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Thread: Which one is the best?

  1. #1
    jolene is offline Junior Member
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    Default Which one is the best?

    Hello, I am very happy to have stumbled upon this forum... there is so much information on Filteration systems, and unfortunately not much of it is unbiased.
    I need your advice on which whole home filteration system to go with.
    We are building a 4000 sq. ft home (including the basement)...where 3 adults and 2 children will live. The unit will be housed in the basement. The water source is from the city.
    My priorities are to remove the chlorine from all water and to remove flouride from at least the kitchen sink...possibly the fridge.
    I don't want anything high maintenance, and I don't want water flow to be restricted.
    I have searched the past postings and haven't really found one that indicated what was the best system...
    Can you please offer some suggestions as to what the best systems are? I live in Canada...but will buy from the US if req'd.
    Thank you for your time....I appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Although I make my living selling water treatment equipment, I am not a fan of 'whole house' removal of chlorine. Doing so can cause other water quality problems like odor and/or bacteria problems. The chlorine is added to water for a number of good reasons. So... IMO you'd be better off with shower head filters and since you want to remove the fluoride, an RO unit under the kitchen sink.

    That's what I think is best, the maintenance will be whatever is required based on your water pressure, how you do it and when, and how much water you use and the quality of the water.

    If you still want to remove the chlorine on a POE basis, I suggest a backwashed carbon filter using a Clack WS-1 control valve. It has to be sized based on the SFR (service flow rating) required by the peak demand for your family size, number of bathrooms and type of fixtures.

  3. #3
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    One of the easiest methods for point-of-entry (POE) dechlorination is an up-flow Granual Activated Carbon (GAC) filter in, perhaps, a one-cubic to 1.5 cubic foot quantity. Larger tanks are available but become awkward and not as cost effective.

    This will be a more economic on an initial bases and operating costs will be less. When rebedding is required, it can be done with little effort and cost. Get a cheap chlorine testkits to monitor treaed water.

    How large is your in-coming line? 1", 1.25"?

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

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    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    The problem with upflow carbon filters is their need for a prefilter to trap dirt that a backwashed filter will trap and backwash out automatically. The prefilter will have to be replaced periodically, maybe every mnth or two because it will reduce you pressure/flow as it removes invisible dirt and that adds to the maintenance of the system. A backwashed filter purchased online will be less than $275 more than an upflow plus the disposable cartridge housing and a cartridge.

    Removing a control valve to rebed a backwashed filter is as easy as removing the in/out head to rebed an upflow filter. They both screw in and out of the tank and the control valve gives you a 'handle' to grab hold of that an in/out head does not have.

  5. #5
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    No problem. On city water a prefilter would last six months to a year. Every month would be a vast exaggertation of filter life. I have a pleated sediment filter at 20 microns on my system and it is good for nearly a year. Even then, it is washable and reusable. Not really a consideration.

    Besides, I remember someone, somewhere saying that if you can't "see' the dirt, you shouldn't have to worry about it. The prefilter is most effective when a water main might break or someother unsusual occurance.

    Backwashing the carbon filtert (30-60 gallons) would also require chlorinated water, which again shortens the life of the bed. It also adds to city water costs AND sewer expenses, as well in many cases. It's marginal, but nonetheless, more that an upflow tank system.

    An RO at the sink for you consumption water is the best way to handle those issues. There are cheap and quality units out there and often you get what you pay for.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

  6. #6
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    My city water using customers come from across the US and many tell me they are having to change their filters every month or two. That's those with prefilters for their softeners that they are replacing. You must be on a different water system than they are.

    As you know, upflow carbon filters can not get rid of any visible or invisible dirt build up. And you also know that is why the prefilter is required.

    Backwashed carbon usually removes chlorine for 5-8 years before it requires replacement and backwash would usually be every 6-7 days dependent on the family size/water usage.

  7. #7
    jolene is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you both.... that all being said, can you recommend a specific unit? It seems as though most are 5gpm... and from what I have read - that would be too small for a large house. Is this correct?

    Doing so can cause other water quality problems like odor and/or bacteria problems
    Can you elaborate on this?

    How large is your in-coming line? 1", 1.25"?
    I am not sure...house hasn't even been dug...I will ask dh.

