One of the most interestingly named water filters out there, KX Matrikx, also has a reputation for excellence and we get a number of people asking where they can acquire KX Matrikx filters for their water purification systems.
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It appears as though even members of the water filter industry want to get in on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness. FilterWater.Com currently offers $5 off of purchases of $50 or more and $25 off of purchases of $500 or more.
While not massive discounts on their own, combine either offer with FilterWater.Com‘s offer of free shipping for orders over $99 and the savings really start to add up!
So, if you have previously waited to invest in water test kits, water filter systems or replacement water filters, you may want to start thinking about making that investment again real soon because the discounts will apparently disappear after 11/29/11 (tomorrow!).
Do not let a clever sales pitch or catchy marketing jingle fool you. Many common drinking water filter systems do NOTHING to remove or reduce chloramines in water. They simply lack the technology in their filtration media to do so.
We mentioned this filter (the Pentek ChlorPlus) in the past and now feel the need to mention it again since we continue to receive inquiries from people asking why their water filters fail to remove all of the chlorine smell from their water.
The majority of water filters readily available in the marketplace do NOT remove chloramines, also known as combined chlorine. Most carbon filters remove free chlorine only. It takes a specialized type of filter like the Pentek ChlorPlus to cleanse water of unwanted chloramines.
Does my water contain chloramines?
Whether your municipal water system uses free chlorine or chloramines as its primary sanitizing agent we cannot say, but in either case your water will certainly contain chloramines. Unsure why? Take a look at this brief tutorial on free chlorine, total chlorine and combined chlorine.
That’s just a cartridge… What sort of housing does it go in?
A very keen observation followed by a very good question! The Pentek ChlorPlus filter for chloramine removal fits in most standard sized 10″ (by 2.5″) filter housings available from online retailers like Filter Water..
As always before purchasing a replacement cartridge for your water filter system, check, double check and TRIPLE check to make sure your housing will accommodate the filter cartridge you wish to buy!
After our recent posting about commercial reverse osmosis units we expected to receive inquiries about them, but we NEVER expected for so many of you to ask the same question: “What do the replacement RO membranes cost?”
Honestly, we had not pondered that question… until now. Though we checked only one site, it appears as though one may want to do their homework before investing in a commercial reverse osmosis water filter if pinching pennies matters because the RO membranes in the 4,000 gallons per day unit we brought to everyone’s attention uses 4″x40″ filters that cost no less than $290 apiece on the various sites we checked.
We suppose, however, that anyone willing and ready to drop around $5,000 on a high volume water filtration system probably expects to spend a few bucks on the unit’s replacement RO membranes
Thankfully, though, replacement reverse osmosis membrane prices for point-of-use systems for households, small businesses, etc. still cost in the range of $100 or so.
Now that we’ve done a little research, we can definitely say that anyone considering purchasing a reverse osmosis unit should make sure the unit they want to purchase uses a universal size of ro membrane — else face really high replacement costs and/or the risk of not being able to find a replacement at all!
A good number of water filter companies have started using one of several common sizes (20″x2.5″, 10″x2.5″, 20″x4.5″, 10″x4.5″) for their housings in an effort to standardize product lines between manufacturers and give consumers more filtering options once they own a particular type of filter system.
Many people refer to those sizes as ‘big blue’ sizes since at one time, and still to this day, a very popular brand of water filter (Pentek) manufactured its products using blue polypropylene.
Now that you know a bit more about filter housing sizes, and hopefully have figured out the correct size cartridge for the unit you own, below you will find several replacement nitrate filter cartridge options:
Often times finding replacement filter housings for existing water filtration systems can prove much more difficult than finding the cartridges that go in them… but not if you do the SMART thing and stick with industry standard sizes (i.e. Big Blue 20″ Filter Housing and Big Blue 10″ Filter Housing).
Today’s inquiry came from a lady(?) named ‘Anne4Guy’ who asked, “Jusat bought a house and it has a filter system that looks and smells nasty. House sat vacant for a long while and god knows what’s living in the filterhousing by now. Can I replace just the long blue thing that holds the filter or do I need to replace the whole lines and everything?”
Sounds to us like you need to have a water filter specialist pay you a visit to take a look at your filter setup and determine just how much it will take to get it back up and running properly.
Short of doing that, however, you can START by replacing the filter cartridge and filter housing BUT we ALSO wholeheartedly suggest using the certified water testing services of companies like National Testing Labs, Test Country or a local certified water testing lab.
Remember: Just because a lab advertises testing does NOT make it a CERTIFIED to perform water testing… and rarely should you ever trust a company that sends a water treatment system salesperson to collect the sample!
Get back to the filter housing issue, please!
