Plumbing Confusion

Why Does My Water Have Black Specks in It?

If you have ever wondered why your water has black specks in it, you aren’t alone. Every year, plumbers get calls from homeowners baffled by the presence of little black spots in their water supply. The good news is that in most cases, these flecks do not represent a major problem. Keep reading to learn what those little black specks may mean for your plumbing system, and make sure to contact All City Plumbing for all your plumbing and drain system needs.

The Top 5 Reasons Your Water Has Black Specks in It:

  1. You’re Using a Water Filter: Oftentimes, those black specks in your water have nothing to do with your plumbing system at all. If you use a carbon water filtration device, there’s a great chance those black particles are from the activated filtration agents in the cartridge. In most cases, you will just need to replace the filter cartridge to solve this problem.
  2. Your Water Is from a Well: If you use a private well to get your water, you may find black and brown pieces of sand and silt in your water. While this may give your water an unpleasant crunch occasionally, these particles are not harmful. If the well is new, run it for several days to wash the particles out. You can also install a screen filter, or for a sand and gravel well, install a sandstone liner.
  3. Your Pipes Are Corroded: When your pipes get old, they may become corroded, releasing small pieces of worn down piping into your water supply. You will notice these specks most prominently after you turn on your water supply following a long absence. In small doses, pipe corrosion isn’t a big problem, but the more corroded material you find in your pipes, the likelier it is you will need to consider professional repiping.
  4. Your Water Heater is Corroded: If those black specks are localized to your tub, shower, and sink, and tied specifically to your hot water usage, there is a good chance they are coming from your water heater. You can call an experienced plumber for maintenance if this is the case, or even flush your water heater out on your own. If the issue persists, however, you may need to install a new water heater altogether.
  5. You’re Dealing with Other Broken Components: If the black specks in your water are rubbery, they may be from a rubber gasket, washer, or even a flexible water supply hose. Rubber can break down after years of use because of disinfectants in the city’s water supply, so call a plumber to see if you need to replace any of your plumbing system’s parts.

For more information on what you can do about contaminants in your water, dial (909) 552-7550, or send us a message online.

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