Discoloration of hot water can be unsettling and may indicate issues within your heat pump water heater system or your home's plumbing. This infographic outlines essential troubleshooting steps to identify and resolve the causes of discolored hot water, ensuring your system provides clean, clear water for your household.

Steps to Address Hot Water Discoloration:

  1. Check the Water Source for Sediment:

    • Sediment in the water can cause discoloration. A preliminary check can help identify if the issue originates from the municipal supply or your well.
  2. Inspect the Condition of the Anode Rod (if present):

    • The anode rod protects your tank from corrosion but can deteriorate over time, leading to rust in the water. Inspect and replace the rod if necessary. (Some heat pump hot water heaters do not have an anode rod)
  3. Examine the Tank for Rust or Corrosion:

    • Internal rust or corrosion in the tank can lead to discolored water. Inspect the tank, considering professional help for internal examination.
  4. Assess the Piping System for Degradation:

    • Old or corroded pipes can also be a source of discoloration. Check accessible piping for any signs of degradation.


  • Flush the Tank:

    • Regularly flushing the tank can remove sediment buildup and prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Replace the Anode Rod (if present):

    • If the anode rod is depleted, replacing it can stop further corrosion inside the tank.
  • Inspect for Corrosion and Take Action:

    • If corrosion is found, assess whether the tank or pipes need repair or replacement.
  • Install a Whole-House Water Filtration System:

    • To protect against sediment and improve overall water quality, consider installing a water filtration system.


Addressing the discoloration of hot water involves a combination of inspection, maintenance, and possibly upgrading parts of your water heating system or plumbing. By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and solve the issues causing discoloration, ensuring the water from your heat pump water heater remains clean and safe for use. Regular maintenance and timely replacements are key to preventing future water quality issues.