Black particles in bath hot water only

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ddarsie

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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
 

jadnashua

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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?
 

hj

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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.
 

Jimbo

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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???
 

ddarsie

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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
 

TexasLinn

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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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NatMcG

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I don't know if you've solved your problem but thought I'd let you all know. The plumber just left and the black specks in my water were from the check valve in the dip tube. It was almost completely broken down. I hope this helps someone else!!!
 

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Reach4

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I don't know if you've solved your problem but thought I'd let you all know. The plumber just left and the black specks in my water were from the check valve in the dip tube. It was almost completely broken down. I hope this helps someone else!!!
Interesting, and nice detective work. What can you tell us about that water heater?
 

Doug & Sarah

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We have both floating and sinking black sediment when we run bath water. It seems that the floaters are smeary, so according to info above, would be magnesium sulfide. The sinkers are perhaps the EPDM inside the Shark Bite braided tubing being broken down by chlorinated city water. Does that all sound right? I see the fix for the broken down EPDM is stainless or copper tubing, but I did not see in the exchange above, the fix for the Mag sulfide.
 

Gia Anderson

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OMG! Thank you ALL! LOL I thought I was going to die from whatever was in that water. I never noticed it before. I live in an apartment and the hot water in the bathroom faucet is kind of weak so I rarely run it alone. Today, I did and after a few minutes, I saw these black specs on my white washcloth. I have hard water as well and thought that was the case. But still, not knowing and wondering if I had been ingesting poison or something is scary!!!! And no, I don't drink the tap water but I do use it to brush my teeth so I was scared. Thank God for Google and this website. You all will not understand how nervous I can get. Ahhhh, I can breathe now knowing I didn't put some form of cancer in my body! I truly thank you all...I was SO scared!!!!!
 

Mark Rearden

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We have the same issue with specks in our tub that are oily and smear but we have a tankless water heater. The tub seems to be the only area we have the issue. Any thoughts?
 

LLigetfa

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Is it municipal or well water? Manganese can precipitate in the water heater and since the tub is probably the highest flow rate fixture in the house, that is where it ends up.
 

Hassleback

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Please check the lines to the water heater. They sound like they've been reversed. Happens more often than people realize. It is called "sediment" because it "settles". The only way for that to get in a hot water line is if the connections have been reversed and the hot is pulling from the dip tube. You are also probably running out of hot water sooner than you'd like. Also caused by reversed lines.
 

c_laces

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I don’t have rubber tubes going in or out of water heater. Anything else it might be? I’m going to let it empty tonight but it sounds like that’s not the problem as something is corroding elsewhere. FWIW, this is a hydronic water heater.
 

Reach4

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I don’t have rubber tubes going in or out of water heater. Anything else it might be? I’m going to let it empty tonight but it sounds like that’s not the problem as something is corroding elsewhere. FWIW, this is a hydronic water heater.
What about the supply lines for the tub?
 

Andrew H

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Hey all, I have the same issue with black oily/greasy/smudgy flecks in my bath water. A lot of them immediately stick to my baby's plastic toys, they stain wash clothes, and some even stick on her skin. I haven't noticed the flecks in the kitchen sink or shower, but I MAY have seen some in the bathroom sinks next to the tub. So unfortunately I don't know for sure how widespread it is.

I know nothing at all about plumbing. Plumber comes, says we don't have any rubber hoses (the only thing I had seen on the Google), and almost immediately with no investigation at all he determines that it's the expansion tank on the water heater. Does this sound legitimate? Should I suggest he look at the tub's 'supply lines' or check for 'reversed lines' as suggested above?

I mean, how much can I question the professional when I don't know anything about plumbing...?
 
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