Why Is Brown Water Coming Out Of My Water Heater?


There is practically nothing you can do with brown contaminated water because it poses many health problems. Aside from that, there is nothing as frustrating as turning on your water heater and seeing brown water coming out of your water heater. It can lead to a lot of side effects if used for cooking and bathing. It is also not suitable for washing as it can discolor your clothes. When you experience it, it is natural to want to know what the probable causes are and look for a solution immediately. 

 So, why is there brown water from the water heater?

Two main reasons can cause brown water to come out of your water heater, and these reasons are: 


Sediment is more of temporary discoloration of water. This means that plumbing work done on your water system or heavy rain that gets in the way of the public water system can cause sediment that first comes out for some minute before the water goes back to its colorless state. Where this is the situation, there is nothing wrong with your water heater; you only need to wait for the water to go back to its normal state. 


Sometimes the brown water you see is caused by corrosion. This means that rusty water is coming out of your water heater because there is a problem with the water system itself. This situation requires urgent attention because, if ignored, it can dilapidate the entire water system and require a system replacement. 

 How to know whether the reason you have brown water coming out of your water heater is due to corrosion or sediment.

It is easy to determine whether brown water from your water heater problem is caused by corrosion or sediment. You only need to check the cold water outlet in your house and see if the water is also brown. If it is brown, it means the cause is sediment. However, if the water coming out of your cold water outlet is clear, it means the reason is corrosion, and something is wrong with your hot water system. 

 How can you fix this?

  •        Leave the hot water on for some minutes.

If you confirm that the reason brown water is coming out of your water heater is due to sediment, you can quickly fix it by leaving the outlet on for the brown water to flow out. This will not work if the cause is corrosion. 

  •       Request professional service

It is possible that you bought your water heater system not long ago and you are convinced that it is too early for corrosion. Where this is the case, you will need to get professional help to check out the system and determine the problem. Clover Services offers efficient and expert water heater maintenance services.

  •      Replace the water heater

If you start to see brown water coming out of your water heater, it may mean that it is time to change your water system. Water heaters can last for about 15 years. However, a water heater that’s up to 10 years can develop corrosion and require that you change it. Hence, the fact that your water heater is already ten years old is still enough. Ensure that you immediately process a new water heater to avoid this situation from resulting in unnecessary health issues that can get you to spend more money. 

 You should note that water heaters do not just go bad. Before corrosion starts to set in, your water heater must have shown signs that it is about to stop working. Taking cognizance of these signs will prevent you from spending emergency money when you wake up one day and the water coming out of your water heater is brown. Some of the signs are:

  • Water heating problem.
  • Loud noises may start to come from the water tank.
  • The water tank may begin to leak, or it may be damp.
  • Some of the iron may be rusted already. 

 Related questions include:

  •        How can I get rust out of my water heater?

You can try flushing the entire tank and see if the water clears up. To achieve this, you will need to cut gas or electricity supply from the water heater. After that, you then flush out the water. This means the tank is not producing any water, and you can do this until there is no longer water in the tank.  

  •    Why is brown water coming from the hot water heater and not the cold water outlet?

The obvious answer will be that the cause of the brown water is not general or from the public waterway. This means that you are only experiencing the problem because the water heater is more susceptible to corrosion due to increased water temperature. 

  •       What do I do if the brown water is only coming out of the toilet hot water outlet?

It is possible that the entire water heater is not rusty. Brown water may be coming out of the toilet alone. You can take care of this by opting for a water softening system. This system will help you remove the iron that can cause further rust in the system. You can also contact a plumber to check the pipe supplying hot water into the toilet where this does not work. 


The fact that brown water is contaminated and useless does not only mean that you need to find a solution; it also means that you really cannot do anything that requires hot water, or instead, you seek an alternative. However, you can easily prevent all this stress by ensuring that a professional plumber from a reputable company like Clover Services periodically checks your water heater. This way, you not only prevent the problem from occurring, but you can also easily replace the system without much stress. Now you know what to do if there is brown water coming from your hot water heater. 



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