Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Multipure the best water filter?

1.  Most effective.  NSF certified to remove/reduce more contaminants than any other filter.

2.  Stainless Steel Housing.  Lifetime warrantee.  Most other companies’ systems are plastic, much more likely to crack, break, and leak.  Most other companies have 90 day or 1 year warrantees.

3.  Easy maintenance.  One filter, once a year.  Five minutes.  Do-It-Yourself.  Many other companies’ filters use multiple cartridges.

4.  Compact size.  About the size of a pineapple, fits easily under any sink.

2. How does Multipure compare with other filters out there?

compareOver a thousand systems out there; which one to choose? Stores, online, independent distributors, Craigs List. You can spend anywhere from $19.99 to $5000 on a filtration system. But in the end, its not just about money. Its about your health over time. Multipure stands head and shoulders above the field for its value and effectiveness. It has the best warrantee, best certification, and easiest maintenance. Given the highest marks by both major consumer magazines in recent reports, Multipure also is certified by NSF to reduce the greatest number of contaminants. Let’s examine the most common systems

1. Pour thru/carafe/BRITA-type filters. These are very popular because they are inexpensive to buy and very portable. Great for students and short-term residents. But ultimately, most people find they are way too slow, produce only a small volume of water and require frequent, almost monthly filter changes. It takes five minutes just to get a few pints of water. What most folks don’t realize is that those filters do not remove very much. They make the water taste better by removing some of the chlorine, but usually less than 75%. They are not very effective at lead removal (check Consumer Reports February 2012), and do not remove most volatile organic chemicals. Not ideal.

2. Generic plastic-housing filters. These are the kinds you can purchase at big box, hardware and plumbing supply stores. Generally one or two cartridges, side-by-side. One cartridge for chlorine, one for lead, maybe one for sediment. Being plastic, they usually have only a one-year warrantee; more likely to crack, break or leak over time. These filters do a mediocre job at removing some contaminants. They use granular activated charcoal and have very limited certification. Several cartridges to change several times a year. A hassle.

3. Faucet-mounted filters. These are installed at the end of your faucet. About the size of your fist, they only produce a slow stream of filtered water and require frequent replacement. These filters tend to clog quickly, and customers tell me they are frustrated because much of the time the flow rate is very restricted. When new, they are pretty effective at removing contaminants, but they have limited warrantees and end up costing a lot for maintenance. What’s more, they are impossible to mount on those new faucets with built-in pullout sprayers.

4. MULTIPURE Solid Carbon Block Systems. These are the best I have seen. Lifetime warrantee, stainless steel, once-a-year filter changes, only one cartridge, and the best testing and certification out there. No other system has the documentation of performance that Multipure has. No other system protects you against so many contaminants. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the Consumer Magazines. Check out the NSF listings (standard 53). This is a 40+ year old company you can count on. Great customer service. Excellent reviews. Millions of units out there. Both undersink and countertop models.

Make this a one-time, lifetime investment. We are one of the few companies with a stainless steel unit, and I frequently talk to customers who are still using the Multipure they purchased 20 and 25 and even 30 years ago. Why settle for anything less? If you are going to get a filter, then do the job right.

3. Do I want to remove fluoride from my drinking water?

Fluoride is often added to public water because it dramatically reduces cavities.  Fluoride is a mineral and some water contains naturally ocurring fluoride.  But more commonly, a man-made form of fluoride is added to public water at well-regulated low levels of fluoride.  Most public health and dental authorities support this position.

In our experience talking with thousands of customers, a majority agree with that  and for them the solid carbon block systems (such as the Multipure above and below sink units) are perfect as they do not remove fluoride.

Some people strongly object to even relatively low fluoride, citing studies that long-term use of fluoride can have adverse effects such as mottling of children’s teeth, bone weakness and brittleness, neurological problems, thyroid, cancer, etc. For people who object to fluoride, we recommend a reverse osmosis system because it takes out all minerals, including fluoride.

On this difficult issue, we respect the right of each consumer to make their own decision and choose the filtering technology that delivers what they want.  Multipure has you covered!

