If you have switched on the tap for a glass of water or to brush your teeth only to find a cloudy, brown mess, you likely have rust in your water. The good news is that it isn’t likely to harm you in most cases. However it can be a disturbing and just gross experience. Nobody wants to see yucky brown water coming from their plumbing!
Once you get past the shock of the visual, you are likely wondering why this is happening and what caused it. Today, we will take a look at what causes your faucet 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 turning the water to a brown color.
How Harmful is Rusty Water?
Without knowing the exact cause of the discoloration, you can’t be positive that the brown water isn’t unsafe. But, typically speaking, rusty water doesn’t cause a risk to your health. There are regulations in place relating to public safety. These regulations keep water with harmful substances such as lead or arsenic from being dispersed to the general public.
Obviously, even if the water doesn’t hurt you, it can still be annoying. The look is very unpleasant 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 identify your problem is to determine where the brown water is coming from. For example, if the water is brown only when hot water is running, the problem is in the hot water tank. If all water is brown, the issue is with the supply. If the issue is only with cold water or in certain faucets, it is likely coming from a couple of specific pipes.
How to Fix Brown or Rusty Water
As soon as you have nailed down where the real problem is originating from you can begin to try to find a solution. Here is how you can begin to handle each of the circumstances listed above.
- If all water is brown, you may be dealing with a problem with the primary supply. You should reach out to your water company. There is a very good possibility that maintenance they are doing to their own lines or other city work is cause for the discoloration. If that does happen to be the case, running the water for a few minutes once the project is completed ought to 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 many cases, it is best to simply go ahead and call a licensed plumber for this job so it is done right.
- When the issue 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 resolve the problem. It is not all that unusual for a small amount of rust to develop and become dislodged. Nevertheless, if the issue continues, you will need to call a plumber to clean or upgrade the pipes before you encounter serious problems.
Call a Broken Arrow, OK. Plumber Today!
If you are seeing rust in your supply of water or you are having other kinds of plumbing problems, please call (918) 835-9605 licensed plumbers. They will have every little thing running smoothly again in no time!