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Rusty Water

Top Causes of Rusty Water in Your Home

Have you noticed rusty sediment floating in your glass of water? While rusty water is not always a reason to panic, it is vital to identify and resolve the cause. It will not harm to use the rusty-colored water for bathing or washing, but it will discolor your clothes and dishes. Also, it can be bad for your hair and skin and may make it hard to soap to lather.  

There could be various causes of rusty water in your home including pipe corrosion, tank water heater corrosion, and mineral deposits in the water supply. It could also be a result of bacterial growth in the water, which can cause an unpleasant taste and odor along with rusty color. Here is a look at the different causes of rusty water:  

Main water line  

The most common cause of rusty water in your home is issue with the main water pipeline. Pipes rust due to a process called oxidation, i.e., a chemical reaction between the metal in the pipes and the oxygen in the water. It commonly happens in older pipes made of steel or iron. Some factors that can contribute to rusting in pipes are pH levels, presence of certain minerals in water, and hard water.  


Iron-reducing bacteria is commonly found in pipes and water tanks. These are tiny living organisms that naturally occur in soil and shallow groundwater. These bacteria combine iron or manganese and oxygen to form deposits of rust. It also forms a slimy material that coats the surface of pipes and plumbing fixtures.  

Water heater tank 

If you turn on the hot water and you see rusty water coming out of your faucets, it is likely due to corrosion inside your water heater. The interior of your water heater tank is lined with glass, but over time, this layer can wear off and the tank’s metal walls may begin to corrode.

A rusty water heater tank will not only make your hot water look and taste bad, but it will also be prone to failure. It could lead to ruptures, leaks, and even floods. If you have noticed this problem, it is a sign that you may need to replace your water heater soon. 

Rusty pipes and faucets 

Pipes undergo a lot of wear and tear over the years. In older homes, the pipes are usually made of galvanized steel, which can become rusted due to prolonged exposure to water. This can impact the quality of water.

Sometimes, the cause of rusty water is not the rusty pipes but rusty faucets. Like pipes, the faucets too, undergo normal wear and tear and rust over time. When it happens, the easiest thing to do is to replace the faucets.  

How to get rid of rusty water?  

The solution to your rusty water problem depends on the source of the rust. If only hot water is rusty, draining and flushing the hot water tank thoroughly via the drain valve may solve the problem.  

If rusty water is coming out of only a few faucets, run those faucets at full pressure for a few minutes or until the water clears completely. If the problem is minor, this would clean out the rust and you will start getting clear water.

However, if the water still looks rusty or the problem returns shortly after, the real culprit could be corroded pipes. In this case, you may have to replace the affected pipes. Sometimes, deep cleaning the pipes can solve the pipes, but when the pipes are badly corroded, replacement may be your only choice.  

Get in touch with us to know how we can help wash out the rust from your plumbing system effectively.  

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