How To Deal With  Brown Water From Taps?
A Simple Guide

If you find, to your dismay, that your taps are offering up brown tap water, it is easy to panic and fear the worst. A whole host of questions will flood your mind, yet there might be a simple explanation and solution, and Dr Leak is here to help you find it. Whether you have brown water and need a plumber in Melbourne or have leaking taps in Sydney, we're standing by to assist.
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Alice Chan (Arisu)Alice Chan (Arisu)
00:28 15 Apr 24
Very happy, great service, efficient. Vince really nice
Sass MahonySass Mahony
06:24 12 Apr 24
Fast and friendly service. Couldn’t be happier with the service Chris JNR provided.
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10:10 09 Apr 24
Vince was able to provide a quick turnaround for a new hot water tank for my elderly parents. From a professional itemised and competitive quote to then making himself available on short notice to install. He even disposed of the old tanks at no additional cost. Highly recommended.
Kenneth TsangKenneth Tsang
07:21 09 Apr 24
I was having a small issue of leaking tap. On hindsight, it is probably just one broken tap valve.The plumber came and claimed that the both of the tap handles needs to be replaced without taking out the handle. He claimed that, for this model, the tap valve is stuck to the handle. And the only way to fix was replacing the whole handle.After the old handles were taken out, I checked them and discovered the problematic tap valve was not stuck. He then claimed that the the handle was "too old" and it had rust on it so there was a need to replace the whole handle. As far as I could check afterward, the handle thread is fine and it can adjust the valve position fine.He recommended a tap handle model, which, he claimed, is "much better" than my old one. However, as far as I can tell, they look exactly the same.If you have a leaking tap, I would not recommend this company because it will cost you ~$600.
Matthew GreenMatthew Green
05:43 08 Apr 24
I had a leaking shower and within a few hours they had someone to my house and fixed it. They were very professional and knowledgable and would recommend for any plumbing works.
Yun LaiYun Lai
03:37 03 Apr 24
Chris Jnr was a pleasure to deal with. Efficient service with informational offers and options and absolutely no pressure to sign up. Gave me some good options and ideas on price and a great working price. Work was completely quickly and professionally.Word of caution though. Don't send an online quote enquiry at 6am with "as soon as possible" because they will call you. That's not a bad thing, it was excellent service, just maybe.. (unlike me) expect a call... hahahaha.
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Punctual and Vince is very personable. Explained clearly the options for the fix.
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00:50 01 Apr 24
Excellent all round service
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Thank you Ryan for your hard work and patience with me. I would highly recommend him for any of my plumbing needs.
Lisa O'NeillLisa O'Neill
10:14 22 Mar 24
Chris Jnr communicated well, turned up on time, repaired the issue quickly and quietly and then too cleaned up too! All in all an exceptional service experience. Thanks Chris.
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Reliable, friendly service. Highly reccomend
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22:38 14 Mar 24
Professional services 👌Highly recommended
Margaret BentonMargaret Benton
06:05 14 Mar 24
Thank you for coming back out today to resolve my initial issue the guys were very understanding and polite

Dr Leak's guide to 
diagnosing and handling
brown water
coming out of a tap

By Chris Provenzale | March 2024

  • Founder / Director of Dr Leak Plumbing
  • License No. 368473C
  • Certificate IV in Plumbing & Services
  • Certificate III in Roof Plumbing
  • Kitchen, Bathroom & Laundry Renovation (KBLR) Licenced


Generally speaking, the water provided by WaterNSW is of exceptional quality and seldom tainted or discoloured. If you are shocked to discover brown water from a tap, there are some questions to answer and steps to take. Some simple explanations include:


  • A faulty/damaged water heater
  • Disturbed debris and other matter in the mains, especially after heavy rainfall 
  • Rust from old iron pipes
  • A leak somewhere in the system
  • Sediment dislodged by sudden high demand or from a burst main or pump 
  • Organic materials like mould in the system
  • Faulty or opening/closing network valves
  • Maintenance work, repairs or new mains pipes
  • System flushing after repairs
  • Flow reversal
  • A substance being released into the system


Contact a plumber

Steps to take when experiencing
 DIrty water from the tap

Run the taps on full—Let cold water flow freely through your system for a few minutes, then reassess. Has the colour changed? Is the flow the same strength as usual? If the tap water is brown even after as much as twenty minutes of full flow, the issue is most likely with your provider, and it's time to call them. If the brown water seems to clear, it is possible that your pipes are old iron and might need replacing.


