Sprinkler Rust Treatment


Hard water from sprinkler systems can cause rust-like stains to form on homes, driveways and sidewalks. This can negatively affect the appearance of a property. Sprinkler rust can be treated with a variety of methods.


  • Most sprinkler rust is caused by nickel in the water. Nickel typically enters the sprinkler system through a well. When the iron in the water comes in to contact with air, it forms iron oxide, or rust. The result is orange and red staining on your home and other areas that receive sprinkler water.


  • There are a number of sprinkler rust treatments. Oxalic acid is effective at removing rust stains. You can buy products such as Zud and Rustaid that contain oxalic acid or you can buy it separately as crystals and mix with water to apply. An irrigation or sprinkler treatment system is also effective. This systems allows for the addition of chemicals each time your sprinklers run. The chemicals can inhibit iron from oxidizing and staining your property.

Time Frame

  • Oxalic acid works quickly to remove rust stains. A few minutes after application, you should see rust stains start to fade. For stubborn stains, a second application can be sprayed on. With irrigation treatment systems, rust stains do not have a chance to form.

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  • Photo Credit rust image by charles taylor from Fotolia.com
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