Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Reddish dust/sediment left in tub after bath
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Reddish dust/sediment left in tub after bath

We have two full baths on our second floor. In our guest bathroom we have a tub/shower. After bathtime and we drain the tub there is a reddish grit left on the bottom of the tub. This doesn't happen anywhere in any of the sinks or the master bath shower. Does anyone know what this could be and/or what I should do to try and find out what it is? I have already spoken with my plumber and he was miffed.

Kate :confused:

Re: Reddish dust/sediment left in tub after bath

Do you know if you have galvanized piping running to the tub/shower? If this is the guest bathroom, and seldom used, perhaps it is rust sediment that has formed in the pipes and is flushed out when the tub/shower is used?

Re: Reddish dust/sediment left in tub after bath

In response-
My plumber just couldn't think of anything that it could be. This has been going on for the past four years since we moved into our house and we live in a house that is over 100 yrs old. I mentioned to my plumber that maybe it was rust inside the pipes after sitting for a while but he also didn't think that was it either.


Re: Reddish dust/sediment left in tub after bath

Private well or city water?

If a well, have you ever had the raw water tested for iron content?

The grit you describe sure sounds like ferric iron particles. If your well water contains ferric iron, then it really should show up everywhere in the house.

However, if the well water contains ferrous iron.......then it's *possible* that the grit might only show up in the bathtub. Reason being that ferrous iron (iron in solution) will convert to ferric iron (particulate iron) when exposed to oxygen. Since the bathtub will contain a large amount of water with a large surface area, which also gets sloshed around (further aerating the water) and may remain inthe tub longer than the water in your sinks,etc does........ the grit may only show up in the tub.

It's also possible that this is coming from an old iron pipe that feeds the tub (as already mentioned) or from a water heater that's rusting out internally. If the latter, you might only see it in the tub because that's where that large volume of water is which sits long enough for the rust particles to settle out.

Same for a galvanized pressure tank that's rusting out internally.

Do you have a water softener? It's possible that it's slugged with iron particles (if your water contains iron) and so iron is now being discharged from the unit. IOW, the softener is acting kinda like a tea bag.

Are you using any bath additives? Strange things can happen chemically depending upon what ingredients your water contains. Precipitates can result.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.