When you turn the faucet on, you expect your water to be clear. It's usually not too much cause for concern when your water is a little cloudy. However, if the water that is coming out of your faucet is brown, that's cause for concern. There are actually several reasons why your water is brown. You'll need to identify the reason behind your particular brown water. Here are four steps you should take if your water has turned brown.
Have Your Water Tested
If your water is brown, the first thing you need to do is have it tested. Your water could be contaminated to the point where it is unhealthy to drink or use for cooking. Before you try using your brown water for anything beyond watering your houseplants, or mopping your floors, be sure to contact your local health department and arrange to have the water tested. You may find that nearby road construction or recent heavy rains have caused dirt to get in the water supply. If that's the case, you'll just need to flush your pipes until the water is clean again.
Install a Water Filtration System
There are some natural minerals that can cause your water to turn brown, especially if there's a high concentration of those minerals. If your water testing shows that you have high concentrations of manganese or iron – or both – in your water, you'll need to install a water filtration system in your home. These minerals won't harm you, but they do make your water look less than appealing. Using a filtration device will help remove the excess minerals, and give you back your crystal-clear water.
Flush Your Water Heater
If you're finding that only your hot water is brown, the problem stems from your water heater. Rust and dirt buildup in your water heater can turn your water a terrible shade of brown. In most cases, flushing your water heater will remove the rust and dirt, and restore the color of your water. However, if flushing your water heater doesn't remove the brown from your water, it will be time to replace your water heater.
Schedule a Plumbing Inspection
If your water is tinted a dark brown to red, you need to schedule an appointment with a residential plumbing service. Your pipes will need to be inspected right away. The discolored water could be a good indication that your pipes are rusted. If that's the case, they'll need to be replaced.