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Black particles in hot water tank

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daryl99

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We started to notice black particles in our hot water a couple of months ago. Last week I drained the hot water tank (2 year old power vented tank), filled it a bit and drained again to find a lot of particles come out (black and light brown - see photo). I did this a few times until water was clear, but a week later, again black particles in our water. I've drained it again today with same results (the photo is actually from today).

The particles sometimes would cling to surfaces like the sink basin and when we try to wipe it off, it leaves a black smear that is hard to wash off (soap isn't effective). Does anyone know what this is? Is it mainly carbon or disintegrating rubber/plastic? There are no flex piping entering or leaving the water tank.

Thanks for any information or advice.
 

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daryl99

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Forgot to mention, the container in the photos is not flat white. It is flecked with gray. The particles in the water are black and the light brown (almost looks like rust colored in the photo)
 

Jeff Handy

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The black stuff could be rubber bits from a valve washer or a flex connector somewhere on the lines.

Or algae or minerals from the heater or pipes.

Keep flushing, see what happens.

Maybe you will need to install a sediment filter after the heater.

Are you on city water or well?

Maybe the city is doing work on the mains and stirring up junk.
 

daryl99

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Thanks for the reply. I'm on city water. A large stretch of road and sidewalk was worked on, but we haven't noticed anything in the cold water. I initially thought it might be washer, but the amount of material suggests something larger.
 

HWSleuth

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Pull and check the heater’s anode rod. Usually anode particles will be grey In color. However, if the anode is magnesium there is a steel core wire that when deteriorated will appear black or dark colored rust. If you find the anode to be the concern we will need to identify what has caused it to prematurely fail.
 
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