Why Is My Water That Color?


In 28 countries, at least 1 in 4 people have no handwashing facility at home.  This is unimaginable to us in the United States. We have multiple sinks to choose from in our homes in which we can wash our hands.  We don’t turn on the faucet and hope the water will come out.  We know it will.  But, what about when that water comes out the wrong color?  This article will discuss what it means when your water isn’t clear and how to fix it.  If you are having issues with discolored water, then this article may provide you with the answers you need!

Plumbing issues, such as broken or rusty pipes, fire hydrant flushes, and recent plumbing repairs are all possible causes of discolored water.  A call to the plumber or a call to the city may be necessary to restore your water to its normal clarity. Sometimes the water will clear on its own within a couple of hours, depending on the cause.

Orange, yellow, and brown are the colors of fall, but you don’t want to see them flowing from your kitchen tap.  This is immediate cause for alarm.  If your water is discolored, something is amiss.  While water issues sometimes rectify themselves within a couple of hours, sometimes they require professional assistance.  This article is going to explore a few causes of discolored water and how you can address the relevant issue.

#1  Broken pipes

We understand that hearing you may have a broken pipe is probably the last thing you want to hear.  When people think of plumbing problems, they usually think of money – money that they would rather spend on something else.  However, some issues must be fixed by a trained professional. If you have brown water, you may have a broken pipe.  The discoloration can come from dirt that has made its way into your water supply from a broken pipe.  This is not the only cause of brown water, however.

#2  Minerals and Rust

A buildup of minerals or rust that has broken loose from inside your pipes may be causing the brown color of your water.  If rust is the issue, your water may have an orange tint. If this is the case, you should also call a plumber.  A rusty pipe may need replacing to prevent it from breaking.  A broken pipe, especially if not detected for a while, can lead to a big water bill.  Depending where the pipe is, it may also cause other issues.  Catching a rusty pipe and replacing it before it breaks can save you some headaches.

#3  Flushed Fire Hydrants

Fire departments routinely flush fire hydrants to detect maintenance needs and to maintain water quality.  When this happens, local homes may be affected as sediment travels through the water lines.  Before calling a plumber when you have brown tap water, call your city’s water department to ask if this has been done lately.  Your local fire department may know too.  If this is the cause, they simply have to open the fire hydrant near your home to drain the sediment that is affecting your water.  This is done at no cost to you.

#4  Pipes Were Recently Repaired

It probably seems strange that a plumbing repair can cause discolored water.  It is simply a matter of dislodging sediment or rust from the repaired or replaced pipes.  Water is usually turned off during a repair.  When water pressure is restored, the loose pieces of sediment, rust, etc. break free finding their way into your water and out your tap.  No need to fear or even call anyone.  If this is the cause, it will clear on its own, usually within a couple of hours.

Is Discolored Water Dangerous?

Discolored water looks disgusting.  It may even smell bad.  We don’t recommend using discolored water.  Because the discoloration can be caused by rust and minerals, it may have a metallic taste.  It can also discolor tubs, showers, toilets, and clothes if washed while the water is discolored.  For these reasons, it is best to drink bottled water until your water is clear again.  Hold off on laundry, if possible, because you could ruin your clothes.  The best thing to do for discolored water is to figure out the cause and get it fixed as soon as possible.


Discolored water is an inconvenience to be sure.  The cause is usually detectable with a phone call or two and maybe a visit from the plumber.  Some causes cost nothing like when you have had a recent repair and just need to let it make its way through the system for a couple of hours.  Others, like a broken pipe, will cost money, but it is worth it to have clean water for drinking, bathing, and washing dishes and clothes.

If our water has become a suspicious color, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Sun Plumbing.  With over 45 years of experience, we are your local go-to plumber for the Melbourne, FL, area.  We know that discolored water can be distressing.  Let us get your water supply back up and running in a flash.  Sun Plumbing is “as dependable as the sun!”

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