(Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

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Topic Author
pepperz
Posts: 306
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(Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by pepperz » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am

We had a man come to our home to have our water “tested”. He works for a local company that sells whole house water filtration systems so needless to say, this was part of a glorified sales pitch. (I fully expected this going in but was still curious what our results would be.)

He brought a chemistry-set type kit with him and my takeaways were:
1) we basically may as well be drinking raw sewage
2) I feel lucky that everyone in my family isn’t already dead

Joking aside, he did get me thinking about the benefits of “soft” water and the potential health benefits of filtering out the harmful stuff.

Here’s the report of our water:

Code: Select all

- Chlorine (disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = above 6.0 parts per million (normal pool levels are 1.0-2.0 parts per million) 

- Bromine (another disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = 2.4 parts per million 

- Nitrates (runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits) =  1 parts per million   

- Hardness (buildup of calcium and magnesium sediment in the water) = 8 grains per gallon (soft water is less than 1 grain per gallon) 
Questions:

1. How do these results compare to those of you who installed Whole House Water Filtration Systems? (I have nobody else to compare them to.)

2. Will a “cheap” $500-$1,000 system From Home Depot do a good job treating the issues?

This guy was trying to pitch me the “Cadillac” of systems for $6,500 (he went down to that from $11K :happy)- a “Westinghouse” with lifetime warranty + free service, even includes 5 years worth of soap / shampoo / detergent etc)... he did a great job presenting it as the only option if you’re serious.

Obviously it’s grossly expensive if they’re trying to throw in 5 years of soap to justify the cost! :)

Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
Last edited by pepperz on Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

mortfree
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by mortfree » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:17 am

Consult a plumber who installs these systems. I think my old house we had a Waterfalls system installed. I may be wrong on the brand.

I have also heard of others who saved money by initially leasing the water softener system such that the company covered the installation costs.

Good luck and YMMV

Polymer1985
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Polymer1985 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:23 am

I can't answer your questions but 6 parts per million of chlorine is a lot. If you live in United States, your tap water will have to meet state and federal regulations. The regulation, in California for example, mandates that free chlorine in the public water supply carry a minimum of .20 mg/L (parts per million) of residual and a maximum of no more than 4 mg/L.
Last edited by Polymer1985 on Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

CurlyDave
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by CurlyDave » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:24 am

I got a water softener at Sears for about $250 and installed it myself. It does take some plumbing ability. (I would get a different brand these days just because of the Sears bankruptcy threat.)

I also bought two water filters for about $30 each and installed them myself. 25 micron filter in the first one and 5 micron in the second.

I replace the filter elements whenever the water flow slows down which is every couple of years...

I bet that sales guy would hate me...

bberris
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by bberris » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:11 am

As you guessed, I think you are being conned.

Did you look up your water provider's analyses? I'm skeptical of that chlorine number. The EPA action level is 4 ppm, Plymouth MN is typically 0.5-0.9. Water cos typically measure at household taps for heavy metals, and at their delivery points for chlorine. Drinking hard water is good for you; calcium and magnesium are essential nutrients. The water company won't measure hardness. Our water is many times harder than yours and it turns my oatmeal green. We have a softener that is bypassed for kitchen cold.

You might want to compare the cost of having 5 gal bottles of drinking water delivered.

livesoft
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:28 am

Were you solicited by a note taped to your door to have your water tested? What prompted you to have your water tested? Are you on well water?

Our water utility e-mailed us about a scam going around. They didn't even wait to put an insert in the monthly bill.
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dalbright
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by dalbright » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:43 am

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am
We had a man come to our home to have our water “tested”. He works for a local company that sells whole house water filtration systems so needless to say, this was part of a glorified sales pitch. (I fully expected this going in but was still curious what our results would be.)

He brought a chemistry-set type kit with him and my takeaways were:
1) we basically may as well be drinking raw sewage
2) I feel lucky that everyone in my family isn’t already dead

Joking aside, he did get me thinking about the benefits of “soft” water and the potential health benefits of filtering out the harmful stuff.

Here’s the report of our water:

Code: Select all

- Chlorine (disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = above 6.0 parts per million (normal pool levels are 1.0-2.0 parts per million) 

- Bromine (another disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = 2.4 parts per million 

- Nitrates (runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits) =  1 parts per million   

- Hardness (buildup of calcium and magnesium sediment in the water) = 8 grains per gallon (soft water is less than 1 grain per gallon) 
Questions:

1. How do these results compare to those of you who installed Whole House Water Filtration Systems? (I have nobody else to compare them to.)

