Brown Water from Tap? Here’s What Should You Do!

solving brown water from tap

Your plumbing system is a complicated thing that needs looking after! There are a number of things that can go wrong, as things start to corrode, age, or stop working. One of the common issues that can happen is water coming out of a tap is brown. Several things can cause this, materials may collect off pipes and get into the water supply, and in iron pipes, this leads to an orange-brown colour (with lead pipes it is black)! Brown water from tap in your hot water maybe an indication of sulfur dioxide. Let’s explore what causes it and how to deal with it!

A closer look at the causes of brown water

If you have a problem with brown water coming out of your taps there are several things it might be caused by. It is possible there has been a change in the supply of water coming to your home that has caused an increase in rust, sediment in the pipes or minerals that then leads to the change in colour. Pipes that are old and corroding can deposit such things into the water supply lines and come into your home. Here is a breakdown of the most common causes of brown water in your home or business.

  • Iron particles that have oxidised in old pipes and longstanding water
  • A fire emergency leading the fire services having to use hydrants nearby can impact your water supply
  • Pipes that burst, damaged or old that connect to your domestic pipes
  • Water being turned off while local repairs are being done and then when it is turned back on again you have brown water from a cold tap
  • Routine local flushing disturbs particles and sediments that have settled in the water pipes
  • An increase in demand causing a surge in the flow of the water through the pipes, leading them to pick up more sediment and such

Having clean drinking water is important

When you need tap repair look for a professional local Adelaide plumber to help you with your clean drinking water. Having clean and safe drinking water is important after all. We rely on the public water system to deliver clean and safe water to our businesses, homes, schools and more. Staying hydrated is essential to our health, both physical and mental.

What to do if you notice brown water from tap

Often when you notice water coming out of a tap is brown and you just let that tap run for a while, after a few litres have passed through, it should start to run clear again. If after a day the water is still running brown, and perhaps you have other people in your area that are also experiencing the same issue, you should contact your local council. There may be a problem in the local water system beyond just your domestic plumbing system. They can inspect the pipes and check for things like local repairs, hydrant use and so on.

You should also identify where the brown water is coming from. If there is brown water from the hot water tap this is more likely something to do with your water heater. Turn on both taps and let them run for a while so you can be sure whether it is brown hot water or cold. When you see brown water from the hot tap you might need to have your water heater flushed. Call in a hot water system plumber and have them check the water heater, flush it, and see if everything else is in good repair or whether it has reached the end of its lifespan and you need to replace it.


A lot of people experience this problem at some point, and while it is a shock and might indicate a problem with your plumbing, you should take comfort that it is not a huge health issue though drinking it would not be pleasant in terms of taste! Whether you’re in Morphett Vale, Port Adelaide, Gawler, Hope Valley, Bridgewater or beyond, brown water from tap issues can vary in why they happen so check whether it is hot or cold water taps, and that will give you a starting point of who you need to call after that.