WHOLE HOUSE WATER PURIFICATION
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU PURCHASE
OUR SIMPLE PHILOSOPHY
We at Think Pure Water are local to Boston and surrounding communities. We know MWRA water and many other MA town waters like the back of our hand. We want our customers to be as informed as possible before making a decision to install a whole house purification, water softener or drinking water system. We are happy to drop by your home for a quick visit and evaluate your needs for no cost. We encourage you to take whatever time you need to decide on purchasing. There are no commissioned sales people and no sale ending that day. It is a simple philosophy of freedom that lets us all breathe easier. With us, you get a lot more than a pile of boxes from out of state on your doorstep. Feel free to call us 7 days a week @ 508.272.6636. We are always available to chat. Our Framingham warehouse is well stocked and we can get your water filtration system installed faster than anyone in the U.S.
BENEFITS OF WHOLE HOUSE PURIFICATION
Installing a whole house water purification system should be considered an important part of a wellness / prevention approach to life at home. Just as you wouldn’t allow just anybody to walk thru your front door, you can be confident that your home and loved ones are protected from the many potentially dangerous chemicals in tap water. With chemically treated municipal water, transdermal absorption and breathing of released chemical vapors occurs every time we bathe or shower. Waterborne and aerosolized chemical absorption into our bodies, in this manner, is estimated to be 100 times as toxic as drinking the same water. Some studies have estimated that during a 20 minute hot shower, our exposure is similar to drinking two gallons of chlorinated water. This is because, what we breathe, goes directly into our bloodstream. It is precisely here that the potential health benefits of having purified water throughout your home become obvious. Disinfectant chemicals designed to kill all living organisms in our water should be removed before we use it. Water chlorination produces chlorine disinfectant byproducts or CDB,s. These chemicals, such as trihalomathanes and haleoacedic acids are many times more toxic than chlorine and should be avoided. The above facts are well known and can be easily verified with a web search. Shower head filters do some good when new, but CDB,s pass right thru them. There is simply not enough dwell time for the water in such a small amount of carbon.
POINT OF ENTRY VS POINT OF USE WATER FILTERS ( MUST READ )
TPW installs ” point of entry “whole house water systems in homes of all ages. Without any filtration in place, pipes in older homes can become coated with scale, dirt and various treatment chemicals as well as other pollutants. Over 10 years, more than 1 million gallons is used in the average US home. In some cases new purified water passing through these pipes will pickup contaminates, especially when first installed. Water drawn directly from the filter will be very high purity and without any kind of taste. This is sometimes not the case at the kitchen sink immediatly after installation. Your water may have a metallic taste that could last for days or weeks. Your water will be free of all the pollutants that the filter system is designed to remove but may not be immediatly satisfactory for drinking. You may want/need to install a ” point of use ” drinking water filter system under the sink or in the basement to compliment your whole house filter system. These range form simple carbon filters to Reverse Osmosis systems. In essence, a whole house filter system is not a drinking water system. In the majority of cases, the whole house purified water is delicious and drinkable right from start. We cannot gaurantee whole house water purification systems to produce satisfactory drinking water. The above must be read and agreed upon prior to any whole house installation by TPW.
CARBON BASED SYSTEMS
Water purification systems for whole house applications use various forms and types of carbon. The carbon can be in extruded block cartridges, granulated filled cartridges or granulated and loose in floor tanks. Carbon is made from nutshells, wood, charcoal, animal bone and petroleum. Coconut shell carbon is considered the gold standard but not always the correct choice for every application. A single teaspoon of granulated activated carbon has the surface area of a football field. It is a miracle of nature. Thousands of chemical pollutants can be captured by carbon based water filtration technology leaving your water purer, fresh tasting and safe to shower and bathe in. Reverse Osmosis filtration is suitable only for drinking water systems.
