How to Tell if There Is Rust Coming out of the Faucet

Rust coming out of the faucet is a sign of corrosion either in the water main or in the pipes of your home or building. While rust will change the color and taste of your water, it is not a health hazard. Take a sample of the water and examine it for color change to see if there is rust coming out of your faucet. If you notice rust, do not wash your clothes in the water because it can discolor them.

Rusty water can discolor sink fixtures.
  1. Place a white bucket underneath the faucet. Turn on the cold water for 30 seconds. Examine the water in the bucket. If it is yellow, brown, orange or red, there is rust coming out of the faucet. Rusty water that only comes out of the cold tap is probably caused by a rusted water main.

  2. Empty the bucket and set it under the tap again, if you did not see any discoloration. Turn on the hot water and let it run for 30 seconds. Examine the water for the same discoloration. If you see any, there is rust coming out of your faucet. Rusty hot water is usually a problem with your pipes.

  3. Remove the bucket. Turn on the water and let it run for two minutes. If the discoloration clears up and the water begins to run clear, you have rust in your pipes.

  4. Turn on the faucets throughout the house and check for discoloration. If rusty water comes out of each faucet, there is corrosion or rust in the water main.

About the Author

Based in Richmond, Va., Dawn Gibbs writes about topics such as history, fashion, literature, crafts, alternative medicine and healthy living. Her work has appeared on GreenDaily.com and several style websites. Gibbs holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Virginia Commonwealth University.