Self-Cleaning POE System Solves Frequent Filter Clogging Problems

December 28, 2000

A new self-cleaning system avoids the premature clogging problems associated with conventional carbon filtration systems, while at the same time providing one micron or submicron filtration.As more Americans are aware of the health risks associated with contaminated water supplies, many citizens are turning to filtered water. One couple, Gerry and Candy Rossettie, who bought a 40-year old, 6,000 sq ft home in Sands Point, New York, wanted to be certain they were getting safe water. Before moving in they spent over $30,000 replacing corroded plumbing and wanted a water filtration system that would not only provide high quality filtered water throughout their home, but also preserve the new plumbing and fixtures, be affordably priced, and function with little maintenance.

James Long, founder of James W. Long Plumbing Company in Nassau County, New York, has been installing water filtration systems for 20 years. Generally, he has not been satisfied with the performance of typical granular activated carbon filtration (GAC) systems or any of the other alternatives. For instance, with GAC filters channeling can occur, thus reducing efficiency. Consequently, filters need to be changed three to four times a year. Long found he was continually running to customer's homes to replace filters. Additionally, conventional, whole-house systems are often limited to higher micron filters. To compensate, a pre-filter is needed for filtering out sediment and particulates that would otherwise quickly clog high performance filters.

Long recommended PureTap to the Rossetties. A new self-cleaning system developed by The Pure Water Source, San Francisco, California, it avoids the premature clogging problems associated with conventional carbon filtration systems, while at the same time providing one micron or submicron filtration.

The key difference between this "open system" and other conventional "closed systems" is in the flow of water. The new open system uses patented continuous-rinse technology that forces water through the housings, around the filter face and out a rinse-flow valve at the bottom. The buildup of sediment and debris that inhibits a filter's effectiveness is constantly eliminated from the face of the cartridge and sump, thereby preventing accumulation.

A point-of-entry (POE) model that supplies the whole house with filtered water was installed in the Rossettie's home. The rinse-flow valve in the primary filter housing is connected as the cold water supply to a water closet on the first floor. When the toilet is flushed, water flows from the cold water main line into the first filter housing, flowing between the cartridge face and the housing wall, then goes through an outlet at the bottom of the housing. Each time the water closet is used, the first filter is rinsed and accumulated debris is washed away.

Long said that in the newer models there is now a rinse-flow valve on the second filter housing or well. This second valve is plumbed in to the hot water heater supply so whenever hot water is used, the second stage is rinsed, and chlorine-free hot water filtered to 10 microns is produced.

The result is single stage carbon filtration of the hot water and double stage one micron filtration of the cold water. The rinse valves can also be electric time solenoid operated and plumbed to a drain.

There are many benefits to this continuous-rinse feature. Due to the cleanliness of this design, high efficiency or submicron filters can be deployed for POE systems for the first time. In the model installed in the home, the first stage filter is a 10-micron carbon block filter and the second filter is a one-micron carbon block filter. This would not be practical with conventional systems. "One micron would clog in one day without the continuous rinse feature," said Long. "To get similar results, a sediment or prefilter would have to be installed and constantly maintained to remove coarse material and prevent premature clogging."

"Other filter systems can become a maintenance problem, whereas with the continuous rinse feature, the filters can go for a year," said Long. "Customers are happier because they save time and money. Dealers are spared regular visits to change filters, yet contact with the client is maintained through annual maintenance calls."

Aesthetically, filtering of sediment and particulates reduces unsightly and costly staining in addition to abrasive wear of plumbing fixtures, a concern for the Rossettie's, who just had new fixtures installed throughout the house. Also, pipes, valves, etc., will not clog or be inhibited by sediment build-up.

The continuous rinse feature addresses another concern-the accumulation of sediment and debris causing sludge, bacteria1, fungus, and molds to grow when the water inside the filter housing is allowed to stagnate. Because the cartridges are constantly rinsed, accumulation is eliminated and stagnant water is frequently replaced with a fresh, chlorinated supply.

For over three years, the POE system in the Rossettie's home has been supplying filtered water to all six bathrooms, the kitchen and laundry room.

Gary Baxter is the general manager of The Pure Water Source Corp. (800.697.8739), a San Francisco, California, company specializing in the design and manufacture of new technologies for the water treatment industry.

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