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Recomendations for water purification? Need help.

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Showing 1-25 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 6, 2012, 12:51:05 AM PDT
Looking for best water purification for shower head?
Also, best Kitchen undersink purifier? Any ideas?
I'm overwhelmed by the reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2012, 2:17:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2012, 2:22:44 PM PDT
stevenkurt says:
I'm not sure if my solution answers your needs, but I bought a Berkey water purifier. It's a stainless steel canister of varying sizes that meets the stricter requirements of a water Purifier, not just a water filter. It works kind of like a vacuum drip coffee maker (tho no vacuum is created). Best thing is, no electricity required, the actual filters last for many months, so other than the initial expense, there are no ongoing costs.

My personal choice was the Big Berkey, and there are many people & companies that sell them, even here on Amazon...just search for Berkey water filters. Oh, and choose the black filters, not the white ceramic ones.

edit: Oh, and they make a shower filter too!

Posted on Apr 8, 2012, 11:20:01 PM PDT
I have had shower filters, as well as kitchen filters from Aquasana. I recently moved to an area where the water is full of chlorine and a few other contaminants, and I purchased their whole house filter. I noticed a change in the water immediately when taking a shower and drinking. I've purchased their products for years, and while they can seem expensive, to me it is worth it. They often have sales and they sell the whole house filter here on Amazon, even though I found it cheaper on their web-site during a sale. Their web-site is Aquasana dot com.

Posted on Apr 9, 2012, 12:41:25 PM PDT
We had a two-part "Eco-Water" filter installed -- one part is in the garage and uses salt to "soften" the water, the other part is a reverse-osmosis filter that lives underneath the sink and keeps a three-gallon tank of RO water on hand. We live in San Diego, the water is REALLY hard (good for bread and beer) -- the filters have been a BIG improvement, I can use tap water in my aquariums without treating it, and the RO water is literally as good as any water I've ever tasted. HUGE difference. We don't buy bottled water any more. The system was expensive, a couple-three thousand dollars, but clean water is really important!

Posted on Apr 10, 2012, 5:22:44 AM PDT
Bone says:
$3k sounds like an awful lot to install a salt based softener and a RO under the sink. We paid about $800 for the first, and $500-600 (can't quite remember) for the latter. There really is very little to them, and that included the labor.

RO systems are pretty much all the same, you main concern is how often you have to replace filters and membranes, and what they will cost you. Will you need the installation company to fit then, can you order them online, or can you pick them up locally? We're stuck with the former, it's quite costly. So much so, I'm thinking about tearing it out and putting in something else with filters I can get at the Depot.

We'd never go without RO in the kitchen, though. My wife doesn't like the softener due to the soap issue, but it's supposed to be good for the house pipework, although it can be an issue for the solar hotwater system. Can't win, eh?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2012, 1:41:39 PM PDT
C. Ramirez says:
bought a 5 stage filter RO system fro works awesome.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012, 9:04:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2012, 9:08:48 AM PDT
Dan Edson says:
Bought three Water General RO585 from filterdirect (dot) com. One for in-laws, one for last house, one for current house. works great, much less expensive than other place mentioned.

For ease of changing filters, this Watts undersink RO is better. It just costs more.


I have not used the Watts RO, but the reviews are good. The only problem I have with the Water General (which is essentially identical to all other 5-stage under-sink models, except Watts mentioned) is the phyisical hassle in changing the filters annually.

Posted on Apr 11, 2012, 9:22:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2012, 9:22:39 AM PDT
Morgaine says:
Not to add to your confusion, but I'm in the market for a whole house purifier myself. A few conclusions I've to are that a. I don't want to be adding salt and b. I don't want to be wasting water. Sometimes filtration systems can backwash, wasting TONS of water. On top of that, I suspect that many 4 and 5 star reviews for products like these on amazon are "fake" and the "amazon verified purchase" doesn't seem to be abating the problem. But I digress.

It sounds like you're looking for the local filter (at the actual shower head and the kitchen sink), this will be considerably less expensive than a whole house filter, which may be unnecessary anyway.

Is the Berkey a localized filter?

