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Installing Filters

  1. Backwash/Whole House Filter Questions & Answers

    Backwash/Whole House Filter Questions & Answers

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  2. How do I boost pressure in a reverse osmosis system?

    What is the perfect water pressure for my RO?

    Most revers osmosis membranes are designed to work with 60 PSI or higher water pressure, where they are tested to yield a stable rejection rate of at least 97.5%. If the water pressure feeding an RO system is less than that, the system will produce less water and at a lower quality. Additionally, production is reduced whenever the water temperature is below 77 °F.

    What if I connect my ice maker?

    RO water will produce cleaner ice cubes because of the purity of frozen water. So, connecting your RO to the ice maker makes a lot of sense. However, new ice makers require 30-40 PSI incoming water pressure to function properly. You may not have enough pressure at the pressurized water tank since your RO cuts the line pressure by 30-35%.

    How can I increase water pressure?

    We will discuss several ways to boost the pressure coming out from your cold-water line to run the RO.

    Permeate pump

    Permeate pumps use the energy of drain water flow from reverse osmosis system as leverage to push the purified water into the holding tank. Aquatec, the manufacturer of ERP-1000 permeate pump states that these pumps dramatically improve the efficiency of reverse osmosis water (RO) production, reducing wastewater by up to 80%. Permeate pumps can easily be retrofitted to upgrade existing RO systems.

     WECO Permeate Pump Installation Diagram

    Electric booster pump design 1

    An electric booster pump such as Aquatec CDP-6800 can very efficienty boost the line pressure up to 80 PSI. This simple low-cost setup is the most commonly used design in residential reverse osmosis industry. A differential pressure controlled automatic shut off device (ASO valve) and a high-pressure switch controlls the pump and water flow into the membrane. When the tank pressure gets up to 60% of the incoming pressure the valve internally closes off the inlet. This will build up pressure on the high-pressure switch.

    ELCON-56 kit includes the ASO valve, pump, transformer and a high-pressure switch.

     WECO Booster Pump Installation Diagram 1

    Electric booster pump design 2

    Most commercial reverse osmosis systems and high-end residential ro systems use the following design. Booster pump here is controlled by two pressure switches. A low-pressure switch at the inlet (activated or conducting current around 5 PSI) makes sure the pump will not run dry. A high-pressure switch (deactivated at 40, 60 or 80 PSI) cuts off power to the pump when the pressurized water storage tank has reached the capacity. A solenoid valve stops water supply to the membrane when the pump is off, preventing water running down the drain continuously. Wiring and plumbing diagrams below.

    ELCON-24 kit includes the solenoid, pump, transformer and high/low pressure switches.

    WECO Booster Pump Installation Diagram 2

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  3. How to Install a Water Softener

    Water Softener Instalation

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  4. Big Blue Sediment Filter Installation

    Sediment in your water supply will reduce water flow by clogging faucet aerators and water filters. Rust, sand and grit damages dishwashers, washing machines, coffee makers and toilet fill mechanisms. A sediment filter captures abrasive sediment before it damages appliances and clogs plumbing. A whole-house sediment filter protects every faucet and water outlet in the home.

    1. Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the sediment filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices. 
    2. Select a near the incoming water source. Ideally the filter can be located where it is easy to access during cartridge changes. Be sure to leave about four inches of clearance below the filter so the housing can be removed. 
    3. Turn off the main water supply. 
    4. Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box. 
    5. Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water. 
    6. Since filters are installed to many different water line sizes, adapters and threaded fittings may be needed to adapt to your pipe size. These are available from a hardware or plumbing supply store. 
    7. Use a tubing cutter to remove a section of copper pipe, allowing room for the filter to be installed between a gap between the pipes. 
    8. Using the proper fittings, connect the filter to the pipes. It is helpful to remove the filter housing while attaching the fittings. 
    9. Replace the filter and housing then turn on the main water supply. 
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  5. Installing a Backwashing Arsenic Filter

    Installing a Backwashing Arsenic Filter

    Arsenic

    Arsenic (As) is a part of the earth’s crust, occurring naturally in soil and rock. Arsenic can dissolve into groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for many Americans. Some industries in the United States release thousands of pounds of arsenic into the environment each year. Airborne arsenic is washed from the air by rain, snow, and gradual settling. Once it is on the ground or in surface water, arsenic can slowly leach into ground water. High arsenic levels in private wells may also come from certain arsenic containing pesticides used in the past or from old industrial waste dumps. Arsenic remains in the environment for a long time. Until January 2004, arsenic-based wood preservatives were used to treat some wooden foundations, decks, and children’s play structures.