OK, OK… Back to the ‘long blue filter housing’. We believe that sounds like a 20″ Big Blue Filter Housing, a reinforced polypropylene filter housing made by Pentek that hold a variety of different 20″ long filters with diameters ranging from 2 1/2″ and 2 7/8″. Pentek Part Number 150009.
Now, if by ‘long’ you mean roughly 10″ in length, then you could very possibly have one of Pentek’s 10″ Big Blue Filter Housings installed. See below for two possible options.
Ever see two water filters from the same company that had part numbers so similar that you simply couldn’t tell the two products apart? If so, then you, “Gary” and a whole host of other people — including ourselves — have something in common!
Can you please tell me the difference between using Pentek PD-5-20 and P5-20 filters? I have a big blue cannister for sediment removal but also have a whole house prefilter that h as a P5-20 filter in it. Can these be used interchangeably so I don’t have to buy 2 different filters? Gary
We first must say this: The info we will give next comes from web sites whose content we cannot verify… but if you visit the Filters Fast web site, since we know Filters Fast sells both of the products in question, and ask them a question using their live chat ‘thingie’, or send them an email, we believe you could verify the info relatively quickly.
Based upon what we read, Gary, you ought to have no problem interchanging the two filters BUT pay close attention to the flow rate, as they vary greatly.
We also noticed that the diameters differed by about an eighth of an inch (.125″) and that the Pentek PD-5-20 has a higher max temperature rating of 175 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius).
The diameter ought not matter if you have a standard sized 20″ pre-filter housing.
Important Note: Do not attempt to use “Big Blue” filters, as they feature a much wider, non-compatible diameter of around 4 1/2 inches!
About a month ago we wrote about an easily installed faucet filter made by Brita — Brita on Tap — and since that time we have received at least half a dozen emails from people asking if Crystal Quest, another leading manufacturer of water filter units, also had a faucet filter.
As it turns out, we discovered that they manufacture a Faucet Filter w/ 5 Stages of Filtration that uses granular activated carbon designed to meet NSF Standards 42, 53 and 58 test protocols, and a proprietary blend of KDF filtration media composed of materials (Eagle Redox Alloy 6500 and Eagle Redox Alloy 9500) meeting NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 61.
The unit also boasts pre and post one micron filters made by an ISO 9001 manufacturer that remove undissolved matter such as silt, sediment, cyst, sand, rust and dirt.
What makes this filter different?
Many other faucet filters use only 3 stages of filtration while the Crystal Quest Faucet Filter uses a total of FIVE filtration stages.
Stages 1 and 5 — Pre and post one-micron filter pads remove suspended particles from the water.
Stage 2 — Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) reduces bad tastes and odors while also reducing and/or eliminating potentially 100’s of chemicals (i.e. pesticides, VOC’s, etc.) linked to increased cancer risk.
Stage 4 — A special blend of KDF 55 and KDF 85 reduce levels of iron, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, cadmium, aluminum, lead, other dissolved metals while also reducing dissolved hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) levels. The chemical and physical nature of these materials prevents the growth of bacteria, algae, fungi, scale, and other microorganisms in the filter… and therefore this unit requires no bactericidal components such as silver.
Access to unfiltered water?
If for some reason you have a need for unfiltered water, the unit comes equipped with a knob that allows users to switch between filtered and unfiltered water very easily.
Everyone loves the taste of fresh, clean filtered drinking water, but not everyone likes their water ice cold or as cold as it gets when stored in a refrigerator. How do we know this? Simple: Martha wrote in and asked,
I’m thinking of getting a water filter pitcher. Must it be kept in the refrigerator in order for the filter to work? I prefer room temp. water.
We knew that hot water posed a problem for certain types of filters and filter housings — hence the need for special hot water filters & housings — and we knew that frozen water would not work all that well, either (obviously!), but as for whether or not a filter would perform all that much differently at room temperature versus the temperature of a refrigerator, we never gave that a whole lot of thought.
Our quick research has determined that water filter pitchers ought to work just as well at room temperature as they would in a refrigerator. We do, however, suspect that one could possibly need to replace the filters more frequently since warmer temperatures in the filter would make an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. We suspect that water pitcher filters that use certain blends of KDF Media may prove more resistant to bacterial growth than filters that do not use KDF Media.
The Crystal Quest Pitcher Water Filter does something that similar products made by other leading water pitcher filter manufacturers do not. It uses a total of FIVE stages of filtration.
- A one micron sediment pre-filter takes out dirt, rust, sediment and any other large particles.
- In filter stages 2 & 3… Blends of KDF55 and KDF85 resin media reduce dissolved metals (i.e. iron, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium) and harmful bacteria. As we mentioned before, KDF resin media also has properties which help to prevent the growth of bacteria in the filter.
