You grab a glass from your cabinet and head over to your kitchen sink. You turn on the cold water and fill your glass, only to notice that you can’t see through the water at all. Instead, you find yourself looking through a milky, white cloud that has taken the place of your usually clear water. What’s going on? You try the other faucets in your home and everything looks fine. So what does it mean when the water from just one of your faucets is cloudy?
Water Cloudy? Could just be the bubbles!
Have you ever turned on an older faucet and noticed that it produces a nice, uninterrupted stream of water from the spigot? Now, head over to a newer fixture, turn it on and that nice stream of water all of a sudden looks all rough and airy. Pour a glass of water from your second spigot and you may even spot some bubbles. Well, that’s all because of your aerator. An aerator is a small, metal mesh that goes inside your faucet, and it helps introduce air into the water flow. Aerating water does a few things- it conserves water by allowing less out of the faucet, and does so at a slower rate; that slower rate also helps you draw water without spilling, and it helps the faucet drain better after you’re done. If those bubbles disappear quickly after the water is poured, then there’s nothing to worry about.
Water Cloudy? What’s the Weather?
Believe it or not, the weather can make a huge difference on how your water looks as it comes out of your faucet. This is especially true if only one of your faucets is turned on at a time. As water passes through your home’s pipes, it is mixed with oxygen. More oxygen bubbles begin to form when it is cold outside, and that cold water enters your warm home. Oxygen in the water is at its highest when the temperature is about 38 degrees. So when you open the cold spigot of your faucet when the weather is cold, all that cloudy, bubbly water that you’re seeing simply means that your water has more oxygen!
Is it JUST your hot water? Check your anode!
If you open up the hot water spigot on your faucet but leave the cold water closed and the water is excessively cloudy, and tends to stay that way, you may have an issue with the water heater itself. Your water heater will rust – there’s no way around that. However, to inhibit that rust, water heaters come with a line of defense called an anode. Essentially, rust will always begin at the easiest point, and anodes are placed in water tanks as “sacrificial metals” to draw the rust. Cloudy water from your hot spigots in all of the sinks in your home could be a signal that your anode needs to be replaced. Fortunately, replacing an anode is relatively easy and inexpensive.
Check your inlet pipes
Although slightly more unlikely but still possible, is that there could be a foreign substance or binding agent in your inlet pipes that lead to your faucet. For example, if you recently replaced some of the PVC piping that leads to a particular sink or spigot, you likely would have used a glue or cement. It is possible that that glue or cement, or even a piece of debris could have become lodged inside of the pipe.
Still Concerned? Get it Tested!
If you’re still concerned about your cloudy water, give Simpson a call. We can come out and take a look, letting you know if things look normal or if we need to go a step further and get your water tested.