Water Filters (Again)

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Hi folk,
I have been using a Pur dispenser for a while - but now since I broke it have decided that rather invest in a new one, it was time to install a "real" carbon based faucet filter.
I am not interested in the ones that mount on the faucet and are in the way - and likely will constantly get things splashed up on them.
I want a high quality carbon based filter (under-sink) that will remove traditional contaminants (chlorine and lead), but also the more uncomon ones that while they may not be detectable today... They could still be in the water. (Mercury, Aresenic, MTBE, etc...) Before anyone asks - I have reviewed my city water report. While those ND contaminants are not reported - it still concerns me that they are there at very low levels, or can be leached from pipes (mercury perhaps?) or might slowly creep up to detectable levels over the next few years.
I am concerned that moving from a Pur dispenser - which does filter out arsenic (most likely due to long contact time with the water) to a higher water pressure carbon based system, which would let those contaminants pass through easily. (I do not want to go RO because it does remove some important things - Magnesium and Calcium, as well as Fluoride... But let's not even start a fluoridation debate :) )
Multi-Pure filters claim to filter out contaminants that no other filter seems to. And NSF.org seems to back them up. (<http://www.nsf.org/Certified/DWTU/Listings.asp?Company2730&Standard 3>)
I do not mind spending a little more money on a Multi-Pure product over a competitor like Omni or Aqua Pure.... If I was 100% certain that it was a real quality product. The fact they are an MLM concerns me greatly.
Can I get some unbiased comments?
Thanks,
Dirk
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I've been using an Insta-Pure by WaterPik for about 12 years or so. I use the carbon filter that sells for about $11. The Omni cartridge will not fit this housing as the intake is not deep enough.
It has been trouble free and our water is now great to drink compared tot he swampy taste it used to have from the town reservoir. No matter what brand you get, be sure it has a clear housing. There should be a way of shutting the water and relieving the pressure before removing the canister. It can be part of the filter or a valve installed nearby. Ed
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wrote in message

I suggest you get a model that uses the standard size filters (11.5" I think). This way you can buy filters from different sources. You want two cartridges so you can have a prefilter and a final that does something specific for your water source, such as heavy metal or bio.
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The wound type filters are universal. The problems is only between the GAC1-ss and the Insta Pure housing. they are the same length. Most filters are hollow core. These are not and the outlet in the top of the housing is longer than the depth of the recess in top of the Omni cartridge. The Insta-Pure IR-10 does not need a pre filter as it is part of the cartridge. Ed
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I
want
bio.
filters
housing is

cartridge.
Those makes are proprietary equipment, not industry standard. Any independent water treatment dealer has equal or higher quality cartridges at less cost that in many installations last longer due to them being larger capacity wise.
Combination cartridges, such as 'taste and odor' with sediment outside the carbon are not near the filtration of two separate cartridges. Cartridges come in two types. Nominal and absolute. Nominal uses the build up of 'sediment' (progressive) to reach it's rating and when the surface and just below becomes blocked the filter has to be replaced. Absolute cartridges filter through all but to the core.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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certain
concerns
I use

not fit

compared tot he

what brand

shutting
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Industry standard is '10' inch and the cartridges range in length from 9 3/4" to 9 7/8".
The only filter cartridge that can be used for "bio" is a ceramic. Carbon is not to be used on water of unknown microbiological content. Bacteria love to 'breed' in carbon unless it is silver impregnated, which there is very little of. His concern should be disinfection (chlorine/chloramines) byproduct caused THMs (trihalomethanes).
Gary Quality Water Associates
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What do you think of the Doulton System? http://www.doulton.ca/wt-tech.html
Bonnie
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http://www.doulton.ca/wt-tech.html
Yes that's a ceramic. As with everything, they have limitations, advantages and disadvantages. That site needs to update (copyright 1997) their content, there are a number of things they are not current with (on just the one page I read). Such as (certain) UV does deactivate viruses and cysts. There are disposable cartridges containing either cation or anion resins and a number of other medias. Ceramics don't remove viruses and are hard to impossible to disinfect. Silver is not good for humans if there is too much of it in the treated water etc..
For bacteria control, UV with a combination of pre/post filtering is the best overall way of treatment. Usually POE (point of entry) treatments are much better than POU (point of use) types but UV comes in both types; with and without pre and/or post filtration.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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wrote:

