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What Causes Rusty Water?

Is Rusty Water Safe to Bathe In

Have you ever placed a tumbler under the tap, only to dispense a tall cold glass of rusty water? It’s disconcerting, to say the least. What causes rusty water and what can you do about it?

Identify the Culprits

Rusty water can come out of any faucet in your home. To find the cause, your first step is to check the water in all of your faucets.

Rusty water from your hot taps

If only your hot water faucets deliver rusty water, it’s a sign the discoloration is coming from your water heater. Sediment builds up in the tank, staining your water and subsequently staining your sinks and bathtubs.

Rusty water from cold taps

If you’re getting rusty water from your cold-water taps, the source is probably your water supply pipes.

Run the water at full blast for several minutes to see if it clears up. If it clears, then it was likely caused by corrosion knocked loose from the interior.

Old, galvanized steel pipes can cause rusty cold water. Rusty brown water may be a sign your pipes are rusting through and may eventually break.

Rusty water from both taps

In some cases, municipal water repairs and maintenance can stir up sediment that ends up in public supply. If rusty water comes from all of your faucets, hot and cold, contact your public water provider to find out if there are any issues.

Once the work is complete, make sure to run all of your taps until they run clear. Keep an eye out for any boil orders and follow them closely.

Rusty well water

Well water can become contaminated with oxidized iron, and holding tanks and piping are also subject to corrosion. If you have a well, you may need a whole-house filter to remove the sediment regularly.

Is Rusty Water Safe to Drink?

Even though the rusty appearance in water comes from iron, it’s probably not safe to drink. Iron is an essential nutrient, but the problem is that whatever allowed rust to enter your pipes may have also allowed other contaminants to enter.

Boiling will not remove the rust, although it will kill living organisms in the water.

Rusty water is the sign that your plumbing system is having integrity issues, which should be remedied before you drink.

Is Rusty Water Safe to Bathe In?

Generally, you can wash or shower in rusty water, but you won’t want to do it for extended periods. It can damage your skin over time.

Furthermore, washing clothes in rusty water may lead to permanent staining.

What to Do

If it seems that your rusty water situation is permanent, you’ll need to take action. Rusty hot water means your water heater needs regular maintenance and flushing. Corroding pipes may also require professional attention.

Make an appointment with the team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Port St. Lucie for fresh, clear, drinkable water every time you turn the tap.