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Plumbing 101: Cloudy Tap Water

Plumbing 101: Cloudy Tap WaterWhat’s going on when the water from your tap comes out cloudy? Also described as “milky” or “murky,” cloudy tap water can be unnerving if you don’t know the reason for it.

Most frequently the cloudiness is caused by tiny air bubbles. Usually once the bubbles rise up and dissipate, the water should clear. If it doesn’t, you may have a problem that bears looking into.

Why Your Water May Have Air Bubbles

Sometimes, only the hot water will be cloudy. That’s because the air in the water heater is compressed and compressed water contains more air. Or, your water pipes may have a hole in them, through which air is leaking. Water pipes are under pressure, and when there’s a leak, the air gets pressured into the pipes. The water is safe to drink, but if you suspect you have a hole in your pipes, it’s best to have it fixed.

Water may also become cloudy due to outdoor temperatures. Air becomes more soluble in water as water pressure increases, or the temperature of the water decreases. Furthermore, cold water can hold more air than warm water. In wintertime, water traveling from a cold reservoir warms up as it makes its way to the tap. As air in the water comes out of solution, it looks cloudy.

You can try attaching an aerator to your faucet or change the faucet to one with a plastic filter at the end and see if either solution helps clear up the cloudiness. Or, you can call a plumber or the water department to determine if you have a leak in the line.

Other Causes

Another possible cause of cloudy water is high iron content. You may need to call your water department to determine this.

Fine particles from dirt or organic matter may also cloud your water; a filter should clear it up.

For more information on how to clear up cloudy tap water, contact Arpi’s Industries. We’ve served Calgary and the surrounding area for more than 50 years.

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