Do I really need a drinking water filter?

piddlerdad3November 24, 2006

My wife has purchased a Culligans Under-sink filter system and asked me (dumb husband) to install. Okay. So why are we doing this?

I'm the "why" and "research" person - and I guess if i was a good DH I'd have already put the thing in. I've been gathering from reading for an hour on these posts that people want drinking water filtered for several reasons, but I'm not sure why i need my water filtered. I live in Mesquite, TX - a place where my water is filtered / treated already. From reading my City website I found out that several neighboring cities as well as mine have our water treated by the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). It is drawn at this time from Lake Lavon which serves a large part of North Texas, along with several other lakes around here. NTMWD already does alot to make sure we don't get sick from drinking water, so I guess i need more proof that i need to do something at all on my end, since I'm already paying for water treatment through my city.

And I really don't want someone telling me I need a water filter when I really don't. Our city water tastes great to me - at least in the house we live in right now (built in 1989).

I just pulled my water analysis report, but I don't know what's good and bad in this thing. To see my report, you can go to the following web address in case the link at bottom of this post doesn't work:

Can someone tell me if i really need to install this filter system? I don't mind doing it at all, but I like to have a good reason for doing things that take time and effort running around trying to figure out how to tap a plastic line into a copper one. I've looked at my parts provided and I don't see anything here that excites me about hooking in a plastic (poly....) line into a copper supply line. I see flooding potential here.

Many thanks! dennis

Here is a link that might be useful: North Texas Drinking Water Analysis

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Most people buy and are happy with simple water filters because they just don't like the way their water tastes.

I've found that women often have more discerning palettes than men so listen to Mama and put that filter in. You may not taste the difference but that doesn't mean that she can't.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 4:18PM
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Certainly there's a lot of hype about water filters, but I heard it put one way that's difficult to argue with - would you prefer to use your kidneys as filters? Certainly that's what they're there for, but the more pure the water, the less crud they have to deal with. I have heard of people developing kidney stones in some circumstances, we are supposed to drink a lot of water to remain there you go.

Removal of chlorine is another argument, there's arguments all round as to whether it's good for you or not, thing is, once the chlorine reaches your house, it's done its job. Another point to consider is - the water may be filtered and treated at the plant, but by the time it's gotten all the way to your house, it may not be that clean, what with possible backflow from other consumers, old, dirty pipes etc.

Providing you don't have hot water backflow/expansion issues (shouldn't be an issue for you unless you have a pressure regulator and/or backflow/check valves in your system, using the poly shouldn't be an issue, but you may be able to use copper - read the install instructions again - and/or put a ball valve in that line - as part of a T from the copper, I've seen them - and ball valves can be used to reduce flow and take some of the stress off.

This isn't usually an issue, though. Once you try the filtered water, you'll wonder why you ever drank tap water, and it's certainly a lot more environmentally friendly than bottled water, think of all the wasted fuel/energy that goes into procuring, bottling and transporting the stuff.

I have a whole-house water filter ready to install in my house, I too have not gotten round to it but I need to put an expansion tank in and some other plumbing housework before I do it, where I live (Kamloops BC) we have a very new high tech (it might be reverse osmosis) city water treatment system, it went from 'turbidity index' warnings in spring (we draw from the Thompson river which is fed by spring melts etc) to water that's very very good....but again it's the city water lines - after taking a shower while the water guys were flushing fire hydrants, and the resultant cleanup of myself and shower necessitated, I decided a whole-house filter's a good idea. Since I use a Brita filter jug in the kitchen - when we redo kitchen I might put in a kitchen filter - I'm just going to use particulate filters, the cheapest ones, on the whole-house system, but I do have the option of activated charcoal if I want to eliminate the chlorine odour etc.

