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Whole House Water Filters

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle, Feb 3, 2009.

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  1. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I'm on a well system, and have a holding tank. Current tank is 15 YO, metal, and is showing signs of it's age.

    I'm replacing it with a fiberglass tank, and, although I have an old Home boy Depot filter on the main line, the plumber reccommneds a new one. I gotta agree.

    High iron content, multiplied by the steel tank, is starting to affect toilet bowls, the washer, etc.

    Hence, my quest. I can't swing for a Culligan system, but I figured something like these might be "doable"

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...angId;=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100083450

    Water usage is not high. Showers daily, laundry about every day (1 load), dishwasher once a week. No heavy lawn watering.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Ugly

    Ugly New Member

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    Before I did anything else, I'd get my water tested for trace so I knew what I was dealing with. Any place that sells water equipment will do a free test in hopes of sucking you in uhhh I mean serving your needs in hopes you buy something expensive.

    I have a filter before my dual tank Fleck head softener but I know all it's doing is large particle removal, real mineral removal means ion exchange (softener). Tip: you can often get softeners second hand cheaply that only need new resin (typically 140-160 dollars for 1.5 sq ft resin) and/or a new salt tank (50 ish). I've seen a fair number on kijiji and craiglist etc... in my continuous hunt for cheap building supplies. Especially target those with mechanical heads (as opposed to electronic) as the experts seem to think they are more bullet proof. There are forums that only talk water treatment, the education is free once you have a water test in hand.
  3. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Eileen,
    I use one similar to what your looking at.
    Its the shorter but wider version.
    The filters need changed about every 6 months, and I get them online, as they are expensive at the dealers.
    It works ok. I have high iron & hydrogen sulfide (egg smell).
    As soon as I get some other projects completed, I am going to get a air injection, backflush system. Cost about $800 to $1,000.00, but they work awesome and no filter changes needed, as it backflushes itself at the time you set once a day I believe. My neighbor has a greensand filter which is similar, but also has a smaller tank you put potassium permanganate, (a purple powder which automatically cleans, regenerates, and disinfects the greensand filter media with each backwash). The greensand version is cheaper, but you have to add the powder or pellets every 6 months or so depending on water usage.
    My neighbors water is crytal clear and tasted great. Mine leaves the iron on the toilets, sinks etc. And again the rotten egg smell. So I will install one as soon as it comes up on the list of things to do around here.
    For the time being, the one I have similar to what your looking at will do.
    I honestly drink bottled distilled water for kidney stone reasons, but after I install the backflush filter system, I am going to try drinking the water out of the tap again.
    I highly suggest putting a loop around the filter with a shut off valve on each side and one in the middle of the loop. That way, when filter change time comes, you can bypass the filter and not have to shut the main off.
    I have a photo of what I did if you want to see it. The previous homeowner didn't do it along with many other things half assed around here.
    I alsoarea get your water tested first. I paid for mine, I think it was like $50.00.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    My filter is connected after the water softener, which I've heard differing opinions on, some pro, some con.
  5. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the water test tip. I'll get on that. It had been done years ago, and I remember high iron and minerals, but not much else.

    Hogs, I'd appreciate a pic of what you're talking about as far as the loop idea. I take it that changing the filter would still send water to the house, or I could by pass the filter if I were using water for outside?
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I have mine on a loop so the entire unit can be removed too, but my filter (which is not that fancy) has a built in valve that allows you to bypass the filter so you can change the filter.
  7. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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  8. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Eileen, I am also on a private well and have a little iron in the water. I've forgotten the overall hardness level but it was not bad. I installed a whole house filter similar to the one you are looking at. Before you have a whole house filter installed have the water tested as hogwiltz suggested. Also be certain you find out what kinds of filters are available for the particular filter housing you might have installed. Be certain the replaceable element is readily available on line or through your dealer. On line ordering is best because the savings are significant.

    If you decide to have filter installed the plumber can install a "T" before the water filter and before the water softener. This "T" can supply water to outside hose bibs so watering horses, plants, gardens, etc. does not clog the filter or overuse the softener.

    Spend some time visiting water filter sites to gain more knowledge before you make the jump to purchase.
  9. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Thank you, John. I have been reading and studying ..I'm kinda suprised at my learning capabilities in my "working on the 2nd half of my century" years :)

    I've always had a 2 pack back up for the old one (that the heck am I gonna do with those?). The old housing is so "red" that I can barely see the filter. Which is why I'm considering a new one with shut off, better filter abilities, etc.

