Need help/advice regarding oily substance on surface of hot water in basin

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Redwood

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Get rid of the magnesium anode in the water heater and put in an aluminum one. It is a chemical reaction with the water creating magnesium sufide. You have a water softener right?
 

Mike_Metro

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Were you ever able to figure out what is going on? I'm having the same problem in my house. When the hot water is opened all the way, we get this black greasy stuff left in the tub. It looks like little tiny specks at first and then smears around when you try to wipe it off. I give my 1 year old a bath every night and it doesn't show up then because I don't open the hot water all the way. I know there is no flexible supply lines going to the tub or coming out of the water heater. Everything is soldered copper lines.

Any Luck? I am having the same issue. I have soldered copper lines as well.


Get rid of the magnesium anode in the water heater and put in an aluminum one. It is a chemical reaction with the water creating magnesium sufide. You have a water softener right?

I don't use a water softener. Would this still cause a reaction?
 

TXMichelle

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Hi.

I am having this SAME issue.

Did anyone else ever solve the problem??

If I get a plumber, what do I tell him the problem is?
 

TXMichelle

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So far I've spoken with 3 plumbers and they have no idea what could be causing this.

New hot water was installed about a year ago and if I'm not mistaken this issue coincides.

I think they are related.
 

TXMichelle

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Found this - posting in case it helps someone else. This problem has been very frustrating to say the least.

If the particles are small black specks that might be described as being oily or sooty in texture, they are probably from the inside of a flexible hose. These hoses are made of black rubber but they are covered with a braided stainless steel mesh. Over time, the chlorine in the water causes the rubber to break down. These hoses are located under the sink connecting the water supply to the faucet, or at the water heater connecting it to the water supply.

To stop this problem, replace the hose with one of the new styles that have a water disinfection resistant lining (clearly advertised on the label), or change to a different style of hose that is not made of black rubber.
 

TXMichelle

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We just drained the HWH and the sustance was present and got larger with less fine particles as we kept draining.

I have run the tub and it finally is running clear, but the water is not hot yet...so we will see.

I hope it's problem solved.
 

Lone ranger

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Hi all, I'm the original poster of this topic. Thought the problem was resolved, but last week I had the issue again and upon draining a few gallons from the water heater a whole lot of the black specks were in the bucket the hose was draining into. So I checked the aerators on the faucets in the house and sure enough they were holding the black specks. I do have braided flex lines udner the kitchen sink and bathroom vanities but that does not account for the material getting into the water heater, because there are no flex lines supplying the heater-- all soldered copper except the main coming into the crawlspace is PVC plastic pipe that mates to copper right before entering wall to go to water heater. There is a shut-off valve on the main right where it comes out of wall above heater, and then directly below that a pressure regulator valve (labeled Made in China, oh goodie!... NOT) , then there is a final shut off valve for just the cold water supply going into heater. I almost suspect something in the Chinese made pressure regulator but don't know enough about them to know if they would contain gasket material that could degrade and get into the line or not. I do believe this material tends to percolate for awhile in the heater and that is what degrades it to the point that it smears (tarry like smear) when you rub it on the bathtub or sink surface with your finger. Constant repetitive heating at bottom of the water heater tank until it finally exits the heater through the house main hot water supply... that might be what's going on? IF it is the flex lines under the vanities and the kitchen sink cabinet I don't know how it could be backtracking its way into the water heater (came out when draining off few gallons from heater as routine maintenance procedure for removing sediment).
 

pd

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Same problem, I hope it is the plex to/from water heater

We have lived in our house > 10 years, no black greasy specks in the hot water until I replaced our gas water heater. I installed the new one with the flexible stainless connectors. -- I will replace them tomorrow with flex coper and see if the problem reoccurs.

First question: aside from the connector lining (or I guess the pressure reg.?)
does a gas fired water heater have any other rubber in contact with the water
output?

Second question: In California our city water is treated & I recall articles discussing that hospitals could no long use the treated water for dialysis machines (probably the chlorine), wonder if this can degrade the flexible (plex)
coating in the connectors?

I hope to isolate the problem aside from getting rid of the greasy black specks.https://terrylove.com/forums/images/smilies/eek.gif
 
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pd

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No more plex, no specks so far

Replaced the plex stainless/rubber with flex copper, the plex was in poor shape
- so far the hot water is running clear. I emailed AO Smith who made the water heater to see if the anode could be the problem, will see what they advise.
 

Lone ranger

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My heater is a Rheem. The way its mounted,no way to get the anode out without disconnecting the entire water heater and moving it down onto the garage floor. Its that type of mount up on a 12" raised alcove in wall at head of garage with furnace next to it. Not enough clearance to pull anode out while its in there. Figures. There is a (made in China) Watts brand pressure regulator on incoming supply the pipe. Not sure if that could be the source.

We do not have a water softener.
 
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BlackStuffinWater

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Same stuff

I can't offer any solutions, since I don't know anything about plumbing, but we have the same greasy black stuff coming out of our hot water. Only the kitchen sink, when the hot is turned way up. Haven't drained the heater yet. We don't have a water softener either. We do have those braided stainless steel hoses under the sink though. Also we had a new Rheem water heater installed about a year ago. I'll check the heater water and also the braided hose.

There are a lot of different theories as to what's going on in this thread, but it appears a number of people have the same problem without a clear answer yet.
 

Lone ranger

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Refreshing this thread, since seems to be an issue for a number of people. Probably some houses have the issue but the homeowners don't realize it (yet).
 

hj

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stuff

The specks are usually magnesium sulfide, but usually they are caused by a reaction between the anode rod and soft water. BUT, the anode rod can become "jellied" and that may be the cause of the "oil" and the specks. The only way to tell, is to take the anode out, carefully. Then install a new one, I would never reinstall one which I have taken out.
 
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