Side Effects of Rust in Your Water
Believe it or not, small amounts of rust in your water isn’t as bad as it sounds. Iron is a vital nutrient needed for proper bodily function, but like many other nutrients, consuming it in excess can be life-threatening. Rust in water presents numerous hazards to your health, home, and daily activities. Businesses such as RJ Plumbing Services are available to make your home as safe as possible through inspections and repiping your home. If rust is a potential issue in your pipes, keep reading below to ensure you understand the risks.
Effects of Drinking Rusty Water
Coliform bacteria are known to live or collect in rusty water and can cause gastrointestinal diseases. The rust from iron doesn’t just alter the color of your water – you can also swallow large chunks of rust, causing injury to your throat and digestive system. Beyond rust chunks in your water is the life-threatening health issue of lead poisoning caused by excessive microscopic rust in your water. Signs of lead poisoning include:
- Low Blood Pressure
- Fast or weak pulse
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid in lungs
- Greyish or bluish skin
- Jaundice Seizures
While these are mild to moderate signs of iron poisoning, more serious cases of iron poisoning can cause death by liver failure or a circulatory system shock.
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Besides rust infiltrating your water, it can also build up within the pipe and make it corrode. This corrosion is a slow deterioration of the pipe and can eventually cause clogs, reduce water pressure, cause leaks, or burst the pipe. Leaky or burst pipes can spread water to the structure of the home and introduce a mold problem. The damage to pipes can also directly impact appliances. Since water pressure is vital for washing machines and dishwashers, the pipes will slow the machines down until they eventually stop working altogether.
How to Identify Rust in Your Water
Identifying rust in your water has several observable traits. These include:
- Metallic odor
- Reddish brown appearance in water or stains on clothes
- Low water pressure
- Temperature changes
It may be hard to notice rust in water because it can come through clear but leave rust stains later in bathtubs, showers, dishes, or clean laundry. Stains can be difficult to clean and cause frustration when items in the home become ruined. One way to know for sure is to schedule an in-home water test to verify what is in your water and if steps need to be taken to address the water quality.
Temporary and Long-Term Solutions
Some short-term solutions may be sufficient to mitigate the amount of rust in water, but if pipes are old and corroded, the long-term solution is to remove the old pipes. Some possible solutions are:
- Run the water: Rust may come from debris in the water lines. It’s possible to run the water for a few minutes to try and flush out the debris in your pipes.
- Install a rust filter: Home rust filters are available to reduce or eliminate rust in water.
- Replace the pipes: The ultimate solution is to remove old pipes and replace them with new ones. Pipes have a lifespan and rust problems are one of the many signs that a repiping job is on the horizon.
While repiping may initially feel like a massive undertaking, the professionals at RJ Plumbing Services have streamlined the repiping process to make it clean, fast, and stress-free. At the end of the day, your health and livelihood take precedence. RJ Plumbing Services understands that and is available to help!