Water Filters are becoming a must have appliance. Consumers are becoming less confidence of Water Authorities to monitor water quality, plus the environment impact of plastic bottles is fueling the acceptance of water filters throughout Australia.
This explosion also brings with a sellers who have very little knowledge of the industry who are there to sell you what they have.
The following is provided to help you understanding the priorities of water filtration and the questions to ask to ensure you get the system that meets your needs. The more you know and ask, hopefully the less chance you will be taken advantage of.
There are 3 main components of water filtration:
- Installation Fittings
These are the plastic casings that enclose the cartridges.On undersink models where they are subject to mains pressure, they must meet Australian Standards AS3947 which requires a burst pressure of 3500 kpa or 550 psi. With more and more Asian product coming onto the market it is recommended to only purchase USA manufactured housings to ensure no burst housings or flooded kitchens.
All Purestream housings are manufactured by QMP reputable USA manufacture comply with Australian Standards AS3947 and carry the made in USA stamp.
Undersink Installation Fittings
These parts should be brass or chrome and normally incorporate an inline compression tee connections, flexible hose and/or dishwasher connection for easy installation.
Many consumers may not be aware of what the plumber uses to install their system, however it is recommended to be informed, because many will use plastic stop valves, Saddle Valves, which simply cut through the copper pipe and are illegal in this country. A stop valve to cut water off for maintenance as well as a Pressure Limiting Valve to limit any spikes or hammers in the pipes is mandatory.
Some companies have the Pressure Limiting Valve as an option claiming their housings are Australian Standards approved and do not require one. Do not install a water filter without a Pressure Limiting Valve. Quality inline plastic Apex valves are suitable, and standards compliant
Most units will contain fittings to connect tubing to housings. We recommend the John Guest push fitting as it is quick and reliable.
Also your faucet is important and where possible a Ceramic Disk , which gives you ¼ to full turn is the best option. These should be provided as part of the package and not an upgrade.
Water Filter Cartridges
This is where consumers need to be aware. Repeat business with replacement cartridges is big business and some manufacturers look to have non-standard cartridges to maintain their data base and charge want they want.
Some of the non-standard models are Raindance, Aquaspace, Pureatap, Everpure - All 'non-standard'
A non-standard is usually one that has a small spigot on top or has a fitting on the housing that the cartridge needs to fit into.
Standard cartridges are 25 cms. Or commonly referred to as 9 ¾” or 10” . They can be canister style or carbon with mesh, usually with a hole down the centre. As long as they have flat ends, with no extensions and correct length. It is recommend when considering a purchase, you enquire as to the size and measurements of the cartridge.
Non-standard cartridges can be difficult to access if your supplier is no longer available. Also they can be expensive as you simply do not have a alternative. Everyday we replace customers housings as it is cheaper than accessing the ‘non’standard’ cartridges.
New Technology Cartridges
Twist-off or bayonet style cartridges have become popular because of their ease of replacement, compact design and hygiene. This requires the replacement of the medium and casing. If choosing this style, make sure the unit incorporates a standard style cartridge that can be sourced from a variety of outlets. The most popular of these are the Omnipure Q and E Series which are readily available. Purestream, under the brand name Ezi-Change, stock and supply both types that incorporate this technology.
Guarantee & Warranty
It is advisable to confirm warranty and guarantee of performance. As a rule cartridges and fittings such as faucets and diverters are not part of the warranty as they are subjected to wear and tear and water quality.
The housings and installation fittings are your main concern. Some sellers if they are marketing Asian housing will offer minimum 2 - 3 year warranties. Also no matter how good the warranty is, if the company has only been in the market a short time, the warranty is no good if the company is no longer in the market.
We sincerely hope that the information provided assists in the selection of your product, more importantly, gives you the knowledge to ask the right questions to ensure you get value for money.