What if the hot water is brown, but the cold is clear?

If the tap water is brown from the hot tap only, the chances are that your hot water system is the issue. Older systems are particularly prone to corrosion, eventually revealing themselves as rust that creates brown hot water. At this point, you need the services of capable, experienced professionals like those at Dr Leak to investigate further and recommend the next step. If the hot water is brown, it usually necessitates a hot water system repair, a replacement hot water tap, or a new system.  


Speak to your neighbours. 

Before angrily confronting your water company, it pays to be sure that they are the cause of the brown tap water and not something in your own system. Get the most extensive sample you can from your neighbourhood and only contact the authorities if everybody is experiencing the same issue. 


Isolate and test each tap individually for brown water.

If you alone in your area are experiencing brown water from the tap, some further investigation is required. Go from room to room and check each tap to see if the problem is universal. If one tap seems particularly bad or is the only one affected by brown water, you can be almost sure that the adjoining pipe is corroded and needs attention. It’s time to call the professionals and have them handle the situation from that point onwards.


If in doubt, wait a while

If your investigations are inconclusive, you always have the option to wait a while and monitor the situation. The problem may be resolved without any further action required, but if you are still experiencing brown water coming out of the tap hours later or even the next day, it's time to seek help. 


Is it safe to drink brown water

Although it is unlikely to be toxic, dirty water from the tap should be treated as such and not consumed. If the situation is dire and you cannot access drinking water in any other way, you can consider boiling brown water and consuming it, but this should be done as a last resort. If you must do this, pass the water through any filter jugs you have to remove oversized particles first. Next, be sure to bring the water to a rolling boil and maintain it for several minutes before letting it cool and passing it through the filter again. This process will kill most bacteria and viruses but will not de-contaminate the water if an outside substance has tainted it. 



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If you find yourself asking, ‘Why is my water brown?’ something has gone wrong that needs to be addressed. Brown water from the hot tap only indicates a problem with the heating system, and if the cold water is affected but runs clear after a few minutes, you probably have rusty pipes.



When you require the services of fully licensed, accredited, and skilled plumbers, contacting Dr Leak Plumbing is the solution. We pride ourselves on fair, transparent pricing, rapid call-out responses, and the highest standards of materials and craft. When you partner with Dr Leak, you gain access to a 24/7 same-day service provided by experienced professionals who will never cut corners or compromise on standards. The satisfaction of our clients is of primary importance to us, and judging from the positive nature of our reviews, we are succeeding in that endeavour.  

Whether you need tap repairs in Melbourne, a plumber in Sydney, or engage any other service from our comprehensive range, you are guaranteed: 

  • Competitive prices
  • Fast response
  • No call-out fee if you book before 17:00 (5 pm)
  • Lifetime labour warranty
  • Emergency assistance
  • Trained specialists
  • 6-month interest-free payment plans
  • Online booking discounts

At Dr Leak, our founder is particularly keen to respect and assist our elder generation, so we offer discounts for seniors. We will always go the extra distance to ensure their comfort and safety are assured. 

If you have a moment, why not read our informative blog and contact us when you're ready to meet the team and give us your questions and comments? We never tire of talking shop, and a courteous, informative response awaits you when you interact with the Dr Leak team.

With over 15 years of plumbing experience we are the go-to people 

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Reach out to our dedicated team today via phone or email to explain your plumbing situation and secure in a plumber. Contact us before 2pm for same day service.

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Upon arrival Dr Leak will thoroughly inspect the plumbing that needs to be done. After inspection, we report and provide the best options for you to choose from.

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