Is Cloudy Tap Water Dangerous?

Is Cloudy Tap Water Dangerous?

Many of us on Chicago’s Northwest Side are taking a more active role in monitoring our health and well-being – both at home and the office. And that’s a good thing for Chicagoans of every walk of life in our opinion. Due to this increased focus on healthy living, the team at Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer gets more and more calls about water from plumbing systems in homes all across Chicago’s Northwest Side. The question our callers all want to know the answer to – is cloudy tap water dangerous?

As the highest rated residential service plumber on Chicago’s Northwest Side – over 500 five-star reviews and a perfect five-star rating, it’s only logical that they would call us at (773) 633-6139 with their plumbing questions just as they do with all of their residential plumbing needs. And just as we’re ecstatic to assist them with plumbing projects we’re equally happy to dole out helpful plumbing information – right over the phone if they request it!

What Exactly Do We Mean When We Say Cloudy Water?

Before we dive into the potential causes of cloudy water in your Northwest Side home, we should probably lay out a definition so that this doesn’t become confused with anything else – specifically things like lack of hot water or odors. Cloudy water simply means any water from the tap that is not clear as water should be. It might have a cloudy or milky appearance with no discoloration whatsoever. Or it might have a tinge of color to it that might help identify what the actual culprit is. In any event, we’re going to be talking about water that fits any of these criteria – cloudy, milky, discolored, hot and cold.

What Causes Cloudy Water On Chicago’s Northwest Side?

The root causes of cloudy water on Chicago’s Northwest Side can vary greatly depending on exactly where your residential property is located, what type of plumbing system it uses, as well as the municipalities treatment of water itself. But let’s drill down on the most common causes and how you can check for them in your Chicagoland home. While this is a list including the most common causes, it is by no means exhaustive so you’ll need a Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer pro onsite for an exact diagnosis and repair estimate. We’ll start with:

  • Cause #1 For Cloudy Water – Too Much Air: This may seem strange to you when thinking about cloudy water from the tap but it’s pretty simple when you think about how water is moved through plumbing systems – both your home’s and the city’s. It’s pressurized and that’s done with air. Too much air and you end up with cloudy water.
  • Pro Plumbing Tip #1: You can test if air is the issue by simply filling a glass of water and letting it stand for 5-10 minutes. If all the cloudiness clears up then it was an air issue causing the problem and nothing you really need to worry about from a health and safety perspective.
  • Pro Plumbing Tip #2: It’s easy to tell whether or not the air problem causing your Northwest Side home’s water to be cloudy is a municipal issue or one with a particular fixture in your home. All you need to do is check all faucets in the home. If all are cloudy then it’s the city and not your plumbing fixtures.
  • Cause #2 For Cloudy Water – Hot Water Heater: When your cloudy water issue is related only to hot water, you may have an issue with your hot water heater. When sediment makes its way into your water heater’s storage tank it can cause cloudy water because of the way water bonds with other materials and gases. This can also be caused by hard water which can be mitigated by water softeners. Cloudy hot water heater isn’t dangerous in most cases but it’s a sign that it’s time to replace your hot water heater so give Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer a call at (773) 633-6139 for an estimate.
  • Cause #3 For Cloudy Water – Metals, Minerals & Bacteria: Of all the causes of cloudy water to worry about on Chicago’s Northwest Side, metals, minerals and bacteria are easily thew biggest threat to health and safety. If you see discoloration in the water from your taps – say a green, brown or yellow color – then it’s important to call a professional from Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer immediately. You can also call the local water company or utility to have them send a technician out to check the pipes – though that may cost you more than a video plumbing inspection from our expert team.

Vanguard’s Final Verdict: Is It Safe To Drink Cloudy Water?

While it’s impossible to say one way or the other without a firsthand inspection, if the water passes the 5-10 minute sit test described above then it’s safe to drink. The only cloudy water we would recommend you avoid completely is water with discoloration or unpleasant odors. Those should be checked by a professional before you risk your health and safety testing in your body. Our professional plumbers will be happy to give you an expert opinion with a single visit so give us a call at (773) 633-6139 or submit a completed contact form so we can call you to schedule our arrival. It’s the most effective way to be sure about your water and we can even show you what water purification systems are on the market today!

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Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer is a local, family-owned plumbing company with decades of experience delivering the finest service to Chicago and its northern suburbs.

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Vanguard Plumbing

Vanguard Plumbing & Sewer
Phone: (773) 633-6139
Location: 4352 N. Kenneth Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60641

Business Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM–3:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

City & State Licensing:
Chicago Sewer: #2422
Illinois Contractor: #055-043043
Chicago Contractor: #SBC196464