Latest Discussions : Plumbing

Christine K

10:35PM | 09/11/15
Member Since: 09/03/15
3 lifetime posts
I live in a town home complex built in 1958. I first notice black stuff hanging out of upstairs bathroom sink faucet about 6 years ago. Ace hardware told me to replace black washer, but it was fine and every few months accumulating more black gunk that I'd wipe off with my finger or a Kleenex. Remodeled my kitchen 2 1/2 years ago and bathroom 1 1/2 ago with high end faucets and some new pvc pipe added to kitchen, when turning off cold water flow to house before kitchen remodel, contractor asked if I had water leaking from water pipes in basement that lead to upstairs bathrooms. Yes, I did, and some plumber had fixed. He said they put in a piece of gas piping connecting two water pipes. He replaced and found ton of rusty sludge inside black pipe. He said this might solve the mysterious black gunk problem. No, it now came out of shower head upstairs, new faucets in powder room and kitchen. I had a Walter filtration system hooked up under kitchen sink with my remodeling. And one in my new fridge. Only drink water out of those two. Two months ago he changed my filter system filters, and saw no black stuff in filters. Today I put my finger under opening of sprocket for filtered water and scooped more of the black gunk coming out of there also. Looking online someone suggested hot water tank could be causing from sediment buildup or corrosion of inside or stick. Had that replaced in early spring this year. Recently bought new washer and dryer in May, and now a whole lot of black gunk coming into lint catcher attached to washing machine hose that empties to utility sink. I am stumped and so is contractor. He thinks it may be something wrong with city water lines. Checked with one neighbor in town home building next to ours and they have no problem but gal in another building across our building at the opposite end of mine who has had problem for four months. Can anyone tell me what this stuff is? Or where it is coming from? When it dries it looks like dried shriveled plastic. When I dropped it in a glass of hot bleach, it does not disintegrate, it turns white. HELP!!!

Christine K


09:46AM | 09/12/15
Member Since: 07/22/04
649 lifetime posts
I'm pretty sure there is a way they sanitize water lines by injecting so many parts per million into the piping until all the water has been purged from the system. Then let it set for a specified time before flushing it out. This may be what is needed because it seems you have tried everything else.


08:50PM | 01/21/16
I have the same problem but I only get the sludge in two of my six faucets. after no help from any of the articles I have read I believe it is from cheap PEX like water lines. Im sure theres different brands not sure which one was used in my bathroom. But that's the only difference from my other faucets. Opinions ????


11:10AM | 12/08/17
I live in a high rise condo building and have the same problem.
Did anyone find the solution?
I would be grateful for any suggestions.


09:10PM | 11/11/18
It is manganese and bacteria associated with it. Reverse Osmosis filter worka but water bill goes way up. Harmless, tho. The bacteria, that is.


01:14AM | 11/29/18
i've seen similar in house with all copper plumbing.


12:04AM | 12/31/18
I have the same problem in a home we built only 2 years ago. We have city water. Could it be humidity that is too high in our house? It does not seem too high and I think it ranges around 50% or less. The black gunk occurs in both bathrooms, faucets and shower heads, rims of toilet bowls.

Also I'm wondering about another thing that has changed in recent years...water pressure. Water pressure is lower now with "low flow" toilets and water saving shower heads. You know, conserving water, the environment, energy star, etc.

We also have a very tightly insulated house (conserving heat and a/c).

Any thoughts? Any solutions?

Grandmom of Triplets


08:18PM | 02/26/19
we have the exact same problem and we're just told that it's from an airborne bacteria that could be coming through our ductwork. we were advised to change the filter in the furnace more often and keep our fans on longer. Anybody has any other experience I would have call for this we certainly would appreciate the help.


10:40PM | 03/18/19
It can be from a rubber gasket that is deteriorating but most likely it is manganese bacteria (quite harmless). You will usually find it building up at the faucet screen (filter) and is the result of the manganese minerals in the water. As the manganese oxidizes at the spout, bacteria form and thrive there. A water softener should reduce the amount of manganese minerals in the water, reducing the amount of bacteria able to grow at the faucet.


06:28PM | 03/20/19
Watch the movie Amityville Horror. That may give you a clue.


07:03AM | 12/05/19
Were you ever able to resolve the issue with the black gunk coming out of the faucets? We have this issue in both bathrooms, sink and tub, plus the utility sink in laundry. I have noticed if I run the water a lot in those areas, I don't see the gunk for a while. We were told it is from the copper water pipes and to have the whole house repiped. Saving money to do that. May cost about $5,000 to do. We lived in another house with plastic pipe and never had this issue.


