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Pls recommend most economical and effective water filter
Old 01-30-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
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Pls recommend most economical and effective water filter

Hello All,

I don't know anything at all about water filters. I have been drinking and cooking with water from the tap. More and more these days, people have been telling me that that water is not good enough to drink, i.e., it is not pure etc.

Can you please recommend the most economical and effective way for me to get safe drinking water? Is there a filter that can be placed on the kitchen counter and I just pour water from the tap into it? Are the filters expensive, etc.? Do I need a water filter or is water from the tap perfectly safe to drink and to cook with? Thank you for reading this email.

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Old 01-30-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Before you go to all that trouble, you might consider checking out the water quality analysis your water utility conducts.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #3
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For on-demand water filtration, this Culligan model gets good ratings:

http://www.amazon.com/Culligan-FM-15...7954896&sr=8-2
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
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I am a +1 with Brewer... my wife disagrees....

Our tap water is great... but the house came with a water softener and RO system at the kitchen sink.... and of course we have the filter in the refrig door... I drink tap (not that I drink water that much, but when I do I do not always go for the filtered)...

Save money and trouble by not worrying about it....
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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My DS was happy with a cheap carbon filter from Amazon for his drinking water. Attaches to the faucet (if you have a threaded aerator) with a valve that allows regular faucet operation or diverts the flow through the filter. He usually fills a water bottle at a time. You will have to replace the filter element periodically.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
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I just plumbed in an ice maker water filter ... for ~$30 it's advertised to last 2000 gallons (but it gets replaced when DW says "the water tastes funny"). Just cut it into the cold water line.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone! I will look in to your suggestions.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:23 PM   #8
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We're on a private well. Our more affluent neighbors seem to use a lot of distributor delivered Poland Springs bottled water at > fifty cents a gallon. We use about 7 gallons a week for coffee and certain cooking (e.g. soups). We currently use a Pur kitchen faucet filter and a Brita pitcher filter. Our houseplants seem to do better when watered with water run through the Pur. For boiling potatoes and pasta, we use water that has been filtered through the Pur and then through the Brita. In our environment, the Brita and Pur filters seem to have a service life of about 3 months.
I've been eying a Crown Berkey® , but am getting resistance from the better half (who humps some 275 lbs of bottled water from a wholesale club each month).
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
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OMG, I can't imagine all this for drinkable water. What comes out of our tap is delightful. Guess I will give thanks for our rain and the snow-pack on Mt. Hood.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #10
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OMG, I can't imagine all this for drinkable water. Guess I will give thanks for our rain and the snowpack on Mt. Hood.
Have you done much traveling around the lower 48 or Europe?
Some people resort to the use of koolaid to mask the taste of their tap water,
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Retire2014 View Post
Hello All,

I don't know anything at all about water filters. I have been drinking and cooking with water from the tap. More and more these days, people have been telling me that that water is not good enough to drink, i.e., it is not pure etc.

Can you please recommend the most economical and effective way for me to get safe drinking water? Is there a filter that can be placed on the kitchen counter and I just pour water from the tap into it? Are the filters expensive, etc.? Do I need a water filter or is water from the tap perfectly safe to drink and to cook with? Thank you for reading this email.

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Depends on the area you live in, the source of your water, and your plumbing.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:00 PM   #12
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My preference is the pitcher type that you just refill the pitcher with cold water as needed. You can easily pick them up at local stores (grocery stores, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, etc.). Many times, when you buy the orginal pitcher, a filter is included. Each filter, the manufacturers say last about 40 gallons. I usually forget to change it and use a filter for much more than 40 gallons and they still seem to work fine.

As for which brand, I think they pretty much all do an effective job (Brita, Pur, Culligan) but I stick with Brita as the refills seem the most available (some refills claim universal fitting, but it's easier for me to just stick with Brita instead of testing the fit).

One more thing, I actually have two pitchers (same filter size). A larger one when at home, and a smaller one when away at a hotel for a few days (I hate the rusty taste of the water in some hotels).

Some ideas:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Brita-Slim...itcher/8470932

http://www.amazon.com/Brita-10060258...975105&sr=8-11

http://www.amazon.com/Brita-35503-Pi...ref=pd_sim_k_1


p.s. I don't use the filtered water for cooking for making Kool-aid, ice tea. As the flouride in the water is good for the teeth. I use the pitchers to filter out the taste of tap water.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #13
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What Brewer said. If you are on city water, get a report of what is in it, then you can do some research and decide if there's anything that worries you from a safety standpoint. In most municipalities there's no problem.

If the water tastes bad, regardless of what the report says, then you can address that issue.

We have a well on our property. I soften all the water in the house, but that adds salt so I have to treat the drinking water to remove that salt (that involves a reverse osmosis-- RO--system). Before the water gets there I remove sediment with a filter and then run it through a carbon filter because we have some nitrites in the well water. Lastly the water goes through UV light just because it want to assure there aren't any beasties in it. If we were on city water I wouldn't do any of this, I'd probably just have a countertop carbon filter to get rid of the chlorine taste if it bothered us.

If you're like most folks, the municipal water you pay for is fine.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
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I'm sure the agua here in Stepfordville is borderline perfectly safe, but it taste like a rusty bucket, so I drink the water from the filtered tap on the fridge. Probably just a charcoal filter...
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:51 PM   #15
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Hello All,
I don't know anything at all about water filters. I have been drinking and cooking with water from the tap. More and more these days, people have been telling me that that water is not good enough to drink, i.e., it is not pure etc.
Can you please recommend the most economical and effective way for me to get safe drinking water? Is there a filter that can be placed on the kitchen counter and I just pour water from the tap into it? Are the filters expensive, etc.? Do I need a water filter or is water from the tap perfectly safe to drink and to cook with? Thank you for reading this email.
Depends on what you're trying to do.

