I am in Arizona, where we have very hard water. My wife and I, and our four kids, live fulltime in our travel trailer. We use a LOT of water.
We currently have one of those cheap inline filters from Walmart that I hope is keeping the plumbing safe(but know that it probably isn't). There is obviously iron in the water where we are parked, since I have noticed our showerhead turning reddish-brown. The water smells and tastes bad so, for drinking water, we use a 3 gallon jug and a 2 gallon jug to refill at the corner water station. This is a minor hassle. Not to mention that occasionally we have forgotten to fill up the jug and gone without drinking water some nights(not good, since we don't drink much else).
I have been looking for a filter system that will not only save my plumbing, but will also allow me to stop spending $3-5/week on drinking water. I would love to be able to just turn on the tap when I'm thirsty at 9:30 at night, instead of: get up, find the small jug empty, check the larger jug to find that it's empty, get dressed, grab the jugs, drive to the water station, realize I forgot to bring change(yes, this has happened
), go home to get change, go back to the water station, fill jugs, drive home, get undressed, pour a glass and sip...AHHHH, finally got my glass of water!! (15 minutes later than planned)
So, it's time to fix the situation, with your help
My criteria for a water filtration solution is as follows (subject to change
1. Filter the entire RV at a significant rate. As in: I must be able to take a shower while the wife runs water at the sink, without additional restriction. I assume that a minimum of 3-5gpm would suffice?
2. Remove or minimize the hard water deposits in the system.
3. Take the 'stink' and discoloration out of the water.
4. Make the water taste like... WATER
5. Be 11.5" tall or less (personal storage limit for the planned install location).
WOULD LIKE IT TO:
1. Be effective enough that I could pour stream or well water into it via the gravity fill, and have it meet the above criteria.
2. Not waste water (would like to avoid Reverse Osmosis but if RO, it should send the flush water back to the fresh tank).
3. Not require additional electricity to assist with the filtration.
4. Not add anything to the water (don't like the idea of adding salt for a water softener).
5. Not take minerals from the water (another mark against the RO system).
6. Not cost an arm and a leg (need to use those for gas money this summer
I bought a RO system (I know, I said I didn't like them
) from Costco a few weeks ago that I thought would work, but found that it fell short. It didn't flow enough to cover the entire trailer and it was too large for the planned install area. But, it gave me an idea that I hadn't thought of until then: I could (and would like to) use two different install locations. I can install a 'whole house' unit in the originally planned location, and a second (purely for drinking/cooking/ice) under the kitchen sink. That particular RO tank was too big for this location though, and I'm not too keen on an RO system anyways, so that went back to the store.
The best setup I have found, so far:
I ran across this
water softener that seems perfect (maybe too good to be true?!?) for my criteria of removing deposits: It is small, doesn't use any additional water or electricity, doesn't add salt or potassium to the water, and requires very little maintenance. Problem is, I can't find any independant reviews on it. I'm not sure I want to be the guinea pig when it will cost me $250 to try it. It's comparable in price to other softening systems out there, but not 'tried and true'. Has anyone seen this before? Used it or know someone who has? Willing to try it out (on YOUR dime
) for me?
Also from this thread
, I found this filter
, which says it can remove parasites and chemicals, and bad tastes and odors. The reviews I have found have all been positive. The biggest drawbacks are that, at $500+, it is quite expensive and it only flows 1gpm, so it would only work for the drinking water. I like that the filter is small enough for the location under the sink. But, it leaves me with the need to add a second, whole house filtration unit.
If I go that route, I will probably get a 2 or 3 canister system from these guys
. I think the 2 canister system with the 1 micron sediment filter and carbon filter near the bottom of that page for $80 would round out the filtration nicely.
All of this comes out to ~$850
. Of course, I could just skip the water softener and drinking water filter, and get a 3 canister system with the 5 micron sediment, then the 1 micron sediment, and the charcoal filter for ~$120
. Could this be effective enough to make the water potable and save the plumbing?!?
I am not opposed to spending a few extra dollars, but just want to be sure I get the best bang for my buck. Also, I know there are other things I should add, like a pressure regulator and pressure guage. Is there anything else that I am missing
Or, I could just jump into a whole RV reverse osmosis system
for ~$780, but it won't fit in my original install location. Time to start tearing down walls?