  8. #8
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    The chlorine is in the water to kill bacteria. Removing it with carbon provides an excellent environment for bacteria growth because carbon removes organics which is the food source for bacteria. Carbon has a huge surface area so there is plenty of room for bacterial growth. Bacteria produce gas that causes odor problems and if any bacteria get through the carbon, which there is nothing to prevent that, it colonizes the rest of the plumbing system all the way to the faucet tips. So I say shower head and a drinking water filter at th ekitchen sink are much better choices than POE (whole house) chlorine removal. And it costs less than either type of carbon filtration equipment.

    Yes any POE filter must be sized (the SFR; service flow rating gpm) for the peak demand gpm based on the family size and number of bathrooms and type of fixtures and... with an upflow type filter, you can not go very large before they will not do a good job of filtering but you can go as large as needed with a backwashed filter.

    I am an independent online dealer so I have whatever size and type of equipment that is needed and I have a number of different makes and models of control valves, tanks and media to choose from; Autotrol, Clack, Erie and Fleck are the control valves. The tanks are Structural, Enpress, Park, Clack etc..

    I strongly suggest the Clack WS-1 control valve, especially for anyone wanting to repair their equipment themselves. It is the easiest valve there is to program and repair and it does not require any special tools as Fleck valves do. Anyone that can use a pair of channel lock pliers can totally rebuild it and have their water back on in 30 minutes. My equipment has no brand name, each component of the filter or softener does and those many US manufacturers are the largest in the world. National brands make the customer dependent on just one local dealer for both parts and service. I.E. Kinetico, Culligan, Ionics, Ecowater etc. etc. etc. equipment where they are proprietary and you can not get parts from anyone except the local dealer.

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    jolene is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you Gary,

    Does this bacteria problem happen often? Is it low risk/high risk. Is the bacteria a safe bacteria (for consumption)?

    Can you send me your website address?

    Thanks,
    Jolene

  10. #10
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    My city water using customers come from across the US and many tell me they are having to change their filters every month or two. That's those with prefilters for their softeners that they are replacing. You must be on a different water system than they are.
    If the filters are carbon filters in 10" housings, then yes, they will get burned out in a short time because they are not designed to handle that volume. If they are sediment filters, then they will last for months and months.

    And if they do actually require changing out sediment filters every month, then congratulations to them for being responsible to manage what would be considered horrible water conditions for municipal applications. Shame on the mayor!

    There are many types of bacteria. Most are harmless; some are pathogenic. It is not my position to determine which bacteria you MIGHT get. Even if you have a carbon filter and your pipes are disinfectant-free, it is an extemely easy task to sanitize your pipes...take out the filter and let city water run through your pipes. Easy enough.

    As far as upflow 'trapping dirt', that is not likely since the nature of upflow is to prevent channeling and solidifying. "Dirty' water is extremely rarely in city water unless a water main breaks. Nonetheless, a sediment filter prevents this unlikely occurance. An upflow filter can have sufficient flow rate for you needs.

    Jolene, we are not allowed to send you to our own websites as that constitutes soliciting and forum moderators frown on that type of behavior from its members and may put us at risk of losing contribution privileges.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

  11. #11
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Jolene, this forum has a number of features for its members, all you have to do is click on the member's name.

  12. #12
    jolene is offline Junior Member
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    How do those who are on a well supply deal with bacteria?
    Thanks, Jolene

  13. #13
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    First determine the type of bacteria, virus or other organic matter. Then there may be a variety of techniques the manage, reduce or eliminate the contaminants.

    Let's say you definitely have e. coli and wish to best avoid any problems. Not to say that e.coli is always dangerous but a disinfection system would be needed. They can include chlorination, ozonation, filtration or UV light treatment among others. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Be careful, some methods are a half-way measure and may require additional equipment to be effective.

    Iron and sulfur bacteria (among many others) are not pathogenic and simpler methods at lowr costs may be alright.

    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

  14. #14
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS
    ... Let's say you definitely have e. coli and wish to best avoid any problems. Not to say that e.coli is always dangerous ....
    You've got to be kidding!! E-coli isn't always dangerous. It certainly is.