    My goal is to decrease the toilet bowl run lines, etc. I have 2 bathroom redo's on my list, I'd hate to put them in, and then start "seeing the stain". Any cleaner to remove that is caustic to what you use to clean it, which makes everything last less.

    City water is available, but it's 3-4 G's to get it here, atleast. I'd rather not lay that out right now, if I can help it.
  10. John_M

    John_M Minister of Fire

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    Eileen, I would recommend you Google "10 inch Big Blue Water Filter". That will direct you to various sites with lots of information about this commonly available and excellent whole house filter. It is available in versions 10" long and 20" long. I use the 10" version in my system. The 20" version is made mostly for commercial use.

    According to the plumber who plumbed my new house this is the most commonly recommended and used whole house water filter. One of its main benefits is that parts are readily available and replacement filter elements are available to remove almost anything found in commercial or private well water. If I recall correctly, there are two very good replacement filters available to treat water like we both have ie; private well, some sediment, little iron, few other minerals, and no sulphur.

    Here is the order of "things" after the well supply line comes through the wall of my basement: 1) hose bib faucet for connecting garden hose inside the basement; 2) a "T" that directs water to my two outside hose bibs; 3) the "Big Blue" 10" whole house filter; 4) the water softener.

    People who have had water at my house comment about how clear it looks and how it has no taste. I should add that I have no holding tank for the water system. Instead, I have installed a various RPM Grundfos (brand name) pump and water flow is just like being on city water. There are no surges when the pump is running. Water is coming from 180' underground so it is always nice and cool. I wouldn't trade this system for any others I have seen or used.

    Best wishes,

    John_M
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    We are also on a mineral fouled water well and after years of putting up with it. Went to Home Depot and was willing to spend whatever it took...after a water test their 'house plumber' and resident expert said that there was no easy fix for our water. He recommended something very similar to what the OP posted instead of the more expensive systems.

    So we replace the $15 cartridge every month and have settled for slightly better water...if I could get a case price on the filters I'd be happier.

    Since then we have Crystal Rock deliver 5 gal jugs of bottled water once a month.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah for replaceable cartridge iron/sediment filters Big Blue is the way to go due to the availability of replacement elements. Also look into Birm iron filters for a higher capacity and longer term solution. I am getting ready to shop for one to replace the cartridge filter I have used for years.
  13. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    oooh - mind if I piggyback? Like BrotherBart I live in Northern Virginia and am also looking to replace my sediment filter, as my old one that came with the house can't be backwashed. Since it fills up constantly, it's a major pain. We have already ordered a sediment filter and contacted a plumber (friend of my dad who helped install the original plumbing) to do the install but now I'll have to doublecheck what part he ordered.

    I have often considered Iron removal as well as a softener. So need to work on that as well. Does anyone know what the black "slime" is that coats anything with standing water in it (i.e. the toilet bowl and tank)? I used to think that was just oxidized iron but a friend said it was something else?
  14. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Eileen,
    I believe you'll find that no "filter" will prevent the iron discoloration in your toilet and elsewhere. This results from dissolved iron coming out of solution because of the presence of oxygen. Filters remove only particulate material and not dissolved stuff. Most treatment systems that address iron in water bubble air through the water, which adds oxygen, to change the iron's oxidation state so that it will "fall" out of solution as a solid. It can then be removed by a filter or other means.

    I'm no specialist on this but have friends with some of these systems as our area suffers from iron issues.
  15. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Research manganese bacteria. Then get your water tested.
  16. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

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    We have a well also with a water softner and we have alot of rust in our water.the watersoftner dealer told us to sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of rustout over the salt in the softner about every 6months and this will take care of any rust stains you might be experiencing and helps keep the whole house filter cartridges stay cleaner. Try it , it works for us.
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It's actual dissolved iron that comes out of solution and turns orange. You can't kill it with bleach but bleach can accelerate the oxidation process. Iron bacteria is another problem that is treated differently, usually the symptom is stinky or bad taste, especially in the heated water.

    There is more than one way to deal with dissolved iron and it depends on the concentration. Most water softeners can eliminate the typical low level iron contamination that is not a problem in the house other than gradually stained fixtures. If the iron is stronger than that then you need to update the technology to either an aerator or one of the fancier systems.
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