6 Signs Your Tap Water Might Be Bad

Lacey Nix
Written by Lacey Nix
Updated September 22, 2015
Water faucet running
There are a number of indicators you could have tap water problems. Learn to spot them. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

Learn how to spot troubled tap water, such as bad smells, poor water pressure and discoloration.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Almost all water flowing into homes contains more than just H2O. Most city and well water contains minerals, impurities, containments and microorganisms. Typically these trace amounts are acceptable and don't pose health problems.

However, if your drinking water turns colors, smells or has visible impurities, you need to search for answers. Here are some common signs of water problems.

Signs of a Water Main Problem

Clear water suddenly looks discolored

Cold water looks discolored, but hot water is clear

Discoloration from faucets continues after water has run for several minutes

If you see these things, call your water company. Typically, customer service representatives have the ability to troubleshoot issues or send out a technician if needed.

For More: How to Protect Water Quality at Home

Signs of a Home Plumbing Issue

Red, green, blue, yellow or brown discoloration of water

Poor water pressure

Drinking water has a foul or metallic taste

If you experience these symptoms, call a licensed plumber to check your home's piping for corrosion, blockages or impurities.

Have you encountered any water quality issues in your home? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Editor's note: This is an updated version of an article that was originally posted on Aug. 4, 2014.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.