4. Which is better, reverse osmosis or carbon block filtration?

There is no simple answer to that question, since each technology has its strengths, and each consumer is weighing all the various factors:  what it removes, cost, maintenance, ease-of-installation, etc.  Solid carbon is by far the simplest and most popular system and probably the one we recommend most often for people on municipal tap water systems.  Reverse osmosis is more complex and expensive and is often the product of choice by people who get their water from their own private well (since wells water is more likely to contain excessive minerals).

One major difference is the fact that solid carbon block leaves the fluoride in the water; reverse osmosis removes it.  Some consumers prefer the former, some the latter, and for some, that issue is not the deciding factor.  Other things like cost, convenience, maintenance, etc. may factor in.

5. How often should I change my filter?

Just like the oil filter in your car, water filter cartridges need to be changed on a schedule so that they provide the cleanest possible water. Multipure’s Aquaversa filter (solid carbon block) is certified effective by NSF for 750 gallons.  This is our most popular system, either undercounter, abovecounter or Aquadome.  For an average family of four, using it for cooking and drinking, we recommend changing that filter once a year.  If your household is smaller, you might consider going 15 or 18 months.  Conversely, if your filter is for a household with more people or higher usage, try a little less than a year.

Most people are perfectly capable of changing their own filters.  It only takes about 5 minutes and the instructions are on the wrapper that comes on the new filter.  Make sure you shut off the incoming water before you open up the unit.  Take your time, read the instructions and be observant so that once you have put in the new filter you can reverse all the steps to reassemble it just as it was before.

Sometimes people ask me:  What would happen if I didn’t change my filter on time?  In most cases, there is no reason to be alarmed.  Effectiveness after a year drops off very slightly and gradually.  Your filter will not slough off contaminants.  It won’t release anything bad into the water; it just won’t be quite as effective.  If you never changed your filter, it would eventually clog and the flow would diminish.

The only reason to change it more often would be in very rare and extreme circumstances:

1.  If the flow diminishes considerably and becomes inconvenient 2.  If there is an objectionable smell or taste.

When you change your filter, the old filter might look brown or black, muddy and nasty, or it might look almost new.  If it is time, change it anyway.  Keep in mind that if it is brown and nasty, what that is telling you is that there was a lot of muck in your tap water and the filter removed it.  What you see is what is left behind.  That muck is not getting into your filtered water.  What you can see is what you are NOT drinking.  What you see is pre-filtration.  It is on the outside of your filter, so don’t freak out!

For some people, their old filter looks almost new.  Change it anyway.  All the color tells you is whether or not the tap water has sediment and particulate matter.  Color doesn’t tell the whole story.  Most chemicals and chlorine and lead, for example, have no color!  They are invisible to the eye.  So even if your filter looks white, it still has been removing those invisible chemicals.  You still need to change it.

Then there are our specialty filters:  The AquaPerform filter is an arsenic-removing filter.  Although it is a larger cartridge than the Aquaversa, it is only rated for 600 gallons, slightly less than the Aquaversa.  The AquaComplete filters are a bit more complicated, since there are 5 different cartridges in that RO system.  We recommend changing the 3 prefilters every 6 months, the RO membrane every 2-3 years, and the Aquaversa postfilter every year.  Write that schedule down on a calendar or log so you can keep track.  Finally, if you have the special capacity monitored faucets on any of your units with those LED lights on the faucet, you can change your filter when the flashing light changes from green to orange.

For ordering information, call me or visit our replacement filter page.

6. How will I get my Multipure system installed?

There are three basic ways to have your system installed:  Do-It-Yourself, hire a plumber, or find a handyman.

1.  Do-It-Yourself.  Countertop units are quick and easy for anyone to install.  All you need is a pair of pliers and 5 minutes to read through the instructions and complete the job.  Undersink installations (Aquaversa or Aquacomplete) are usually do-able for any handy homeowner, friend or relative who is comfortable with basic tools and reading directions.  It can take 30 minutes-45 minutes for most people.  Often it will require drilling a hole in the sink or counter.  Read the instructions and call Multipure customer service if you have questions.  However, some people are not comfortable taking on this type of job, so they need to hire someone to help.

