Pressure Drop - whole house filter - Aquapure AP903

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by lordoftheflies, May 28, 2013.

  1. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    Hello,

    First post here.

    I just had some major plumbing work done after gutting my basement and ridding myself of my convential central AC.

    All the gas and water lines had bee run down and around the 30'x8' supply and return ducts below the joists.

    The plumber rerouted everything to inbetween the floor joists.

    I took the opportunity to also have him install a Rinnai RU98i tankless water heater as well as an Aqua-pure AP903 whole house water filter (sediment/rust/chlorine taste and odor).

    I am seeing a rather drastic pressure drop when running either hot or cold (from any faucet/tub) of 50% of pressure loss!

    The incoming pressure is 50psi and I'm seeing it go all the way down the 25psi post filter.

    The AP903 is only a few days old and I really noticed the pressure drop today while showering (no laundry, dishwasher, or other bathroom in use). I would say that it was not as noticeable the first few days it was installed.

    The AP903 is installed at the point of entry. We have city water. 3/4" copper was used, bypass valve, see attached photo of the layout.

    I would think that 25psi pressure drop is a bit ridiculous and either have mud in the water coming in or there is something defective with the filter.

    Can't really see the filter since it is completely enclosed.

    I was going to call 3M tomorrow to see what they say....and then possible go out and buy another AP917-HD filter and see if I get the same behavior. If so then I might have some kind of warranty claim on the original filter.

    Open to comments as to what you think may be wrong.

    I also noticed the pressure loss today using the spigot (which also passes through the filter), definitely more noticeable today than previous days.

    One thing to note is that the plumber said he saw incoming pressure of up to 65psi when he installed but I have yet to see it get to 60...Highest was probably 55-57psi.

    The pressure gauge pics were taken with only one bathtub cold water tap open to fill the tub.

    Thanks!

    Before filter.jpg
    After filter.jpg

    2013-05-23 21.28.40.jpg
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    depending on your water, it could plug up within a few days. You said you had a bypass for it...bypass the filter - if the pressure goes back up, you know what the issue is.
  3. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    Tried that and yes, the pressure is definitely better without the filter. However, I don't have a pressure gauge on the bypass line so I can only guesstimate based on the water coming out of the tap but it is noticeably better.

    Plug up within a few days? That's $150 for AP917-HD water filter - I can't be changing that every few days!
  4. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Disposable "whole house" filters are very seldom a good solution to any water quality issues. If the plumber sold that to you, I would recommend screaming bloody murder in hopes that he will take it back.
  5. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    My original question was basically is a 50%/25psi pressure drop normal after a few days...and I should think the answer is no.

    Again it's city water in the suburbs of NYC - using the bypass it's not like I'm seeing mud come out of the pipes.

    And for what it's worth the filter element is supposedly rated for 100K gallons or 1 year.
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,004
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Was the filter inline when the water was turned back on after the replumb? If so, there may have been sediment in the line stirred up and trapped in the filter. Also, why would you filter the water to the outside hose bib?
  7. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    The plumber had the bypass on when the water was turned back on to flush. And then he enabled the filter set up.

    And the reason for the outside bib is because I wash my cars with the water. So why not have it be sediment/rust/dirt free.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,248
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Did anyone look at the filter? Trying to filter with anything finer than 25 microns is sure to cause a noticeable pressure drop. Think of the proportions here-- a single red blood cell is 8 microns, and most older municipal water supply systems deliver a lot of minute particles that will plug a 5-10 micron filter in no time.

    The only whole house filters I would ever recommend are spin-down sand filters or those that backwash to a drain on a regular cycle. If you can get a 100 micron sediment filter for that housing, you might try it instead.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,004
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Because the volume of water normally used through an outside hose bib can quickly clog up a filter, so cost becomes a factor when you use throw-away elements.

    On my house I have several different outside hose bibs with unfiltered water going to one, filtered water to the rest, and hot and cold softened water to two others for washing. The difference is my filter is a backwashing type, not one that uses throw-away elements.
  10. DougB

    DougB Member

    About 10 years ago I installed two Aquapure filters in the main cold water line because of rust in the city water mains. I use 5 micron filters, change them once a year - I haven't noticed a significant pressure drop.
  11. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    I have two outside bibs - one on either side of the house. I can see your point however to connect the other bib unfiltered I would have to run additional piping all across the house since as I pointed out the filter is installed point of entry. And that bib is hardly ever used.

    That said, it's only been a few days and I've only used the outside bib to water the plants thus far (just a few begonias and some holly bushes) so I haven't used a lot of water at all.

    Called 3M and they said they would send a replacement filter and would analyze the old one.

    Let's see what happens with the new filter.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    filter

    When you use the term "filter" are you referring to the entire unit or just the media cartridge? You only replace the media to restore pressure, NOT the entire unit, and a cartridge should NOT cost $150.00. You do not need a "gauge on the bypass line" because when it is open the pressure is the same as on the 'inlet gauge'. Using "ProPress" fittings made a somewhat "bulky" installation.
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,004
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    The choice of location of the gauges is not one I would have made. I would have put them both on the main line, one on each side of the bypass valve. Now when you isolate the filter you also isolate the gauges.
  14. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    The filter cartridge for the ap903 is enclosed in the housing.

    The head, which is stainless steel, remains.

    There is a quick disconnect feature and you swap out the entire blue cartridge.

    The cartridge is rated to last 100k gallons or 1 year. And yes it does cost $150.
  15. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    The first gauge reads the incoming pressure so that should be the same regardless, n'est-ce pas? When no water is being used both gauges read the same. So that, in essence, is the incoming pressure.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,004
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No. When you isolate and remove the filter, both gauges will read zero. Putting the gauges on the opposite side of the isolation valves would have allowed them to read the pressure regardless of the valve being open or closed.
  17. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    Noticeably worse last night my wife complained.

    Snapped a pic without adjust the hose stream this morning with the filter on and off.

    At a wider stream the water was just dribbling out.

    Waiting for my replacement to arrive. Till then I'll leave the bypass on.

    2013-05-30 08.39.08.jpg 2013-05-30 08.42.19.jpg
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,058
    Location:
    New England
    I think you've solved the cause of the problem, now what the best solution to it long-term is another story. BTW, what is the rated GPM flow rate and expected pressure drop on that filter? It may handle 100K gallons, but if the flow rate isn't high enough, for this application, it's useless.
  19. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    20 from. Operating psi range is 25-125. I can't find any documation on "expected" pressure drop.

    If the new filter doesn't last a year and does the same thing I'm gonna make 3m do something about it.

    If it works fine then it was a defective filter or something may have gummed it up. They want the old filter back so we will see what they find. Although I would like to cut it open myself to see what is happening.

  20. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Tarrytown, NY
    Ps I saw the outgoing gauge show <20 psi yesterday.
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