Black Water After Changing Refrigerator Filter?

By - Hs Saini

Updated -

Water filters serve the purpose of extracting contaminants and dispensing clean and nice-tasting water.

These days, most refrigerators are equipped with water filters, which would work perfectly well.

However, manufacturers highly recommend replacing the water filter every six months to keep getting clean water.

When your fridge dispenses black water after you’ve changed the water filter, it results from residual carbon particles flushed out by the first water flow. Carbon particles are the primary filter substance in water filters that absorb the first contaminants.

Why Is My Water Black after Changing the Filter?

Some refrigerator water filters contain black carbon particles that function correctly in the decontamination of the water.

The carbon particles remove the dirt and germs as the water passes through the filter.

When you change the fridge water filter, the first water flow washes out some carbon dust, and the water comes out looking blackish or gray. 

Carbon granules are tiny and almost invisible to see except with the aid of a microscope.

It sometimes gets stuck in the cartridge and passes through the water during the filtration, making it look black.

Although it is normal for water filters to dispense black water after installing for the first time, Old filters can also dispense black water when it is due for replacement.

It may start giving signs like slow dispensing, odd smell, and bad tasting water before it eventually dispenses black water or black ice. 

The water filter light is a sound alert system to notify you that the filter is due for replacement and you need to change it before it worsens.

Water filter light is commonly found on refrigerators with a water dispenser or digital control panel.

After installing a new water filter, it is recommended that you run between 3 to 5 gallons of water through it for a few minutes to expel any loose carbon particles clogged in the filter.

Then, let the water run through it till you get more transparent water.

Flushing the filter requires only clean water and a container to collect the water; you don’t need to use any unique tool. 

It is highly recommended to change your water filter every six months even if the water is still clean and tastes good.

This is because the contaminants extracted from the filtered water are stored inside the filter over time.

They clog the filter and mix with clean water. As a result, the water it dispenses would contain some bacterias that can cause damage to the body.

This is why it is good to change the filter every six months.

Bacteria collected through the refrigerator water dispenser can lead to many health-related issues like diarrhea, cholera, and food poisoning.

Therefore, you should not joke about getting your water filter changed.

Is Carbon Dust Safe to Drink?

It is safe to drink water containing carbon dust, and there is no harmful effect on the body.

You can take carbon dust to reduce the toxicity of food poisoning, and It also helps as a treatment for diarrhea and gas.

Carbon has even been modified into pills, so it is entirely safe to drink the dust or take the pill. 

However, even though drinking carbon dust is harmless, drinking too many doses can cause blockage of the intestine. Therefore you should take it in minute quantities.

What Is the Black Stuff Found in the Water Filter?

The black stuff found in a refrigerator water filter is carbon granules produced from coal or coconut shells.

Although the carbon granules’ primary purpose is to remove contaminants in water, it is the main material that filters the water.

Coal and coconut shells are both organic matters that are also used to treat digestive problems like diarrhea, food poisoning, and bloating. 

Using carbon to decontaminate started in ancient Egypt, where the detoxifying ability was first discovered.

To date, carbon is used to remove contaminants in water, giving it a better taste and smell.

There are three types of carbon filters, namely.

#1. Granular Activated Carbon Filters (GAC)

To improve the decontamination capacity, heat is applied to activate the carbon. The activation process increases the pores and surface area.

After activation, the carbon particle, which is now Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), would have a higher capacity to seize contaminants.

The carbon is broken down into a loosed form, allowing easier and faster water to flow through the filter.

The water is decontaminated as it comes in contact with the carbon particles. 

#2. Carbon Block Filters

The carbon particle is ground into fine granules bonded together by a bonding agent.

The surface area of carbon block is 15 percent which is about 7-10 times the surface area of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC).

However, there is a restriction to water flow because it is not as loose as GAC.

#3. Radial Flow Carbon Filters

It contains carbon granules like that of the GAC, but the water flow system through the cartridge is like the carbon block filter.

Water flows in the side, passes through the cartridge, and is dispensed through the top.

Therefore, we can conclude that the radially flow carbon filter has the easy water flow quality of the GAC filter and the decontamination capacity of the carbon block filter.

How Long to Run Water after Changing the Filter?

After changing the filter, it takes five to thirty-five minutes to run a full water tank. Next, you soak the new filter in clean water for about 15 minutes to fasten the process.

The filter will be impregnated with water before installation and allow it to flush faster than a dry filter.

Finally, you should run 3-5 gallons of water through the new filter to flush the carbon particles leftover during the manufacture. 

To flush a whirlpool filter after replacing it, you need to use a solid container to press down and hold the water dispenser button for five seconds and release it for another five seconds.

You should repeat this process until water flows regular speed. This process may require about three gallons of water.

Next, leave the refrigerator to cool the water for 24 hours.

You should note that you need to dispense enough water to keep having a fresh supply of whirlpool refrigerator water weekly.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your water filter changed.

  1. Locate the position of your fridge water filter; it could be on one side of the top compartment or behind the plate between the floor and the bottom of the fridge door. It could also be located behind the service panel on top of the refrigerator.
  2. If you can’t find it, you can search on the internet for the manual using the refrigerator’s model number as the search term.
  3. Remove the water filter cover.
  4. Remove the old filter; some refrigerators require first pulling the old cartridge out. You can either pull it out straight or twist it counterclockwise before pulling it out.
  5. Insert the new filter into the compartment the same way you removed the old one. You need to turn the new one clockwise for the cartridge, which involves twisting counterclockwise to lock it in place.
  6. Flush out the filter by dispensing about two gallons of water to remove contaminants and air.
  7. Reset the filter change indicator if your fridge is the type the water filter light comes on when it is due for a change.


Getting your water filter changed is essential in sustaining fresh and clean water from your fridge.

However, water is necessary to the body, and taking contaminated water can have many harmful effects.

This is why it is always recommended to change your refrigerator’s water filter every six months.

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