What Causes Rust in a Toilet Bowl?

Rusty toilet

Do you have a rusty toilet in your house? Not only is seeing rust in your toilet quite frustrating, but it can also be a bit embarrassing when you have guests in your home that are using your bathroom.

This leaves many homeowners or business owners wondering, what causes rust in a toilet bowl?

High iron levels in water cause the toilet bowl to rust. Rust begins to develop when the iron oxidizes or becomes exposed to oxygen. High iron levels in water are typically found in older homes with aging pipes or in an area where hard water is present. 

Even if you’re proactively cleaning your toilet on a weekly basis, rust can still appear. It’s important to know that this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing something wrong because rust can appear in your toilet for various reasons.

We will now dig deeper into the common causes for rust in the toilet bowl.

Old Pipes

Are your pipes old? Are they damaged? Are there any leaks in your pipes? Ask yourself these questions and if you answered yes to any of them, this could be the reason why you’re seeing rust in your toilet. Rust can develop where water oxygen and meet, so if there’s existing damage in your pipes, this is the perfect environment for rust. Once there’s rust in your pipes, it can break off and travel into your toilet.

Outdated Toilet

Another question to ask yourself is how old is your toilet? If you’re using an outdated toilet, it’s possible that it is made of older materials that are not rust-resistant the way parts in newer toilets are today. If there’s rusty water sitting in your toilet, the walls of your toilet bowl can start rusting as well, and this is why many homeowners see a ring of rust in their toilet bowl that they find themselves needing to clean often.

Hard Water

If you live in an area with hard water, this could be the reason you’re seeing rust in your toilet. With hard water comes minerals and iron, which can create that brownish color in your water. If you’ve checked your pipes and your toilet isn’t outdated, consider installing a water softener system in your home. This will eliminate harmful bacteria, chemicals, and other contaminants from your water that could have been causing the rust.

At J&M Plumbing & Drain Cleaning, we understand how frustrating it can be to see rust reappear in your toilet bowl week after week. If you suspect a leak in your pipes or think hard water is causing the rust, give us a call at (215) 987-4607 and we’ll be right out to help!