Plumbing problems are quite diversified and may go in different directions. They usually require immediate attention because a slight problem could aggravate overnight. In many situations, the result could be disastrous – imagine coming back home from work to find your house flooded. However, problems can go in more directions and sometimes, the issue may go in a different way. What do you do if you find a burst of black water from faucet then?
Black stuff coming out of sink faucet might have more causes. Some of them allow easy DIY operation. Some others may require a plumber. The good news is there is nothing to be concerned about and the issue can be sorted without too much hassle. Plus, as disgusting as it may look, the problem is not that severe. So, what are the main causes associated with black water and what can you do to fix them?
4 Causes of Black Stuff Coming Out Of Faucet
There are more components in water. Some of them are nothing but chemicals used to treat and clean it. While not necessarily good for you, they come in small amounts. There might be some longterm effects though, hence the popularity of filters. However, water is also rich in minerals. This is why most water is referred to as hard water. We did an article on the best 5 kitchen faucet for hard water if you intend to get a new kitchen faucet.
Magnesium is one of the minerals available in the water supply. Normally, you would not be able to see it. It comes in small particles that the naked eye cannot spot. Generally speaking, magnesium is quite healthy for you. However, it can turn the water black. When you notice a burst of black water from faucet, magnesium is the main chance.
Magnesium is not black, so black water does not mean you have high amounts of magnesium. But then, it tends to go black when it mixes with oxygen. Oxygen is in the water’s chemical composition though, but not in such heavy amounts. When there is too much oxygen and the magnesium mixes with it, your water goes black.
Now, you probably ask yourself – is the burst of black water from faucet dangerous? Will it hurt you? The truth is it will have no effects over your health. It is not dangerous. But then, it looks disgusting. You do not feel like drinking or cooking with black water, do you? It is simply not appealing and it feels dirty, even if it is not.
How do you sort this problem out then? Make sure you test the water first, as there are more causes for black water. You can call a testing company or purchase a testing kit yourself. Since magnesium is a mineral, a filter will not always tackle it. Sure, a professional filter may work, but chances are you will need a water softener. Perhaps you may find out how to remove calcium deposit from faucet in our article.
Minerals make the water hard. Softeners are specifically developed to ease this problem. They will eliminate minerals from your water, so chances are it will go colorless again. Furthermore, a softener will protect some of your water using appliances too, not to mention the beneficial effects over your skin and hair.
There are no doubts about it – water softeners will certainly add to the quality of your water. That white lime scale around your faucets or on the inside of tubing will be gone, adding to the lifespan of your appliances. Your hair will thank you and will become softener, while your skin will certainly look better and finer.
However, just like anything else in life, water softeners will not last forever. They need certain parts replaced on a regular basis. The appliance itself may also fail at some point, meaning you will need to repair it or simply get a new one. When the water softener breaks down, you might notice a burst of black water from faucet.
There are two reasons behind it. First, you might have bought the softener to reduce the water hardness. You might have bought it because the water was black due to too much magnesium getting in touch with oxygen too. If you bought it for the second issue, the magnesium is back, so you need to replace the softener.
But then, even if your water was not black before, a broken down water softener can cause a burst of black water from faucet. Water softeners often come with natural resin beads. They are usually black. If the softener breaks down, those things can cause all kinds of issues. They will also make the water go black.
No matter what the reason behind your black water is, the solution is fairly simple. You might be able to fix a water softener or replace some parts, but most people avoid the hassle. Simply put, it is faster to simply get a new water softener. It will start filtering magnesium again, but since every part is in great condition, some of its parts will never cause the water to go black.
A burst of black water from faucet is pretty common in old houses as well. If the piping system dates for ages, chances are it might need replacement at some point. There are small signs that may indicate an issue. The water will slowly get a dark color to the point when it becomes black. If it is not magnesium or a broken water softener, chances are you need a plumber to check your piping system.
This issue is more common in steel or galvanized piping. With time, no matter how durable and resistant they are, they will obviously lose their efficiency. They will start rusting and just like you may already know, rust goes off in small flakes. Mineral flakes from rust will inevitably go into your water. They will not really make it black, but they will give it a red or brown nuance. Sometimes, it can be quite dark and almost black.
On the same note, these mineral flakes from rust can also mix with other minerals, such as magnesium. These reactions are more likely to lead to black water in your pipes. Fixing such an issue is not recommended as a DIY project, unless you are an actual professional. You might need to go behind walls to get it fixed, so it is better to just call an experienced plumber.
Has the water been shut for a few hours? Has it been shut for a few days? Every now and then, local authorities need to perform revisions of the plumbing system. The water goes off, so they can do it safely. On the other hand, there are situations when old pipes may need repairs. Once again, you will have no water for a few hours.
Once the water is back, some of the residues in the new or fixed pipes will go around. Your water will look dirty. Most commonly, the water is dark or light brown, but rarely black. It will not look too healthy and it will most likely have particles in it. Therefore, give it a day or so before drinking tap water. You can also let it run for a few minutes first, until it clears out.
Why does black water come out of faucet? Is black water dangerous?
Black stuff coming out of cold tap is not necessarily dangerous. You want to know if it is safe to drink. How about cooking in it? Can you take a bath or shower with it? Will it affect you? In nearly all situations, black water is not that bad. It is harmless and safe to drink and use for bathing and showering.
You will never be 100% sure though, so you cannot let the problem go. You need to analyze the situation. Whether you need a plumber to diagnose and check the water or you can figure out the problem yourself, it is much better to be on the safe side.
Even if the water is safe and there is no harm associated with its black color, you still want to find a few different ways to ensure the appearance is clear. At the end of the day, you want the best water quality you can get for your family, so try to analyze the issue as quickly as possible and figure it out.
As a short final conclusion, a burst of black water from faucet is not always harmful. Sure, when you first see it, it will look a bit shocking. Water is supposed to be crystal clear. When you see it black, you imagine the worst possible scenario – all kinds of hard chemicals and dangerous substances that could cause a plethora of affections and kill you. It is perfectly normal though.
The water is normally safe, while causes are not that many. You can identify some of them yourself, but you can also get a plumber to take a look. They are more experienced and they have probably seen such issues in your area, so they might help you overcome this problem in no time.