Causes, Dangers and How To Fix Brown Water in Your Home

No homeowner wants to turn on their sink faucet and find brown water coming down. Not only does it look bad, but it signals that something might be wrong in your home. 

Most problems that lead to brown water in your home are minor, but it’s important to find the cause and remedy the problem as soon as possible.

In this article, we discuss the causes, dangers, and how to fix brown water. 

Why Is All The Water in My House Brown?

There are many reasons for brown water in your home. One of the most common causes is rust in a water main or your pipes. 

Rust appears due to chemical oxidation in water pipes that change the color of the water to a brownish hue once dissolved. Sometimes, changes in water pressure can cause portions of rust to move through the pipes and affect your watercolor. 

Another reason your tap water is brown is sediment that is mixed in during construction or a water main break. It also appears if you have rust in your water heater or if the local fire department is flushing their systems.  

Brown Tap Water After Heavy Rain

There are two main reasons why you may be getting brown tap water after heavy rain.

First, the water heater and plumbing may be rusty.

Second, if you have a well and septic system and your tap water becomes brown after a heavy rainstorm, you may have a cross-contamination problem. Because the bacteria from the septic are now infiltrating the well water, this must be taken seriously and addressed quickly.

Is Brown Water Safe to Drink and Bathe In?

If your tap water appears dirty, it’s natural to wonder if it is safe for you and your family. Brown water will have a metallic taste but usually is not harmful to drink unless it is caused by cross-contamination as discussed above after heavy rain.

Taking a bath or shower in brown water may not seem hygienic, but it is also harmless. Again, always consider cross-contamination.

Can I Still Do Laundry?

Skip laundry day if you are having problems with brown water in your home. Rust and sediment in dirty water can stain your clothes and may react negatively with bleach or other laundry solutions. 

Can Brown Water Damage My Home?

Not only can brown water stain your sinks and appliances, but it can cause serious damage to the pipes in your home. 

Rust build-up corrodes pipes and causes cracks. This corrosion leads to leaking pipes that can cause serious water damage and mold or mildew. 

How to Fix Brown Water

Brown water should fix itself within a couple of hours if the underlying cause isn’t serious. If you don’t want to wait it out, there are a couple of things you can do to fix it. 

Flush Out Pipes

Flushing out your pipes is the first thing you should try to resolve your water problem on your own. Turn your tap water on cold and let the water run for 20 minutes. If the water runs clear afterward, you don’t need to do anything further.

Call the City

If you still have brown water after flushing your system, call the city to find out if the water is coming from their pipes. Then the city will inspect their pipes and flush out their system if necessary. 

Know When to Call a Professional

If flushing out the pipes or contacting the city did not work and your water is still brown after a few hours, seek professional help. A plumber will determine if there is cross-contamination or a leaky or damaged pipe that is causing the issue. 

Get Back to Clean and Clear Water

Brown water in your home can be alarming but usually poses no serious threat to your family unless it is cross-contamination after heavy rain.

If you’re unsure of how to fix brown water in your home and need professional help, contact All A’s Plumbing and Heating to fix your brown water problems today.