I live in NY and have always had a whole house water filter on the incoming
city water line to my house. I use the GE Smartwater FXUSC sediment filters
which work really well for me. GE states that under normal circumstances
they should filter 16,000 gallons and last about 3 months. They are rated
at removing particulate down to 15 microns.
I've found that they last me about 2 months at most (I have 4 people in my
house, 2 adults and two kids) before they look too disgusting to tolerate
and I replace them.
Lately I've found they last about 4 - 5 weeks at best before I need to
replace them. If I do not filter the water then at times the water has an
odd smell to it and my white clothes washing sometimes is not as effective
as I'd prefer. So something seems to be getting worse. Perhaps it might be
a seasonal/summer issue but I don't know.
I want to try and get to the bottom of what is really coming into my house
and why it is always so dirty. I don't think I should need to replace
filters every month.
Should I start with my local water district office or perhaps the DPW of my
town? I'm wondering if they'll even do anything as they may tell me that no
other residents have complained. I'm wondering if I should have my water
tested and even send one of my gross water filters to a testing lab (again
I'd like to get the town to pay for testing but they probably won't).
Thanks for your responses.
I certainly don't know the nuts and bolts of municipal water systems, but a
few years ago I did a job for the NYC water system. I was working in one of
the shaft buildings which is just a building built over an open Pipe albeit
a twenty foot diameter pipe and it was explained to me that the water comes
from several sources which are constantly monitored for a number of things
including turbidity. The shaft I was in was the last junction before the
city so they checked here after actually mixing water from the different
systems to keep it as clean as possible, but clearly the condition of the
water was constantly changing. I would however assume that before it goes to
a building for use, it would be filtered to some particular standard.
The town is required to test and to give you the results of the test.
Problem is, the testing water is taken near the pumping station, not your
In my town, the water is great at the station, but then it travels through
100 year old pipes before getting to my street. It picks up stuff along the
way and I filter it also. I'd be happy to get 2 months from a filter, I get
3 to 4 weeks at best. Seems like it is better at times of the year but when
water use is high, I see more stuff getting carries to my house. To make it
worse, I'm that last house on the line.
My guess is the town will be of little help, but it is worth a try. Perhaps
they can do something to help, like more frequent hydrant flushing to clear
My Water Dept. tests water at various hydrants around town. You can ask your
Water Dept. for the test results at a hydrant near you.
Cons. Reports ran tests on bottled water vs. tap water some years ago. If I
remember correctly, they rated NYC tap water higher than most bottled water.
I am not worried about a trace of sediments in my city water dept. As long
as it is free from disease organisms, and it always is, why worry? Great way
to get some of your needed minerals.
When it gets beyond trace it is a problem. When I first moved here, the
faucet seals/washer had to be replaced every six to eight months. I went
through two fill vales on the boiler at $50+ each. After installing a
filter, they have not been replaced in 15 years.
The GE filters that I have seen are quite small. With the particulate matter
in your water you may want a "man sized" filter such as the "big blue". They
make a filter housing that takes a 4 1/2" x 20" filter, which come in
various micron ratings, with charcoal and other types. You may want to have
a multiple stage filter with multiple housings mounted together, this way
you can use a coarse filter to catch the big lumps with progressively finer
filters to clean it in stages. This way you change the first filter more
frequently, saving the more expensive filters from clogging.
Do a Google to find various distributors of the Big Blue.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.