Turning on your tap water and finding that it is coming out cloudy can be quite alarming, especially if it has never happened before. You are probably left wondering how it happened and what you can do to fix it. There is also bound to be concern as to whether your tap water is safe to drink, bathe in, and use for cooking.

There are actually several possible reasons why this is occurring. Some of the reasons are perfectly safe for your health, while others could pose some problems if left unaddressed. Some of the potential reasons could even lead to issues with the systems that you rely on. Thankfully, there are fixes for every possible reason that you are getting cloudy water from your tap.

Here are all of the most common potential reasons why your tap water is coming out cloudy and what you can do about it.

Air Is Getting Into Your Pipes

The most likely reason that you are getting cloudy water from your tap is that air is getting into your pipes. This happens when there is excess water pressure, which makes air more soluble and causes air bubbles to form. These air bubbles give your tap water a cloudy appearance. While this can cause a bit of a shock when it first appears, if the reason the tap water is cloudy is due to aeration, the water from the faucet should become clear within a few seconds. It is perfectly fine to consume, bathe in, and cook with. That being said, it could be an indicator of bigger problems.

Water that comes out of the tap at a pressure that is higher than necessary winds up with a lot of it going down the drain unused. This means water waste and a higher water bill. It can also cause wear and tear on your appliances, leading them to need repair or replacement faster than they would otherwise.

How to Solve the Problem

One method of solving this issue is to have a plumber install a valve that reduces the water pressure.

Outside Temperature

If it is very cold outside, that could be the catalyst for your cloudy tap water. Cold weather extremes increase air solubility, and cold water holds more air than hot water does.

How to Solve the Problem

If the cloudiness of your water is due to cold weather, the water will clear up as it warms. If it does not, then something else is causing the cloudy water, and you should investigate further.

You Have Hard Water

Second to only aerated water, hard water is the most common reason for cloudiness from your tap. When you have hard water, the cloudiness is due to an overabundance of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. One good indicator that you are dealing with hard water is that your water lacks the clear and clean taste that you expect. You can also run your tap for a prolonged period for confirmation. If your water does not start coming out clear after a few minutes, it is likely hard water. Another telltale sign is if you get a light gray coating on your sink or bathtub. Bathing and showering in this type of water can make your skin dry, itchy, and cracked. Long-term exposure can lead to health concerns and hair loss.

How to Solve the Problem

A good way to deal with a hard water issue is to contact a trusted plumbing company to have a water softener put in. A professional plumber will have the experience necessary to properly remedy the issue with a high-quality water softener that is expertly installed. A water softener will provide you with cleaner-tasting water, healthier skin and hair, and fixtures that do not have that filmy residue from too much mineral content in the water.

Methane Gas Presence

It is not very common for methane gas to work its way into tap water, but it has been known to happen. This is particularly true in areas where fracking occurs nearby or can come from contaminated groundwater. Methane can cause taste and odor issues with your tap water and could cause a potential fire or explosion hazard under certain circumstances.

How to Solve the Problem

The only way to get rid of methane in tap water is through aeration. Under-the-sink devices exist that can aerate, treat, and filter methane-contaminated water through a process known as reverse osmosis. Speak to a plumbing professional about the options that are available to you.

Sediment Is Present

Sediment is a far more common issue than the presence of methane. Sediment can accumulate at the bottom of a water heater, which winds up causing the water to turn cloudy and appear unsafe for drinking. No matter how long you let water sit that has sediment present, the cloudy appearance will not dissipate.

Sediment can cause serious issues for your water heater. It wears down the interior and can lead to the formation of rust. Eventually, this can cause your water heater to be less efficient and effective, while also shortening its lifespan.

How to Solve the Problem

Having a plumber regularly flush out your water heater will get rid of the sediment and preserve the heater’s lifespan.

A High TSS Concentration

TSS stands for total suspended solids. A high concentration of TSS can be the culprit for your water’s cloudiness. These are particulates that can remain in potable water after it has been treated. They can be traced back to organic sources such as algae or inorganic sources like sand, silt, or clay. If municipal water treatments lag or contaminant levels are too high, things like bacteria, viruses, pesticides, mercury, and lead can attach to these carriers.

How to Solve the Problem

You will want to get your water tested to check if there is a high concentration of TSS in it. If this turns out to be so, a professional can recommend and install a whole-house water filtration system for you.

Speak to a Professional About Dealing With Cloudy Water

If you are in Boise, ID, or the surrounding area and are having an issue with cloudy water, speak to the team at Perfect, Plumbing Heating & Air. We have been providing exemplary service to the community since 1984, and our team has been honored recipients of several accolades, including Idaho’s Best of 2023. We believe that this recognition is due to our dedication to bringing professionalism and excellent client service to every call. It is our goal to be the go-to for all of our clients’ home needs. That is why we not only provide outstanding plumbing services but also excel at heating, cooling, and indoor air quality support as well. In all of these areas, we can be your one-stop shop for repairs, installations, and routine maintenance. If you would like to experience why so many families and businesses choose us year after year, fill out our online form or give us a call today.

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