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5 Causes of Brown Tap Water

brown tap water

The sight of brown tap water can be alarming. Discolored water indicates the presence of potentially harmful contaminants, and the importance of finding their source can’t be overstated.
If your tap water has a brownish discoloration, take that as a clear sign you need a professional plumber to determine the cause of the problem and implement the right solution for it.

Take care of your brown water today, Call Russo Bros. at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

What Causes Brown Tap Water?

The contaminants in your water that are causing the brown tint can come from a number of places. Frequent causes of brown tap water include:

  • Rusty Pipes: Age, poor materials, or pipe damage can eventually lead to rust. Older homes built with galvanized steel pipes all eventually have this problem. Rusty sediment in your pipes commonly appears as a symptom of aging, with water discoloration appearing early in the day but clearing as water runs for a short time. Repiping your home may be the best solution if you have rusty pipes. This involves replacing outdated piping materials with material that isn’t prone to rust.
  • Sediment Buildup in Water Heater Tanks: If the discoloration only appears in your hot water, the cause may be sediment buildup in your water heater. Water heater maintenance by a trained plumber should address this issue. An annual water heater flush should also help prevent future issues.
  • Faulty Water Treatment System: If your home’s water treatment system needs repair or can’t handle the volume of water it needs to treat, discoloration may result. A faulty water treatment system will allow contaminants to filter through and visibly affect your tap water. Depending on the age and condition of your system, you may need water treatment system repair or replacement.
  • Changes in the Water Table: Heavy rain or drought can cause changes in the water table in the area of your home. Excess rains cause a higher water table, producing excess iron in well water. Water testing and treatment can identify whether the contaminants causing your water’s discoloration come from water table change and determine the next steps for your home.
  • Changes in Water Pressure: Discoloration due to water pressure changes can have multiple causes. During droughts, municipal water demand increases while fresh surface water mixes with sediment more readily. If you rely on city water, other homes in your neighborhood may experience similar discoloration issues. Contact your utility company to resolve the issue. A faulty well pump may be the culprit if you rely on well water. Contact a professional plumber for well pump repair or replacement.

What To Do if You Have Brown Tap Water

When you first notice brown, discolored water, run cold water from a tap for 20 minutes. If the cause is disturbed sediment in pipes during periods of low usage, this can clear the problem.

If that doesn’t resolve the problem, you need plumbing services from Russo Bros. Our expert technicians are available for same day and emergency services, and our 24-hour live call operators will schedule your appointment with a precise arrival window so you know exactly when to expect your plumber.

Call Russo Bros. at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online for peace of mind today!