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Why Is My Northern Virginia Home’s Water Discolored?

After an extended trip away from home, the water coming out of your faucet could be slightly discolored—luckily, the discoloration usually goes away on its own in less than a minute. But what if this happens to your hot water regularly? Is the discolored water dangerous to your health? Can you use it to cook, bathe, or clean? Majority of the time the water is safe to use, and can often be associated with an aging water heater or rusty pipes.

No matter the cause of your discolored water, John Nugent & Sons can fix it! We have been serving Northern Virginia residents since 1975. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 703-291-1926 so we can diagnose your plumbing problems ASAP!

Reasons for Discolored Water

While a malfunctioning water heater could be the source of your problem—there are many possibilities for discolored water, including:

Galvanized Iron Plumbing

Galvanized pipes are generally made of iron or steel, and are common with old houses. The pipes can corrode with time and can release rusty to dark brown water in your home’s distribution system—causing the discoloration of water coming out of your faucet. If the yellow or rusty colored water continues daily, it’s a telltale sign that your galvanized pipes are rusting.

Sediment in the Water Heater

Sediment can build up in the heater’s tank (usually because of breaks in the underground pipes) and enter the water, causing discoloration. You will need to flush the water heater’s tank to remove the sediment. Engage in regular water heater maintenance to reduce the chances of sediment infiltrating your water supply in the future.

Aging Water Heater

Within your water heater, there is a device called an anode rod that is often replaced routinely during your water heater inspections. Its purpose is to prevent corrosion from infiltrating the tanks water supply. But the older your water heater gets, the more ineffective the anode rod becomes—no matter the age of the anode rode. Muddy discoloration in your Northern Virginia home’s water is a telltale sign that you may be in the market for a new water heater.

Disturbances in Water Supply

Sometimes the water discoloration has nothing to do with your water heater. The issue may completely isolated to the city’s water supply. To test whether or not your water is being affected by your water heating or municipal, try running cold water from another tap in the house. If the water coming from that faucet is also discolored, it is probably a water issue within your city.

What Water Colors Are Harmful?

Water discoloration varies depending of the root of the problem. For water heater related issues, the water coming from your faucet is often a yellow, orange, or red (rusty) color. Some additional colors to watch out for include black, blue, pink, and green water. Black water points to the growth of mildew; similarly, green coloring indicates there is algae growing in the water supply. Blue water indicates that your toilet tank, including the blue disinfectant, is leaking and therefore mixing with your water. A pink shade is harmless and is an organism that can sometimes grow depending on the climate. Keep an eye out for the different colors, as they are often the main indicator of you’re the problems source.

John Nugent & Sons: Northern Virginia’s Plumbing Experts

If you’ve experienced water discoloration in any room of your Northern Virginia home, the plumbing professionals at John Nugent & Sons can assess the situation and quickly diagnose the problem. We offer water heater installation, repair, replacement, and maintenance services for all makes and models. You should never feel inconvenienced in your own home because of a water issue—schedule an appointment or call the plumbers you trust, John Nugent & Sons at 703-291-1926!

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