Why Is My Bathwater Yellow?

Bathtub filled with yellow water

Turning on the faucet to discover yellow bathwater is alarming for any homeowner. Once you get over the initial shock, you have questions! Why is my bathwater yellow? It is safe for bathing? Is yellow water safe for drinking? What can I do to get my water to run clear again?

At Mr. Rooter® Plumbing, we have the answers and can help you determine the right solution for your situation.

Your bathwater is likely yellow due to rust. If the idea of bathing in or drinking rusty water makes you shudder, it’s important to understand that small amounts of oxygen and iron are a common occurrence for most water systems. It’s the increase in the quantities that leads to rust, resulting in a yellowish tinge to your water. In other words, you don’t have a foreign substance in your water supply; you just have too much oxygen and iron in it.

The more rust you have in the water, the darker the shade of yellow.

Reasons for yellow bathwater:

  1. The plumbing in your home is rusty. If your water is discolored each morning, or after you haven’t used the faucets for a while, but then it begins to run clear after a few minutes, you likely need to replace rusted pipes in your home.
  2. The faucet to the shower or bath is rusty. If you’ve checked the other faucets and only notice the yellow water in the bath or shower, you may need to replace the faucet or showerhead there.
  3. Your water heater is rusty. If water is only discolored when you run hot water, it could be rust or sediment in your hot water tank.
  4. Your water supply is rusty. If the water is consistently yellow throughout the home, no matter the faucet location or the water temperature, it is likely a problem with the city water supply. You can contact the city water company for more information or install a whole home water filter to minimize discoloration.

Is Yellow Bathwater Safe for Bathing?

While bathing or showering in yellow water is typically safe, it’s always a good idea to check with your trusted local plumbing team. They can run tests on your water supply to quickly determine the source of the issue and help you to come up with the right solutions to get your water running clear again.

Is Yellow Water Safe for Drinking?

Yellow water coming from the tap is typically harmless, but it’s a good idea to avoid drinking the water until you determine the cause of the discoloration. To be on the safe side, drink bottled water and avoid cooking and washing with yellow water until you have an assessment from a professional plumber who can perform a water test.

Worried about Yellow Bathwater? Contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing

If you need an experienced plumber to help you get to the bottom of your yellow bathwater issue, the local experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing are ready to help. Call to speak to one of our experienced technicians or request an estimate online.

Perhaps it’s time to check your air quality, too? We recommend calling Aire Serv® for indoor air quality testing and improvement. Just like Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Aire Serv is part of Neighbourly’s community of home service experts. Aire Serv HVAC technicians will help you find the perfect air quality solution for your home or business.