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Old 21-04-2011, 15:20   #1
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Filtering Water?

Hi there - Quick question - has anyone had any experience/suggestions about putting a water filter (regular, garden variety, granular activated carbon, lasts 3 years, etc) into the water line from water tanks to hand pump faucet? We've used this filter in our house, but very different water pressure, so I'd love to hear what people are using, if anything, for their drinking water on board. Thanks.
Jen
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Old 21-04-2011, 15:40   #2
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Re: Filtering water?

Jen, you can, but the cartridges are expensive this side of the pond. So couple of questions to ask yourself.

Is your normal supply high quality that you are happy to drink?

Are your tanks clean?

With a does of bleach twice a year we are able to answer yes to both those so don't filter the water. Inside I would rather know straight away if there was a problem by tasting it. However, that decision would change if I was picking up water from a dubious source.

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Old 21-04-2011, 15:56   #3
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Re: Filtering water?

We started with this concept, and it has serious problems on a boat. The issue is that when left idle for a day in a hot bilge or cabinet, the filter units actually breed bacteria. In home applications, the instructions tell you to "flush the filter" by wasting a glass or two of water every time you use it... (IF it has been more than a couple of hours). This would work on a boat too, but wastes too much precious tank water.

If you DON'T do it, the water stinks & taste bad. We DO use a standard carbon block element filter, on the end of the dock garden hose, when we fill our tanks. For this occasional usage, the flushing of the first gallon of dock water is inconsequential. We then remove it from the hose, empty the housing of water, and store it below.

Doing the above, we filter the water going in to the tanks, so the lettuce like algae that lives in dock garden hoses, will not get in our tanks, and clog the works. Then, if it will not be used within a week or so, we add a bit of chlorine. The water will be fine for months this way.

Then at the tap, we use an installed SeaGull water filter (Defender Industries), just before use. It takes out the chlorine, AND any accumulated bacteria as well. If you use it daily, there is no need to throw out the first glass each morning, as they have WAY less tendency to breed bacteria within themselves. If you don't like the high price, there are cheaper plastic housing versions that have a similar element to the fancy SS version. We lived aboard for 12 years with our SeaGull, and always enjoyed great tasting tank water.

If you frequently fill your tanks with a water maker, like we did, it makes flat tasting water. We missed the well water "bite", so add a few drops of "Roxtract" liquid minerals to each glass.

On a boat... Safe, good tasting water, is a precious thing!

Mark
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Old 21-04-2011, 18:03   #4
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Re: Filtering water?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viturina View Post
Hi there - Quick question - has anyone had any experience/suggestions about putting a water filter (regular, garden variety, granular activated carbon, lasts 3 years, etc) into the water line from water tanks to hand pump faucet? We've used this filter in our house, but very different water pressure, so I'd love to hear what people are using, if anything, for their drinking water on board. Thanks.
Jen
Jen, We have used a household filter for years with a charcoal filter. No problems with bad taste or having to flush. We have used it with a pressure system and with a foot pump. We do change the filters on a regular basis. It has worked very well for us recently since the marina we were in was on a well and had some hard water. Here is a picture.

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Old 21-04-2011, 18:33   #5
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Re: Filtering water?

We also use a granulated carbon water filter (like this: Pentek 158133 1/4 #5 Clear RV and Marine Water Filter System). We have no pressure water and it works great with a Whale foot pump. To keep cooties from growing in the tank we add aquatabs from Global Hydration (AQUATABS® Water Purification Tablets from Global Hydration) to the tank. Never had any problems whatsoever.
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Old 21-04-2011, 18:40   #6
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Re: Filtering water?

Thanks for all this awesome feedback. The unit I have in mind is impregnanted with silver, so it won't grow bacteria inside the unit, but I just didn't know how it would work under pressure. I'll check out all these options. This will be our first season living aboard - US water, east coast, so it should be fairly clean. We have lots of water storage - the owner one owner before us did lots of transatlantics, and so I think we have about 160 gallons in 3 monel tanks. Just want it to taste good, and don't want bugs to grow, so I'm looking for a way to keep chlorine in until we drink it. Thanks everyone.
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Old 21-04-2011, 18:44   #7
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Re: Filtering water?

One other question totally unrelated to water filters - I have a photo of our boat posted on my personal profile but it doesn't show up next to my name in these posts - how do i get it to do that? I've looked all through the personal profile stuff and thought I did it right, but obviously not, as there's no photo.
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Old 21-04-2011, 19:19   #8
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Re: Filtering water?

We use an undersink filter and wouldn't be without. We use a standard 9" x 2.5" .6 micron filter from KX Matrikx that only costs about $12. It's easy to foot-pump through it.

-- when leaving the boat for more than a few days we remove the filter and put it in a plastic bag in the fridge.

-- It's allowed me to ban water bottles on the boat - which helps the environment as well as my back from lugging the damn bottles aboard.

