Whywait Plumbing Services install, service and repair hot water systems on the Gold Coast
Cloudy hot water is one of those perennial issues that arise for the plumbing technicians at Whywait. Generally the question is always based around the same theme, “what do you think causes cloudy (white not dirty) water that comes out of the kitchen tap when on hot. It doesn’t do it on cold and if you boil cold you don’t get the same residue. The photo attached is the residue after 30 seconds when the water settles.”
Very simply in most cases cloudy hot water is caused by dissolved gases in the water. To get cloudy water from your hot tap you have to create the right set of circumstances for everything to come together at the same time.
To explain this a little more you have to understand that all your water is stored in your water pipes under pressure. Therefore water under pressure has a greater capacity to hold dissolved gases and when water under pressure is heated the capacity to hold those dissolved gases is reduced. Essentially what happens then that is cold water is heated to become hot water under pressure and which results in super saturation occurring with dissolved gases and those gases are released when you turn the kitchen tap on.
Another way to look at it is that when you turn the hot tap on you create that same kind of effect as when you pop the cork off a bottle of champagne because all that pressure has to go somewhere.
The reason your water is milky or cloudy when you first turn the water on then is because turning on the tap releases the pressure, which is often an initial highly pressurised burst, and because the dissolved gas comes out of the water in the form of tiny gas bubbles right throughout the water volume. The gas bubbles then rise to the surface of the water and burst so that the water has a cloudy or milky appearance. This will clear in a few seconds, from the bottom up, which you can observe in a glass.
The good news is that dissolved gas or air in water in reasonable quantities is not uncommon and means that the water is in a “healthy” condition. We guarantee cloudy water does not mean you have a faulty hot water service or your water is contaminated. Generally gas bubbles in your hot water supply will increase with the increase in temperature of your water because the hotter your water the lower the amount of gas bubbles that can be held.
By Gary Mays