Why Is Black Water Coming Out Of The Tub Faucet? (Find Out Now!)

Kellan Jansen
by Kellan Jansen

If you’re sitting down to take a bath, then you expect the experience to be relaxing. However, that’s the exact opposite of how you’ll feel if you turn on your faucet and see black water coming out of it.

Seeing black water appear in your bathtub can feel gross and overwhelming. However, you can solve the problem if you approach it in the right way. The first step of that is figuring out what’s causing the water in your tub to be black.

There are several reasons why black water could be coming out of the tub faucet. Often, it’s due to an excess of mineral deposits in the water. It could also be happening because of rusty pipes, mildew growth in your pipes or water heater, and an old filtration system. Keep reading to get an in-depth look at how each of these issues can cause black water in your tub.

Do You Need to Hire a Plumber?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

What Should I Do About Black Water Coming Out of the Tub Faucet?

The most important thing is not to panic. When black water comes out of a faucet, it can feel like a very serious thing. You may be worried about needing to replace your entire plumbing system and thinking about how much it would cost to do so. However, the reality of the problem is often nowhere near this serious.

Ultimately, you need to figure out what’s causing the black water to come out of your faucet before you can fix it. Doing so will give you the information that you need to know in order to tackle the problem in the most efficient way possible. With that in mind, keep reading to learn about the top five causes of black water coming out of tub faucets and what it takes to fix each of them.

Reason #1: Mineral Deposits

The water that’s delivered throughout your home always has a certain level of minerals in it. For the most part, these are harmless. However, if your home’s water supply has excessive amounts of certain minerals in it, the water could turn black.

This most commonly happens with magnesium, manganese, and iron, which can build up in a home’s water over time. When these minerals come out of your faucet, they mix with the oxygen in the air and turn black. The good news is that these minerals aren’t toxic, full of bacteria, or anything like that, which could be harmful to humans. They only look gross.

How to Fix It

If you believe that excessive mineral deposits are causing your problems, then don’t worry. The problem is a relatively easy one to fix. Doing so can be as simple as installing a water filtration system in your home. These filter out most of the minerals before they get to your faucet, thereby eliminating your black water problem.

You can also try using a water softener system to fix this issue. These can also remove excess minerals before they reach your faucets. Ultimately, either of these solutions will get the job done so it’s up to you to decide which one is right for your home. Thankfully, both of these fixes are easy enough to install on your own.

Reason #2: Rusty Pipes

Rusty pipes can also cause water to appear black when it comes out of your tub’s faucet. When pipes get rusty, they often begin to flake. It’s these flakes of rust that may be causing your issue. Rust flakes can get into your water, react with oxygen, and turn dark as a result of that interaction.

Rusting occurs most commonly in plumbing systems that are older. If this is the problem that you’re experiencing, then you should notice hard particles in your water. That being said, there are many different types of pipes that are susceptible to rust. This is a list that includes:

  • Iron pipes
  • Copper pipes
  • Steel pipes
  • Galvanized pipes

How to Fix It

Unfortunately, this is a problem that can be expensive to fix. Essentially, the only way to fix a pipe that’s rusting is to replace it entirely. This means that you’re going to have to get into your plumbing system, identify where the problem is coming from, and replace those pipes.

This process can involve lots of excavation work and will likely require you to hire a professional plumber. Given the costs and difficulties associated with fixing this problem, it’s often a good idea to try the other solutions on this list first if you’re at all unsure about rust being the culprit behind your black water problems.

Reason #3: Mildew Growth

Mildew can grow in various parts of your home’s water distribution system. This includes both inside of your pipes and in your water heater. When mildew grows in these areas, it has the potential to discolor your water, turning it black.

This problem is very serious, and one that you’ll need to address right away. Mold and mildew can harm humans in a variety of ways. For example, they can cause headaches, sore throats, asthma attacks, and mold poisoning, which can be life-threatening in certain situations.

How to Fix It

With a problem as serious as this, you shouldn’t risk attempting to fix the problem on your own. Instead, you’re going to want to call a professional plumber out to take a look as soon as possible. They can test your water to verify whether it is, in fact, mildew or mold that’s causing the problem.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t interact with the water in any way while you wait to determine what’s causing it to be black. That means no bathing, no washing your hands, and no using the water in appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine. Once again, doing so could seriously impact your family’s health.

Reason #4: Sand or Clay Particles

This isn’t as common of a cause for black water coming out of a tub faucet. In fact, it’s one that’s only relevant to homeowners who get their water from a private well, instead of from the city water line. If that applies to you, then it’s possible that some of the materials in the ground around your well are getting into your water. Sand and clay are the most common culprits of this.

How to Fix It

There are several different ways that you can approach fixing this problem. For example, if you have a sandstone well, then you can try installing a liner along the walls of the well. Similarly, folks with gravel and sand wells can try installing a new screen.

Ultimately, you need to add something to your well that will filter out the sand and clay that’s been getting into your water. The specific way that you do that will depend on the type of well that you use.

Reason #5: Old Filtration System

Finally, it’s also possible that your filtration system is what’s causing your problem. This can only be true if your filtration system uses granular activated carbon — not all do. Over time, these carbon particles can fall off of the filter and into your water supply. When that happens, your water may start appearing black.

How to Fix It

The good news is that this is another problem with an easy fix. All that you’ll likely need to do is replace the old cartridge in your filter with a new one.

Given how easy this solution is, it’s another one that you should attempt early in the process. You may be able to fix your problem by doing so, without having to resort to some of the more serious fixes discussed above.

Do I Have to Hire a Plumber?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is that it depends. More specifically, you may or may not have to hire a plumber based on what’s causing your issue and whether or not you can identify it.

For example, most homeowners can replace a water filter on their own. Similarly, installing a new water filtration or water softener system isn’t all that difficult. If you’ve identified that these are the steps that need to be taken to solve the problem, then you should be able to do so without hiring a plumber.

However, it isn’t always easy to figure out exactly what’s causing your water to be black. If you’re unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution — especially since mold and mildew can be the cause of the problem.

With that in mind, you should probably call a plumber just to be safe. The only scenario where you don’t need to is if you’re able to accurately determine the cause of the problem and know that you can it on your own.

Do You Need to Hire a Plumber?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

Is black water dangerous?

Yes, black water has the potential to be dangerous, even if that isn’t always the case. To keep your family safe, it’s best to treat the issue as if it’s being caused by mold or mildew. That means keeping them away from the water until you’ve fixed it.

Can mold grow in water pipes?

Although not exceptionally common, mold can grow in your water pipes. If this is happening in your home, it’s crucial that you call a plumber out to fix the issue as soon as possible.

Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen

Kellan is a content writer who specializes in everything DIY. When he's not behind the keyboard, he enjoys spending time with his pets, playing music, and geeking out about basketball. He hopes to make your home improvement projects a little bit easier to accomplish.

More by Kellan Jansen