Have you ever turned on the faucet and noticed black specks in your water? If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners report seeing black residue or black specks in their bathtub water, and it’s easy to understand why this might seem like cause for concern. While it’s normal to see a little bit of sediment in your tap water, too much can be a sign that there’s a problem with your plumbing system. In this article, we’ll discuss five possible reasons why your water might have black specks in it, and then give you some tips for preventing this problem in the future.
Reason #1: Water Filter Troubles
Your water filter is responsible for trapping sediment and other contaminants before they enter your home’s plumbing system. Over time, however, it’s not uncommon for water filters to become clogged or otherwise damaged, which can cause black specks to appear in your water. If you notice black specks in your water, the first thing you should do is check your filter to see if it needs to be replaced.
What to do:
First, check your water filter to see if it needs to be replaced. If the filter is damaged or clogged, simply replace it with a new one. You may also want to clean any sediment out of your home’s plumbing system by having a professional plumber flush your pipes. Water filters are usually located near the water heater or main water shut-off valve.
In most cases, simply replacing the water filter cartridge will take care of the problem. However, if you’re still seeing black specks in your water after changing the filter, it’s possible that there’s sediment build-up in your home’s pipes. In this case, you’ll need to have a professional plumber flush your pipes to clean out the sediment.
Reason #2: Your Water Comes From A Well
If your water comes from a well, it’s not uncommon to see black specks in it from time to time. This is because wells are more likely to have more unfiltered sediment and other contaminants in them than municipal water systems. While the water from your well should be safe to drink, you may want to have it tested periodically to make sure that it meets all of the standards for safe drinking water.
What to do:
If your water comes from a well, it’s important to have it tested periodically to make sure that it meets all of the standards for safe drinking water. You may also want to install a whole-house water filter to help trap sediment and other contaminants before they enter your home’s plumbing system.
Reason #3: Your Water Heater Is Old
If your water heater is old, it’s possible that the anode rod inside of it is corroded. When this happens, the corrosion can break off and enter your home’s water supply, causing black specks to appear in your water. This is particularly true if you’re seeing black specks mostly in your bathtub. While not particularly harmful, this can be a nuisance and may require you to have your water heater replaced.
What to do:
If your water heater was installed more than 20 years ago, it’s probably time to have it replaced. This is especially true if you notice black specks in your water, as this is a sure sign of corrosion. The best thing you can do is call a plumber to have your water heater replaced entirely. If you’re not sure, here are 4 signs you need to replace your water heater.
Reason #4: Your Pipes Are Corroding
Pipes inside of a home that make up your home plumbing system can, over time, become corroded. This is particularly true if your pipes are made of iron or steel, as is the case for most older Californian homes built between 1930 through 1970. When this happens, the corrosion can enter your water supply and cause black specks to appear in your water. The more corrosion that’s present in your pipes, the more black specks you’re likely to see.
What to do:
If you notice black specks in your water, it’s possible that your pipes are corroding. The best thing you can do is call a plumber to have your pipes inspected and replaced if necessary. If the corrosion is caught early enough, it may be possible to treat your pipes with a corrosion-inhibiting agent that can help extend their lifespan.
Reason #5: Your Gaskets Are Corroding
Gaskets in plumbing are designed to create a watertight seal between two surfaces, typically between two pipe connections. However, over time, these gaskets themselves can become corroded and allow water to leak through. When this happens, particles from the plastic or rubber gaskets can enter your water supply and cause black specks to appear in your water.
What to do:
If you notice black specks in your water, it’s possible that the gaskets inside of your plumbing are corroding. You should identify where in your home has the highest concentration of black specks and call a plumber to have those gaskets replaced. It’s also a good idea to have all of the gaskets in your plumbing inspected and replaced every few years to prevent this issue from happening again.
What to do if you have black residue or specks in your bathtub:
Having unsightly black residue or specks in your bathtub can be a nuisance. If you’re seeing black specks mostly in your bathtub, it’s likely that the anode rod inside of your water heater is corroded. The anode rod is made of magnesium or aluminum and is used to protect the water heater tank from corrosion.
As the anode rod corrodes, it creates black residue that can end up in your bathtub. If you have an older water heater, it’s a good idea to have the anode rod replaced every few years.
If you suspect that this is the case, then you should flush your water heater to remove the sediment. You can do this by attaching a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater and draining it into a bucket. Alternatively, you can call a plumber to do this for you, or have a completely new water heater installed.
Call Western Rooter & Plumbing For Help!
If you’re still seeing black specks in your water after flushing your water heater, then it’s likely that there is a deeper problem and you need professional plumbing help. Thankfully, the experts at Western Rooter & Plumbing are here to help. We have over 40 years of experience in plumbing and we’re always happy to help our customers with any plumbing problems they may have, big or small.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call today! We’re available 24/seven and we offer free estimates on all of our services.