active carbon issue


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Old 04-16-08, 09:41 PM
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active carbon issue

I have a chlorine injections treatment system that feeds in to a backwashing active carbon unit then to a tannin filter.

My issue is for the last 3 years my wifes hands have gotten so bad from the water they look like 3rd degree burns and put her in a lot of pain. We have had the water guys in to inspect the treatment and everything is running fine. If I change the carbon within a week her hands are fine and healed but after 3 weeks or so they go right back to the pain.

I have the chlorine system off and the carbon is changed with fresh stuff, it lasted 4 weeks then the peeled painful hands came back, I put the carbon tank on bypass and in 2 days her hands start to heal again.

Anyone have an idea as to why carbon could make her hands peel so much the skin they looks burnt? Could this be some kind of allergy to active carbon? Everyone I talk with in the water business in town is stumped.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-17-08, 02:56 PM
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1: Is your wife allergic to coconut? Most activated carbon is coconut based.

2: Are you feeding anything along with chlorine to raise the pH? Something like Potash or Sodium Hydroxide? To much of those can raise the pH really high and hurt the skin.
 
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Old 04-17-08, 07:56 PM
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I have never heard of carbon 'causing' problem similar to your description. Carbon take 'things' out of the water, not into. I have never heard of anyone having a reaction like that.

Is it just her hands, but what of her feet, back, face? Maybe there is a hand lotion that she is using or some other catalyst causing this reaction.

Since you have tannins (organics) in your water, there may be an allergic reaction there.

Without more details on water quality, it is hard to determine the cause and recommend a solution, sorry. I know this can be very frustrating but hate to see you jumpt to the wrong conclusions.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II
 
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Old 04-18-08, 08:52 AM
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As far as we know she is not allergic to coconuts, I have seen her eat coconut before without a reaction. This only happens on the hands including fingers. Here is the last results from a water test done a few months back, I don't have any results for the tannin level but it's not dark just ever so faint yellow.

Test done from water right out of the well before treatment.

Iron - 3ppm
Chlorine - 0ppm
PH - between 7 and 8
Alkalinity - 230
Hardness - 90ppm (5 grain)

I am not adding anything to raise or lower the PH.

Since I do not have the chlorine turned on at the moment, is it better to have the softener before the carbon or after?

thanks
 
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Old 04-18-08, 12:44 PM
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Does the pH hover around 8? One of my customers is a very famous soldier, a real tough man. He was in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and advised on Dessert Storm 1. His water was just a little above 8 on the pH scale and his hands would practically fall apart from the water. When I started feeding citric acid into the water (I cringed to have to do this) and lowered the pH to 7.0 - 7.5, his hands got better. There is another way to do this, but it is a little complicated, so let's look at the carbon.

I have noticed that new carbon sometimes has a profound effect on pH, and it is hard to predict which way the pH will go, but the next time you get the carbon changed, get a pH test kit and monitor the pH for a while. I would be guessing from here, but I think that you will see a difference between fresh carbon and carbon that has been in for a while.
 
 

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