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Don’t Forget About the O-Ring!

First, what is an O-ring? An O-ring is a doughnut, or torus shaped seal typically used to prevent the passing of air or fluid. O-rings are used to keep fluid or air IN or OUT of a defined space. This device helps to keep the water tight or air tight integrity of a filter housing or filter application. O-rings come in a wide variety of sizes and different types of materials; Types of Material

  • Buna-N®
  • Ethylene, Propylene
  • Silicon Encapsulated with FEP, an FDA-approved material
  • Silicone (Solid)
  • Teflon® (Solid)
  • Teflon® Encapsulated with FEP
  • Viton® (Solid)

    To extend the o-ring’s effectiveness there are some things you can do: Remove and inspect the o-ring at every filter change or every time the housing is opened, as well as applying the manufacturer’s approved lubricant. The protectant/gel, usually made of silicon is inexpensive and is easy to apply. If there are signs of any wear or improper form of the o-ring, the o-ring must be replaced immediately prior to restarting the filter system.    The life of an o-ring varies based on how you take care of it and what it is made of. It is very important to your operation to make sure you have the proper o-ring for your filtration application. If you have any questions on changing out your o-rings or whether you are using the proper o-ring for your system, I invite you to submit a question below or call our team at 1-800-942-7873. Click here to ask us a question!

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How Often Do I Change My Water Filter?

One of the most common questions we hear from our customers is in regards to how frequently a water filter cartridge should be changed. Whether it’s a standard sediment or carbon filter, every customer has one key priority in mind: How Long Will I Have Dependably Clean, Great Tasting Water? In other words, how can I be sure that my filter is still reducing the impurities that can impact the flavor of my water? Our standard answer: It depends. The frequency of filter changes depends upon your water quality and your water usage. For example, if there are a lot of sediment particulates in your water, then you will have to change your filters more frequently than someone with little to no sediment. If you are a large restaurant consuming large amounts of water a minute or a hospital with large ice machines, then your usage will demand more frequent filter changes. Having said that, we suggest replacement schedules that are generally as follows: Everpure High Flow CRS Quad MC2 System The most common Everpure Filtration System, mainly seen in the back of the house of restaurants should be changed every 6 months, or every 36,000 gallons. The EC210 prefilter, to the left of the MC2 filters, should be changed more frequently to extend the life of the MC2 filters. We recommend every 3-4 months.       Insurice Triple PF i4000(2) System w/ 20″ Prefilter For water filtration on ice machines, sometimes it can be difficult knowing when to change the filters, especially if you see no difference in the ice. But even if the ice is fine, deep inside the machine inches of scale can be forming and ruining your machine. That’s why it is important to keep a filter change out schedule. We recommend every 6 months or however many gallons are specified on the water filters. For the system pictured to the left, the Insurice Triple PF i4000(2), change those filters every 36,000 gallons of use. Again, changing the prefilter will give your primary cartridges longer life. You should also replace your water filters whenever you notice a decline in performance, whether it is a drop in flow rate and/or pressure, or an unusual taste in the water. You should also, per the CDC, replace your water filter after any boil water advisory alert is lifted in your area. Remember: taste and odor may tip you off to the presence of chlorine in your water, but most contaminants are tasteless and odorless. For the benefit of our customers, we have set-up automatic electronic reminders that are sent when we see that their filters are due to be replaced, based on order history.  We can even set-up Auto-Ship for customers that know they will need water filters by a certain date, but may not remember to place an order. If you have a water filter or filter model not included in the list above, and have a question regarding how often you should replace your filter, I invite you to submit a question below or call our team at 1-800-942-7873. Click here to ask us a question!

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Water Filtration System in a Straw

