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Whole house water filters?
Old 11-05-2004, 12:44 PM   #1
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Whole house water filters?

Wondering if anyone has any +/- experience with these. Not talking about the reverse osmosis or other monolithic expensive filtration systems, just the big plastic can with a sediment/carbon filter in it.

We currently have a water softener installed which is about to be rendered useless by changing our water from well to city water, which is already soft. I had the bright idea that when I remove the softener, I could stick one of those $50 GE/Culligan/etc filters. Its a 5 minute job with a wrench.

There are some 3/4" and 1" units. I'm tempted to go with the 1" unit for the larger filter and likely higher water pressure. But the unit and filters cost a lot more than the 3/4" ones. my pipes are all 3/4", but the connection to the water softener adapts up to the 1" water softener connections already.

Anyone have either of these? Does the 3/4 impede water pressure at all? Do the carbon filters actually provide any useful benefit?

One of the main reasons why I think it'll be a good idea is that the city is cutting in water meters to every house, and have been replacing all the water pipes in the streets. I expect PLENTY of dirt and sediment in the water for a little while at least...
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-05-2004, 12:58 PM   #2
 
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Re: Whole house water filters?

Quote:
We currently have a water softener installed which is about to be rendered useless by changing our water from well to city water, which is already soft.
Do you know this for a fact TH? - Most city water is 'softer' than well water, but a softener is still mandatory for me and I'm on City Water.

I would not take it out until you try it - with it and without. Leave it in but not set to re-charge for a couple months. Then recharge it and see what you think.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-05-2004, 01:01 PM   #3
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Re: Whole house water filters?

Yeah, the city made that one of their selling points in asking us to pay $3500 to get hooked up.

The city water is surface water from one of the local rivers, which is 100% runoff from snowpack in the sierras about 70 miles to the east. Its filtered, minimally processed and lightly chlorinated. Kinda good for california as we're right at the head-end of where most of the water comes from for the state and we arent terribly dependent on rainfall or reservoir/lake levels.

The city water is about 20-40ppm 'hardness', while the well water we're using is 360-380ppm and gets reduced to ~25ppm by my softener.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-05-2004, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: Whole house water filters?

I used to use one of those Brita filters. You poured the water through a filter into a pitcher. It seemed to improve the water. There are labs you can send your water to so as to have it tested, if you are concerned about how healthy your tap water is. That will give you an idea of what you need to filter out, and what type of filter is needed. If it is just a matter of taste, the Brita type filters are inexpensive enough to try one and see if you like the taste.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-05-2004, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: Whole house water filters?

I have britas.

What I'm looking to do is keep 50lbs of dirt and metal bits from ending up in my water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and so forth. As mentioned, with all the new pipe and meter installations, we're going to get plenty.

Since I have to remove the softener anyhow, I figure installing one of these filters is a good idea compared to just sticking a 1"-->1" connector in its place.
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Old 11-05-2004, 11:17 PM   #6
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TH, you can just let the water conditioner do its mechanical filtration. Add salt if you want to continue Ca/Mg exchange or just let it run without Na regeneration.

Most conditioners have an inlet screen designed to filter out the large flakes (the size of a pinhead). Smaller stuff will gradually block up the spaces in the ion-exchange resin and will be purged when the conditioner backflushes its resin. In other words you can just leave the whole thing alone, stop adding salt to it and ignore it unless you lose all pressure/flow. Then you spend 15 minutes cleaning the inlet screen and repeat the "ignore" procedure.

If you really want to be a nuke about this and you don't already have enough entertainment in the house, then you can install a couple pressure gages on the conditioner's inlet & outlet piping. Clean the inlet screen and backflush the conditioner, then check the pressure drop across the conditioner. You may even be able to compare that number to a design spec if the owner's manual has enough technical info. Then you can watch that pressure drop and clean the inlet screen when the drop has significantly increased. But since your spouse's third trimester will doubtless already jeopardize your life expectancy, I wouldn't do this.


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Re: Save money and do nothing!
Old 11-06-2004, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: Save money and do nothing!

Quote:
TH, you can just let the water conditioner do its mechanical filtration. Add salt if you want to continue Ca/Mg exchange or just let it run without Na regeneration.
...
But since your spouse's third trimester will doubtless already jeopardize your life expectancy, I wouldn't do this.
Yeah, i already made the mistake a couple of times asking "but why do you...?" and got "BECAUSE I'M PREGNANT DAMMIT!" ;)

(By the way, it is NOT considered funny to look surprised when your spouse says this and remark "And I just thought you were eating a little extra lately!". :o )

I thought about leaving the softener in place, except I can get about $100 for it used to people in the county still on well water. Not to mention the 3x3 corner area in the garage currently occupied by said softener would come in handy as we are still trying to shovel almost 5000 square feet of stuff from both of our old houses into my 1900 square foot place. Plus I was hoping the carbon block in these filters would do enough smell/taste improvement and chlorine reduction on the water that I wouldnt need a brita anymore. I'm spending about $100 on brita filters a year, and filter replacements on these large size inlines is about the same cost. When I'm dealing with a baby AND the three dogs and three cats feeding and watering, more convenience will be king!

I havent been able to find anything about pressure loss except that the systems dont want more than 100psi, which I dont think many water systems come close to. What I cant find is the 'drag'. I read 35 google search pages, but the clutter from 'snake oil water treatment' "solutions" noise drowns out the signal of actual data.

Instinctively I think the 1" "big can" with a filter element about a foot high and 5-6" across will give me way less drag than the 3/4" one thats about 9" high and 3" across.

