Water is supposed to be a clear liquid. So why is it that in some homes, tap water leaves red, yellow or brown stains on toilets and plumbing fixtures? Usually, rust in the tap water is to blame. Today we’re going to talk about how rust gets into water and what you can do to remove it from the water in your home!

How does rust get into water?

Rust is formed when iron comes into contact with oxygen in the air or water. Iron is a naturally occurring element that can be found in rocks and soil, so it might be present in your water if your source water contains high levels of iron. This is especially true for homes with well water, because iron is often present underground.

If your home has an aging plumbing system, especially with galvanized pipes, rust can leech off of your pipes and flow into the water that comes out of your taps. This also happens in towns with aging water infrastructures, which is common in many places around the country.

What are the effects of rust in water?

  • Discolored water. Rust can turn your water yellow, orange, red or brown. In addition, you might notice small pieces of rust floating in your water.
  • Stains on your plumbing fixtures. When your water becomes discolored due to rust, it can stain plumbing fixtures like toilet bowls, toilet tanks and sinks. In addition, running a washing machine with rusty water can stain your clothes.
  • Strange tasting water. People often report that water with rust in it has a metallic taste.

How can you remove rust in your home’s water supplies?

The proper method for removing rust from your drinking water depends on the source of the rust. If the problem comes from old pipes in your home, your best bet is to install new pipes. If the rust comes from high levels of iron in your water supplies, installing a whole house filtration system will remove the iron and rust from your water before that water flows through any of the pipes in your home.

If you have any questions about rust in your water, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.