2. Will a “cheap” $500-$1,000 system From Home Depot do a good job treating the issues?

This guy was trying to pitch me the “Cadillac” of systems for $6,500 (he went down to that from $11K :happy)- a “Westinghouse” with lifetime warranty + free service, even includes 5 years worth of soap / shampoo / detergent etc)... he did a great job presenting it as the only option if you’re serious.

Obviously it’s grossly expensive if they’re trying to throw in 5 years of soap to justify the cost! :)

Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
First, are you well or on a municipal water supply. If municipal you should get a yearly report with the results and safety threshold which would be much more accurate and actionable as others have noted. Also do you have copper or galavanized pipes as if its very old galvanized plumbing more is leaching from that then whats coming in elsewhere...I'm sure that none of that detergent will sneak through the system and now you get to drink that too...

Jags4186
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:44 am

I used to say you have no reason to filter water in the United States but ever since Flint I have no idea what to think anymore.

That said, I think in general you don’t need to do anything with your water for safety reasons. However if you have hard water you should consider putting in a water softener to save all of your plumbing hardware. I’m in the middle of replacing all of our faucets because of mineral build up and leaks. If you flip over any of our faucets you can see the mineral buildup.

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susa
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by susa » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:21 am

Some news related on this topic
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tudy-finds
A person who only drank bottled water would consume 130,000 particles per year from that source alone
What has worked well for us is the install in-line (usually kitchen under main sink but sometimes into line that feeds fridge water filter) a multi-filter system. Very simple to-do without any required plumbing skills other than turn a small wrench or in some cases just use the self-sealing connectors.

1. Watts 5-year water filter (// www .amazon .com/gp/product/B000E77I0Y/)
... which connects to...
2. Watts 3-stage water system (// www .amazon .com/gp/product/B002XISS2Y/)

We swap out about every 6-9 months elements (just a click off and click on, no tools needed) for the 3-stage setup under sink.

Have had this tested in multiple places and it gave good results

k3vb0t
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by k3vb0t » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:41 am

As dalbright mentioned you left out a key piece of info: are you getting well water or from a municipality?

My municipality/local water provider has an annual report where they show all of the levels at multiple testing sites and what, if any, remediation was done based on results that were out of scope.

I'd imagine that's where you're getting your water instead of a well and putting too much chlorine into your system, but the advice you get should be based off of that first.

clip651
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by clip651 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:05 am

Why do you trust the accuracy of water tests of a travelling salesperson??? If you're worried about your water, get an independent test done from a lab (or two) you've researched and can trust.

Hidjet
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Hidjet » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am

The report you are looking for is called a CCR. Consumer Confidence Report. It is mandatory by law to be distributed every 12 months from your water provider.
If you had any questions as to what is in your water, it is in that report. All testing results within that report come from a state certified laboratory. Some test are performed daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly.

Of course if you have your own well (on your property, that you maintain) that report does not apply to you.


Do not trust that "test" the salesperson performed. You mentioned a "chemistry set"? What instruments were used? Do those instruments have recent calibration results to ensure their accuracy? Was anything in that set expired? Is that salesperson certified and competently trained to test water, or is he or she there to pitch/make a sale?

Get your water tested by someone who is certified and trained to do so (your provider), and report back with those results before spending anymore of your time and any money on this.

barnaclebob
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:54 am

Is that report what your salesman gave you or what the water company publishes? I highly doubt your chlorine levels are more than a normal swimming pool.

Ramon
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Ramon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:26 am

The test for bromine is highly unusual and the result is suspicious. I do not believe that any municipal water system in the United States employs bromine as a disinfectant. I also doubt that a homeowner would use bromine to disinfect water. A level of bromine that high would impart an extremely disagreeable taste to the water. I agree with others.....if you are using water from a public water system, the Consumer Confidence Report will give you most of the information you need. You can always call your water system and ask them for additional information, if required.

The hardness result of 8 gpg is moderately hard, but in the grand scheme of things not particularly high. Are you having scaling problems in your hot water tank or other evidence of calcium carbonate deposition? Is it troublesome? The hardness issue is purely aesthetic and has has no adverse health implications. It can be an economic issue if it results in premature plumbing failures.

Topic Author
pepperz
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by pepperz » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am

We moved into a new house a few weeks back and our new fridge does not have a water dispenser. We've been buying bottled water to drink and that got me researching these types of solutions.

