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HWPipes 07-01-2006 09:28 AM

Whole House Water Treatment Systems
 
Does anyone have facts or opinion regarding whole house water filter/treatment systems? We have a properly functioning water softener in the garage and an R/O unit for drinking water under the kitchen sink. I'm just not knowledgable enough to know if installing a whole house filtration system is worth it. Appears the upfront cost could be close to $1,000 and the filtration medium would have to be replaced in 3-5 years for another $700 (at today's prices). Then there is the ionization or some other electrical water treatment systems that sound hokey, but if they are for real, are they better than a filter system. Also, would you recommend keeping the existing water softener if you install a filter system? We live in the Phoenix area in a 10 year old house. Just replaced all of the corroded bathroom sink drains, and the water leaves spots on the dishes left to dry in the sink.

cjcocn 07-01-2006 08:15 PM

The first thing that I would do is have the water tested. The test results will tell you what issues, if any, that you have to address. In other words, the results would tell you what type of treatment (again, if any) that you need for your water.

Chances are that there is some issue to be resolved. What colour spots does the water leave? The colour is indicative of what is in your water (eg. iron, etc).

Hope this helps.

okinawap 07-03-2006 12:41 AM

If you already have the other two systems in place, I can't see spending the extra money for a whole house system!

PSZach 07-10-2006 04:00 PM

Always begin with knowing the condition of water. Your Water Softening service should know this. You can ask your water supply company for a report. You can have your water tested by a local laboratory specializing in water quality for public use.
Some Water Purveyors (Water Supply Company’s) offer consumer awareness information on water conditioning considering the various dietary concerns. You will find in the Phoenix area a very high mineral to water ratio. By determining the actual condition of the water you can match/select products, equipment or services.

filtrationworld 12-26-2006 06:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HWPipes (Post 13624)
Does anyone have facts or opinion regarding whole house water filter/treatment systems? We have a properly functioning water softener in the garage and an R/O unit for drinking water under the kitchen sink. I'm just not knowledgable enough to know if installing a whole house filtration system is worth it. Appears the upfront cost could be close to $1,000 and the filtration medium would have to be replaced in 3-5 years for another $700 (at today's prices). Then there is the ionization or some other electrical water treatment systems that sound hokey, but if they are for real, are they better than a filter system. Also, would you recommend keeping the existing water softener if you install a filter system? We live in the Phoenix area in a 10 year old house. Just replaced all of the corroded bathroom sink drains, and the water leaves spots on the dishes left to dry in the sink.

Hello HWPipes,

I'm not sure I fully understand your question, but it may sound like your being taken advantage from some type of sales person. To let you know if you already have a "water softener and reverse osmosis" then you already have a whole house water filtration system. Another thing is a water softener is a ionization unit(from the sounds you may have not known). The way ionization works is , the water flows through your water softeners resin media (especially designed for calcium, magnesium) which makes these particals stick to the resin. When your softener recharges(regenerates) the salt/potassium reacts causing ion exchange replacing the calcium,magnesium particals in the resin(ionic exchange) and then is flushed out with a suitible drain.

When you say this
Quote:

Appears the upfront cost could be close to $1,000 and the filtration medium would have to be replaced in 3-5 years for another $700 (at today's prices).
It appears your talking about some type of resin media system?
Which in fact you already own a resin media system. Which makes me think some "slick salesman" is trying to sell you something you possibly might not need.

Quote:

Just replaced all of the corroded bathroom sink drains, and the water leaves spots on the dishes left to dry in the sink
My questions for you on this statment is , when you say you have a "working water softener", are you saying this because you know for sure its properly working from a water test? If not you can buy a hardness water test kit, or you can find companys that offer to test your water free such as ours (if you were to get your water tested by a company watch out for salesman approaches, you just want your water tested and don't need to purchase anything).

I will tell you from experience of over 25 years, a water softener will not completly remove all the "spots" from your dishes in most cases. But heavially reduces them. In most of all cases that people are complaining about the spots, the water softener is not working 100%.

