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Cloudy Tap Water: What Does It Mean?

Cloudy Tap Water: What Does It Mean?Cloudy tap water can be hard to ignore. We expect water from the tap to be crystal clear and any deviation from that definitely gets your attention. For the most part, however, colorless cloudy water from household plumbing isn’t something to worry about it. It may be less than aesthetic to look at, but in most cases it doesn’t present a health threat or even affect the taste. Here’s what’s going on most of the time with cloudy tap water.

Cloudiness in water coming straight from the tap is usually dissolved air rapidly released as minuscule bubbles. Thousands of tiny bubbles cloud the water and impart a “milky” look that is neutral as far as color goes. Air can enter municipal water from a variety of sources. It may be naturally present in water sourced from deep wells or it may be introduced during the pumping process at water treatment facilities. Oxygen remains dissolved in the water as long as it’s under pressure in the water lines. Once you open the tap, however, dissolved oxygen present in the water rapidly releases as swirling clouds of bubbles.

How Do You Know It’s Air?

Here’s a simple test:

  • Fill a clear glass of water from the tap.
  • Set it on a counter and note the state of cloudiness.
  • Very shortly, you should see the water begin to clear, starting from the bottom of the glass and moving upward.
  • In a minute or so, cloudiness should fade and water in the glass should be clear.

What Should You Do?

If cloudy water is noticeable at only one specific tap, a faucet aerator may be adding too much air. You can try replacing the aerator and see if cloudiness improves.

If the cloudy appearance isn’t colorless but has a rusty or muddy tint that doesn’t clear, contact a qualified plumber. You may have corrosion inside house water supply lines that could be a sign of an impending pipe rupture.

For a professional opinion about cloudy tap water or any other household plumbing issues, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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