LifeStraw makes previously contaminated water drinkable by removing bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, it’s the simplest technologies that have the greatest potential impact on people’s lives. Take the Vestergaard Frandsen Group’s mobile personal filtration system, otherwise known as LifeStraw. It is a powder-blue plastic tube—much thicker than an ordinary straw—containing filters that make water teeming with typhoid-,cholera- and diarrhea-causing microorganisms drinkable. Now, to be clear, we do not sell this item…yet. We just love to report what’s going on out there in the water purification world. The filters, made up of a halogenated resin, kill nearly 100 percent of bacteria and nearly 99 percent of the viruses that pass through LifeStraw. A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill evaluation tested the device’s performance in water containing Escherichia coli B and Enterococcus faecalisbacteria and the MS2 coliphage virus as well as iodine and silver. The results indicated that LifeStraw filtered out all contaminants to levels where they don’t pose a health risk to someone drinking the water.
But the device does not filter heavy metals such as iron or fluoride nor does it remove parasites like cryptosporidium or giardia, although the Switzerland-based company’s CEO, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen, says there is a version of LifeStraw available to relief groups in Bangladesh and India that can filter arsenic. At less than 10 inches (25 centimeters) long, the device can filter up to 185 gallons (700 liters) of water, estimated to be about a year’s supply for one person. The device is no longer usable when its filters become too clogged to pass water through, typically after a year of hard use.
The success of the personal filtration system led Vestergaard Frandsen to introduce earlier this month its LifeStraw Family device, an instant microbiological purifier that provides about 2.6 gallons (10 liters) of safe drinking water in an hour and about 4,000 gallons (15,000 liters) over its life span for a family of six. LifeStraw Family is designed to sieve dirt, parasites, bacteria and viruses, and will be available starting in May. Larry Greenemeier www.scientificamerican.com

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Alaska Residents Get Creative with Water Filtration

As the direct result of petroleum contamination, “North Pole,” Alaska residents have been forced to “think outside the box” when it comes to their water supply. Thanks to a combination of readily available commercial water filtration technologies, these citizens have successfully lowered the level toxic contaminants to non-detectable levels. It seems that over the past decade, sulfolane, a chemical used in the refinement of oil, had been seeping into groundwater and private water wells. While the exact cause of the contamination is yet to be determined, the most likely cause is a gasoline spill which occurred within the town limits over a decade ago. The contamination was discovered recently, and has been detected in hundreds of homes in the area, at readings between 50 ppb and 250 ppb – levels above federally recommended concentrations, but not enough to make laboratory animals sick. In response to this problem, Flint Hills Resources, the firm which in 2004 bought the refinery responsible for the spills has developed some innovating solutions. By partnering with Fairbanks-based “Ecowater Systems,” Flint Hills Resources has conceived a point-of-entry water filtration unit to address the problem. In this unit, the contaminated water is first processed by sediment filter. Secondly, it is softened using a standard ion-exchange system. Next, a hydrogen peroxide pump breaks down the sulfolane, after which point a combination mixing chamber and charcoal filter gives the drinking water a final clean. The system has so far been successfully been implemented in 5 “test homes” in the area. Flint Hills Resources, which is currently providing bottled water to affected residents hopes to implement similar water filtration systems in more than 150 homes within the next few months.

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Point of Entry Filters (POE) vs. Point of Use Filters (POU)

In many commercial applications, several water filters, including those which are dedicated to specific pieces of machinery, are needed. In these cases, individual filters, known as “point of use” (POU) water filters are located inline just before the water is dispersed or enters the machinery for which the water is intended. As POU filters are usually application specific, they can be tailored to the needs of the user, and are often used in place of a generic reverse osmosis system. This fact makes a standard POU water filter easier to maintain, but usually more expensive. Because of this, it behooves the business owner to take measures against the premature degradation of the POU water filter. The easiest way to accomplish this is to install a “point of entry” (POE) water filter. POE water filters perform water filtration for the entire commercial water service. They are responsible for purifying the water supply to all faucets, pieces of machinery, and toilets. The advantage of this approach to water filtration is first that only one system must be purchased for an entire service, and second, that it greatly improves the life of any other filters present down-line. The most popular POE filters used are either sediment prefilters, or carbon filters.

  • Sediment filters are responsible for removing sediment that can clog softeners, prematurely foul carbon filters, or ruin the down-line plumbing. In addition, they reduce TDS (total dissolved solids) or many other harmful chemicals like nitrate, nitrites, etc.
  • Carbon filters are effective for certain trouble water conditions such as bad taste or odor.

Still other POE filters are designed as an entire system. These units typically employ a four-stage filtration process. The first stage of filtration removes sediment in the water that may clog the filter, reducing its effectiveness. The second stage uses a chemical process called water atomization to alter the molecular structure of chlorine and turn it into the harmless molecule, zinc chloride. The third and fourth stages of filtration involve activated carbon filters to filter pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. By removing chlorine and other harmful chemicals at the point-of-entry, the whole service is provided with cleaner, healthier water at a reduced cost to the business owner. Pre-filters are typically much less expensive than down-line, application specific filters, making their replacement cheaper than that of the filters the POE filter is saving.