I posted this on Baytown Talks and thought I'd post it here as well and see which forum has the more knowledgeable people:
About two months ago, we went out of town for a week. Freezing weather was expected and so I shut the water off to my house and turned off the hot water heater. After we got home and I turned everything back on, I noticed my hot water had a rusty tint to it. I tried flushing it for an extended period, then blocked in the heater and drained it -- flushing, refilling, redraining for most of a day until I had gotten all of the sediment and rust flakes out of it. I refilled it and heated it back up... but it still was making slightly orange water. I thought it would clear up over time, so we just lived with it, but here it is 7 weeks later and it's still has the same tint. It's not real bad -- you have to draw a sink full to really see it, but it's there. And it's just the hot water -- the cold water is fine.
Our 50 gallon Whirlpool gas water heater is about 13 years old. Do I need a new one? Any plumbers or home improvement experts care to weigh in? Anything else I should try first?