12:43PM | 09/21/04
Member Since: 09/20/04
15 lifetime posts

I have been getting some black stuff in my hot water. It sometimes gets bad enough that the water in the sink gets covered with it, and it possibily could be "oily". When I drain the water heater the stuff comes out as well. There is no such stuff in my cold water. The water heater was replaced with a new one and after a while the problem is back.

Please advice.

Thanks in advance.




03:29PM | 09/21/04
Strange. I've not heard this complaint before. Oily is sometimes related to soft water but that would affect cold also. There is nothing in a water heater to dissolve and produce black oily. If it was from piping then it would be incoming cold piping to the heater. Is there any feature to your water distribution system that is unique?

I would take a water sample and get it analysized at your health department or a water conditioning store.


03:54PM | 09/21/04
Member Since: 09/20/04
15 lifetime posts
Hi LonnythePlumber!

I say it is oily as the stuff floats, and thereafter "clings" to the side of the tub or sink. I have to use more than just water to wash it away. I had the stuff/pieces analysed when I had the problem in the old filter and main component that was found was manganese (I think) and that sort of suprised the person who did the analysis. He used some high-tech equipment that we have in the College. I have not been able get any pieces large enough in the new heater.

As far as I know there is nothing special about the water system.



erik peterson

07:13AM | 10/03/04
Member Since: 06/23/03
224 lifetime posts
anode rod.........erik


07:38AM | 10/03/04
Maganesium certainly relates to the anode rod but I have not know a dissolving anode to leave black deposits. If it was the anode on the first heater then it is unlikely the new heater would immediately start doing the same thing. I don't think the analysis was comprehensive.


08:12AM | 10/03/04
Member Since: 09/20/04
15 lifetime posts
Hi LonnythePlubmer and Erik!

Thanks for the thoughts/suggestions. As the problem was not visible in the cold water supply, and it was visible inside the hot water heater (when I drain it), the only places that I could conclude that the problem was at was in the heater and the piping between the cold water pipe and the heater (about 2' of pipe and flexible hose). Therefore, I went ahead and replaced the flexible-hose that supplied the cold wate to the heater. Was unable to remove the hose which took the hot water out with the tools I had.

Thereafter, I sent an email to the LADWP (Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power), and mentioned the problem, and I got the reply below. It sort of confirms my theory. I did go ahead and replaced the other hose as well.

Time will tell if the problem is solved. Thanks for your help.




The problem you describe may indicate a flex-hose problem. We have found

that some metallic flex-hoses have a black rubber-like lining on the

inside. The chlorine in the water deteriorates this lining over time

causing black particles to show up throughout the home. The black

particles will adhere to the side of sinks, tubs, etc. One

characteristic of this material is that it smears. The problem is more

severe on the hot water side. I would look at your plumbing connections,

if you find flex-hoses which appear metallic on the outside - check the

inside to make sure they're not black. If you have black (rubber) lined

flex-hoses, these should be replaced by "Chloramine resistant"

flex-hoses. If you have other questions or would like to speak with

someone in our office, please call us at (213) 367-3182 between the

hours of 07:30 a.m. and 04:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except



Nathan Aguayo


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