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What It Means When Your Running Water is Yellow and Temporary Solutions 

A person placing their hand under a sink faucet with running water

Turning on your running water, whether it’s to wash your dishes, wash your hands, or run a bath, can be alarming all the same. Oftentimes, yellowing water is likely due to rust. There are small amounts of oxygen and iron in running water or tap water. With an increase in these elements, you are more likely to experience rust within your plumbing. 

In simpler terms, this just means there is too much of a combination of iron or rust in your running water. The more rust, the darker your running water may be. Rust can be found in several areas of your plumbing. To help you with yellow running water, we look at what may be causing this issue and some quick fixes while you wait for a professional to assess your plumbing! 

Reasons Why Your Running Water May Be Yellow 

Rusty Plumbing 

One of the first areas in your home that may be rusting is your pipes. If you find that your water is discolored each morning or after having gone hours without turning your faucets on, this is a clear indication of rusted pipes. Another sign that your pipes are rusting is when you turn your faucets on, the water comes out yellow but then becomes clear after letting the water run for a couple of minutes. If this happens regularly, you will likely need to replace your pipes. 

Rusty Faucets 

If your plumbing isn’t what’s causing yellow water to come out, it could simply be your faucets. Rusty faucets are a common issue in showers and sinks. If you have checked your kitchen faucets and only find yellow running water in the bath, shower, or bathroom, rust may only be collected in the faucets. You can have a plumber come in and replace bathroom faucets and showerheads to eliminate yellow water. 

Worn-Out Water Heater

Rust can also build in in your water heater, but your unit could possibly be facing other problems. Sediment buildup is a common problem in old or worn-out water heaters. With both rust and sediment, your water can become discolored. There are many solutions to get rid of sediment buildup in a water heater, but if rust is present, it is better to simply replace the entire unit. You can consult with a problem to have sediment buildup removed.

Problems with City Water Supply 

Say you have checked everything and even had a plumber come into your home to assess your faucets and pipes only to find everything is in working condition, there is one last possibility: there could be a problem with the entire city’s water supply. This could be the problem if your water is constantly yellow throughout your home, no matter which faucet or what the water temperature is set at. You can contact your local water company to find out whether there is a city-wide problem. 

Quick Fixes for Yellow Running Water 

Turn Your Sink On For Several Minutes to See if Water Becomes Clear 

Even giving your faucets a couple of minutes to run could help provide a quick fix if you are dealing with yellow water. If the water clears out after several minutes, the issue most likely lies within your plumbing. Once you have discovered the cause, go ahead and contact your plumber. However, you should avoid using running water until a plumber has come in. 

Ask Your Neighbors if They Are Experiencing Any Problems with Running Water

Asking your neighbors about the status of their running water can help evaluate the extent of the problem. If your neighbors disclose that they, too, are experiencing problems or discoloration with their running water, you can rest assured that the problem lies beyond your home. If your neighbors are not experiencing similar issues, you will have to get a plumber to further investigate what is causing discoloration with your water. 

Call Your Water Provider 

Contacting your water provider immediately can play a rather helpful role. While of course, you may have to wait for your water supply to clear up, by letting your provider know, your water company is likely to get working on the issue right away. Don’t hesitate to let your provider know if these issues with your water persist. 

Get Your Plumbing Situated with Us! 

It is our mission to help our customers with any concerns they have regarding their plumbing. Whatever your questions or concerns may be, we are more than honored to help. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help.

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