04:58PM | 01/28/20
Has anyone submitted a sample to a chemical lab determine all of the components in the black gunk? I have it too and am very frustrated


09:35PM | 02/21/20
I need help , I don’t like that black slime,


09:36PM | 02/21/20
Please let me know if that black slime is dangerous for my family, I cleaned and come back again, I need ro fix the problem


08:29PM | 03/02/20
It’s almost certainly bacteria that feeds on manganese in the municipal water supply—very common and harmless. You can buy a test kit on Amazon if you want to be certain.


08:08PM | 03/18/20
I also have this problem and this is the first place I've ever lived where this is an issue. I admit it freaks me out especially as I have health issues. I have looked at various sites and some say its the harmless bacteria/manganese or bacteria/rubber ring in the faucet thing. As to the rubber rings in the faucet, that still leaves the black goop under the toilet rim. Other sites say it is mold. Either way, it is totally gross and something I regularly try to deal with. We wash our faces and brush our teeth with the water going thru that stuff. I truly do hope that it is harmless!


08:10PM | 03/18/20
If BV021795 ever checks back to this site, please post the best way to find the test on Amazon. Much appreciated!


06:18PM | 04/03/20
......yeso it's caused by oxidised iron and manganese in the water supply. Tap water often contains these dissolved minerals. It can be a nuisance but I'm told is harmless.....


08:22AM | 04/22/20
Read this article by Michael Kummer plus all of the posts. Michael also gives a link to the Amazon test he recommends. He also says it's annoying but harmless.


05:57PM | 06/27/20
Have the same gunk(almost looks like strands of rubber). Our house is just four years old and they did use PEX on all of the plumbing. I am going to let it accumulate again and have it tested. Very disturbing.


08:04AM | 11/09/20
As a plumber the first thing I would do is alk to my neighbors and see if anyone else is having the same problem. If they are it's most likely a 3 stage filter and/or a water softener would take care of the problem, if they arent I would have a plumber come inspect my water lines from the meter to the faucet


05:21AM | 04/09/21
Are any of these replies from the UK? For a while I thought the black gunk was coming from my electric toothbrush. Is the general consensus its manganese and oxidized iron in the water supply? Help!


06:02PM | 05/25/21
Over the last year I have had similar problem in an apartment I own. Never a problem before. City water, neighbors not having the problem, pvc from meter to building, then copper within building. Since the black gunk is somewhat greasy and smears when touched it feels like a disintegrating rubber washer or hose etc. changed all water supply lines, changed water heater with copper crimped connections , checked connection from where water line meets the building etc. it is in all faucet aerators, tank bowl, shower heads, even a water pic :(. So far haven’t beat this thing. Ideally since we never had it before woul like to fix issue prior to putting in some sort of filtration system.


11:08AM | 06/15/21
We had a water filtration system installed at a cost of $7,000 . We still have the black gunk in faucets, shower heads and under rim in toilets! Had the company here today to check the system. We were told that it is ‘debris’ in the city water and the filtration system does not remove that.
I’m thinking that the filtration system is useless.
Hope this helps someone else not to waste their money.


11:16AM | 08/15/21
Now I know why my plumbers won't touch this problem with a ten-foot pole...I guess I'll just keep wiping the crap out of my bathroom faucets and hope that no one notices....By the way, I wonder what hotels and B&Bs do when their livelihood depends upon guests having pleasant bathrooms...we can't have house guests anymore...they'd think they were in the house from hell.


09:43AM | 08/25/21
I had this problem about a month after moving into my brand new house 11 years ago. Town flushed the water line and I wiped it off of every faucet. Installing plumber just shrugged and never had any reason. No problems until 1-2 years ago when I noticed that my wash cloths were accumulating black spots all over despite hanging them to dry after using. Bleach did not help, and I've just been discarding them. Also, removed the components of every faucet and soaked in bleach (no help; it just reappears right away), then vinegar (so far, so good as far as the faucets go). Last night I noticed black spots appearing on my unmentionables (which I hand wash in the shower). So angry, as this is really beyond the pale. Have a call into the town water supervisor. BTW, our manganese lever last year was about 9.0 (upper limit of acceptable is about 12.0). What to do what to do.


06:21PM | 09/07/21
You may want to check and see if you have stainless flex lines hooking up from the water source/valves to the faucets, there is a high possibility that the internal rubber lines of the stainless flex are breaking down and falling apart, then traveling through the faucets. Especially on the hot water sides. If you ever replace these, go with a white PVC flex line instead of stainless flex, to hook up all your faucets. Or hard pipe it with compression fitting ends. Make sure that any softener, water heater etc..., also has no stainless flex lines within the system. Hope this helps.

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