Researching water filters is what led me down this road and I ended up googling for a local company that could come and run a test.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:28 am
Were you solicited by a note taped to your door to have your water tested? What prompted you to have your water tested? Are you on well water?

Our water utility e-mailed us about a scam going around. They didn't even wait to put an insert in the monthly bill.

Dave55
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Dave55 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am

Reverse Osmosis can filter out the nitrates and whole house charcoal filter can filter out some or all of the chlorine. I am not mechanically inclined, so in the last 6 homes I lived in (4 in the midwest with very challenged water), I relied on local water purification companies. You can get several bids/opinions on exactly what you need to treat your water, price etc. Or contact Jim McMahon at https://cleanairpurewater.com. He is honest and will give you the straight scoop with no pressure to buy from him. I used his system when I lived in CA. some years back.

Dave

Topic Author
pepperz
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by pepperz » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:42 am

We are on city water. Home is only 1.5 year old (we just bought it and moved in 2 weeks ago) and neighborhood is only 6 years old so I imagine the infrastructure is new.

Didn't know about the yearly report. I just looked up last years numbers for my city and they weren't as bad as this local test. Makes me wonder if I can get an unbiased tester to come over and also perhaps the water might be getting "a lot worst" between the source where it's tested and my home when we turn the faucet on.
dalbright wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:43 am
pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am
We had a man come to our home to have our water “tested”. He works for a local company that sells whole house water filtration systems so needless to say, this was part of a glorified sales pitch. (I fully expected this going in but was still curious what our results would be.)

He brought a chemistry-set type kit with him and my takeaways were:
1) we basically may as well be drinking raw sewage
2) I feel lucky that everyone in my family isn’t already dead

Joking aside, he did get me thinking about the benefits of “soft” water and the potential health benefits of filtering out the harmful stuff.

Here’s the report of our water:

Code: Select all

- Chlorine (disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = above 6.0 parts per million (normal pool levels are 1.0-2.0 parts per million) 

- Bromine (another disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = 2.4 parts per million 

- Nitrates (runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits) =  1 parts per million   

- Hardness (buildup of calcium and magnesium sediment in the water) = 8 grains per gallon (soft water is less than 1 grain per gallon) 
Questions:

1. How do these results compare to those of you who installed Whole House Water Filtration Systems? (I have nobody else to compare them to.)

2. Will a “cheap” $500-$1,000 system From Home Depot do a good job treating the issues?

This guy was trying to pitch me the “Cadillac” of systems for $6,500 (he went down to that from $11K :happy)- a “Westinghouse” with lifetime warranty + free service, even includes 5 years worth of soap / shampoo / detergent etc)... he did a great job presenting it as the only option if you’re serious.

Obviously it’s grossly expensive if they’re trying to throw in 5 years of soap to justify the cost! :)

Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
First, are you well or on a municipal water supply. If municipal you should get a yearly report with the results and safety threshold which would be much more accurate and actionable as others have noted. Also do you have copper or galavanized pipes as if its very old galvanized plumbing more is leaching from that then whats coming in elsewhere...I'm sure that none of that detergent will sneak through the system and now you get to drink that too...

retired recently
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by retired recently » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:42 am

We went through quite an ordeal with our well water as it turned out to be very acidic such that it was causing numerous brass connections to corrode. Ultimately after becoming a decent plumber and speaking with neighbors, we settled on a system that cost about $5k. The system initially runs the water over some sort of calcium which neutralizes the water but makes our hard water even harder. It then goes through another chamber which softens the water. There is also a filtration chamber as we had elevated levels of magnesium and other things I forget. Too early to tell if this will work and I still have a few more connections I need to change but hopefully this will work. Several neighbors that had a similar issue have indicated no further problems.

Also, one issue is that if you have acidic water, the corrosion effect it has will cause your water to have lead. Remarkably many plumbing fixtures have lead in them.

We also put in a reverse osmosis system as I could not come to grips with the plastic bottles...such a wasteful use of resources.

Topic Author
pepperz
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by pepperz » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:43 am

Yes, we are getting city water.

Didn't know about the yearly report. I just looked up last years numbers for my city and they weren't as bad as this local test. Makes me wonder if I can get an unbiased tester to come over and also perhaps the water might be getting "a lot worst" between the source where it's tested and my home when we turn the faucet on.

k3vb0t wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:41 am
As dalbright mentioned you left out a key piece of info: are you getting well water or from a municipality?

