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Thread: Black Soot in bathtub

  1. #1

    Default Black Soot in bathtub

    I've been getting black soot coming out in the bathtub when the hot water hasn't been used all night. It doesn't appear to be broken-up rubber. It is very fine, black, and the large pieces will break up and dissolve if I poke them with my finger. It will smear on the tub.

    I have a gas hot water heater. Does this mean it's on its way out? It's been like this for months now.

    EDIT: I should add that I also get them in the bathroom sink. It is not limited to the bathtub.

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    It is probably from the anode rod disintegrating. It could also be manganese but I doubt it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    It is probably from the anode rod disintegrating. It could also be manganese but I doubt it.
    What do I do about it?

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    It is magnesium sulfide, often caused by a reaction between the anode rod and soft water. Change the rod and try to flush the remnants out of the heater, which may not be possible.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member matrazar's Avatar
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    I recently replaced my gas hot water heater 2nd floor above master bathroom.
    I now have black soot appearing in my tub. since this is a new tub I am guessing I have magnesium sulfide in the pipes is there anything I can use to flush this out and clean the lines?

  6. #6

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    Update: The problem wasn't the water heater, it was the Sharkbite flexible water heater lines I had used. Replacing them with conventional flexible copper lines solved the problem. Here is a link to someone else who had the same issue:

    http://www.kcsr.org/showthread.php?t=84485

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    So the O-ring on the Shark Bite flex connector failed?
    There is a lot of heat right off the water heater.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member JerryR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    So the O-ring on the Shark Bite flex connector failed?
    There is a lot of heat right off the water heater.

    Not the o-ring. I believe it is the rubber lining inside the sharkbite stainless steel braided flex hose that disintegrates.
    http://www.sdsmarket.com/Cash_Acme_U...3088flex24.htm
    JR

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member poe's Avatar
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    I have the same problem but all of my lines are copper. Running peroxide through my tank cleared it for about a week. I pulled my anode rod to find it covered with a thick layer of the black slime.

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