If your water has sediment or rust in it then any ol' mechanical filter will do, especially the ones on pitchers or on faucets.

If you have an odor (sulfur) then you might have to upgrade to an activated carbon (charcoal) filter to remove most of it. Some homeowners with a sulfur smell in their water can also eliminate the problem by removing the anode rod from the water heater (it's usually made of magnesium) or getting an anode rod made of something other than magnesium. It's short-term thinking to remove the anode rod from a water heater, and few water heaters have this problem anymore.

If you have lots of minerals (calcium, "lime", iron) then you could try a water conditioner. These usually involve a resin canister (a zeolite) regenerated by salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride). (The resin removes the minerals and then the reconditioning cycle swaps out the resin's new minerals with the salt.) In homeowner terms, it means a canister in your garage that gets a 40-pound bag of salt added every month. You may also need to add a chelating powder like "Iron-Out" to remove iron in places like Hawaii's red dirt.

A whole-house conditioner means no lime buildup in your sinks, showers, or toilets. You use less detergent in the laundry, dishwasher, and your hair/body. The salt does not add to the taste or one's blood pressure. (It's far too dilute to notice.) For those who are sure the sodium chloride is a problem, you can pay a few extra bucks for potassium chloride-- it works the same way in the resin bed and it's also tasteless.

Your rusty, stinky, mineral-laden, pesticide-contaminated water can also be purified by a reverse-osmosis (RO) filter. These are usually mounted under the kitchen sink. RO filters discharge (waste) a significant amount of water but they're more compact and, in the long term, cheaper than a whole-house conditioner.

We still haven't taken care of bacteria! Critters and some chemicals will still manage to get through all of the above filtration systems. UV filters are starting to show up in municipal "toilet to tap" utilities so they may be mainstream/affordable in the home. (As long as there's electrical power.) A distillation water supply essentially boils your water and condenses the steam. If you live in an area like this then you're either on Navy sea duty... or you should consider moving to a new home.

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We have a well on our property. I soften all the water in the house, but that adds salt so I have to treat the drinking water to remove that salt (that involves a reverse osmosis-- RO--system).
If you're like most folks, the municipal water you pay for is fine.
Consider the numbers. Seawater is 35,000 PPM chlorides. Human saline is roughly 300 PPM chlorides (like sweat or some contact-lens solutions). 250 PPM is considered the taste threshold for sodium chloride in water. 250 PPM minerals in water is considered pretty hard stuff.

If you can't taste the difference then you might be able to do without the RO unit. Another taste issue with the water might be its pH, which is why some well-water-softening systems use sodium hydroxide (lye) to neutralize the acidic taste... and the acid-pitting of copper piping.

I don't think there's any remaining medical credibility concerning low levels of sodium chloride causing blood-pressure problems.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:59 AM   #16
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The faucet and pitcher cartridge (Pur & Brita) type filters pretty much eliminate mineral build up in our hot water kettle.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:50 AM   #17
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Consider the numbers. Seawater is 35,000 PPM chlorides. Human saline is roughly 300 PPM chlorides (like sweat or some contact-lens solutions). 250 PPM is considered the taste threshold for sodium chloride in water. 250 PPM minerals in water is considered pretty hard stuff.

I don't think there's any remaining medical credibility concerning low levels of sodium chloride causing blood-pressure problems.
I'm cheap--if our well water had a hardness of 250 PPM I probably would have been satisfied and skipped all the fuss. We're at 46 grains/gal (780 PPM), which explains why all the pipes, fixtures, and tiling was "fortified" with a bit of extra armor when we moved in. The softener has fixed that problem, but added a quite a bit of salt.

DW's doctor advised her to reduce sodium for her borderline BP problem, but I didn't independently research that. I hadn't heard the change in conventional wisdom--thanks for the tip, I'll run that one down. And I'll do the math on potassium chloride vs sodium chloride.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:36 AM   #18
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My DS was happy with a cheap carbon filter from Amazon for his drinking water. Attaches to the faucet (if you have a threaded aerator) with a valve that allows regular faucet operation or diverts the flow through the filter. He usually fills a water bottle at a time. You will have to replace the filter element periodically.
I have used one of these setups for many years, from Instapure. They don't cost much and are easy to install and use and replace the filters every year or so. Can't run hot water through them which is the only drawback but not a major one. Also, years ago when I was using a dishwasher I rolled into the kitchen, I had to disconnect the setup before I attached the hose to the tap.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:34 AM   #19
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We're at 46 grains/gal (780 PPM), which explains why all the pipes, fixtures, and tiling was "fortified" with a bit of extra armor when we moved in.
Ouch-- that's not a well, you're doing hydraulic mining... or do we call that fracking now?

One of the medical experts is going to have to chime in to buttress my faulty memory, but I think the medical conclusion was meta-studies showing that salt didn't affect blood pressure much, and lower salt intake didn't significantly affect lifespan. But other risk factors may have a multiplier effect.

If you're already not salting your food then you're probably not going to notice the difference between sodium chloride & potassium chloride... except for maybe the taste and definitely the price.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:06 PM   #20
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I have been using a four stage RO system for the past 12 years or so. It fits under the sink, and has 4 cylinders that contain the pre-filters (2 ), the RO membrane, and a post filter.

I change the pre and post filters every 2 years, and the membrane filter every 5 years.

One thing I can attest to, is that ever since we installed the system, DW & I have not had a serious illness ( touch wood ! ), that may or may not be attributable to the system, but it definitely can't hurt.

Store bought filters like Brita, etc are OK, but one needs to regularly change out the filter element, otherwise it will become a repository for bacteria, germs, etc - and can make things worse than if it weren't there.

In summary, I strongly advocate the Reverse Osmosis system.
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