My municipality/local water provider has an annual report where they show all of the levels at multiple testing sites and what, if any, remediation was done based on results that were out of scope.

I'd imagine that's where you're getting your water instead of a well and putting too much chlorine into your system, but the advice you get should be based off of that first.

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Watty
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Watty » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:44 am

clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:05 am
Why do you trust the accuracy of water tests of a travelling salesperson??? If you're worried about your water, get an independent test done from a lab (or two) you've researched and can trust.
+1000

That sounds like a high pressure sales person.

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pepperz
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by pepperz » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:45 am

That's a great idea. I didn't even know an 'independent test' could be done. Where would I even go about finding someone who can do this?
clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:05 am
Why do you trust the accuracy of water tests of a travelling salesperson??? If you're worried about your water, get an independent test done from a lab (or two) you've researched and can trust.

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by hicabob » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:46 am

Unless you smell like you just came out of the pool (that dried chlorine odor) after a shower the salesperson was taking liberties with the truth.
Home Depot has these test kits available for a few bucks.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/PRO-LAB-Wat ... /100176532

clip651
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by clip651 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:55 am

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am
We moved into a new house a few weeks back and our new fridge does not have a water dispenser. We've been buying bottled water to drink and that got me researching these types of solutions.

Researching water filters is what led me down this road and I ended up googling for a local company that could come and run a test.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:28 am
Were you solicited by a note taped to your door to have your water tested? What prompted you to have your water tested? Are you on well water?

Our water utility e-mailed us about a scam going around. They didn't even wait to put an insert in the monthly bill.
Googling for a local company that can do a test is likely to get you a local company that sells water filtration systems.

What you want, if you are really concerned about your water, is an independent lab that does water analysis, that has quality controls and accurate equipment, and charges money for the tests. And that doesn't sell water filtrations systems. An actual laboratory with real (expensive) equipment. Not a guy that come to your house with test tubes, nor a guy that comes to your house, takes a sample, and then comes back to your house with a multi-thousand dollar proposal for you.

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Misenplace » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:56 am

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum.

Moderator Misenplace

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:59 am

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am
We had a man come to our home to have our water “tested”. He works for a local company that sells whole house water filtration systems so needless to say, this was part of a glorified sales pitch. (I fully expected this going in but was still curious what our results would be.)

He brought a chemistry-set type kit with him and my takeaways were:
1) we basically may as well be drinking raw sewage
2) I feel lucky that everyone in my family isn’t already dead

Joking aside, he did get me thinking about the benefits of “soft” water and the potential health benefits of filtering out the harmful stuff.

Here’s the report of our water:

Code: Select all

- Chlorine (disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = above 6.0 parts per million (normal pool levels are 1.0-2.0 parts per million) 

- Bromine (another disinfectant added to the water to control microbes) = 2.4 parts per million 

- Nitrates (runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits) =  1 parts per million   

- Hardness (buildup of calcium and magnesium sediment in the water) = 8 grains per gallon (soft water is less than 1 grain per gallon) 
Questions:

1. How do these results compare to those of you who installed Whole House Water Filtration Systems? (I have nobody else to compare them to.)

2. Will a “cheap” $500-$1,000 system From Home Depot do a good job treating the issues?

This guy was trying to pitch me the “Cadillac” of systems for $6,500 (he went down to that from $11K :happy)- a “Westinghouse” with lifetime warranty + free service, even includes 5 years worth of soap / shampoo / detergent etc)... he did a great job presenting it as the only option if you’re serious.

Obviously it’s grossly expensive if they’re trying to throw in 5 years of soap to justify the cost! :)

Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
1. Order a very good test kit from Amazon.com and double check what is present in the water.
Or, have it tested by a third party person that is not selling anything.

2. There's a difference between suitability of water for laundry, washing dishes, showering, vs drinking it. Depending on needs, a whole house water filtration system may not be needed or may only be needed to remove certain contaminants, and then an under counter kitchen reverse osmosis system can be installed (home depot yourself) for drinking and kitchen use. Or, use a countertop "Berky" for just refilling water bottles and for water used for cooking, etc.

3. Avoid the house to house salesman. . . unless he is going to include a complete set of "Ginsu Steak Knives". . . :shock:

4. Again, do use an independent water testing company, locally or online.

quantAndHold
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:06 am

If you had that much chlorine in your water, you would smell it.

