Ask Pete: How To Fix Cloudy Tap Water?

Homeowners in the Gilbert-Mesa area tend to have decent tap water, but problems can occur anywhere. When your tap water gets a little strange looking, you will want to know how to clear it up. 

Is your tap water suddenly cloudy? Hear what Pete recommends!

Q: How do I fix cloudy water coming out of my tap?

A: The first thing we need to know is where this is coming from. If it is just air bubbles making it look cloudy, it will clear up over time or may just need a simple part cleaning, the aerator it’s called. If it is coming from your municipal source, which could be something bad, then you will need to get that resolved. And finally, if it is from your system, like water that is too hard can look cloudy, then we’ve got some other solutions, like water softeners

Your first step is simple. Check other taps and see if the problem is occurring everywhere or just that one tap. 

Your next step is also easy; fill a clear glass and leave it on your counter for a couple minutes. If it clears up then it was probably air bubbles from a simple issue with the tap’s aerator or with the temperature differences in the pipes and the air outside. 

If letting the tap run doesn’t clear it, or if the water stays cloudy, It could also be from: 

  1. The aerator on the tap needs a quick clean (this is a small part on the tap that creates a nice flow – so it doesn’t splash – here’s a Dummies video on how to unclog it)
  2. Hard water causing it to appear milky
  3. An issue with the water heater if it is only affecting the hot water tap
  4. A potential contamination issue with your water supply. If it smells strange or seems wrong in any way, don’t drink it! Call your town or city water department to report it.


Q: Why is my tap water suddenly cloudy?

A: The sudden appearance of cloudy water doesn’t really help us determine what is causing it. But, if you use the steps and information I just mentioned, that will get you started on the path to figuring that out. Still most likely an issue with hard water or an aerator that needs a quick clean, but it could be something up with the water supply so follow those steps and call your water department if you’re worried. Also, you can give your plumber a call and we’ll help you figure out if you need a plumber.


Q: Is Cloudy tap water safe to drink?

A: Yeah, that depends. If it is just one of the simple air or temperature issues we just mentioned, then it is almost always safe to drink, but if you have any concerns at all, don’t drink it and call to report it to your municipal provider. For our customers here in the East Valley of Arizona, that would be their town or city water department which you can find on their website.

Visit us online at or call us at 480-388-6093 to get a free estimate to figure out what is going on with your tap water that you know isn’t a municipal problem, or for any plumbing issues. We are your friendly neighborhood plumber and we are here to help!