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Why Has My Tap Water Turned Yellow?

If your tap water is yellow, then it may understandably raise some concerns. But what could cause this? Let's take a look to see if your water is still safe to drink.

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One of the most common reasons your tap water is yellow is rusted pipes. In addition, sediments in your water lines can also cause your water to become yellow. If you have a well, iron, and manganese can also cause your water to take on a yellow tint. While it's typically harmless, it's better to avoid drinking water that has a yellow tint to it.

Seeing discolored water coming from your tap can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will discuss in detail the possible causes and what you can do to address the issue. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about tap water, so read on!

Filling glass of yellow tap water, Why Has My Tap Water Turned Yellow?

Why Is My Tap Water Yellow?

Tap water is an essential part of our everyday lives. We use it for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. While the water that comes out of our taps is typically clear, there are times when it can be discolored.

For example, for some people, their tap water might have a yellow tint to it. This can be concerning, as we typically expect our water to be clear. So, why is the tap water yellow? There are a few possible reasons for this. Let's take a look at each one in more detail.

Dirty tap water flows out of the mixer. A glass tumbler filled with water stands in a stainless steel sink.

Rusted Pipes

One of the most common reasons that your tap water is yellow is due to rust in the pipes. Over time, the pipes that bring water into your home can start to rust. This is especially true if they're made of iron or steel.

As water flows through these pipes, it can pick up some of the rust. This is what can cause your water to have a yellow tint to it.

Depending on the severity of the issue, rust in your pipes can also cause your water to have a brown or red tint. This is because the rust can break off into larger pieces and become suspended in the water.

If you're concerned that your water might be coming from rusted pipes, then there are a few things you can do. First, take a look at the pipes in your home. If you see any that are rusty, then you can contact a plumber to have them replaced.

Old rusty pipe against the wall

You can also have your water tested. This will help to determine if there are elevated levels of iron or other metals in your water. Depending on the results, you may need to have a water filtration system installed to remove these metals from your water.

Sediment In The Water Lines

Another possible reason for yellow water is sediment that's present in the water lines. Over time, sediments can build up in the pipes that bring water into your home. This is especially true if you have an older home.

As water flows through these pipes, it can pick up some of the sediment. This is what can cause your water to have a yellow tint to it.

If you're concerned that your yellow water might be coming from sediments in the water lines, then there are a few things you can do. Typically, you can flush your water lines to remove the sediments.

You can also have your water tested. This will help to determine if there are elevated levels of sediment in your water. Depending on the results, you may need to have a water filtration system installed to remove the sediment from your water.

Iron And Manganese In Water

Another possible reason for yellow water is iron and manganese that are present in the water. These are naturally-occurring minerals that can be found in water. In small amounts, they're not harmful.

However, if the levels of iron and manganese are too high, then it can cause your water to have a yellow tint to it. It can also cause the water to be red or brownish in color.

If you're concerned that your water might contain elevated levels of iron and manganese, then you can have it tested. While it's typically not harmful, it can cause an odor or foul taste in your water.

Depending on the results, you may need to have a water filtration system installed to remove these minerals from your water.

Dirty brown water running into a white sink. Looks very unhealthy,

Can You Bathe In Discolored Water?

While it can be concerning to see yellow water coming out of your taps, it's typically not harmful. This means that you can still use it for bathing, cleaning, and other activities. However, it's not something you will want to do for extended periods of time. 

In addition, you should still be wary about drinking water that's discolored. Still, don't feel like you should go without bathing just because your water is discolored.

If you're concerned about using discolored water, then you can let it run for a minute or two before using it. This will help to flush out any sediments or minerals that might be causing the water to be discolored.

Is Hard Water Yellow?

It is more common for hard water to be yellow or cloudy in appearance, especially if it's untreated. Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. 

While hard water isn't necessarily harmful, it can cause issues with your plumbing. Over time, the minerals in hard water can build up in your pipes and cause them to become clogged.

Sometimes the region you live in will naturally have hard water. If this is the case, then there's not much you can do about it. However, you can install a water softener to help reduce the effects of hard water.

Do Rusty Pipes Need To Be Replaced?

There are different factors that will affect whether or not rusty pipes need to be replaced. The first is the severity of the rust. If the rust is only minor, then the pipes might not need to be replaced.

Instead, flushing the pipes or using a rust remover can be enough to get rid of the rust. However, if the rust is more severe, then the pipes might need to be replaced.

Pipes all have lifespans. Even if they're not rusty, they might need to be replaced after a certain amount of time. The age of the pipes is another factor that will affect whether or not they need to be replaced.

If you're unsure whether or not your pipes need to be replaced, then it's best to consult with a professional. They will be able to inspect your pipes and give you a better idea of what needs to be done.

Filters for water. Water purification for domestic water supply.

How Do You Flush Water Lines In A House?

If you need to flush your water lines, there are a few different ways you can do it. An easy way to do it is by opening the hot water faucets in your home and letting them run.

First, open the hot water taps in all bathrooms. This includes the sinks and the shower.

Then go to the kitchen and turn on the hot water fixtures. Let the hot water fixtures run for 15 minutes. This will help to flush out any sediments or minerals that might be causing your water to be discolored.

When doing this, you should remove the screens or aerators from the fixtures to help the water flow more freely. Then, after 15 minutes, turn off all the fixtures and reattach the screens or aerators.

When Should You Call A Plumber?

There are a few different instances where you should call a plumber for discolored water.

If the water has been discolored for more than a day, then you should call a plumber. This is especially true if you've tried flushing the pipes and the water is still discolored.

If the water is coming out of only one fixture, then it's probably an issue with that particular fixture. In this case, you can try cleaning the fixture or replacing the aerator. If this doesn't work, then you should call a plumber.

While a plumber will cost money, it's better to call one sooner rather than later. This way, you can avoid any major damages that might occur if the issue is left unaddressed.

Plumber.

Final Thoughts

Addressing issues in your tap water, especially if the water is coming out looking yellow, can be alarming. It's understandable to want to know what is going on and how to fix it.

In most cases, discolored water is nothing to worry about and can be fixed with a simple flush of the pipes. However, if the problem persists, then you should call a plumber.

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

Water Coming Up From Basement Floor—What To Do?

Sounds Like Water Is Running In My Pipes All The Time – What To Do?

Is Bathroom Grout Waterproof Or Porous? [And Should You Seal It?]