Black water specks in hot water

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Jeff13

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Hello - new to the forum here, hoping I can get some help.

We recently (December 2020) moved in to our house that was built in 1999. We are on well water and have very hard water and high iron. The house had a water softener (dual tanks) installed in March 2020. The previous owner filled the softener with salt and added a scoop of Iron Out for each bag. I continued this as well. We replaced our hot water heater late December 2020 after we moved in. Things were fine, but once the water was turned back on, the toilets and sinks and showers filled with black water for a little bit. Once they rinsed through for a few minutes, it was back to normal.

We then had a new Iron Filter added before the water softener. We did this due to the super high iron and also had high sulfur that was causing a rotten egg smell extremely strong. After turning the Iron Filter on, the toilet water and sink water had a yellow tint to it until a few water softener regenerations. That seems to have gone away.

But shortly after the Iron Filter install, we started getting black specks / slimy black coming out of the hot water side in the shower and sinks. In the sinks, it's mostly black specks. In the showers, it is the same but at a much high rate and covers the floor once the shower is turned on. It washes away though. I did rub it and it smeared. The shower head also seems to be struggling and my guess is that it's getting filled with these black particles and needs to be cleaned out / replaced. I do have a new shower head, but want to get the root issue resolved before replacing.

I had the hot water heater company come out today and they replaced the anode rod in case that was the issue. They didn't think it was, as the anode rod was completely white, but did have pitting in it. Their thought was that it was white and not black, so that it didn't make sense this was causing the issue. They replaced with another anode rod that was slightly different metal makeup (zinc maybe? or part zinc and part aluminum?). They also drained and flushed the hot water heater twice. I went back and turned the hot water on in the shower and faucets and a TON of black water / specks came out. Now when I turned the hot water on and fill a white mug, I see the specks at the bottom.

My fear is that changing the anode rod did nothing and there is still a root cause somewhere. Is it in the iron filter itself? I have the water company that installed the iron filter coming out tomorrow morning, but they don't seem to have an idea as to what is causing this. Now this didn't show up until after the iron filter was installed, so my guess this is the issue, but not sure how to get them to realize that. Could it be that the iron filter is not regenerating fast enough? It's set to regenerate every other night. Should we change that to every night?

Attached are 2 pictures from my shower. The one with less black is from last week after we had been having this issue for about 2 weeks. It would happen at the beginning of showers. The pick with a ton is once I turned the hot water on in the shower after the work on the anode rod today.

Any help or advice here would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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Sarg

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One concern I've read about is if your heater has the flexible braided lines .......... they have a "rubber ? " inside that degrades / deteriorates over time causing issues like you describe.

( Remember to clean out the aerators on your faucets )
 
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Jeff13

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Thanks for the quick reply Sarg. Confirmed, we don't have flexible braided lines on the water heater.
 
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