In our previous post, part one of a two-part series called, “Got Rust Stains On Your Toilets, Tubs, And Sinks? What You Can Do About It,” we mainly highlighted the process of identifying rust in your water. While we billed this blog series as being concerned primarily with rust stains, we realized that attacking the issue at its source is probably the best starting point. That way, our readers are equipped with the ability to diagnose a rusty water problem in addition to being able to solve its symptoms.

As a quick reminder, the easiest way to determine if your home’s rusty water is a systemic, neighborhood-wide (or perhaps city-wide) problem is by doing a simple DIY test. Fill a cup with cold water and examine it for its odor and color. Do the same with a cup of hot water. If you find that both samples are rust-infused, contact your public utilities company. If it’s just the hot water that’s rusty, it’s probably due to your hot water heater needing to be replaced or at least repaired. If you find that only the cold water has that trademark scent and appearance, it likely means you have a corrosive pipe in your home plumbing system.

That’s essentially where we left off, so let’s continue with part two, where we will discuss what you can do about it!

What You Can Do About Rusty Water

Let’s start with the scenario where it’s a systemic issue that the public utilities company has to solve. The problem is the same in principle; pipes, somewhere, have gotten rusty and must be replaced. It’s their responsibility to do this, but governmental workers don’t tend to be the most efficient group of folks we’ve ever encountered (no offense to any of our public servants, we love you). That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to remind them that this is an issue that needs to be given priority.

If you’ve determined that the source of your troubles is the hot water heater, we’ve got some bad news for you; you need a hot water heater replacement. Luckily, your local Fort Collins plumber in Bears Family Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling is here with affordable rates and a wealth of Northern Colorado plumbing experience. If you choose to live with a bit of rusty water in your day-to-day life, we’d say two things. First, gross. Second, be prepared for the corrosion taking place to continue its course until the entire water heater fails.

Here’s some good news though; you can be proactive in your attempts to prevent your hot water heater from corroding. All you have to do is replace the anode rod once every odd year or so. Replacing an anode rod can extend the life of your water heater because they are specifically designed to attract corrosive elements in your heater. You’ll need to choose between a magnesium anode rod, which is better at protecting your tank, and a zinc or aluminum rod. The latter are cheaper than the former but are not as effective. On the other hand, they tend to last longer than magnesium anode rods. Give us a call if you are having trouble weighing your options and you’d like some professional guidance.

Why Does It Collect In My Toilet Bowl?

We touched on this point in part one, but rust is simply oxidized iron. When hard water mineral deposits build up around your toilet bowl, tub, or sink, it might be because you use well water that is high in iron content. When you see that rusty ring appear around the edge of your toilet bowl, the iron has already oxidized to the point where it’s visible to the naked eye.

Conversely, there might be a rust-stain issue because the actual toilet bowl has started corrode. If that’s the case, we’d say you probably should have replaced that prior to this realization, but on the other hand, at least you have an easy, surface-level fix on your hands.

To get slightly tangential, if you are wondering why fecal matter sticks to certain toilet bowls more than others, it’s probably not the toilet bowl’s fault. It likely has to do with your diet, as it turns out. More specifically, stool that remains in a toilet bowl usually has an excess of oil. Not that we are gastroenterologists by any stretch of the imagination, but we’ve read and heard that having an excess of oil in your stool indicates that your digestive system isn’t absorbing fats in the right way. A tell-tale sign of this oil-excess is that your feces might float.  

Now that you know that entirely useful piece of information, let’s get back to the topic at hand; cleaning rust stains.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Rust Stains?

While you can go ahead and use traditional, heavy-duty cleansers to solve this issue, they usually come with a little bit of baggage. Products like Zud, Comet, and other chemicals cleaners aren’t what most people would associate with being “environmentally friendly.” On the other hand, you can mechanically remove rust stains from porcelain using a pumice scouring stick. All you need to do is wet the bar and rub it over the stain’s surface. Then rinse! It’s an environmentally-friendly product too, which is a big plus.

Your Fort Collins Plumber — Bears PHC

Bears Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling is here to offer you advice about keeping your home safe and functional, like we — hopefully — have done today, but we’ve also been providing Fort Collins, Loveland, Denver, and the Northern Colorado Front Range with high-quality HVAC and plumbing services for over fifteen years.

If you are in need of a tankless water heater installation, water heater service and repair, furnace installation, or even heating and air conditioning supply, we’ve got you covered at Bears Family PHC. With affordable prices, experienced technicians, and a dedication to providing our Northern Colorado communities with the best possible service we can, we ask you to consider us the next time you need a local plumber. Contact us today!