IF YOUR HOME IS CONNECTED TO TOWN WATER
All cities and towns in Massachusetts are required to provide homeowners, connected to town water, with a Water Quality Report every two years. These reports are always available on line for review. Because of this, generally speaking, it is not necessary to lab test our municipal water. It is a good idea to find the latest report for your town and look it over. Really understanding your water chemistry, especially if you have small children is just good common sense. Besides h20 molecules, municipal water will always contain quite a number of different impurities, both benign and toxic. Maximum Contaminate Levels ( M.C.L.) are set by the government for a certain number of these impurities. Towns must adhere to these set standards, and, for the most part do. There are also many dangerous pollutants found in tap water that are unregulated. We are happy to go over your water report with you and make the right recommendations for the types of cartridges needed to get the best possible results.
IF YOU HAVE A PRIVATE OR SEMI-PRIVATE WELL
Owning your own well can be a blessing but also confront one with some real challenges. Every home buyer should have a NEW well water test prior to purchase, to evaluate the water safety and understand that quite a number of different potential problems can exist. Wells should be tested at least every 10 years to insure the safety of those living in the home. Water, being the universal solvent, will dissolve and absorb virtually everything in comes into contact with. High hardness and iron levels can be a nuisance but nitrates, lead, arsenic, coliform bacteria or radon etc., can be extremely hazardous to ones health. Wells can also become polluted with highly toxic industrial chemicals. We work with ETR Labs in Leominster and recommend their ” Comprehensive Scan ” for well testing. We have test kits on hand and can often take samples the same day you call with 48 hour turnaround. Call or email us for an appointment and costs.
Testing for basic water conditions such as hardness, chlorine and pH, can be done on site for no charge. Lab tests such as the E.T.R. ” Comprehensive Scan ” tests for General Bacteria, General Chemistry, Radio Chemistry and Organic Analysis require samples to be taken in two sterile containers. There is a protocol for taking the sample that must be followed to prevent contamination and samples must arrive promptly at the lab. This test costs $195.00 plus a service charge of $95.00 to take samples and mail to the lab. There are a total of 88 substances targeted in this test ranging from E.Coli ( general bacteria ) to Lead, Arsenic etc. ( general chemistry) to Radon ( radiochemistry ) to Chloroform, chlorine, etc ( organic analysis ). For the most part, this test is a kind of gold standard for water safety. There are many other toxic chemicals that can find their way into our water, especially wells, that require far more comprehensive and expensive testing. Contaminates not targeted will not be detected or show up on the test report. Sherborn, MA for example has a plume of highly toxic 1-4 Dioxane that has polluted a number of wells in this idyllic town. The source was carelessly disposed ( probably dumped out the back door ) cleaning fluids from the now closed General Chemical Plant in Framingham. This chemical is one of hundreds not covered in the above test.
Wall mounted cartridge type systems such as our popular Italian made WH-3500-IT Whole House Water Purification System ( shown here ) are designed for general use cartridges as well as a variety of specialized cartridges. We can target specific water conditions such as chlorine, lead, chloramines, fluoride, etc, and achieve significant reduction and even complete removal. The housings fit all readily available, fairly priced, non proprietary International Standardized 4.5″ X 20″ cartridges. You will avoid single source, proprietary design, replacement cartridges for your water filter system. In other words, nobody has a monopoly on the service of your water purification system and replacement cartridges will always be available. Proprietary type cartridges always use excessive amounts of plastic to create their product and are far less ” green ” than their non proprietary counterparts. You will benefit not only from competitive pricing, but also by being able to upgrade your filtration system to improved purification technologies from a variety of makers as they become available. It is a sensible approach to water purification.
BACKWASHABLE CARBON FILTER FLOOR TANK SYSTEMS
For larger homes with high water usage, backwashable and non-backwashable floor tanks are often recommended. Designed for chemically treated municipal water, these filters contain large volumes of loose carbon media. Tanks are sized to your homes water usage as well as pipe size at the water main. Tanks are usually 2/3 filled with carbon media such as G.A.C. ( granulated activated carbon ), coconut shell carbon, carbonized bone char etc. Raw water flows downward through the media and up through a central tube to the homes piping system. Automatic timed backwashes are often necessary to agitate the media which prevents channeling of water unevenly through the media lowering its effectiveness. When backwashing, the water flow is reversed and rinsing the media. This water is directed to a drain or outdoors. Backwash frequency is set according to various parameters and water usage.
