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Whole house water filter question
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PressedForTime
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Joined: 1 May 2012
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Location: CT
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Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 12:45pm
Subject: Whole house water filter question
 

We are thinking of installing a whole house water filter, primarily to remove chlorine.  House has 2.5 baths, so I think a flow rate of 8-10 gpm is the minimum requirement. There seem to be a few ways to go about this.

The system that seems most appropriate are the carbon-based systems I've seen online costing anywhere from $800-$2000. These have high flow rates and claimed life cycles of 5-10 years.  In the long run these seem to be a better value. Does anyone experience with these? (PurHome, Lifesource, etc?)  This sounds like the way to go, but I can't find any reviews or real life experience with them.  Any real-world feedback on whole house systems that you could offer would be wonderful!

Other options that I don't think work as well, but am happy to reconsider if appropriate are:
1) Reverse Osmosis-- This is overkill given what we are trying to achieve.
2) Simple canister filters-- I stopped by the local plumbing supply store to see what options they have. My impression is that the canister filters they offered were inexpensive, but replacement media was $85 a pop and had to be replaced 3-4 times per year. Cheap to start out, but then it starts to get expensive over time. I could probably do better online, but even at 1/2 the cost it would still add up to exceed the cost of one of the larger systems.
3) We could do a point-of-use filter, but that would require three point-of-use filters to accomplish the same thing. I don't think there's efficiency to be found there. If the whole house costs about the same, you might as well enjoy the benefit in every water outlet in the house.


Thanks in advance,

Charlie

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 6:17am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

Hi and welcome.
What are you REALLY trying to gain? Soft water for your showers? Mainly filtered water for cooking? Coffee only use?

You do not need to filter all the water in your home for coffee and for coffee, you do NOT want RO water, it is TOO pure and has a flat taste not to mention that in most coffee equipment that is self filling, the RO water will cause errors in the autofill systems.

I filter water for cooking, ice, refer water and coffee. A under counter sediment filter, carbon filter and salt based water softener is all I need for great cooking/coffee water. The replacement carts are less than $20 and for my use, last about a year (yes I know you are supposed to change them every 6 months but so what? SUE ME!)

 
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NobbyR
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Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 8:24am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

Removing chlorine from all your water for domestic use might cause a hygenic problem, because it'll facilitate bacterial growth inside your pipes. After all there's a reason why it's there in the first place. It's seems better to me to remove chlorine from the water you need for cooking or brewing coffee, for example, prior to use.

 
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TamiP
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Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

I disagree Nobby. I think everyone is so overly paranoid about germs that we don't get the ones we need. People with wells don't have any chlorine and yet we live and are healthy I might add.

We also lived abroad and bought our meat in the open air market for years and the kids survived and flourished. We have yet to get food poisoning even after eating the left overs we left (GASP) on the stove overnight.

Secondly, my hair and skin do much better when washed without chlorine to dry them out.

IMHP the world is a healthier place when we all get our pound of dirt.

PS....I think the chlorine is there to kill the germs from the recycled sewage.

 
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frcn
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Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

I have been living on property where I pump my own water for the last 23 years. No additives in my food (no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavorings), no corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners.  The only thing that we eat that had parents are eggs. We also eat lots of soy products. I should have been dead long ago (an opinion shared by more than just my inlaws) .   ;-)

 
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
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Posted Tue May 15, 2012, 10:52pm
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

TamiP Said:

... People with wells don't have any chlorine and yet we live and are healthy I might add ...

... IMHP the world is a healthier place when we all get our pound of dirt.

PS....I think the chlorine is there to kill the germs from the recycled sewage.

Posted May 15, 2012 link

frcn Said:

I have been living on property where I pump my own water for the last 23 years ... I should have been dead long ago (an opinion shared by more than just my inlaws) .   ;-)

Posted May 15, 2012 link

People with their own well know exactly where the water they use is coming from. And they are at a higher risk of contamination. It's different with the water provided by waterworks. It might be well water or surface water, depending on where you live. Especially surface water can be polluted by sewage. Like I said chlorine is there for a reason.

Apart from that I agree that a living environment can be too clean, too hygenic, so that it promotes allergies, for example. A little dirt won't do much harm. But bacteria like legionella that live in hot water pipes can.

 
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TamiP
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Posted Wed May 16, 2012, 4:59am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

I think we digress and I am so sorry Charlie, I will say I don't have experience with the whole house filter but we do have filtration. We have a whole house sediment filter and water softener. The softener is to protect our plumbing fixtures more than anything.

Under the kitchen sink we have an RO unit. I use this for drinking only and on the espresso machine we have a separate 3 stage filter only, no RO. While I think the coffee made from RO tastes fine, there are more people that don't care for it. My taste buds just can't detect the difference.

I buy my filters on eBay and can share the sellers name if you wish. I spend probably $60 a year on filters and I don't have a problem with that. I'm sure it would be much more if you are doing the whole house.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

 
Tami
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AndyPanda
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Posted Wed May 16, 2012, 7:19am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

I have RO ... I don't like using RO for espresso.  As was already stated the taste is flat.  However, even though my tap water is soft enough (my city has fairly soft water) the chlorine taste/smell is very obvious and offensive to me so I don't like using tap water either.  Some people recommend half tap half RO but I can still smell the chlorine.

I've worried about the acid level of RO water and what it may be doing to the insides of my boiler.  Using test strips I can clearly see that the RO water is too acidic.

I've had some luck putting a pinch of sea salt and/or baking soda in the RO water - but I don't think this is ideal.  It does get the PH right and it does improve on the taste of espresso - but I think I can do better.

I'm thinking my next step will be to try leaving all the filters in place on my RO setup except for the RO filter itself - that way I'd be going through all the series of regular filters and carbon filters but not the RO membrane itself.  I think that will get all the Chlorine smell/taste out of the water and any particulates - but should leave some minerals.
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TamiP
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TamiP
Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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Location: Lake Jackson
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Posted Wed May 16, 2012, 8:55am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

My espresso machine isn't on RO Andy, just a 3 phase filter. The RO is under the kitchen sink and the espresso machine is across the room with it's own water supply.

 
Tami
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Wed May 16, 2012, 9:06am
Subject: Re: Whole house water filter question
 

I have nice good tasting well water.  I don't filter it for Oscar.  It is pretty soft and I will be watching the machine for build up.   In 8 years of living here I have never had scale build up on the shower heads and other water fixtures. If Oscar looks like he gets more build up than a once a year descale can handle I will consider putting in a filter for him.

 
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