If you’re horrified at brown-tinted water flowing from your tap, you’re definitely not alone. The good news is that if it’s caused by rust, the water won’t pose a threat to your health. The condition of your pipes, on the other hand, may not be in such good working order. Rusty pipes can lead to a variety of other issues however and are not something that should be taken lightly. Luckily for you, there are ways you can fix this and minimise the damage – that is going to be the topic of today’s blog.
The cause of the issue
Rust-filled water is often the result of issues with plumbing, or that sediment has entered your pipes somehow and ended up in the tap. The simple truth is that iron pipes rust through time and use, and given that the rust has nowhere to go, it often ends up caught in the stream of water. Lucky for us, rust usually forms sediment so that it simply settles on the bottom of the pipe without moving too much.
So, if rust is showing up in the water leaving your taps, that means that either the rust sediment has been disturbed – through repairs to pipes or changes in water pressure – or that there is an overabundance of it within your pipes. This is a problem that predominantly concerns older pipes, however, – as most modern-day pipes tend to be made from copper or PVC and are highly resistant to corrosion.
That being said, corrosion in copper pipes is not unheard of. Copper pipes can rust as the result of a few different things including aggressive water and if the pipe is in the ground and the ground has high levels of alkaline and/or acidity – this can also cause the pipes to rust. For the most part, though, it tends to be the older, iron pipes that will commonly rust.
What can rusty water pipes lead to?
Rusty water pipes can cause a few issues in the long run. They can affect hot water systems and cause them to fail prematurely. They can also lead to premature failures in other plumbing systems – causing you discomfort and unnecessary expenditure.
As we mentioned above, rust from the pipes will not affect the quality of the drinking water. But if the problem persists and high volumes of rust-contaminated water are consumed over a period of time then there are health issues that could arise. This is why we recommend that you take some of the following advice and either flush your rusty pipes or have them replaced completely – or both.
Flushing out the rust sediment
Before you do any flushing, make sure that you locate the source of the rust first. You can perform a simple outside tap check to do so by running water from an outdoor tap for two minutes and then filling up a clean cup to see if there’s any rust present. If the water’s clear, it means the problem is with the plumbing inside the house. If there are signs of rust, that means it’s most likely coming from the main supply.
Once you’ve established the source, it’s time to get flushing. Run three to four cold water taps throughout your house at full blast for about 20 minutes. This should be long enough to clear out any rust sediment. Repeat as necessary. Getting the rust sediment out of your pipes will definitely make a huge difference to your water quality – and it can be a great short-term solution – but the pipes themselves will still be rusty. It’s at this point that it’s worth thinking about more permanent solutions to this problem.
Replacing the pipes
If you find that your pipes are rusty then it is highly recommended that you have them replaced and upgraded. This can be costly and take time as it is such a large-scale job, but it is a much better alternative than suffering the consequences that come with leaving the rusty pipes and the rust sediment.
Do you have rusty pipes at home?
JPG Plumbing is well-equipped to help you flush out any rust sediment you may have in your piping – as well as replace your piping if need be. Our highly trained and experienced contractors offer a variety of plumbing services and will work around your schedule to meet your desired goal. We also run a wide net and operate in multiple suburbs across Melbourne.
If you would like to get in touch with us then please give us a call on 0400 978 442 or fill out the enquiry form on our website.