Only funny part is NOBODY stocks 1" to 1" male to male copper joiners. They have them for gas pipe and in galvanized. I'll have to do some copper sweating to get that and I dont feeeeeel like it. 3/4" parts are commonplace however.

So if I could sneak by with the 3/4" one, its cheaper, the filters are half the price, and I dont need to break out my torch and solder.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-06-2004, 01:33 PM   #8
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Re: Whole house water filters?

Hi TH,

I've used whole house water filters in both our homes thru the years. Esp. at the beach! It took 2 men to carry out the old hot water heater. They thought it was "trapped water" Ha! 50 or lbs. of crushed shells!

I suggest you start out with the (50 micron?) white filter. It does the job. When I switched to the black charcoal filter (5 micron?) it loaded up fairly soon and water pressure suffered. I went back to the lower cost white filters and all is well.

TIP.. keep o ring generously lubed with vaseline. It wont drip and when its time to change the filter, the housing turns easily.

I have the transparent housing model, ooooooooooo!

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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-06-2004, 02:27 PM   #9
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Re: Whole house water filters?

is it 3/4 inch or 1"?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-07-2004, 08:57 AM   #10
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Re: Whole house water filters?

I still cant find anything about water pressure differentials between the 1" and 3/4" products.

I think I'm going to do something a little different and see how it works out. One of the chief problems with either size is clogging up of the filters...the carbon "taste and smell" filters usually clog a lot faster than the "sediment" filters.

So I'm thinking of getting a pair of the 3/4" filters, connecting them in line with each other with a six inch piece of copper, and then placing those where the water softener used to be. I'm going to put an inexpensive high volume sediment filter in the first one, and one of the more expensive taste and smell carbon filters in the second.

That way the cheapo sediment filter will take most of the dirt and bits of crap and keep the more expensive filter flowing. I should be able to get a longer life out of the more expensive filter and overall better water pressure/flow. I'll just change the cheap sediment filter as it clogs and change the carbon filter on every other sediment filter change.

Clearly I need to find more interesting things to do with my life... :P
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-07-2004, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: Whole house water filters?

mine is 3/4".... pressure not affected by pipe dia. as much as particles clogging up the filter over time.

have fun and whatever the choice... put the damn thing where you can comfortably change filters. Mine is 7 1/2 feet up near a wall. Once I had it on too tight and it was a PAIN to change it. Now relocated to waist high. Works fine now

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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-07-2004, 11:23 AM   #12
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Re: Whole house water filters?

I would say that mine is roughly waist high, but that would require defining where my waist is...
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-07-2004, 08:55 PM   #13
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Re: Whole house water filters?

Hey Bumwannab...

My first prototype installation was generally displeasing...both filter canisters leak from the o-ring seal. I tried them hand tight and then variously tightened them with the supplied wrench until I thought the plastic was going to break. Same little drizzle from one side of the seam on both.

Seen this before? I'll try a couple of beefier o-rings tomorrow. Had to abort the installation tonight so the wife could take a shower...

The good news is the water pressure and flow with the double filter setup is no different than without them. I picked up a couple of the sediment/sand filters for about $4 a pair, and a pair of the carbon filters for $10. With a little luck, I'll extend the life of the carbon filters by avoiding clogging them up with sediment.

There was a ton of sand and dirt in the venturi of the water softener when I took it out and pulled it apart. In fact one of the parts in the venturi package (plastic disk) was cracked. Of course, neither sears nor Orchard Supply Hardware (owned by sears) carries a single part for these, must be special ordered from the factory. :P

By the way, a water softener with a hundred pounds of salt in it and about 15 gallons of water weighs a little bit.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 11-13-2004, 02:38 PM   #14
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Re: Whole house water filters?

TH

If it wasn't for bad luck... a leak from the cannisters, on a new installation? I can see a leak from the pipe connections, but the cannisters? holy crap!

Options

Return to place of purchase
Inspect threads, add a couple of turns of teflon tape
Be sure o ring is properly seated, add vaseline
Check filter position. If not seated properly (top and bottom) leaks are assured. Inspect the filter. If it looks scrunched, its out of position.

After all of the above has been done, inspect for leaks, take shower with wife inspect everything

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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 03-31-2005, 03:16 PM   #15
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Re: Whole house water filters?

As I was putting in our new dishwasher today, it occurred to me that I never epilogued this puppy.

Turns out the solution to the dribbly leak was that I didnt put enough vaseline on the o-ring (dang that sound dirty). I had been putting a fine layer on it, turns out a big glob messily smeared on the whole thing does the trick nicely.

Been enjoying filtered, dechlorinated water from every tap in the house, and the first filter DID end up fairly packed with sand and tiny fragments of gravel from the the counties new water pipe installation work.

I'm still telling the wife we need to shower together to continue "checking" the new filter though. Thanks for the tip Bum...
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 03-31-2005, 04:00 PM   #16
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Re: Whole house water filters?

th

Dont forget to check the nookie nooks and crannies.


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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 04-01-2005, 01:52 PM   #17
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Re: Whole house water filters?

We have had whole house water filters for both of our homes. The water for house one was snow run off, the other is well water. Both worked great. Husband says it protects the dishwasher, water heater and valves where grit may get traped.

The important stuff to filter out is grit, the fines less so.
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Re: Whole house water filters?
Old 04-02-2005, 06:42 AM   #18
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Re: Whole house water filters?

chlorine is bad for you in any amount.

and do not get any dirt in the non clear filters as dark insides grow mold bacteria vs. clear where the sun/light kills it

everyone lately is trying to remove chlorine from the water.

not add some.

i want a whole house filter that removes flouride and chlorine and is soft.

.



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