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Top 5 Causes of Brown & Discolored Hot Water in Homes

Top 5 Causes of Brown & Discolored Hot Water in Homes

Did you know that brown or rusty hot water from a faucet indicates a serious and potentially hazardous plumbing issue? We know it seems obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how many people ignore this problem. If you have discolored water, don’t use it, drink it, or run the water until it’s clear. Contact a professional plumber to repair or replace your water heater right away. Brown or discolored water happens for several reasons, the most common being a faulty water heater system. Let’s learn more about the causes of hot water discoloration and what impact it can have on your home.

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Why Does My Hot Water Look Rusty?

1. Collection of Sediment in Water Heater

When your water heater hasn’t had regular maintenance, mineral sediments will coat the bottom of your tank. Although not dangerous to your health, these minerals can turn the hot water from clear to reddish-brown. Excess sediment can also impact the life cycle of your hot water heater and increase your energy bill. Hire a professional to perform maintenance on your water tank to prevent minerals from collecting at the base of the system.

2. Internal Deterioration

Interior corrosion in the water tank may be the source of the discolored hot water in your kitchen or bathroom. Interior deterioration is a result of the accumulation of excess minerals. If your tank is deteriorating, get it replaced immediately. Rusty hot water tanks can be harmful to you and your family.

Water Heater

3. Water Heater Is at the End of Its Life Cycle

On average, your water heater will last 10 to 12 years. If your system is older than that, you may experience brown or discolored hot water. Other indicators of an old water heater are drastic temperature fluctuations, unusual sounds, visible leakage, and erosion. If you suspect your hot water tank is at the end of its life cycle, contact an HVAC professional to receive a water heater replacement.

4. Contaminated Water Supply

In some cases, rusty water has nothing to do with your tank heating system. Contaminated public water impacts millions of people around the country. To verify your polluted water stems from a public issue, check both hot and cold water from another faucet. If the cold water runs brown there’s likely a disturbance in your city’s water supply.


5. Deterioration in Old Steel Water Pipes

If you notice discolored or rusty hot water exiting your kitchen sink, this is a sign of rust-coated pipes behind your walls or ceiling. Clean water that runs through deteriorated pipes will discharge a rust-like color. If you have old plumbing and notice a large amount of brown hot water exiting your sink, speak with a certified technician about repiping your home.

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Benefits of Performing Water Heater Maintenance

We know how busy life gets; in the grand scheme of things, water heater maintenance may not seem super important. Despite this, hot water is essential for the daily comforts of life. We use hot water to shower, clean our hands, and wash our food. Investing in your water heater saves both time and money.

Listed below are a few more reasons why you need regular water heater maintenance.

1. Avoid Large Repairs

Prevent the likelihood of coming home to an indoor flood or discolored hot water. Regular service will catch small problems and monitor potential issues that may inconvenience you and your family. Repairing small issues right away is always the better option.

2. Increase Efficiency

In both gas and electric water heaters, an accumulation of minerals impacts your system’s ability to quickly warm water. Staying up to date with tune-ups will increase your tank’s efficiency.


3. Maintain the Volume

Excess sediment buildup will impact your tank’s ability to hold warm water. Tune-ups are a minor service and make a major difference.

4. Save Money

Water tanks that haven’t been serviced in several years will work harder than intended to warm water. Annual flushing keeps your tank operating at maximum efficiency, which reduces energy usage and decreases your utility bill.

5. Extend Unit’s Lifetime

Similar to how regular car maintenance will prolong the life of your vehicle, scheduling annual maintenance and repairs for your water heater will help prevent rusty hot water and increase the life cycle of the system.

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Water Heater Repair & Replacement Services

When brown hot water discharges from your faucet or showerhead, contact a technician at Fenwick Home Services. We offer dependable hot water heater repair and water heater replacement services to homes in Jacksonville and other areas in Florida. Our qualified technicians will quickly evaluate the condition of your water heater, determine the cause of water discoloration, and discuss your options for repair. In addition, our team of emergency plumbers offer other types of emergency plumbing services such as sink installation, sump pump repair, garbage disposal replacement, and water line repair. When addressed right away, the source of rusty hot water is typically a simple repair. Call (904) 217-5694 or book an appointment online.

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