Posted on Apr 11, 2012, 1:35:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 11, 2012, 1:35:47 PM PDT
Bone says:
How good are the "whole house" systems? I'd love to dump the softener system and forget about salt. Electrical conductivity is dramatically reduce when testing the RO water, compared to the standard tap yuk. And everyone loves the taste, or rather the lack of. Are they up to the same standard as an under sink RO?
Your reply to Bone's post:
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012, 2:08:10 PM PDT
stevenkurt says:
Yes, Morgaine. The Berkey is a filter that attaches to the water pipe between the wall and your showerhead. There is an optional showerhead that replaces your standard showerhead. $49 for the filter, $59 with showerhead included. Great description of how it works can be found at

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 11, 2012, 4:39:28 PM PDT
Dan Edson says:
I would never buy a Berkey Water filter for the simple reason that the manufacturers do not post any real data on the ability of the filter. They also do not state the filtration methods or active modes of filtration, outside of tortuous path ceramic filter. On further digginf, we find activated alumina particles. One can also assume nano-silver for bacterial control. Not sure how viruses are removed.

When the only results are hand waving and impossible numbers of significant figures, I just walk away.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012, 5:03:01 AM PDT
Yeah, I live in San Diego too, and we have some of the hardest water in the country, though it depends at any given time how much of our supply comes from the Colorado river- that stuff is, according to a friend who knows a bit about the subject, "real scaly". (as we've had good rain this year maybe not so bad?)
If you don't towel off your car right away it leaves a nice residue on it and takes a lot of detergent to get your clothes clean here.
Recently Goodwill stores in the area had dozens of new in the box countertop filters made by a Memphis company called NSA, model 50C, which had a MSRP of $189. As Goodwill was selling them for just $19.95 I bought 2. (supposed to be good for 3500 gallons or 3 years) Difference in water taste is incredible, it's not what you taste about the filtered water, it's what you DON'T taste in it.
I saw quite a few of these filters on ebay at the time for between $25-40, all I could tell is that the company went out of business.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012, 7:13:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 20, 2012, 7:14:49 AM PDT
We have a Morton whole house softener ( $430 at Walmart, and a 5 stage RO w/booster pump for drinking and fridge ice maker / water eBay $219. Neither is difficult to install with a little google help.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012, 11:00:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012, 11:01:09 PM PDT
J. North says:
Auqusana has one that screws right on your shower arm and a kitchen filter that mounts underneath the kitchen cabinet with a separate faucet or one that attaches directly to your existing faucet and sits right on top of your countertop. As a plumber I install and sell these all the time.

Posted on Apr 27, 2012, 2:55:07 AM PDT
GH says:
city or well?
any questions you can contact me directly. Guy at customhomerepair dot com

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 27, 2012, 7:17:19 PM PDT
stevenkurt says:
Dan, you just didn't look hard enough for the specifications.
Check this link:
You will find that this device qualifies as a water purifier, not just a water filter,
as set forth by standards endorsed by both public and private entities.
If you click the link at the bottom of that page, "More Berkey water test documents",
you can read lab testing results from Louisiana State University, Spectrum Labs and
the University of Arizona. They have used NSF protocols in their testing.
There is plenty more information if you just look for it.

I remember when I ordered my Berkey water filter they were unavailable for weeks
after the Haiti earthquake, because the American Red Cross had bought all of the filters
they could find and took them to Haiti. They work with even the most foul water,
without electricity, and at a cost of about 2 cents per gallon. I had to wait almost
three months before I could buy one.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012, 7:19:37 AM PDT
Dan Edson says:

Thanks for the links. I looked at the Tech sheet, and it did not state anywhere what technology was employed by the filter.

I also looked at the three linked reports. All are short term tests, so the long term use of the filter is not proven in the reported testing. Also, the test for the biological purification only tested 10 gallons of contaminated water with a vacuum pulled on the back-side of the filter (negative pressure). From what I can understand of the standard application of the Berkey Filter, it is gravity fed, not vacuum assist. I would feel better if a long term test was provided to prove that after being contaminated with bacteria in the first ten gallons, that six months later the filter was not a colony of bacteria.

