Why Is My Hot Water Cloudy?

It is common to notice that your hot water is cloudy or milky when you pour yourself a glass of hot water from the tap.

You may wonder what causes this and whether this water is safe to use.

Why Is My Hot Water Cloudy

In this article, we discuss why your hot water is cloudy and whether it is safe to use. 

What Causes Cloudy Water To Come From A Hot Tap?

In the majority of cases, if you notice that cloudy water has come out of your hot tap, this isn’t anything to worry about. Usually, cloudy water is caused by air bubbles that are in your water and trying to escape. 

Cold water has a better ability to hold dissolved gasses. When cold water is heated up by your water heater, this creates hot water which is under pressure.

The air in the water isn’t able to escape while it’s contained in the plumbing. As a result, when you turn on the hot water tap, you will notice cloudy water, as the hot water isn’t able to hold the air anymore. 

When you turn on the hot water tap, the high pressure in the water is released, so the air can escape in the form of small bubbles. Typically, after the bubbles leave the water and escape, you are left with clear water. 

Cloudy water shouldn’t stay cloudy for long. The water will slowly begin to clear from the bottom as the bubbles and air escape and rise upwards. If the cloudiness remains, there may be another issue. 

Can You Drink Cloudy Water?

Water appears cloudy due to air bubbles that have not escaped. Therefore, if you set your cup of cloudy water down, it will begin to clear as the bubbles of air escape. 

Although, if your water still looks milky or cloudy after a couple of minutes, then the issue with the water isn’t due to air.

You may have another issue with your water, and you should consider hiring a professional to diagnose the problem.

It is typically safe to drink cloudy water, as it is only cloudy due to the pressure in your pipes. 

However, if you find that your water is yellow, green, or brown as well as cloudy, then the water could be harmful to you. This depends on if there are bacteria in the water and what kind of bacteria it is. 

Cloudy water can sometimes be due to hard water. This is due to mineral build-up in the water that flows through your pipes and faucet.

These minerals are known to cause limescale. This limescale build-up can then shorten the life of your appliances. 

How To Fix Cloudy Water

Sometimes, cloudy water is caused by a blocked aerator. This will increase the pressure of the water that you receive from your hot water tap, which can cause the water to turn cloudy. 

It is easy to clean a clogged aerator by using a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and soaking the aerator overnight. Then in the morning, rinse the aerator and reinstall it. 

Cleaning the aerator may stop your cloudy water in the short term, but you will have to repeat it. In the long term, it may be better to replace the aerator.

Installing a water softener can prevent the buildup that clogs the aerators in the first place.

Cloudy water may also be due to the water heater. You will know if the water heater is the problem when the water remains cloudy for a long time.

The cloudy water may be a build-up of sediment due to hard water. Hire a professional to look at your water heater, solve your cloudy water, and tell you if your water is safe to drink. 

If the cloudy water is safe to drink, consider installing a drinking water system or a water filtration system. This can prevent cloudy water and harmful bacteria from making their way into your hot water

Finally, sometimes the cloudy water is due to the water supplier. If plumbing work is being done in your area, the main water supply may be switched off.

Air may get into the water mains and become dissolved in the water. When the mains are switched back on, the chances of cloudy water are increased.

In this scenario, you may just need to wait a couple of days for the water to return to normal or run the taps for a few seconds until it is clear. 


It is common to have cloudy water from your hot water tap. Sometimes cloudy water is due to bacteria, but typically it is caused by air trapped in the water.

Generally, cloudy water is nothing to worry about, but there are ways to prevent or solve the issue. 

We hope you have found this article useful and now understand why your hot water tap produces cloudy water.

However, if you are still unsure or concerned, seek the advice of a professional plumber to help solve the issue. 

Mandy Anderson
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