Blackish rust debris coming out of bath faucets

hapyfrustratedAugust 13, 2009

We have a black/rust looking debris coming out of the tub faucet in one bathroom and through the shower head in another. My H told me tonight he has been taking the shower head off twice a week and cleaning the debris out so we can get a good flow. The bathtub always has black flakey looking particles in the tub. I can't rinse it out because more keeps coming when the water is turned on. What could be causing this? We have copper pipes. I am so worried that our pipes are deteriorated, we built this house 34 years ago and just finished a major renovation. I can't bear to think of tearing out brand new tile bathroom and shower to repair this. Please help me figure this one out. Thanks in advance!!!

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I doubt the black substance is related to your copper pipe. Most likely it's one of 3 things:

1. Manganese - naturally occuring earth metal, regulated for aesthetics.
2. Rubber deterioration. Some old rubbers are especially vulnerable if you are on municipal water that recently switched to chloramine disinfection.
3. less likely...Extreme stagnation...this would be typical of fire sprinklers and is usually blended black smelly water when drawn.

Copper pipe will leave blue-green staining if the copper is degrading rapidly.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Agree with water daddy, likely not corrosion but rather something settling out. However, are you sure there are no galvanized nipples or section of pipe in the run? Coming from isolated draws rather than whole house would indicate such.
Is the supply well or municipal?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 9:25AM
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This is a water well, we live in the country. I will ask my H if there are any galv nipples or section of pipe, not exactly sure what you mean by "section of pipe". He is a stickler for perfection, pretty sure everything is on the up and up. But, will ask him anyway. I sure hope you guys can help us figure this out, it is driving us nuts. Thank you both for your time!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 12:56AM
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"Section of pipe" simply means any piece longer than standard nipple lengths.
Galvanized pipe is still considered an acceptable material in many locales but will suffer from pH. There are parts of the U.S. where acidic water is common.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 5:59AM
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Does your toilet tank collect the same material?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:27AM
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Any treatment (softener, filtration, ...etc?). Also curious about the answer to laat2's question. Blackish rust sounds like Manganese. This metal can be dissolved into water and is clear until it is oxidized and appear as a color tint or when plated appears as black specks.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 9:21AM
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