Rusty or discolored water appears in your home at times when a source is turned off and then back on. It is most likely to occur under three common circumstances; for a couple of seconds when a faucet it turned on, for 10-20 seconds when work has been done requiring the water is turned off for the entire house, or when the city has performed work on the main under the street nearby.

In the first case old steel pipes in your home (aka “galvanized”) have exposed steel that is rusting, discoloring the water briefly when the faucet is first turned on. In the other two cases deposits that collect on the inside wall of the pipe to your house or under the street become dislodged when the water is turned back on. If I am doing work inside the home I will always flush out the water or instruct the customer to do the same.

If neither of the first two situations apply, and you turn on a faucet that normally runs clear and there is a noticeable amount or duration of discolored water, this means that work was done outside the home by the city. Simply run the laundry tub for about a ½ hour to 45 minutes or until clear. Your laundry tub is the best faucet to use as it typically has no aerator (screen at the outlet) so particles will pass through. This will prevent problems with other fixtures (other faucets and toilets) and provide clear water for both you AND ALL YOUR NEIGHBORS! The cost to you on your water bill will be negligible.