If you turn on the tap for a glass of water or to brush your teeth only to discover a cloudy, brown mess, you likely have rust in your water. The good news is that it isn’t likely to hurt you in most cases, but it can be a disturbing and may require a plumber. No one wants yucky brown water coming from their faucets!
Once you get past the shock of the visual, you are likely wondering why this is happening and what caused it. Today, we will look at what causes your tap water to look brown and cloudy and what you can do about it.
Why Is the Water Brown?
The most likely substances to be discoloring your water are tiny particles of the minerals iron and manganese. The metallic particles interact with water becoming rusted and enter the flow of water to your faucet. This than turns the water a brown color.
How Dangerous is Rusty Water?
WIthout knowing the exact cause of the discoloration, you can’t be positive that the brown water isn’t dangerous. However, generally speaking, rusty water doesn’t cause a risk to your health. There are regulations in place regarding public safety that keep water with dangerous substances such as lead or arsenic from being distributed to the public.
Of course, even if the water doesn’t hurt you, it can still be bothersome. The look is very unsightly and there may also be a taste to the water that would make it unpleasant to drink or cook with. If you have sensitive skin, it could even cause a rash.
What Causes Brown Water?
One way to diagnose your problem is to figure out where the brown water is coming from.
- If water is brown only when hot water is running, the problem is in the hot water tank.
- If all water is brown, the problem is with the supply.
- However, if the problem is only with cold water or in certain faucets, it is likely coming from one or two specific pipes.
How to Fix Brown or Rusty Water
Once you have nailed down where the problem is coming from you can start to try to find a solution. Here is how you can begin to handle each of the scenarios listed above.
If all water is brown, you may be dealing with an issue with the main supply. You should reach out to your water company. There is a very good chance that maintenance they are doing to their own lines or other city work is causing the discoloration. If that happens to be the case, running the water a few minutes once the project is completed should restore your water to normal.
If water is brown only when hot water is running, then you know that the issue is likely inside of your hot water tank. It will need to be drained and flushed. You can do this job DIY if you have the time and the tools for it. But in most cases, it is best to just go ahead and call a licensed plumber for this job so it is done right.
If the problem is only with cold water or in certain faucets, it is coming from your pipes. You may be able to run the water for a few moments and solve the problem. It is not all that unusual for a small amount of rust to develop and become dislodged. However, if the problem continues, you will need to contact a plumber to clean or replace the pipes before you run into serious problems.
Call a Broken Arrow, OK. Plumber Today!
If you are seeing rust in your water supply or you are having other types of plumbing problems, please call (918) 209-3133 and schedule an appointment with one of Mullin Plumbing, Inc. highly skilled and licensed plumbers. They will have everything running smoothly again in no time!