Black specks in my water?

More recently, we often have little black specks in our water, especially hot water. I only notice it in the bathtubs, as they stick to the sides and smear when you try to wipe them away, but then looked closely and got really grossed out when I found some stuck inside my bathroom drinking cup! The other day I think one also came out of our kitchen sink faucet which REALLY bothered me!

We had this problem years ago and I can't remember what we did to correct it. Is this related to a bad/disintegrating part of my hot water heater, or do I just need to flush out my hot water heater? The house is about 9 years old but we were the first owners and have lived here for 8. Or is this something else? I'm hoping it won't require a plumber's help. Thanks!!

11 Comments Displaying 11 of 11 comments
  • KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    The "smear" thing has me wondering a bit on this...is it oily or more like small chunks of rust that crumble under your fingers?
  • Sounds as though your hot water heater is on the way out. If you use a tankless unit attached to a boiler if that is the type of heater you have, this can mean that the domestic water supply is being contaminated by the heating side water. Do not use
  • Holly R Apex, NC
    Honestly we haven't flushed our tank every year because we didn't know we were supposed to (although a plumber MAY have done that for us a few years ago). I am hoping that doing that will clear this up?! Regarding the "smear" thing -- I was wondering if
  • KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    The rubber could be bits from a gasket or valve seal in one of the faucets...are any of your faucets leaking or dripping?
  • Holly R Apex, NC
    Not that I'm aware of, but we do have a separate issue with a leak elsewhere in the house that I need to get taken care of. Would this affect more the water supply in more than one area of the house? The black specks come from both bathtubs upstairs and
  • Ana M Alpharetta, GA
    I had the same happen, and it was the particular faucets, I took apart the piece where the water comes out of, cleaned it and put it back together. Have to do it every so often.
  • KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    Holly...getting leaks fixed in a timely manner is a must...over time wood rot and mold can be much worse to deal with.

    One way to narrow it down is to follow the flow paths of your plumbing system and try to isolate "zone" working backward

  • Holly R Apex, NC
    So according to an official from the gas company who was out to do something else, he said it's our expansion tank that has gone bad. That rings a bell for what the problem was a few years ago! I guess the black specks are actually rubber that has broken
  • KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    sounds logical...expansion tanks have a "bladder" in them much like an inner tube in old time car tires...swapping one out is not too tough.
  • Grant Terry Ingram, TX
    Here at the City of Kerrville Water Production Division we have found that the stainless steel braided hoses that have the black rubber lining tend to break down when exposed to chlorinated water over a period of time, and this is especially evident when
  • BertBert Canada
    Grant Terry from Ingram,TX...Thank you for your help, I think you nailed it. We noticed the black flakes only on the hot water side and I just partially flushed the tank, the water was very clean. The top of the tank is fitted with a SS braided hose, I