You turn on the tap and a stream of rusty water flows from the faucet. What can you do? This can be a stressful situation for many. You can’t brush your teeth, boil water for cooking, or take a hot shower—the horror! If rusty water is coming from the tap in your home, don’t panic yet. There are a couple of reasons this may be happening.
Keep reading to learn more.
How to Handle Rusty Water
Where is it coming from?
Reaction to rusty water coming from the tap is often met with panic. Why is this happening? Where is it coming from? Many people are connected to a city-operated watermain. Because of this, rust water can be a common occurrence when utility workers have to work on fire hydrants or perform maintenance. It may not just be your household that is experiencing this.
Try talking to a neighbor to see if their water is rusty or call the township first. Doing so can help isolate the issue. Is it coming from the town? Or is it coming from your pipes?
If it’s coming from your home
If the rust in your water isn’t because of a city-operated water main or utility maintenance, then you may have a bigger problem.
Many older homes have outdated plumbing, and it may be possible you have pipes that are filled with rust. It may be from old galvanized pipes inside your home, or a water heater has become rusted or corroded over time, and you’re now just starting to see the effects.
If all hot water in all areas of your home is discolored, it may be from sediment or rust that has built up in your hot water heater. If your cold water is only discolored in certain areas of your home, the problem is likely with a particular water supply pipe.
What can you do?
If you’re sure your rusty water is coming from your home and not a city-operated water main, there are a couple of things you can do to troubleshoot the issues. If all your hot water is discolored, try draining and flushing your water heater’s tank. This will help dispel the sediment and rust that has accumulated and is now traveling through your pipes.
If your cold water is only discolored when coming out of a few faucets around the house, allow those faucets to run for up 20 minutes at full force. At times, small amounts of rust may dislodge from the walls of a pipe and enter your water supply. If this is the case, running water will help it pass, and your water should be “in the clear” in no time.
If neither of these seems to help, you may need to contact a professional plumber to take a deeper look at your pipes or water heater.