Gary - and others... Thanks for all the great commentary so far.
Someone said that Mercury is not in "pipes".
Is that really true? I mean from my house to the acquifer - isn't it very possible that some pipes or solder/welds could have mercury content?
It is a moot point perhaps - because eventhough my water report does not list Mercury (or Aresenic) contamination at my water supply, it still could be there at very low levels.
I could spend ~$500 for a very thorough test of my water for all detectable contaminants... To determine if there really is anything detectable at my tap... But to me - even if I spend $150 for a simpler test, it just makes sense to me to put that money into the best carbon based filter I can buy. (E.g, it buys me insurance to cover me on almost any serious non-radiological contaminant that is there now and undetectable - or might show up in my water in the future.)
Again - why Carbon? RO and distillation would remove Calcium, Magnesium, and Fluoride. The relevance of magnesium intake to cardivascular health cannot be ignored.
So that still makes me come back to my basic question... I agree that MLM products are usually crap. In this instance, I have yet to see any data that suggests Multi-Pure, which makes carbon filters that will remove Mercury and pentavalent Arsenic, are "overpriced crap". They are overpriced - but if they are worthy in terms of quality and performance, I would consider them.
Dirk
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Nope, no mecury in solder, fluxes or any other approved for potable water line plumbing or other materials of any kind now or in the distant past. Now lead and copper yes; along with still in existance lead service line and lead based solder which should not be used since about 1987 in the US. All brass is now 'lead free' also. That really means no more than 2% by weight and many brass products are being replaced with other materials due to manufacturing problems caused by the lead reduction.

Now arsenic is a very large problem in some to many areas; there are a number of types of arsenic and the treatment varies depending on the type.

That's what I've been telling people for 15 years, and $500 is about a tenth of the cost of you testing for the EPA list of things that water companies are to test for periodically.

Take a daily vitamin or eat properly and you'll be fine. The human body doesn't get much (uptake) of minerals out of the water we consume and we can't drink enough water (it will kill you to try) to make up for an improper diet.

I don't agree when applying that to water treatment but will say all are overpriced due to that type of distribution system. The mass marketers are much more guilty of selling "crap" for many more dollars while providing very little and questionable value. I refer to the 'toy' faucet tip and inline 'fridge filter type folks.The MLMers usually are very knowledgeable about the needs and use of their products and very passionate about their use. And on average their products are very high quality. A problem is that the parts etc. for their products can be pulled out of production creating orphaned consumers. Yes that can and does happen with other types too but many of them can use open market replacements due to their use of that type material where MLM usually can't. In many instances the MLM stuff will carry a patent and the manufacturing is done by them or very exclusively for them as opposed to normal industry channels. That also increases the cost.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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wrote:

Ok - you're the expert. Thanks for the info.
I still am a tad concerned - considering the toxicity of mercury, I do appreciate a filter that can remove it - in case it ever is able to seep into my water supply.
Perhaps I am being overly concerned in that we are exposed to mercury, lead, arsenic, PCB, and other toxins every single day... And our bodies are able to cope with those low levels remarkably well. But every trace amount that we could eliminate, I believe is beneficial to one's health.

Well to some extent I agree. However there is some evidence that suggests disolved minerals in water are more readily absorbed by the body. It has been a while since I did this research - specificalling considering a DI system at the time... But the importance of magnesium - specifically disolved magnesium is what made me turn to a good carbon based "dispenser" system by Pur. (I know that may sound crazy - but Magnesium is damn important to heart health)

