Rusty Water: Finding Its Source

Dirty brown water running into a white sink. Looks very unhealthy,

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As homeowners, we expect that the water coming from our taps is clean and clear, right? What if the colour and taste are suddenly a little… off? The culprit for these changes could be rust, and depending on the age of your water heater and pipes, it could be coming from the interior of your home.


There is also a chance that rusty water stems from your public water supply, especially if you live an in older city with water systems that have not been refurbished in decades. Before you go and call the plumbers here at Hayes Plumbing, however, here are a few clues that can point to the source of your water concern:


Is it actually rust?

It usually does not take a laboratory test to determine if the impurity you are seeing or tasting in your water is rust. Rusty water usually has a distinctive metallic odour and also reddish brown in appearance. The rust particles (oxidized iron) can leave unsightly stains in your white linens and porcelain sinks, but they do not necessarily pose a health hazard.


Where does it come from?

The first question you should be asking is whether the rusty water is coming from within your home’s plumbing system or in the public supply. In order to determine its source, you have to go to the fixture where you first noticed the rusty water, then fill a glass with cold water only. The next thing you must to do is to check the sample for any rusty odours or colouring, then simply let the cold water flow for several seconds before going for another sample. Next, run the hot water for several seconds and do the same as you did with the cold water.


If the rusty water is only present in the hot water supply, it is a strong indication that the rust source is coming from your home. However, if you have continuous rusty water in both taps, then you should call your local water authority immediately and report the problem.


What can you do?

No matter what the cause is, there is only one fix for it: replacement. If there is an old section of the public water system that is rusting out, then it is the public authority’s responsibility to replace the failing pipes. If the same is happening to the pipes in your home, then a qualified plumber like the ones we have here at Hayes Plumbing can conduct a thorough investigation to help you identify the rusty pipes and to come up with a plan to replace them.


Do you need help in investigating the source of your rusty water or maybe inspecting your hot water heater to make sure that it is protected? Call the experts at Hayes Plumbing today for more information.

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