What to Do When Your Tap Water Clearly Isn’t Clear

brown water coming out of sink faucet

Imagine your surprise: you turn on a faucet and instead of the clear, sparkling water you expect, out comes brown, discolored water. If you’re like most homeowners in Westchester and Putnam, you’ll want to get to the bottom of the problem – and fast!

Brown water can be caused for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, it’s the result of iron minerals, sediment, or rust that accumulates in your home’s water mains over time. It could also be the result of a disturbance in the pipes that stir up these deposits — such as main breaks, nearby construction, or an unexpected pressure surge in water flow.

Not to worry. In most instances, brown/discolored water is only a temporary problem that will soon resolve itself within a few hours. But if it persists, it’s time to call the professionals at Robison to assess the problem and make the repairs.

Is Brown Water Safe?

The answer to that question is yes – and no. While it may look unappealing, and taste metallic, it is not dangerous or harmful to drink or to shower with (although most experts would advise against drinking serious quantities of it).  

But brown water can do a number on your clothes as well as your fixtures. The excess iron levels can stain sinks, toilets and showers, and damage the clothes you put into the wash. That’s because iron and other minerals attach to nearly every surface they encounter. Rusted water in your pipes allows for all kinds of bacteria, mold, and mildew to grow and fester, which could pose a serious health hazard. Rust build-up also works to corrode your plumbing pipes, exposing your water supply to airborne contaminants.

3 DIY tips for eliminating brown water:

  1. Run the cold water from your tap for about 20 minutes. If the water turns clear, your problem is over!
  2. If the water clears but still has bits of brown water, you will need to consider having a water filtration system installed.
  3. Check if the brown water is coming from hot or cold water. If water is brown from hot water only, then your water heater needs to be flushed out. Scale inside of the water heater fell to the bottom and muddied the water, or the inside of the water tank could be rusting. Rust is also an indication that your water heater is reaching the end of its lifespan as well. Whatever the issue, if brown water is only coming from the hot faucet, get your water heater inspected by a Robison professional.

Robison: The “Clear Water” Experts!

When it comes to ensuring the quality of your drinking water, Robison technicians are the ones to count on. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing, hot water solutions, water treatment, sewer, drain cleaning and so much more. Whether you need a repair, installment, or even just a replacement, we can do it all! And remember: regular maintenance of your water system can help ensure smooth flowing pipes. For more information, contact our Plumbing Team.

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