Brita faucet filters

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bedraggled
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by bedraggled » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:18 am

I guess mine is a purifier, considering the price.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by dualstow » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:24 am

Maddy wrote: ...
  Also, note the difference between a "filter" and a "purifier" in terms of their ability to remove bacteria and viruses.

The Big Berkey is a "purifier," which when used with a black carbon block filter removes a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
...
The manual says:
If you suspect a water source contains viral and bacteriological
contamination, add 16-drops of plain bleach or iodine to
each 1-gallon of water and wait 30 minutes in order to
pre-treat the water before purifying in this system. The disinfectant
will be removed from the water during the purification
process, leaving no odor or taste.
So it looks like you have to treat the water, and then the Berkey will remove your treatment chemicals.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Libertarian666 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:29 am

Maddy wrote: When comparing different models, be sure and take account of the expected life of the filter elements.  Many models require the elements to be replaced fairly regularly, regardless of the amount of use, or else they become reservoirs of bacteria.  Also, note the difference between a "filter" and a "purifier" in terms of their ability to remove bacteria and viruses.

The Big Berkey is a "purifier," which when used with a black carbon block filter removes a wide range of bacteria and viruses.  That's a big deal to me because I draw from untreated groundwater.  However, even if you're on a city water system, I'd think it would be assuring to know that in a pinch you could run pond water or roof run-off through the thing and it would be perfectly drinkable.

The Berkey is extremely inexpensive to run when you consider the number of gallons you get per element and the fact that the elements can be cleaned and reused.
Warning: the black filter elements, assuming that's what you are talking about, have been highly unreliable in the past. We went through about 10 of them trying to find 4 that wouldn't fail within a few days of installation. If they have fixed the quality control problem(s), then they would be a good choice. In the meantime, we are using the white ceramic filter elements.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by dualstow » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:17 am

Wow, sounds like a hassle. Maybe I'll stick with Brita pitchers after all.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:58 am

dualstow wrote: Wow, sounds like a hassle. Maybe I'll stick with Brita pitchers after all.
Every year I also point you to this: http://www.purewaterproducts.com/economy-ro  ;)
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by jafs » Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:06 pm

RO systems filter a lot of stuff, and don't have some of the concerns about other kinds of filtration, and those look like a good deal.

My concern/issue with RO systems is that you lose/waste a lot of water with them - something like 4 gallons for every gallon of water you use.

It's a real shame.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:06 pm

jafs wrote: My concern/issue with RO systems is that you lose/waste a lot of water with them - something like 4 gallons for every gallon of water you use.

It's a real shame.
Who cares?  It's not water you want to be drinking.  And its not like you ever notice.  I don't know if it qualifies as grey water, but you could capture and reuse it if you're going to persist in being that anal about it.  ;)

I've only had to replace the set of filters once in three years.  I have a TDS meter to check when its time.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Pointedstick » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:26 pm

I care because I live in the desert and water is expensive! But I suppose you don't install one of these things for the whole house, and instead hook it up to a little fresh faced on your kitchen sink, right? But in that case, you're still using/cooking with/bathing with unfiltered water.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:41 pm

Pointedstick wrote: I care because I live in the desert and water is expensive! But I suppose you don't install one of these things for the whole house, and instead hook it up to a little fresh faced on your kitchen sink, right? But in that case, you're still using/cooking with/bathing with unfiltered water.
Yep, but you can use it for cooking and drinking (seriously, get a pressure cooker if you need to use a gallon of water for cooking at a time!).  For the shower, I have this (without the free head): http://www.amazon.com/Sprite-HO2-WH-M-U ... 006LQPJIU/

I only use the municipal water "naked" for using the OralBreeze (I've temporarily detached the ShowerBreeze because it's not working with the filter + flexible hose head, puts too much weight on it), occasional hand-washing, watering the indoor plants and dish washing.  But the municipal water is relatively clean of bugs, just full of toxic chemicals, heavy metals and nasty stuff like that.  The filters were pretty disgustingly gooped when I changed them.  Must been all the rocket percholate!  ;)

Hmm, I guess I really should get some kind of filter to use on the outdoor hose and water supply to the plants.  A RO wouldn't be appropriate because plants need the minerals that a RO filters out: http://www.purewaterproducts.com/garden-hose-filters

The RO outlet hose just attaches to the outgoing drain pipe so it's easy enough to divert if its actually safe to use for something.  But its NOT the same thing as low pH acid water from a water alkalizer.  It's toxic water.
Last edited by MachineGhost on Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by jafs » Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:56 pm

I care, because I care about not wasting precious resources.