Seeing as you already have the thing, I say just install it - make DW happy :)

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 2:00PM
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Hey guys,
Thanks for the feedback, I took both your advice and the filter is installed. Wife is happy. It went pretty well and I got to buy one of those all-in-one drill bits that goes up to 1 inch as an added bonus for me. The filtered water is not any different to me, but then again I eat Jalapeno's and Banana peppers fairly regularly, so any water tastes great to me. My kids say my taste buds died long ago .. they're probly right.

The copper to poly worked ok. I used copper line from the cold supply line to the inlet side of the filter, and the previous owners were kind enough to leave a valve under the sink for me, so i tapped into that - copper valve with a tee handle on it - real small. works fine - no leaks. out of the filter i used the poly tube into the faucet Culligan supplied. works great. i'm impressed so far. easy to install and change out the filter.

thanks for the wisdom.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 8:30PM
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What you need to analyze are the possible 2,000 plus chemicals in your water that your municipal water supply does NOT check for. Like solvents, trihalomethanes, and volatile organic chemicals. These are the tasteless, oderless culprits that can be harmful.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 1:11PM
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You don't have or need to. What you don't see doesn't mean can't affect you. There are thousands of chemicals in tap water that comes out of your faucet. I purchased the ISO-RO5 from from isopure water which wasn't too expensive but works perfectly fine. Water tastes better and my dish water no longer had the white residue after the washes. hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 6:57PM
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I would feel a whole lot more comfortable if the ultrafiltration membrane were NSF tested AND approved. Other than that, it is just hype and marketing. The marketing isn't accurate in filter range capacities for an ultrafiltration memebrane.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:46AM
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You need to be careful with UF and ensure you know exactly what you are trying to remove from your water. Unlike RO, UF will not remove much of most dissolved minerals, including lead. It also, will not remove chlorine or small organic molecules. Basically, if you really don't need to have your water filtered, but like the idea of having a filter, go ahead and install UF. It won't do any harm, but won't do much good either. The carbon filter in front of the UF will removed some of the things the UF will not, but it would be cheaper to install a stand-alone carbon filter.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Talk about hype,,,about 8 miles from where I am sitting the city built a bottling plant and they bottle city tap water with no additional filtering under 15 different brand names and its shipped all over the USA...LOL

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:05PM
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Our well has visible sediment and the water is dingy, unfiltered. So I have two large filter canisters in series, 1" piping. The first has a 50 micron element and the second has a 5 micron element. My idea, whether it is correct or not, is that the first filter will catch some of the sediment and thus prolong the life of the second element, increasing the time between filter changes. The cartridge manufacturers specify a replacement schedule-- but they have a vested interest in selling lots of cartridges!
The first filter also supplies the outside faucets so that the coarser sediment does not clog nozzles and sprinklers.
Water for the clothes washer and for other in-house uses also goes through the 5 micron filter.
So I replace mine when the drop in pressure becomes too great. And that has proved to be about every 10-12 months.
I see no reason to change that plan.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Filters should be changed every six months to avoid bacterial contamination and filter leakage, particularly when dealing with well water. Sometimes replacement schedules are specified for good reason.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 10:17AM
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Even though your water is treated you will still need a water filter to remove contaminants that the city failed to remove.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 12:24PM
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One problem with purified water is that the purification system removes the residual disinfectant. That means you can get a lot of microbial growth downstream of the filters. If not sanitized regularly and designed well, they can get pretty disgusting looking. If they are disgusting-looking, they can probably be bad for people that may be more vulnerable due to medical problems.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 7:50PM
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As a nerd about good drinking water, I would wholeheartedly say: Yes, you NEED a water filter. Some good points have been made by others (above), such as that you don't know what happens in the delivery lines that brings you water from the treatment facility, sometimes for miles. Then, there are tens of thousands contaminants swimming around in source water, whereas the EPA has identified and set limits for only 97 of them.
A good water filter should filter water down to at least 1/2 micron and thus catch an infinite amount of pollutants many of which are carcinogenic but not covered by the EPA.

The bottom line is that the most delicate water filtration takes place at the kitchen tap.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 2:36PM
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