What are the Common Causes of Rusty Water?

July 11, 2022

When you turn on your bathroom or kitchen faucet, you expect to see clean running water. Getting clean water from faucets is something you don’t even think about. Then, there are times when you are taken aback by rust-coloured water. Does this mean that your plumbing system needs Water pipe repairs? What could be causing the rusty water? Find out in this guide.

Common Causes

Rusty water can come from any faucet. In order to find the underlying cause, you should check the water in all the faucets. The common causes in different scenarios are as follows:

i. Rusty Hot Water

If rusty water is restricted only to hot water faucets, it might mean the problem lies with the water heater. There can be a build-up of sediments in the tank causing the water to stain, thus staining the bathtubs and sinks.

Steel water heater tanks are coated with porcelain enamel lines inside to prevent corrosion. This enamel can wear out over time, causing the steel to corrode and create chips and flakes that settle at the bottom of the tank. These flakes will gradually break down into rusty particles, thus creating rust-coloured water.

Water heaters can produce rusty water from another different source as well – the anode rod. This rod can be made of aluminium, magnesium, or zinc. The rod is there to protect the steel lining through the process of electrolysis. Gradually, the anode rod gets fully coated and will no longer be able to do its job. Anode rods need to be replaced regularly to prevent rusty water.

ii. Rusty Cold Water

If rusty water is coming only from the cold-water taps in your home, you may need Water burst pipe repairs. Run the water at full force for some time to check if it clears up. If it does, it means the corrosion inside the pipes has been knocked loose.

Rusty cold water is more common with old, galvanised steel pipes. If it is brown water, it can mean that the pipes have rusted beyond repair and can break.

iii. Rusty Water from Hot & Cold Taps

If you notice rusty water from both hot and cold faucets, the problem is most likely with your public water supplier. Repairs and maintenance tasks at their end can stir up sediment that enters the public water supply. Contact them to find out if this is the case. Once such work has been completed, run all your taps until the water clears up.

iv. Rusty Well Water

If you have a well, the well water may have been contaminated with oxidised iron. The water-holding taps and pipes can also get corroded to form rusty water. Check your whole-house filter or install one to remove the sediment.

Rusty tap water means that there are different types of metals in your water, including iron and manganese. The changes in the property of water can prevent you from using the water. The water can smell bad or taste foul and it is not recommended to use it unless the cause has been addressed. Whether you need Leaking Tap Repair or rusty water repair, it is best to seek professional help to ensure the problem is expertly addressed.


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I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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