Black liquid in the salt tank

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Bthorpe24

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I have a Marlo CMCV Combo water softener and there is a black liquid in the salt tank. It is at the top of the water line and only around the perimeter of the tank, about 1/2 inch thick all the way around. Feels like a slimy film, or maybe similar to motor oil. I’ve read some other threads that say mold can form in the tanks. But, I’ve never seen mold that looks like this and sits on top of water, but I’m not very experienced in water softeners. we are on a well, have hard water, and I do have a Res-up automatic feeder with Res Care cleaner. Will attach a photo. Any thoughts on this?


IMG_0661.jpeg
 

Reach4

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Take some black stuff, and see what effect some bleach solution has.

You can sanitize your brine tank with bleach. For a new softener, the Fleck 5810 manual suggests 1.2 fluid ounces of 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) for every cubic ft of resin. So if you wanted to sanitize the brine tank, that might be a good amount for fairly soon after a regen (to let it sit with the brine for a week or so) to put into the brine tank every year or two. For 2 cuft of resin, that would be 5 tablespoons of 5.25% or 3.15 tablespoons of 8%.

Also you don't have enough salt, unless you were emptying the tank to clean your tank. How many years since you cleaned your brine tank. You might want to clean the brine tank after about 2000 pounds of salt, depending on what you see. For normal operation, keep some salt above the water level, although one person would disagree that that that is important. Salt stratifies. Did you ever notice that the level in the brine tube is higher than the level of liquid in the brine tank?
 

Bthorpe24

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Take some black stuff, and see what effect some bleach solution has.

You can sanitize your brine tank with bleach. For a new softener, the Fleck 5810 manual suggests 1.2 fluid ounces of 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) for every cubic ft of resin. So if you wanted to sanitize the brine tank, that might be a good amount for fairly soon after a regen (to let it sit with the brine for a week or so) to put into the brine tank every year or two. For 2 cuft of resin, that would be 5 tablespoons of 5.25% or 3.15 tablespoons of 8%.

Also you don't have enough salt, unless you were emptying the tank to clean your tank. How many years since you cleaned your brine tank. You might want to clean the brine tank after about 2000 pounds of salt, depending on what you see. For normal operation, keep some salt above the water level, although one person would disagree that that that is important. Salt stratifies. Did you ever notice that the level in the brine tube is higher than the level of liquid in the brine tank?
Thanks for responding. I’ve heard differing recommendations on the salt level and usually let it work down about this level and then add three 50 lb. bags to get it back above the water line. Installer recommended letting the salt level work down to keep from bridging in the bottom of the tank. I can try to keep salt at higher levels if that would help with performance. The whole new system was installed just over 2 years ago and I haven’t cleaned the brine tank since install. Would estimate I’m going through two to three 50 lb. bags of salt per month, so maybe I’m over due to clean it. The level in the brine tube is maybe an inch higher than the brine tank water. Is that a sign of an issue?
 

Reach4

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First, the level in the brine tank being an inch up is not an issue.

So that is about 3000 lbs worth. Maybe you don't need it, but it is warm weather. Might be a good time. 2000 is at the low end of how much salt you can easily use before cleaning. With your pellets, you could probably go twice that. Some people think 10000 pounds is an upper limit. Most people never clean the brine tank.

I don't think bridging is that common.

If you want to make sure your brine is saturated, and you want to make sure there is no bridge (or you are short on salt), you can push/pour the salt to one side/corner. With any salt peeking above the water, no stratification will happen.

If planning to clean the tank, it seems to me that you could just stir the liquid in advance, and that would also kill stratification.
 

ditttohead

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Salt is 99.9% pure, meaning a 50 pound bag of salt will have some "stuff" in it. Dirt, bird droppings, etc... Clean and sanitize the brine tank every year or two. As to salt level, ignore everything you have ever heard or read. Fill the tank with salt, when it gets low, add more. It is not critical with a time filled system since most modern electronic units add a specific amount of water to the brine tank. Water will dissolve a specific amount of salt into each gallon of water regardless of salt level.
 
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