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Best Showerhead Filter/Testing Potable Water

D107D107 Posts: 1,537Member
edited June 23 in Domestic Hot Water
There's some dirt in the water that comes from the street. Not usually visible from the faucet but over time it builds up a yellow-brownish coating on our white shower tile which is a real pain to remove. Instead of using a cartridge filter at the main, we're thinking of just using a showerhead filter. The brown is our number one priority but it wouldn't hurt if it also removed some of the chloride we have that builds up a white powder on the faucets and spouts. Any recommendations? We use Brita water to drink, and the 2nd floor shower is really the only place we notice the brown problem. Not looking for something too fancy...

Comments

  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,075Member
    First you should figure out what is in the water, it’s very important, possibly to your health.
    Second you should filter the incoming water supply. For starters your putting sediment into the water heater shortening it’s life. It could be shortening the life of your other faucets/fixtures too.
    steve
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,537Member
    @STEVEusaPA Attached is faucet water test from two years ago, originally done to test makeup water for hot water boiler. We've been here 20 years, haven't had a problem wearing out faucets, and we drink only Brita-filtered water. Water is moderately hard. The dirt--maybe some of it ferrous?--is known to come from the town. I'm a little reluctant to put in serious filtering at the main, due to maintenance issues.


  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,672Member
    Different test may be required for potable water, that test was specific to boiler acceptable water questions, I think.

    Your water supplier may have multiple sources, and water can change based on the time of year.

    Turbidity is sometimes called the optical clarity of water, very small micron sized particles, silt basically. It is not usually a healthy concern, more of a concern for white fixtures, and laundry :) Water departments often get high turbidity in spring time, run off into lakes, rivers and aquifers. Often after work was performed on the system piping. I think they add poly phosphates to lock up or make the turbidity less noticeable.

    Only a detailed water test, specific to the problems you are seeing, will tell you what the color is caused by and how to eliminate it. It could be iron, or discoloring from a failing galvanized water lateral.

    Beware, the more you want to know about your water, the more expensive the tests. Some testing needs to be performed right at the source of the water.

    Possibly a properly sized micron filter cartridge. Keep in mind that small filters need more frequent changing, better to eliminate the problem upstream as far as possible.

    I think a small filter at the shower may require weekly changeout, just not enough capacity.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,537Member
    edited June 23
    @hot_rod @STEVEusaPA FYI here is the town annual water quality report. Of course our house conditions could vastly differ but gives some idea.


  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,672Member
    Again, that report is specific to bacteria control, providing healthy water. Really nothing tested for in that report specific to discolored water.

    If you contact a local, reputable water treatment company and discuss your concern, they will know what test to perform and what solutions to offer.

    What do the inside of the toilet tanks look like? If the toilet tanks are brown or redish colored that is often an iron issue, fairly easily handled, depending on levels.
    Does the water have any smell to it? With high iron levels, often the water smells "rusty"

    How's the neighbors water, if theirs is fine, it could be an issue with your piping, that old galvanized piping in the ground?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • mamarioomamarioo Posts: 1Member

    before you buy the best showerhead filter, first you should figure out what is in the water, it’s very important, possibly to your health.
    Second you should filter the incoming water supply. For starters your putting sediment into the water heater shortening it’s life. It could be shortening the life of your other faucets/fixtures too.

    Yes, determining the main substance in hard water is the first thing you need to do. Secondly, depending on the main substance, you can choose the corresponding water softener or filter the shower head. This is good for your skin and hair.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,657Member
    Honestly I know of no filter which can go on a showerhead and do much good. As others have said, if you need a filter, it's best to get the water professionally tested and the filter -- or filters -- chosen based on those tests (it may take more than one stage of filtration).

    As to chloride. There is no filter that can remove the chloride ion. Your only realistic choice on that is reverse osmosis. There are filters, however, based on activated carbon, which remove chlorine compounds You should be aware, though, that they take a lot of maintenance (weekly changeout) to be safe -- otherwise they become breeding and growth media for an amazing array of nasty bugs.
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • D107D107 Posts: 1,537Member
    Well we now have our new copper water main. The old galvanized was in pretty good shape considering its 95 years. I'd say based on the short piece they salvaged for us it was only about 1/3 closed off and gave us plenty of pressure. Pressure is even better now but we keep it 45-50.

    I did another makeup water test and unfortunately looks like the hardness has increased a bit --including the chlorides--in the last two years. As hotrod said, it's not quite the type of water test I need for potable water but a good general indicator.

    The good thing is that it looks like there will less rust and brown coming from the new 50 ft water main--less accumulating in the toilet tanks and on the white shower tiles--and less for our Brita filters to work on.

    The plumber also found while attaching the new house main that the attachment to the copper city line was loose--by a full turn, so good to get that fixed. He was surprised it hadn't come loose since the new street main was installed 15 years ago. He theorized that they didn't want to fully tighten it due to the possibly fragile galvanized main.

    Aside from the probably not-so-beneficial effects to our hair and skin we don't really have a big issue with the water. And it seems filtering can get complicated and expensive. We would have to knock out some sheetrock to free up space for any decent filtering system. Plus reverse osmosis....Definitely don't want something with weekly maintenance--although I do recall living in the city having to blow down the steam boiler LWCO every week....
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 10,657Member
    Just a comment -- but hardness (Calcium and Magnesium positive ions) and Chloride (negative chlorine ion) are not the same thing at all. Don't confuse them...
    Jamie



    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.



    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,672Member
    you would not typically use RO for the entire house It is a device that needs membrane and filter replacements It also takes 2-3 gallons of waste water to produce 1 filtered gallon Its usually applied just for drinking water
    Personally RO water is not ideal for drinking when all the good minerals are stripped out
    You want to identify what if anything is harmful in your water and treat accordingly
    Taste, odor, rust, turbidity, are easily filtered Bacteria, heavy metals, kryptonite, etc needs more professionally advised equipment 🥛
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
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