Why is the Water Coming Out Of My Faucet Grey?

It’s understandably unsettling to see your water come out … not clear, right? Hints of color in your water can signify a number of plumbing issues, however, if your water is coming out of your tap grey or cloudy, you may not have to worry. But, to err on the side of caution—and it’s always best to be cautious when it comes to tap water—let’s go over some of the more common and uncommon reasons why your water may be coming out grey.

Air Bubbles Can Cause Cloudy Water

That’s right, tiny air bubbles could be the main culprit to your miscolored water. It’s especially common to see these microscopic pockets of air in your water after some sort of work has been done to your plumbing or if there was a burst in one of your lines that has recently been repaired. Air can get trapped in your lines during plumbing work and will dissolve into tiny air bubbles that will eventually come out in your tap water. If you run your tap and also hear movement or banging in your pipes, this can also be attributed to trapped air.

The good news is that the trapped air will leave your plumbing system over time, and grey water caused by air bubbles is entirely harmless and safe to drink. Normally the air will leave your system over the course of a day, if you’re using your tap water as you usually would, however, if you’d like to move it out of your pipes faster—because grey water is a bit disconcerting to look at—you can also run your tap at full blast until the air is fully out of your plumbing. If your grey water ends up looking clear after a few minutes, you most likely have trapped air in your system.

You Have Hard Water

While the idea of hard water is sort of contradictory, it’s very much a real thing. Hard water can be defined as water with high levels of magnesium, calcium and other heavy minerals. Not only does it not look the right, it also doesn’t taste like normal tap water and it can even leave its gray coloring on your bath fixtures and in your sink after extended periods of time. You can verify to see if you have hard water by simply pouring a glass of cold tap water in a cup and checking the color of it after a few minutes. If it hasn’t resolved itself into a nice, clear consistency, then you’ve got hard water.

Not only does hard water look and taste weird, but it can seriously mess up your skin and hair after prolonged exposure. If your shower or bath is pumping out hard water, you may end up with dry or brittle hair, as well as dry, itchy skin. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced plumbing professional, you can easily fix the problem with the installation of a water-softening system. What a water softener does is similar to what a water filter would do for your drinking water—it extracts heavy minerals like calcium, iron and magnesium from your water making it safe for use.

Sediment Can Color Hot Water

If you’ve noticed that your hot water is coming out grey or off-white, it may be due to a buildup of sediment in your water heater. You can verify this if you pour a glass of hot water from your tap and the opaque consistency never clears into a clear liquid. (Sediment, unlike air bubbles, will not leave your water over time.) Regularly flushing out your water heater is an easy fix for this issue, and will have your water back to its normal color in no time.

Although certain types of sediment, such as calcium carbonate, aren’t unsafe to drink, there are numerous contaminants found in hot water—like lead—that should be avoided. This is typically why it is highly recommended that you do not use hot water to cook or for drinking. No, boiling the water will not make these contaminants go away, and it’s best to boil cold water if you’re planning on cooking with it.

535 Plumbing – Your Hawaii Plumbing Experts

If you live on Oahu and are in need of a licensed plumber, choose 535 Plumbing for the job! Our team of professional Oahu plumbers are highly skilled and our excellent customer support representatives will work with you to schedule your appointments at a time you most convenient. Learn more and schedule an appointment by calling (808) 300-0535, or Visit Our Contact Us Page. Mahalo!