Often homeowners notice that their tap water is cloudy or milky and wonder if it’s safe to drink. What exactly causes cloudy drinking water and how can you improve it? You can’t tell what exactly the cause of cloudy water is just by looking at it, so it is always a good idea to get your water tested on a regular basis to make sure that there are no harmful pollutants in your water supply. The presence of metals, minerals or bacteria may all be potential causes. Additionally, hard water might be causing the appearance of cloudy water and if this is the case a water softener can help to clear up and soften your water, which in turn will help to protect your pipes.
What Causes Cloudy Tap Water?
Most often, a case of tap water that appears milky or cloudy is directly related to the amount of air the water contains. Most of the time, the cloudy water effect will dissipate after a few minutes once the water settles.
If you notice that water from all of your home’s water faucets appears cloudy, it probably is caused by a pressurized municipal system. If cloudy water is stemming from one single fixture or faucet, this typically means there’s an issue with that fixture. For cloudy, hot water, this can be an indication that there’s a problem with your water heater.
However, it’s important to note that metals, minerals or bacteria might cause water that is cloudy and has a strange color like brown, yellow, or green. Likewise, if your cloudy water never settles, this can be a sign of hard water.
Is Hot Water Supposed to Be Cloudy?
Water from a hot water tap is often cloudy. Water is made up of the gases hydrogen and oxygen. One of its properties is that it expands when it freezes into ice or heats into steam. Water also bonds easily with minerals and other gases, trapping them in water. When water is heated (in your hot water heater, for instance) it can look cloudy because the heated water molecules expand and trap other gases that look like tiny air bubbles. After the cloudy water flows from your tap, the pressure is reduced, and the air bubbles quickly rise up and escape back into the air.
The Effects of Cloudy Tap Water – Is Cloudy Tap Water Safe to Drink?
White cloudy drinking water caused by trapped air will have no ill health effects though sometimes it can be abrasive to pipes or stain sinks. However, if your water is brown, yellow, or green, as well as cloudy, it may be harmful to your body depending on the type of contaminants. In addition, cloudy water caused by hard water can cause buildup on pipes and plumbing, decrease the life expectancy of appliances, and dilute the effectiveness of soap and detergents.
Solutions for Cloudy Tap Water
A good water filtration system, drinking water system or water softener can help eliminate cloudiness as well as protect from harmful bacteria or contaminants. In order to determine the cause of your cloudy water and the most efficient solution, we highly recommend taking advantage of our free in-home water test Contact us today!