Yes I know - I guess one of the thinks about Multi-Pure is that they seem to have been around a while, and it doesn't appear as if they are no longer supporting filter systems that were sold 10 years ago?
I'm sort of thinking about buying one of Multi-Pure's Polypropylene models - the one that has a filter that reduces As (pentavalent) (<http://www.multipureplus.com/sspidas.html ) My thoughts are that the MP and their distributors are making a ton of money off the Stainless Steel product. Prices I have seen show a significant price drop when moving to plastic.
Only problelm is I can't really seem to find anyone who sells this particular model. Strange how they have another multipure website which has different models. I can't for the life of me understand why there is a multipure.com, multipureco.com, and multipureplus.com. (With the first two having the same products - and the third having different products)
Thanks again for your valuable comments Gary.
Dirk
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distant
about
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body
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Yes I thought that was strange too. Really stainless steel housings are overkill IMO. Here are some of the filter housings I sell, you may know them as Ametek:
http://www.plymouthwater.com/Content/ProductShowcase/Pages.asp?CatalogPage=3
I also sell many different disposable cartridges from folks like KX Industries. KX is the largest manufacturer of extruded carbon etc. 'filters' in the world. I also sell Osmonics Purtrex and Hytrex filters among others.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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snip
MLM stuff is mostly scams. Well Tupperware isn't but much of the rest is. Arsenic is regulated by the feds and is only a problem in certain areas. There is no mercury in pipes. MBTE could be a concern in those areas that use it in gasoline. I think maybe you don't have enough real concerns.
As far as I can tell, the only real reason to filter municipal water in the USA is for taste. If a contaminant is at levels below the parts per billion level that is detectable, then they won't affect you.
del cecchi

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You probably won't want to pay what it costs to remove some of thost contaminents. It will be much cheaper to get a water service.

MTBE is used most places in the winter, isn't it? I don't think it's easy to filter out.
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Define "most places." Probably in the places with most of the population of the US, but if you go by geographic area probably nowhere near most places.
Basically, oxygenation of gasoline is required in areas which meet certain air pollution levels. Those tend to be the in and around the larger cities and heavily populated areas.
Note that MTBE is not the only oxygenate that can be used. Ethyl alcohol works too, but is more expensive.
Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
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it's easy

"most places"... I'd say just about everywhere vehicles with that type gasoline travel; like out here in the middle of PA along any local, state, federal or interstate road or highway. Most days I see many out of state vehicles from as far away as California and Washington, Canada, FL, TX etc.. Up until last year, PA had the distinction of having the most rural population in the lower 48. TX now surpasses us.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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said...

broke
in
them.
more
over
rest is.

areas.
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concerns.
easy
Not true, a water service costs much more and is never ending. Filtration is much better both financially and water quality wise. I know families paying as much as $100+ per month for delivered bottle water. He can buy the filter he needs for less than two months of that and a RO for an extra month. Annual maintenance for a RO would be less than one month's worth of delivered water services.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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RO doesn't remove everything.
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it's
that
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As nothing else does either and that includes, distillation and such as DI water unless you pre and/or post treat it.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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(<http://www.nsf.org/Certified/DWTU/Listings.asp?Company2730&Standard053 )
If you are looking at only certified filters, you won't find many, nor the vast majority of filters that are sold everyday by the water quality improvement industry (us water treatment guys). In essence the certified part is very expensive marketing designed to attract those that look for such things. That goes for all water treatment equipment. You don't see any commercial equipment that is certified, do you? BTW, that market is probably 100 to 1000 times larger than the residential market and I do not know of any certifification body for 'it'.
Anyway, if I take what you are looking for literally, one piece of equipment to accomplish your wish list doesn't exist. Sorry, but RO and distillation (with carbon) are your only choices for the parameters you list; but there go the minerals and fluoride. And you should really read up on current data concerning fluoridation; it isn't pretty what that stuff does to the human body and more and more (western civilization type) nations are getting rid of it, except the US of A. Here we won't even discuss it except on a very local basis if at all. :)
I suggest you look into bottled water or an undercounter dual stage filter with its own faucet on the sink with a sediment prefilter and high quality carbon block and accept the improvement it makes in your already more than adequate water quality knowing that disinfection byproducts are being removed. Lead will not be in your water naturally (or the solder in your copper plumbing if the house was built after say 1988), mercury is not possible to be in your water or plumbing and IIRC fluoride will go through the filter. If you want a quote email works.
Gary Quality Water Associates
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