If the water in your home is normally clean, crisp, & clear a sudden shift in taste or appearance might come across as quite the surprise. When this happens, a common culprit is rust that is finding it’s way into your homes fresh water lines. Amongst the most common causes are damaged pipes that have begun to decay due to old age, or a water heater tank filled with sediment and rust. A less common cause could be rusty water flowing into your home from the city’s water supply via the main line that runs from the city utilities line to your home. No matter the cause the exact source should be identified and fixed asap.
Below we will outline a few ways you can narrow down the potential source of the problem before calling in a local plumber to assist you.
The First Question You Need to Answer: Is it Rust?
To confirm that the off taste or color your experiencing is rust a laboratory test is a surefire solution. However, sending off a water sample to a lab isn’t the only way to identify the presense of rust. Water that has a sufficient amount of rust will have a distinctive metallic smell and a copper/reddish/brown appearance.
Rust is simply oxidized iron and although it can cause some staining fabris like white linens for instance, it doesn’t pose a health hazard to most humans.
Where Is It Coming From?
Once you have determined or at least have a good idea that rust is the source of your clean-water issue you’ll want to figure out whether the the rust is coming from inside your home or from the city’s water supply. The best option for this is to locate the tap, faucet, or shower head where you first noticed the rusty water. Grab a glass and fill it up with cold water. Do you notice the rusty smell or color? Let the water run for about 15 seconds and repeat. Notice any change? Finally, run only the hot water from the same tap and repeat.
If the rusty water is present only when the hot water is being run or if it goes away within a few seconds of when you turn the water on, the chances are hight that source of the rust is your problem. This is to say, that it is coming from the water heater or pipes in your home and not from the city’s water supply. If the water continuously runs rusty, call the local water authority and report the issue to them immediately.
To simply this even further, if the rusty water came from the cold water tap, it is highly likely that a corroding pipe or a set of corroding pipes in your homes plumbing system are to blame. Conversly, if the rusty water only appears when the hot water tap is opened up, this likely means that your hot water heater is rusting out.
Ok Great, But What Do I Do Now?
Regardless of the cause ie corroding piping or a rusted out water heater the remedy is the same: replacement is necessary. Let’s say for instance that you have determined that an old, neglected section of the city’s water line is rusting out, the water authority is responsible for replacing those failing pipes. If the same issue is occuring but within the pipes on your property, you are responsible for replacing the damaged section of line. You can get quotes on this from a local plumber or a few local plumbers to ensure you are getting a fair and honest deal. Be weary of quotes that seem way too low and others that are equally too high.
If it is determined that your hot water heater is to blame, replacing the damaged unit is also the best recommendation a quality plumber will give you. Once a water heater begins to corrode, reversing the corrosion is not possible. It is only a matter of time before the integrity of the tank is compromised and it fails completely. A failed tank can lead to a heavy water leak and can cause thousands in damage to your home in water damages.
Whether you found this information helpful or overwhelming we are here to help. If you need assistance locating and repairing the source of your homes rusty issue give us a call today! We are standing by and ready to assist you!