You have just received your brand new, awesome filter system that you have been waiting for. You open the box and forgot everything Dave told you over the phone about what order the filters go, where to put the water softener, how to flush the filters and whether or not to install them inside or use them outside!! So you try to remember for awhile, then breakdown and call Dave. This article is intended to provide all the info you need to avoid the call.
What Order do the filters go in?
Instead of just telling what order, lets talk about why they go in that order.
Sediment filter first - These filters are to remove sediment. Period. This will extend the life of the filters and water softeners and under sink systems that are downstream. They are the least expensive, so they are sacrificial
Ceramic Filter- Doulton RIO 2000 - This is a very fine sediment filter that can get bacteria at 6 GPM. It is used in the South of the Border systems, and is the only time that the carbon filter doesn't go 2nd.
Carbon Block Filters- Usually these are the 2nd filter in line, immediately after the sediment filter. The job of the carbon filter is to remove taste/odor, chemicals, pesticides and cysts (giardia and cryptosporidium. If there is no sediment filter ahead of a carbon block filter, it will act as the sediment filter and potentially get plugged up prematurely, costing you 20 bucks or more vs the $3-$4 a sediment filter costs
Resin filters - Metal Trap, RV-PH, BIRM - Mechanical filters that have a micron rating can't remove anything totally dissolved in the water. Iron, calcium, magnesium are some examples of minerals/metals that can dissolve in the water and get through a 1, 0.5 or even a 0.2 micron filter. You need a resin that can absorb iron. Or you need a water softener that can remove calcium and magnesium through ion exchange. These filters go after the sediment and carbon filters, immediately before water enters the RV.
|System||1st Filter||2nd Filter||3rd Filter|
|Essential Systems||RV-SED1 (Hydronix 1 micron)||F1PB (CFB-PB10)|
|Jumbo Essential||RV-SED1 BB (Unicel)||FloPlus 10BB (Pentek)|
|Essential System +Iron||RV-SED1 (Hydronix 1 micron)||F1 (CFBC-10)||Metal Trap MT-RC6|
|Jumbo Essential +Iron Removal||RV-SED1 BB (Unicel)||FloPlus 10BB (Pentek)||Metal Trap MT-RC14|
|Essential System + Anti-Scale||RV-SED1 (Hydronix 1 micron)||F1 (CFBC-10)||RV-PH Phosphate Filter (Omnipure)|
|South of the Border||RV-SED1 BB (Unicel)||Doulton RIO 2000||KDF/GAC BB|
Preparing to use your system for the first time
For the two canister systems, it is pretty easy. All you need to do is to unwrap the sediment filter and put it in the first canister. Then unwrap the carbon filter and put it in the 2nd canister. Then hook up your water source and run water through the two canisters/filters until it runs clear. There may be some carbon dust or "fines" that are on the surface of the carbon filter and need to be rinsed off. After the water is running clear, then you are ready to hook it up to your RV.
For the three canister systems (Iron and Scale), do the same thing as you do with the two canister system, rinsing off the carbon and the sediment filter, WITHOUT installing the third filter. After the carbon filter is running clear, then turn off the water and install the third filter. This filter will have more "fines" than the carbon filter as they are granulated. Run water through all three filters until it runs clear, then hook up to the RV.
For the South of the border, install all three filters and run water through them until they run clear.
After the filters are running clear, then run filtered water through the water softener if you have one. It will also have a good amount of "fines" to flush out before you can use it.