What Does Brown Water From Water Heater Mean?

Clean, clear water is essential for our daily lives, from cooking to bathing and everything in between. When you turn on the tap and notice discolored water from your water heater, it can be quite alarming. This brown water in your shower or faucets is not only unsightly but also raises concerns about water quality. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind discolored water from water heaters, how to identify it, potential causes, concerns it may pose, and most importantly, how to address the issue. If your water heater is producing brown water, contact Payless Water Heaters. We specialize in water heater maintenance and repair and can quickly find the cause and solutions to brown water.

How Do You Know the Brown Water Is Coming from Your Water Heater?

Before we discuss the causes and solutions, it’s crucial to confirm that the brown water you’re experiencing is indeed coming from your water heater. Here are some key indicators:

  • Consistency: If the discolored water appears consistently from both hot and cold taps, it’s likely originating from the water heater.
  • Hot Water Only: If the discoloration is limited to hot water, your water heater is a probable source.
  • Temperature Test: Allow the water to run for a few minutes. If the water starts clear and turns brown after a while, the heater may be the culprit.

Causes of Brown Water from Water Heater

The presence of brown water flowing from your faucets can be disconcerting, and it’s essential to delve deeper into the causes behind this unsettling phenomenon. Let’s explore in more detail the factors that can lead to discolored water originating from your water heater:

  • Sediment Buildup in Water Heater: Over time, minerals and debris accumulate in the bottom of the water heater tank. When the heater is turned on, the sediment can get stirred up and cause water discoloration.
  • Rust in Water Heater: Rust can develop inside the tank due to corrosion. This rust can mix with the water, resulting in brown discoloration.
  • Water Heater Corrosion: Corrosion within the water heater can lead to the release of rust and other contaminants into the water supply.


Brown water is not just an aesthetic issue; it can pose various concerns:

  • Health Concerns: While brown water doesn’t necessarily indicate harmful contaminants, it can carry sediment or rust particles that are best avoided.
  • Staining: Brown water can stain your laundry, dishes, and fixtures, making cleaning and maintenance more challenging.

Solutions and Remedies

If the problem persists or seems severe, it’s best to call a professional plumber or water heater technician. A professional can assess the situation, determine the cause, and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements. If you’re experiencing discolored water, contact us, Payless Water Heaters, to assist you with the following:

  • Flush Water Heater: Regularly flushing your water heater can help remove sediment buildup. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional for guidance.
  • Water Heater Repair: If rust or corrosion is the issue, consider hiring a professional to inspect and repair your water heater.
  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual maintenance for your water heater to prevent sediment buildup and corrosion.
  • Water Quality Test: Consider testing your water quality to identify any underlying issues with your water supply.

Ensuring Clean, Clear Water from Your Water Heater

Brown water from your water heater can be a concerning issue, but it’s essential to address it promptly. By understanding the causes, concerns, and solutions outlined in this guide, you can take the necessary steps to enjoy clean, clear water in your home. Contact us today to minimize water heater issues that turn water brown. 

Check out our Google Reviews!