Just moved into a new home with well water and it looks like I have two types of filters. No identifying labels so I'm a little confused about what is what. In my previous home, I just had a plain sediment filter. This new setup looks like a sediment filter -- odd that it would have opaque cover though -- and some three-phase filter with pressure gauges.

three-phase filter? sediment filter?

  • I'd hazard a guess that the single blue one is an activated charcoal filter (or something like that) and is intended to remove dissolved contaminants like heavy metals, etc. – brhans Jun 20 '17 at 15:13
  • You've asked the previous owners? Always a good idea if it's an option, though you have to evaluate the correctness of the answer yourself in any case (folks may remember things incorrectly...). In most sales transactions around here, a water test would have been done, but if not, start with having the unfiltered input water tested. Gives you an idea of what might or might not be important, filter-wise. – Ecnerwal Jun 20 '17 at 15:59
  • @Ecnerwal It was an estate sale so I really bought it from the owner's children. I doubt they would know but I can shoot them an email. – Matt Hughes Jun 20 '17 at 17:05
  • The 3 stage filter I had before was 10 micron sediment filter, 5 micron carbon, and 1 micron carbon. The gauges tell you when the filter needs changing by comparing pressure change across a filter. – Tyson Jun 20 '17 at 17:22

All of those are sediment (or possibly carbon) filters.

Three of them in a row is common for having increasing levels of filtration, eg: 20 micron -> 5 micron -> 1 micron. This captures bigger particles earlier, which increases the longevity and effectiveness of the smaller filters.

The pressure gauges give you an idea of which filters are getting clogged so you know what to replace.

There's no functional difference between opaque, translucent and clear filter housings -- it's just a different design. Arguably with the clear housings you can see how "dirty" the filter is, but practically speaking, it's much more useful to have pressure gauges. A filter that looks "dirty" may still be quite effective, while one that still looks fairly new may actually be clogged internally and need to be changed.

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    Depending on light level in the area where the filters are, opaque may grow less algae. – Ecnerwal Jun 20 '17 at 15:55
  • @Ecnerwal Ah, fair point. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe this would only be a concern if your water supply is surface water (or under direct influence of surface water). Ground water (from an aquifer) shouldn't have any algae in it. – gregmac Jun 20 '17 at 16:21
  • Algae are remarkably persistent and/or ubiquitous - While there may be none in the water source, when you open those filter cartridges to change them all sorts of things can wander in the from the air. – Ecnerwal Jun 20 '17 at 16:26

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