whole house water filters?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by eric28805, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. eric28805

    eric28805 New Member

    Does anyone here have experience with them? I have a community well system with treated water, but there is a slight rust taste. I'm hoping that one of these would fix that. Locally, I can get systems made by Ace Hardware, Culligan and Whirlpool. The prices range from about $35 to about $60 (plus filters).
  2. I install them quite often. The key to a good system is the maintenance. Most I have installed are the two canister, one paper wound and one carbon. Carbon is for taste and odor, paper or string wound is for sediment. Keep it simple and remember the better it filters, the shorter the life of filter, the more restrictive it is. (pressure) Single containers are fine; just change it a minimum every 3 months or what is dictated by gallon usage.
  3. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber


    In most areas that I see, a whole house filter isn't practicle.
    It's too expensive to use canister filters on anything but dedicated cold water lines for drinking water.
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    "whole house" filters are not a good solution for your problem. If your water supply is chlorinated, you should not remove chlorine on a 'whole house' basis, it is a bad idea. Disposable cartridge filters are the wrong choice for most main line/POE (point of entry) water quality problems; although many are sold, so are toy type kitchen faucet tip filters....

    A taste like rust says you have iron in the water or steel pipe in your plumbing. If you want to filter the drinking and cooking water, use a drinking water filter under the sink with its own separate faucet. And don't buy proprietary types, buy industry standard housings, cartridges and faucets that you can buy from most internet and local water treatment dealers. You can save substantial bucks and install it yourself.

    And if your water isn't chlorinated, be careful, carbon (used to improve taste and odor) is not to be used on water of unknown microbiologiacl content.

    Quality Water Associates
  5. That's funny, I didn't know that all these stores, plumbing supply houses, and the average user of these were so wrong until I read this:

    Wait a minute, that is the first step of introducing a sale, dismiss everything else and introduce what I think the person wants.

    Oh. I guess this is the buy line that nothing else is better than what you have right? :confused:

    A little bit of fear always helps in the closing too it seems. I don't recall either of these types of filter doing this, must be salesmanship. Maybe now that we now know these products are so wrong for the potable water system I look to see all of these products pulled off the shelf as a result of Gary's lack of ability to sell them.

    I couldn't even begin to tell people of the results they have had with Gary's Toy Type faucet tip filters. I have seen people religiously install whole house filters with the string wound type filters to keep leaves and asphalt shingle specs from entering their pump systems, their faucets, showers, toilet fill valves. Make it known that I recently installed a whole house filter for a customer for the sole reason that the city water was affecting her and her baby's skin due to the high levels of chlorine. Last time I checked, they are still alive, not living in fear that Gary would like you to be and seem to be free of rashes from the skin irritation caused by their water system. I suggest that anyone who has a system such as a whole house filter, toy type faucet tip filter consider the source of knowledge that is presented in this thread and understand that the majority of people on this site are here to help, not indirectly sell you water treatment products.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    Well, I have to agree with Gary. ( I am NOT in the water quality or filter business). Carbon filters do remove chlorine and I do not believe that is a good idea on a whole house basis,even though they are sold.

  7. Correct. They do remove chlorine and depending on where you live and how close to your water treatment facility the chlorine levels are too high, thus causing reactions that are dangerous. Carbon filters are bought, sold, and installed with certain levels of filtering to adjust how much it affects the water it treats. If carbon filters posed such a harmful threat that Gary implies (wink,wink) then they would not sell them to the general public in just about every supply house. I would like to see all the threads on all the usernet forums where this is such a bad thing as one implies. And thanks for the clarification that your not in the business. :D I've seen your posts and you are legit and honest with no intent other than to help others who need it. :D
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2005
  8. plumber1

    plumber1 Plumber


    I agree with JIMBO...............and Gary too........
  9. Lighthouse

    Lighthouse New Member

    hmmm. I'm new here and found the exchange enlightening.

    While it's true that basic filters are not effective against microbiologically unsafe water, the reason is that they do nothing to sanitize the water. What does carbon or fiber-wound have to do with that? The post suggests that somehow using a carbon filter will introduce a biological hazard. Huh? If you have unsafe water, you have a serious problem, with or without a filter.

    The original question was simple: I have rusty water - will a whole-house filter help?

    The answer may be a whole house filter, unless the source of the rust in inside of your home. You need to determine that first. Then you can decide where to install a filter, whether at the point-of-use (faucet), or a whole house system. Or even if you need to fix something inside your home - a recent appearance of rust may indicate a about-to-rupture water heater.

    Consider that a whole-house filter will generally reduce the available water pressure everywhere in the home. Is that acceptable? Do you have enough/excess pressure at your showers?

    Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend that you follow the manufacturer's replacement guidelines for the pressure-containing parts. If they say replace the tank every 5 or 10 years, mark your calendar and do it. I've personally seen too many ruptured filter housings to install a filter in my own home, but I also don't have any serious water quality issues here.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    All waters have some bacteria in them. Bacteria thrive in carbon, or maybe you know it as charcoal, and they multiply greatly given all the organics carbon filters remove plus it's a fairly constant temperature but higher to least room temp most of the time and dark environment. A carbon filter is a prime place for bacterial growth.

    Now I suppose someone will disagree with the all waters statement... so lets nail it down, waters that don't have the proper free chlorine residual in them.

    Sediment cartridges can also provide a place for reducing bacteria to work their magic.

    Sanitizing is not the same as a disinfectant but there are some cartridge type cleanable cartridges used for filtering of bacteria, not on a "whole house" basis though due to very low flow rates. And there are bacteriostatic type 'filters' and/or materials in disposable cartridges. Bacteriostatic is not bactericide.