Those criticisms aside, I still do not think that the Berkey is a good fit for average American Kitchen water filtration.
1. It can not be linked to the ice maker and water dispenser in the fridge since it is a gravity fed system.
2. It costs $100 more than a 5-stage undersink RO system, which removes significantly higher levels of nitrates, heavy metals and other dissolved inorganic chemicals.
3. Most people will not disinfect the lower reservoir on a routine basis to prevent bacterial colony growth. Limitation of bacterial growth after filtration is why Pur and Brita dispensers are suggested to be stored in the fridge following filtration.
4. City US water is disinfected with Chlorine to prevent bacterial contamination. Removal of chlorine and chlorine by-products is easy using a point of use activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters are present in at least two stages of the standard 5-stage home RO system.
5. Under-sink RO systems do not use valuable counter top space.

Also, as a general point (not directed at Steven in any way), one should never use hot water from a water heater for drinking or cooking. Domestic hot water is only recommended for cleaning and washing activities.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012, 1:22:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2012, 8:42:40 PM PDT
stevenkurt says:
Hi Dan,

The Berkey filters works by first filtering water through micro-pores in the ceramic shell. This takes care of pathogens and sediment. The water then enters activated carbon. A last small filter takes out any carbon fines. The filter is impregnated with silver to control bacterial growth. Part of the reason it works so well is the amount of time the water is in contact with the filter media. In most filtering systems it's only a second, or a few. The water travels slowly through a Berkey filter.
As to why they used negative pressure during the tests, I can't imagine, but then I never got my doctorate in organic chemistry.<g> If anything, it would pull the water through more quickly, but to what advantage?

1. No, it can't be hooked up to a refrigerator, but I purposely bought a fridge without ice & water dispensers.
I either purchase ice or, wow, make my own ice cubes! Just personal preference.
2. The only thing that R/O removes better than the Berkey are the beneficial minerals, creating an acidic & hypotonic solution. (Look it up folks!) For that reason, many health experts caution that long-term drinking of distilled or R/O water is not a good idea.
3. The lower reservoir doesn't readily accumulate bacteria, it's filtered out, 'member? There is no need to disinfect...
you simply wash the whole thing with soap and hot water, as I do my dishes, pots & pans, water bottles, etc...
4. I agree.
5. Under-sink RO systems do not use valuable counter top space, they take up lots of valuable cabinet space :)
The Berkey runs from 7.5" to 11' in diameter, not such a large footprint.

I've been using mine for two years, hasn't killed me yet. It's not for everyone. Other systems are more convenient.
But you can't beat the price of about 2¢ a gallon, which includes the original outlay.

Dan, you're articulate, knowledgeable and passionate. I like that in a person.

Posted on May 18, 2012, 12:25:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 18, 2012, 12:37:10 PM PDT
We just purchased a 'salt free' (potassium chloride) whole house water conditioner from masters water here in AZ. It does not take water that is unsafe to drink and make it safe. It takes city water and makes it clean and soft. We use about 4 bags of salt (potassium chloride) per year. We still have the original 2 bags that they put in the system when we purchased it in Jan or Feb. Something to remember about the newer salt systems is that they only use the salt brine to rinse the resin tank and then fresh water is used to rinse the salt from the resin. The new softener systems use less than 40 gallons of water per recharge and ours recharges every 15-21 days. No filters to replace and all chlorine is removed. It is a 4 stage system:
Stage 1: The raw untreated tap water is passed through a charcoal filter that removes undesirable taste, odors and chlorine.
Stage 2: The water flows through a softening mineral where it is softened, filtered, and iron is removed.
Stage 3: The water flows through high grade silica, removing cloudiness and "polishing" the water to a sparkling clarity.
Stage 4: The water is again filtered, this time passing through a quartz filter to provide you with soft, clear, delicious-tasting water.
I used to use a big blue system in conjunction with a Sears water softener and had to change the big blue filters every 3 months. I got real tired of changing the filters and they got expensive. I was spending about $150 per year on filters. Now no filters to change. Cost was $2500 for the new water conditioner and they took the water loop out. Now all inside water goes thru the water conditioner. Only the 3 outside hose bibs and sprinkler system use unfiltered water. Installed a soft bib by the water conditioner for washing the cars. No RO filters to replace under sink or fridge filters to replace. As a guy that works outside in the AZ heat I had to use lotion so that my skin was soft and smooth (the wife hated the flaky skin), I was shocked to see that the conditioner makes my skin soft with no lotion (something my wife loves).

