Why Do I Have Cloudy Tap Water?

Does your tap water look milky or cloudy? Cloudy water can have several causes. The first step is to go over this list of questions:

  • Is your water consistently cloudy?
  • Has the water suddenly become cloudy?
  • Is the water cloudy at all taps or just one?
  • Is only cold water cloudy?
  • Is only hot water cloudy? 

Air in the Water

In many cases, cloudy tap water is the result of excess air in the water. If this occurs at one of your faucets, the aerator, or screen, may be clogged. Unscrew the filter and run the water. Just cleaning the screen and reinstalling could resolve the problem.

The best test for air in the water is to fill a clear glass of water and set it aside. If the cloudiness is due to the presence of air, the water in the glass will clear from the bottom to the top and be completely clear within minutes. Air in water is harmless. Cloudy water could be the result of trapped air in your water supply line. If so, it will resolve over time. Increased pressure in your home plumbing system may also be the cause, which can occur from a plumbing repair. The source of the problem may also be related to a pressure increase in the municipal water supply.

Plumbing Repair for Cloudy Water

If your water consistently cloudy due to air, the design of your plumbing system may be allowing air into the line. If your water is always cloudy, a technician from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Cedar Rapids can help. We will inspect your water line and, if necessary, will install a valve to prevent this issue from continuing. 

Cold, pressurized water holds more air than warm water. When cold water is released through your faucet into the warmer environment of the kitchen or bathroom, it releases tiny air bubbles. This problem is typically more visible during the cold weather months. 

What if My Hot Water is Cloudy?

If your hot water is cloudy, do the same test. Pour water into a glass and observe. If the cloudiness disappears from the bottom up to the top, it is just air releasing from pressurized water. If the water clears from the top down, it is time to check your water heater. It may need to be flushed out and cleaned. Sediment build-up can release into the heated water. The sediment will eventually damage your hot water heater and make it work harder to supply hot water when you need it, adding to your energy bill. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to schedule a convenient time to flush the sediment from your water heater. 

Is My Water Cloudy Because it is Hard Water?

In some cases, hard water may appear cloudy. If the water you poured into the glass doesn’t clear, you may have water with high mineral content. The Cedar Rapids watershed draws water from the Cedar River through a vertical and a horizontal well set into the banks. Much of this water is filtered through sand and gravel deposits that have formed in an alluvial aquifer along the riverbed. Calcium and magnesium, the two components in hard water, are passed into the water when filtered and can remain in the water even passing through a water treatment plant. 

Is Hard Water Bad for You?

Water is called “hard” when high levels of calcium and magnesium are present. These minerals are not harmful, but hard water puts a strain on your plumbing system as well as your comfort. 

  • Your appliances and faucets develop mineral build-up that can restrict water flow and clog dishwashers, washing machine hoses, and drains. Your appliances will work harder to get less done.
  • Hard water creates an unpleasant soap scum in your showers and baths and leaves spots on the glasses in your dishwasher.
  • Hard water leaves soap and mineral deposits on your skin, resulting in dry, itchy skin. 
  • Freshly-washed clothes may feel stiff and scratchy or lose color faster. 

Solving Hard Water Problems With a Whole House Water Filter

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in Cedar Rapids knows your neighborhood, and we understand your water. We are very familiar with the municipal water system and the best ways to resolve hard water issues with water that contains high levels of total suspended solids (TSS) that have gotten through the water treatment plant.

Depending upon our analysis of your water and your household needs, you may have several options. 

  • Water softener systems. Several different types of water softener systems are available. We can help you select the best one for your home and budget. These systems remove the calcium and magnesium and other minerals from your water and eliminate the hard mineral deposits from your pipes, shower heads and faucets. You’ll notice the difference it makes on your skin in the shower or bath too. For many homes, this is the only filtration system you will need. Water softener systems require periodic maintenance, which is easy to perform.
  • Whole house water filtration systems. If a water analysis shows the presence of contaminants at significant levels, filtering the entire house could be your best option. There are many models to choose from, and our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help determine the unit most suitable for your home and level of water usage. Our recommendation will reflect where the system can be installed, and the quantity of water used by your household. Water filter systems vary in what they do. Basic chlorine filtration is simple. Filters that remove fluoride, lead, and chloramines are much more advanced. An accurately analyzed water sample is critical to the process of choosing the right system. You don’t want to pay for more a filtration unit than you need! 

Under-sink, countertop, and faucet-mounted filters. For budget-minded solutions, low traffic water use, or specific needs, these filters offer excellent benefits, along with affordability.