    Quality Water Associates
  11. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Marin Co. Ca.
    hay rugged

    please walk me through the process of determining what whole house filter system would work best for my home. is there a brand that has superior hardware? thank,s in advance,
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I guess RUGGED missed your post, or he's still thinking...

    Quality Water Associates
  13. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    I base my post on simple observation in my home. I have a little undersink tastse and odor filter for drinking water. The inlet and outlet are plumbed with the milky poly tubing. About once a year, I notice the tubing carrying the filtered water starts to get "scummy" inside. The tubing on the inlet side does not show this. I replace the outlet tubing as required. SO, I drew some conclusions based on this and that's my opinion. I do not have a scientific report to support this. Carbon filters obviously do remove the chlorine. That is their principle function in life, since chlorine is one of the things contributing to bad taste. They certainly advertise that they remove chlorine, and you all are correct that none of the filters we have discussed are OK to use on water that is not already bacteriologically safe.
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Additionally, the taste and smell of chlorine does not harm you. But chlorine disinfection by products (DPBs) called THMs (trihalomethanes) are carcinogens (cancer causing agents) and do harm many people. "whole house" disposable cartridge filters CAN NOT remove them. They pass through any general purpose full flow carbon (GAC) filter.

    So anyone wanting to sell you one, and/or install one when you mention anything leading to buying one, or if you want one 'cuz EVERYone has one!, or suggesting you should want to have one, frankly is not looking out for your best interests. IMO they are misinformed at least and looking for a quick sale. That type filter should be used as jimbo is using his or, undersink for the kitchen sink faucet, not on a "whole house" main water line basis.

    Quality Water Associates
  15. Vitaliy

    Vitaliy New Member

    I may go too far but recently I installed:
    - under sink RO (Reverse Osmosis) filtration system:
    - carbon shower head filter for each on shower head:
    - two stages (sediment and carbon) whole house filter;

    The results are:
    - city water: Ph = 8.3, TDS = 150 – 200;
    - after whole house filter: Ph=7.9, TDS ~ 100:
    - RO filtered water: Ph=7.4, TDS=0:

    Bottled water (Poland Spring) has Ph=8.0 and TDS = 70
    (not too far away from produced by whole house filter).

    TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) measured with HM Digital meter
    and Ph – Hanna Instruments, PHEP-3
    After only two weeks of use 5 micron sediment paper filter already
    looks too rusty.

    So, each filter does its job. Yes, in some cases filters may create
    bacteria related problem. If this case I’ll add UV (Ultra Violet) disinfector
    to my whole house filtration system.

    As far as chlorine (and in some cases fluoride) goes believe it or not
    the main problem is not a drinking water but taking shower.
    Hot water coming out from shower had quickly cools down and releases
    a lot of dissolved gases. This creates a very nice gas chamber and
    inhaled chlorine is many times more toxic then consumed with water.

    For those who interested in under sink filtration system should seriously
    consider RO system. RO filters are more expensive then simple carbon
    filters but they are doing much better filtration job
    (check measurements results above).

    - Vitaliy

    I am not a water/plumber expert, I am electronic design engineer.
  16. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Yes in many if not most cases, RO is overkill in a big way. The basis for an RO is what and how much of it is in your water that you need a RO for, that something else won't do the job. In most cases a dual stage drinking water filter with its own faucet, RO type, is a much better choice if you don't have something in the water that requires a RO to reduce it. A RO membrane doesn't remove 100% of anything, most of what a RO (a system of pre and post cartridges and the membrane) removes is done by carbon block disposable cartridge. You can have one in a multiple stage filter for drinking and cooking water needs.

    TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids, like sugar dissolved in a glass of water. So how does your "whole house" 5 micron pleated paper filter remove things that are dissolved in the water? Actually they don't, can't and won't.

    You've already contaminated your RO, including the membrane. ANd the "whole house" carbon is possibly going to allow bacteria to increase and contaminate the RO prefilter, usually carbon.

    I use computer experts for my computer needs and do my own water treatment based on my training and knowledge of water treatment. :)

    Quality water Associates
  17. GARY how about a water softener>>??

    whole house filters are no good...

    too much maintaince as far as I am concerned

    cahngeing out cartridges every two months.

    I dont think they do a good a job as a simple water conditioner

    I am asking GARY, because even though he sells stuff on
    the internet, and everyone seems to think he has some sort of
    evil plan and adgenda to rule the world....

    he still knows what he is talking about...

    the carbon filters VS just a plain old water conditoner....

    give me the pros and cons here......I need the education

    Gary, please if you got the time...

    ps ...I just spent my evening cleaning out a
    house where an Autotrol WS decided to blow a gasket
    and fill the plumbing with resin. Just got home at 9.30 est.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2005

  18. I had an Autotrol today blow an O-ring out where it connects to the tank. Was shooting water for 9 hours and shot a hole through a drywall wall and destroyed someone's computer.
  19. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    I recommend less water and more Bushmill's 12 year old. You will not care what's in the water.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2005
  20. Kristi

    Kristi Tradesman Plumber

    Vancouver, BC
    lol, Glenlivet... it'll smooth that water right out :)
Similar Threads: whole house
Forum Title Date
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice How many whole house water filters? Nov 15, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Whole House Water Filters Aug 27, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Hot and cold reversed in whole house + single lever faucet backwards Jun 1, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Whole House Pressure Value Leaking May 14, 2014
Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice Whole House Leak Protection Feb 9, 2014

Share This Page