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Anyone know what this is?

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RandomTask

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This sink has a slow drip and after weeks/ months of not being home- it will always develop this strange buildup. Is my water system safe to drink? Any tips or insight are appreciated!

It was also much longer than this, but it actually broke off and fell into the drain.
 

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Jeff Handy

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Probably just hard water minerals.

But it could be algae slime or bacteria.

More important, if you are gone for weeks, you should flush all your faucets before using or drinking.
Parasites can breed in there, I think the bad one is called a hydra, it can get into your brain.
Also legionella.
And other bad stuff.
 
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pasadena_commut

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This sink has a slow drip and after weeks/ months of not being home- it will always develop this strange buildup. Is my water system safe to drink? Any tips or insight are appreciated!

It was also much longer than this, but it actually broke off and fell into the drain.
Rust is that color. Do you have old galvanized pipes? Rust alone wouldn't do it though. We have exactly that kind of pipe, and very hard water, and nothing like that has formed on faucets which dripped for a while. There is probably a biological component holding it together, as Jeff Handy suggested in the previous post.

Start by taking off that aerator and giving it a good cleaning. Bleach is what I normally use to disinfect things. Unfortunately it is not good to apply that to stainless steel or copper. So use it on the plastic aerator innards, but not on that shiny metal outer piece. I'm not sure what you should use inside the faucet. Isopropyl alcohol will clean and disinfect the metal but might be bad for the cartridges.

The safest thing might be to take the sink completely apart, remove the cartridges, then let it simmer for a while in very hot water. Call the manufacturer and see if they can recommend a way to clean the cartridges. I would bet money that something in the cartridges will fail if boiled.

You might want to have the water tested from other faucets in the house, just to find out if some sort of bacteria have colonized the pipes. My guess though is that most of this is just in the faucet. Replace the hoses on this sink before you reassemble, and blast water into a bucket for a while from each shutoff to flush whatever might be just upstream in the pipe.
 
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