2.  Hire a Plumber.  Any plumber should be able to follow the instructions in the box and do this job.  If you are having builders and plumbers in to rebuild or install a new kitchen sink, then just have that plumber do the job.  Plumbers are your most expensive option but probably the safest and easiest for you.  They are trained professionals,  licensed and insured.  By the way, any plumber will tell you when he first sees our system that he likes the stainless steel housing we use below the sink. If you are having a reverse osmosis system or whole house system installed, we definitely recommend hiring a plumber.  Those systems are far more complex than most homeowners can do

3.  Hire a Handyman.  Many handymen or women are able to do this job fairly easily.  They have the tools and are prepared for minor plumbing work like this.  Some Multipure distributors are able to do installations, but most do not.  You can try asking the person who sold you the system, but usually you will have to find your own handyman.

There are a number of “custom” questions that come up.  People often want to know what to do when they have an undermounted sink and a granite counter.  How about hooking up the Multipure to a refrigerator ice-maker or an instant hot device?  What happens if your countertop system won’t hook up to your faucet?

I (David Green), have installed over 1000 Multipures and would be happy to answer any of your questions.  I am happy to give you free advice and help you figure out who should install your system, feel free to phone or email. 

7. How can I find out what contaminants are in my water?

Environmental Working Group Report on Unregulated Contaminants

Environmental Working Group Report on Unregulated Contaminants

If you are on municipal tap water, you can request your local water report from the town (see links on the right for help). However, note that current water testing law does not require testing for all possible contaminants, many that have been shown to be present in some water sources are not currently tested for so would not show up on these reports.

If you have a private well, you would need to have it tested by a state-certified testing lab for a wide range of possible contaminants.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a searchable database based on 22 million water quality tests.  Search the database here.

Safe Drinking Water Hotline
1-800-426-4791

The EPA Drinking Water Quality Reports and contact information for your local area. Note that most local areas do not provide this information online.

National Labs water testing service, one of many labs that will test your water for a fee.

8. What are the health risks associated with arsenic, lead & other contaminants in drinking water?

Click image below to view full size & download:

health-risks

How do I know if I have Heavy Metal Contaminants like Lead and Mercury in my Drinking Water?

The EPA regulates heavy metal contaminants in your drinking water. This means that if you are on a municipal tap water system (not well water) the law requires your water provider to make sure the water that they give you contains less than the allowable limit for these dangerous contaminants. However, your water provider is not responsible for what heavy metals get into your water in transit from their treatment facilities due to aging pipes so really the only 100% sure way to know that heavy metals are not in your drinking water is to have your water tested or filtered using a filter that is NSF certified to reduce these contaminants. If you have well water, you must have it tested to know what is in it.Follow this link to our page dedicated to finding out what is in your water. It has links to labs that do water tests for a fee, the Safe Drinking water helpline, the EPA Safe drinking water reports, and a searchable database of water testing reports from the Environmental Working group.

8. Is chlorine dangerous?

chlorineChlorine is an element with the atomic number 17. It was named after the Greek word “khlorus,” which means greenish-yellow, as it appears in the photo in its gaseous form. It has both toxic and disinfectant qualities. For example, German soldiers first used it in World War I as a chemical weapon in 1915 before the advent of mustard gas. The chlorine weapon hung low to the ground and caused acute respiratory effects, burning, injury and death on the battlefield! It was first put in London’s water supply in 1850 to kill the microbes after a cholera outbreak. Chlorine binds with and destroys the outer surfaces of bacteria and viruses.

So chlorine is a double-edged sword. Present in about 90% of public tap water, this chemical should be the first thing people think about when they consider filtering their water. Municipalities treat water with it because it greatly reduces the levels of bacteria and viruses and that is a good thing. It is also used in swimming pools and the disinfectant properties of chlorine bleach such as Chlorox are well-known.

However, chlorine treatment of drinking water creates both esthetic problems and carries major health risks. It can impart a very unpleasant smell and taste, often a metallic after-taste. Restauranteurs have long countered this by adding a slice of lemon when they serve tap water to their customers to cover up the taste. I am always reluctant to drink water when I see a lemon dropped in my glass! Many people can smell the chlorine fumes in their shower or when they swim in a pool.

