whole house water filter cartridges - facts needed

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by bob tenthousand, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. bob tenthousand

    bob tenthousand New Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    I had a water softener installed last year and included a 10 inch big blue style whole house water filter. I asked for it because I wanted to reduce chlorine from my city water (good quality). I dislike red eye from chlorine while in the shower. Water from the faucet also tastes better now. Laundry also looks a little brighter, although that might also be affected by the water softener.

    It works well and I just replaced my filter for the first time. It came with a 20 micron activated charcoal style (GAC-BB). I replaced it with a Liquitec 5 micron solid style. The replacement filter works well although I see that it reduced water pressure a little over the GAC-BB.

    While shopping for filters I discovered as much advertising hype as I did good information.

    For the needs I described above, are there any fact based opinions on what to look for in a filter replacement? Also, about replacement frequency, I use about 2000 gallons a month. When the mfgr or distributor says 12,000 gallons or 3 months before replacement, what are they talking about? What is a reasonable life expectancy for a 4.5" x 10" cartridge?
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    Filter useful life is rated in total gallons. You can figure out what you use. Some recommend a maximum time, often 6 months, regardless of usage. That is based on the possibility of things growing in the media!

    Carbon is what takes out the chlorine. The low micron part of the filter is for other chemicals, organizms, etc. Lower micron is better in an absolute sense, but may or may not be something you need. Lower micron is same physical size will mean lower flow.

    The spec data sheets on filters can be relied on for comparisons. Disregard the LARGE PRINT in the advertising hype!

    I have never been a fan of whole house chlorine removal. You now have a hundreds of feet of pipe full of non-chlorinated water, and things happen.

    I have noticed that the inside of the PE tubing on the outlet side of my undersink filter gets gunky looking after a while. I just replace the tub once a year.
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  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    We can't see particles less than 50-45 micron in size. So anything less than that is invisible right? Why filter it out if you can't see it? Anyway, your softener probably doesn't gag on invisible dirt build up but will suffer from reduced flow and pressure. So this filter shiould be after the softener but, removing chlorine on a whole house basis is not a good idea; see what Jimbo said. You're better off with shower head and drinking water filters. They cost less and work well too, and don't cause the softener to fail years before its time.
  5. bob tenthousand

    bob tenthousand New Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Thanks for feedback

    Andy CWS,

    Thanks for the idea about the chlorine test kit. I'll look into it. The 20 micron GAC-BB filter was maybe 4 1/2 months old when I replaced it. Water was starting to taste 'normal' again and I was getting red eye in the shower again. I didn't get 12,000 gallons from it.

    The Liquitec 5 micron solid filter appears to be working well. Pressure is better than yesterday morning. I forgot that, in my neighborhood, water pressure drops a little every morning when everyone is getting up and getting ready for the day. Everybody probably flushes at the same time.

    Liquitec appears to be a good value. Matrix positions itself as a premium offering, but costs more and the specs appear similar to Liquitec for the basic chlorine filter. Pentek offers so many filters I can't sort them out. Omni is very expensive for the chlorine models, but offered everywhere. The other brands are only available over the internet. I'll probably go to larger micron sizes after this one wears out.

    All chlorine filters claim to 'reduce chlorine odor', not remove chlorine. Obviously, chlorine is being removed. Does this mean that some chlorine remains?
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    red eye?

    How much chlorine are they putting in your water if it causes red eye? At that level it should have a definite chlorine taste also.
  7. bob tenthousand

    bob tenthousand New Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    red eye explained

    About the red eye, I'm just sensitive to it. But without any filters I look like I have a hangover after a shower. People noticed my eyes. Our skin also had red blotches on it before starting with nozzle end chlorine filters. I think it also made me itch a little when the air was dry in the house.

    The whole house filter does a better job than the point of use shower filter. No red eye or blotchy skin. Plus the water taste is much better.Coffee is great.
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