HOW THE SYSTEMS WORK AND WHAT TO EXPECT
Effective Whole House Water Purification Systems for municipal water typically use a triple cartridge manifold and housings. A sediment filter must be first in line to strain out all particulate coming in from the street. Without it, the carbon cartridges will quickly clog. The next cartridges are either ” general use ” for removing chlorine and other chemicals or specialized cartridges for targeting problems such as lead, DBP,s, chloramines etc. or a combination set up. Fluoride, which has become controversial can also be targeted and removed with a specialized cartridge. Most of our installs include a 5 Micron Sediment Cartridge, a 5 Micron CTO Carbon Block Cartridge and lastly a .5 Micron CTO Plus Chloramine Cartridge. This setup will produce spring water like purity throughout your home. With virtually 100% of the harsh disinfectant chemicals, as well as hundreds of other possibly present chemicals removed, clients immediately notice improvements in softness of hair, smoothness of skin and an overall feeling of well being. Grabbing a glass of pure water or filling a big pot for pasta or soup from the kitchen sink is just awesome. Lugging cases of bottled water is now a thing of the past and so is having to recycle countless plastic bottles. This is not to mention paying 10,000 times over what water really costs coming right from your own tap.
WILL A WHOLE HOUSE SYSTEM SLOW DOWN MY WATER FLOW / PRESSURE ?
This is a common question and we understand the concern especially with multi-port showers. There is backpressure created by all water filters although it can be minimized. With the right system, you will never notice it. The important thing is to size the filter system to at least the size of the piping and meter fittings that come into your home. Our smallest whole house filters systems have 1″ diameter ports. More than 95% of homes have 3/4″ meter fittings so the filter housings, without cartridges installed, have virtually zero impact on backpressure. ( 2% backpressure @ 65 p.s.i. ) Cartridges will create additional backpressure based on size of cartridge, micron size ratings AND how fast they become loaded with contaminates. This is why we use the biggest cartridges available for a wall mounted system. Our standard setup for municipal water is a 5 micron sediment, a 5 micron carbon block in the middle and a final .5 micron Chloramine finishing cartridge. With this setup, you can expect at least a year of full flow purified water throughout your home before cartridges need changing. The perfect storm where your shower slows down, is a combination of incoming water pressure below 60 p.s.i., poorly planned existing piping, other water appliances on at the same time and loaded cartridges. Often the only problem is these issues combined with a clogged shower head. Shower head flow limiters can also be removed for a bigger flow. Loss of pressure / flow complaints happen but are rare. It’s usually around a year or cartridge change out time or past.
All whole house water purification systems must be installed by a licensed plumber and promptly inspected by your local plumbing inspector. You are welcome to use your own plumber or one our associate plumbers with whom we have a long standing relationship. Whole house systems are always installed with a bypass valve set up and unions. This allows the system to be taken off line and serviced without interrupting water pressure and usage in the home. The unions allow the system to be taken off the wall without cutting any pipe. There is both a mechanical / wall mount installation by Think Pure Water and a plumbing installation by a licensed plumber followed by an inspection by the local plumbing inspector. In some cases, due to excessive water pressure, a pressure regulator must be installed for the inspection to pass. ( see below )
DELIVERY AND WALL MOUNTING EQUIPMENT
We at Think Pure Water will coordinate your installation with the plumber. Typically we arrive around 8:00 AM and the plumber will make a careful stock list. The plumbers job is plumbing so we do the job of wall mounting the filter system. The wall mounting is an important part of the overall quality of the installation. The units weigh around 75 pounds empty and over 125 pounds while operational so the install must be rugged, with a ZERO possibility of coming loose from the wall. All systems are mounted on a white formica panel with lined wood blocking, 10 concrete anchors and stainless steel bolts and washers. The install design parameters are for weights and stresses far beyond the equipment installed. Our mechanical installs regularly receive accolades from plumbers and plumbing inspectors. The whole job is completed in one day or less. We have earned the trust of some of the finest home builders in Massachusetts.
