So, you are just up and out of bed. After a good night’s sleep, we all like to grab that toothbrush and get set to freshen up our “morning breath” and clean those teeth. You take a look down though as the water is about to run over your brush and something isn’t right. You rub your eyes to be sure, but it’s not your eyes playing tricks, the water is a brownish, rust color. As anyone would, you can’t help but wonder, why do I suddenly have Rusty Tap Water?


Rusty Tap Water pouring from your faucet or shower is certainly an eye-opening experience. Likewise, there is a very good chance that when. you first see it; you will have no idea what its cause would be. Well, luckily for you, your friends here at Poole’s Plumbing have got the What, Why, and How that you are looking for when you discover Rusty Tap Water. Also, a few suggestions on what the dangers can be when you notice your water has gone rusty.

What is the Cause of Rusty Tap Water?

First things first, we know the water is discolored, but the question is why do you have rusty tap water? well, that could be the result of a few things and may differ depending on the water’s temperature as well. So, let’s look at each possible scenario.

First, if you notice that all of your hot water has become Rusty Tap Water, then it’s very probable that sediment or rust has built up inside your water heater. The water heater may also be the cause if you notice both hot and cold appearing as Rusty Tap Water.

However, in the case that both hot and cold is coming out as Rusty Tap Water, it may not be anything to do with your plumbing at all. This could possibly come as a result of a break in a city or town water main or fire hydrant. Finally, if it strictly your cold-water showing discoloration, your issue is most likely with a particular water supply pipe in your home.

Is This Discolored Water a Danger to You and Your Family?

When you see Rusty Tap Water coming from your faucet, it is a reasonable concern to wonder is it dangerous? Contrary to what you may think, and depending on the minerals in your water, it probably is not a danger. The EPA regulates drinking water treatment, so even Rusty Tap Water will not contain severely dangerous contaminants.

Water contaminants such as lead or arsenic that would be extremely dangerous to consume are not going to be in your water. Likewise, secondary contaminants like manganese and iron are also covered by the EPA regulations. Thus, due to the required testing of public water systems, it may smell or taste bad and even could stain clothing. But even though Rusty Tap Water is gross and not ideal, it actually isn’t dangerous to drink or bathe with.

How to Fix Your Rusty Tap Water Issues

Cold Water

Ok, so now we have identified the source and gauged the danger of Rusty Tap Water. Next, we look at how to fix it. let us start with if it is only the cold water showing up rusty. To begin here, run your faucets at full blast for about 20 minutes or until clear. Hopefully, a piece of rust will dislodge. This would come from the inner pipes and into the water supply. If it is this simple, you will run the water until its completely clean again.

However, if it remains Rusty Tap Water pouring from your faucet, or the rust comes back after a while, you may have an issue. That issue would be corrosion of your pipes. If corrosion builds in your pipe walls, minerals enter your water supply and it will continue looking unsavory. If this is the problem, call us here at Poole’s Plumbing. You will need a pro to take a look at either having the pipes deep cleaned or replaced.

Hot Water

Now, if the Rusty Tap Water appears strictly when you are running hot water, we suggest you start the “fix” by draining your water heater. It is not uncommon for rust and sediment to build over time in your water heater and actually this should be done twice a year regularly. The sediment build-up isn’t just a cause of Rusty Tap Water, though, as it can also lead to a costly issue like leakage.

In the case that you flush the unit and still, there is Rusty Tap Water when you turn it on hot, once again, give us a call. The number one name in Raleigh water heater maintenance, Poole’s Plumbing has got your back. Sediment and rust buildup are not an issue to take lightly and in all honesty problems far larger than Rusty Tap Water could emerge if you don’t solve the problem.

Both Hot and Cold

As we allude to above, if both your hot and cold-water faucets are producing Rusty Tap Water, this problem is probably not one in. your home. You should in this instance call the water company. More than likely a fire hydrant or water main is at the root of this issue.

When reaching out to the water company, explain to them your tap water problem. More likely than not, they will be able to tell you what is going on, how they are working to fix it, and when you can expect clear water once again.

To read more about some of the water heater issues spoken of in this post or for any of your plumbing needs, check out the number one name in Raleigh plumbers, Poole’s Plumbing at