causes black specks water supply Blog

Potential Causes of Black Specks in Water Supply

There are several elements of a given home’s plumbing system that have a direct connection to human health, and a great example is water quality. Some of the first signs of poor water quality may appear in visual forms, such as small items or debris seen in tap water – one common instance here is the presence of small black specks in your water supply.

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re proud to offer water softeners and water filters to assist with several areas of water quality, including removing potential contaminants like black specks and several others. In most cases, however, such specks are not actually a separate contaminant per se, but rather the result of certain wear-and-tear or other processes that lead to their presence in your water. Here’s a quick primer on the sources of black specks in your water and how you can be rid of them.

Pipe Corrosion

Particularly if your home’s plumbing is comprised of older pipes that have been in use for several decades, these pipes may begin to show the effects of corrosion over many years. Certain kinds of pipes that were of common use during previous decades are particularly prone to having small pieces of themselves break off as a result of this corrosion.

In turn, these pipe pieces break down further into small black specks. These specks are then sent through your cold water taps and will be seen in your water supply. They’re often particularly visible during a period where your water has just been turned back on after a recent shut-off.

Water Heater Corrosion

Pipes, however, are not the only older plumbing elements that may wear down and lead to corrosion issues if they are not properly maintained or replaced. A similar effect can take place within your home’s water heater, in fact.

Have you begun to notice black specks when turning on hot water in the home? This is likely due to corrosion within the heater itself, or within the water lines to and from the heater. You may see these specks linger on the sides of sinks tubs even once you’ve turned the water off.

Rubber Disintegration

In other cases, you might notice that the black specks in your water have a specific rubber-like quality. In these situations, they are likely a disintegrated piece of a rubber gasket, washer or some kind of supply hose involved in your plumbing system. Like pipe materials, rubber can break down after many years of use – and it may also be susceptible to disintegration due to disinfectants many cities use in their municipal water supplies.

For more on identifying the cause of black specks in your water, or to learn about any of our water filtration, tankless water heaters or emergency plumbing services, speak to the staff at Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air today.