Is your municipal water system known for having hard water? If you have hard water coming out of your tap, everyone else will, too, and water softeners will be a commonplace item in people’ Houses. Is that the case?

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by samsoes » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:19 am

Go to an independent lab and have it tested yourself. It will cost about $100, but that's the only way you'll know for sure.

(I'm on a well - we are supposed to have it tested annually. It's been about 3 years, so I need to get it done. Thanks for the reminder!)
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:21 am

We have terrible water. Our house has a softener which removes the calcium, primarily to protect the plumbing system, appliances, etc. We also have a reverse osmosis system under the sink with a separate faucet for drinking water (also plumbed to supply the refrigerator as well).

These are both 'old' standard technology - to me that translates to simple, reliable and cost effective. The 'whole house' filter companies disseminate a lot of false information about dangers of such systems to scare people into buying their very expensive and less effective ones. Unfortunately these scare tactics often work.

Do your research and pay close attention to the sources of information.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

CoastalWinds
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by CoastalWinds » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:26 am

If you are on municipal water as you state, then I can guarantee you that you will have not any health-based issues with chlorine residual (MRDL of 4 mg/L; monitored daily at the entry-point and throughout the distribution system); bromine (not used; not naturally-occurring); nitrate (monitored and regulated as an acute contaminant with an MCL of 10 mg-N/L), or hardness (aesthetic issue only). No need to have an independent lab do this. Check your Consumer Confidence report. Your utility has multiple staff/FTE using certified labs to obtain their results.

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Kuna_Papa_Wengi » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:33 am

I bought one of these: https://www.amazon.com/APEC-5-Stage-Rev ... ay&sr=8-10

I use it for drinking and cooking water. I haven't had the water it produces tested, but reverse osmosis is supposed to filter out almost everything. Under $200.

livesoft
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by livesoft » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:40 am

hicabob wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:46 am
Home Depot has these test kits available for a few bucks.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/PRO-LAB-Wat ... /100176532
And periodically, HD gives away those test kits, so one can send in their water and get it tested for free.
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Wellfleet » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:42 am

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:45 am
That's a great idea. I didn't even know an 'independent test' could be done. Where would I even go about finding someone who can do this?
clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:05 am
Why do you trust the accuracy of water tests of a travelling salesperson??? If you're worried about your water, get an independent test done from a lab (or two) you've researched and can trust.
Call your municipal board of health, they can recommend independent drinking water testing labs. Call the state EPA if municipal is no help.

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by FrugalInvestor » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:44 am

CoastalWinds wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:26 am
If you are on municipal water as you state, then I can guarantee you that you will have not any health-based issues with chlorine residual (MRDL of 4 mg/L; monitored daily at the entry-point and throughout the distribution system); bromine (not used; not naturally-occurring); nitrate (monitored and regulated as an acute contaminant with an MCL of 10 mg-N/L), or hardness (aesthetic issue only). No need to have an independent lab do this. Check your Consumer Confidence report. Your utility has multiple staff/FTE using certified labs to obtain their results.
This is technically true with regards to personal health but not necessarily your home's systems health. Excessive hardness (calcium) can leave deposits over time which can damage appliances, plumbing and surfaces such as shower walls and countertops. Hard water can also etch surfaces, particularly natural stone. A water softener prevents these issues.

Also, 'safe' levels of certain contaminants can impact taste to a great degree. Having lived in places with excellent water, we are not tolerant of the bad tasting stuff, 'safe' or not. A reverse osmosis drinking water system removes 95% or more of particulates that cause the bad taste.

When I lived in areas with nearly calcium free and good tasting water I did not use any sort of filtering system. I now use both a softener and and R.O. system (our city water hardness is 20 grains per gallon and particulates exceed 400 ppm). These systems are affordable, easy and relatively cheap to maintain and they work well. I enjoy the benefits of them every day.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mmmodem
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by mmmodem » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:45 am

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am
Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
My experience? I did not let the guy into my home. I bought a new home build 3 years ago. He along with pest control, landscaping, solar installation, security systems, and a few more blanketed the new neighborhood. They did get me with the pest control, though.

welsie
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by welsie » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:55 am

clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:55 am
pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am
We moved into a new house a few weeks back and our new fridge does not have a water dispenser. We've been buying bottled water to drink and that got me researching these types of solutions.

Researching water filters is what led me down this road and I ended up googling for a local company that could come and run a test.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:28 am
Were you solicited by a note taped to your door to have your water tested? What prompted you to have your water tested? Are you on well water?

