There is perhaps nothing more disconcerting than turning on your tap and seeing dingy brown water come streaming out. While discolored water can be off-putting, it is usually not as bad as it seems. The cause is usually sediments that have gotten into your water supply. Though it is nothing to worry seriously about, it is still something you will want to clear up, literally.
In some cases, brown water will clear up on its own within a matter of hours. If it doesn’t, you can take additional steps to return your water to normal. You can also visit this website to learn the difference between 2 Stage vs 3 Stage Water Filter systems.
Why Water Comes Out of the Faucet Brown
Rust, minerals, and sediment can settle into water mains over time. This doesn’t normally affect the quality of your water but if it is disturbed such as when work is being done to the lines or a pipe has broken, it may turn the water flowing through it so that it appears cloudy, dingy, or even brown. This can also happen if high demand causes a considerable surge in the water or the fire department opens a nearby hydrant, upsetting the sediment.
When the source of the brown water originates from your incoming water supply, you will usually find that the brown water will be found in all of your faucets, including those in your bathroom or laundry areas. Unless you have a whole-house filter installed to capture and eliminate contaminants before they reach your inner plumbing, you will see brown water in your home until the sediment has cleared.
You may also experience brown water if you’ve had work done to the plumbing inside your home. Rust or sediments that had been adhering to your pipes may drop away as the water pressure is reduced or lines are emptied. Once water pressure resumes, these loose particles will get pushed out through your tap when you turn on your water, giving it a brown appearance.
In either case, your water will return to normal within a few hours. If it does not or if you see other evidence of a problem, you can contact a plumber but you should first try to determine whether the problem is serious or merely a temporary inconvenience.
How to Get Rid of Brown Water
If you want to see what you can do to clear up brown water without involving a plumber, here are some steps you can take to resolve the problem on your own.
Turn on the cold water tap and let it run for at least 20 minutes. If the water begins to run clear, you may not need to address it further.
If your water remains brown or dingy in color, check with your neighbors to see if any of them are having the same issue. If so, the problem is more than likely outside your home within your water provider’s system. If the problem remains after a few hours, contact your municipality and ask them to inspect or flush the pipes from their end.
If your water comes from a well and it has recently rained heavily, the water table may have shifted, pulling excess sediment into your water lines. This may clear on its own, but if it is a recurring problem, you may want to invest in a water treatment system or another sediment removal system.
Check to see whether the brown water is coming from your hot or cold water. If the brown water is coming only from the hot water faucet, the source of the problem may be your water heater. Scale buildup inside your water heater can fall to the bottom and discolor the water or the water tank may have corroded, leaking rust into the water. You’ll need to have a qualified plumber inspect your water heater to determine whether the tank needs to be flushed or replaced.
What if You Can’t Get Rid of Brown Water?
There can be several reasons that you are seeing brown water in your home and it’s not always easy to locate the source of the problem. If you’ve been unable to narrow it down from the suggestions above, it may be more complicated to find.
Corroded pipes beneath your home, in your walls, or located in ceilings will not be readily visible. The brown water formed by rust in your pipes will be the first indication that there is an issue. Failure to address it quickly can result in further damage from leaks as the pipes deteriorate further. The pipes may even burst, doing extensive damage to their surroundings.
Because you have plumbing lines running all through your house, locating the one that requires repair can be next to impossible for someone who isn’t familiar with the plumbing layout and how where each pipe carries water to or from. Since accessing many of the pipes may involve the removal of sections of walls, floors, or ceilings, you’d be hard-pressed to find the problem on your own.
A more unfortunate cause of brown water can be caused if you have sewer lines backing up into areas and leaching into already compromised pipes. This is not a common problem but it can happen in homes where the plumbing system is old and has fallen into disrepair. Though modern plumbing is set up so that sewage lines are completely separated from other water lines, that may not be the case in homes built in much older houses that have not had the plumbing system redone.
If you cannot readily locate where the brown water in your home is coming from, your best option is to call a qualified plumber to investigate and repair the problem. A professional will be able to locate the problem and provide you with the answers you need. In many cases, they will be able to make a repair the same day, but if the problem is significant, you may be looking at more extensive repairs, especially if your plumbing has aged beyond where it can be salvaged or needs to be completely redone.
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