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Why Is My Water Cloudy?

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Water is a valuable resource that we depend on every day. A glass of cold water is the ultimate thirst-quencher. Piping hot water is a cleanser and serves to soothe aching muscles. Sometimes, you may run across tap water that is not crystal clear.

Have you ever asked, “Why is my water cloudy?”

Find out what makes water cloudy in this article. Also, you’ll learn whether it is safe to drink and how to fix cloudy water in your home or business.

Cloudy Water From Tap

A murky glass of water is unappealing to drink or serve. Most homeowners live with this issue without understanding why cloudy water comes from the tap in their homes. However, the causes of milky tap water are not difficult to explain. The information below covers the source of the problem and the solutions to fix it.

Air Bubbles

The most common reason for cloudy tap water is the presence of tiny air bubbles. Air bubbles form because the water pressure increases or the water temperature drops.

Air bubbles from water pressure start with the tap water source. Water gets to your home from a water tower and needs to be pressurized to make this journey. Pressurized water contains a lot of air, which is released from the water when it flows from the tap. The result is cloudy water.

A change in water temperature is the second reason tap water may have air bubbles. This change happens when water moves from the reservoir to the tap inside your home. Water gets warmer when the weather is colder. However, some cold water remains when it reaches your faucet. Any air still present in the cold water is no longer soluble and comes out cloudy-looking.

Hard Water

The second most common reason for milky water is hard water. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. The underground sediment from these minerals leads to the formation of hard water.

Evidence of hard tap water includes:

  • Cloudy drinking water
  • Spots on washed dishes
  • Grey or discolored laundry
  • Water doesn’t clear up on its own

Eighty-five percent of homes in Canada and the United States have hard water. Several Canadian municipalities have extremely hard water. Guelf and Waterloo are among the areas with the hardest water.

Is Cloudy Tap Water Safe

Cloudy tap water caused by air bubbles is not a health concern. Eventually, the air in the water rises to the top and dissipates into the air. Milky tap water that is left to sit for a short time clears up by itself as it gets warmer.

Occasionally, discolored water is due to other concerning issues. Hiring a professional plumber is the safest way to know with certainty why your water is cloudy. The plumber will perform a complete water test of the water in your home or business. After testing, you can quickly find out if your water contains rare harmful substances, which include:

  • Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
  • Methane gas

All tap water has contaminants that are only harmful if they exceed certain levels. Licensed plumbing contractors can test the water to ensure it’s within the safe zone. Usually, they will determine if the cloudy water is caused by air bubbles. However, brown, green, or other tap water colors are a cause for concern and must be evaluated by a professional as soon as possible.

Why Is Hot Water Cloudy?

Is the hot water in your home cloudy? Sometimes, only the water flowing from the hot water faucet is milky, but this is common. The cause of cloudiness in hot water relates to the properties of H20 and the chain reaction it goes through in your home.

The composition of water is hydrogen and oxygen gases. As many people know, water expands when it is frozen and turns to ice; it turns to steam when heated. However, water from a water heater looks cloudy because molecules expand as the water gets hotter. The molecules trap gases, which form into minute air bubbles.

When the water flows from the hot water faucet, pressure is reduced. The air bubbles escape into the air as it does with cold water. Cloudy, hot water due to air bubbles usually clears up quickly, starting at the bottom of the glass or container.

Problems Caused by Cloudy Water

Some homeowners have resolved cloudy water problems on their own. Many have found success by turning down the hot water temperature on the hot water tank. Others use water filters on cold water faucets to clear up the water. However, it is vital to get professional help if cloudy water does not clear up.

Milky water can pose other problems if it is left untreated. In addition to the potential of serious health risks, issues with cloudy water include:

  • A water heater failure due to sediment buildup
  • Damage to a fixture or faucet
  • Pipes and plumbing damage from an accumulation of minerals
  • Dishwashers and other appliances stop working
  • Soaps and detergents lose effectiveness
In addition, a large percentage of cloudy water contains organic or non-organic abrasives. They consist of fine particles suspended in the water that scatter when exposed to light. The particles can scratch sinks and etch glassware and dishes depending on their nature.

Benefits of a Professional Plumbing Contractor

Do-it-yourself solutions offer a superficial solution to discolored water. However, licensed professional contractors go beneath the surface to find the true source of cloudy water. They provide permanent solutions based on their knowledge and experience.

Contracting a plumber to help with your cloudy tap water has numerous advantages.

  • They are experienced with municipal water supply issues
  • Professional plumbers are trained to recognize unknown dangers
  • Contractors have access to the latest tests that uncover harmful contaminants
  • They install the most appropriate filtration system for your home or business
An essential part of home maintenance is to get the water tested regularly. A quality plumbing professional is best positioned to advise and service homeowners regarding water quality.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Water is a necessity of life that can’t be replaced. Fortunately, the source of cloudy water in most homes is non-life-threatening. However, it will damage pipes and appliances if it is not maintained.

Although it’s not common, sometimes cloudy water flowing through your pipes may contain potential health dangers. If other solutions don’t clear up cloudy water, it’s best to contact local professionals.

Fortunately, you have access to a plumbing contractor with over 25 years of experience in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Let MT Drains provide you with the highest quality water treatment services. Our priority is to help you maintain a sanitary water supply in your home or business.


Paul S

Paul has more then 20 years in basement waterproofing and plumbing projects experience. Looking for an advice from an expert plumber? Make sure to read Paul's articles about residential waterproofing and plumbing projects in Toronto.

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