So, if there are other filtration systems that work well enough for us that don't waste all that water, then I'd prefer to use those.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Maddy » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:26 pm

Don't reverse osmosis systems demineralize the water?  My understanding is that over time demineralized water causes calcium, magnesium, and other necessary minerals to be leeched out of your system.  I seem to recall some mention of adding Himalayan salt to RO-filtered water to avoid that problem.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Maddy » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:34 pm

Libertarian666 wrote: Warning: the black filter elements, assuming that's what you are talking about, have been highly unreliable in the past. We went through about 10 of them trying to find 4 that wouldn't fail within a few days of installation. If they have fixed the quality control problem(s), then they would be a good choice. In the meantime, we are using the white ceramic filter elements.
That was quite a few years back.  I'm not aware of any problem since then, but I'd be interested in any information to the contrary.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by jafs » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:57 pm

Maddy wrote: Don't reverse osmosis systems demineralize the water?  My understanding is that over time demineralized water causes calcium, magnesium, and other necessary minerals to be leeched out of your system.  I seem to recall some mention of adding Himalayan salt to RO-filtered water to avoid that problem.
I believe that's right, from the little research I did.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:24 pm

Maddy wrote: Don't reverse osmosis systems demineralize the water?  My understanding is that over time demineralized water causes calcium, magnesium, and other necessary minerals to be leeched out of your system.  I seem to recall some mention of adding Himalayan salt to RO-filtered water to avoid that problem.
That was probably me, but technically RO doesn't demineralize down to a perfect TDS of 0 so its not that acidic, but distilled is certainly 0 TDS and acidic.  It's not a problem to put in a pinch (1/16th teaspoon) of sea salt per 8 oz every time I fill up.  That's good practice for water anyway so you replenish electrolytes.
Last edited by MachineGhost on Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by sophie » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:18 pm

Dualstow, have you tested your water for lead?  I did that when I moved into my 100 year old building, and was quite happy to get negative results on two tests.  The only other issue I'd be concerned about in a city apartment is Legionella.  A friend of mine (lived in my former building) had it twice in the past few years.  Glad I moved out of there!

If you held a gun to my head and asked me to which pitcher or faucet system is the best, I'd go with the PUR pitcher - tastes better than Brita, and uses a lot less counter space than the Berkley.  Of course, if you have the counterspace Berkley could be a great option - but then that probably means you live in a nice house and could have an undersink filter!  A cheap GE filter ($19 on Amazon) does the same job as the PUR pitcher.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Benko » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:15 pm

http://www.waterfiltercomparisons.com/p ... rt_compare

compares different filters and what they do/don't filter out.

Looks like time to replace my Brita.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:17 am

Benko wrote: http://www.waterfiltercomparisons.com/p ... rt_compare

compares different filters and what they do/don't filter out.

Looks like time to replace my Brita.
That site is managed by Aquasauna which just happens to be the #1 in every category.  And they probably don't include any possibility of filters that looks as good as their own.  But from my previous filter research, I do recall that they seemed to be head and shoulders above the rest of the competition if their data is to be believed, but it comes at a higher cost.  Their RO even includes a remineralizer.  $130 for a pitcher is bloody ridiculous when a true RO system is only $100 more than that.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by dualstow » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:07 am

sophie wrote: Dualstow, have you tested your water for lead? 
I have actually been shopping for a company to do that. Wrote to the neighbor about it last week.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by bedraggled » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:48 pm

I have been using the CWR creamic system for more than 15 years.

