Caution news


Things to watch out for when buying water filters!

There is an alarming amount of suppliers now selling fake copies of reputable brands such as Doulton and Dow Filmtec.

These suppliers usually are the ones that offer a “match or better others price” because they can as the product they are offering isn’t genuine and because of this are not paying the same wholesale in-put cost that the rest, such as ourselves have to pay for genuine items. What is also concerning is that they will assure the customer that what they are offering is genuine.

How can you verify that what a supplier is selling the genuine product well that is difficult but upon request we will tell a customer who we buy that product off and you can contact that supplier. That supplier can be verified as the Australian agent by contacting the manufacturer, this is a rather long winded approach but may be required if you need re-assuring that what you are looking to buy is the real article.

They even go further in offering lifetime warranty, sounds great that if you were 30 years old and had a further 50 years to live the system would be under 50 years warranty, this is not the case and a water filter system will never last that long. What you may not be aware of its lifetime warranty refers to the expected life of the system and not your lifetime.

An example of that is RAM (random access memory) which is the memory in your computer is under lifetime warranty which is actually 3 years as that is the expected life of a computer so the lifetime is what is the expected life of the RAM and has nothing to do with your lifetime so lifetime warranty is a play on words and a miss interpretation of those words and no accident.

We were having a look around eBay the other day and were astounded at the exaggerations of the truth that they claim were astounding to say the least. I had to laugh at one seller referring to another eBay supplier as having Chinese membranes but them themselves having the lowest quality membrane on the market and also rubbishing other sellers but everything they sold was absolute bottom of the market. They had listed a brand of cartridge that is about as low as you can go and the list of chemicals it could remove was impressive which also included cysts. I copied the listing address and emailed it to the importer of that cartridge and then rang them to ask how long this cartridge had this certification and they simply laughed in disbelief as they said it wasn’t rated for any of those things, this is a concern as the people that purchase these cartridges and systems will believe what is written and purchase in good faith, they should be prosecuted.

Be aware that there are web sites that appear to be an impressive information sites guiding people on which water filter types are better than others. Examples would be "waterfiltercomparisons' and "historyofwaterfilters" are these real information sites! No, they are run by the company that sells or is connected to the Aquasana brand water filter systems.

What they do very skillfully is to basically rubbish other types of filtering processes with minor issues and way over exaggerated them and even go as far as to tell untruths, they even choose competitor models that don't compare well with the Aquasana brand and ignore any competitor model or brand that would be either superior or more cost effective. The Aquasana system uses non standard size cartridges so you will be stuck with this supplier for replacements.

The old saying "Let The Buyer Beware" is very true when it comes to water filters as there are times that we are ashamed to be associated with this industry, the lies told by some are outrageous.

The most important thing as far as the buyer is concerned is the cartridge size, the standard size for a normal system is 9-3/4" inches or 248mm when referring to the cartridge length.

There are manufactures that rip people off, they do this by supplying a system at a reasonable price but manufacturing it with shorter housings and cartridges knowing that when the cartridges need changing they know you have no choice but to buy a replacement off them at high prices. If you do buy one of these systems you are also hoping that they stay in business and they don't change the models.

All our systems are the standard size 9-3/4 inches or 248mm and you can purchase replacements from us or just about anywhere you like even Woolworth's or Kmart or Bunning's. We encounter on average about 2 customers a day with this problem. By buying a standard size system you have freedom of choice where you purchase filters with a far greater variety of cartridges to choose from.

The second thing to watch out for is the mains connection system, reputable suppliers use Australian Standards or AGA (Australian Gasfitters Association) certified parts for good reason, they are compliant and reliable. If you see a system using a self piercing valve  run for the hills.

If you had a system using this type of connector and it failed and they regularly do, you may well find yourself without insurance cover for the resulting damage as it is non-compliant in every way as far as Australian plumbing codes are concerned.

All reputable water filter suppliers in Australia can buy these simple fittings if they choose to do so and would save themselves heaps as they only cost around $2.50 each but they won't as using that type of fitting would void their public liability insurance as it would yours.

They work by clamping a rubber gasket onto a hole in the pipe and with age the rubber perishes and blows off, also another problem for this type of fitting is when it is knocked like when putting the frypan back in the cupboard it will start to leak and you will most likely not notice resulting in substantial water damage.

Since posting this warning we have noticed that a supplier of this type of connection has removed the detail to convert their countertop system to an undersink type, by the time it arrives it will be too late, you will have parted with your money and locked yourself into a system that takes non standard size cartridges and you hope the price won't go up when they have established their market.

All carbon cartridges will treat for the following chemical compounds, some will treat for higher for longer. Carbon cartridges with larger amounts of carbon will treat higher for longer, cartridges with a rating for 3,000 litres will fall well short of a carbon filter rated for 20,000 litres simply due to the amount of carbon material contained within the cartridge, also watch out for cartridges with slow flow rates, a carbon cartridge with a flow rate of 2 litres per minute will not be used by the consumer at that rate as it is too slow(15 seconds to fill a glass).

Most people have their water filter system set to deliver around 3.5 litres per minute, with a cartridge rated at 2 litres per minute running at 3.5 litres per minute will result in incomplete treatment simply because the cartridge doesn't contain enough carbon to have sufficient contact time for effective treatment.

There is no secret ingredient in cartridges from different manufacturers the only trick to watch out for is slow flow rates, this increases contact time and makes the cartridge look more effective than it really is and there are few people that would have the patience to use it at a flow rate of 2 litres per minute.

Chemicals that carbon will treat for Alachlor, Atrazine, Benzene, Bromochloroacetonitrile2, Bromodichloromethane1, Bromoform1, Tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, Chlorine, Chloroform1, Chlorodibromomethane1, Chloropicrin, 2,4-D, Dibromoacetonitrile2, DBCP, Dichloroacetonitrile2, o-Dichlorobenzene, p-Dichlorobenzene, 1,2-Dichloroethane, Pentachlorophenol, Simazine, Styrene, 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane, Tetrachloroethylene, Toluene, 2,4,5-TP (Silvex), Tribromoacetic Acid, Trichloroacetonitrile2, 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane, 1,1,2-Trichloroethane, Trichloroethylene, 1,1,1-Trichloro-2-Propanone3, 1Trihalomethanes, m-Xylene, p-Xylene, 1,1-Dichloroethylene, cis-1,2, Dichloroethylene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene, 1,1-Dichloro-2-Propanone3, 1,2-Dichloropropane, cis-1,3-Dichloropropylene, Dinoseb, Endrin, Ethylbenzene, EDB, 2Haloacetonitriles (HAN), 3Haloketones (HK), Heptachlor, Heptachlor Epoxide, Hexachlorobutadiene, Hexachlorocyclopentadiene, Lindane, Methoxychlor Here is the link to NSF where you can see the certified water filter brands, watch out for things like the Matrikx range, they are manufactured by KX Industries so you will find then listed under that manufacturer name.