    How can I tell if my well contains arsenic?

    Even in high concentrations, arsenic has no smell, taste, or color when dissolved in water. The only way to know is with a laboratory analysis of your water supply. Each state’s Department of Health has a list of certified water analysis laboratories that are approved for testing arsenic. Inexpensive test at home kits are also available and have been proven to be accurate and dependable.

    Are there any regulations for arsenic in water?

    Municipal water supplies must test for arsenic. The current drinking water standard or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is 0.010 mg/L or parts per million (ppm). This is equivalent to 10 ug/L (micrograms per liter) or 10 ppb. In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reduced the regulatory MCL from 50 ppb to 10 ppb on the basis of bladder and lung cancer risks. The MCL is based on the average individual consuming 2 liters of water per day. Long term exposure to drinking water containing higher levels of arsenic increases the chances of getting cancer.

    What are the health concerns from drinking contaminated water?

    Arsenic ingestion has both long-term and acute (short-term) health effects. The acute effects are nausea, vomiting, cardiovascular troubles and neurological issues like numbness or burning sensations in the hands and feet. A decrease in the production of red and white blood cells leads to fatigue. Long-term ingestion can cause changes in skin coloration and small corn-like growths that can develop especially on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. Chronic exposure to arsenic contaminated water has also been associated with an increase in lung, skin, and bladder cancer. Newer evidence suggests that long-term exposure to arsenic increases the risk of prostate cancer. The health risks are determined by these factors:

    • The concentration of arsenic in the water
    • The amount of water consumed each day
    • Sensitivity to arsenic

    Source: Human Rights Watch

    What type of water filter do I need to remove arsenic?

    One of the best ways to remove arsenic from your drinking water supply is with a whole-house backwashing filter. A whole-house arsenic filter contains a special filter media designed to remove arsenic from well and municipal water supplies. The backwashing filter is connected to the main incoming water supply, so that every sink, shower and water-using appliance receives purified water. The filter will periodically backwash to remove captured particulate matter and keep the filter working efficiently.

    Recommended Backwashing Filter Setup

     

    1. Read the installation instructions that came with the filter. It will give you an idea of what you’ll need to connect the backwashing filter to the main water supply. Installation is a DIY project but a plumber is recommended if you are unfamiliar with plumbing practices. 
    2. Select the right location. Ideally, you’ll be able to locate the filter near the incoming water source. Note that the backwashing action of the filter requires a drain line. The drain should not be more than 30 feet away from the filter. The drain line will not work properly if elevated more than 8 feet above the floor. The filter’s monitoring and backwashing controller requires a 110- volt outlet to power the 12-volt transformer. 
    3. Turn off the main water supply. 
    4. Turn off power to the water heater at the breaker box. 
    5. Relieve the water pressure by draining water from the plumbing system. Open sink valves and outdoor hose connections to empty the pipes of water. 
    6. Measure, cut and install copper pipe to join the incoming cold-water line to the by-pass valve (optional). You’ll need to solder the correct fittings to the copper lines to route the incoming water line to the bypass valve. If no by-pass valve is used, connect directly to the filter controller. 
    7. Attach the bypass valve to the controller on top of the backwashing filter. 
    8. Install the drain line according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
    9. Turn on the main water supply then turn on the water heater. 
    10. Put the bypass valve in the service position so water will flow into the filter. 
    11. Plug in the digital controller’s power supply. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the digital controller. 
    12. Run the filter through a backwash cycle to flush the system of any filter media fines. 
    13. Check for leaks and tighten fittings if necessary.

    Backwashing Filter Installation

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