Why Is My Sink Water Cloudy?
Imagine this: you come inside after a stifling day in the summer sun and turn on your tap to fill up a glass of water. You look down and notice the water looks white and cloudy rather than clear as you expected. After a moment of surprise, you wonder what’s causing the cloudy water and if it’s still safe to drink. The good news? You’re not alone!
Millions of people in the U.S. have cloudy sink water in their homes. On the bright side, it’s most likely perfectly safe. Drinking cloudy water usually results in no health risks. That said, it’s important to understand what might be causing the cloudy water and what it could mean for the state of your plumbing.
Causes of Cloudy Tap Water
So, what does cloudy water mean? There are multiple reasons why sink water gets cloudy. Some examples include:
1. Air Bubbles in Your Tap Water
One common reason your drinking water might look cloudy is air bubbles in your plumbing. Bubbles can be caused by water pressure in the pipes or any plumbing work you’ve had done recently. While it can be an inconvenient nuisance, cloudy water resulting from trapped air poses no health risk for you.
If you’re suspicious about trapped air in your water, you can easily test for it on your own. Just fill up a clear glass or a bowl with tap water and watch it for a few minutes. If the water starts to clear from the bottom up, this usually means you have air in your pipes and it’s nothing serious to worry about.
2. Hard Water
You’ve probably heard of hard water and soft water. Hard water is water that is high in mineral content and is common in cities and larger municipalities. While hard water usually doesn’t pose a health risk, it can leave stains on your surfaces and damage hair and clothes. Hard water can also occasionally look cloudy coming out of the sink. Here are some signs of hard water to look out for:
- Feeling like your hands have a film on them after washing them
- Spots that appear on glasses or silverware from your sink or dishwasher
- Mineral stains on your clothes after they come out of the washing machine
- Reduced water pressure in your home caused by mineral deposits in your pipes
Unlike air bubbles, cloudiness as a result of hard water won’t clear up after being left standing for a few minutes. The best solution for hard water is installing a water softener system for your home, which will remove some of the harsh minerals. If you need a water softener, Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning offers reliable solutions for hard water treatment.
3. A Faucet or Water Heater Issue
Sometimes cloudy water may not be related to issues with the water supply. For instance, if you have cloudy water coming out of just one faucet, you should have someone from Ranck investigate that fixture for issues.
Similarly, if cloudy water only appears when the tap is set to hot, it could be that you need your water heater repaired. If that’s the case, having someone come fix the heater should rectify the color of your water.
4. Harmful Contaminants in the Water Supply
If your tap water is cloudy and doesn’t clear up, consider having it tested. There’s a possibility the water supply could contain harmful contaminants or pollutants. While hard water and air bubbles are unlikely to pose health risks, pollutants such as methane gas could become dangerous.
While this is an uncommon cause of cloudy water, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have the water checked out before you drink it. Above all, you need to prioritize keeping yourself and the other members of your household safe and healthy.
Is Cloudy Tap Water Safe to Drink?
Cloudy tap water is usually safe to drink. Most of the time, cloudy water is caused by harmless air bubbles or mineral buildup in the water. Before drinking cloudy tap water, you should do a couple tests to see how the water acts once the water settles in your cup. If cloudiness goes away or the bubbles settle, the water is likely safe to drink.
If you notice that the water is only cloudy when the faucet is set to hot or cold or if the cloudiness settles at the bottom of the cup but not the top, you should avoid drinking your tap water for the time being. These might be signs of damage to your water heater or broken-down sediment that has gotten into the water. Instead, you should call a plumber to check your pipes and water heater before drinking your water.
Ask an Expert for Advice
Cloudy sink water is a nuisance, but not necessarily dangerous in all cases. However, it could be a sign that you need to have your plumbing checked as soon as possible so you can have peace of mind that your water is safe and will not cause any damage. Ranck Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning is happy to help, so call today at 717-397-2577 or contact us online today with any questions or to schedule a service!