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Thread: Bag vessel system vs. Cartridge System?

  1. #1
    Cathy Dahl is offline Junior Member
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    Grants Pass, Oregon, United States
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    Smile Bag vessel system vs. Cartridge System?

    Hello,

    We have a 40 GPM well, 100 feet deep and a large house with 4 bathrooms, 2 sets of W/D's. Our problem is that we have sediment, minerals, and hard water. We installed a water softener and that helped with the hard water, but our shower heads frequently plug up so that we only get a trickle of water. Our water tastes fine, but we notice both white stains and rust stains where the water stays on the tile.

    We are now looking at installing a whole house filter. The plumber that we talked to recommended a bag system, the Pentek BP-420. Someone else said to just get a cartridge system like the Big Blue. My husband likes the idea of the bag system because it tells you when to change the bag, a convenience feature, we think. It seems like the cost of the bags vs. the cartridge filters is sixes.

    We want to get good water flow. What do you know about each type of system? How do we decide? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    What is the size of the water lines through the house? 3/4", 1"? Bag filters are great! And useful for high flow systems.

    You say your showers get clogged. Can you describe the contaminants? How have you been cleaning it? Why are you getting hardness and iron if you have a softener? What size, make, model is the softener?

  3. #3
    Cathy Dahl is offline Junior Member
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    We have a water softener, so the water hardness and minerals are not the issue anymore. Now we seem to have white staining and rust stains as well as sediment that clogs the shower heads.

    We don't know whether to buy a 10" or a 20" cartridge or bag system. That is our dilemma. Thanks for responding.

  4. #4
    Cathy Dahl is offline Junior Member
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    I just talked to my husband and he told me that we have been getting the rust stains because the water softener was not originally connected properly by the plumber. Apparently the plumber only connected the water softener to one side of the house to the one water heater on the hot side. We are hiring another plumber to change it to soften both water heaters.

  5. #5
    Cathy Dahl is offline Junior Member
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    Also, I have been told conflicting and confusing information today. One person said that we will get higher water flow from the cartridge system and that we should go with it with a dual gradient filter because it is less likely to breed bacteria from our well water and the other said that we should go with a bag system with a 10 or 25 micron bag because it has a gauge on top that tells you when to change the bag.

    But, also, do we need a 10" or a 20" system?

  6. #6
    PRR
    PRR is offline Junior Member
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    I'm OK with 25 micron string-filters in a 10"x4" cartridge; but my shack is much smaller than yours (two people) and we can be cooperative and patient about simultaneous demands. With four potties and two washing machines, there's bound to be moments of 2 or 3 large demands at once. You need large pipes and filters or pressure will fall badly if three potties are flushed at once (TV commercial break).

    Andy asked about your pipes, particularly the "main" pipe from the cellar to the rest of the house. I'm fine with 3/4"; your place might be 1".

    Either 10" or 20" filter will pass your demand when new, but the 10" will slow down in half the time of the 20".

    I'm changing 10" carts every few months.

    I'd be thinking you want a 20" or you will be replacing filters every month.

    In either case, get the filter mounted _conveniently_. Mine was in the cellar rafters so I had to go up a stepladder, work a heavy canister overhead, cold water running down my arms. I moved it down to chest-high over a slop-tray, much better.

    > tells you when to change the bag

    Non-issue. New filter, water spurts from the faucets. Month later, spurt is weak. Another month, tub and washer are taking a long time to fill. Somewhere in there you decide it's time to change the filter.

    AFAIK, bag filters are for big dirty jobs. They flow more, they hold more, the bags can be shaken/hosed and re-used. Perhaps your plumber has looked at your water quality and quantity and thinks the bags are more suitable than cartridges. Longer between changes, you may not need to drain the canister to change, more expensive but generally better-built.

    Rust and white-stain might NOT be reduced with paper/string/bag filters. Iron and lime compounds go through filters. However wells are prone to grit and such which sure will jam showers and even spigots, filters do take that out.

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