Why Is Black Water Coming Out The Tub Faucet

Did the black water suddenly pour out of your faucet? No, you’re not dreaming, and indeed this isn’t a normal thing to witness in your home. Why is black water coming out of the tub faucet, and is this dangerous?

Black water doesn’t necessarily have to indicate something dangerous or severe. Still, any discoloration in your water isn’t a good thing.

Why is black water coming out of the tub faucet

If the black water comes out of the faucet once you turn it, chances are you want to get rid of this as soon as possible. It looks disgusting, and you probably don’t want to deal with it for a minute longer than necessary.

There are three possible reasons for black water coming out of bathtub faucet, and these are:

  • Magnesium
  • Galvanized or steel piping
  • Water softener
  • Construction works

Let’s explain in more detail.

Magnesium is commonly present in your water supply. Sometimes, it can get in contact with oxygen, making it black. This will turn your entire water dark. [1]

Steel or galvanized piping, while durable, can sometimes rust from the water in your plumbing system. When this happens, the mineral can flake, and these specks will get inside the water. There, they’ll mix with magnesium and other minerals, coloring your water black.

Construction works might also cause rusted flakes to get into the water system, causing discolorations.

Finally, some water softeners contain natural resin beads in black color. If they break down inside your plumbing system, this might lead to black water.

The best way to understand what does it mean when black water comes out of your faucet on each occasion is to locate a local plumber. A professional will be able to find out what’s the cause of water discoloration and how to deal with it. However, sometimes, you can deal with this issue on your own.

How To Fix Black Water Coming Out Of Faucet?

Depending on the source of black water, there are several methods you can use to fix this. Of course, to solve the issue, first, you have to know the reason why is black water coming out of the tub faucet.

We’ll talk about this, cause by cause.


As we’ve already mentioned, magnesium is one of the minerals commonly found in your water. Most minerals are simply chemicals used for cleaning and treating the water. While not all are good for humans, their amounts are typically so small your organism won’t even detect it. Of course, there are exceptions to it, which is why water filters exist.

Normally, you wouldn’t be able to see or sense magnesium in your water supply, as it contains such small amounts. However, when there is too much oxygen in in your water, it can mix with magnesium and turn the water black. In other words, when you have black water coming out of the tub faucet, you don’t have too much magnesium but oxygen.

This is the main reason why is black water coming out the tub faucet.

Luckily, this black water isn’t dangerous for you. Still, it does look quite nasty, and you probably don’t want it to continue. So how can you fix it, then?

Firstly, buy a testing kit to ensure this, and not something more dangerous is discoloring your water. Once you’ve confirmed magnesium is the cause, it would be wise to get a good water softener. Sure, filters might work, but they aren’t as effective as softeners. Not to mention that a softener will have benefits for your clothes, skin, and hair!

Galvanized Piping

In old houses with galvanized pipes, rust is another common reason behind black water. Why is that?

Pipes have their life span, and they need replacing after several decades.

First, you might notice some minor issues. Your water pressure might go down, you may have a clogged sink with sitting water, or you might see a slightly darker color in your water. As time passes, the water will only get darker and darker before it becomes entirely black.

If you’ve ruled out magnesium and you don’t have a water softener, then old pipes are likely the reason why is black water coming out the tub faucet.

This issue will often occur with steel or galvanized pipes. They aren’t as durable as PVC pipes, and they are susceptible to rust and other types of environmental damage. Rust is flakey, and as such, it will get into your water, coloring it dark brown or blood red.

However, if this rust mixes with other minerals – for example, magnesium – it will become much darker, sometimes even pitch black.

It would be best if you didn’t attempt to fix pipes on your own. This isn’t a simple DIY project that you can complete with a few tips and tricks, such as removing sink stopper or fixing a broken touchless faucet. Whenever you fear there is a problem with your plumbing, it’s essential you call local piping professional.

These problems can sometimes demand you get behind the wall to repair them, and no one who isn’t trained has these skills. Don’t risk making matters worse. Piping issues can end up being costly, especially if you don’t deal with them on time.

Defective Water Softener

The purpose of water softeners is to improve the quality of your water. However, on some occasions, they might go awry and turn your water black.

Just like any other unit you use, water softeners need to be maintained, and certain parts need to be replaced from time to time. Also, the softener itself might sometimes break, which means that it’s time to get a new one.

A broken-down water softener can be one of the causes behind black water in your plumbing supply.

There are few ways a water softener can turn the water black. For example, suppose you bought it because magnesium was discoloring your water. In that case, this might mean the softener stopped working, and the magnesium is back.

However, if the water wasn’t black before, this means the water softener caused it to darken. As we’ve mentioned, water softeners come with black resin beads. If your softener goes bad, the beads can get into your water supply, making it black.

The solution behind this issue is simple. What you need to do is to fix your water softener or to replace it altogether if it’s beyond help. This should help your water return to its standard color – or rather, to the lack of it.

Construction Work

If your water has been shut down for a few hours, and then once it returned, it was, you probably feel like in a horror movie. Don’t worry – chances are there is some construction work in your area.

From time to time, local authorities perform revisions and repairs to the plumbing system. When they do this, they turn the water off, so the workers can stay safe. Once they turn the water on, some residue of the old pipes might go inside the water. This is why your water can look muddy. While rare, sometimes it can turn pitch black.

On most occasions, after construction works, your water will look brown, filled with nasty-looking particles. Still, even if the water is black, you shouldn’t worry too much. This issue will probably go away in a day or two.

Just to make sure, avoid drinking tap water during this time period.

Another thing you might try is to let your water run for a few minutes. This can be enough for the residue to clear out and empty itself from your plumbing.


While you might not be certain why is black water coming out the tub faucet, you should know that this isn’t necessarily dangerous. Of course, under no means should you drink this water or prepare food with it.

Black water is, in most cases, entirely safe, and you could shower in it or even drink it. However, since you could never be 100% sure, it’s better not to risk it. Analyze the situation before determining your next step.

Whether you decide to replace your water filter, call a professional, or just let the problem pass, it is up to you and up to the particular situation.

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