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Thread: whole house water filters?

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    DIY Junior Member eric28805's Avatar
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    Default whole house water filters?

    Does anyone here have experience with them? I have a community well system with treated water, but there is a slight rust taste. I'm hoping that one of these would fix that. Locally, I can get systems made by Ace Hardware, Culligan and Whirlpool. The prices range from about $35 to about $60 (plus filters).

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I install them quite often. The key to a good system is the maintenance. Most I have installed are the two canister, one paper wound and one carbon. Carbon is for taste and odor, paper or string wound is for sediment. Keep it simple and remember the better it filters, the shorter the life of filter, the more restrictive it is. (pressure) Single containers are fine; just change it a minimum every 3 months or what is dictated by gallon usage.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default Filters

    In most areas that I see, a whole house filter isn't practicle.
    It's too expensive to use canister filters on anything but dedicated cold water lines for drinking water.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    "whole house" filters are not a good solution for your problem. If your water supply is chlorinated, you should not remove chlorine on a 'whole house' basis, it is a bad idea. Disposable cartridge filters are the wrong choice for most main line/POE (point of entry) water quality problems; although many are sold, so are toy type kitchen faucet tip filters....

    A taste like rust says you have iron in the water or steel pipe in your plumbing. If you want to filter the drinking and cooking water, use a drinking water filter under the sink with its own separate faucet. And don't buy proprietary types, buy industry standard housings, cartridges and faucets that you can buy from most internet and local water treatment dealers. You can save substantial bucks and install it yourself.

    And if your water isn't chlorinated, be careful, carbon (used to improve taste and odor) is not to be used on water of unknown microbiologiacl content.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    That's funny, I didn't know that all these stores, plumbing supply houses, and the average user of these were so wrong until I read this:


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    "whole house" filters are not a good solution for your problem. If your water supply is chlorinated, you should not remove chlorine on a 'whole house' basis, it is a bad idea. Disposable cartridge filters are the wrong choice for most main line/POE (point of entry) water quality problems; although many are sold, so are toy type kitchen faucet tip filters
    Wait a minute, that is the first step of introducing a sale, dismiss everything else and introduce what I think the person wants.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    A taste like rust says you have iron in the water or steel pipe in your plumbing. If you want to filter the drinking and cooking water, use a drinking water filter under the sink with its own separate faucet. And don't buy proprietary types, buy industry standard housings, cartridges and faucets that you can buy from most internet and local water treatment dealers. You can save substantial bucks and install it yourself.

    Oh. I guess this is the buy line that nothing else is better than what you have right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    And if your water isn't chlorinated, be careful, carbon (used to improve taste and odor) is not to be used on water of unknown microbiologiacl content.

    A little bit of fear always helps in the closing too it seems. I don't recall either of these types of filter doing this, must be salesmanship. Maybe now that we now know these products are so wrong for the potable water system I look to see all of these products pulled off the shelf as a result of Gary's lack of ability to sell them.


    I couldn't even begin to tell people of the results they have had with Gary's Toy Type faucet tip filters. I have seen people religiously install whole house filters with the string wound type filters to keep leaves and asphalt shingle specs from entering their pump systems, their faucets, showers, toilet fill valves. Make it known that I recently installed a whole house filter for a customer for the sole reason that the city water was affecting her and her baby's skin due to the high levels of chlorine. Last time I checked, they are still alive, not living in fear that Gary would like you to be and seem to be free of rashes from the skin irritation caused by their water system. I suggest that anyone who has a system such as a whole house filter, toy type faucet tip filter consider the source of knowledge that is presented in this thread and understand that the majority of people on this site are here to help, not indirectly sell you water treatment products.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Well, I have to agree with Gary. ( I am NOT in the water quality or filter business). Carbon filters do remove chlorine and I do not believe that is a good idea on a whole house basis,even though they are sold.

