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Thread: whole house water filters?

  1. #1
    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.

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    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.

  8. #8
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Default filters

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

  9. #9

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    hmmm. I'm new here and found the exchange enlightening.

    While it's true that basic filters are not effective against microbiologically unsafe water, the reason is that they do nothing to sanitize the water. What does carbon or fiber-wound have to do with that? The post suggests that somehow using a carbon filter will introduce a biological hazard. Huh? If you have unsafe water, you have a serious problem, with or without a filter.

    The original question was simple: I have rusty water - will a whole-house filter help?

    The answer may be a whole house filter, unless the source of the rust in inside of your home. You need to determine that first. Then you can decide where to install a filter, whether at the point-of-use (faucet), or a whole house system. Or even if you need to fix something inside your home - a recent appearance of rust may indicate a about-to-rupture water heater.

    Consider that a whole-house filter will generally reduce the available water pressure everywhere in the home. Is that acceptable? Do you have enough/excess pressure at your showers?

    Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend that you follow the manufacturer's replacement guidelines for the pressure-containing parts. If they say replace the tank every 5 or 10 years, mark your calendar and do it. I've personally seen too many ruptured filter housings to install a filter in my own home, but I also don't have any serious water quality issues here.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    All waters have some bacteria in them. Bacteria thrive in carbon, or maybe you know it as charcoal, and they multiply greatly given all the organics carbon filters remove plus it's a fairly constant temperature but higher to least room temp most of the time and dark environment. A carbon filter is a prime place for bacterial growth.

    Now I suppose someone will disagree with the all waters statement... so lets nail it down, waters that don't have the proper free chlorine residual in them.

    Sediment cartridges can also provide a place for reducing bacteria to work their magic.

    Sanitizing is not the same as a disinfectant but there are some cartridge type cleanable cartridges used for filtering of bacteria, not on a "whole house" basis though due to very low flow rates. And there are bacteriostatic type 'filters' and/or materials in disposable cartridges. Bacteriostatic is not bactericide.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

  11. #11
    General Contractor Carpenter toolaholic's Avatar
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    Default hay rugged

    please walk me through the process of determining what whole house filter system would work best for my home. is there a brand that has superior hardware? thank,s in advance,

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I guess RUGGED missed your post, or he's still thinking...

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

  13. #13
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I base my post on simple observation in my home. I have a little undersink tastse and odor filter for drinking water. The inlet and outlet are plumbed with the milky poly tubing. About once a year, I notice the tubing carrying the filtered water starts to get "scummy" inside. The tubing on the inlet side does not show this. I replace the outlet tubing as required. SO, I drew some conclusions based on this and that's my opinion. I do not have a scientific report to support this. Carbon filters obviously do remove the chlorine. That is their principle function in life, since chlorine is one of the things contributing to bad taste. They certainly advertise that they remove chlorine, and you all are correct that none of the filters we have discussed are OK to use on water that is not already bacteriologically safe.

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Additionally, the taste and smell of chlorine does not harm you. But chlorine disinfection by products (DPBs) called THMs (trihalomethanes) are carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and do harm many people. "whole house" disposable cartridge filters CAN NOT remove them. They pass through any general purpose full flow carbon (GAC) filter.

    So anyone wanting to sell you one, and/or install one when you mention anything leading to buying one, or if you want one 'cuz EVERYone has one!, or suggesting you should want to have one, frankly is not looking out for your best interests. IMO they are misinformed at least and looking for a quick sale. That type filter should be used as jimbo is using his or, undersink for the kitchen sink faucet, not on a "whole house" main water line basis.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

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    DIY Member Vitaliy's Avatar
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    Default

    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 Ill 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.

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