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Particles in water

Black particles in hot water

About a year ago we started getting black particles in the water that clogged the filters on our faucets. 
The particles are sort of rubbery, but I’m not sure of the material.
I disconnected hot water recirculating system, but the problem continued for a few months, then it quit.
There was nothing in the pump that could cause this problem.
Two days ago, I turned on the hot water tap in our kitchen and there was a flood of very fine black particles for a few seconds. 
Today, my wife said the same thing happened in our bathroom on the opposite end of the house.  We haven’t seen it from any of the other faucets.
I partially drained the tank to check for sediment, but there wasn’t any, and there were none of the black particles. 
When I contacted GE, they basically said “call a plumber”.
Any help you can give me with this would be greatly appreciated.
Causes for black particles in water:
-Build-up of sludge in bottom of water heater can cause particles. Drain and flush tank

-If you have a recirculation line and if some resin has escaped from the softener, you can get fine black particles. Recirculation system

-If it feels like rounded grains of sand is likely zeolite resin from the softener.

-If particles are rubbery, they can be from a deteriorated rubber connection in the plumbing line. Some water heaters have heat trap washer located uner the hot and cold nipples. Replace with heat trap nipples or simple di-electric nipple
-The old style di-electric connections between copper and galvanized steel pipe have rubber washer. Replace connection with brass fitting.

-Galvanized steel plumbing in the line can cause black color.
-Braided flex lines might have a rubber liner that can break down in some water conditions. Replace with flexible copper connections.Use flexible copper connections.

-Colonies of organisms living on pipe walls or elsewhere inside plumbing can cause black particles. Chlorinating the system might not be enough, but you can try first. Get it tested to see if it could possibly be alive and what to do about it. Shock treat with bleach

-Aluminum anodes sometimes cause black water. Replace with magnesuim anode rod

-Local street repairs on water line work will dislodge debris and particles. Check if outdoor spigot has same particles as inside home. Check with neighbors. Install line filter.

-In the past, the plastic dip tube would occasionally disintegrate, causing white plastic particles ... but those particles are white, not black. Replace dip tube
leaking di-electric union Di-electric unions have rubber washer that can deteriorate
brass elbow and nippleDi-electric unions have rubber washer that can leak and can clog.
Rust and sediment can gather at union.
Replace with Brass fittings

Brass nipples at Amazon
Brass elbows at Amazon
Particles from garden hose?/ Anti-siphon valve/ attach to outdoor spigot
Caution: Never leave end of hose in a swimming pool, pond, or puddle of water
Outdoor hose.
People forget that outdoor spigots can allow water to enter the water supply.
For example: garden hose is left in the swimming pool. Or garden hose has water stored in the hose.
anti-siphon valveThere is bacteria in every water hose.
When indoor tap is turned on, it creates pressure on the water tension inside pipes throughout home.
The pressure can draw water up the garden hose and into water supply inside home ... the little rubber washer that seals the outdoor spigot can let  hose water to re-enter house... this will put bacteria and MAYBE pieces of washer, or pieces of garden hose in the water supply.

Install anti-siphon valve on each outdoor spigot. Then attach garden hose to valve.
Prevent water from being drawn into home from outdoor hose
Each time water is turned on inside home, the pressure from running water can draw water into plumbing pipe from garden hose

Anti-siphon valve at Amazon

Repair water heater valve
Calcium deposit or plastic?
Calcium is produced when hard water is heated inside water heater. People with hard water often install sofenener to soften the water. This reduces calcium accumulation inside tank, but softened water will shorten life of anode rod, eventually causing tank to rust unless anode is replaced each 1-3 years. Read about anode rods

Even with softener, some calcium will accumulate in bottom of tank. Along with other minerals that percolate out of water when it's heated. Periodically draining tank can remove sediments and prevent many problems.

However the sediments, including calcium, rarely leave water heater and get into the hot water line, because calcium and other minerals are heavier than water.
So if white particles (or any color particles) are getting into the areator at faucet, what is happening?

If you have recirculation pump with direct return line, you probably have a check valve. Check valves can get deposits of sediment as hot water passes. The valve can be disassembled and replaced, or cleaned by soaking in white vinegar. Other valves, such as shut off valves can get calcium deposits.

Another culprit is plastic. Some plastics dissolve in hot water. Example is the white dip tube used on older water heaters. Typically the modern heaters have a more durable blue plastic dip tube. The dip tube is connected on the cold water nipple and extends down near bottom of tank so cold water enters bottom of tank. A broken dip tube usually results in shortage of hot water duuring shower. Read about dip tubes

How can you tell if the particles are calcium or plastic. Plastic burns. Calcium does not. Plastic does not dissolve in 10% dilluted muriatic acid, but calcium does.
Perform one test or another to help identify type of material.
Then check if material is in the Hot water line or in cold water too. Check if material is coming in from the city water or water well supply.
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