Black Specks - AGAIN

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by foxhome01, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. foxhome01

    foxhome01 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I posted a few months ago about black specks we were seeing in our dishwasher, showers and tubs. Based on my research it seemed to have boiled down to either the expansion tank or the anode rod. We've since had both replaced. I even called our City Water and they said that they've had people over the years say the same thing and it was their expansion tank.

    Sadly, they seems to be back. I've noticed them in the dishwasher again. Same thing that happened last time - we'd randomly see them and then all of a sudden they were all over the place.

    I have no idea what else there is to do. Someone had suggested that perhaps it's the water itself and that maybe we'd need a filtration system. If that's the last option, is that honestly going to resolve our issue?

    What's the average cost?

    Any other recommendations?
  2. 99k

    99k Radon Contractor and Water Treatment

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Fairfield Co.,Connecticut
    The first step is to have a chemical analysis performed on your water by a professional lab. Expect to $65+. Otherwise you are just guessing at the problem
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Do you have black nylon braided flex connectors on the water heater??
  4. foxhome01

    foxhome01 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    North Carolina

    How would I identify that? Not sure what this is.
  5. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Does your water utility use chloramine as it's primary disinfectant? If so, the black specks could be coming from rubber washers, rubber gaskets, or the rubber diaphragm on an expansion tank. Chloramine attacks rubber.
  6. foxhome01

    foxhome01 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I am planning to have someone come to the house to take a sample and have it tested. When this was originally looked into the plumber took a sample and sent it out. They claimed high levels of iron in the water and suggested that it's reaction with the anode rod was likely the cause.
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    And when you replaced the anode rod you put in a nice new magnesium anode rod? :rolleyes:
  8. foxhome01

    foxhome01 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    North Carolina
    yep, we did.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Well if the black flecks are Magnesium Sulfide which is caused by your water reacting with the Magnesium Anode, You need to install an Aluminum Anode to stop the chemical reaction.
  10. foxhome01

    foxhome01 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I went and checked the receipt and it was in fact an aluminum anode. So, I have a brand new aluminum anode and an expansion tank. Neither have seemed to fix my problem.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you have any braided SS flex lines, they are black rubber hose.

    IMO black specs have nothing to do with the anode rod or the type of anode rod.

    Do you have any black slime in the toilet tanks at or below the water line?

    Is there any odor in the water and if yes, what does it smell like?
  12. burleymike

    burleymike New Member

    Messages:
    118
    Location:
    Idaho
    The water from my shallow irrigation well is full of iron and copper. Every year I get one or two sprinkler heads that loose pressure. The inlet screen will be all clogged up with what looks like coffee grounds. If you crush them they look slightly orange.

    A few years ago I filled the kiddie pool from this well. I dumped some shock in the pool and went to bed. The next morning the pool was orange. It was fun to clean up.

    After adding a chelating agent I had to vacuum out a bunch of tiny ornage and green beads.
  13. Probedude

    Probedude New Member

    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    CA
    Just for reference, mine are not black hose inside but instead white/cream colored - like teflon or vinyl.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Then get a water test for manganese. Galvanized pipe or nipples can cause black specs too.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    You should have the raw untreated water tested for iron and copper.
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