During new construction or major remodeling, the installation of a whole house water purification system is a straight foreword process. In most cases sizable utility rooms are built and access to the water main and pipes is easy. In new construction homes, where a lawn sprinkler system is installed, there will be two main entry ports, two meters and two shutoffs…one for the whole house and one for the sprinkler system. Outdoor faucets are often already isolated form the indoor use water pipes. This means the whole house system can be installed at the point of entry and only the water used inside the home will be filtered.
OLDER HOMES AND OUTDOOR FAUCETS
Most older and some newer homes do not have a separate main for the outdoor faucets / sprinkler system. When there is no sprinkler system, the outdoor faucets will be part of the main house plumbing and can run into some additional expenses if a homeowner chooses to separate them from the whole house purified water. This is because new lines must be attached to the incoming water prior to the filtration system and then reattached at the closest point possible to the outdoor faucet piping. The additional plumbing is fairly simple in an unfinished basement. In a completely finished basement, this can be a challenge but is always doable.
When outdoor faucet separation is desired, additional costs will be calculated based on materials and labor and listed separately on the plumbing estimate. Some homeowners who use very little outdoor water or have a vegetable garden often prefer to purify the water going to outdoor faucets and avoid the additional plumbing expenses. In most cases, such a minor amount of water is used outdoors compared to overall usage, the additional plumbing expense isn’t justified.
ACCESS TO WATER MAIN
At Think Pure Water, we have installed many systems in homes with full basements, split level partial basements as well as slab on grade or no basement homes. Every installation is different and some are quite challenging. On split level or tri-level homes the water system can actually be installed under the stairs or in a small utility room where ever the meter comes into the home. In some cases, built in wall cabinetry completely covers the water main and a small door provides access to the shut off valve. In a finished basement the water main should always be accessible with a full size walk in door and no restricted access. We offer carpentry, closet construction and cabinetry reconstruction.
The following is important and must be understood clearly. Having purified water throughout your home is an amazing experience and has the potential for significant health benefits for the homes occupants. Unfiltered municipal water can contain a virtual soup of raw minerals, dissolved metal salts, pollutants, disinfectant chemicals such as chlorine as well as the byproducts of these chemicals, known as Disinfectant Byproducts or ( DBP,s ). DBP,s, such as chlorite, haleoacetic acids and tri halomethanes are hundreds of times more toxic than chlorine itself. They result from, to put it bluntly, the poisoning and decomposition of millions of microscopic living organisms, algae etc. often present in raw water as well as chemical reactions with any organic matter. These chemicals should not be consumed, bathed in or inhaled as mist or steam in a hot shower. Besides lead, these are the most hazardous chemicals found in municipal tap water and most people have no idea about the potential dangers. This photo was taken in December of 2016 during a meter change just west of Boston and is MWRA water. Jug filters like Brita and shower head filters do not remove these chemicals. The good news……we have systems and cartridges designed to remove these specific chemicals and all related particulate with miraculous efficiency wether under sink or in whole house applications. We can tailor the choice of cartridges based on what’s in your water, and achieve the best possible results based on experience and good science.
YOUR EXISTING OLDER HOT WATER HEATER ( MUST READ )
A hot water heater, after years or decades of use, can become calcified with minerals such as calcium and magnesium along with embedded concentrations of various toxic disinfectant and other chemicals that become part of the calcification process. Water heaters and hot water storage tanks can build up literally pounds of loose sediment in the bottom of the tank and hard scale can completely encrust the heating elements and draw tubes. This condition dramatically lowers the efficiency as heating elements are insulated from the water. When purified water first enters a calcified and thereby polluted water heater, it can, depending on overall water chemistry, begin to strip away some of this material from inside the tank. An existing, older hot water heater can become a source of pollution in your newly purified hot water. A process of scrubbing away of contaminates can occur as soon as pure water enters the tank. Odorous hot water can result from this situation. The odor can be from mild to very strong. In some cases it is so mild, one person can smell it while another cannot. Even though our sense of smell is nothing compared to a dog, we can readily detect one part per million of chlorine in water vapor. It can potentially take weeks, even months to dissipate and is not a pleasant situation. In reality, all hot water heaters using unfiltered water will hold, and steadily discharge toxins which is why we don’t, and should never drink from a hot water tank to begin with.
