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Thread: Carbon foul?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Carbon foul?

    So I have Gary's erosion dry pellet inline chlorinator and mixing tank, follow by a Carbon filter. This past month I forgot to check the Chlorine. Now I think the Carbon is foul. My well water has H2S.

    So I added more Chlorine pellet. If I bypass the Carbon filter, I can smell the Chlorine in the House. If I don't bypass the Carbon filter I smell H2S in the House, but no Chlorine. Is the Carbon still filtering the Chlorine? Does the Chlorine NOT kill or remove the H2S in the Carbon filter?

    Also, when I backwash the Carbon filter, the backwash water does NOT smell like Chlorine or H2S. Not sure what's going on.

    What does it mean when you guys say "the Carbon is Foul"?

    I guess I may have to order more Carbon to rebed. Any help on how to fix my issue without rebedding.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Bypass the carbon filter and run the water until you smell chlorine in every faucet to include the hot side. Put the carbon filter back in service and flush the line of the chlorine.

  3. #3

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    Does your system have a retention tank, that is, a tank between the chlorine pellet feeder and the carbon backwashing system? Does the system have an adjustment to decrease or increase the chlorine feed into the water before the carbon filter?

    Carbon fouling can mean a couple of things but essentially it always results in the same ending: it fails to accomplish its goals. Some fouling can be done by 'collecting' foreign matter and coating the carbon preventing it to adsorb odors, organics, etc. Your carbon may have a back and forth battle with trying to remove sulfur and chlorine depending on which was the over-powering element in the water solution.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accord91 View Post
    So I have Gary's erosion dry pellet inline chlorinator and mixing tank, follow by a Carbon filter. This past month I forgot to check the Chlorine. Now I think the Carbon is foul. My well water has H2S.
    I suspect you may have also not been draining water from the mixing tank as instructed until it ran clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by accord91 View Post
    So I added more Chlorine pellet. If I bypass the Carbon filter, I can smell the Chlorine in the House. If I don't bypass the Carbon filter I smell H2S in the House, but no Chlorine. Is the Carbon still filtering the Chlorine? Does the Chlorine NOT kill or remove the H2S in the Carbon filter?
    Until you flush out all the water in the plumbing, especially lines that are not used much like a spare bathroom, with the H2S and/or chlorine odor, you wont know how well the equipment is working.

    Quote Originally Posted by accord91 View Post
    Also, when I backwash the Carbon filter, the backwash water does NOT smell like Chlorine or H2S. Not sure what's going on.
    That is because you are using chlorinated water to do the backwashing and the carbon is removing it but, that doesn't tell you what you need to know, that is if there is a strong smell of chlorine in the drain water from the mixing tank and if that water is discolored or clear.

    If the carbon is 'bad', you will smell chlorine in the water that has gone through the carbon filter to your fixtures unless you don't have enough chlorine in the water in the mixing tank, to go through the filter; like when there are no pellets in the hopper for some time. OR, after not draining the sediment out of the mixing tank for enough time to allow it to get into the carbon filter to load it up with dirt (become fouled), then you have to replace the carbon.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  5. #5
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    Whenever I add more Chlorine pellets, I always open/drain the Mixing tank for 1-2 minutes.

    Also strange, last night after having the Carbon filter bypass for 3 day now (and actively using all the plumbing), if I turn on the kitchen sink, the water will smell like chlorine. I then UN-bypass the carbon filter, the same water then started smelling like H2S. I then go Backwash the Carbon filter, the water coming out does NOT smell like anything (in both cycles). It could be I'm outside and it's hard to smell anything being outside vs. being inside.

    Anyways, I have been running the water bypassing the Carbon filter for 3 days now. All the pipes in the house have a "strong" chlorine water in them. I will backwash the Carbon Filter twice in a row and see how it turns out.

    Also, the Carbon filter is set to backwash every other day.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    A minor thought, double check to see if the smell is only on the hot water or if it is both hot and cold. You are right in assuming that smelling H2S would be difficult outside. I have never been very successful and have always had to do my sniff test indoors. Maybe its my old sniffer is not working too well.

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accord91 View Post
    Whenever I add more Chlorine pellets, I always open/drain the Mixing tank for 1-2 minutes.

    Also strange, last night after having the Carbon filter bypass for 3 day now (and actively using all the plumbing), if I turn on the kitchen sink, the water will smell like chlorine. I then UN-bypass the carbon filter, the same water then started smelling like H2S. I then go Backwash the Carbon filter, the water coming out does NOT smell like anything (in both cycles). It could be I'm outside and it's hard to smell anything being outside vs. being inside.

    Anyways, I have been running the water bypassing the Carbon filter for 3 days now. All the pipes in the house have a "strong" chlorine water in them. I will backwash the Carbon Filter twice in a row and see how it turns out.

    Also, the Carbon filter is set to backwash every other day.

    Thanks
    You should be draining the tank every month and adding pellets every 2-3 months based on water usage. And backwashing the filter should be every 3-5 days, why every other night?

    I don't think you've been draining the tank when you should but you can't/won't smell chlorine in the filter drain water. The carbon should remove both chlorine and H2S from the backwash water because the water flows through the carbon during backwash and rinse cycles.

    I think you need to check to see how much carbon you have in the tank. In the dark hold a flashlight or trouble light up against the side of the tank and raise/lower it until you can't see the light or you see the light, through the other side of the tank from the light. That spot is the top of the carbon. The height of the carbon should be about 15-20" down from the top of the tank.

    Assuming you smell chlorine or H2S at all faucets and not just the kitchen sink, if it carbon level is OK or not, I think you should replace the (Centaur) carbon. I think I asked you how old it was and didn't get an answer... but 4-5 years would be normal with backwashing every 3-5 days.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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