I hope I have helped answer some of your questions, and am eager to hear back as to what filtration system you had in mind or were looking at.

jason2431 01-10-2008 05:21 PM

yes definetly have your water tested I found all the nessesary information on Apswater they also sell self test products and the cheapest prices on equipment.
http://www.apswater.com/shopdisplaycategories.asp?id=9

they have tons of great information
http://www.apswater.com/article.asp?...out_your_water
http://www.apswater.com/article.asp?...ater_Softening
http://www.apswater.com/article.asp?...in_my_softener
http://www.apswater.com/how_to_selec...r_softener.asp
http://www.apswater.com/article.asp?...Osmosis_Basics
http://www.apswater.com/techservice.asp

End Grain 01-11-2008 02:51 PM

Here in Arizona, sediment, minerals and odor in the water are a nuisance factor in homes. Many people already have water softeners and R/O systems in place. To help reduce scaling, lime deposits, dirt and odor I've installed a whole house pre-filter for several of my customers on the cold water line coming into the house or garage and BEFORE the water heater and BEFORE the water softener. The filter housing is about $70 and the cartridges run between $25 and $40 depending upon brand and where you source them. LOWES sells one type that is easy to install. Figure to change the cartridge every 6 months or so, depending upon the water in your area. These filters eliminate sediment, minerals and reduce the odor in the incoming water. That alone will extend the life of your water softener's hardware, the various plumbing lines, valves, faucets, toilet fill valves, spouts in the house and your R/O filters, etc.

Here's a link to the housing and it looks like the price has dropped by about $10 too. The filter is additional:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...HBB&lpage=none

Robert131 04-07-2008 03:32 PM

I too have been researching this, and am just as confused as the original poster. I have the same set up, salt-based water softener in the garage (old rainsoft, non-operational at this time) and a rainsoft R/O system under the sink (just replaced all the filters). I believe the original poster is inquiring as to systems like the Pelican filter/softener combo ($2000) with 0 maintenance, and 0 salt use. The last poster mentioned the pre-filter from Lowes. How effective is this filter? for $70 it seems cheap. As you know, water sucks here in the SW, and with the drought, I'm considering using a system that doesn't flush and waste water. Would love to hear more thoughts on this.

ashleywilson 06-18-2008 02:07 AM

whole house" water system
 
Hello All,

A "whole house" water system normally consists of two basic components:

(1) a water conditioner(softener) designed to provide soft water to the "utility water(both hot and cold) outlets throughout the interior of the home; and

(2) some type of under-sink or countertop water filtration or purification system designed to provide a few gallons of high quality drinking water at the kitchen sink and/or refrigerator.

The water conditioner(or softener) converts the incoming water "hardness", consisting primarily of calcium and magnesium to sodium(or potassium) salts; reducing scaling and spotting of dishes, showers and water faucets but also placing a significant amount of sodium or potassium chloride salts into the entire home water system.
,I saw a website http://www.jnblabs.com and got detail from it you can take also more detail from this site.

Terry Bell 08-03-2008 11:37 AM

My experience over past 12 years:
Background: 5-person household in Lakeville, MN, use 200-250 gal/day, no microbiological issues (periodically test for same), hardness = 31 grain/gal, iron = 6 PPM (very nasty iron, stains).

DIY Solution: I use a 4-stage setup: Stage #1) Omni U24 filter housing (4 GPM, 3/4" inlet & outlet), paper or string filter (20 micron); #2) Sears Intellisoft Softener (hardness setpoint = 35); #3) Sears Solid State Automatic Iron Filter (3x/wk flushes); #4) Omni U24 with GE FAWTC active charcoal media. Initial cost ~$1,500 (self installed).

Monthly maintenance: change media every month. Inspect & replace as needed water softener's backwash filter. Replace every month the automatic iron filter's backwash filter (I have 3 backwash filters that I bathe in Iron Out to remove iron particulates. Filter is used in both Sears appliances.) I had a Searts maintenance ocntract to learn what the technician focuses on in the annual maintenance examination. The backwash filter is one focus, the other is the Iron Remover's Nozzle & Venturi (PN 7114533) that is very vulnerable to clogging from rust. Monthly maintenance ~$12 (filter media).

Results: water taste and quality are "city good." 80% of the time water pressure is "city similar." However, turning on the dish/clothes washer, or starting a second shower, or flushing a toilet results in a noticeable water pressure drop in the shower leading to irritation. Importantly, no iron stains in any tanks or bowls. We routinely wipe shower walls dry after each use as iron-in-suspension can stain over time.

Improvements: will replace 3/4", 4 GPM Omni U24 filter housings with Culligan or Pentek 1" or 1.5" inlet/outlet filter housings having 4-5x Omni's flow rate with less pressure drop; media cost about the same, maybe a little more. I considered large whole-house filter units 12 years ago but tight installation space led me to take the easy way out.

I welcome hearing ideas for improvement and others' experience....

