Gross…The Water is Brown

Rusty brown water

Most homeowners will experience the water in their home turning brown at some point.  If this is the first time it’s happened you may feel inclined to call your local plumber or stop drinking your water, but it turns out most of the time neither of those is necessary.  While brown or discolored water may look disgusting it’s actually completely safe to take a bath in, wash your hands with, and even drink.  The only situation that you should avoid using brown water is in the washing machine.  It’s possible that the brown water could cause discoloration in your clothing, so hold off on the laundry for a bit.

There are a variety of reasons that the water in your home may have changed colors, but they all come back to one thing – rust. To determine the cause of the brown water in your home there are a few factors to consider.  First, what’s the age of your home?  If it was built before 1960 it likely has galvanized steel water lines which over time will begin to corrode.  This leads to a rusty sediment that eventually comes out your water line. If the water runs clear after leaving the faucet running for a few minutes then it’s likely that this is the problem.  To completely address this problem you’ll need to replace the water lines in your home.

Another cause often occurs when the city has done some work on the water line which has caused the pressure to change.  This pressure change stirs up sediment and rust particles which then come through the lines to your home.  If all of the faucets in your home have brown water, and it doesn’t pass after a few minutes of running, then it’s likely caused by something the city has done.  If it becomes a regular issue for you consider installing a filter at the point where water enters your home.

One other common cause of changes in the appearance of your water is the weather.  If you’re coming off of a drought, or have experienced high amounts of rain, the water table in your city may be slightly off.  For example if the city draws water from area rivers and streams you will end up getting a greater amount of sediment in the water at the times when the water levels are lower.

In the majority of situations the brown water clears up in just a few hours and everything goes back to normal.  If for some reason this is not the case in your scenario give All Star Plumbing and Restoration a call and we’ll send someone out to take a look.  Keep in mind that brown water may be gross but it’s generally not harmful to your body.

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