Why hot water appears milky white when drawn from the faucet?

About 71 percent of the Earth is water. It comes in many forms: ocean, seas, rivers, lakes, and water from underground. Water is a fundamental element needed of all living organisms in the Planet. It is even believed to where life has originated in the aqueous solutions of the world’s oceans.

Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen. It can turn to solid form from liquid and vice versa. Or it can be in gas form. It is a tasteless and odorless liquid in its purest state. It has the important ability to dissolve many other substances. Indeed it is the most versatile compound!

Every day of our lives, we need water. We can’t stand a day not drinking a glass of it, or else we will be rushed in the hospital for dehydration. Nobody wants to be smelly for not taking a shower, neither go out on a meeting without brushing your teeth. It would be awful! When you open your faucet and setting the water to a higher temperature, you will notice the water isn’t a crystal clear one; it has a milky white color instead.

It’s not only minerals that become trapped in water, but also a wide range of gases. There are tiny air bubbles that come with water as you open the faucet, causing it to appear cloudy or milky white. The water is under pressure within the pipes, and the air cannot escape. The moment you open the faucet, the pressure is reduced, allowing the air to be released in tiny bubbles.

Just think, for example, a bottle of champagne or a carbonated soda, due to the pressure, once you open it, there will be tiny foamy bubbles. Try to transfer the soda to glass and observe what happens. The same thing when you collect the water from flowing warm water out of the faucet-the water will clear from the bottom up. (click here for more details)

The water also expands when it is in solid form as frozen water. And cold water can also become cloudy, although it’s less common, that is why your refrigerated water and ice are often milky white, but it’s rare to see cloudy, cold water coming from the faucet. Coldwater can hold more dissolved air than warm water. When cold water passes through the pipes in your home through the water heater, it warms up. In the process, the water loses its ability to keep the air in a dissolved state.

Is Cloudy Hot Water Safe to Drink?

You only give attention to the appearance of water because of your primary concern-is it safe? To be used for bathing or drinking?

Yes! Cloudy or milky white water from your heater will still clear up in a few minutes. Air bubbles don’t carry harmful elements unless your water source is not reliable, especially for drinking or bathing. If the water remains cloudy for 24 hours or more, you need to contact the nearest water bureau or your local plumber.

Cloudy, hot water resulting from air bubbles clears from the bottom up, but if it does not, it is most likely contaminated or the impurities might be caused by some dirt, silt, sand, stones, or rock present in the water. (click here for more details)

Other causes of cloudy water include:

Use of Ozone Disinfection. Local water authorities may use ozone gas to disinfect water. The ozone gas is produced when oxygen molecules collide with oxygen atoms. Ozone is found to be more effective than chlorine in eliminating bacteria and viruses.

Plumbing Issues. You may check with your neighbor the quality of water that comes out of their faucet. If you have the same water source and found out that your water is cloudy while theirs is clear, it might be that you have a problem with your pipes.

If only a particular faucet gives out the cloudy, hot water, you may check at the aerator in your tap. A clogged aerator can increase tap pressure, thus resulting in a hazy appearance of the water. To unclog it, clean it using water and vinegar solution (1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar). You then rinse the aerator thoroughly and reinstall it. If it doesn’t work, you may replace it with a new one.

But when most of the faucets release this unclear cloudy water, it is advisable to contact a plumber to look at the faucets, pipes, and water heater to diagnose the problem.