What to Do When Water is Discolored

What to Do When Water is Discolored

We rely on water heavily in our daily lives, so when it becomes discolored, it can be concerning. Discolored water can come in several colors including brown, yellow, or even black. While it’s tempting to ignore the issue, it’s essential to act quickly when water discoloration occurs. Here is what you need to know if you find yourself in this situation.

1. Determine the Reason for Discoloration

Discolored water can be caused by a variety of factors such as corroded pipes, rust, and even natural causes. If you’re experiencing only hot water that is discolored, it’s likely a result of rust in the pipes. If your cold water is affected too, then it could be due to natural causes such as high levels of iron or manganese from nearby water sources. 

2. Prevention

Preventative measures can stop water discoloration from happening in the first place. Implementing routine maintenance on your water heater and pipes can go a long way. It's also important to know the age of your pipes and replace them if necessary. Water softeners can also be helpful since they help counteract hard water buildup, which can cause discoloration.

3. Don’t Use Affected Water

Until you determine the cause of your water discoloration, do not use the affected water for drinking, cooking or washing. Ingesting discolored water can lead to health risks such as lead poisoning if your pipes are old. It's also less than ideal to use discolored water on your hair and skin as it can cause irritation.

4. Call a Professional Plumber

While it's tempting to try and fix plumbing issues yourself, water discoloration isn't one of them. Plumbing professionals know the methods and tools necessary to diagnose and correct the problem. They can also prevent the issue from reoccurring by implementing appropriate maintenance techniques.

5. Flush the System

Once a professional pinpoints the cause of the discoloration and resolves the issue, it's essential to flush your system to eliminate any stagnant water in your system. Flushing your pipes can ensure that your drinking water is fresh and clean. It takes roughly 20 minutes to flush your plumbing system manually.


Ignoring discolored water can lead to a variety of health risks and home damage. However, by following simple prevention methods like regular maintenance, water softeners, and age assessment of your pipes, you can prevent discoloration from occurring. If you’re experiencing water discoloration, make sure to seek professional plumbing services to access the issue. Finally, flushing your plumbing system is essential to ensure your taps are producing clean and safe drinking water.

If you're experiencing water discoloration, don't wait to contact Mike's Plumbing of SWFL! Our experienced professionals are equipped with the tools and skills necessary to diagnose and resolve a variety of plumbing issues. We've been providing customer satisfaction for over 10 years, and our team is committed to delivering quality service that will leave you feeling confident in your plumbing system. Contact us today to learn more about our services!