With these considerations in mind, a homeowner must be prepared to replace a polluted water heater immediately following a whole house water filtration installation. At this point in the life of a water heater, it is likely already in need of replacement. In some cases they are just months away from springing a leak as calcification and rust eats thru the metal interior. This situation is rare but comes up about 1 in 25 installs. This condition can occur with well water or treated municipal water. Electric hot water heaters are more susceptible but this situation can occur in any hot water heater or hot water storage tank. A home should have at least a good sediment filter on the water main but most do not. Newer less expensive water heaters often fail in 5 to 7 years and just aren’t made like in the old days. The ideal situation is when a whole house water purification system is installed and a relatively new hot water heater is already in place. Cold water, obviously, is never affected by this condition. The good news is that once a quality whole house water purification system is installed and maintained, this problem is prevented from ever occurring again in the future.
SYSTEM START UP AND PURE WATER CHARACTERISTICS
Once plumbing is complete, your new water purification system can be put on line. Your purified cold water reaches your sink and other plumbing fixtures within just a few minutes of use. For hot water, this is also the case in homes with modern wall mounted, tankless hot water heaters. With traditional hot water heaters and hot water storage tanks, it will take some time for the purified water to completely replace the the 50 to 100 gallons of raw water inside. Your hot water will get steadily purer over the course of 1 to 2 weeks. To avoid this wait, the plumber can flush your hot water heater completely of existing raw water. There is a charge for this service. With all Whole House Water Purification Systems, disinfectant chemicals are removed and this allows all life to thrive that comes into contact with pure water. If you are used to filling your dog or cats water bowl with tap water, you will have to clean it with soap and hot water more often than was previously necessary. In a warm home, various bacteria can easily be transferred to the pure water from your pet and now there are no chemicals to keep them at bay. You pet will be healthier drinking purified water. You may also notice that if toilets are not cleaned and disinfected regularly, a film can take hold inside the bowl under the water level. This effect can be easily controlled/prevented by spraying your toilet bowls with a 5% bleach/water solution periodically or a flush activated disinfectant device placed inside the tank. Where toilet bowls are cleaned at least weekly, you will not notice this possible effect of purified water throughout your home.
FLUORIDE REMOVAL WHOLE HOUSE CARTRIDGES
Many homeowners, after researching the issue, want Fluoride removed from their whole house water. It is one of the most difficult chemicals to remove from water. Regular carbon won’t remove it. The safest and most effective method for Fluoride removal ( whole house ) is bone char. Animal bones are sun dried for one year and then fired to produce pure char. The char is ground similar to coarse coffee. It is thoroughly rinsed, sterilized, and held in a fabric mesh lined cartridge. Its worth noting that fluoride is known to replace calcium in our bones thereby leech calcium. A link to osteoporosis has been proven. Its no wonder that the carbonized matrix of bone char can effectively capture fluoride ions. We usually install one Fluoride cartridge last in line in our triple housing set ups so it is protected from chlorine and the brunt of other pollutants. New Fluoride cartridges must be rinsed with 50 gallons of water to remove carbon fines prior to use. This adds time to the install and servicing. Lab tests sent in by us and homeowners have shown a miraculous 100% removal or undetected. Whereas all other cartridges flow freely for well past a year, char cartridges can begin, over months, to slow down water flow. Many have to be replaced in 5-6 months even earlier. A homeowner must be willing to accept this fact as well as the cost of more frequent service calls and cartridges. These cartridges are also inherently more expensive than all other cartridges.
