Re: black particles in water
Posted by Gary Slusser on January 11, 2003 at 21:52:19:
In response to Re: black particles in water
: : : About 30 months ago, a new master bedroom suite was completed. Since then we've had black particles show up in the water coming out of the spigot on the new tub and also in the spigot screens in the sinks and shower head screen. The particles have never appeared anyplace else in the house. All of our old and new piping is copper. We've lived here for more than 20 yrs. Our builder thought they could be from our well, so we installed a spin down filter after the existing neutralizer. The particles continued. Later, the mechanical contractor took water samples and found that we had hard water and told us that the black particles were being formed in the separate water heater for the addition and a water softener would solve the problem. We added a softener for the whole house and a separate spin down filter on the outlet of the addition's water heater. We still get particles and the newest filter is clear. We recently had a chemical analysis done and found the particles are mostly tin. The particles are fewer in number, size and frequency now, but they persist. Any ideas on where they are coming from? Will they ever go away? Should we be concerned about future water leaks in the addition?

: : : Thanks

: : : Steve

: : You need to check the level of mineral in your acid neutralizer and the pH of the treated water. If you have even a little mineral in the AN filter, you wouldn�t have been getting particles from the well and you�d have no need for the spin down filter there. Black particles can come from manganese, �sulfur� in the water and galvanized nipples/pipe/fittings in the plumbing. Since the particles have not been found anywhere other than the new addition, it stands to reason that the source is in the new addition. Small particles of hardness scale can become colored and without a softener and having a sacrificial mineral acid neutralizer filter adding hardness to the water, the new water heater may have quite a bit of scale build up which will remain until the softener can dissolve it all. And you should test for hardness daily during a service run of the softener to make sure the water is always soft and hardness is not getting through the softener. As to the tin, could it be from solder?

: To further clarify, the tin content in the particles is about 66%. The remainder is unknown but likely to be oxygen so that the particles could be an oxide of tin. Yes, I do think the tin is from solder used in the new piping but don't understand how it can persist for 30 months.

Water companies don�t sample for lead and copper in new construction for 5 years due to higher content than in older construction. So 30 months isn�t all that long. Just keep the faucet tip aerators cleaned. Today excessive solder and flux are common problems.

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