Our water utility e-mailed us about a scam going around. They didn't even wait to put an insert in the monthly bill.
Googling for a local company that can do a test is likely to get you a local company that sells water filtration systems.

What you want, if you are really concerned about your water, is an independent lab that does water analysis, that has quality controls and accurate equipment, and charges money for the tests. And that doesn't sell water filtrations systems. An actual laboratory with real (expensive) equipment. Not a guy that come to your house with test tubes, nor a guy that comes to your house, takes a sample, and then comes back to your house with a multi-thousand dollar proposal for you.
You don't need an independent lab, do you think the municipal water agency is lying? Put away your tin foil hats everyone.

Just contact your municipal water agency and tell them a salesman tested your water and said it was unsafe to drink (that it is had six times as much chlorine as a pool). They may be able to send someone out for free (or at a nominal cost), to test your water at the tap. They are responsible for the quality of your water up until the curb...if your house is new then you are not dealing with corrosion of lead soldering to join pipes (or lead pipes). Soft/hard water is one thing, but the safety of your water?!

CoastalWinds
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by CoastalWinds » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:10 am

FrugalInvestor wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:44 am
CoastalWinds wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:26 am
If you are on municipal water as you state, then I can guarantee you that you will have not any health-based issues with chlorine residual (MRDL of 4 mg/L; monitored daily at the entry-point and throughout the distribution system); bromine (not used; not naturally-occurring); nitrate (monitored and regulated as an acute contaminant with an MCL of 10 mg-N/L), or hardness (aesthetic issue only). No need to have an independent lab do this. Check your Consumer Confidence report. Your utility has multiple staff/FTE using certified labs to obtain their results.
This is technically true with regards to personal health but not necessarily your home's systems health. Excessive hardness (calcium) can leave deposits over time which can damage appliances, plumbing and surfaces such as shower walls and countertops. Hard water can also etch surfaces, particularly natural stone. A water softener prevents these issues.

Also, 'safe' levels of certain contaminants can impact taste to a great degree. Having lived in places with excellent water, we are not tolerant of the bad tasting stuff, 'safe' or not. A reverse osmosis drinking water system removes 95% or more of particulates that cause the bad taste.

When I lived in areas with nearly calcium free and good tasting water I did not use any sort of filtering system. I now use both a softener and and R.O. system (our city water hardness is 20 grains per gallon and particulates exceed 400 ppm). These systems are affordable, easy and relatively cheap to maintain and they work well. I enjoy the benefits of them every day.
The OP’s caption and concern was about personal health.

Excessively hard water can lead to buildup of calcium deposits (especially in hot water heaters), water spotting on surfaces, etc. But it’s not a health issue.

Water softeners do need to be maintained (resin regeneration). You’d be amazed how many people think they’re a filter and just set and forget.

Pure water has no taste, not necessarily desirable. Minerals impart taste, not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, take a look at the label for bottled water and you’ll find that they typically add back in some Mg/Ca to improve flavor. Chlorine residual imparts some taste and odor, depending on the form (free vs combined) and residual. I happily accept this T&O b/c I know why the chlorine is there. Most people notice these when switching from one water to another.

RO systems should not be designed for particulate removal (they would have a pre-filter for that purpose). They are designed to remove dissolved constituents. In doing so, they also remove alkalinity. On-demand Under-the-sink RO units are fine, but if it’s a whole-house system it would be wise to re-condition the water afterwards to restore pH and buffering capacity. If you’re worried about what calcium can do to pipes, you should see what a pH of 5-6 can do. That will introduce some serious risks re: corrosion and release of toxic metals like lead (from brass, tin solder, etc.)
Last edited by CoastalWinds on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

unstartable
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by unstartable » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:37 am

I once had a sudden mineral taste to the water on a municipal system. I called the water company. They sent someone for no charge to test the water, and left behind some bottles to get a sample for them to test if I ever think there's a problem in the future. Call the water company.

Spirit Rider
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Spirit Rider » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:50 am

Check with your state.

My state (NH) does testing for a nominal fee. They send you bottles for the tests your request. I have a well with a fairly high mineral content. I test every five years for all of the tests they run including, minerals, soil contaninants, radon (lots of granite here) E. coli and other bacteria, etc...

You know it is going to be unbiased.

