Do you have rust-colored water? What does that mean?
Rust-colored water is an immediate proverbial red flag, as it’s a sign that something is definitely wrong. We’re used to seeing clear water come out of our faucets, you see, so when it’s rust-colored, it can be a bit of a shock. What’s it mean? And how do we fix it? Well, it could be happening for several reasons, and a licensed plumber is probably best situated to fox it.
Rusty pipes are fairly common for homeowners, and can cause the rust color you’re seeing come out of the faucet. As faucets are turned off and on, it creates pressure in the line, which in turn, can dislodge rust and debris in the pipes. The rust-colored water then makes its way wherever you turn water on: The bathroom, laundry room, shower, kitchen, and toilet.
Galvanized pipes are usually responsible when this is the case. Replacing them with copper piping will alleviate this issue.
Over time, a steel water heater is going to corrode, which can lead to rust-colored water. Most hot water tanks are outfitted with an enamel coating to keep erosion at bay. However, that enamel wears out over time, leading to corrosion on the inside of the tank. When this happens, flakes and chips start to accumulate at the bottom of your hot water tank, eventually degrading into fine, rusty particles. The result is rust colored water.
The anode rod in a hot water heater is usually made of metals like zinc, magnesium, or aluminum. Over time, the rod can become coated in corrosion, and won’t do its job, which is to protect the steel lining through electrolysis. This process causes it to corrode. Anode rods need to be replaced regularly.
The two most common issues associated with well water are iron and manganese. The three basic types of iron are ferric iron, ferrous iron, and iron bacteria, and they all show up in different ways. Ferric iron has a rusty red appearance coming from the faucet, while ferrous iron creates a rust or yellowish color in standing water. Iron bacteria feeds on the iron found in fixtures, and creates a slime which can discolor the water.