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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cleaner water Is healthier. How to choosing A water filter

My Galley
    Let's face it, bottled water is expensive! The average one liter bottle of water is around a dollar. Figure around four liters to a gallon and you're paying more for water than for gas/diesel (at least most of the time!)

My RV has a 42 gallon fresh water tank that I should be using for drinking water, but I don't. It's a 1991 so I really have no idea what's been in it all along. I could (and did) sanitize it with diluted bleach solution and flushed the tank . . . but that's still not enough! Look, I know NASA uses recycled urine in their water supply, but I don't have the necessary machinery nor the space. What now? How about a high quality drinking water filtration system in addition to the one I use when filling my fresh water tank? Let's look at that.

Typical Filter
One of the least expensive filters, available almost everywhere including Walmart and Amazon.com is made by Camco and does a decent job of filtering incoming water from your hose. Whether that's at home or on the road. According to the literature it filters out almost everything. Sediment, Chlorine, Odors, and even Metals. but doesn't work on Cryptosporidia and Giardia. There is a relatively inexpensive filter that will work on those, but it doesn't flow enough to fill a reasonably sized fresh water tank fast enough. This one can be used under the sink and either plumbed in to your faucet directly, or better yet, plumbed into its' own smaller secondary drinking water spigot. That's the direction I am leaning toward. I have some room under my sink(!) and the install should be pretty straightforward.

Typical Kit
The idea is to tap into the pipe that feeds water to the kitchen sink. You could place it anywhere you have access to a fresh water pipe, but the kitchen sink seems the most convenient to me. Think cooking and drinking... To properly filter out the the bad stuff a 1 Micron or smaller filter element must be used. Since we will be filtering the water as the fresh water tank is filled with a larger (>1 micron) filter most of the sediment and other impurities will already have been removed so this filter should last quite a long time.

Most kits will come with some kind of a valve with a tap for the fresh water line. Some of them include self tapping connectors. These do work, but be careful as vibration from the road may cause them to loosen and ultimately leak. If you've ever installed a self tapping home refrigerator ice maker line you'll understand why these are "iffy."

Sinks, Facuet and Sprayer 
The faucet/spigot assembly is quite small and you can either drill a hole for it to be installed into or do what I am doing and switch to a sprayer/faucet. This is the kind that you pull the faucet out and it becomes the sprayer. Some RVs already have these installed. When mine is converted I will have no need for the existing separate sprayer, so I can re-use that hole to install the new filtered fresh water faucet/spigot. I figure that it will be most useful to have it positioned near where I cook so it would be easy to use.

Being mildly paranoid regarding your water supply is a GOOD thing. Even after installation of this kit I'm still wary....

All in all this is an easy modification/upgrade to get done, and not all that expensive. The parts are easily sourced online or at your local Big Box Home Stores. Try it, you'll like it!

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com





13 comments:

  1. You said it filters out metals, what about arsenic? Our water here in southern AZ tastes good, but we understand there are traces of arsenic from previous copper mining operations. The arsenic content is supposedly monitored, but almost everyone here gets RO water for drinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SKP,
      Yes, you can get a filter that will remove arsenic. Check the label before using it! They are usually in the .2 to .5 micron range and ceramic. Check for yourself before trusting any product!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. We have an 02 40 ft pusher, 100 gallon water tank. Outside filters include a sand filter and a less then 1 micron charcoal filter. I installed a separate water spigot because the coach already had a filter under the sink. That being said we NEVER use it. It's a pain to use in that it drips from the faucet whenever we did use it. We drink from the standard faucet. Live in Mexico for 4 months of the year, have our own water delivered to an in ground tank, then pumped into the coach. The in ground tank is 1100 gallons. It gets a cup of bleach at each fill up. Have never had a "water" problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walt,
      As with everything YMMV. Your water may be fine, taste fine and look fine...it may even BE fine. Other folks who drive from place to place may not be so lucky.

      Never hurts to be a bit safer.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. I don't get it. "Sediment, chlorine, odors, and even metals" may sound unpleasant, but they won't hurt you in the quantities found in drinking water. Cryptosporidia and Giardia, on the other hand, will make you very sick, and are quite common. Why should I lay out good money for this filter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Pay good money for WHAT filter? If you read the article it simply states that I have 1 filter for incoming water to the tank and another (smaller micron filter) under the sink for drinking and cooking water.

      No one ever said you HAVE to buy or install anything on your RVs water supply.

      I've always felt, "better safe than sorry." Especially if the cost is low!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  4. I would much prefer to filter water rather than pay out hard earned cash for it. Besides, I know most grocery stores have these machines for refilling bottles. I wonder how often these machines are cleaned. I had some in an office and when I checked them one time they were completely unsanitary. I have a small item for checking water quality and much bottled water is worse than tap water in some places.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Exactly! If you filter your own water it's cheaper and you have far more control over the quality of the equipment and final product.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. I wouldn't put a great deal of faith in the machines for filling bottles in grocery stores including Wal-Mart. I can tell you from first hand experience that that water is nothing more than softened water that ten runs through a 1 micron filter. I have seen those filters so dirty that it's a wonder water even flows through them. Some charge you a premium dollar for supposed "spring" water and the like when in fact it's often just plain tap water. I often carry my own water test kit with chlorine test strips. It's amazing that when you test some of this "quality water" for chlorine it's often 500ppm which is what is specified for most residential drinking water plants You are far better off filtering your own water so you know exactly what you are dealing with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      Yup. When you do it yourself...the RIGHT way, you can be sure of the quality. if you like, there are self contained test kits that you can use to test your results before using.

      Rich "the Wanderman"

      Delete
  6. Nice, will add this to my information on the kit that a fella built for filtering river water into drinking water for back country camping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt,
      I also have a 12V potable water pump and hoses with a fine screen that I can "dip" into any decent water source to feed the filters.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  7. Proper tank sanitation, a sediment filter, the Camco Walmart filter shown above and a ZERO Water final filter for drinking water have worked for us for 8 years without incident.

    ReplyDelete

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