Sometimes, parts of your plumbing system and its materials can affect your hot water supply. For example, if you have older copper pipes or parts, then these can impact the quality of water you get out of your hot taps.
How can you tell if your copper pipes are a problem?
1. Changes to Water Colour
Damage or age in the inside of a copper pipe can affect the water the pipe supplies. Water can start to carry copper particles. If this happens, you may see a change in your water colour. For example, if you run a bath, the water may have a green or blueish tinge; you may see small coloured specks floating around the water.
This can be a short-term problem that only happens when you first run a hot tap. After a short while, the water runs clear again. Sometimes, the colour seems to be there more permanently.
2. Changes to Water Taste
Copper in water can change its taste. Sometimes, if you have a lot of copper in your water, it also smells a little metallic. While you don't normally drink from your hot tap, this is a useful way of checking if your water isn't right. Run a little water from a problem tap into a cup or glass. Make sure it is cold or lukewarm rather than hot — you don't want to burn your mouth — and take a few sips.
If the water tastes of metal, then it could contain more copper than it should. Bear in mind, however, that a metallic taste could also be a sign of an excess of iron in the water. Both these metals can affect the taste of water this way.
3. Stains on Your Fixtures
If your water's copper content is too high, then you may see some staining on baths or sinks. Typically, this is most likely to happen if one of your taps is dripping. The water it drips on your sink or bath can leave a green or blue stain. In some cases, you can see this discolouration around the bottom of the tap itself.
If you think you have a problem with copper piping or parts, then your best bet is to call out a hot water plumber. While it's not common to have so much copper in your water that it becomes harmful, this is possible. Your hot water plumber can check your system out to find out where the problem lies and fix it for you.