Friday, September 5, 2008

Water filters 9/5/08

Water filters 
Some of the elders wonder why we are so concerned about the water filters and keeping the filters changed on schedule. They look at the water coming out of their kitchen faucet or shower and think, it looks OK to me. Well, let me introduce you to the Pentek triple filter unit under our sink.

It contains the most advanced kitchen filter system the Church could make available to us here in Russia. The unit to the right is under the kitchen sink. The white tube comes from a saddle-fitting on the cold water pipe connected to the kitchen faucet. The water is first filtered through a cellulose filter to remove the gross debris. The water then passes through a .5 micron membrane and charcoal filter and on to the final stage, the GAC-10 granular activated carbon filter cartridge. When it come out of the filtered water faucet at our sink, it is more pure than glacial water, more clean than a mountain stream, more, well, it's really clean.

The next picture is the unit as I am changing the filters. We change the cellulose filter, #1, about every 4-6 weeks, depending on how the flow it. A weak stream indicates a blockage and some intervention is necessary. Sometimes it requires only a sort of roto-rooter approach to clean out the tube. Some times a more drastic intervention is necessary to get the stream flowing again normally, and everyone wants a good stream, right?

To change one of the filters, you must first turn off the water leading to the unit, otherwise your downstairs neighbor will need an umbrella. Then you turn on the filtered faucet and relieve the pressure. To remove the old filter, you have to rotate the filter housing (one of those white canisters) counter-clockwise until the threads release. It takes about 7 full turns. Now you have to be careful because the canister is full of water, along with the filter. In this picture, I am taking a firm hold on the unit and preparing to rotate the first, or #1, filter housing. (actually, I'm taking the picture with the other hand and I just said that to illustrate what I WOULD have done if I were actually going to change the filter)

With the number # filter canister off, I check to be sure the o-ring is in good shape and not sagging or caught in the threads. A sagging o-ring can cause you a lot of trouble, including water where you don't want it. Remove the filter and place it in the sink. Do not handle it because it is covered with the stuff you wanted to get out of your water including garden variety dirt, rust, other metals, bacteria, Giardia, and other stuff too large to pass through. The replacement goes into the canister and it is screwed into the housing.

This is a cellulose #1 filter that was used 6 weeks on the right next to a new one ready for installation. Pretty dramatic huh. This picture doesn't do it justice. It was as orange as a pumpkin with who knows what, but surely a lot of rust and other metals. The next day I also changed the # 2, center, filter to improve flow.

I sure am glad that we have these filters. I would hate to think of this stuff going into my body every day. What looks clean is often an illusion and I am showing this picture to all of our elder. They need to see why we drink filtered water.

What a filter. What a country


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