What Do You Do If Your Tap Has Rusty Water?

A picture of a sink faucet with the words, "what to do about rusty tap water."

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as sipping on a glass of crystal clear water. When you turn your tap, that’s what you expect to get, so it can be very off-putting to instead get a glass full of a colored cloudy liquid speckled with particulates.

If you’ve experienced this, you might be dealing with rusty tap water. Here’s what you need to do to get back to sparkling water you can see through.

What Creates Rusty Tap Water?

In order to solve a problem, it’s important to know how exactly the problem is caused. Rusty water looks brown, yellowish, or reddish depending on the sediments and minerals in the water. The most common sediments to discolor the water are iron or manganese.

These sediments can get into the water through a wide variety of different sources and are often responsible for the odd taste and smell of your water

Is Rusty Water Dangerous?

Rusty tap water isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it can be depending on what minerals are present in your water. The EPA regulates the treatment of drinking water contaminants and dangerous contaminants like lead and arsenic are covered under the primary standards, meaning that if the contaminants reach dangerous levels, the EPA won’t allow it to be supplied to the public.

Because of this, the rusty water that most individuals deal with isn’t typically dangerous to your health. That said, it does look and smell bad, and it may also have the potential to stain clothing.

Why Is My Faucet Water Brown and How Do I Fix It?

The different colors and conditions of rusty tap water can be indicative of different problems. Here are some examples.

If All of Your Water Becomes Brown…

This means that there is likely a break in a city-operated water main or fire hydrant. Alternatively, the pipes in your water supply line or water heater may have become rusted. Odds are, there is something wrong with the water supply line or a nearby fire hydrant.

There is also a possibility that the city is doing maintenance on the pipe system. To fix this issue, you will need to call your water supply company.

If Only the Hot Water Is Discolored…

Water temperature controls on a hot water heater

This means there is likely a sediment or rust build-up in your water heater’s tank. If your hot water is the only water that is discolored, then you will want to drain and flush your water heater’s tank.

This should be done twice a year to ensure that your water heater is protected from clogs and leaks. After all, too much sediment build-up can lead to a rise in pressure in the hot water heater tank and lead to it exploding.

You can also contact your trusted plumber to come out and give your hot water heater an inspection to ensure that there is nothing else causing the problem and give your water heater a proper flush.

If Only Cold Water Is Brown and Only on Certain Faucets…

The problem is likely with the water supply pipe. It is probably rusted or corroded. To solve this issue, try running the water for a few minutes to see if it clears up. Sometimes a small amount of rust may dislodge into the pipe and affect the water supply. Simply running the water should clear this issue out.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, it means that your pipes are probably corroded. You will need to have the corroded pipe replaced or deep cleaned by a trusted plumbing professional ASAP.

It is especially important to contact a trusted plumbing professional immediately since corroded or rusted pipes have a higher possibility of developing leaks or breaks in the line which can result in even bigger and costlier problems for you in the long run. 

Need Help Dealing With Rusty Tap Water?

Water is the basis for life, and it’s a hugely important part of our lives in particular, from drinking to bathing to washing. That’s why clean water is a necessity, not a luxury. The experts at HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler will use their extensive experience and skills to make sure the water that comes out of your tap reliably comes out looking like it came straight from an oasis.

We’re eager to help with all of your plumbing needs, no matter how big or small, so make sure to contact us today!

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