Most Common Questions and Answers
Order of Filters, Water Softener, Pressure Regulator
What Order do I put the Filters in?
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....
I have a water softener. Does it go before or after the filters
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 odor
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.
Pressure and Flow
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.
Storage, cleaning and Maintenance
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 minimum
I am a part time RV'er. How do I store my filters when not in use?
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.
Cleaning Nasty Water
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.
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.
Use this text to answer questions in as much detail as possible for your customers.
Other Common Questions
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.
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.
What are the dimensions and weights of the canisters?