    Jolene, overall the best choice is usually chlorination followed by a filter that will remove any 'dirt' chlorination causes if there is iron etc. in the water and the chlorine. I do not suggest a solution feeder, they take a lot of babysitting and large retention tank. I have a special erosion pellet chlorinator and mixing tank that has very little maintenance requirements and takes up minimal space. UV can not be used for any of the reducing types of bacteria.

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    jolene is offline Junior Member
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    So am I correct in my understanding that in order to deliver, "clean", chlorine free water (with a good flow rate) to my house with no bacteria... I would have a whole house filter (with backwash) and allow city water to flow through the pipes one day a month? Is that realistic to keep any bacteria at bay?

    (Gary, did you get my email via your homepage?)

  16. #16
    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    You've got to be kidding!! E-coli isn't always dangerous. It certainly is.
    Boy, that's news to me. Since e. coli lives in the human body and is a natural part of our beings, I wonder how that would be dangerous. Tests for e. coli is indicator that bacteria originating in the intestines of warm-blooded animals has somehow gotten into water supplies via fecal matter--therefore, indicating a breakdown in containment.

    Fact is, most strains of e. coli are harmless.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escherichia_coli
    http://www.medicinenet.com/enteroinv...li/article.htm

    Strain O157:H7 is well-known as a pathogen. And there are other strains that can cause some health-related problems. But to say that all e. coli is dangerous is not accurate, I'm afraid.

    Nonetheless, if water tests positive for escherichia coli (regardless of type), then water disinfection is recommended. As being an "indicator bacteria", there then is the assumption that further, perhaps more dangerous, consequences may result from infection of water supplies. Normally, further tests are not even conducted because minimum levels of contamination have been surpassed.

    The e. coli, itself, may not be dangerous to humans, but caution is always in order.

    That's OK Mr. Slusser, it's not your fault. This is common knowledge for those who work with disinfection and public water systems. Often the general public just "reads the headlines' and don't do follow-up research, so they hear about E. COLI and public warnings and make assumptions and generalizations.


    Andy Christensen, CWS-II
    Last edited by Andy CWS; 04-11-2008 at 05:45 AM.

  17. #17
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    Andy, taken in context, if someone is told their water is showing the presence of E-Coli, it is a dangerous situation for their family.

    Coliform bacteria is the "indicator bacteria" , it is actually a rather large group of bacteria, not E-Coli, which is also a group of bacteria. And yes, not all types of E-Coli are dangerous BUT, the person that is told their water contains E-Coli had better assume their water is dangerous. Hence my surprise at your comment but now I see you were not speaking in context.

    If E-Coli is present in a 100 ml sample of the water, the water is deemed as being unfit for human consumption; so says the EPA and all US states and local governmental agencies.

    Anyone wanting to can check that out quite easily.

    Andy, I have worked with many "disinfection and public water systems" in my 21+ years in water treatment.

    I was approved to do water testing, sales and installation for the FHA and VA in regards to bacteria contamination and remediation for those type of mortgages.

    I have also worked within the parameters of the PA DEP Small Water System regulations for the sales and installation of remediation equipment.

    I did both for many years. Also, I have averaged as many as 18 Coliform bacteria tests per day, and always did a Coliform bacteria test for all my prospective customers that had their own wells. That was from 1987 to the end of 2004.

    I recall you telling me in early 2006 that you had only been in our business 4 years and only as a softener salesman. I can see why you would make the comment that E-Coli is not dangerous in a conversation about it being found in someones' well water and now correct it, but still, that is an irresponsible statement for someone in any part of the water treatment business; especially with WQA Certification, albeit only level II of VI.

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    Andy CWS is offline Moderator
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    Please don't misquote. I stand by my statement and didn't change directions as you indicate. You did, however, by claiming that all e. Coli is 'always' dangerous and then after reading my links came back and tried to say otherwise all-the-while making it appear as though I was the one backtracking. Please don't misquote me.

    Thank you,
    Andy Christensen, CWS-II

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy CWS
    Not to say that e.coli is always dangerous but a disinfection system would be needed.

  19. #19
    Gary Slusser is offline Banned
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    If E-Coli is present in a 100 ml sample of the water, the water is deemed as being unfit for human consumption; so says the EPA and all US states and local governmental agencies.

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