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Home>Water Filter FAQ>Most Common Water Filter Questions


Most Common Water Filter and Water Treatment Questions



Water Filter Dot Aren't water treatment plants supposed to remove harmful substances from my water supply?
Water Filter Dot I am interested in filtering all the water in my house. What should I consider?
Water Filter Dot Is there a shelf life to my filters?
Water Filter Dot What is a micron rating?
Water Filter Dot What is Point of Use vs. Point of Entry?
Water Filter Dot What is the difference between a filter, a cartridge, a replacement cartridge, a replacement filter, and a replacement filter cartridge?
Water Filter Dot What size water filter do I need?



Aren't water treatment plants supposed to remove harmful substances from my water supply?

Water treatment plants are not always effective at removing harmful substances from your water supply. To ensure the protection of you, your family, and your children, it is recommended that you get a Reverse Osmosis System to reduce more contaminants in your drinking water. However, if you cannot afford a Reverse Osmosis System, look into Under Sink Water Filters to improve drinking water safety. Also, Whole House Water Filters filter the water coming into your house which can increase the life of your appliances having cleaner water.
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I am interested in filtering all the water in my house. What should I consider?

The filters you need will depend on the contaminants in your water and the level of sediment in your water. The following three stage process is the basic water filtration needed.

Stage 1: Whole House Sediment Filtration
The water should first go through a sediment water filter to reduce sand, dirt, rust, and other sediment. You want to have the water go through a sediment filter first so it does not clog up the carbon filter, which is more expensive. The sediment filter will prolong and protect the carbon filter. You will need a whole house housing to hold the sediment filter. Depending on your desired flow rate and desired length between filter changes, you will probably want either the 10 inch big blue system or the 20 inch big blue system. The 20 inch big blue filter will last longer and allow for greater flow rates because the water filter is larger.

After you have the whole house housing, you will then fill the housing with the sediment water filter that meets your needs. One of the most popular sediment filters is the DGD-5005 or the DGD-5005-20 depending on the size housing you select. This filter has two different layers of micron filtration. It filters down to 5 microns, but does not clog as quickly because the outer layer filters larger particles down to 50 microns. There are many more sediment filter options available on the 10" Big Blue Water Filter page and the 20" Big Blue Water Filter page.

If there is a lot of sediment in your water, you may want to consider two whole house systems to reduce sediment before the carbon filter. For example, the first sediment filter could be a 20 micron filter such as the R30-20BB. A second sediment filter such as the DGD-5005-20 could be used to reduce sediment down to 5 microns.

Stage 2: Whole House Taste and Odor Filtration
The water should next go through a carbon filter to improve the taste and odor of your water. You will need one of the housings mentioned above for this water filter. You should fill the housing with an appropriate taste and odor filter such as the popular RFC-BB or RFC-20BB depending on the size housing you select. There are many more carbon filter options available on the 10" Big Blue Water Filter page and the 20" Big Blue Water Filter page.

Stage 3: Drinking Water Filtration
The first two stages filtered water coming into your whole house. Now, you should reduce more contaminants in your drinking water directly filtering the water that you drink. There are several reverse osmosis systems with varying price and performance levels. There are also under sink water filter systems available that do not reduce as many contaminants as reverse osmosis systems but they are more affordable.

Visit Water University for helpful water filtration information as you continue to research water filtration. Also, there are product specifications in PDF format under each product picture on the individual product pages.
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Is there a shelf life to my filters?

As long as your filters are stored away from chemicals and at a temperature above freezing, there is no shelf life. It is best to keep them in the original packaging and away from extreme or greatly fluctuating temperatures.

Membranes for reverse osmosis systems can have a shelf life.
Dry Membranes can have a shelf life. Check the membrane details to find the shelf life of the membrane. Store the membrane in the original sealed bag, and preferably in the refrigerator.
Wet Membranes have a shelf life of approximately 2 - 8 months if stored in the original sealed bag, and in the refrigerator.
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What is a micron rating?

The smaller the micron rating, the smaller the size particle the water filter cartridge will remove. For comparison purposes, the human hair has a diameter of approximately 70 microns, and particles smaller than 40 microns are not visible to the human eye. In other words, the more sediment you want to remove from your water, the smaller the micron rating should be for your filter.
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What is Point of Use vs. Point of Entry?

A point of use water filter is a filter that is attached to the plumbing that's only used for a specific use. For example, an under sink filter is a point of use filter for the use of water coming out of the sink faucet. A faucet mount filter is a point of use filter for the use of water coming out of the faucet. A whole house water filter system is a point of entry filter that filters all water that enters into a building.
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What is the difference between a filter, a cartridge, a replacement cartridge, a replacement filter, and a replacement filter cartridge?

These terms mean the same and are used interchangeably.
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What size water filter do I need?

Once you know what type of filter you need, you must also figure out the size of the filter you need.

First, determine the application of the filter. For example, you may be using the filter for drinking water that will not require more than a 2 gpm (gallons per minute) flow rate. On the other hand, you may need a flow rate of over 20 gpm if you are using the filter as a whole house filter.

Next, determine the preferred pressure drop for your application. Although it varies for each application, it is generally advised that consumers keep the pressure drop on a new cartridge below 2 or 3 psi (pounds per square inch). This is sometimes referred to as the clean pressure drop.

Finally, you need to select the filter size that allows for your desired flow rate while maintaining the necessary clean pressure drop.

When in doubt, get a bigger water filter cartridge. If you get a filter that is too small, it will break down too quickly and will not be effective. Longer filters last longer than shorter filters. 20 inch water filters should be able to run at twice the flow rate for the same pressure drop as a 10 inch water filter with the same filtration technology.

If you need help determining the water filter size you need, you may want to speak with a plumber. Plumbers usually charge more for water filters, but they can provide valuable advice. They can be very helpful in the installation of our water filters. When you determine your water filter size, we will be glad to assist you with our great service and low prices.
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