It can be worrisome when you experience a problem with discoloured hot water in your home. This can occur for several reasons, and some aren’t a major concern such as:
- Disturbances in the city supply that stir up sediment temporarily.
- Air bubbles that give the first water out of the faucet a “milky” appearance.
If a more serious issue with your water heater or pipes is causing the discolouration in your water supply, it may lead to low pressure, clogs or interior water damage. Knowing about the following underlying causes of water discolouration can help you determine if you should have a licensed plumber investigate the issue you’re experiencing.
Sediment/Scale Buildup in the Water Heater
When water heats up, naturally-occurring minerals like magnesium and calcium transform into particles that settle to the tank bottom. If the tank isn’t flushed out regularly and the accumulation gets severe, the fine particles can discolour your hot water, clog up the burner, erode heating efficiency or ruin the tank. To avert any potential safety issues, a water heater with a significant sediment problem should be inspected and serviced by a knowledgeable professional.
Water Pipe Decay
If your water is distinctly brown- or orange-coloured and your home has older galvanized steel piping, the odd colour may be a sign of extensive corrosion of the pipe interiors. The exteriors may still appear in good condition to the untrained eye, because they’re zinc coated to prevent rusting. To avoid dealing with multiple leaks in the near future, have a plumber assess whether the pipes should be replaced.
Water Heater Deterioration
If just the hot water has a rust-coloured hue and you have an older water heater, the culprit may be age-related deterioration of the tank. If rust spots have developed around the tank seams and connections, it’s very likely that the interior is rusting too. Before leaks occur or the tank fails, have the appliance checked by a professional who can tell you whether it needs replacement.
If you need expert help investigating a discoloured hot water issue in your Calgary home, contact us at Arpi’s Industries.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about discolored water in your home and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.