How to Troubleshoot Milky Hot Water – Is Cloudy Water a Problem?

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Troubleshooting milky hot water problem. The milky or cloudy look of your hot water, coming from a domestic hot water system is not a problem, it is not harmful and has no health concerns, but it might worry some.


The first question before trying to do any repairs is to ask yourself, why the hot water from the faucet 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 system, and further through the heater and a 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 persists for a longer period of time.

  • The aerator that is installed in the faucet is something that might also create the 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 in 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 servicing 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. And when it comes to troubleshooting and repairs – don’t worry, just wait as it takes time for bubbles to clear up, and the unpleasant milky look inside your glass of water will disappear.

Keep in mind that cloudy or milky hot water is not harmful to you, it represents the air bubbles and once they rise to the surface they disappear so as the milky hot water appearance. Also, this “issue” 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 environment. It can be visible in both new and old heaters equally.


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