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012, 9:11:53 PM PDT
peterforpats says:
puriteam makes the best cost effective countertop/undersink filter i have ever had. i live in florida and use well water and the two filter (one ceramic candle , one multi media filter) gives us the best tasting , cleanest water i have ever had. the cartridges last about 3 years!! and run about 50 bucks each .easy to install,also

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012, 8:49:20 PM PDT
Love both my kitchen and shower models :) Used them for 6 years and happy. Good customer service, too.

Posted on May 20, 2012, 1:13:51 AM PDT

1) BIG BERKEY (sink & shower filter): Use black filters
This system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance.
STEVE QUESTION: How about the taste with the Stainless Steel container?
I had to replace my Stainless Steel drinking bottle for glass because of the metallic taste.
REVIEWS ON THE SHOWER FILTER PAGE ARE VERY NICE, no build up in hair (or scalp), very important since skin is our largest organ.

Unique in both design and functionality, the new Aquasana Claryum™ filtration technology features three distinct stages, including activated carbon, ion exchange and sub-micron filtration. Together, this unique combination forces water under pressure over more than two million square feet of surface area of contaminant-grabbing filtration material - the equivalent of almost 35 football fields or roughly seven blocks in New York City. In addition to reducing a comprehensive list of chemicals and contaminants, Claryum's™ patent-pending selective filtration technology reduces odor and improves the taste of tap water while also preserving its healthiest minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium for optimum hydration - which are vital for growth, development and overall health and wellness.

RO system: The website suggests that with hard water you want to remove magnesium, calcium or other minerals and dissolved solids. And that water is likely to smell bad without those things removed.

I also live in San Diego with very hard water, now I'm confused if we need the minerals preserved in the Berkey and Aquasana, as opposed to the purity of RO.

Rerverse Osmosis

5) MORTON: 5 stage RO w/booster pump for drinking $430 at Walmart

6) WATER GENERAL RO585 from filterdirect (dot) com
WATTS undersink RO is better for ease of changing filters

Utilizes specially coated set of four Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) magnets that deliver over 17,000 structure altering gauss directly into the substance being treated. The AQUATOMIC's Super-Strength Rare Earth magnets have the characteristics of extremely strong Boron resident induction and excellent demagnetization resistance capability.
The AQUATOMIC magnetic hydrating device optimizes the bio-availability of all aqueous products. This means:
● Improved bioavailability
● Optimized pH
● Increased hydration

I'm not clear on the content of conditioned water for drinking, hydration and health aside from clean pipes.

Cost effective countertop/undersink filter has the two filters (one ceramic candle , one multi media filter).
Q: What contaminates are filtered with whole house filter?
The PurHome X-1000 features 6 stages for maximum filtration to filter chlorine and chlorine by-products like THMs as well as chloramine, lead and other heavy metals, VOCs and SOCs including pesticides, herbicides, benzene, MTBE, and much more. With over 75 pounds of NSF® Certified premium water filtration media, you can be assured of crystal clear, great tasting, healthful water throughout your entire home. *not filtering floride (web link provided regarding controversy).

Which is better total purification or preserving minerals?
My best guess is that it's better to preserve minerals, although I question preserving floride.

There are all these places around town that tout "Alkaline" water as the best. My chiro, thinks these are a waste of money because the body always seeks homeostatis. So if your body runs acidic, even "alkaline" water by the truckful is not going to change your bodies alkalinity.

I am 54 and have severe spinal degeneration, I wonder if undermineralized water has played into this since I've been drinking RO water?


In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012, 6:39:57 PM PDT
Dan Edson says:
If minerals in water are vital to health, then drinking fresh rain water is bad.

Also, the water I new England is naturally soft, while water in Texas is very hard. Is it better to drink mountain water from Vermont, with few minerals, or water from Texas with many minerals?

Posted on May 22, 2012, 12:28:48 AM PDT
Are you saying that rain water does not have minerals?

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012, 5:16:41 PM PDT
Chris Twaine says:
Why can't you link it to an ice maker?
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