Why Is My Hot Water Cloudy? (5 Reasons Why)

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Maisie Hughes

Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

Taking a hot shower in the middle of winter could be all that you need to cure whatever ails you. However, seeing the water a little bit cloudy or murky could be worrying. In that case, have you been wondering why is hot my water cloudy?

Why Is My Hot Water Cloudy?


1. Sediment Build Ups In The Heater

One of the reasons your hot water could be cloudy is the water and the heater itself. Around 90% of American households are served hard water.

Hard water contains minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can be disturbed by the heating process.

As time passes and the water heats up, the minerals will begin to form particles that settle at the bottom of your tank. When they accumulate enough, you’ll experience various issues such as limescale build-up that leads to discoloration.

Although it seems like an expensive problem at first glance (because replacing them all would cost thousands), we have some good news.

This usually happens when you’ve been using the heater for a long time without cleaning. So, to avoid any of this, just follow these two tips:

  • Make sure to flush your water heater every four months or so
  • Consider installing a sediment filter

By following these two tips, your water will be both clear and safe to use.

2. It’s The Cold Weather

Have you checked the weather forecast recently? Well, if you happen to find it’s too cold then that’s your answer!

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If you live in a cold climate, chances are you’ve experienced cloudy hot water. To understand why, it’s best to explain the science of the situation.

The temperature of water affects the amount of oxygen it can hold. Hot water contains less dissolved oxygen than cold water. That’s because the molecules in hot water move faster than they do in cold water, and this allows oxygen to escape.

Now back to your faucet, when the water moves from the cold reservoir and through the pipes to your heater, it starts to warm up. The solubility of air in the water increases with the rising temperature

The molecules start moving quickly, the gas is released, and thus the water gets its cloudy look. Good news, this is nothing to worry about! You won’t need to install any filters or clean anything.

3. There’s A Methane Gas Contamination

There’s A Methane Gas Contamination 

Before we begin, we’d like to point out that this cause is both unusual and not common. However, it’s important enough to be mentioned because of its serious repercussions.

Sometimes, your water can be cloudy due to methane gas contamination. This contamination usually happens in regions where water is supplied from wells or where oil and gas mining is taking place.

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Methane has no color, odor, or taste. It’s not known whether or not ingesting it is dangerous, but methane is flammable when mixed with air and can displace oxygen causing asphyxiation.

When there’s contamination, the gas usually rises to the surface of the water and dissipates as soon as it’s exposed to air. The cloudiness you see is just the methane trying to exit the water.

To ensure that your water is safe for you and your family, ask a professional to test it.

4. High TSS Or TDS Levels

Generally, TSS and TDS levels are tested by professionals to guarantee water quality.

Total suspended solids (TSS) levels are often the main cause of cloudiness in water. If the values are high, you’ll definitely notice some discoloration.

On the other hand, total dissolved solids (TDS) are more related to salinity, alkalinity, and conductivity. A high reading can definitely alter the water’s scent, taste, and color.

Sometimes, these little particles can find their way into your water if you live near a drilling or mining site. They can also be the result of a flood nearby.

Thankfully, most TSS and TDs are harmless. However, they’ll definitely alter how your water looks and even taste. You can consult a professional to run some tests on your water to make sure the readings are all proper.

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5. High Water Pressure

Last but not least, your hot water could be cloudy simply because of the changes in the water pressure.

An increase in the water pressure can cause air bubbles to get trapped in your plumbing. It’s similar to the effects of carbonation in soda drinks. Shake one of them too much and it gets frothy almost immediately.

Thankfully, while it can make your water look cloudy,  this isn’t a health risk.

It’s most likely to occur if:

  • The water supply pipes have been disrupted
  • Your home is using a well system 

If you want to make sure that your water is safe, you can call the authorities in charge of your community’s water supply.

To Sum Up

So, why is my hot water cloudy? It’s not a new problem, and luckily it’s not a very dangerous one either!

It could be that the water pressure is too high or that your water heater needs cleaning. Either way, we hope this article helped you figure out why your water is cloudy and that you can fix it now!

Author

  • Maisie Hughes is a 20-year veteran of the culinary world. She has worked as a chef in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, and she currently volunteers her time at local food banks.

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