One common peculiarity is brown or discolored tap water. When this happens, it is important to take immediate action to resolve the issue and restore your home comfort before the root of the cause becomes worse, and more costly to repair. It is best for a small problem to be caught early on before major damage can occur to your home’s plumbing or appliances. Continue reading to learn why this happens to tap water and how to fix the problem within a reasonable budget.
Brown Faucet Water
Tap water should be virtually crystal clear, odorless, and have a neutral taste. But under poor circumstances, water can change color, lose clarity, and even have a metallic or rotten taste. These poor conditions can cause water to range in color, from light yellows and gold tones, to dark grey and brown tones. Solid particles and debris may also be visible in discolored tap water. Whatever the cause for the discoloration, it is not necessarily dangerous but certainly alarming, and a sign that something else is going wrong in your home plumbing. Fortunately, most circumstances that cause water to turn colors are easily reversible and inexpensive. But before fixing the problem, a licensed master plumber must first determine the cause.
Common causes for discolored or brown tap water:
Aging or rusted plumbing pipes. If the discoloration of tap water generally occurs first thing in the morning, or after a brief time away from home, it could very-well be rusty-old galvanized water supply lines. This is even truer if it is just one faucet delivering discolored water. The pressure caused by switching the water on and off loosens the rusted particles off of the piping, sending it straight out to the bathroom or kitchen faucet. Sometimes, this peeling exposes iron beneath the galvanic coating on the inside of the pipes, also causing the water to turn shades of brown.
High magnesium and iron levels. When tap water has excessive levels of iron and magnesium, it can cause water to change color and appear brown. This is common for homes supplied by underground wells. Sometimes, soil has high levels of iron in it, jeopardizing the ground water coloration.
Water main break. If a local water main breaks, or fire hydrants are being flushed, it can cause contaminants and debris to leak into home water supplies. These cases tend to work themselves out on their own once the water break is repaired. It usually takes about an hour or so for the water to clear up. For this reason, it is best to check with your local department before replacing any pipes or water heaters.
Water heater problems. If the brown or murky water is only coming from the hot water tap, you may need to steer your attention toward your water heater. If your water heater is over 10 years old, it may need replaced. Otherwise, it needs inspected and serviced by a qualified professional to eliminate these kinds of problems.
Fortunately, most of these problems can be solved with professional water heater repair, water filtration services, and water softening systems. Talk to your local and trusted plumbing company for help with water discoloration and plumbing problems in Central Indiana.