It can be alarming when discolored water starts coming from the faucets. If this happens when you run either the cold or hot water, then it could be a break in underground water pipes or be another issue with your local water supply. However, when it happens only when you turn on the hot water, it can be a sign of other issues. Here are the most common causes of discolored hot water.
Old metal pipes are prone to rusting. If this is the cause, you might notice tan or rust colored water when you turn on the hot water faucet because heat makes pipes rust faster. Rusting is most common in homes with galvanized metal plumbing and can lead to discolored hot and cold water. If your plumbing is copper or PVC, then you will need to consider other causes.
Iron in the Municipal Water
When your regional water has a high concentration of iron, this can cause discolored water whether or not there is any rusting in the pipes or your water heater tank. The culprit is bacteria that feed on iron. You can ask your neighbors if they have the same issue; however, even if the municipal water supply is to blame, you should get your hot water heater checked because the bacteria can accelerate corrosion.
Sediment in the Tank
Sediment builds up in the bottom of water heater tanks due to minerals and other material in the water. After sediment has built up, some of these deposits will become noticeable in your water supply and your hot water can become discolored. The solution is to flush the tank.
Corroded Water Heater
Water heaters corrode with age, and this process is accelerated if the tank isn’t flushed at least once a year. Unfortunately, a corroding tank is not something you can ignore because it could lead to a tank rupture. If you suspect your tank is corroded, get it checked right away and replace it as soon as possible.
For more information about discolored hot 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 discolored hot water and other HVAC and plumbing topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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