Nothing beats a cold glass of fresh, clear water. But when you reach for your cup and see that the water is filled with tiny black specks, it’s concerning. Although these specks might be harmless to consume, they still quite unappealing and could signal a major issue with your plumbing.

5 reasons why you could be seeing specks in your water:

  • Pipe corrosion. If your home has aging metal pipes, the specks may come from corrosion. Rust or other metallic pieces can break off from the interior of the pipes and be sent up through your taps. This will likely occur only for cold water taps and is more prevalent after a period of rest for your pipes. You may need pipe repair or replacement, depending on the level of damage. Either way, get them looked at promptly to prevent major leaks from occurring.
  • Excess minerals. Iron and manganese are common minerals that show up in trace amounts in residential water supplies. Although typically not found in dangerous levels, it still results in unsightly black specks. Excess minerals could be coming from the municipal water supply, which can only be corrected by your local government. Have a plumber out to the home to test the water and pinpoint the problem.
  • Old water filters. Many residential water filters use a system called Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). GAC filters use the element carbon to scrub the water of impurities. As they get older, they begin to break down and you will find small flecks of carbon in your water. Simply have your filter replaced regularly to avoid this issue. Small, tap-based systems can easily have their filters replaced without professional help. If you have a larger system and are uncomfortable working with the filtration device, a professional will be able to take care of it without worries.
  • Corroded water heater. Your water heater has components that can corrode and end up in your water. If you notice black specks only when using the hot water tap, you can be pretty sure the water heater is the culprit. This can also mean that your heater is at the end of its life. The fix is to replace your water heater as soon as possible. Unless you’re experienced, water heater replacement can be dangerous, so go with a professional installer.
  • Broken parts. Are the black specks rubbery? It could mean that a rubber gasket or supply hose in your piping system has been damaged. Leaks can result in thousands of dollars in damage when not caught soon enough. Have a plumber inspect your system immediately to locate the problem and fix it.

Bieg Plumbing has the solution

If you notice black specks in your water, contact Bieg Plumbing. Bieg’s master plumbers have the experience to diagnose issues and fix them properly. Bieg Plumbing has served the St. Louis area for 60 years and is one of the region’s most trusted service providers.

Black specs got you saying, “Yuck!” Time to call the red truck!


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