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Why does my tap have rusty water, and how to fix it

Most homeowners expect the water that comes from your taps to be clean and clear. In the event, the color and taste are suddenly a little off? The culprit could be rust, and depending on the age of your pipes and water heater, it could be coming from within your house. Imagine waking up in the morning, and you are about to brush your teeth. You put your brush under the tap and turn on the tap, and your brush is met by a stream of brown, cloudy water. It can be caused by several things, which include corroded pipes, mineral buildup, utility company operations, and many more. Let’s see in this article why your taps have rusty water.

Is rusty brown water dangerous? 

Rusty water coming out of taps is one of the usual problems you may encounter with your plumbing that requires professional plumbing services. Whenever you notice brown water flowing from your taps or toilets, do not assume it is a minor issue and that the water will return to its normal color in a few minutes. Better still, do not hesitate to contact us at 5 Star Plumbing. 

A very common question that would be in the mind of any homeowner is, “Is this water dangerous?” well, it depends on the minerals in your water, but it probably isn’t. Rust-colored water isn’t usually harmful, but it can be disturbing for any homeowner. But when left untreated, rusted pipes can be dangerous and breed bacteria, as well as further damage your piping exposing them to other contaminants. It is very important to act promptly, though there is no cause for alarm if you accidentally drank or bathed in the water before realizing it.

There is a chance that the rusty water is a result of public water supply, most especially when you live in an older city that has not refurbished its water system in a long while. We have put together this article to help you understand the reasons why your water is looking rusty and brown. 

What causes rusty and brownish water in kitchen taps, baths, and toilets. 

If your hot and cold water suddenly goes brown

When your hot and cold water both appear brown from the faucet, the reason is likely from a water main break in a local (city-operated) water main or fire hydrant. Water main breaks can result in sediment in your water supply due to the interconnectedness of many municipalities’ water lines. When this happens, there is usually no cause for concern. This problem affects the general public. You need to make inquiries to be sure everyone else is having the same issues.

It is also possible that it can be because your water heater or water supply pipes have rusted, and you are now beginning to see the effects. 

If it is only hot water that is discolored

If the cold water is clear and the hot water is rusty, it is most likely your water heater to blame. Sediment buildup in the water heater itself can lead to rusty brown water. This problem should be attended to as soon as possible to prevent your water heater from further damage. Sediment buildup can cause premature corrosion in the water tank; this can be followed by potential leaks, cracks, and even explosions inside the tank. 

If it is from the cold tap and only some faucets

When there is rusty water from certain faucets, you likely have a water supply pipe that is corroding. Many homes with older plumbing systems suffer from sediment buildup in the pipes.

How to fix the problem of rusty water

If your hot and cold water suddenly goes brown

When your hot and cold water is producing brown residue or sediment, check with your water supply company to see if it’s a widespread issue. It may be possible that something happened to the water main or fire hydrant. It can also be that the city is carrying out maintenance on the pipe system. They should also be able to tell you when the water will clear up and what they have already done to fix the problem. This should give you a good indication of what is causing the issue, as well as a better idea of how long it will take until your water supply is running clear again. Once the maintenance work has been completed, make sure to run your taps for a few minutes till the rust color disappears completely. The rusty water in the toilet should disappear after a few flushes as well. 

If it is only hot water that is discolored

Try to drain your water heater tank; it is a good idea to drain your tank at least twice a year. Sediment buildup is not only harmful to your water but also to your water heater. If flushing the tank or changing the water heater makes no difference, then you may have a more significant problem. Contact a professional plumber to diagnose the issue. Here at 5 Star Plumbing, we help you solve this problem. A large amount of sediment buildup could permanently damage your water heater or even cause an explosion.

If it is from the cold tap and only some faucets

Sometimes it can just be a minor problem that you can fix easily by running the water for a few minutes to flush out any small amounts of rust that might have broken loose from the pipes. However, if the problem still occurs after the flushing, you may need to replace the pipes in question. Contact 5 Star Plumbing at (888) 909-0120 or leave us a message online to get this done for you quickly and efficiently. 

In all cases, it is important to be cautious when dealing with these issues. Start drinking bottled water or boiled water until we fix the problem. 


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