How to Troubleshoot Milky Hot Water

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Troubleshooting milky hot water problem. Milky or cloudy look from your heater is not harmful and has no health concerns, but might have an unpleasant look.

The first question before trying to do any repairs is to ask yourself, why hot water is milky and has the cloudy appearance?

The main cause of the cloudy appearance is the presence of the additional air (dissolved oxygen and other gases) in the plumbing system. There are several reasons how the extra air got in the plumbing, through the heater and the tap:

  • The utility companies occasionally switch from one well source to another, which results in developing an excessive air in the system. These companies can also increase the pressure in the distribution line through the pumping station so the additional air will enter the plumbing system. Cloudy or milky hot water, due to the reasons from the above is something that you cannot change but the utility company should be consulted if the problem persist for longer period of time.
  • The aerator that is installed in the faucet is something that might also create milky and cloudy appearance in your hot water, as it generates more air.
  • If your home plumbing system and the heater use the well system, the pressure from the ground can cause the air bubbles being entrapped inside the water pipeline. Water under pressure contains more dissolved air than at the atmospheric pressure. When water enters the heater's tank the air is dissolved and by opening the tap millions of small bubbles are released.
  • The air might expand when the underground temperature changes.
  • Milky water appearance often occurs when the utility company service the major pipelines.
  • If the incoming water to the heater is clear, but is milky or cloudy when the tap is open, the answer is in a heating process and pressure inside the tank so the gases dissolved in the water will begin to escape and separate.

As you can see milky look is actually not a problem. Troubleshooting is simple... it takes time for bubbles to clear up, and the unpleasant milky look inside your glass of water to disappear.

Keep in mind that cloudy or milky hot water is not harmful for you, it represents the air bubbles and once they rise to the surface they disappear so as the milky hot water appearance. Also, this problem is not related to the hot water line only, cloudiness can be found in cold water line also, where it dissolves faster than in the hot. It can be visible in new and old heaters equally.

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