04:34PM | 04/07/05
Member Since: 04/06/05
5 lifetime posts
We have periodically been getting black, greasy, floating sludge discharged from every faucet in the house for several years. The toilets are not affected which is why I suspect the hot water system. I have flushed the hot water tank and only got some rusty looking water out. When I replaced the 40 gallon gas hot water heater 6 months ago I thought the problem would go away but it didn't. The house is 50 years old, all copper supply lines. Not sure what material the water main is. Besides being almost impossible to clean up, I am concerned about the safety of drinking, cooking, bathing with this stuff in my water lines. Any idea what this stuff is and where it is coming from?

C. Boccia


11:29PM | 04/07/05
Member Since: 04/01/05
47 lifetime posts
This I haven't run into before, but if this was my home, this is what I would do. If this was a city water supply, I would ask my neighbors first if they are having the same problem. If not, then it narrows it down to your house. Then, I would install a whole house water filter with a 5 micron sediment cartridge on the cold water line entering the house. This way you can see if it is coming in from the street supply and catch it there. If it turns out to be in your lines on the inside there could be a bacteria in your hot water lines. Here is what you can do for that. You must turn the cold water off to the water heater and drain some water out. Remove the pressure relief valve and pour one gallon of household bleach in it. Replace the relief valve and turn the valve back on to the water heater. Run each hot water faucet (one at a time until you smell the bleach and turn off. Do that with every hot supply. Allow to sit in line for a few hours. Then flush every line until the bleach smell is gone. Besure to unhook the washer and allow that to run also.

If you need any other information, I can be reached at or my office phone is 410-760-2801. Best wishes.

Kerry Bonham

doug seibert

04:19AM | 04/08/05
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Do you have flexible supply lines to the Hot water heater.......

I had deteriorating rubber linings in the old flexible Copper supply lines that left a black residue in the water........


05:08PM | 04/08/05
Member Since: 04/06/05
5 lifetime posts
Yes, I do have braided stainless steel flexible connections, one reused from the old tank and one new. I was told by a local home inspector this morning that the most likely cause was the deteriorating rubber lining from the reused connector. I was not aware until today that flexible connectors had rubber linings. I have tomorrow off(Saturday) and will check/replace the old connector. If that is the problem (and it most likely is) I will get a professional plumber to make a hard copper connection. The "**********" has made things so easy on us do-it-yourselfers that we do do things that would otherwise be left to professionals. I will post the results tomorrow evening. Thanks for your reply.

C. Boccia


05:15PM | 04/10/05
Member Since: 04/06/05
5 lifetime posts
It was the old flexible braided stainless steel connector. Thanks for the tip Doug.

C. Boccia


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