Why Is My House Water Suddenly Brown (How To Fix It)

When you open the taps in your house, you don’t want to see discolored brown water gushing out. If you can’t get clear, non-cloudy water, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

In this blog post, we shall discuss what causes your water to turn brown and how you can fix the water’s color to a clear one.

Why is My House Water Brown

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What to do if you have brown house water

Disturbed minerals, silt, or rust will typically combine with clear water to brown tap water.

A problem with the water systems could cause brown tap water, or it could be caused by a problem with your property’s internal plumbing or link to the water mains.

If the water mains are disturbed, for example, by the installation of new pipes, this might disrupt and stir up accumulated silt. 

These deposits can then find their way into the water supply, which ends up in your house and flowing through your faucets.

Causes of Brown Water

Below are some other issues that may make your water turn brown:

Natural-Occurring Material Disruption

Dirt and other natural debris infiltrate freshwater pipes and settle along the pipe’s bottom.

Rapid changes in water pressure or quicker water circulation through water pipes might momentarily deplete the water supply and stir up the accumulated silt.

In this instance, your water supply should return to normal within a short amount of time.

Discoloration Caused by Naturally Occurring Chemicals

Certain bacteria strains may find their way into your water supply and produce discoloration. These iron-reducing bacteria oxidize iron in water to break it down. 

This process’s byproduct may be creating a dark color in your water supply. 

Low-Quality Bronze Alloys Fragmentation in Valves

Bronze is extensively utilized in the manufacture of water pumps and related components. Bronze valves can deteriorate with time and pollute the water running through your plumbing system.

Because of these bronze deposits, your water may turn dark and rusty.

Pollution in the Water System

If you use a groundwater system and suddenly discover brown water, it’s possible pollutants were carried into your system by rains.

Motor oil and pesticides are two contaminants that may color your groundwater.

Increased Water Consumption During a Drought Period

Some towns get their water from surface streams and rivers.

During prolonged periods of drought, when water is in short supply, clean surface water will mix with silt and debris from the river bottom, resulting in brown water at your faucet.

Faulty Filtration System 

In rare cases, water may appear brown in some areas because water treatment equipment does not meet the standard capable of handling the amount of water supplied or because the equipment is old or worn out.

Changes in the Water Table 

Water table variations may occur during periods of heavy rain or drought.

In certain circumstances, these changes might be so extreme that conventional water treatment systems cannot remove the additional minerals that are churned up. 

Water can become discolored due to the presence of minerals such as iron.

Is it Safe to Drink Brown Water?

How to fix brown tap water

When you encounter brown water, your first concern is probably whether the water is safe to drink. In most cases, natural minerals cause yellow or brown water in your home.

In principle, they are harmless. Brown tap water is unpleasant and might occasionally have a strong taste or smell. 

This does not imply that drinking is harmful, but if you’re experiencing a sudden discoloration, it is better not to assume that the water is safe to drink.

If the problem is a corroded pipe, this might indicate the presence of lead in your water, which can cause a variety of health issues.

You should filter the water or consume bottled water until you’ve determined the reason for the coloring. 

This is especially critical if you are using a private well. When the water in your well becomes brown, it might signal that groundwater is poisoning your water supply.

If the issue persists, you can collect a water sample and analyze it locally.

Also, keep in mind that washing your garments in brown or yellow water might cause harm to them, as well as stain the fixtures in your home over time. 

That is why it is vital to examine and treat cases of discolored water as soon as possible.

How Can I Fix Brown Water?

How to get rid of brown water from pipes

To see if you can fix brown water, follow the steps below. If not, what are the steps to fix the problem?

Step 1

For around 20 minutes, run cold water from your tap. You don’t need to be concerned if the water becomes clear.

Step 2

If your water is clear but still contains brown water particles, you should consider installing a water purification system or water softener. This system actively removes iron particles from the water.

These systems need regular maintenance, and most of them can be handled by homeowners. However, some filtration systems may need frequent maintenance by a professional water treatment specialist.

Step 3

If the water is still brown, ask your neighbors if they are experiencing the same problem. If this is the case, the issue is most likely with the city’s water system. 

Call the town or city and request that the city’s utility provider examine and flush the pipes on their end.

If the utility does not locate an issue and you still see brown water, or if the problem is limited to your residence, go to step 5.  

If you do not have municipal water and must rely on well water, go to step 4.

Step 4

If you get your water from a well and have recently had heavy rains, the problem might be considerable changes in the water table. 

In many situations, the variation in the water table is so significant that existing water treatment systems cannot manage the excess iron. 

You may need to think about a filtration system or another type of iron removal solution.

Step 5

Check to see if the brown water is from hot or cold water. If the hot water becomes brown, you need to flush the water heater.

Scales from the water heater’s inside may settle to the bottom and muddy the water, or the inside of the water tank may rusting.

Rust is also a sign that your water heater is nearing the end of its useful life. 

If brown water is only flowing from the hot faucet, whatever the cause, have your water heater tested.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Shower With Brown Water? 

Yes, you can shower with brown water, but it’s best not to drink it. Brown water leaks from your shower are surprising but unlikely to be harmful.

Brown shower water can indicate high levels of iron or other deposits. 

Can a Water Heater Cause Brown Water?

No, your water should never be brown, whether hot or cold. Discolored water is an indication that your water heater is rusting from the inside out and will soon leak. 

Drain a part of your tank’s water into a five-gallon bucket and inspect for discoloration to discover whether it’s supplying rusty water.

Final Thoughts

The sight of brown water pouring from a faucet may be surprising at first, but it is frequent and does not always indicate a severe problem.

Things like rust can happen, and after a bit of flushing, the water can get back to normal in no time. 

However, it’s a good idea to call your local plumber or someone who understands your plumbing system.