General Question

BlueDing's avatar

Why is hot tap water cloudy?

Asked by BlueDing (244points) January 21st, 2009

Does that ever happen to you guys? You go to get a glass of water from the sink or fill up a pot of water to boil and the hot water comes out all cloudy. It still tastes fine, and in a few seconds it clears again. It just happened to me, so I thought I’d ask! :)

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8 Answers

Harp's avatar

Tap water, both hot and cold, contains dissolved atmospheric gasses. But the ability of water to maintain those gasses in solution decreases as the temperature of the water increases. The hot water is still able to contain those gasses as long as the water is under pressure in your plumbing system. But as soon as it exits your faucet and the pressure suddenly drops to atmospheric pressure, the gasses are forced to precipitate. The happens so suddenly that extremely small bubbles are formed, almost too tiny for the naked eye to see. These are what give the water a cloudy appearance.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yay, science!

andrew's avatar

Lurve! I’ve always wanted to know this!

arnbev959's avatar

Me too, GQ!

WakeUp's avatar

@Harp That definitely sounds like a probable answer. Are you a plumber/civil engineer/water purification specialist?

I assumed that is was mineral deposits found in the piping that were being dissolved by the hot water en route to the faucet. A TDS meter backs this claim up, with my hot water registering a higher PPM than cold.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’ve been told to not use hot water when filling a pan to boil eggs or potatoes, since heated water has more dissolved metals in it than cold water.

Battousai87's avatar

i believe that it has something to do with the fact that as water gets hotter it also releases steam. that steam is contained in the pip under preasure and comes out and it’s cloudy because some of the steam (which is a gas) remains trapped in the water for a while after. kind of like how sometimes in a water bottle you’ll get bubbles that cling to the side under the water, eventually they move to the top and escape and the water becomes clear

Marmar's avatar

I was told by the furance service that it is something in my city water. My friends have the same city water and they do not have this problem. My cloudy hot water only started about 3 weeek ago in the kitchen and bathroom.

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