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Why is my water cloudy?

Tap water can look cloudy for a few different reasons. Usually it’s not a big deal, but running a faucet with foggy, milky water isn’t as nice as having the clear water we expect. So why do you have cloudy water in the first place? There are a couple explanations for why that cloud is forming. We’ll help you figure out which one is to blame at your faucet—and hopefully clear up your questions for good!

1st Scenario: Cloudy Water from Water Pressure

If you’re using city water, your water is going to be slightly pressurized. It needs to be under pressure to get all the way from the water tower to your home. But the water’s pressure drops once it starts flowing from your tap, and without as much pressure, the air inside of your water comes out in bubbles.

All water has some amount of dissolved air, but water under pressure can hold more air. Those air bubbles are what make your make your water cloudy. More often than not, this kind of cloudy water clears up on its own after a few minutes. All you have to do is let the water sit in an open container. Eventually all the bubbles will disappear!

Other times, the water’s cloudiness might be caused by the water pressure in your home. If you only see the cloudy water from your hot water line, you’re probably getting more water compression in your water heater. You might want to check your water pressure to make sure it isn’t too high.

2nd Scenario: Cloudy Water from Water Temperature

Like pressurized water, cold water also holds more air than normal. If the weather is cold outside, the temperature of water in your pipes is naturally going to get cooler. And because cold water can have more air than warm water, you’re bound to notice a difference at your tap.

The temperature difference between the inside of your home and the cold pipes delivering your water make it more likely that you’ll see cloudy water. More air bubbles will release when the cold water leaves your tap and warms up with your indoor temperature. Similar to the cloudiness that occurs from water pressure, the bubbles caused by changing water temperature are harmless and don’t really require any other treatment. Same as before, the bubbles should disappear on their own. You ought to notice clear water after a little while if you let it settle.

3rd Scenario: Cloudy Water from Unfiltered Water

Not seeing any improvement on your cloudy tap water after a few minutes? You might have a more serious turbidity issue. This is typically the reason for cloudiness if your water comes from a well, or some other non-municipality source like a lake or stream.

Without an appropriate filter, your cloudy water might be caused by dirt, sand, or other substances getting into your well. Fortunately, these types of sediment issues and other turbidity problems can be treated with a special water filtration system. A local water company can help you diagnose your water and work with you to find the right filter for your well water so it can be clean and clear. It’s always a good idea to get your water checked by an expert if your cloudy water won’t go away.

4th Scenario: Cloudy Water from Hard Water

Finally, you might be getting cloudy water because your water has high mineral levels. Water is considered “hard” when it has lots of calcium or magnesium in it. Central Indiana is known for having especially hard water, so this could be definitely be the reason for your foggy water if you’re in our service area.

High calcium levels can make your tap water cloudy. You might notice calcium in your water from other things too, like when you boil water for pasta or iron your clothes. When your hard water evaporates, it can leave a white ring around your pot or white crust on your iron. That whitish powder is the calcium left over from the evaporated water. You may also see more cloudy water left over in your hot water pot or tea kettle. As the steam escapes, more and more calcium deposits are left in the container, making the water cloudier.

A lot of homeowners in the Indy area choose to invest in a water softener to take care of their hard water issue. Removing the hard water minerals makes your water “soft,” and offers a lot of helpful benefits around your home. If you’re still noticing cloudy water at your tap, even with a home softener, your unit might be due for some routine maintenance.

Having both a softener and a drinking water filter helps you have safe and clear water at every tap in your home. We always recommend using both types of systems to get the best water quality.

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