Rusty Water

Rusty Water in Your Home: The Causes, Risks, and Solutions!

Have you ever experienced rusty or discolored water coming from your faucets? Have you become frustrated trying to trace the source of this issue without any luck? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Homeowners worldwide struggle with this seemingly mysterious problem; there is no single solution because of many potential causes. Thankfully, by understanding how rust affects your home’s plumbing system and following a few simple steps, finding the source of rusty water can be relatively straightforward! Keep reading to learn more about why rusty water occurs in homes and discover what preventive actions you can take to protect your pipes from future damage.

Big B's Plumbing - Your Plumber for Life!

Do You Have Rusty Tap Water?

Clean water is a fundamental necessity for household well-being. Rusty water, with a reddish-brown color, may result from corroded or aging pipes. It affects water quality, safety, and usability. The presence of rust in household water can adversely affect appliances, plumbing fixtures, and clothing, as it can stain and damage these items. More significantly, rusty water may contain harmful impurities that pose health risks if ingested. Hence, address household rusty water issues to guarantee a consistent supply of clean and safe water for daily needs.

Factors Contributing to Rusty Water Due to Corrosion

Corrosion inside home water pipes refers to the gradual degradation and deterioration of the pipes’ material due to chemical reactions with the water or other substances flowing through them. This corrosion can lead to various problems and issues within your plumbing system. Several types of corrosion can occur inside water pipes, leading to:

Eliminate Rusty Water

Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes caused by corrosion inside old plumbing pipes are a common and concerning issue in many older homes. The corrosive effects of water, especially if it’s acidic or contains minerals, can gradually eat away at the interior surfaces of aging pipes. This corrosion weakens the pipe material, leading to the formation of small or large leaks. These leaks can range from slow, inconspicuous drips to sudden and catastrophic bursts, causing water damage, mold growth, and structural problems within the home. 

Dealing with corroded pipes often necessitates costly repairs or even complete plumbing system replacements, highlighting the importance of regular maintenance and proactive measures to address corrosion to ensure the reliability and longevity of a home’s water infrastructure.

High Levels of Iron in a Rusty Water Supply

Excessive iron in water can lead to corrosion and rusty water. Although iron is vital for human health, excessive amounts can be detrimental. Your tap water’s taste and odor may become displeasing when iron levels are high and stain your plumbing fixtures. The metallic taste or smell in your water may indicate high iron levels.

Old Plumbing Fixtures

Old plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, and showers can lead to corrosion and rusty water. Exposure to moisture and air causes these fixtures to corrode, releasing iron into the water supply. Replace plumbing fixtures 10-15 years old and have shown signs of rust. 

Poorly Maintained Well Water Systems Can Result in Rusty Water 

Improperly maintained well systems can lead to corrosion and rusty water. Conduct regular inspections to identify wear, damage, leaks, or contamination. Inspections prevent corrosion and rusting of pipes or fixtures over time.

Acidic Water 

Acidic water causes corrosion and rusty water issues. It has a pH level below seven on a scale of 0 to 14. When it contacts metal surfaces like copper pipes or brass fittings, it reacts, eventually resulting in corrosion and potential rusting if not maintained or treated.

Rusty Water (Iron Oxide Corrosion) 

If your water pipes are made of iron or steel, they can rust due to exposure to oxygen and moisture in the water. This corrosion can accumulate, reducing pipe diameter and restricting water flow. It can also lead to the formation of pinhole leaks.

Galvanic Corrosion 

Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals are in contact with the plumbing system, and an electrolyte (usually water) is present. This can create a small electrical current that accelerates corrosion. For example, galvanic corrosion can occur if copper and steel pipes are connected without proper dielectric unions.

Pitting Corrosion 

This type of corrosion results in small pits or holes forming on the interior surface of the pipes. Pitting corrosion can weaken the pipe, potentially leading to pinhole leaks.

Peek and Inspect Inside Your Pipes

Aging pipes, exposure to contaminants, or corrosion can cause this discoloration of water. Run your tap in hot and cold positions to inspect your pipes for rusty water. If you notice a brownish tint to the water, you may have an issue with rust. Additionally, inspect the visible pipes in your home, including those under sinks and behind appliances. Look for signs of corrosion, such as flaking or discoloration on the pipes. If you have any concerns about the quality of your water or the condition of your pipes, it is always wise to consult a professional plumber. By regularly inspecting your plumbing system and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure the safety of your drinking water and maintain the integrity of your home’s infrastructure.

Trace the Source of Rust on Fixtures and Appliances

It can be troublesome when rusty water comes from our dishwasher or water heater. To check for the safety and longevity of these appliances, regularly inspect them for any signs of rust. In the case of a dishwasher, check the interior and exterior for any visible rust or corrosion and the gasket seal around the door for signs of wear and tear. For water heaters, the most common culprit of rusty water, start by inspecting the anode rod responsible for attracting corrosive elements. Regular maintenance and inspections can prevent any further damage and prolong the life of these essential household items.

Replace Your Rusty Water Heater, Plumbing Task

Regular Water Pressure Checks is a Must

It’s a good idea to check your home’s water pressure to confirm it’s at a safe level. Water pressure is the force with which water flows through your pipes and fixtures. If the pressure is too high, it can stress your plumbing, which may lead to rust particles breaking free and entering your water supply. On the other hand, if the pressure is too low, it might not effectively flush out rust and minerals, which can accumulate in your pipes.

