It’s upsetting when you turn on the faucet and discolored hot water pours out, but this can happen for several reasons and they’re not all serious issues. How do you judge whether you need to call a plumbing professional? Learning what your discolored water could mean can help you decide:
- Disturbances in the water mains — Your water supply can take on a brown or orange tinge if a water main fractures, repairs are taking place, or when routine maintenance such as flushing the hydrants disturbs fine particles of sediment and rust. If stirred-up particulates are the cause of the problem, the issue should resolve on its own within hours. You can clear out any lingering discoloration by opening up all the faucets until the water runs clear.
- Deterioration inside your water heater — If your hot water is rust-colored but the cold water appears fine, your older water heater may be on its last legs. Take a close look at the appliance— if you find signs of rust on the exterior of the tank, it’s probably corroding inside too. Before it fails unexpectedly, consider calling a licensed plumber and scheduling a replacement.
- Iron-reducing bacteria in the storage tank — This type of bacteria isn’t toxic, but it gives your hot water a brownish hue and a distinctly-unpleasant rotten egg smell. It can flourish inside a tank with a magnesium anode rod if it’s shut off for any length of time. The easiest way to get the problem under control is to drain and flush your tank, then install a new aluminum-zinc anode rod.
- Corroded galvanized water lines — Often, the first sign of decay with galvanized piping is an orange- or rust-colored flow coming from the hot and cold water faucets. Galvanized piping is coated with zinc, so it can be badly corroded inside even when the outside shows no deterioration. If you suspect the pipes are rusting out, have a plumbing pro check whether they’re due for an upgrade.
If you have discolored hot water in your Orlando home and need advice about what it means, contact us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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