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Black Particles

Most Common Cause: Typically, black particles come from rubber o-rings, washers or seals that can degrade over time. Pieces of old rubber will break off and clog aerators or will be seen in the bottom of toilets or sinks after the water has drained.  

Recommended Action: To determine if the particles are rubber, place one on a paper towel. Using a finger, attempt to smear or smudge the particle on the paper towel. If it smears, it is rubber. As the rubber continues to degrade, the faucet or toilet will leak. Visit a local hardware store for replacement parts or contact a plumbing expert. No health/safety concerns and water use can continue as normal.

Example of degraded rubber washer (left) and new rubber washer.

Common Cause: Black particles can also come from a point-of-use filter. The filter may have failed and is releasing fine particles into internal plumbing. If the particles are very hard, like rocks, they are likely activated carbon from a filter.

Recommended Action: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for replacing the filter cartridge, typically found in your refrigerator or under your sink. After cartridge replacement, remove aerators and turn on all taps to flush internal plumbing. An aerator can trap activated carbon particles, which may result in reduced water flow. No health/safety concerns and water use can continue as normal.

After taking the above listed actions, if the concern was not resolved, please open a case to be contacted by a Customer Case Manager.

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