how to fix brown toilet water
Kristina Davis

Have you ever wondered how to fix brown toilet water?

In this article, you’ll learn how to fix brown toilet water, what causes it in the first place, and how to avoid it from happening in the future.

Seeing the brown water in the toilet bowl you just cleaned can be discouraging.

One of the most common reasons for this problem is the presence of iron in the water.

The brown toilet water could be from a damaged well, broken toilet parts, or mineral buildup. Try using a water softener like Feldspar or Chlorine to remove the iron content in your water and fix the issue.

If that doesn’t work to solve the problem, call a professional plumber for help.

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Flush The Toilet A Few Times

flush toilet

This should be your first course of action in case of brown water in the toilet.

To ensure that you are not discoloring your water anymore, try waiting for the bowl to fill with clean water before you flush again, or wait for one full flush cycle, then flush again.

If the brown water persists after those two options, it is likely not the poop causing it!

If your toilet bowl is often filled with scaled-up residue, keep flushing it out and consider using a brush to clean the difficult areas.

Also, if you’re having trouble fighting the brown water sludge, consider getting your toilet thoroughly cleaned.

Note: If your water suddenly goes from clear to murky, and you have a problem with leaking water coming out of the faucets, your home may be experiencing low pressure. 

This change in pressure could be caused by a change in your city’s water lines.

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Clean Toilet Water Pump

clean toilet pump

A water pump is a small mechanical tool that circulates the water supply every time you flush.

The device is perfect for toilets that have weak flush systems but can cause brown discoloration to the toilet water.

The pump needs enough pressure to function but won’t clean itself from water buildup. Long-term dampness leads to corrosion, corrodes the toilet bowl, and discolors the water.

One way to go about solving the problem is to detach the pump and clean it thoroughly with a dry cloth.

Afterward, spray WD-40 on any stains that might remain. If you can’t clean the part, then replace it.

Iron Removal Solutions

use iron removal solutions

Your toilet water may be discolored brown, so it’s important to know how you can remove any iron that may remain as a result of recent storms.

If your water is discolored, then one type of solution that would work well is an iron removal solution.

However, if the recent hurricanes have severely tainted your water, it’s recommended to use a more advanced device with greater capacity.

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While it won’t fix your rusted pipes issue, you can use chlorine to fight against microbes like algae.

Chlorine kills most germs within minutes, as it has proven effective against iron bacteria. It forces the many iron particles to oxidize and kills off the bacteria.

Brown water in the toilet could also be a sign that there are bad algae in the tank causing the taste and odor.

You might only notice this with your bathroom, though, because you are not smelling anything coming from other taps (shower, sinks).

Damaged Well

damaged water well

Another method on how to fix brown toilet water is to check your well.

Low water pressure and brown discoloration can often indicate that some sort of organic matter is in the well.

Such material can not only cause the brown color you are seeing but also contain materials such as sand or mud.

If this occurs, you should call a professional to assess and fix the well on your behalf.

This typically occurs when construction takes place near your well, or during a storm.

Weather Changes and Damaged Home Wells

Most homeowners who are dependent on a private well in their property have high iron content.

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Weather changes and the change in the water table can cause iron to accumulate.

The iron levels within the water can be so extreme that the conventional water treatment system is not able to handle it.

This goes for those who live in areas that experience extreme weather, such as storms, droughts, and heavy rain for extended periods.

Rusty Steel Pipes

rusty steel water pipes

Brown water in toilet issues sometimes has to do with rusty steel pipes.

A great surprise is that many faucets and pipes may actually be made of various materials, even today.

Most of the toilet pipes are produced from galvanized steel and other kinds of PVC pipes.

If the pipe has built up rust, it will likely need to be replaced. If you are good with plumbing tools replacing the lines isn’t that hard.

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But if you don’t know what you’re doing and need expertise, it is best to hire a plumber to help you.

Note: Plumbing systems before 1960 were much more likely to have iron pipes, which oxidized and caused major issues. Pipes made from alternative materials like PVC started becoming the standard after 1960.

Clogged Pipes

clogged toilet

Although flushed and non-flushable, like baby wipes and condoms, take up space in the toilet, they may cause clogging.

Clogged toilets lead to a brown color in the toilet bowl.

Consequently, insufficient water flow circulates the debris and creates brown crap water.

The problem has to do with clogs in the drain pipe, so you won’t be able to discharge your toilet.

Sewerage Pump

You can use sewerage pumps such as Macerator, which will clear out any clogs.

The Macerator Sewerage Pump provides long-lasting durability combined with a clean toilet experience.

This Macerator Sewerage Pump has plastic parts, stainless steel, and a powerful vertical flush system.

Mineral Build Up

mineral build up hard water

It might be due to mineral buildup when your toilet water is brown. When minerals in hard water meet oxygen in the toilet tank, they turn a brown color instantly.

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It is possible that your cleaner could be causing damage if you keep using it over and over again.

Though some of the chemicals in some toilet cleaners are flushed down your toilet, a buildup in your system can cause a blockage that restricts water from moving throughout the pipe.

This backwash then infests the bowl with discolored wastewater.

Commercial Cleaners

If you decide to clean this mineral buildup on your own, use baking soda, pumice stones, lemon, and salt, or another commercial cleaner like Limeosol or Magic Erase.

Note: If a toilet is not regularly maintained, it will accumulate particles that can cause rust, clog water pipes and affect your plumbing. 

These small particles can also break off and become lodged in your toilet or showerhead, which can cause serious damage.

Why You May Need to Hire a Plumber

why hire a plumber

If your water is discolored brown and you need to fix it, homeowners can often DIY the issue without re-piping an entire home or installing completely new plumbing.

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However, the ultimate solution on how to fix brown water in toilet is to hire a plumber if the problem is too complex for you to handle.

Clearing the Whole Toilet

You can try and fix the toilet yourself but what will happen is you’ll keep seeing other pipe issues pop up and know eventually someone has replaced them all for you—saving money in the long term.

Sometimes fixing the brown water in the toilet, you want the whole system cleared.

It’s, therefore, a good idea to get a plumber in if your toilet is experiencing problems or have your whole plumbing system checked out before issues begin to occur.

Cost of Plumbing to Fix Brown Water in Toilet

plumbing costs to fix toilet

Shoving drywall in or removing portions of the wall to access pipes can be expensive, but it may prevent future plumbing problems.

Replacing your home’s plumbing is an effort that ends up being costly. This process can save you money and prevent future problems.

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Depending on the size of the job required to fix brown water in your toilet, the cost of a plumber could range from $350 to $2000, and it all depends on the type of project.

Fact: By knowing some of the minimum costs to start a project, you can mitigate some of the risks involved with hiring a professional plumbing company. The first-hour fee, material costs, and other fees are common.

Final Thought

Finally, it’s important to note that there are instances when the brown water in your toilet has nothing to do with your home or toilet but the city water supply.

If this happens, the only way how to fix brown toilet water if the water in your city is constantly discolored is by installing a filter.

Your water should return to normal after a few hours, even if it takes more time for the problems to go away.

The department of public works essentially does this 90 percent of the time. They often shut down the water pressure in areas that have problems.