Dealing with Rusty Water: Causes, Solutions, and Prevention Tips

You don’t normally think about what’s in your water when you grab a glass and fill it from the tap. But, what if there are microorganisms, chemicals, or rust in your water? Rust may seem like a minor issue, but it can cause damage to your plumbing system and appliances, as well as pose health risks. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of rusty water and offer a few solutions on how to handle it.

What Causes Rusty Water?

Rusty water is caused by iron oxide (rust) particles that have dissolved in water. These particles can come from various sources, such as high iron content, sediment buildup in water heaters, or problems with the municipal water supply.

High Iron Content

In NC, the most common cause of rusty water is excessively high levels of iron in the water supply. This iron can oxidize, especially when exposed to air, which then forms rust particles that give the water a reddish-brown color and a metallic taste.

Sediment Buildup in Water Heaters

Water heaters can also contribute to your rusted water problem if not properly maintained. Over time, sediment and minerals can build up inside a water heater, which causes corrosion and ultimately leads to rusty water coming out of your faucets.

Corrosion in Metal Pipes

Although less common, another cause of water containing rust is corrosion in metal pipes. Over time, the constant flow of water can wear down and rust metal pipes, which leads to rust particles in the water supply. This is commonly seen in older homes with outdated plumbing systems.

Municipal Water Supply Issues

In some cases, the rust in your water may be coming from the municipal water supply. If there are issues with the pipes that carry water to your home, such as old and corroded pipes or a disturbance during repairs, it can cause rust particles to contaminate the water supply.

The Effects of Rusty Water

While rusty water may not seem like a big deal, it can have some serious consequences.

Health Risks

Consuming rust particles in your water can pose health risks. Iron oxide is not harmful on its own, but it can provide a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that can lead to stomach issues and other health concerns. If you notice a distinct metallic taste or smell in your water, it’s best to avoid consuming it and find a solution.

Damage to Plumbing Fixtures and Appliances

Rust particles can also cause damage to your plumbing fixtures and appliances. The abrasive nature of rust can corrode the inside of pipes, leading to leaks and blockages. It can also damage faucets, showerheads, and other water-using appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines.

Aesthetic Concerns

Rust in your water can also cause aesthetic concerns. It can stain laundry and make dishes look dirty or discolored. Rusty water leaves stains on sinks, tubs, and other fixtures, and makes them difficult to clean.

Solutions for Dealing with Rusty Water

Here are a few solutions for dealing with rust in your water:

Flush the Plumbing System

If you suspect that the cause of your rusted water is sediment buildup in your plumbing system, a simple flush may solve the issue. This involves turning off your main water supply and opening all faucets to drain the water. Once the water runs clear, you can turn the supply back on.

Install a Whole-House Filtration System and Water Softener

A more permanent solution for dealing with rusty water is to install a whole-house filtration system alongside water softener. It’s essential to address both the contamination and the underlying hardness issues, and a whole-house filtration system combined with a water softener provides a comprehensive solution.

By preventing iron and mineral buildup, the combined system helps protect your appliances and plumbing from damage and inefficiency. 

Use Rust Removal Products

For more immediate relief from rusty water, you can use rust removal products. These are designed to eliminate rust particles in your water supply and can be added directly to your plumbing system or used in individual appliances.

Consult with a Plumber for Professional Solutions

If the issue of rust in your water persists, it’s best to consult with a plumber for professional solutions. They can assess your plumbing system and determine the best course of action, whether it be repairing or replacing corroded pipes or installing a filtration system.

Prevention Tips

Working preventatively is always better than dealing with issues after they arise. Here are a few tips to prevent rusted water in your home:

  • Regular professional maintenance of plumbing systems, including flushing out sediment buildup and inspecting for corrosion.
  • Monitor water quality and address any issues promptly to prevent them from becoming bigger problems.
  • Have your water quality tested regularly. This service can be done by a professional plumber as well.

Choose Bell Cow Services

If you’re dealing with rusted water, trust the experts at Bell Cow Services. Our team of experienced plumbers can help identify and fix the root cause of your rusted water issues. 

Contact us today, and we’ll help you find a solution that works best for your home and budget. Don’t let rusty water continue to be a problem in your household, choose Bell Cow Services today!