The Two Key Causes Of Rusty Water – And How They'Re Addressed

Having rusty water come out of your tap is always a bit alarming. The good news is that this is not a major health concern. The bad news is that rusty water almost always points to one of two plumbing problems, both of which need to be addressed by a plumber. Here are the two most common causes of rusty water and how they are addressed.

Rusted, Outdated Water Heater

Hot water heaters are coated with rust-proof metal on the inside. However, if the water heater remains in use for long enough, some of this coating will get worn away, and the steel itself will be exposed to water. The steel will then begin rusting, and this rust will appear in your water.

The easiest way to tell whether your hot water tank is to blame for the rust is to pay attention to when the water at the tap is rusty. Do you only see rust when the hot water is on, and not when you only run the cold water? That points to the hot water heater being to blame.

The best solution, in this case, is to have the water heater replaced. Once a water tank starts rusting, there is really no good way to repair it.

Rusted Pipes

Today's pipes are made from copper or PVC, which never rust. But this has not always been the case. Years ago, pipes were often made from galvanized steel. It would resist rusting for many years, but eventually, the galvanization will wear off the inside of the pipe, and rust will start developing.

If you are seeing rust in your cold water as well as your hot water, then your pipes are likely to blame. Have a plumber come look them over. If the rust is just beginning, you don't have to act right away, but you should have your pipes replaced in the next couple of years. Rust will eventually eat through them and lead to leaks. Plumbers will generally re-pipe the home in PEX, PVC, or copper, so you never have to worry about rusting pipes again.

If your water is rusty, definitely do not ignore the issue. The two common problems that cause rusty pipes are not that hard for a plumber to address, but they do need to be addressed. If your water heater or pipes have reached the point of rusting, they are very due to be replaced.

Contact a local plumber to learn more.