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    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    Well, I have to agree with Gary. ( I am NOT in the water quality or filter business). Carbon filters do remove chlorine and I do not believe that is a good idea on a whole house basis,even though they are sold.

    Correct. They do remove chlorine and depending on where you live and how close to your water treatment facility the chlorine levels are too high, thus causing reactions that are dangerous. Carbon filters are bought, sold, and installed with certain levels of filtering to adjust how much it affects the water it treats. If carbon filters posed such a harmful threat that Gary implies (wink,wink) then they would not sell them to the general public in just about every supply house. I would like to see all the threads on all the usernet forums where this is such a bad thing as one implies. And thanks for the clarification that your not in the business. I've seen your posts and you are legit and honest with no intent other than to help others who need it.
    Last edited by Dunbar Plumbing; 09-05-2005 at 04:30 PM.

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    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default filters

    I agree with JIMBO...............and Gary too........

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    DIY Member Vitaliy's Avatar
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    OK,
    I may go too far but recently I installed:
    - under sink RO (Reverse Osmosis) filtration system:
    - carbon shower head filter for each on shower head:
    - two stages (sediment and carbon) whole house filter;

    The results are:
    - city water: Ph = 8.3, TDS = 150 – 200;
    - after whole house filter: Ph=7.9, TDS ~ 100:
    - RO filtered water: Ph=7.4, TDS=0:

    Bottled water (Poland Spring) has Ph=8.0 and TDS = 70
    (not too far away from produced by whole house filter).

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) measured with HM Digital meter
    and Ph – Hanna Instruments, PHEP-3
    After only two weeks of use 5 micron sediment paper filter already
    looks too rusty.

    So, each filter does its job. Yes, in some cases filters may create
    bacteria related problem. If this case I’ll add UV (Ultra Violet) disinfector
    to my whole house filtration system.

    As far as chlorine (and in some cases fluoride) goes believe it or not
    the main problem is not a drinking water but taking shower.
    Hot water coming out from shower had quickly cools down and releases
    a lot of dissolved gases. This creates a very nice gas chamber and
    inhaled chlorine is many times more toxic then consumed with water.

    For those who interested in under sink filtration system should seriously
    consider RO system. RO filters are more expensive then simple carbon
    filters but they are doing much better filtration job
    (check measurements results above).

    - Vitaliy

    PS.
    I am not a water/plumber expert, I am electronic design engineer.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitaliy
    OK,
    I may go too far but recently I installed:
    - under sink RO (Reverse Osmosis) filtration system:
    - carbon shower head filter for each on shower head:
    - two stages (sediment and carbon) whole house filter;

    The results are:
    - city water: Ph = 8.3, TDS = 150 – 200;
    - after whole house filter: Ph=7.9, TDS ~ 100:
    - RO filtered water: Ph=7.4, TDS=0:

    Bottled water (Poland Spring) has Ph=8.0 and TDS = 70
    (not too far away from produced by whole house filter).

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) measured with HM Digital meter
    and Ph – Hanna Instruments, PHEP-3
    After only two weeks of use 5 micron sediment paper filter already
    looks too rusty.

    So, each filter does its job. Yes, in some cases filters may create
    bacteria related problem. If this case I’ll add UV (Ultra Violet) disinfector
    to my whole house filtration system.

    As far as chlorine (and in some cases fluoride) goes believe it or not
    the main problem is not a drinking water but taking shower.
    Hot water coming out from shower had quickly cools down and releases
    a lot of dissolved gases. This creates a very nice gas chamber and
    inhaled chlorine is many times more toxic then consumed with water.

    For those who interested in under sink filtration system should seriously
    consider RO system. RO filters are more expensive then simple carbon
    filters but they are doing much better filtration job
    (check measurements results above).

