Why Is My Toilet Water Brown (How to Fix)

Do you flush, and brown water comes out of your toilet? While this is unsightly, it’s no cause for alarm.

Once in a while, we all have experienced toilet problems. Because brown toilet water isn’t something to assume or wish away, most people search for “Why is my toilet water brown (how to fix).”

Toilet water can turn brown due to dirty water, tap water, excess iron from corroded pipes, and a dirty pump filter.

It would help to ask a professional plumber to fix the problem for better long-term performance.

This guide helps you troubleshoot the brown toilet water problem and some ways to fix it.

Why Is My Toilet Water Brown? (How to Fix Brown Toilet Water)

How to get rid of brown toilet water

There are many reasons for finding your toilet filled with brown water. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic since it’s not hazardous.

Let’s discuss the known causes and their solutions to help you get back your clean-looking toilet.

1. Rusty Toilet

Your toilet structure consists of metal components. And since the toilets contain water, the consistent moisture eats away the metal parts, slowly causing rust.

When flushing the toilet, the brown-reddish rust stains the water. Aside from staining the water, the rust also produces a foul smell.

  • How to fix: Because rust grows on metal, you need to find the metal parts of your toilet. Some elements that can suffer from oxidation include nuts, base and tank bolts, metal supply hoses, and handles.

After tracing the rusted element causing brown water, replace it with a new one.

2. Mineral Deposits

Though it’s usually clear, toilet water contains excess mineral deposits and dirt. The concentrated mineral deposit does not only affect the porcelain coating but also discolors the toilet water.

Usually, minerals fall and form deposits that sometimes brown the toilet bowl water.

  • How to fix: You can get commercial cleaning agents. However, the best natural cleaning agent is vinegar. Without a doubt, almost all households have vinegar; hence it’s readily available and safe to use.

Use four cups of white vinegar to pour in the toilet and then flush. Vinegar doesn’t only clean the toilet but also removes the mineral deposits. As a result, the toilet water becomes clear again.

3. Toilet Waste

Toilet waste is a common cause of brown toilet water. These leftovers make a toilet look and smell awful.

However, other organic leftovers aren’t a significant issue since they dissolve quickly.

In most cases, weak flushing pressure causes the leftovers to stay in the toilet bowl. A good and typical toilet should have a flush system that carries away tissue paper and human waste.

Otherwise, the waste discolors the water.

  • How to fix: The only solution here is to convert a low-flushing system to a high-flushing system. You can do this by simply repositioning the tank float. This way, you maximize the flushing power allowing it to remove waste in a single flush. In the end, water remains clear after every flush.

4. Broken Water Pump

How to fix brown toilet water

Each time you flush the toilet, a small device controls the water supply called a water pump. It works best in toilets with a low-flush system.

While the pump works with enough water pressure, it doesn’t clean it. With time, iron stains begin to build up on the water pump.

This iron stain buildup also causes corrosion that enters the toilet bowl discoloring the water.

  • How to fix: A simple and effective solution is to clean the water pump thoroughly. First, disconnect the water pump to access all the sides when cleaning. Dry the water with a piece of cloth, then use a cleaning agent to remove the rust.

Still, you can opt to replace the rusty water pump with a new one if you don’t want to clean it.

Preferably, go for elements made from stainless steel or high-quality plastic. This way, you rest assured of durability and cleanliness.

5. Clogged Plumbing System

A typical toilet problem is clogging. Usually, people throw and try to flush non-flushable items in the toilet, like diapers and wipes.

Even though they may disappear on the toilet bowl, they clog the plumbing system.

A clogged toilet leads to backflows that turn clear toilet water to brown. Though standard, a clogged toilet is a big problem that ruins the outlet drain.

  • How to fix: The first step would be to break down the clog using Epsom salt. With just a cup of salt and a bucket of hot water, the brown water starts to clear in 15 minutes.

Still, you can use a toilet plunger to push out the clog down the plumbing system. Ideally, pour liquid soap to allow the clog to slide easily from where it’s stuck.

The plumber can also drill through the clog in severe cases, removing it manually.


Q: How Can You Keep Pipes From Corroding?

 A: Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your pipes don’t corrode. Better still, PVC pipes don’t oxidize. Maintaining your pipes ensures no brown toilet water occurs.

Q: Is Brown Toilet Water Poisonous?

 A: No. Brown toilet water isn’t poisonous but is unsightly and may cause odor. In most cases, the brown toilet water is due to excess iron from corroded toilet pipes.

Therefore, the brown water in your toilet is a sign of a problem somewhere that needs immediate attention.

Q: What Makes Toilet Pipes To Rust?

A: Rust is a type of iron oxide. Therefore, rusting is a normal chemical reaction when steel and oxygen combine and corrodes.

Water plays a significant role in forming rust in the toilet pipes. Even with solid pipes, water molecules can reach the metal through gaps. Once moisture gets in touch with the metal, rusting begins.

Final Thoughts

The extensive guide above answers this question with five common reasons and solutions.

Remember that coming home to brown toilet water is no cause of alarm. You only need to seek immediate help from a professional plumber when the water remains brown even after flushing.

Even though the effects are gradual, the excess iron in the brown water can lead to severe damage. Without a prompt solution, you’re risking the whole plumbing system of the house!

Look for the root of the problem and use the solutions above to clean your toilet water.