Wondering what to do if your tap has rusty water? Rust-colored water can be irritating, but it is not necessarily harmful. If water from your faucet is brown, it may be due to old, rusty pipes. It may also be a result of mineral build-up or your utility company’s activities.
RooterMan Plumbers is here to help! Our expert technicians are experienced in dealing with all sorts of plumbing issues, including those involving rusty water. We will quickly identify the source of your problem and take the necessary steps to fix it. In most cases, we can have your water flowing clear again in no time!
This is not a health concern and the water is still safe to drink. If you are concerned about the appearance of your water, there are a few things you can do to improve it. That is why we have compiled this guide on what to do if your tap has rusty water.
Why is My Water Rusty?
Your tap water can look rusty brown, reddish, or yellowish for a number of reasons. In many cases, it is due to high sediment or mineral content.
Iron and manganese are the most common minerals that cause water to appear rusty. If these minerals are present at high levels, they can also cause your water to smell or taste bad. Small deposits of these metals can enter your water stream through natural or manmade means.
Both iron and manganese are not harmful to your health in small amounts. Yet, you can have your water tested by a plumber if you are concerned about the appearance or quality of your water.
Is Rusty Water Harmful?
Generally, no but this can depend on the kind of minerals present in the rusty water. The EPA controls the treatment of drinking water contaminants in accordance with primary and secondary regulations. The primary regulations cover harmful contaminants like arsenic and lead. Usually, water supplied to the public is safe and in compliance with these regulations. When these contaminants exceed the maximum level, the water is not sent to the public.
Regularly testing for primary contaminants is compulsory. The secondary regulations are not mandatory but drinking water suppliers have taken them into consideration. These include contaminants that can cause staining, taste, or odor problems. Iron and manganese fall under this category. While these minerals are not harmful to your health, they can be a nuisance.
Is Rusty Water Safe For Bathing?
Drinking or bathing in water that contains high levels of iron is not harmful to your health. However, it can cause skin and hair discoloration. If you have rust-colored water coming from your taps, it may take longer for you to get clean. This is because hard water makes it hard for soap to lather on your skin.
What Causes Rusty Water From Your Faucet?
There are three main situations that can be responsible for rusty water coming out of your faucet:
1. If only your hot water is discolored:
When this happens, it is usually due to corrosion or sediment build-up in your hot water heater tank. Your plumber will be able to quickly flush out your tank to get rid of the problem.
2. If only your cold water and water from some faucets is rusty:
This is often caused by issues in a specific water supply pipe. Your plumbing can rust and clog with time mostly if your home’s water supply is high in minerals.
3. If all your water (hot and cold) becomes brown:
When your water supply suddenly becomes rusty, it is usually due to a water main break, close utility maintenance, or damage to your municipal water supply. Because many homes have old water pipes, this is a common occurrence.
What Should You Do if You Have Rusty Water?
If you notice your water is rusty, do not panic! Usually, this problem can be quickly fixed by a professional plumber. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to improve the quality and appearance of your water.
During line maintenance by your utility company, they turn off the water to your home. Once they finish the work, they will turn your water back on. When this happens, there is a chance that some rust and sediment can enter your home’s water supply. To remove this from your pipes, flush each faucet in your home for several minutes until the water runs clear again.
This sudden change may also be due to problems in your home. A rusty water heater or water supply pipes are common causes. The rusty water you see is an early warning sign that these parts of your plumbing are starting to degrade. You should have a professional take a look at these areas of your home as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
How to Fix Brown Water From Faucets
The best way to get rid of brown water is to have a professional plumber flush out your home’s pipes. This will remove all the rust, sediment, and other contaminants from your water supply. In most cases, this is all you need to do to enjoy fresh, clean water from your taps again.
If only your hot water is discolored:
When this happens, it is usually due to corrosion or sediment build-up in your hot water heater tank. The sediment build-up is also a major cause of water heater leaks. If you’re able, try to quickly flush out your tank to get rid of the problem
You should also examine your anode rod. The anode rod is a sacrificial piece of metal that protects the inside of your water heater tank from corrosion. Over time, this rod will corrode instead of your tank. This is normal and expected after about 5 years. However, if the anode rod is completely gone, you will need to get a plumber to replace it to protect your water heater.
If flushing the tank or replacing your water heater doesn’t solve the problem, you may have a bigger issue with your water supply. In this case, you will need to call a professional plumber to take a look at your home’s plumbing.
If only your cold water and water from some faucets is rusty:
This is sometimes caused by a small quantity of rust that drops off the inside of your pipe and gets in your water supply. Running the affected faucets for a few minutes should solve this problem.
If running the faucets doesn’t resolve the issue or if rusty water returns after a while, your pipes may be corroded. When there’s excessive corrosion in your pipes, the minerals will start leaching into your water. This problem will require the attention of a professional plumber. Your pipes will have to be replaced or deep cleaned in the shortest possible time. Corroded pipes can lead to clogs, leaks, and breaks in your plumbing system.
If all your water (hot and cold) becomes brown:
This is usually caused by a sudden change in your water pressure due to a water main break or damage to your municipal water supply. This can also happen if the city is carrying out maintenance on the water lines. If this is the case, you should wait until the city repairs the damage to your water supply before using your taps. In the meantime, you can use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Once the city has repaired or replaced the water main, run your taps for several minutes to flush out the rusty water. You should also flush out your toilets and water heater to get rid of all traces of brown water.
Do You Need Help Eliminating Brown Rusty Water From Your Home?
Are you worried about the brown water coming out of your taps? Do you need help to get rid of it? The experts at RooterMan Plumbing are here to help. We have the experience and expertise to quickly flush out your pipes and get rid of the rust, sediment, and other contaminants in your water supply. We can also inspect your plumbing system for any corrosion or leaks. Call RooterMan Plumbing at 281.351.4422 to schedule an appointment today. We’re available 24/7 to help you with all your plumbing needs.