How to Solve a Cloudy Tap Water ProblemThere is nothing like a glass of cold, crystal-clear water on a hot day. If tap water comes out cloudy instead, it can be a little disturbing. Here are some common causes of this problem and steps you can take to resolve it.


Cloudy tap water looks unfit to drink, but often the cause of the milky-white look is just tiny air bubbles. This can occur if there is a hole somewhere in the water lines that is sucking in air.

To find out if the milky discoloration is the result of bubbles in the water, fill a glass and let the water sit out for a while. If it clears up in just a few minutes, then air infusing with the water is the likely culprit. The water will clear first at the bottom of the glass as the bubbles rise to the surface.

Since this can mean a small break somewhere in the water supply, it is worth getting your pipes inspected, just in case, so you can avoid larger problems in the future.


If your cloudy tap water is caused by sediment, you might see small flakes in the water. When you leave a glass of this water sitting out, natural minerals in the water will settle at the bottom after a time.

If cloudy water is only coming through your hot water tap, it can indicate sediment accumulation in your hot water tank. This is common in any region with hard water. Draining the water heater tank and installing a water filter on your faucets can usually clear this up.

It is important to note that white cloudy water usually does not indicate rusting. Rusting hot water tanks typically lead to yellow or brown discoloration. When this is the case, you need to have your tank and pipes checked and replacing them might be in order to avoid a serious issue.

For more about solving cloudy tap water, please contact us at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about cloudy tap water and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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