- In the fourth stage of filtration a bed of ion exchange resin further reduces heavy metals including lead, copper and aluminum. This stage also reduces water hardness (calcium and magnesium).
- The fifth stage of filtration contains granulated activated carbon (GAC) reduces chlorine (99.9%), bad taste and odors. It also reduces pesticides and chemicals that science has linked to increased cancer risks in humans (i.e. VOC’s, benzene, TTHMs and toxaphene).
We have posted a number of articles about nitrates in drinking water and given a number of links to products that can remove nitrates from drinking water… and today we found out that FilterWater.Com has started carrying a highly effective nitrate removal system made by Crystal Quest that costs less than $150, features a dual filter system containing a total of 7 filtration stages, and qualifies for free shipping.
Do I have nitrates in my drinking water?
Nitrates occur naturally in the environment and may come from any number of sources in nature including, but not limited to, animal waste that filters down into the aquifer. Wells tapping into that aquifer as a source of drinking water then pull the water to the surface where it gets used by the well owner for cooking, drinking, bathing, etc.
- Testing for Nitrates in Drinking Water
– includes a simple explanation of Blue Baby Syndrome
- Springtime Testing of Well Water in Farming Community?
- Simple Test for Nitrates and Nitrites in Water
- Nitrates in Well Water / Private Well Testing
What harm can nitrates in drinking water do?
The USEPA summed up the effects of nitrates in drinking in the following ways:
“Short-term: Excessive levels of nitrate in drinking water have caused serious illness and sometimes death. The serious illness in infants is due to the conversion of nitrate to nitrite by the body, which can interfere with the oxygen-carrying capacity of the child’s blood. This can be an acute condition in which health deteriorates rapidly over a period of days. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blueness of the skin.” ( source )
“Long-term: Nitrates and nitrites have the potential to cause the following effects from a lifetime exposure at levels above the MCL: diuresis, increased starchy deposits and hemorrhaging of the spleen.” ( source )
How can I get rid of nitrates in my water?
Stage 1 — This product uses as dedicated nitrate removal filter. Water first flows through a nitrate-selective resin cartridge designed to reduce nitrate levels in water by 90 to 95 percent. The cartridge has an expected nitrate capacity of approximately 5500 ppm and owners can regenerate (aka: recharge, flush out, clean) the cartridge using a sodium chloride brine solution when it gets full.
Stages 2 & 7 — Pre and post one-micron filter pads remove suspended particles such as silt, sediment, cyst (Giardia, Cryptosporidium), sand, rust, dirt, and other undissolved matter in the water.
Stages 3 & 4 — Specially formulated beds of copper and zinc (KDF-55D, and KDF-85D) use a process known as oxidation-reduction to exhaust any chlorine in the water and convert iron and hydrogen sulfide into insoluble matter which attaches to the surface of the media. Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, cadmium, aluminum, etc. also get removed during stages 3 & 4.
Stage 5 — Ion exchange resins reduce heavy metals such as lead, copper and aluminum further and also reduce water hardness by filtering out magnesium and calcium.
Stage 6 — Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC), a universally recognized and widely used adsorbent for a wide variety of unwanted drinking water contaminants such as chlorine (99.9%), chemicals linked to cancer (i.e. THM’s, benzene) pesticides & herbicides such as atrazine and simazine, insecticides, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), PCB’s, MTBE’s and hundreds of other chemical contaminants which could possibly exist in your water supply.
Other features of the Dual Filter Nitrate Removal System?
Many people simply do not want to mess around with plumbing under their sink so a unit like the Crystal Quest Dual Filter Nitrate Filter System which requires no plumbing will work out beautifully.
The unit sits quietly next to the sink on the counter top and connects easily to pretty much any standard kitchen faucet. It also comes with a diverter valve which allows people to switch between filtered and unfiltered water with the flip of a switch.
Not digging the stark white appearance of the filter? Don’t worry! You have the option of ordering the unit with a chrome finish if that better suits the decor of your kitchen.
How long will the filters last and what do replacements cost?
The manufacturer estimates that the filters ought to last between 1 and 3 years depending upon the initial quality of source water. Keep in mind, though, that a soaking of the nitrate-specific cartridge in sodium or potassium chloride solution at room temperature will recharge the cartridge for additional use.
- Remove cartridge from unit
- Immerse the cartridge in a sodium or potassium chloride and room temperature water for a period of 30 minutes
- Rinse off and then soak the cartridge for 30 minutes in salt-free water
- Shake excess water off of and out of the cartridge
- Place the cartridge back in the filter housing
- Run through the systems for a period of 5-10 minutes
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