My Hot Water Is Brown! What Should I Do?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Have you ever turned on your faucet, waited for it to get hot, only to look down and see a puddle of brown water? 

It’s not a pleasant sight, and it’s probably not one you want to deal with. Yet, if this happens to you, knowing what to do can make all the difference. 

Luckily, brown hot water doesn’t have to be a serious problem. Read the article below to learn what you should do if your hot water is brown.  

First Steps to Take When Your Hot Water Is Brown

The first thing you can do is ask your neighbors if they are experiencing brown hot tap water too. If they aren’t, you can isolate the problem down to your home. 

Try different faucets in your house, both inside and outside. If it’s coming only from one single faucet, you can narrow your search down even further. 

Wait a few hours or a day or so, as brown tap water can clear itself up. If it doesn’t, you may want to look into more information regarding calling professional plumbing services. 

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Possible Causes

Knowing the possible causes of brown tap water can help you discover how serious of a problem it is. It may be the fault of your water supplier, or it could be rusty pipes. Let’s explore possible causes below.

Water Heater

Often, when hot water is brown but cold water is not, the problem may be rusty water coming from your hot water heater. 

If you have a water heater that is older than ten years and you see any rust on its exterior, this may be causing your problems. There’s a good chance that the brown color is a sign that your hot water heater will fail, so it may be time for a replacement. 

If you have a newer water heater, the discoloration could be caused by a mineral sediment build-up. As water is heated, minerals that are naturally occurring, such as calcium and magnesium, form and get collected in your water heater’s tank over time. 

This can cause water discoloration and reduce your water heater’s efficiency, but draining it and flushing it out annually can prevent this. 

Rusty Pipes

If your cold water and hot water are brown, it could be your water pipes. If you know your home’s water pipes are made from galvanized steel, they may have become corroded. 

You wouldn’t realize this because galvanized steel pipes are protected with a zinc coating, so they rust from the inside out. 

If this occurs, you may need to replace your pipes. Before doing so, make sure to have a professional plumbing service inspect your pipes to ensure that is the issue. 

Reach out to Inner City Plumbing if you need specialised help.

Main Water Supply 

If your main water supply is the issue, you’ll know by waiting a few hours or days. This can be caused by construction, repairs, routine maintenance, and fire hydrant use. 

If it does clear up on its own, run all of your faucets for a few minutes to get rid of any lingering sediments. 

Time to Call the Professionals 

Now you can feel fully prepared when your hot water is brown. Don’t panic. Take these steps, and call the professionals if you think it’s a more significant issue than you can handle. 

If you’re looking for more home improvement advice, we have a ton on our website. Browse through more articles today! 

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