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FlyAF
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by FlyAF » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:01 pm

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am
We moved into a new house a few weeks back and our new fridge does not have a water dispenser. We've been buying bottled water to drink and that got me researching these types of solutions.
You choose to pollute a bunch of plastic instead of using your faucet? How about a brita jug you just stick in the fridge? You're on city water and already looked up that your water is fine.

You're being strung along by a salesman trying to sell you something you don't need and throwing a bunch of unnecessary plastic into the world to boot. Stop that.

clip651
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by clip651 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm

welsie wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:55 am

You don't need an independent lab, do you think the municipal water agency is lying? Put away your tin foil hats everyone.
Tell that to the folks in Flint, Michigan. They lying was at multiple government levels, from what I understand.

I'm not suggesting OP has water problems like Flint did. But if the OP is concerned, the way to get an answer they can trust is to find an independent source of information. Not someone trying to sell something to OP. And not someone that works for the OP's local government that wants to reassure OP that everything is fine. Everything may very well be fine, and in the vast majority of cases, local US drinking water is fine. But if you want to be sure, you can seek independent confirmation of the facts. You don't go with someone who has a conflict of interest in telling you your water is fine or not fine.

There are other options for OP to consider that other poster's have presented. And OP is free to ignore my idea. It's just my opinion, no need to call me a tin foil hat wearer for expressing an opinion about trusting lab results from independent sources.

best wishes,
cj

welsie
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by welsie » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:56 pm

clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm
welsie wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:55 am

You don't need an independent lab, do you think the municipal water agency is lying? Put away your tin foil hats everyone.
Tell that to the folks in Flint, Michigan. They lying was at multiple government levels, from what I understand.

I'm not suggesting OP has water problems like Flint did. But if the OP is concerned, the way to get an answer they can trust is to find an independent source of information. Not someone trying to sell something to OP. And not someone that works for the OP's local government that wants to reassure OP that everything is fine. Everything may very well be fine, and in the vast majority of cases, local US drinking water is fine. But if you want to be sure, you can seek independent confirmation of the facts. You don't go with someone who has a conflict of interest in telling you your water is fine or not fine.

There are other options for OP to consider that other poster's have presented. And OP is free to ignore my idea. It's just my opinion, no need to call me a tin foil hat wearer for expressing an opinion about trusting lab results from independent sources.

best wishes,
cj
Don't get me wrong, seeking out independent sources of information is a great idea (this website is exactly that).

However, it is tin foil hat stuff to tell someone that their municipal utility has a "conflict of interest" in telling them whether they are being poisoned by their water. By that logic the independent lab has a conflict of interest, because they may find it advantageous to generate different results than the baseline they test against to justify their services...

What happened in Flint impacted 100,000 people, in a country with 327 million people. That is not common or likely. Additionally, the change in water quality was discernible by residents of Flint (they complained about color, taste and odor). It is not like the OP said, "My tap water is brown, smells like metal and I get headaches after drinking it, but my municipal water company says it is fine, what should I do?"

It is equally reassuring to tell someone they can contact a local authority to check about their water quality. OP didn't say he doesn't trust his utility to check the water coming out of his/her tap.

An independent lab test is overkill in this situation, especially when he/she is taking a first step to verify the results of salesperson.

Ramon
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Ramon » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:45 pm

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:39 am
We moved into a new house a few weeks back and our new fridge does not have a water dispenser. We've been buying bottled water to drink and that got me researching these types of solutions.

Researching water filters is what led me down this road and I ended up googling for a local company that could come and run a test.
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:28 am
Were you solicited by a note taped to your door to have your water tested? What prompted you to have your water tested? Are you on well water?

Our water utility e-mailed us about a scam going around. They didn't even wait to put an insert in the monthly bill.
If this was all "precipitated" by the lack of a refrigerator water dispenser, why not get an undersink filter system that will work in the same way only better? Wirecutter did a good survey of these type of treatment. The recommended model uses activated carbon block filters that are NSF certified to remove virtually all organics, protozoan cysts and lead. https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... er-filter/

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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by graeme » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:24 pm

The type of water filter depends mostly on what you're trying to do. Our house is in a farming area with high nitrates and pesticide runoff in the municipal water. To fix that, I installed a five stage reverse osmosis system in the utility room and then ran water taps to the bathroom and kitchen. We use RO water for all cooking and drinking and it greatly improves flavor. The filters need changes about once every five years and they're not expensive. A similar RO system can be ordered for under $250 if you install it yourself.

