Black particles in bath hot water only

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by ddarsie, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. ddarsie

    ddarsie New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Greensburg pa
    Hello all.
    Our tenant down in Hampton Roads Va area informed us that black particles have started coming out of hot water bath tub faucet. Cold tap is fine, and no other faucet in the house has any problem. City water, I do not know maker of faucet. Before I call a plumber, any thoughts on possible cause? We wonder if it is simply a rotting (?) gasket or something.
    I appreciate any feedback,
    Denis
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    They could be at all hot supplies, but many faucets have an aerator that might block or collect them. But if truely restricted to that one, it isn't the water heater. Are the black specs oily? If so, do they smear if you rub one? Are they hard, like fine sand?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,021
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Rub your finger over one of them. If it leaves a black "trail", then it is magnesium sulfide caused the a reaction with the heater's anode rod. IF this is the case, ALL of the faucets have the problem, it is just not severe enough, yet, for you to see them.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I have seen that in the past from a deteriorated flex hose used at the water heater. Do you have a black cloth braided cover, flex connector at the WH???
  5. ddarsie

    ddarsie New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Greensburg pa
    Hey guys back again. Had a plumber look at tub faucet. He believes there is no real problem and attributes black specks to prolonged non-use - he's assuming the non-use since we have no idea how much previous tenants used the tub. So he says just run water through faucet and let the dirt dissipate over a week or so.
    I don't buy it. Current new tenant says there is less black stuff, but it came back somewhat a day later.

    Per the tenant the black stuff will smear

    I'm betting you guys are right and the problem is tank sediment. Just what is the difference between a drain and a flush? Searching internet they seem to call flushing a tank what I would call a drain. Is the difference simply leaving the cold water input ON during the drain process or something? I want to get another plumber or handyman in there to do a flush. It would be good if I knew the difference so I could be clear what I was asking them to do.

    Any chance it could be a bad flex hose at the faucet?

    You all have made good suggestions, problem is I am not at that house to check things like black trail or whether there is a flex hose at the WH.


    \
    Thanks,
    Denis
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,021
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Does the house have a water softener? Just draining or flushing the tank is seldom a cure.
  7. TexasLinn

    TexasLinn New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Re: Black specks in water of all faucets of the house?

    Drain your water heater to clear out black particles and hard water deposits. (Watch You Tube videos if you need to know how.) Put in new heavy duty corrugated stainless hoses. Unscrew aerators from your faucets and clear out black particles there and your troubles will be over.

    I had black speck in my water and it took me years to figure out why. Copper or stainless steel hose connectors to and from the water heater do not cause this problem. My connectors were the black mesh covered rubber hoses by Brass Craft (They said they were made of EPDM). Chlorine from city water breaks down the rubber and it releases black particles into the hot water lines after a few years. (Someone told me it was bacteria and to turn the temperature to 140 degrees which was not the solution. They also told me to put 2 gallons of bleach in my tank to treat it which I am glad I did not do. I didn’t want to be smelling bleach for days.) After changing out my hoses to and from the water heater with 100% stainless steel ones (also made by Brass Craft) I decided to cut one of the old rubber hoses open and see what was inside. Sure enough! Though the mesh hose still looked great on the outside – it was deteriorating and shedding like a snake on the inside!
    Home owners usually don’t suspect the hoses because they are still new looking and don’t leak. Depending on the chlorine in the water it usually takes about 2 or 3 years before you start seeing the black particles of EPDM and they are totally creepy. Web definitions
    EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene Monomer (M-class) rubber), a type of synthetic rubber,..
    The following link is to a scientific report about the chlorine in city water breaking down EPDM http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200304/000020030403A0073303.php
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