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How often should you replace the carbon in a whole house unit? My tank measures 10" x 54" and the water coming out is clear and odorless. I called one local company and they told me "never" unless there are problems or a noticeable change in the water quality and that back washing cleans the carbon. I've purchased parts from you folks before for my Autotrol systems. I am looking for an unbiased answer ?


They are on the right track, and much more honest then most companies ( most companies try to get you to do it every year whether it's necessary or not ).

The fact of the matter is, It Really Depends.

What is the carbon being used for?

What is it "removing" from the water?

And how much of "that" is in the water ( i.e. chlorine, iron, color, hydrogen sulfide odor, etc )?

And how much water is being used ( quantity or number of persons in household )?

**In best cases, the carbon can last 10 years (in cases where you did not really need the carbon in the first place).

**In worse cases ( lots of water used, and lots of iron, or chlorine, or hydrogen sulfide in the water ), every year.

Average is about 5 years.

SEE: Carbon, Activated Coconut Shell 12 x 30 mesh


SEE: How To Replace Media ( Carbon, Birm, Greensand, or Calcite ) in Filter Tank

SEE: Adding Carbon to Resin in same Tank - Not Recommended

A Carbon filter on a chlorinated "city" water source can be tested with a simple swimming pool chlorine test kit.
Recommend you test the water before the filter ( raw water ) to get an idea of how much chlorine the carbon filter is trying to remove.
But the real TEST would be water from after the carbon filter.
And best done while using water at high flow rate ( OR like right after you've done a load of laundry, or other high water usage ) 
You should see NO Chlorine after it has passed through the carbon filter.
If you do detect chlorine in the house ( even a little ), then you know it's time to change the carbon in the tank.
Also, if you are getting "black" / "gray" water the mornings after Backwash we run, would be another indication that it is time to replace the Carbon ( & Gravel ) in the tank.

Well water applications, 
Simple "test" would be your nose.... if it is starting to "smell", and it's been a while ( many months or a few years ) since the carbon was last replaced,
Then new carbon might be the solution.

I would recommend TESTING the Raw Water's level of H2S ( hydrogen sulfide ) to make sure it is not too high ( more than your carbon filter system is made to remove ).

When connecting a carbon tank to a softener, which unit should be first connected to water line?


If the water source is Chlorinated Water, the Carbon Tank should be installed BEFORE ( a head ) of the Water Softener, to protect the water softener Resins & rubber parts.

If the water source is Non-Chlorinated ( private well with no chlorine added ), then it's best to install the Carbon Tank AFTER the water softener. This will help the carbon to last longer.

Mesh to Micron and Inches ( to help understand the size of the media you will get )

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