Carbon or impurities in Brine tank after regen

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Hi there,

I have been dealing with this issue ever since my water softener was installed a year ago. After every regen, black specs will float up to the top of the brine tank. Even if I remove them, they keep coming back.

My installer keeps telling me this is normal and not to worry.. and the backwash is washing a bit of the carbon back up to the brine tank. (Another technician told me this could be impurities from the salt)

They tell me to fill more salt in once you see water (but seems like an attempt to cover up the issue).

This is an Aquamaster 950.

Is it carbon leaking? Is it impurities? Any assistance will be appreciated!

PS water is fine across the house but just knowing these black specs are forming… I’m not sure if it’s normal!


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After doing a long search online, the photo you posted most closely resembles the issue I’m having as well. It doesn’t appear to be mold, but I suppose it is possible. I had been regularly checking mine every week or two and it always looked beautiful: beautiful white rocks of salt. Then all of a sudden these flecks showed up on the top. More accurately, it resembles a coating which sticks to the salt. This happened when the salt was maybe 25% full (so the salt tank was mostly empty).

I have a Watertech SoftMax Pro with aqua helix technology, with a separate brine tank and auto resin design. Installed last year. I do have plumbing knowledge but I am new to water softeners and how they work.

Is this most likely GAC (granulated activated carbon) filter particles from the main softening tank after flushing? I’m not even sure if my model has GAC.

But if so, I wasn’t aware the brine tank experiences flushing too, I always assumed that the main softener tank was the only thing which flushed. Perhaps someone could answer that, because if the brine tank doesn‘t flush, then I’m at a loss and maybe it is mold.

Although, I wiped some on my finger from the side of the tank, and it has a greasy consistency.

I am on a rural well, with a 1 micron polypropylene 4.5 x 10” whole house prefilter. Hard water.

(sorry, photos wouldn’t upload).
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