If you’ve noticed black specks in your water and wondered what’s causing them, you’re not alone. In fact, one of the most common questions we get is from homeowners wanting to know if black sediment in their water is bad, and what can be done about it.
The good news is these flecks aren’t a sign of major plumbing issues—most of the time. Here are some common causes of this problem, but to really find out what’s going on, you may need a professional plumber. You can trust our plumbers to diagnose what’s going on with your water system and provide solutions to fix it.
Water Filtration Systems and Filters
Some homes have water filtration systems that use granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove certain organic chemicals and odors from water. These particles may enter your tap water and often it’s a sign that it’s time to replace the filter. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call our plumbers to see if your filtration system needs some attention.
Water filter pitchers and filter faucet systems such as Brita also utilize GAC in which case, those black particles are probably from the activated charcoal in the filter. Replace the filter and see if that takes care of the issue.
If you get your water from a private well, black and brown pieces of sand and silt may be present in your tap water. These are caused by minerals, soil or mud, or organic matter and are not harmful. You can treat black sediment by installing a sediment filter or a water treatment system.
Decaying Rubber Parts
Rubbery black specks may be caused by deteriorating rubber parts in your plumbing system. These parts can be affected by the disinfectants that are added to the municipal water supply to make your water safe to drink. Rubber washers, gaskets, and the hose that leads to your water heater are commonly affected. We can replace the decaying parts with new ones that have a special lining to prevent future decay.
Corrosion in Your Pipes or Water Heater
If you’re seeing specks from particular taps, or only when you run the hot water, there are possibly two different culprits. If the specks come from a few faucets, this could be caused by corrosion in the pipes. This tends to be more of an issue in older homes and it happens when particles of rust enter the water. Minor pipe corrosion isn’t necessarily a major problem, but if you’re seeing a lot of corroded material in your water, call us to discuss if your system would benefit from professional repiping.
If the black specks are tied specifically to your hot water usage, your water heater could be to blame. When a water heater is on the decline, it’ll develop corrosion and rust, and those contaminants can enter your water. It could also be that the water lines to and from the water heater are corroded. Your water heater may need to be flushed or, worst-case scenario, replaced with a new one.
To discuss solutions for contaminants in your water, contact us today. Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air has served Orange County since 1981.