What are the health risks? Chlorine combines with decaying algae and other plant life such as leaves and twigs in the reservoirs, rivers and pipes to create dangerous disinfection byproducts (DCB’s) Also known as THM’s (trihalomethanes) and HAA’s (haloacetic acids), these substances are found widely in public chlorinated water. DCB’s have been linked to a high increased risk of many cancers such as bladder, rectal, colon and breast cancer.

Robert Morris, a researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, reported results of major studies in 1992 that concluded that chlorine byproducts increased bladder cancer risk by an average of 21% and rectal cancer 38%, translating into 20,000 new cancer cases a year! University of Birmingham (UK) reported in 2008 that another risk was the harm done during pregnancy to developing fetuses, with increased incidence of birth defects, miscarriages and even stillbirths.

And while chlorine is effective in reducing bacteria and viruses, it is much less helpful in killing protozoan cysts in the water. Giardia Lamblia and cryptosporidia hae a tough outer shell that makes them somewhat chlorine-resistant. Their presence in drinking water can have dramatic effects: Milwaukee in 1994 experienced a major outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in which 400,000 people were sickened, 4,000 were hospitalized and hundreds died. Immunocompromised populations are especially vulnerable: HIV-AIDs patients, elderly, transplant, dialysis patients, children and people on chemotherapy.

Authorities are aware that high levels of chlorine generate unacceptable health risks from the disinfection byproducts. In many places they have attempted to bring down these risks by replacing chlorine with a combination of chlorine and ammonia. This combination, however, generates a new compound called Chloramines which may also have negative health effects.

Multipure’s solid carbon block filter is the only filter on the market which carries NSF certification for all these contaminants: chlorine, chlorine byproducts, giardia, cryptosporidia, and chloramines.

How do you know if Chlorine and Chlorine By-Products are in your Drinking Water?

You can contact your local water utility or read your local consumer confidence report to find out if your water is chlorinated. If it is public water rather than a private well, and paricularly if it is from a river or reservoir, the liklihood is great that you do have chlorine and its byproducts. Here’s a do-it-yourself way to determine if your water has chlorine in it: a simple test that uses a chemical indicator called OTO which can be purchased from Multipure or your local pool supply store. Put a few drops of this clear chemical into a white cup full of tap water. The OTO will react in the presence of chlorine, turning the water yellow. The white cup just makes it easier to see the coloration.

9. What do you recommend for well water?

If you have a private well, we recommend you have it tested to find out what problems you might need to address.  Unlike municipal tap water which is tested and treated regularly, private well water is the owners’ responsibility alone. We recommend testing for hardness, bacteria, specific minerals such as radon, arsenic and nitrates and possibly for volatile organic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and industrial solvents.  These tests can be expensive and should be performed by state-certified labs.  Check with your public health department to get suggestions or google “water testing or water analysis” to find a good lab.  Many of them provide convenient mail-order test kits where they send you test bottles to fill and send back to them for analysis.

In addition to the quantitative testing, answer the following questions:
(1)  Is there a bad taste to the water?  Does it taste or smell like iron or rotten eggs?  Or is it pretty good to the palate?
(2)  Do you have corrosion around plumbing fixtures?
(3)   Is there staining or discoloration in your bathtub, toilet bowl, sinks or dishwasher?
(4)  Have you checked with the immediate neighbors to see what their well water is like? Have there been problems in the area?
(5)  Is there a septic system on your grounds or nearby?
(6)  Any gas stations or businesses nearby? (sometimes chemicals get into the ground and travel into aquifers underground)
(7)  Do you or your neighbors use fertilizers, pesticides or chemical lawn treatment?
(8)  Does the water have a cloudy appearance (called turbidity).

Remember:  MULTIPURE is for drinking water, not the whole house.  We offer two types of drinking water systems:  solid carbon block  filters and reverse osmosis.  If the concern is primarily chemicals, parasites or just cloudy appearance, then the solid carbon blocks are highly effective.  Solid carbon, however,  does not remove dissolved minerals, which are often an issue in well water.

