What does rusty water mean?

If you’ve ever lived in an older house, or in an older neighborhood, chances are you’ve been on the receiving end of a faucet that’s pumping out rusty water. In many cases, this isn’t anything to be alarmed about. It’s probably just some city work being done on the water main. But sometimes, it could mean a pipe within your home needs to be replaced.

What Is It?
Rusty water looks – well, rusty. It’s a light brown, with some yellow or some red to it, especially when it contains an excess of sediment or minerals. The most common discoloring minerals present in water are iron and manganese.

Where Is It Coming From?
Rust accumulates in water mains, which supply water to entire neighborhoods. When work is being done on a water main, or even when hydrants in the area are flushed, this disturbs the normal water flow, kicking up rusty sediment when normal water pressure returns. This causes rusty coloring in water when it comes through a faucet or showerhead. The discoloration clears up on its own after several hours. Avoid using hot water during that time, as it draws the rust water into the hot water tank. Skip doing laundry during this time as well, as the rust may stain fabrics.

Why Is Your Water Rusty?
Here are some possible reasons why your water is discolored.

If all your hot and cold water is rusty: it may be the result of a nearby break in a city-operated water main or fire hydrant. It’s also possible that either your water heater or your water pipes have become corroded.

If all your hot water is rusty: it’s possible that sediment or rust may have built up in your water heater.

If your cold water is rusty from the faucet: it’s possible the problem is from a specific water pipe that has corroded.

Have any other questions about rusty water? No problem. Simply call your Lexington Dauenhauer, any hour.