Why Does Tap Water Turn Brown?

The last thing you want to see when you turn on the kitchen faucet is murky or discolored water. Talk about a gross sight to see! There are many factors that can affect the look, odor, and taste of your water, and it’s good to know them in case you find yourself with a light brown glass of water in your hand (again, gross).

 

brown tap water

 

The Presence of Organic Material

Naturally occurring sediment (and dirt) can sometimes settle in your home’s water supply lines. Anytime there’s an increase in water pressure, this sediment and dirt can become stirred up and mix into any of the water that’s being dispensed. This increase in pressure should have you looking into a pressure regulator or a plumbing inspection, as there could be a water main leak.

Pipe Corrosion

For those with cast iron or lead pipes, corrosion can occur over time. Corroded iron pipes can produce water with an orange and brown color, while corroded lead pipes produce water with a darker, murky color. Within both of these old, corroded pipes, rust and small pipe particles can also break off and become easily visible. Those with high water pressure are more likely to experience the presence of pipe materials in their water supply.

What Should You Do?

When water becomes discolored, this doesn’t always mean it will affect your health. However, this change in color is a warning sign for you to have your plumbing system inspected and serviced. The last thing you want to do is mistake rust and harmful contaminants for what you think is harmless sediment. Be safe, call in the pros!

When the water from your sink (or shower) comes out any color that’s not crystal clear, you might have a problem on your hands. Anytime you have a plumbing problem that needs to be fixed, contact Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (717) 207-8198.

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