Most Common "ASK DAVE" Questions and Answers
Order of Filters, Water Softener, Pressure Regulator
Pressure and Flow
Storage, cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning Nasty Water
Other Common Questions
The proper order for filters is to put the Sediment filter first. This protects the more expensive filters downstream from sediment. Next would go the Carbon or Combination filter for taste and odor, followed by any specialty cartridges for iron, arsenic, nitrites, etc. If you are not in an area where these contaminants exist, leave the third canister empty for better flow.
Filter order for popular systems....
Essential System - RV-SED1, F1PB
Essential System Plus Iron - RV-SED1, F1, Metal Trap
Essential System + Anti Scale- RV-SED1, F1PB, RV-PH
South of the Border- PR-1BB, Doulton RIO, KDF/GAC BB
Jumbo Essential System - PR-1BB, F1BB
Jumbo Essential Plus Iron- PR1BB, F1BB, Metal Trap
There are several ways to purify your water of bacteria, cysts and viruses. Mechanically, you can remove bacteria and cysts with a reverse osmosis system or with a ceramic filter. You can purify the water in your tank by using an EPA approved additive like Purogene. At 5 PPM, this additive is odorless, tastless and stays resident in your tank for months if necesssary. UV light will sanitize the water by passing the water through a tube with the light in the tube. I don't recommend this solution for RV'ers, as the light uses power and generates heat, and is also breakable.Return to top
Our hoses are made from two layer PVC material that withstands 200 PSI of water pressure. It also will not kink, bend or bulge, and they are guaranteed not to fail unless cut or punctured. The fittings are heavy duty, lead free brass fittings from Dixon, and the Stainless Steel fittings are machined. You won't ever need another hose if you get one of these.Return to top
Hard water is caused by totally dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. It limits the ability of the water to generate suds and leaves spots on the shower and countertops. The worst of it is that it can clog your pipes and showerhead over time and damage your RV. To remove it you can either use a Water Softener like the On the Go Double Standard, or you can use a Reverse osmosis system to remove the dissolved minerals. Carbon and sediment filters do not soften water or remove dissolved minerals.Return to top
TDS stands for "Totally Dissolved Solids". A mechanical filter with a micron rating even as low as 0.2 microns will not reduce TDS as the minerals are dissolved in the water completely. To lower TDS, you need a Deionizer or a Reverse Osmosis system OR have a resin filter that removes specific minerals. A water softener does not reduce TDS appreciably either, because it replaces the calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions, keeping the total dissolved solids roughly the same.Return to top
A sulfur smell can be caused by iron or sulfur in the water, or by something in your plumbing that is causing the smell. If you can detect the smell in the source water as well as the water coming out of your tap, then your camper isn't causing the smell. If the source water is the cause, then we have the systems to clean it, as discussed in the next paragraph. If you suspect that your plumbing is fouled, you should sanitize it using chlorine bleach or Purogene The Essential System Plus Iron has been very effective in removing dissolved iron and hydrogen sulfide, which cause sulfur smell from water. The carbon filter included in this system is 0.5 micron to remove cysts and sediment down to 0.5 microns. For better flow, solving bigger water problems and longer life, the Jumbo Essential Plus Iron may be a better choice. The metal removal filters included in these systems are effective at removing dissolved iron from the water, which is often the cause of the problem.Return to top
My pressure and flow are very low when I install the filters - Why?
The static pressure in your system is set by either the pressure at the source (spigot) or the pressure regulator, whichever is smaller. The flowing pressure is set by the overall ability of the plumbing system to supply the volume of water required, and by the number of restrictions along the way, including both inside and outside the RV. A reduction of pressure while flowing is expected, usually about 30% less than the static pressure.
If you have an adjustable regulator, I recommend to set it to 60 PSI. The lower the starting pressure, the bigger the drop in flowing pressure when going through the filters. You can increase flow and pressure by reducing the level of filtration. Going from a 0.5 micron carbon filter to a 5 micron or a GAC (granulated) carbon filter will reduce the restriction. The downside of that is that you lose filtration for cysts (giardia and cryptosporidium) and let more sediment through.
Another way to improve flow and keep the same level of filtration is to go to the Jumbo filters. They have better flow than the standard, they last twice as long and they have more material for tough filtration problems.
If none of these options are attractive, you can do what I do when the pressure is too low. You fill your fresh water tank with your filtered water, then use it from the tank with your on board pump.
Balancing the level of filtration to an acceptable level of flow for showering etc is an ongoing challenge. With the Essential system, you are removing a lot of stuff out of the water that can be harmful to you or your RV, while still maintaining a reasonable flow in most cases. Increasing the pressure coming in, reducing the filtration, reducing the resistance (larger filters) or using your fresh water tank are the ways to balance the flow with the filtration.
