Water Filters and Pitchers

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
Hey there,

Wonder how effective these really are.
I see some of them go down to 0.1 micron.
I think typical viruses go down to only 10 microns.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
Hey there,

Wonder how effective these really are.
I see some of them go down to 0.1 micron.
I think typical viruses go down to only 10 microns.
Coronavirus is 120nm, or 0.12µ. Virtually impossible to filter. Masks and such are meant to catch the aerosol droplets the virus rides in, not so much the naked virus.

[edit] Filtration is possible with ultrafiltration membranes such as reverse osmosis.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,006
I will assume that at some point the filters must be backflushed to clear them. The ones my daughter uses seem to have some kind of sintered material as a filter element. Besides that, chlorine is a pretty good antiseptic and Flouride keeps the pearly whites from rotting. Me, I'm on well water and except for a softening system, I drink it from the tap.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
Me, I'm on well water and except for a softening system, I drink it from the tap.
Your kitchen's cold-side tap is probably not softened, to avoid the sodium in favor of the calcium. I think that might even be code most places.
 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
756
Long before all this non-sense I was planning a RO on my house water and one for my swamp cooler, I just need to put a meter on the swamp, so I know how many Gal it should have.

I can’t do Soften Water only if I had to.

kv
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,006
No need for softened water unless your water supply comes from a limestone aquifer and is high in dissolved calcium. We paid a LOT of money for the RO system and were not at all impressed by its dismal results and had it removed and our money back. Beware Culligan salesmen, their lips move.
 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
756
Here in Utah County we have spring water, which is high with a lot of hardness, but good news is it’s class B water very clean out of the tape, but they do chlorinate and fluoride. A RO will work very well in this area, glad you gave me heads Up though [Thumbs up] hate not having the correct emoji so we go old school :)

kv
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
Coronavirus is 120nm, or 0.12µ. Virtually impossible to filter. Masks and such are meant to catch the aerosol droplets the virus rides in, not so much the naked virus.

[edit] Filtration is possible with ultrafiltration membranes such as reverse osmosis.
Yes, and i know some filters go down to 0.1 micron, but i wasnt specifically trying to target viruses just general water filtering unless it did turn out to be able to filter viruses too. It si good to know it is hard to filter though.
Also, boiling after the filtering would help with the viruses which i might consider doing too.

For some reason i wasnt being notified of replies in this thread or else i missed them somehow i happened to look in the section with this thread that's how i knew there were replies now.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
Yes, and i know some filters go down to 0.1 micron, but i wasnt specifically trying to target viruses just general water filtering unless it did turn out to be able to filter viruses too. It si good to know it is hard to filter though.
Also, boiling after the filtering would help with the viruses which i might consider doing too.

For some reason i wasnt being notified of replies in this thread or else i missed them somehow i happened to look in the section with this thread that's how i knew there were replies now.
Boiling might make filtration harder if lime scale comes out after boiling. It will probably foul a filter. I suppose you could decant off of the stuff that comes out of solution, leaving it behind.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,006
Al, if you are not on a private well your water is already "sanitized" with chlorine and filtered typically through sand beds at the municipal water treatment plant. Or do like my wife does and buy bottled water (she didn't grow up drinking Coastal Georgia well water and doesn't like the taste). My water from the well is softened to remove calcium and iron, fine mesh screened at the well pickup point (which is ~800 feet above the end of the well casing so much settles out by gravity if somehow sucked up the casing), filtered (don't remember the micron size but very small and backflushed regularly), aerated (to remove sulfur dioxide gas which, if you weren't brought up drinking it, is pretty nasty and smells like rotting eggs) before it comes into the house. Yearly or so we will pour some Clorox into the well to kill any wee beasties that may grow there. And the 4" PVC well casing is capped, albeit not airtight, to keep critters, leaves and such out. They do make filters that you screw into your kitchen sink spout also or, as my daughter uses, a gravity filtration tank on the kitchen counter that holds ~3 gallons or gallon-sized ones for the refrigerator.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
Boiling might make filtration harder if lime scale comes out after boiling. It will probably foul a filter. I suppose you could decant off of the stuff that comes out of solution, leaving it behind.
Hi, i meant boil after filtering.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
Al, if you are not on a private well your water is already "sanitized" with chlorine and filtered typically through sand beds at the municipal water treatment plant. Or do like my wife does and buy bottled water (she didn't grow up drinking Coastal Georgia well water and doesn't like the taste). My water from the well is softened to remove calcium and iron, fine mesh screened at the well pickup point (which is ~800 feet above the end of the well casing so much settles out by gravity if somehow sucked up the casing), filtered (don't remember the micron size but very small and backflushed regularly), aerated (to remove sulfur dioxide gas which, if you weren't brought up drinking it, is pretty nasty and smells like rotting eggs) before it comes into the house. Yearly or so we will pour some Clorox into the well to kill any wee beasties that may grow there. And the 4" PVC well casing is capped, albeit not airtight, to keep critters, leaves and such out. They do make filters that you screw into your kitchen sink spout also or, as my daughter uses, a gravity filtration tank on the kitchen counter that holds ~3 gallons or gallon-sized ones for the refrigerator.
Well i think we have sediment. I might get a water quality tester.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
Oh that's nice of them.