YOUR HOMES WATER PRESSURE
Ideal water pressure in a residential home is between 60 and 75 psi ( pounds per square inch ) We have encountered municipal water pressures as low as 40 psi and as high as 100 psi. At 40 psi, your kitchen sink, for example, may flow sufficiently but a shower on the second floor with flow restrictors in the shower head might be weak. Cities and towns do their best to keep ideal pressures coming in from the street but often cannot achieve this at every residence. This is due to various distances from pumping stations as well as topography. Concord, MA along Old Marlboro Rd for example has 100 psi but parts of South Natick are just 40 psi. Residences on or near main streets tend to have higher water pressure.
HIGH WATER PRESSURE
Most homeowners don’t know the actual water pressure in their home. According to Massachusetts Plumbing Codes and State Law, it is a homeowners responsibility to install a water pressure regulator inside any home where incoming pressure is over 80 psi. Water pressure over 80 psi can be hazardous and can lead to burst pipe joints, appliance leaks and over pressurization of the many hose clamps and fittings on washing machines and other water appliances.
PLUMBING INSPECTOR MAY DEMAND A PRESSURE REGULATOR
All Whole House Water Filters must be installed by a licensed plumber, permitted and inspected by your local plumbing inspector. During our first visit, we will test your water pressure to know ahead of time wether a pressure regulator might be needed to pass inspection. Town inspectors generally know if the water pressure on your street is too high before coming. They may enforce the installation of a regulator if he/she has to sign off on any plumbing work for which a permit has been pulled. Installing a pressure regulator during the installation of a whole house water filter adds about 15 minutes to the labor cost so there is no additional labor charge. The regulator cost varies according to pipe size. For 1/2″ and 3/4″ pipe, the cost is $100.00. 1″ pipe cost $125.00 and 1-1/4″ pipe cost $260.00. A separate trip by the plumber to set up and install a pressure regulator costs about $350.00 plus the regulator. If your home is found to have water pressure over 80 psi, we should install a pressure regulator. If in this case we try to avoid a regulator, the water filter installation inspection may be failed by the inspector. After completion of the Whole House Filter System with a regulator installed, the setting should be lowered to 80 psi which is allowable and is actually really high pressure. It can be dialed up to the full pressure coming in from the street but this is not recommended.
If your home has low water pressure, a repressurization pump can be installed. Various factors can contribute to low water pressure. This electric pump can bring the pressure up to the desired level to create good water flow throughout the home. These are ” on demand ” units which only activate when you turn on a tap. We can cost out one of these units if you wish and have it professionally installed.
SCALE NET SCALE CONTROL SYSTEMS
All water except rainwater, distilled water or RO water contains various amounts of dissolved solids. Hard water usually contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Some well water is so hard, you cannot make lather with a bar of soap. In extreme cases, usually with wells, an anion exchange salt softener is the only remedy. For moderately hard water there are newer modern salt free methods to condition water. We can install a Scale Control System that uses no salt, no backwash, no electricity that prevents scale build up inside pipes and plumbing fixtures. For municipal water, a whole house purification system must be installed if a scale control system is installed as the active media in the tank will quickly become fowled by chlorine and will fail to work properly.
It must be understood and agreed by the homeowner that Think Pure Water cannot be held responsible for additional materials and labor costs that might be incurred or necessary as a result of installing a whole house water purification system. This includes replacing water heaters, water tanks, water appliances, water piping, valves etc. beyond that which is described in the estimate and other unforeseen water piping, water appliances and other water related equipment. Any necessary descaling of pipes, water appliances or other water related equipment that may be necessary is the homeowners expense.
OUR PLEDGE TO USE ONLY THE BEST EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE
All systems installed by Think Pure Water including filter housings, tanks, cartridges, media etc. are made to the highest standards. All products, raw materials and performance data are third party certified and approved by one or more of the following: The National Sanitation Foundation ( NSF ), American National Standards Institute ( ANSI ), Water Quality Association ( WQA ) and Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ). Our Italian made products meet all or a portion of the above standards as well as all pertinent European Regulatory Standard bodies such as I.W.A., A.C.S. & A.F.W.A. / A.A.E. an others listed below.