Technically, the water softener can go either before or after the filters as long as it is put before the water enters the RV. I prefer to filter the water first before the water softener to keep the resin clean of sediment, taste and odorReturn to top
Typically regulators are put on the spigot before the hose. This will limit pressure in the hose and the filter system as well as the RV plumbing. If the regulator is to be left outside in the weather and elements, Stainless steel screws and oil filled gauges are recommended to prevent rust.Return to top
Storage of Ceramic, SED and F-Series filters is very easy. They are not prone to stagnation, so they can be stored wet or dry, but should be in a dark, clean place when not in use. I empty the water out of the canisters and put the wet filters back in till next use. CDB-KDF filters should be stored submerged in water. The best way to store RO membranes is to put in a baggie in the refrigerator. This can be done either by putting the whole assembly in the refrigerator or by removing the membranes from the housing and putting them in a baggie. Do not allow the filters to freeze, especially Carbon block and sediment filters.Return to top
Why does my water looks gray after I change my filter?
This is a common occurrence after changing a carbon filter, and is caused by fine carbon dust being flushed out of the cartridge. It will be gone after you run a few gallons of water through the unit.
There are two primary indicators that will alert you to replace a filter cartridge. The first indicator is a reduction in flow rate, which is caused by a filter getting plugged with sediment. The second indicator is a little less obvious and involves your taste-and-odor filter. If you notice that the taste and/or odor of your water is not as clean as it used to be, it is very likely that your carbon filter is losing its effectiveness and needs to be replaced. This, of course, assumes that you have a carbon filter. As a rule, you should change standard 10"x2.5" filters at least once a year and jumbo filters once every 2 years at a minimumReturn to top
Why does my filter never seems to need replacing?
Well, either you are receiving extremely clean water, or your filtration system is not working properly. Make sure that you have a cartridge or cartridges in your filter canisters and that your water is flowing through them. If everything checks out, you must be getting very clean water.Return to top
Why should I filter all the water going into my RV, including the water for the toilet?
Many plumbing fixtures, both in homes and RVs, have small orifices and moving parts that come in contact with the water. Sediment and sand can wreak havoc in these fixtures, and removing the sediment is often much cheaper than repairing a plugged or damaged fixture. RV parks can have a real load of sand and sediment in the water.Return to top
Why would I need a double-canister filter setup?
There are two primary tasks that you'll want your filtration system to perform: remove sediment and improve the taste and odor of the water. While it is possible to do both with one filter, you'll get better performance if you utilize separate filters for each of these tasks. For more information, see our Learning Center: Water Filtration page.Return to top
Do filter canisters need to be upright to work properly?
No, they can be mounted in any position you want. However, cartridges containing granular carbon may have a problem if not upright. Granular carbon is subject to "channeling", in which the water forms small channels that enable it to bypass the carbon. This condition seems to occur more when these cartridges are not upright.Return to top
Why can't I have a clear canister as one of my two in a dual-canister system?
You can, of course, and we sell them that way. However, if you are planning to set up your canisters outside your RV where a lot of light will be available, we don't recommend you use a clear canister. The reason for this is that the light will promote algae growth, which will prematurely plug up your filter. If you want to include a clear canister, you should place it somewhere that is protected from light such as a bay or under the sink.Return to top
I have a red button on the top of my filter canister. What is it for?
The red button enables you to relieve the pressure in your water system when you change your cartridge. It also allows air to enter the system, which helps you remove the sump. (Be sure to turn off the water before changing cartridges!)Return to top
I received two sediment cartridges with my dual-canister system. Should I use them both at once?
No, we provide a spare sediment cartridge with our system packages. You should use one sediment cartridge and one one carbon cartridge in your dual-canister system. The carbon cartridge should last twice as long as the sediment cartridge, so you'll use two sediment cartridges for each carbon cartridge.Return to top
On a pressure regulator with a gauge, which pressure does the gauge read?
The pressure regulators we sell that have a gauge are adjustable. The gauge shows the regulated pressure, which is the pressure you'll get in your RV. The gauge enables you to set the exact pressure you want.
What are the dimensions and weights of the canisters?
|Single No Fittings||12"||4.5"||4.5"||5lb|
|Single w/fittings and
|Dual w/fittings and
|Triple w/fittings and
|Leave 2" below mounted Canister for removal of Sump|
|Single No Fittings||14"||7.5"||7.5"||10lb|
|Single w/fittings and
|Dual w/fittings and
|Triple w/fittings and
|Leave 3" below mounted Canister for removal of Sump|