Whirlpool WHELJ1 "whole house water filtration system"?
Saw this at Lowes today but have been unable to find much info on it. I have city water that is a bit hard and has some chlorine odor, so I was hoping this might improve the quality of water in the showers and for cooking - while I want to improve my water quality I don't need or expect the absolute best system out there, simply something easy and worry-free. Since Whirlpool claims this unit reduces sediment and chlorine taste/odor, never needs maintainence/filter changes, and is selling for $300ish, it seems like it might be perfect for my needs. Wondering if anyone here had ever heard of this beast.
Evidently this is an NSF certified unit manufactured under license from Ecodyne. Rated for 570000 gal., Chlorine Reduction Taste and Odor Reduction. So far, so good I guess.
Any guesses for what technology this uses, and how it stacks up vs. a different technology? Anyone else who can offer some insight?
Okay, so far no one seems to have heard about this. So I guess I'll try the question another way - presuming this system works, with a cost of $377+ installation, is this a competitive option vs. say a "Big Blue" filter system like a Pentek? The 570k rated gallon life is impressive, but also since the unit is self-contained if it doesn't live up to its billing, I can't swap out a $10 filter.
I am trying to get some paperwork on this system and it's function before answering your questions. It has proven to be tough to get any documentation from Whirlpool so far, but we are still working on it and will keep you updated. Thanks!
Well, documentation is up on the Lowes site now.
Looks like the innards are gravel and 10 lbs. of charcoal. Still not sure how the "self-cleaning" part works
Hello, I bought one of these units after quite a bit of research. Had it installed and am Very happy with it, it has an auto cycle (mine is set for 14 days at 3:00 am) and it lifts the granuals up and drop them several times "rinsing" them off, my wife loves the taste of the water now and we dont smell chlorine. I have never had my water "tested" but we are happy. also, i plan on just throwing the thing away after about 500k gallons, then i will buy a new one and just plug it in where the old one was... very economical and cool.
I read Glenn’s inquiry and hedgehawg’s comment with interest as I also was trying unsuccessfully to find more information on this Whirlpool unit. My main concern with using city water is the white calcium deposit it leaves on everything and the smell of ?? (can’t really determine what the water smells like). This filter-less unit sure has caught my interest – but does it sound too good to be true? Question to hedgehawg: did you notice a difference in your water pressure?
Big Box store water treatment systems are designed for two types of customers: This who know little about water treatment or those who care less. Most systems such a softeners would rarely ever be recommended by water professionals and are often called the "landlords' special"; selected by people who are really more concerned with price than quality.
That is not to say that that Whirlpool filter will not "improve" your water as I think it will but does it really answer all your water concerns?
Marketing and data that gloss over or neglect to specify what exactly is involved with their system, what the media actually is and what it specifically does to you water, is often presented by companies that sell lower quality or dubious equipment.
Many of these types of water treatment products are sold in Big Box stores with the attempt that customers shopping for other items stumble onto these products and decide to "improve" their water on the spot.
As for the calcium deposits found in the water: this will not change. There will be no softening effect using this unit. If you notice the video presentation, there is also a softener but they don't mention whether the softener goes before or after the filter.
Notice the ice cubes in the video. They are cloudy and not clear. An RO will remove elements/contaminants far more than this filter and will improve the water in ways this filter cannot do. All systems have pluses and minuses so understand what is involved.
Also, they claim that this used for both well and city water. Well water and city water have very different conditions and to suggest it is good for either makes it a panacea and that is very rare to anyone who understands water treatment equipment...or cares.
They show it replacing sediment filters saturated with iron deposits (possibly bacterial iron) leading one to believe this filter will solve that problem... uhmm! It will not take out ferrous, colloidal, or bacterial iron; convert iron; or prevent iron staining. And the iron in your water may even damage the unit or media.
They claim no "filters" to replace--ever. But that is misleading as you would need to replace the whole unit, which is called a "whole house pre-filter", when it becomes exhausted as all filters do. Then you have a major appliance to toss out and they hope you continue buying more as years go by.
The backwashing stage is good as some sediment will accumulate and this will wash it out. I would have more respect for this system if the media was identified, replaceable and serviceable. This would not be to the manufacturer's interests if they are designing planned obsolescence.
All water systems, plumbing parts, valves, varying lengths of pipe, elbows, rises in water (to the second floor) will affect pressure. This unit will change (lower) pressure in direct proportion to the volume of water running through it. The faster the water, the greater the pressure drop (in psi). It may not be so much as to cause concern, but it is not responsible to say there is no pressure drop....and of course this marketing is aimed at those who know little about water treatment and plumbing devices. How many fewer unit would they sell if the big box said "There will be water pressure loss using this product"?
It is NSF or WQA tested and certified?
Again, I feel this will 'improve' you water, but do your research and care about your water. It is far too important. Avoid water treatment systems that are loaded into shopping carts with information limited to what's on the big box.
Andy Christensen, CWS
Last edited by Andy CWS; 04-14-2007 at 07:23 AM.
Andy, thanks for your response. You correctly peg me as someone who knows little about water treatment. As stated in my original post, this isn't something I wish to spend a lot of time and effort on. I am willing to entertain a solution that provides the following, in roughly this order of importance:
1. Noticeable improvement in the aesthetic quality of my water (primarily for mild chlorine odor); any contaminant filtration would be welcome but a secondary benefit (it's city water so presumably it's safe to drink)
2. Transparency for the end user (meaning, no carafes or other manual production steps needed)
3. Little to no ongoing maintenance required
4. At a reasonable cost.
I neither want nor need a solution which is much more complex than the above. If I cannot achieve the above to some extent, the probable outcome is that my water will remain untreated.
Given the above desired characteristics, would you suggest as an alternative solution? I know you mentioned reverse osmosis and I will look into this, any others?
Drinking Water System Options
So, with the above stipulations these are the things I would suggest and the reasons why:
If looking for drinking water only:
AP Easy CS-FF Once installed this system is will fullfill all your quality requirements and you don't have to have a seperate faucet. Cartridges are change by simply turning the old one out and twisting the new one in. Depending on how much water you use this could last you anywhere from 6 months to 1 year before you have to change the filter.
If this is too much work for you I would try a faucet filter, such as:
AquaView -- this you can install yourself, you can switch easily between filtered and unfiltered water and it will meet all of your quality requirements.
If this is too much I would try the below:
Disposable Faucet Filter Install it, throw it away when your done.
For Whole House Filtration:
WV-B3 When it comes to whole house filtration it doesn't get much simplier than this. Although it was invented for RV's this can EASILY be used in your home. It will actually give you drinking water quality water through out your whole house and it's EASY to change the filter after 15000 gallons.
If this is too hard I would try:
....well, I got nothing easier than the WV-B3 for the whole house but I could suggest some other options if you wanted a tranditional sump and cap with the filter inside.
Hope this helps!
Thank you to Roxanne and Andy for your detailed responses. It certainly gave me something to think about and I will definitely check out the links in Roxanne’s response. Thanks again for your time and knowledge.