Drain pipes

Are your kitchen or bathroom faucets spewing brown or coffee-colored water? No, you don’t have coffee on tap. It’s not sewer water either. It’s most likely rust that’s causing the sickly color. Rust is oxidized iron, and it forms when iron contacts water and oxygen for some time. 

While a small amount of rust is not inherently harmful or unhealthy for human skin, it may irritate sensitive skin. Most importantly, rust is extremely unhealthy to consume, so you can’t drink or use rusty water. Coconut Grove, FL residents facing this issue should call professionals from a reliable service like Gator Plumbing to inspect the plumbing.  

The rust in your water can come from various sources. 

Today, we’ll discuss how to find the source of rust in your water. So, you can take steps to prevent it from contaminating your water and plumbing system. 

Of course, professional help is always ideal. So, remember to consult plumbing experts like Gator Plumbing in Coconut Creek, FL. 

Before we discuss finding sources, let’s first talk about the damaging effects of rust in your water. 

Why Rust in Your Water Is Damaging 

The first key issue of rust is that it will start to degrade and damage the equipment and appliances of your home that use water. Similarly, it can corrode and damage the fixtures and pipes of your home as well. 

Another issue is that copper and lead in your water can be harmful to the health of your household if anyone consumes this water. Health problems, like liver problems, kidney issues, and high blood pressure, are a common concern for families with prolonged exposure to these metals. 

Moreover, kids exposed to these metals can have physical and mental development problems over time. Other smaller, long-term issues include stained and smelly laundry, stained fixtures, water leaks around the house, and plumbing issues that can become major problems if left unchecked. 

How to Find the Source of Rusty Water 

The most common sources of rust in the water are rusty pipes, sediment in the water, damage from construction, or a break in the water main of your home.  

To determine the source, you will need to run a few tests. 

  • Morning Test 

Often, rust in your water may only appear in the mornings. To know for sure, run both hot and cold water in the morning to see if there is discoloration or a metallic smell in the water. If you only find rust contamination in the mornings, the pipes are likely to be rusted or corroded. 

This is typical for homes with iron pipes in their plumbing or homes with old plumbing. However, if you notice rust in the water regardless of the time of day, you’ll want to run what we like to call the hot and cold water test. 

  • Hot and Cold Water Test 

For this test, you’ll want to use the faucet where you first saw the rust problem and get at least two clear, empty glasses. First, let the cold water run for around 15 seconds, then take your first empty glass and fill it completely with cold water from the faucet. This is your first sample. 

Next, switch the faucet to run hot water. Once it starts to run hot water, fill your second empty glass with the hot water. 

Now, you have two samples to run your test. You’ll need to examine each sample of water for discoloration and smell. This will tell you which glass of water has rust and which doesn’t. 

If there is rust only in the second hot water sample, it is safe to assume it is most likely coming from your water heater. It may be that the tank of your water heater has been compromised by rust, a leak, some damage, or there may be sediment built up, causing rust in your hot water supply. 

If there is rust only in the first cold water sample, the source is most likely your plumbing pipes. This is an indication that your pipes are corroded and leaking rust into your water. 

However, if both water samples are rusty, the problem is likely a nearby construction issue or your neighborhood water supply. It could be that there is sediment in your water supply or something is wrong externally. 

We recommend contacting the appropriate local water authorities immediately and reporting the water problem if this is the case. 


By now, you have a good understanding of why you should not use rusty water. Coconut Grove, Fl, residents should know that this water is not suitable for their homes and health. The source of the rust can be internal, external, or both. While these tests will help you narrow down the source, they are not 100 percent conclusive. 

Using the mentioned tests will likely lead to the discovery of the source. However, you should always seek help from professionals like Gator Plumbing in Coconut Creek, FL, to be completely sure. 

If you want to learn more about rust in your water, its source, or if you want the best professional help for all plumbing and water solutions, please visit our website today.