If the concern is high levels of minerals such as arsenic, radon, chromium-6 or perchlorate, then we recommend reverse osmosis.  Keep in mind that reverse osmosis will also protect against chemicals and parasites.  For many well-users, this makes reverse osmosis the system of choice. Reverse osmosis systems do require a minimum of 40 lbs of water pressure, and since some well pumps are below that it is best to be aware.  If your water pressure seems low, then test to be sure.  If it feels robust and strong, you are probably okay.

When there is a  problem with corrosion and staining throughout the house, it may become necessary to also look into getting a whole-house water softener or water conditioner.  Multpure does not deal in those products and they often run in the $3000-$6000 range.  Water conditioners remove minerals only and even when people install a water conditioner, we still recommend a point-of-use Multipure for protection against possible chemicals.

Private wells are all unique and different conditions require customized solutions.  For help analyzing and taking effective action, contact us

10. Should I consider getting a whole house filter?

The idea sounds great. Why not filter all the water in your house rather than just your drinking water? Not so quick! Whole house sytems are generally more expensive to buy and maintain, and because they have to filter tens of thousands of gallons a year, they can’t remove everything as well as a point-of-use filter such as Multipure’s Aquaversa or Multipure RO (reverse osmosis). By the way, whole house filters are not the same as water softeners, and I will describe the difference below.

Take time to carefully assess your situation, your needs and your budget before making that decision. When people ask me this question, I generally ask them a series of questions:

1. Do you own or rent your home? If you rent, then whole house is out of the question. It requires quite an initial investment, professional plumbing installation and cannot be taken with you when you move.
2. What is the source of your water? Is is municipal town water (usually chlorinated), or is it from your own private well? If it is your own well, you should have it tested so you know about potential problems.
3. How does the water taste? If it is public water and has bad taste, suspect chlorine. If it has a strong metallic taste, particularly if it is well water, suspect iron. If it tastes like rotten eggs, sulphur.
4. Are there specific health contaminants you know about in your water that you want to address?
5. Does your water leave stains on your fixtures, such as reddish stains in toilet bowls, sinks or dishwashers? Does it corrode plumbing? If so, you may need a water softener.

In most cases, I believe it is advantageous to install the Multipure Aquaversa or Multipure RO system under your kitchen sink as your first line of defense. The Aquaversa will give you the best protection against chlorine, chemicals, heavy metals, cysts and the best taste. This is generally the best for municipal water. The RO system additionally removes minerals (hardness) so it is well-suited to well water (pun intended). These two systems give you the BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK. If you are concerned about removing chlorine from your showers, purchase an inexpensive shower filter or two. And if you want to have better drinking water in a bathroom, get another Aquaversa. Its still less expensive to buy and maintain than any good whole house approach.

Multipure’s Aquasource is in a class by itself.  It has a stainless steel housing and three solid carbon block filters within.   This whole house filter will improve taste and reduce chlorine and chemical contaminants throughout your house. It will reduce sediment. Keep in mind that whole house filters do not remove lead (since lead usually comes from your own house plumbing and that is after the filter). Whole house filters do not remove dissolved minerals, so if you have very hard water, this may not solve your problems.

Because it has to filter every drop of water you use, not only drinking water but also laundry, toilet, shower, cleaning, etc., it has to treat hundreds of times more water than a typical undersink water filter. Because of the pressure demands and volume, it cannot filter everything to the same degree as an undersink filter. Installation must be done by a licensed plumber. Maintenance is very important, sometimes costly and often too cumbersome for some homeowners to do themselves.

Finally, what about water softeners? Multipure does not offer water softeners. A water softener consists of a big tank or tanks in your basement that take the hardness or minerals out of your water. When people tell me they have well water and that their water tastes very metallic and/or may stain their fixtures, then I often suggest they contact a company that deals in water softeners. They may need that. Softeners generally cost somewhere in the $2500-$6000 range and you can learn about them by talking to your neighbors or plumbers in your area since they are probably familiar with local water issues and what folks near you are doing about it.

Here are some things to keep in mind: A water softener is NOT a filter. Water softeners do not remove chemicals, or chlorine, or parasites. Softeners sometimes elevate the sodium levels in your water, so if you are dealing with medical conditions like high blood pressure, you may want to check that aspect out before purchasing. And if you have a softener already, or get one, you will STILL need a point-of-use Multipure system. They can work well together.

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