URGENT: What water filter for steam oven?

eleenaApril 20, 2012

Ok, wise and knowledgeable folks on this forum advised not to use RO or distilled water for a steam oven.

However, everyone seems to be in agreement that filtered water may be beter than unfiltered.

What kind of filter should I use then?

(Urgent b/c i am about to buy such an oven.)


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Usual reason for no distilled or RO water for devices (ovens, irons, coffee-makers, etc.) is that the devices have sensors that depend on some level of conductivity to operate correctly. Distilled water doesn't conduct. Low-TDS RO water doesn't either. Don't know if that's your situation, but suspect so.

As an example, I have a Cuisinart coffee maker that won't work with my 2ppm TDS RO water. I've learned that it's threshold for OK operation is about 10ppm TDS. I solve the problem by adding a shot-glass full of my 200ppm TDS tap-water to the reservoir. Bottled "drinking water" is typically about 20-40ppm TDS and works fine also. That's what Rowenta recommends for their irons, too.

Suspect your task will be to get sufficient TDS for the unit to work properly but still low enough to avoid deposits.

Suggest calling mfgr. to ask about this.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:27PM
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"TDS" means Total Dissolved Solids....usually measured in "ppm" which is Parts Per Million....measured via a pen-like dipping device that costs about 20 bucks. Distilled water is zero-ppm TDS. RO water varies but typically below 20ppm. My two RO locations product 2ppm and 8ppm. Every location is different.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 1:31PM
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Sophie Wheeler

What type of water filter you will need will depend on what's in your water that needs filtering. What does your water report say? And, if you need treated water, you need whole house treatment/filtration. RO is typically only used as an "after" to the whole house treatment to remove the sodium or potassium content from the softened water for cooking or drinking only.

In other words, you are approaching the issue piecemeal rather than as the integrated problem that it is.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Thank you!


I don't think we need a full-house filtration. I called our Water depratment a long time ago and they said our water wasn't hard or soft but "just right" and drinkable.

But why do people filter water for cooking? I thought it was to remove/minimize chlorine and whatever else may be harmful, no?

I have to admit I am very illiterate when it comes to filtration.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:07AM
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I personally wouldn't be worried about chlorine in the steam oven. I don't worry about it in my drinking water either. I probably absorb a lot more chlorine by breathing the mist while in the shower than from any other source.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:24PM
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"......"just right" and drinkable."

This is what's called "non-information"...somewhat typical from water companies.

I remember in AZ when the the Central Arizona Project water hit, (CO river water conveyed via man-made open trench from the river to Phoenix and Tucson) they had to up the chlorine level then added chloramine then zinc orthophosphate to keep ahead of the problems being caused. All the while, they were publicly saying they met all federal standards and it was perfectly safe to drink.....which was technically true. Problem was people's pipes and water heaters were blowing out and the stuff tasted terrible. My household particulate filter that I used to change once a year was clogging up in weeks notwithstanding the info coming from the local water dept.

Long winded way of saying that, IMHO, household water quality is important. You should know what's in it and you should do what you can to have what pleases you.

If it just tastes bad, that's easy to fix with and in-line activated carbon filter -- widely available -- that removes sediment and chlorine. If it's too hard, that's easy too but costs more.

As far as not being "hard or soft but just right".....that's meaningless. "Soft" is zero grains hard. Anything above zero grains is some degree of "hard". My personal opinion is that 3 - 4 grains isn't worth softening. Above that, I would. Other people have different opinions. Where I live, city supply varies from 7-12 grains and I have a softener.

This steam oven you're buying.....does it have pressurized hard-piped water supply or do you just add water to a reservoir?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:30PM
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The oven is plumbed, no reservoir. That is what I wanted - unless there some counter-indications, so to speak.

Sorry, I probably mis-quoted the Water Dept. lady. She just couldn't remember the exact hardness number when I called to ask if I needed a water softener but said it was right in the middle between "hard" and "soft" and that I did not need a softener for whatever I was going to use it (cannot remember what that was). I'll check the water report when I get home tonight, it is my own fault I haven't done it.

IME, our water isn't "hard" compared to some areas where the toilets get horrible water rings very quickly and is not "soft" either, meaning it does not take forever to rinse soap off. LOL. It does not taste bad either.

So, I take it that a carbon in-line filter wouldn't hurt the oven, right?

"I probably absorb a lot more chlorine by breathing the mist while in the shower than from any other source"

I know! That is why I am going to get shower filters, whenever I get to it. :-)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Activated carbon filter won't hurt your oven.

If you're not seeing toilet rings and deposits on shower and faucet heads, I wouldn't get excited. If taste isn't an issue, all you're left with is the chlorine issue and, depending on your level of it, that may not be an issue either. If it is, activated carbon/particulate filters are relatively cheap/easy. Just be sure you get large enough to allow full-flow.

Where I live, I have softeners and RO units.....because I NEED them. If you don't, why spend the money?

If you're concerned about the whole house, there are activated carbon units designed to take care of everything upstream at full flow, too. Suggest getting what you need and avoiding what you don't.....as opposed to getting as confused as many vendors will want to make you. A little study will raise your confidence level waaaay up about that.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 8:06PM
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asolo - would you be willing to help me offline? I'm told we have hard water and need a softener, but i'm also told in our town, filtration is a wonderful upgrade. i have all new appliances and fixtures going in and was thinking that both would be good.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 12:00AM
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