As you flush the toilet, you notice that the water in the bowl is brown. And when you open the toilet’s tank lid, you also see that the water filling up is brown. As strange as this sounds, it’s normal to have brown water in the toilet or from other taps in the house. So, you don’t have to panic but conduct a thorough inspection.
Brown water in the toilet tank or other taps in the house can result from rusted pipes. If you notice that there’s brown water in the toilet tank or brown, inspect all fixtures in the home and see if brown water is coming out from the tank. If it’s only in the toilet’s tank, then you can tackle the issue quickly. But if the brown water is in all the taps in the house, this can be pretty challenging.
No matter what kind of flushing system you have, if the tank water is brown, there’s a high chance that it’s not toxic or deadly. In this post, we’re going to highlight some of the reasons that can make water in your toilet turn brown and how to fix it. In most cases, you will need the services of a plumber.
Why is my toilet water brown and not the sink, shower, or other water taps?
If brown water is only in your toilet tank and not shower or sink, this is a sign that the pipe that distributes water to your toilet has rust.
Every home has a central water supply line that delivers water to the house. This is where you control water entering your home. The main supply line feeds water to other small pipes that provide water to all corners of your home. Since these small pipes are different, they may also rust at different times.
If you have a two-piece toilet and your toilet’s water is brown, there’s a high chance that the pipe that supplies water to your toilet has rust. However, it can also mean that the pipes are made of different materials. Most old homes have water pipes made of iron or galvanized steel. On the contrary, most of the latest homes are fitted with PVC. Unlike iron or steel, PVC doesn’t rust or corrode; thus, it won’t have such a problem.
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If the small pipe delivering water to your toilet from the central supply system starts to corrode and rust, you will notice brownish or reddish tints in the water. But since the brown water is only in your toilet, you can be relieved as the cost of repairing will be much lower.
What else can cause the water in the toilet to turn brown?
Apart from rust and corrosion in iron or galvanized steel pipes, dirt, mold, and algae can also make the toilet’s water brown. If the water supply from the well is dirty or there’s work being done on the municipal water system, the water may be soiled, and it will look brown. However, this should apply to all water outlets in the house and not just the toilet.
Besides, water that’s rich in iron may also look brown. Iron isn’t terrible for our health, but it can cause stains to remain on the tank or even the toilet bowl. This is the same with water that has a lot of mineral deposits in it. Such water can also promote the growth of bacteria, which may be unhealthy. If the water has lots of mineral deposits, you should install a softening system to eliminate some of the minerals.
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What is causing toilet pipes to rust?
Rust is usually caused by iron. Rust is a form of iron oxide. It’s a normal chemical reaction that occurs when steel or iron mixes with oxygen in the air, corrodes. The main factor involved in the corrosion process is water. Even though your pipes can appear to be strong, water molecules can infiltrate small spaces and cervices in the metal. When moisture gets into these spaces, rusting takes off.
It is easier for plumbing fixtures that were installed 50 decades to have rust issues. Besides, many plumbing pipes were made from iron, which rusts easily. Hence, replacing the iron or steel pipes with PVC or PEX pipes is a good idea if you’re building a new home or renovating.
How can I fix the issue of brown toilet water?
The first thing is to find out what’s causing the water to be brown. Start by flushing the toilet and discarding the waste. You want to be sure that it’s not the waste causing the water in the toilet to turn brown. After you’ve confirmed that the water in the tank and bowl is still brown, you should inspect other fixtures in the house next. For example, open the shower and sink. If they are okay, you can now move on to the next step.
Call a professional plumber to inspect the pipes that fee water to your toilet. In most cases, the plumber will work on it quickly and identify the problem. In addition, they will most likely replace the old iron or galvanized steel pipes with PVC to avert the crisis in the future. With new pipes installed, you shouldn’t have the same problem again. You can also install a tankless toilet such as Kohler Veil one-piece toilet or Toto Neorest 700H dual flush toilet to avoid this issue.
However, if the issue is because of work on the municipal water system, you may have to wait for it to be completed and see if the problem is no longer experienced.
Is rust dangerous?
Generally, rust is not dangerous at all. What’s more, since the problem is in your toilet and not your sink or shower, there’s less to worry about. Even though rust is not dangerous to your health, the issue should be tackled immediately. Failure to do so may lead to corroded pipes or slow down the toilet flush that may burst due to excessive pressure. Besides, you don’t want bacteria to build up in the toilet’s tank or bowl.
If you’ve brown water in the toilet, relax and find out what’s the cause. But first, ensure that the brown water is only in the toilet and not in other fixtures around the house. If that’s the case, you can rectify the problem by changing the pipe that drains water to the toilet. Brown water is usually caused by rust or excessive iron in the water. Regardless, you need to call a plumber to change the pipe and get rid of the issue before it gets out of hand.