    - Vitaliy

    PS.
    I am not a water/plumber expert, I am electronic design engineer.
    Yes in many if not most cases, RO is overkill in a big way. The basis for an RO is what and how much of it is in your water that you need a RO for, that something else won't do the job. In most cases a dual stage drinking water filter with its own faucet, RO type, is a much better choice if you don't have something in the water that requires a RO to reduce it. A RO membrane doesn't remove 100% of anything, most of what a RO (a system of pre and post cartridges and the membrane) removes is done by carbon block disposable cartridge. You can have one in a multiple stage filter for drinking and cooking water needs.

    TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids, like sugar dissolved in a glass of water. So how does your "whole house" 5 micron pleated paper filter remove things that are dissolved in the water? Actually they don't, can't and won't.

    You've already contaminated your RO, including the membrane. ANd the "whole house" carbon is possibly going to allow bacteria to increase and contaminate the RO prefilter, usually carbon.

    I use computer experts for my computer needs and do my own water treatment based on my training and knowledge of water treatment.

    Gary
    Quality water Associates

  11. #11
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking GARY how about a water softener>>??

    whole house filters are no good...

    too much maintaince as far as I am concerned

    cahngeing out cartridges every two months.

    I dont think they do a good a job as a simple water conditioner


    I am asking GARY, because even though he sells stuff on
    the internet, and everyone seems to think he has some sort of
    evil plan and adgenda to rule the world....

    he still knows what he is talking about...


    the carbon filters VS just a plain old water conditoner....

    give me the pros and cons here......I need the education

    Gary, please if you got the time...


    ps ...I just spent my evening cleaning out a
    house where an Autotrol WS decided to blow a gasket
    and fill the plumbing with resin. Just got home at 9.30 est.
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 09-08-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark


    ps ...I just spent my evening cleaning out a
    house where an Autotrol WS decided to blow a gasket
    and fill the plumbing with resin. Just got home at 9.30 est.

    I had an Autotrol today blow an O-ring out where it connects to the tank. Was shooting water for 9 hours and shot a hole through a drywall wall and destroyed someone's computer.

  13. #13
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I recommend less water and more Bushmill's 12 year old. You will not care what's in the water.
    Last edited by jimbo; 09-08-2005 at 09:18 PM. Reason: spelling

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    DIY Member Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Hi Gary,

    I do appreciate your knowledge and experience. I am here to learn
    something new but I am also an engineer and I do trust instruments
    and measurements. I took three samples of water and measured Ph
    and TDS with the same instruments. There is definitely a Ph and TDS
    (they are somewhat related to each other) reduction after each filter. My “whole house filter” is actually two stages filter – paper and carbon.
    Yes, paper filter does not remove any dissolved particles (it actually
    removes particles, bigger then 5 microns in size and this must have
    some effect on TDS reading) but carbon filter does (this is carbon/kfc
    combined cartridge).

    You said, my RO system already contaminated.
    Contaminated with what?
    Are you talking about bacterial contamination because of a
    “whole house filter” is in front of RO?
    Before my current installation I had a single stage under sink carbon filter
    for many years (of cause cartridge was replaced once a year) and I did
    not notice any evidence of bacteria growth. As you mentioned yourself,
    RO filtration system has carbon and sediment cartridges before the
    membrane. So, if carbon cartridge can introduce a bacterial problem
    (and yes, unfortunately sometime it does) then the same problem still will
    be there but localized just to drinking water instead of spreading across
    the entire plumbing system. Of course, this is not good and if it will happened
    then I’ll add UV disinfector – much better then very toxic and poison chlorine
    which must be removed (I did a lot of research) before water is actually
    used. These days toxic and poison chlorine must not be used in a first
    place for water treatment. Unfortunately all alternatives are more
    expensive and required big $$$ investments but this is different story.

    - Vitaliy

  15. #15
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    "I had an Autotrol today blow an O-ring out where it connects to the tank. Was shooting water for 9 hours and shot a hole through a drywall wall and destroyed someone's computer."

    What with your bad back and you hobbling around'n all, you know that with you being 6' 8" and 360, you shouldn't be to leaning on things...

    You sure it wasn't the tank thread part.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

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