There are a number of different types of filters, and it all gets a bit confusing! The main types of filters are:
These are used to remove dust, sand, mud, and any fine particles that may in the water. These are usually the first (or only) stage in any filter system, and come in several different micron sizes. The finer the micon the denser the fibre is and therefore it will filter out smaller particles. You may have several PP Spun Sediment filters of varying microns starting with coarse down to finer. We stock 20, 5 and 1 micron.
Other companies recommend a washable filter in the first stage. Personally, we can't really understand why you would use a washable one. Sure cost is a factor, but our filters are so reasonably priced that this isn't really an issue. My question is, how clean or purified is the water you are using to wash it in? And do you really get it clean, or are you just recontaminating the filter? Pleated washable filters are an inferior product to the PP Spun, and cost 2-3 times as much!
Your sediment filter should be replaced between 3-6 months, depending on the level of contamination in the first stage. You will know visually when it needs replacing - it will look dirty, a bit yuck and be laden with contaminant. Another good indicator, is you will notice water not filtering through it so easily.
Recommended in any filter system as the first stage.
Carbon Block is usually the 2nd stage in a filter system, or sometimes first and only stage on a simple system with town supply. Carbon Block is the most effective of the carbon filters, and uses chemical absorption for removal. Our filters are 5 micron, and will remove chlorine, suspended particles, such as sand, dirt, rust, and will remove salts and minerals also. The removal of these contaminants particularly assists with removing odours and chemicals affecting the taste of your water. Carbon block should be replaced at approx 6 month intervals, up to 9 months maximum. It is important to change the filters no less than this, as the retention of the contaminants means that after this approximate period of time the filter will leach back the contaminants into the water.
Similar to Carbon block, slightly less effective and therefore usually the 3rd stage in a filter system, added as an extra after carbon block.
UF uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove suspended solids, solutes and 90-100% of pathogens in the water by retention whilst allowing the water to pass through. It is not as effective as reverse osmosis, or UV but is used commonly in:
It is usually the last stage or the final filter stage before RO or UV and filters should be replaced approx at 6 month intervals.
Deionized water, also known as demineralised water, DM Water, DI Water, De-Ionised water, is water that has had almost all of its mineral ions removed, such as cations like sodium, calcium, iron, and copper, and anions such as chloride and sulfate. Deionisation is a chemical process that uses specially manufactured ion-exchange resins which exchange hydrogen ion and hydroxide ion for dissolved minerals, which then recombine to form water. Because most non-particulate water impurities are dissolved salts, deionisation produces a high purity water that is generally similar to distilled water, and this process is quick and without scale buildup. However, deionization does not significantly remove uncharged organic molecules, viruses or bacteria, except by incidental trapping in the resin.
Ion Resin filters should be replaced approx 3-6 month intervals.
UV light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays.
UV radiation can be an effective viricide and bactericide. Many bottlers of spring water use UV disinfection equipment to sterilize their water. It used to be thought that UV disinfection was more effective for bacteria and viruses, which have more exposed genetic material, than for larger pathogens that have outer coatings or that form cyst states (e.g., Giardia) that shield their DNA from the UV light. However, it was recently discovered that ultraviolet radiation can be somewhat effective for treating the microorganism Cryptosporidium. The findings resulted in the use of UV radiation as a viable method to treat drinking water.
The degree of inactivation by ultraviolet radiation is directly related to the UV dose applied to the water. The dosage, a product of UV light intensity and exposure time, is usually measured in microjoules per square centimeter, or alternatively as microwatt seconds per square centimeter (µW·s/cm2). Dosages for a 90% kill of most bacteria and virus range from 2,000 to 8,000 µW·s/cm2. Dosage for larger parasites such as Cryptosporidium require a lower dose for inactivation.
UV water treatment devices can be used for rain water, well water and surface water disinfection. UV is not usually a necessary stage for town supply, however in areas where Council has recommended boiling water, it is a definite requirement. Chlorine disinfection treats larger organisms and offers residual disinfection, but these systems are expensive because they need a special operator training and a steady supply of a potentially hazardous material. Finally, boiling water over a cook stove is the most reliable treatment method but it demands time, is a task that requires someone to actually do it, and imposes a further economic cost in terms of power usage. UV treatment is rapid and, in terms of primary energy use, approximately 20,000 times more efficient than boiling.
UV disinfection is most effective for treating a high-clarity, purified reverse osmosis distilled water. Suspended particles are a problem because microorganisms buried within particles are shielded from the UV light and pass through the unit unaffected. However, UV systems can be coupled with a pre-filter to remove those larger organisms that would otherwise pass through the UV system unaffected. The pre-filter also clarifies the water to improve light transmittance and therefore UV dose throughout the entire water column. Another key factor of UV water treatment is the flow rate—if the flow is too high, water will pass through without sufficient UV exposure. If the flow is too low, heat may build up and damage the UV lamp. Ultraviolet disinfection of water consists of a purely physical, chemical-free process. UV-C radiation attacks the vital DNA of the bacteria directly. The bacteria lose their reproductive capability and are destroyed. Even parasites such as Cryptosporidia orGiardia, which are extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants, are efficiently reduced. UV can also be used to remove chlorine and chloramine species from water; this process is called photolysis, and requires a higher dose than normal disinfection. The sterilized microorganisms are not removed from the water. UV disinfection does not remove dissolved organics, inorganic compounds or particles in the water.
A UV lamp will usually last between 6000 and 8000 hours - so approx 8-12 months.
We recommend UV in any situation where it cannot be guaranteed bacteria are not present - river water, ground water, rain water most definitely! And in contaminated town water supply areas.
What size filter do I need?
You have probably heard about standard 10", jumbo, big blue and various other terms. Not all filters are equal, and size really does matter in this instance!
A standard 10 inch filter is literally 10 inches long, so approx 250mm, and about 58mm in diameter. This size is usually for what we call underbench, supplying just drinking water in the kitchen. However, it can also be used for small dwellings, baches, caravans, motor homes, boats, or other low demand situations.
The next size is called various things - jumbo, big blue (usually the filter housing reference) and comes in both 10" and 20". Obviously, they are 10 inches or 20 inches long respectively, or 250mm/508mm. And they are approximately 110mm diameter. These sizes start to fulfil whole of house, and are situated at water supply entry point. It depends on how big the house is whether you need 10 or 20", but the greater the capacity the bigger the filter system you need. A booster pump fitted to the system will help push water through, as the bigger the filter system the more drag on the water flow and therefore there is a slight pressure drop experienced.
Also available is a size in between which is 20" long, but what we call slimline - it is the same diameter as the 10". This is just a bit lesser capacity than the jumbo 20".
In addition to these standard filters, we have filter systems and replacement cartridges for a bayonet fitted system. With traditional filter systems you need a wrench and a bit of muscle to undo them. The bayonet system is a really nice system particularly for older people, or people with disabilities, and is a little twist and release just like a bayonet light bulb. No need for a wrench, and really easy to do!
We supply complete systems so you don't need to build them up, or worry about what filter you need. All we need to know is what is the problem with you water and what do you want to solve, do you want the added pressure boost of a little pump, and what capacity do you need. Most of our systems can be fitted by a home handyman, or a plumber inside 1-2 hours maximum, or you may need an electrician to fit a power point. Most of our filter systems are under $1000 including GST and shipping, and if you have a good tradie, you should get your system purchased and installed for under $1500 absolute max - and this is for our biggest whole of house with UV etc - these systems almost bring you tea and toast in bed in the morning! No need to pay several thousand dollars.
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