Why Is My Bath Water Yellow?

yellow bath water

The day is over, and you finally have time to relax in a nice warm bath. You turn on the faucet and, wait a minute, is the bathwater yellow? A situation like this is frustrating, perplexing, and sure to get in the way of your relaxation time.

Once you get over the initial shock, you’ll want to know why your bathwater is yellow, if it’s safe to bathe in and drink, and most importantly, what you can do to get it running clear again.

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

What Causes Yellow Bathwater?

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.

However, an increase in oxygen and iron eventually 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.

Below are common causes of yellow bathwater and how you can diagnose them:

  1. The plumbing in your home is rusty. If your water starts out discolored but then runs clear after a few minutes (after not using the faucet overnight or longer), then you likely have rusted pipes. You can resolve this issue by replacing the pipes in your home with new rust-free or rust-resistant pipes.
  2. The faucet to the shower or bath is rusty. If you check the other faucets and notice yellow water in the bath or shower only, 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 and to alert them to the issue. In the meantime, consider installing a whole home water filter to minimize discoloration until your utility company fixes the problem.

Is Yellow Bathwater Safe for Bathing?

Bathing or showering in yellow water is typically safe, although unappealing. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to check with your trusted local plumbing team. Plumbers can run tests on your water supply to quickly determine the source of the issue. After pinpointing the cause, they help you decide on the right solution, such as water treatment, to get your water running clear again.

Is Yellow Water Safe for Drinking?

Yellow water coming from the tap is typically harmless, but 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 discolored water until you have an assessment from a professional plumber.

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.