rust spots on dishes-need whole house filter

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Zeak, May 2, 2014.

  1. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
    We keep noticing little rust type spots on our dishes so I took a sample to the hardware store and was told I need a whole house filter. They carry a culligan model for $50 and say that I'll need to change the filter every 6 months ($10 a pair). This connects to my water supply pipe in the basement and will need plumber assistance. I went online to see comparisons of filters and couldn't find anything objective. I have searched this forum and see a lot about water tests and softeners but all I am looking for is insight into what brands of whole house filters are the best and easiest to install/maintain. Thanks.
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Where on the dishes are you seeing the rust spots? My guess is along the rim in which case the problem is not the water but rather the vinyl coating on the racks.
  3. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
    Thanks for the quick response. The spots are on the outside of our white bowls and mugs but not on the rim. They also show up on our silverware. We don't see them on our clear drinking glasses.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,806
    Location:
    IL
    I like the Big Blue 20 x 4.5 filters. They are bigger and have less pressure drop than smaller filters. You also would get a year out of your filter. There are many filter elements that fit that housing; they are not proprietary.

    The Culligan may be quite sufficient. The Big Blue may be overkill. Either way, you will want to have some silicone grease and a spare O-ring for the filter element changes. You won't always need a new O-ring, but if you do, you will be out of commission without one. I am presuming the Culligan needs an O-ring, but I may presume wrongly.

    If you are not on chlorinated water, use polypropylene elements.
  5. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
    thanks for the info.
    the issue of pressure drop concerns me. some people say it's big and others don't notice it. is there any way to reliably predict before getting one and installing the filter? we like our water pressure. anybody else have experience with filters that didn't suffer too much of a drop?
  6. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    3,311
    Location:
    Maine
    You should test your water before spending the money.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If the rust is coming from the piping or a water heater in the house, a filter is not going to do anything. You first need to find out if water coming to the house is a problem, or if the problem is coming from within the house.
  8. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    NC
    I have a 2 big blue filters that REACH4 speaks about above and I can not tell any difference as far as pressure, but there is a big difference as far as my water quality now. I have an iron filter followed by a carbon filter. I change them once a year. A good water test is important to size everything properly and know exactly what you should do.

    Here is an example and there is info on this page:
    http://www.waterfilters.net/Iron-Reduction-Water-Filter-System.html
    http://www.waterfilters.net/Iron-Water-Treatment.html
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I am very sceptical that an element filter will stop rust spots. First off, I am curious as to how and why the spots are forming and why they only appear on some dishes.

    Iron in the water is usually ferrous (dissolved) and as such not easily filtered out with an element style filter. The way iron filters work is to convert ferrous to ferric through oxidation where it can precipitate and then be filtered out.

    If there is an iron problem, it generally deposits on larger areas, not just spots. Granted, the texture and porosity of the surface is a factor. A tile shower F.E. will stain the grout more than the glazed tile. In the case of some dishes, there are small blemishes in the glaze where they were held up on pins during the firing process.
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  10. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
    Ok so my first step will be to test the water. There are self test kits and then companies that do this. Any recs for the best and most economical way to test the water?
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,806
    Location:
    IL
    Describe your spots better. Are they tiny orange particles, or are they like orange stains where the water dries? If it is particles, I don't know that a water test would test for that. A water test could cost as much as the filter. Cacher_chick makes the excellent point that particles (or staining) could come from your pipes. In that case, a whole house filter would not help. A filter on the hot water going to the dishwasher could help, as could other point of use filters.

    What do you see in your toilet tanks? Dark debris mainly at the bottom, or orange all over where the water sits?


    Is this city water? If not, that would have a big effect on what you do. If it is city water, comparing notes with the neighbors could help identify if particles are coming in through the water main.

    I don't know that the $199 test described in www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?56930-Softener-and-green-sand-filter-Please-help&p=418951 would have detected particles, but it would have tested for disolved iron.

    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/sho...water-test-results-back-recommended-treatment has some pictures of particles.
  12. Smooky

    Smooky Member

    Messages:
    652
    Location:
    NC
  13. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
  14. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    2,806
    Location:
    IL
    The spots you are referring to... red or green arrow? Do they don't flick off or rub off easily?
    huge2.jpg

    If you see no problem in your toilet tank, maybe the material comes from your water heater.
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Those spots on the flatware are where they are contacting each other. To prevent them, the flatware needs to be removed right away and hand dried.

    Do you have pics of the spots on the bowls? Have you checked if the tines of the racks have been damaged and the bare metal rusting?
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    You've got it backwards. Ferrous iron is soluble, and usually presents as clear water; it can be oxidized to the ferric form, which is insoluble, and can be precipitated and/or filtered out.
  17. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,185
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Right you are... I mix them up sometimes.
  18. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    Central Florida
    There's so much to mix up. That's one of the few things I remember from freshman chemistry (taught at 8AM).
  19. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    2,806
    Location:
    IL
  20. Zeak

    Zeak New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Wash dc
    Here's a pic of the spot on the bowl. I can't get it off just by scraping it with my finger and have to wipe or soak it with CLR. I checked dishwasher racks and they look intact. photo.JPG
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