Andy CWS 10-10-2008 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HWPipes (Post 13624)
We have a properly functioning water softener in the garage and an R/O unit for drinking water under the kitchen sink. I'm just not knowledgable enough to know if installing a whole house filtration system is worth it. ........... We live in the Phoenix area in a 10 year old house. Just replaced all of the corroded bathroom sink drains, and the water leaves spots on the dishes left to dry in the sink.

I wonder. If you have a 'properly functioning water softener, then how is you are getting this damage? Many assume that if a softener is using salt, that it is working. This can be far from the truth. Some softeners will struggle very hard to make it for 10 years, others arejust getting broken in.

Spots can also be caused by sodium deposits from the softener but this is easy to determine.

I would retest your treated water--both hot and cold-- to see if it is functioning properly.

Whole-house sediement filters will not remove dissolved solids like calcium which cause spots and scale build up.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

Marvin Gardens 10-10-2008 10:29 AM

Water filtration is the latest scam and is a milti billion dollar business.

What filtration will do. It will filter out particulates such as iron from the piles and spores such as giardia.

What it won't do. It won't filter out dissolved chemicals such as calcium, sulphur, and sodium.

The first thing you need to do is decide what you are trying to filter. To do that you have to know what is in your water.

If you are on a municipal system then they monitor the water for you for things like lead and microbes like ecoli, c-diff and others. All the dangerous stuff. Filtering for those is a waste of money.

If you want to filter for dissolved chemicals then you will have to spend a lot of money and use a lot of energy to keep the process going.

On top of that do you really want to filter your toilet, bath and shower water?

For the most part your water is fine. The spots in the dishes are cause by calcium more than likely which is common in your area.

If you are on a well then monthly testing is important or at least every 6 months. I have a well at our vacation home and filter that for particulates. The water is heavy in sulfur and I don't want to spend several thousand to make my own drinking water. We just bring a large drum or drinking water from our unfiltered home on the municipal system.

Andy CWS 10-10-2008 02:04 PM

Filtration, like anything, is only a scam when it is misapplied, requires too much maintenance/cost for the results, or negatively affects water conditions or service.

Properly undestanding water conditions and desired results make filtration a very effective method and can results in excellent water.

Some are just satisfied with less than fine results and they will consider any type of water treatment a rip off.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

Marvin Gardens 10-10-2008 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy CWS (Post 170559)
Filtration, like anything, is only a scam when it is misapplied, requires too much maintenance/cost for the results, or negatively affects water conditions or service.

Properly undestanding water conditions and desired results make filtration a very effective method and can results in excellent water.

Some are just satisfied with less than fine results and they will consider any type of water treatment a rip off.

Andy Christensen, CWS-II

Misapplications of filtration is trying to remove any dissolved chemical, filtering out particulates that are not harmful, filtering out microbes that don't exist in the water and so on.

This means that city water does not need to be filtered since municipal water systems get weekly and sometimes daily tests for everything known to science. A filter in the city would filter out almost nothing.

I had a small filter on for 4 years and it finally started to slow the flow. I finally figured it wasn't worth the cost and pulled it out.

Water in municipal systems are regulated by so many different agencies with huge liability for failure to do routine maintenance and testing that it is unlikely that the water would be bad. I don't remember the last time anyone got sick from a municipal water system. Usually that is something that is nationwide news from the hysterical media intent on getting readers and viewers.

Since water is so regulated a whole house water filter is a waste of time and money. There is no sense in filtering toilet water, shower water or bath water.

If someone were to put a filter on a few of the faucets for drinking that could be turned on/off so as not to filter water for dishes that would be reasonable, especially for those that think the water is bad (for psychological piece of mind).

People on well systems would be wise to have a carbon filter with a particulate filter and test the water on a regular basis.

Gary Slusser 10-11-2008 12:21 AM

You are making some large mistakes in your comments. Many people reading them are from various areas of the country and will have much different experience.

Many city water systems fail EPA and state quality regulations every year. Many things the water companies are supposed to test for only require testing every few to 5+ years. Not too many years ago, many tens of people on city water systems were killed in the upper midwest and more recently in Canada. I could go on. mostly about what can and can not be filtered out of water but, the comments of using carbon filters on private residential well water is really bad advice because bacteria love to live and multiply in carbon.


BTW, your "sulfur", you could buy a system online that would kill the odor, oxidize any iron or manganese and kill all types of bacteria that might be in the water for less than $800 delivered. Then a backwashed filter for $600 delivered and you'd probably have better water than most cities.


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