water-handsThis isn’t something you want to see: a reddish or brownish discoloration coming from the taps in your house. Something isn’t right if you can’t get clear, non-cloudy water in your house. But what?

It’s tricky to answer that question because there are several sources for water discoloration in household tap water. Some are minor issues that will soon go away. Others may require service for your plumbing in Avondale, AZ. We have extensive experience with all types of plumbing issues, and we’ll run down a short list of the most common causes of discolored water.

The faucet hasn’t been used in weeks

If you have just returned from a long vacation, or the faucet that’s affected is in a bathroom that hasn’t been used for a long stretch, what you’re seeing is dried sediment from the pipes when the water evaporated. It’s not a major problem: let the water run for about a minute and it will go away.

Pipe deterioration

Do you live in a home built before 1970? If you do, you probably have outdated pipe materials, such as iron or steel, which corrode over time. Corrosion puts iron and manganese into the water, giving it the rusty-brown color. If the discolored water is coming from taps all around the house, then the problem is in the water main. This is something you’ll want fixed as soon as possible, either repiping the interior plumbing or having a new water line installed using improved materials.

Rusted-through water heater/sediment in the water heater

Check to see if the discolored water is only coming from the hot water side of the plumbing. Pour a glass of cold water and a glass of hot water from the tap and compare the two. If you see discoloration in only the hot water, it points toward a problem with the water heater. The more serious possibility is the water heater’s tank has become rusted through on the inside. The only way to fix this is to install a new water heater. (The current one is probably far too old at that point.) Another possibility is that too much sediment has gathered in the tank and you need to call a professional to flush the tank.

Sediment in the pipes

Dirt and sediment can sometimes enter freshwater lines, which settled along the bottom of the pipe. Sudden changes in water pressure or faster movement of water through the pipes (such as the fire department putting a heavy demand on it) stirs up this sediment layer and send it to your house. Like the unused faucets, this discoloration should fade after a short period.

New Municipal Water Source

This one you don’t have much control over. A switch to a different reservoir, river, or other water supply can give the water a different look. This can be a concern (remember what happened in Flint, MI), and if you have worries, arrange to have a whole-house water treatment system installed.

If you’re worried about a consistent discoloration in your residential water, please speak to one of our water treatment specialists today.

Call on The Trusted Plumber for water treatment service in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding areas.

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