You can check their website.  They are based in Stuart, Florida.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by williswine » Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:35 pm

Regarding RO demineralizing water, I once suggested that my plan was to remineralize RO water by adding minerals back to it. This is what brewers do to "recreate" the water found where a given beer is produced. At least one person has posted recipes on how to approximate a large number of famous waters at http://blog.khymos.org/2012/01/04/miner ... -la-carte/. I haven't tried this yet since I am yet to switch to using RO but it sounds ideal to me.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by BearBones » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:21 pm

williswine wrote: Regarding RO demineralizing water, I once suggested that my plan was to remineralize RO water by adding minerals back to it. This is what brewers do to "recreate" the water found where a given beer is produced. At least one person has posted recipes on how to approximate a large number of famous waters at http://blog.khymos.org/2012/01/04/miner ... -la-carte/. I haven't tried this yet since I am yet to switch to using RO but it sounds ideal to me.
How do you know that the additives do not have more toxins than regular drinking water? I guess if I were using RO and adding back minerals, I'd like to be sure the minerals have been tested. Especially those coming from other countries like China.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by Benko » Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:57 pm

From the reviews on amazon a lot of the aquasaunas leak and over 20% of people are unhappy with them.

Consumer reports review on water filters (this month and available online only if you are a member) is not that helpful, but it seems that if you want the majority of the bad stuff removed you need a reverse osmosis (or a distiller). 

How much work are the reverse osmosis units to use/maintain?  e.g. the one MG recommended?
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by MachineGhost » Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:37 pm

Benko wrote: How much work are the reverse osmosis units to use/maintain?  e.g. the one MG recommended?
It set it and forget it pretty much.  I never think about it except when I need to test the water with a TDS meter about once a year.

Then you just unscrew the housings on each of the four filters, clean it out best as you can, pop in the new filters and close 'em back up.  Just make sure you know what tubes go from whom to whom.  I'd tag 'em and its corresponding filter housing with colors or notes next time so its not so confusing.  The trickiest part is remembering to turn the cold water diverter valve back on!
Last edited by MachineGhost on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by williswine » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:45 am

BearBones wrote:
williswine wrote: Regarding RO demineralizing water, I once suggested that my plan was to remineralize RO water by adding minerals back to it. This is what brewers do to "recreate" the water found where a given beer is produced. At least one person has posted recipes on how to approximate a large number of famous waters at http://blog.khymos.org/2012/01/04/miner ... -la-carte/. I haven't tried this yet since I am yet to switch to using RO but it sounds ideal to me.
How do you know that the additives do not have more toxins than regular drinking water? I guess if I were using RO and adding back minerals, I'd like to be sure the minerals have been tested. Especially those coming from other countries like China.
Good point! For some ingredients it's simple, e.g. baking soda (the famous orange box you put in the fridge). For others, you could look at brewing suppliers selling mixes since these are readily used in the brewing process and should meet strict standards. You could also look for individual ingredients generally sold as food supplements, seeking labels such as USP verified, extra fine food grade (or perhaps "pharmaceutical grade"), ISO 9001 manufacturing, GMP, FDA GRAS, etc. You could seek countries of origin other than "countries like China". At the end, as for anything else you put in your body, you have to do your due diligence: this applies to Himalayan salts or sea salts (those contain minute amounts of e.g. iron, which you may or may not ingest).
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Re: Brita faucet filters

Post by williswine » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:58 am

MachineGhost wrote:
Benko wrote: How much work are the reverse osmosis units to use/maintain?  e.g. the one MG recommended?
It set it and forget it pretty much.  I never think about it except when I need to test the water with a TDS meter about once a year.

Then you just unscrew the housings on each of the four filters, clean it out best as you can, pop in the new filters and close 'em back up.  Just make sure you know what tubes go from whom to whom.  I'd tag 'em and its corresponding filter housing with colors or notes next time so its not so confusing.  The trickiest part is remembering to turn the cold water diverter valve back on!
What bothers me with RO is bacterial growth. I have not researched this aspect. As I believe bleach destroys the RO membrane, using bleach for disinfection of tubes and filters would require a very thorough rinse. So what to do? Use bleach only in the tubes and rinse them thoroughly while replacing the filters as recommended, or rinse and let air dry, some other method? Would love to see some studies on this.
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