Plumbing & Rooter Professionals

What Causes Rusty Water And What To Do About It

It’s always going to be an unpleasant shock to see brown water flowing from your sink tap or showerhead. Thankfully, there is usually no need to panic and an experienced San Dimas plumber can get your crystal clear water back in no time.

From rusted pipes to a water main break, there are a few reasons why you might suddenly be getting rusty water in your home. While iron is safer than other contaminants, it isn’t advisable to drink rusty or orange-tinted water, regardless of the cause. If you notice your water isn’t clear, you should contact a plumber in San Dimas, CA who has experience and training in locating and repairing damaged pipes or home appliances.

Keep reading to learn about the top five most common causes of rusty water and what exactly you should do to fix it:

Why Is My Water Rusty?

1. Rusted Plumbing Pipes

If you own an older home, its pipes are more likely to corrode or become rusty. This is because older pipes were traditionally made using galvanized steel which is more susceptible to this type of damage. Newer piping systems will be made from durable copper or PVC piping.

The main culprit of rusted pipes is oxidation. This occurs when certain metals come in contact with oxygen, which is common when you combine underground pipes, minerals found in the earth, and oxygen. While this only affects the outside of the pipes at first, over time, it will affect the zinc coating as well as the steel.

Unsure of what to look out for? Here are the most common warning signs that your home’s pipes might be rusted:

  • Your water starts to have a strange taste
  • Discolored or brown water
  • Frequent clogs in your pipes caused by rust narrowing the space inside the pipes.

2. Your Water Supply is Naturally High in Iron or Other Minerals

Water naturally contains numerous minerals and sediments, but depending on where you live, the amount of these minerals can be very high. The warning signs of water high in iron are very similar to those of rusted pipes.

You can watch out for metallic-tasting water or orange stains in your sink or shower. Your clothing might also become stained after being washed with water that is high in iron.

3. Rust in Your Toilet Tank

If you notice unsightly brown or orange marks in or around your toilet, but nowhere else in your home, your toilet tank is probably rusted.

Thankfully, this means your drinking water won’t be affected, but the problem should still be fixed sooner rather than later. This will ensure that your toilet continues to operate properly without clogs or permanent staining occurring.

Our San Dimas plumbing services cover exactly this type of plumbing issue. We can get your toilet tank clear of rust as quickly as possible, preventing those stains from ever returning. A common solution is to install a simple water treatment device that will filter rust and other minerals out of your water system.

4. Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced

If you notice that only the hot water in your home is discolored or smells odd, then the problem is likely your water heater. Sediments like iron and calcium commonly build up inside water heaters, causing a decrease in the amount of hot water, water pressure, or water quality.

Some water heaters just need to be flushed. This is a simple process where the water heater is entirely emptied and then cleaned out. However, if your home has an older water heater installed, it may be necessary to replace the unit entirely.

5. The Water Main is Damaged

If you are having trouble locating the cause of rusty water within your home, ask your neighbors if they are also having problems with their water clarity and taste. If they are, it is a sign that the rust is originating from a public water main.

The same issues you face with maintaining your home’s pipes are faced by the city in maintaining sewers and water mains. That means that oxidation, rust, and corrosion can affect these public water systems.

Your city’s water district authority will work to set these issues right. In the meantime, consider investing in a water filter or purifier. 

What To Do About Rusty Water

If your water turns brown suddenly, work or repairs are likely being carried out on the water main. This can cause sediment to be stirred up and flow throughout the water system. You can inform your water provider of the issue and then wait a reasonable amount of time to see if the issue clears up.

However, if the problem isn’t going away, or the brown color or metallic taste has gradually been increasing, the problem is likely closer to home.

Sometimes it can be easy to locate which section of piping is causing the issue. For instance, if you only have rusty water coming from one tap, then you know exactly where the problem is. When you can’t locate where the rust is coming from yourself, it’s time to call your local San Dimas plumber.

It’s important to hire a professional plumber when dealing with rusty pipes or a damaged water heater. They will know how to quickly identify the issue and can offer you the best and most convenient solutions.  DIY repair attempts can go wrong very quickly, so it is always best to ask for a professional’s advice and help. 

From San Dimas draining cleaning services to replacing corroded or damaged pipes, it’s important that your plumber provides you with all of the options available. We will ensure that the water in your pipes returns to being crystal clear and metal-free.

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