Have small particles in the hot water from kitchen sink and nowhere else...

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by amateurplumber4450, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. amateurplumber4450

    amateurplumber4450 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Hello. We just started getting small particles in our hot water from the kitchen sink. We do not get it in the cold water. We don't get it in either hot or cold water from any other sink or shower. These particles smear like dirt. What could they be? Here's a video of what they look like. Thanks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKeCYTw9G4U

    [video=youtube;cKeCYTw9G4U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKeCYTw9G4U[/video]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2010
  2. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Occupation:
    Plumbing Designer
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2010
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Rub your finger across them. If they leave a black trail, they are magnesium sulfide. It is a reaction between the water, usually from a water softener, and the heater's anode rod.
     
  5. amateurplumber4450

    amateurplumber4450 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Thanks HJ. I don't have a water softener. Also, it is only coming from the hot water in the kitchen sink and no other sinks or tubs/showers in the house. Could it still be the hot water heater? It does leave a greasy trail when you smear it.
     
  6. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Occupation:
    ditto
    Location:
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    Yes, without a softener, it may be the "hot water heater".

    This subject comes up every 2-3 years. The thread linked to by FloridaOrange contains another link to a thread from 2005. Every time we seem to come up with more information. I predict that within 10 or 20 years from now, we will have an answer, unless the problem disappears all by itself. I wonder why water tank people never seem to be able to say anything about it. If you find any more information, anywhere on the web, please post it here.

    I had this problem about 1o or 12 years ago, and I don't know why it went away. At that time I had no free time. But now I'm curious, so I keep trying to figure this one out.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Depending on the situation, your water supplier might need to add different chemicals to make it suitable for distribution, help clean out the pipes, or sanitize it after a large storm. So, something might have changed at the water company. For example, ours recently changed one of the chemicals, which caused some of the deposits on their distribution piping to start to break down. Some people had complaints...I didn't notice anything, but might not see it since my drinking water gets filtered (didn't see it in th eshower). Adding heat to the water can make any reactions faster, plus it sits there, hot for potentially a long time in the tank...you might not notice it on the cold which likely gets flushed more often (toilets, drinking, watering, laundry).
     
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