A friend has a similar system but his municipal water has lots of particulate matter so incoming water looks like weak tea. He put in a sediment filter on the like coming into the house and changes it every few months.

nordsteve
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by nordsteve » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:16 am

My city operates a certified laboratory that the public can use for testing. https://www.bloomingtonmn.gov/util/laboratory-services

Yooper16
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Yooper16 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:33 am

clip651 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm
welsie wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:55 am

You don't need an independent lab, do you think the municipal water agency is lying? Put away your tin foil hats everyone.
Tell that to the folks in Flint, Michigan. They lying was at multiple government levels, from what I understand.

I'm not suggesting OP has water problems like Flint did. But if the OP is concerned, the way to get an answer they can trust is to find an independent source of information. Not someone trying to sell something to OP. And not someone that works for the OP's local government that wants to reassure OP that everything is fine. Everything may very well be fine, and in the vast majority of cases, local US drinking water is fine. But if you want to be sure, you can seek independent confirmation of the facts. You don't go with someone who has a conflict of interest in telling you your water is fine or not fine.

There are other options for OP to consider that other poster's have presented. And OP is free to ignore my idea. It's just my opinion, no need to call me a tin foil hat wearer for expressing an opinion about trusting lab results from independent sources.

A couple of people -- higher up state employees the type that are the layer of people right below the governor-- have or are going to jail for their lack of honesty. Even the "one tough nerd" governor as he liked to call himself is getting some heat applied to his butt.

best wishes,
cj

HoosierJim
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by HoosierJim » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:37 am

We had neighbors fall for this scam. What proved it was a "plumber" installed it late on a Saturday night and messed it up causing all sorts of water damage. The rush to install was probably so our neighbor could not use the contract cancellation

The real markers for this scam is the apocalyptic water test AND FREE SOAP for life, Go to home depot or lowes and get what you need.
Last edited by HoosierJim on Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:55 am, edited 3 times in total.

KlangFool
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by KlangFool » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:47 am

OP,

Unless the water is causing laundry and plumbing problem, why are you using a whole house system? I am a gourmet coffee and tea drinker. I use a Brita Water Pitcher to filter all my drinking water. And, I boiled all my drinking water after filtration.

As per my research on drinking water, you either go with a Brita Water Pitcher solution or a reverse osmosis system. Anything less is not good enough.

KlangFool

megabad
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by megabad » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:34 pm

pepperz wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:07 am
Curious to hear experience from those of you who have been down this road and what you recommend.
I use a $20 ZeroWater pitcher sometimes since this was highly rated for heavy metal filtering capability. After I found out that there is no metal piping anywhere from the water plant all the way to my house (part of the issue in Flint), I stopped using it most of the time. I do review the annual tests from the plant (all contaminants under EPA limits). The pitcher I had ate so many filters it got kind of expensive and obviously putting water through a dirty filter is worse than no filter at all. At others houses, I will drink tap water before I drink out of a pitcher for this reason. I would actually feel nervous if I knew someone had a whole house system because I would have no idea if it was maintained properly.

Michread
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Michread » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:02 pm

We use a Berkey water filter tank. We like it and would recommend this inexpensive way to filter your drinking water. If you have fluoride, you would need to purchase the additional filter for the unit. Thankfully our water source does not have fluoride. :sharebeer

https://www.berkeyfilters.com/

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Elsebet
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Re: (Water Filtration System) Miracle we are all not dead

Post by Elsebet » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:13 pm

retired recently wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:42 am
We went through quite an ordeal with our well water as it turned out to be very acidic such that it was causing numerous brass connections to corrode. Ultimately after becoming a decent plumber and speaking with neighbors, we settled on a system that cost about $5k. The system initially runs the water over some sort of calcium which neutralizes the water but makes our hard water even harder. It then goes through another chamber which softens the water. There is also a filtration chamber as we had elevated levels of magnesium and other things I forget. Too early to tell if this will work and I still have a few more connections I need to change but hopefully this will work. Several neighbors that had a similar issue have indicated no further problems.

Also, one issue is that if you have acidic water, the corrosion effect it has will cause your water to have lead. Remarkably many plumbing fixtures have lead in them.

We also put in a reverse osmosis system as I could not come to grips with the plastic bottles...such a wasteful use of resources.
We had a new well drilled and have hard water with iron and magnesium. We are looking into filter/softener solutions with our well driller. Would you be so kind to post some details about your filter system so I can compare their product with yours?

We already have an RO system at the kitchen sink.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

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