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Black specks in my water?

Jennifer Last reply on Feb 18, 2016

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!!

10  of  17 comments
  • Holly R
    Holly R Apex, NC
    on Mar 17, 2012

    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 down...

  • KMS Woodworks
    KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    on Mar 17, 2012

    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. Good luck

  • Grant Terry
    Grant Terry Ingram, TX
    on Sep 6, 2013

    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 connected to the hot water side of the homeowners system.

  • BertBert
    BertBert Canada
    on Mar 31, 2014

    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 will replace it, it's about 5 years old, all of our piping is copper. I tried using chlorine pucks in our toilet tanks to keep them fresh but the chlorine destroys the flapper over a short time which is also made of rubber, same black consistancy.

  • Rob Underhill
    Rob Underhill Reston, VA
    on Jul 19, 2014

    We have the "dark smeary particle" problem only in our kitchen faucet hot water. The plumber concluded it was a problem with the faucet (delta pull out single handle 16961 sssd-dst). We sent an email to delta and they immediately notified us they were sending a replacement quick connect hose without any other discussion. It seems to be a common problem.

  • Cate Hamilton
    Cate Hamilton Dallas, TX
    on Aug 25, 2014

    I second what Rob Underhill said, exactly. Taking his lead, I called Delta with the hose number (ours was A112.18.1) and they explained that they were aware of the problem and would be happy to replace it. They even sent the new part with rush shipping. Apparently, it was just a flaw in manufacturing. All new Delta faucets will not have this problem and they're replacing all older faucet hoses as the requests come in.

  • Holly R
    Holly R Apex, NC
    on Aug 26, 2014

    An update on this - we did replace our hot water expansion tank and the problem completely went away for good. So I guess the answer is if you're having problems everywhere in the house, check the expansion tank. If it's only in your kitchen sink, check your faucet and contact the manufacturer for a potential replacement. Thanks for the help everyone! :)

  • Greg Theb
    Greg Theb Huntsville, AL
    on Sep 20, 2014

    Hi, I just saw this and I am having the same issue with the little black whatever that is coming sporadically out of my kitchen faucet. I happen to have 2 water heaters and the one for the kitchen is ~10 years old. It started about 2 months ago and is really annoying. So you think the hot water heater is the culprit? I have no clue as to how to flush one or should I just get a new one.

  • Markminnix
    on Aug 15, 2015

    The answer is.....Black manganese naturally found in well water this is very comon however it can be alleviated by clearing and cleaning your water well and making sure your filtering system is working. number 3 making sure that the water system is flushed. Your Water pipes have a manganese build up on the ID or inside diameter of the water pipes it may take awhile for that too to be removed however it will take some time

  • Dwight Jarratt
    Dwight Jarratt
    on Sep 14, 2015

    After taking the faucet apart and cleaning all the parts I could, I put the faucet back together and flushed water through it without the aerator and had no black flakes. When I put the aerator back on, the flakes were back even worse. I replaced the aerator and that fixed the issue. Its $5 part and easy to replace if you don't want to wait for a new sprayer.

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