Sources of Discolored Water

Discolored tap water can be frightening to deal with. Although it isn’t always a health hazard, most people’s gut instinct is to not trust discolored water. Whether it is brown, cloudy, or otherwise discolored, here are some of the frequent causes of discolored water:

  • Cloudy Water

Air can get trapped in the pipes, releasing air bubbles. This can also happen when cold water is warmed up in the water heater before coming through the pipes. The bubbles generally clear up on their own, giving homeowners no reason to worry.

  • Rusty Water

Yellowish-red, rusty water is a common complaint from homeowners. Rust flakes off the pipes, causing the discoloration. Although it is not a health threat, it can stain clothing. The cause of the rusty water may be from the city water lines or from the plumbing within the home. When city lines are flushed or fire hydrants are flushed, it can agitate sediment in the water lines which can then end up coming out through your home faucets. This is a temporary problem and will likely resolve on its own once the changes in the public lines are completed. However, during this time, it’s wise to avoid doing laundry or using hot water. This will prevent the rusty water from entering your hot water tank and from staining clothing.

If the rusty water is present on a regular basis, it may be due to faulty plumbing within the home.  Try to determine if the discoloration occurs only from certain faucets or from all plumbing throughout the home. Does it occur only when using hot water or with both hot and cold water. If it is only present with hot water, it may be time to replace the hot water tank. Contact All Star Plumbing for help determining the cause of the rusty water and correcting the issue.

  • Green/Blue

Homes with copper or brass in their plumbing can experience water turning a greenish-blue color. Ingesting substantial amounts of copper can lead to health issues, so it’s best to call a professional plumber to eliminate the problem as soon as possible.

  • Black Water

If the tap water has a black tint to it, there is likely to be a mold problem within the plumbing. Avoid drinking or using the water until the water is tested and any mold presence has been removed.

  • Pink

Pink water is typically a sign of an organism growing in the water itself. It’s generally harmless to health and no action is needed. Pink water can also be caused by potassium permanganate being used by municipal water plants to treat water systems. Potassium permanganate is not harmful to your health but can stain clothing and can cause skin irritations on people with sensitive skin.

Discoloration of water isn’t always something to worry about. While the taste, odor, or color might be different, it might not be dangerous. When discolored water is discovered, it is best to investigate just to be safe. Go to the local utility website or call to see if they have any recent announcements regarding the tap water.

If the problem is stemming from corroding cast iron or lead pipes, or copper and brass, call All Star Plumbing and Restoration. We can recommend a course of action to replace the affected pipes. This corrosion can be dangerous to resident’s health, and should be addressed immediately.

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