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Plumbing  /  December 20, 2021

Brown Water In Your Tap? Handyman Connection in Victoria Explains Why This Happens

why your tap water looks rusty

You expect the water coming out of your tap to be clear and sparkling. If it suddenly turns brown, it can be unsettling. There are many different reasons why this happens. Sometimes it is a temporary situation that is beyond your control because it has to do with city utilities. However, it could also mean a problem with the pipes in your home. If this is the case, you can call professional plumbing services in Victoria to fix the problem for you

Is the Brown Water Dangerous?

Tap water that looks brown or rusty is certainly unappealing, but is it dangerous to your health? Generally not. Tap water turns brown because of a buildup of minerals, but the government imposes standards that keep genuinely dangerous contaminants out of the drinking water supply. The water may not taste good, but it is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in. Dissolved minerals in the water may irritate skin, and minor rashes may result, but this may be the biggest health concern related to the water.

While brown water isn’t dangerous, it can certainly be inconvenient. It may cause staining of household items, such as clothing, as well as plumbing fixtures and appliances that use water.

What Causes Brown Water, and What Can You Do About It?

At some point along the water supply line, tiny metallic particles can get into your water. This may not only cause the water to change colours but also give it unpleasant smells or tastes. These particles usually aren’t present at the water’s source but get picked up somewhere along the way, either in your city’s supply line or your home plumbing system. The primary culprits behind the discolouration are manganese and iron, which account for the reddish or rusty brown colour. The water may also be a yellowish shade.

The circumstances under which your water turns brown can give you clues about what is causing it and what you can do about it.

  1. If the problem affects all the taps in your home but only occurs when you run the hot water, this may indicate a buildup of sediment in the tank of your hot water heater. You may be able to solve the problem by draining and flushing the tank. This is something you should do as part of regular semi-annual home maintenance to help prevent sediment from building up. In addition to discolouring your water, this could also harm the water heater itself.
  2. If the brown water happens suddenly and affects both the hot and cold water throughout the home, it may not be a problem with your home plumbing at all. It could indicate a break in the water main or damage to a nearby fire hydrant. Damage to a city water main could release sediment into the water. Another possibility is that city crews are performing maintenance to the water main and have stirred up sediment inadvertently in the process. In this situation, the first thing to do is to call your water supply company to ask about specific problems and find out when repairs are expected to be completed. There may be some residual sediment in the water once the work is done, but you can clear this away by running your taps for several minutes until it is clear.
  3. If only the water coming out of certain faucets is brown, and only the cold water is affected, this may mean a problem with a particular water supply line to your home. Isolate the faucets that are experiencing the problem and run them for a few minutes to see if that resolves the problem. If not, it may mean that the water supply pipe has become corroded.

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If simple solutions don’t work, one of our experienced plumbers can diagnose the problem and offer you solutions. Find out more about our plumbing services and contact us for a free estimate.

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