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Why Is the Water in My Faucets Brown and Cloudy?

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Cloudy or brown water is a sign your plumbing system needs expert plumbing services.

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We live in pretty comfortable times. Access to water is relatively easy in most of the country. You cannot walk through your home without spotting some type of plumbing system or water-based appliance. In the bathroom – one of the most used rooms in the entire house – there are numerous plumbing fixtures. Unfortunately, with so many plumbing connections, that means there’s a higher chance of something going wrong. When you spot brown, cloudy water coming from your faucet, it’s a sure sign that something has indeed gone wrong.

If your faucet water has recently turned brown and cloudy, here’s a few likely reasons why:

Water Source

One of the most common causes of brown water in residential areas is due to a new water source, such as a nearby reservoir or river. A switch to a new source provides different water quality levels, disruptions, and more. These factors all affect the appearance, odor, and taste of your home’s water supply.

Plumbing Pipes

Over time, a cast iron or lead pipe will begin to corrode, rust, and flake into the water supply itself. Both iron and manganese have been known to produce an orange-brown color, while lead turns the water a darker color. Plus, rubber plumbing such as gaskets or O-rings can also break down, which then leads to noticeable black particles in the water. The faster your water flows, such as during a shower or through a faucet on full blast, the quicker such particles break down and enter the water supply.


We’re no stranger to excessive rainwater in our area, and it can wash chemicals, such as pesticides and motor oil residue, into the reservoir water. As these chemicals spread through the surface water or groundwater feeding your tap, you’ll begin to notice the color gradually change. As more chemical content reaches your house, the tap water will be brown and cloudy.

What to Do

Any type of discoloration in your home’s water supply does not immediately mean your water is contaminated with chemicals or unhealthy to consume, though the color is likely off-putting! Still, it’s smart to investigate these recent changes to your water supply.

Some common fixes include:

  • Turn on the faucets in your home for 20 minutes to flush the water pipes
  • Connect a garden hose to an outdoor spigot. Then, water the lawn for around 20 minutes
  • After 20 minutes, if the water remains brown, repeat either process

If neither of these fixes works, it’s time to call a professional plumber. You want to hire someone with experience – someone who has handled brown water issues in the past. Be sure to ask specifically for such experience to ensure you receive a much-needed solution.

Schedule professional plumbing repair in Seattle, WA with Raymark Plumbing. Give us a call anytime at 206-440-9077 . We know exactly how to resolve brown, cloudy water in a residential home, and will offer you solutions that make a difference.

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