what you said, I looked again and saw it as male fitting with photo taken from right side (and after I saw it that way, had a hard time seeing it the other way again). But I think it's a male because it looks like it is coming out of another fitting--there's a bare crescent of silver above and to right.


At first I was going to tell you it was too early in the morning to be drinking, but it's nearly one here and you are right!

(post #65370, reply #27 of 41)

TA-DAA!

F


Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi.

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh


(post #65370, reply #28 of 41)

Need ckib to tell us what it is.


I am trapped in a visual loop, based on installing shower heads. I have never seen a chrome shower head nipple that wasn't male threaded on both ends. One end mates into the winged female ell inside or just beneath the wall/ tile surface. The other end recieves the female fitting on the shower head.


Sometime experience can be a hindrance. DW has to remind me all the time, that just because I have done something one way for years, doesn't mean there aren't other ways. Hard for me to get "out of the box."


 


Dave

(post #65370, reply #29 of 41)

I took lots of pix while the work was being done, and probably have a good shot of the plumbing rough in.  When I get home, I will send a photo and you guys can figure out what that part is.  Oh, the photo is of the tub spout, not the shower head.  Actually, what we have is a fixed shower head (no rusty water was coming out of this fixture) and a tub spout and a hand shower.  The rusty water was coming out of the tub spout and the hand shower.  These have both been fixed, thanks to you all!  The NEW plumber (won't call the old guys back) replaced both nipples (I think he said they were both of that variety) and we now have clear water all around.


Sorry I haven't followed up on the staining in the downstairs bath that I posted about.  I can't for the life of me figure out how to remove the tap levers just by looking at it!  I need to download the installation instructions from the Jado site ... when I've taken off the levers, I will take a photo and report on what I found.


Thanks!


 

(post #65370, reply #30 of 41)

Looks like you are right.


 


Dave