The most important thing with those three tanks is not to let a tank sit and start growing something. Whenever we are a dock with a hose we empty a tank and refill with fresh water.

Carl
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Old 21-04-2011, 19:24   #9
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Re: Filtering water?

We too filter on the way into the tank. We also have a seagul filter on the galley sink, but only there. We started filtering the water on fill-up because our hot water otherwise smelled real bad. Whatever was in teh water would stink up when heated. The problem completely went away once we started filtering on fill ups.

Also, after seeing some of the crap that comes out of marina water lines, I don't want any of that in my tanks.

We made our own filter system with a household filter and a handful of hardware store fittings. It cost about $40 to make.
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Old 21-04-2011, 19:38   #10
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Re: Filtering water?

So I guess I would love to hear how you both filter the water coming from the docks into your tanks. I understand it is a hand-held type situation, but what, exactly, do you use? It makes sense - thanks - looking forward to it. if we can keep lousy water from going into the tanks in the first place, that has to make the whole situation better.
Thanks for the help.
Jen
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Old 21-04-2011, 19:56   #11
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Re: Filtering water?

I'll try to remember to take a picture of the setup tomorrow, but here's an attempt at a description:

It's based around a household whole-house water filter available from any hardware store. They are about 12" tall and 4-5" in diameter. You can get all sorts of filters for them, but for this application I used a charcoal filter which takes out sediment and other particulate, plus chemicals like chlorine.

On the inlet side I placed a shutoff valve and a female fitting to attach to the end of a garden hose. On the outlet side I attached a barb fitting and a 6' section of hose.

To take on water, I flush out the dock hose. Then, with the hose turned off, attach it to the filter inlet, and close the valve on the filter. Then turn on the hose, and crack open the filter valve to bleed out the air and flash some water through the filter, allowing the outlet hose to flow overboard.

Once flushed out, place the outlet hose in the take fill hole and open the filter valve. Filtered water fills the tank. Once full, shut off the filter valve, shut off the hose, disconnect and drain everything out, and stow it in the laz until next time.

The whole thing makes you much more immune to varying water quality at marinas, town docks, etc.
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Old 21-04-2011, 21:31   #12
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Re: Filtering water?

Here the post with description of how to build one and picture work great cheap and easy to find replacement filter

Water filtration system. · SV Letitgo
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Old 21-04-2011, 21:33   #13
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Re: Filtering water?

Unless you have aluminum tanks (which don't like any chlorine), I would think you'd like to leave the municipal chlorine in the water to help keep the tanks clean. Maybe just use a sediment filter when filling the tank and then a chlorine, VOC, etc filter at the filtered water tap (and of course take out the chlorine before it gets to any watermaker)

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Old 22-04-2011, 06:43   #14
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Re: Filtering water?

Thanks for the photos of the set up and the other feedback. We're thinking a sediment filter upon fill up, leave the chlorine in (since we'll pretty much be getting municipal water in the States, and so I suspect everything's been chlorinated), so the tanks have water with something in it which will keep things from growing, and then just use a point of use system at each tap. Just wanting to make sure the point of use system works with just the pressure from a foot pump - that's my main concern. We've used similar filters in the house, but the water pressure is so different that I just didn't know what to expect aboard.

Thanks to everyone for this great feedback - we're new to this forum, and I'm just blown away by all the support and fantastic info - I'll be here frequently and looking forward to paths crossing with some as we sail !
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Old 22-04-2011, 07:30   #15
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Re: Filtering water?

I have a client with a LONG, horse shoe shaped water tank full of gravel, in his Island Packet. It is from "not filtering his water going in", (at least a sediment filter). The same applies to the huge accumulation of leafy algae in the dockside garden hose over the summer. In this guys case, the gravel, (from a marina underground plumbing break), clogs his strainer regularly, there is no tank clean out, and the solution will be EXPENSIVE!

If you have a "bactericidal" carbon block cartridge (like with silver in it), it IS the next best thing to the SeaGul quality of filter. (The SeaGul, however, actually makes UNsafe fresh water, potoble). In either case, I would still put it just before the tap, because if it is 30' away at the pump, you are removing the chlorine in the water that sits in the hoses. This is less of an issue for liveaboards, but if it sits stagnant in there, with no chlorine, in the summer...YUCK!

If I ever re-plumb our boat, I will use PEX pipe. It is less toxic & the dark colors are opaque. It was not around when I plumbed our trimaran, so I used opaque vinyl hose, (rather than clear). IF it is possible, always use opaque hose or PEX, as the clear hose will get full of algae in the first 5 years, due to the light. Algae likes light!

And a warning about your dockside garden hose... Be sure it as an FDA approved white "potoble water" approved hose! Regular garden hoses are frequently chock full of lead, and NOT meant to pass drinking water through!

Best of luck, Mark
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