I did a rough test using a high Ohms Ohm meter. The readings did not change much after filtering which is suspicious. I have to run though some calibration though but i would have expected a change. I can say one thing for sure though and that is the tap water has less detectable parts per million then water bought at Whole Foods Market.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
Well i think we have sediment. I might get a water quality tester.
I installed a whole-house water filter years ago. It's a cheap way to dramatically improve the life of your plumbing and fixtures. My water softener used to need service every few months because it would become fouled. Now it goes and goes. I'm thinking I may have not opened it up even once in the years since putting in the filter.

The cartridges only cost a buck and are often free at Menards. I change one out every 6 months if I think about it but they have run well over a year without restricting flow. I get a fine silt, like clay with rust in it, that accumulates at the bottom of the filter housing.

Put one in. You won't regret it.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
2,006
You don't backflush the filters? Ours last a couple of years but they are 12-15" long and ~8" dia. and NOT free. They're in a clear plastic housing so you can see if they are accumulating anything. The Zeolite bed of the softener gets backflushed each time it regenerates. I had a Zeolite spun glass pressurized tank develop a leak after 30 years but never had one clog? The salt tank accumulates some solids left behind from the salt after it dissolves into brine but not much.
@MrAl I wouldn't expect much from an Ohm meter. Pure water is an insulator and so is calcium. The minuscule quantity of iron would be a very tiny blip on a very precise meter. The big concern over water quality these days is from dissolved waste chemicals and heavy metals that require lab testing probably using electrospectrography. And at our age, if it hasn't bothered us by now it ain't gonna. Slow slow accumulation affecting mostly developing children.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,384
You don't backflush the filters?
No way. Not remotely worth the bother when a brand new one is nearly free and a ten minute job.
Ours last a couple of years but they are 12-15" long and ~8" dia. and NOT free. They're in a clear plastic housing so you can see if they are accumulating anything.
My housing is clear also, and I recommend that. The filter won't be white for more than a few minutes, so it looks about the same throughout its life. But in my case I can watch the sludge layer on the bottom grow over time.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
7,460
You don't backflush the filters? Ours last a couple of years but they are 12-15" long and ~8" dia. and NOT free. They're in a clear plastic housing so you can see if they are accumulating anything. The Zeolite bed of the softener gets backflushed each time it regenerates. I had a Zeolite spun glass pressurized tank develop a leak after 30 years but never had one clog? The salt tank accumulates some solids left behind from the salt after it dissolves into brine but not much.
@MrAl I wouldn't expect much from an Ohm meter. Pure water is an insulator and so is calcium. The minuscule quantity of iron would be a very tiny blip on a very precise meter. The big concern over water quality these days is from dissolved waste chemicals and heavy metals that require lab testing probably using electrospectrography. And at our age, if it hasn't bothered us by now it ain't gonna. Slow slow accumulation affecting mostly developing children.
Actually the Ohm meter thing works pretty well. The readings always come in at around 200k Ohms.
Pure water is much higher, but my meter goes up to 20 megohms.
When i compared water purchased at one place vs another place i got readings of 160k and 320k respectively, so one was double the other which indicates more minerals in the water with the lower reading.
But the tap water is around 200k and does not improve too much with the water filter. Maybe it just gets out chemicals that are not readable via conductance measurements. I will be able to tell more when i replace the filter i will cut the old one apart and see what it caught.
 
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