What to Do If You Have Rusty Water in Your Home

Does your water look cloudy orange or reddish in color? Is your tap water leaving a reddish-brown residue in sinks? Chances are, your water heater tank or house pipes are rusty. While it does not look appealing, the EPA reports that rust in water does not cause any immediate health concerns. However, any sign of rust spells trouble for your home’s plumbing. In addition, rust can stain ceramic sink bowls, clothes in the washing machine, dishes, and more.

Brown Rusty Water

What Does Rusty Water Indicate?

Rusty tap water can be a sign of a few different issues. While a professional plumber can easily identify the source of rust, there are a couple indicators that can help you determine the source of the rust in your water.


  • If rust appears in only hot water, this signals that your water tank is corroding and must be replaced.
  • If rust appears in both cold and hot water, the problem could be your house pipes.


Don’t forget to check for rust outside of your water heater, too. If you spot rust around the water inlet or pressure relief valve on the heater, corrosion has likely reached inside the tank. If that’s the case, there’s no way to salvage an aging water heater once rust has taken hold.


How to Eliminate Rusty Water in Your Home

If the color and stain of rusty water bother you, you can install a water filter for a short-term fix. But once rust has reached your tank or pipes, the only solution is to replace them. The best thing to do is take a proactive approach to replacing tanks or pipes before corrosion causes a leak.

One way to prevent dealing with a rusty water heater once and for all is to consider installing a tankless water heater. Unlike traditional water heaters, tankless units are designed to only heat water as it’s needed, rather than store gallons of hot water for extended periods of time. This system greatly reduces the risk of rust because water moves through the unit continuously while it’s in use, so there’s less time that water stays sitting inside the tank.

By contacting Ben Franklin plumbing, you can learn about more ways to solve rusty water issues in your home. Our knowledgeable representatives can also help you find out more about the benefits of tankless water heaters, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not installing one of these units would be a good choice for your home. One of our skilled technicians will be able to replace any rusty pipes or water heaters to keep your water clear and rust free.

Give us a call anytime to share your plumbing concerns, ask about our services, or schedule an appointment.

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