We have city water, but it always manages to taste like metal and chlorine. I was going to add point-of-use filters, but then decided it would be better to do the whole house to cover showering, hot water heater, bathroom sinks, etc. I'm hoping this will also extend the life of water-using appliances.
I purchased 3 20"x4.5" Big Blue filter housings. I plan to use a 5 micron sediment filter, but the other two housings I haven't decided on yet. I oversized the filters on purpose to hopefully allow adequate flow for the whole house. A popular design seems to be: sediment -> Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) -> carbon block since the GAC allows more contact with the medium, and then the carbon block filters out anything that comes loose in the GAC.
I was considering double sediment filtering (5 micron and then 1 micron), but since it's really the chlorine/chloramine that I want out, the GAC is important.
Sorry, I haven't boiled this down to a question, so here it is:
Is the carbon block good enough to remove any loose carbon from the GAC (especially after filter changes)? Should I put a spigot inbetween the GAC housing and the carbon block so I can flush that after a GAC filter change without overwhelming the block? Or is there some other filter arrangement that I haven't discovered yet?
And, as an aside, if I wanted RO at my kitchen sink, do they sell JUST an RO filter/tank setup for systems that already do sediment/carbon for the whole house? Everything I see is a combo system.
Does anyone who already has a whole house system look at TDS / pressure drop to determine when to change a filter, or is it better to stick to a schedule? I was also hoping that the large filters would get me longer periods between changing.
UPDATE: Well, it's not an "answer", but here's what I went with after discussing it with a few ChemEng friends. They agreed that carbon block is far preferable to GAC, since it forces the water through the carbon instead of just having it flow past. I initially installed the 5 micron sediment filter in housing 1, left 2 empty, and put a 1 micron carbon block in 3. At their recommendation, I put a second 1 micron carbon block in housing 2. Our pressure is great, and oversizing the filters was a good call - flow rates are more than adequate.
Just today, some neighbors were posting to facebook asking if anyone had noticed a much more pronounced chlorine taste over the past few days. The water company is pointing to salt runoff, but everyone's claiming it smells like pool water is coming from the taps. I can't smell the chlorine at all, and the taste is very faintly metallic, but no chlorine. Very pleased with how this worked out.