To maintain the correct water pressure in your home, use a pressure gauge to measure it. Normal water pressure for a home typically falls within the 45-65 PSI range. If pressure is too high (above 80 PSI) or too low (below 30 PSI), make adjustments or seek professional help. This simple step can help prevent rusty water issues and keep your water safe and clean for all your daily needs.

Water Quality Matters: Test pH Levels in Your Drinking Water

Testing the pH balance of your water is a valuable step in maintaining a healthy and safe water supply. You can perform this test in a DIY manner or with the help of a professional. You can purchase pH test strips or kits from your local hardware or home improvement store in a DIY approach. These typically involve dipping a strip into a sample of your water and observing the color change. The color observed is then matched with a reference color chart to ascertain the pH level. A pH level within the range of 6.5 to 8.5 is considered healthy and suitable for most household needs.

If you have concerns about your water’s pH balance or other quality issues, it’s best to consult professionals. Water quality experts or environmental labs can provide accurate testing using advanced equipment and techniques. They can analyze various parameters beyond pH, identifying potential contaminants or imbalances not evident in DIY testing. This thorough assessment guides you in addressing issues and preserving a clean water supply for your home.

A Whole Home Water Filter System Will Solve Rusty Water

Installing a whole home water filtration system can be wise to avoid consuming rusty water. Rust in water may result from corroded water pipes or deposits left in the water source distribution system. These rust particles can stain clothes and dishes and even clog appliances that rely on water, thus leading to an expensive repair. The solution to these issues is installing a whole-house water filtration system, such as reverse osmosis, that removes impurities, debris, and rust from the water supply. The installation process may seem daunting, but with proper professional guidance, you can choose a reliable water filtration system and set it up efficiently. Therefore, investing in a reverse osmosis system is beneficial as it promotes clean and safe water for your whole household.

Tips for Maintaining Rust-Free Pipes and Appliances

If your pipes have already experienced rust, then there is a good chance they may need replacing. On the other hand, you may need to rule out your water heater, especially if it’s an old unit. If you have galvanized pipes, then your plumbing system is more than 60 years old, and they will need replacing. Replacing corroded or outdated pipes can help maintain the integrity of the plumbing system and provide a continuous supply of clean water. Additionally, you can install water softeners and filtration systems to diminish the corrosive effects of hard water on pipes and appliances.

Properly maintaining appliances such as water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers is equally important, as these appliances are susceptible to corrosion due to their continuous exposure to water. By prioritizing maintenance, homeowners can extend the lifespan of their plumbing and appliances, reduce repair costs, and enjoy a consistent and corrosion-free water supply.

Consult with Skilled Plumbers for Assistance

When encountering discolored or rusty water, it is advisable to contact a professional plumbing company for effective diagnosis and resolution. Plumbers utilize various techniques and equipment to inspect the plumbing system, identify rust or corrosion, and assess pipe condition. Additionally, they perform water quality tests to determine the origin of the problem, including checking the water heater. Based on their findings, plumbers can propose solutions like repairing or replacing pipes, servicing or replacing the water heater and installing water filtration systems to prevent future occurrences.

BIG B’s Plumbing: Your One-Stop Solution for Plumbing, Repairs, and Installations

BIG B’s Plumbing services are your go-to solution for inspecting, repairing, and installing pipes and appliances to address issues related to rusty water in your home. With our team of proficient professionals, the plumbing challenge is easy to manage. We understand the significance of pinpointing the root cause of rusty water. Whether it’s corroded pipes, rusty fixtures, or a water heater needing attention, we have the expertise to diagnose the problem accurately. We take pride in our efficient repair and installation services, guaranteeing that your plumbing system functions optimally and that your water remains clean and rust-free.

Don’t wait until rusty water becomes a more significant concern. Please make an appointment, and let us help you enjoy a consistent and reliable clean water supply in your home. 

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

What People Are Saying...

I called Big B's Plumbing because I the hot water would not turn off in our master bathroom. I tried to turn the valve off under the sink and it broke off, so I had to shut off the main water to the house. It was noticeable the valves were original to the home. When I called, the rep stated that I would be informed about the service tech and their experience along with services offered "On The Spot". I was on a bit of a time crunch...
Read More on Google My Business


Vill M

Found them on Google and they had good quality reviews. Made the call and set up the appointment for same day. Dispatch called me a few hours later to confirm our appointment and let me know that the technician Mathew was on the way. This was supposed to be an easy job once Mathew arrived. But it turned out to be so much more than that. Without hesitation or a sour look on his face, he dove deep into his van...
Read More on Google My Business


Jeremy T

Randy was very knowledgeable and professional. He helped us figure out what we could do with the space given for our bathroom with our remodel. He picked out perfect fixtures and the work he did was beautiful. The cleaned up properly when they were done and everything was handled in one day! I will be calling for Randy anytime we have any plumbing needs. Thank you for doing such a great job!
Read More on Google My Business


Crystal M

Call Today!
Your Plumber For Life!

Contractors License #986152

Scroll to Top