Three main contributors can cause black water coming out of the tub faucet. Before you make any steps to resolve this issue, you must understand the cause, so then you can efficiently resolve it once and for all.
The reason for black water running out the hot faucet is: The old rubber in the flex hose started to deteriorate, and rubber particles got into the water. Alternatively, the sediment accumulated in the water heater could turn water black. Manganese could also be the external cause of black water.
So let’s break it down to details that will help you with the solution.
What Is The Cause Of Black Water?
Before we jump to the solution, let’s discuss the causes of black water.
There are a few contributors that could color water in black:
Let’s talk about manganese first and why this is probably not the cause of your black water.
Manganese is one of the most abundant metals that occur on earth. Now, the reason why I have mentioned iron is that these two metals could often be found together.
Because manganese is used in metallurgy to process iron and steel, but often it is also used in batteries or even fireworks. This means that if your water contains iron chances are that it will also have some level of manganese.
In fact, WHO reports that manganese is detected in 97% of surface water although at the levels below any health hazard.
Now, black sediment in the water is the characteristic sign of manganese presence. Although, if there is also iron in water with manganese, the particles could have a red-brown color.
I have said before that manganese is not likely to be the cause. The reason for this is that you would have black water from all taps regardless of hot or cold water within the house. But since the issue only occurs with hot water tap, there is another reason.
Heater Rubber Hose
The second cause is the issue with your water heater flex, and the good news is that it is straightforward to fix.
Now, lots of manufacturers are trying to save costs and thus increase their margins. This leads that they use inferior quality materials, in that case, rubber hoses.
Over time rubber starts naturally to deteriorate as it gets older. What is important to understand is that it might not necessarily be the rubber pipe, but really it could be any part like washers too.
Sediment In The Heater
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t take maintenance of the appliances seriously and resolves problems as they appear, the issue I have shared earlier might not be the right one in your situation.
Another reason why your water is black might be a simple fact that the heater has accumulated a lot of sediment over time.
Because the water flow from the tub faucet is usually much higher than from the bathroom or kitchen sink, the sediment is picked up from the heater as water starts to “rush” inside.
No worries though, this problem is also relatively easy to fix, I will get into what you need to do later in the article.
Yes, as simple as that.
So, now you know the cause, but why is only hot water affected?.
What Role Hot Water Plays In This?
The reason why the only hot water tap is affected is likely to be linked to the water heater.
Rubber has much lower resistance to the hot temperature than metal. So, as you can imagine the long term exposure can damage it severely. If you think about it, it’s a constant cycle when the hose is exposed to hot water, but then when you turn off the water tap, it cools down.
These cycles make the hose to expand and shrink. Inevitably over time, rubber inside starts to split, which creates small pores. In many cases, the tubing is bent as it is connected to the heater, which adds additional pressure on the material.
The pores become bigger and bigger as hot water runs through them.
At one point, the material will start to separate into small black particles which you have probably already seen if you are reading this article.
Is Black Water Dangerous?
Obviously, having rubber particles in water is not something you would want to have anyway. So, since you know the cause, it is a good time to speak about the hazards of black water.
But before I discuss the hazards, let’s see what kind of rubber is often used within hoses.
There are two most common types usually used in such products.
- EPDM rubber
- Nitrile rubber
Now, EPDM rubber is probably the most known type. It is a classic black rubber we often see on products, and most of the rubber washers are made of EPDM rubber. This kind of rubber is known to be a potential cancerogenic.
So there is a particular risk, but of course, the less time you have been exposed to it, the impact on your health is smaller. I mean our bodies are amazing masterpieces given to us by nature, and they can survive so many things.
But why should we stress our body more?
It is definitely good to minimize the time of being exposed to such water.
Nitrile rubber, also known as NBR rubber is a synthetic type of rubber and is also widely used in various products. For example, disposable gloves are often made of NBR rubber, or it’s is commonly used in sealing applications.
Naturally, nitrile rubber is not something you want to have in water either. So, I have done some research on the health impact, but it seems like it is a safer option of rubber. Most resources were talking about potential irritation reaction on the skin or if when you inhale it.
The bottom line is that you still should resolve this issue. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to take a bath in rubbery water, or even prepare some food in such water.
Although, rubber is pretty stable material, so it shouldn’t react with any other contaminants.
How To Fix The Issue?
Luckily, the fix is pretty straight forward, and what is more important cheap.
All you have to do is, you only have to replace the old hose, but it gets a bit tricky here.
If you want to avoid this issue in the future, the new hose should have a minimum amount of rubber materials. This includes rubber washers as they are contributing to this problem too.
Now you know what hose you need to search for. However, I have done some research for you and found some hoses that should be a good fit to replace the old one.
In particular this set of two flex hoses on Amazon stands out to me. They are made of stainless steel and have received great feedback from customers. Note that these still use rubber washers, but you can use different washers if you want to.
Water Heater Sediment
I am not going to describe to you how to do it, because everybody has a different type of heater and might have slightly different procedures. But here is the video that shows all the steps.
Did you also know that sediment and build up in the heater could be the cause of the unpleasant odor?
As you can see, water heater maintenance is definitely not something you need to underestimate. Even though you don’t have any problems right now.
As you can see, it is not always the case of getting already contaminated water from the external source.
There are a lot of things inside our homes that also contribute to water contamination, and neglecting our appliances can play a significant role in it.
Share your answers in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to ask any questions you might have.