Does anyone out there in the building performance community have any input on the energy savings that are gained by pure filtered water being used in households?
I recently had someone come to my house to discuss water issues, ways to save energy, and how it wouldn't cost me anything. He tested my water and showed me how much chlorine is contained in it. He talked about the Clean Water Act and the requirements for Chlorine have a minimum for safety, but no maximum? He performed a test where he showed chlorine out of the tap in one bottle, then had us put our fingers in two cups and tested them after 2 minutes to show that all the chlorine was being absorbed into our skin. This is where he had me really listening.
Then he began talking about how much faster water boils when its pure! (This I see could save energy) He talked about how much less soap you have to use with pure water vs. regular water and then showed us with his product...this is where I began being a little leery. Then he began talking about how purified water cleans the pipes and will extend the life of your appliances and also make their run times shorter. I don't know about the cleaning pipes thing, nor about whether the appliance run times will be decreased. If the setpoint is reached with hot water requirements in your dishwasher or clothes washer, then I could see this being a savings, but does purified water clean as well?
Then he sprung the big one on me. He said that an average energy savings on your energy bill from purified water being used is between 21 and 29%!!!! What???!!!! I debated the issues and asked for particulars, but he was a good salesman and kept on flowing by the questions and objections at hand. I could see some savings, but not anything like this!!!
I do see the benefit on my family's skin, the savings in bottled water or filters for the fridge, the potential boiling time savings and the possible health benefits, and some other good benefits like no sediment in my HPWH or water holding tank, etc..., but I am still leery. Anyone out there have any input??
Wish I could offer and expert opinion on the matter, but I am not an expert, so I'll just express my subjective views on the matter.
Chlorine is definitely a serious issue for our health, and all other contaminants are not desirable either, so I would certainly look into some water purification system.
However, his claims on water boiling faster, appliances operating shorter periods of times and huge energy savings sound completely bogus: I found nothing on water boiling faster if it's purified (at least if the difference was significant there would be something to be found on the internet about it). Shorter periods is just a pure nonsense - the amount of energy your boiler produces in a period of time is not dependent on the purity of the water in no way, nor can it possibly change your boiler's efficiency. You can have brake fluid circulating in the pipes for all the boiler cares with about the same result. He sure might be right about decrease of sediment and prolonged appliance life, you've got to do your own math there though to see that it might be not that much, unless you live in an area where your water is so bad you have to change your appliances annually.
So the conclusion that his claims on some energy savings are fake seem to be quite obvious.
Now here is the big question - WHAT WAS HE TRYING TO SELL TO YOU?
These days you can buy a reverse osmosis filtering system for a couple of hundred, and that's about all you need. And there are plenty of companies trying to sell same systems for thousands of dollars (like the company Aqualife), so just do your research first.
I worked for a company that produced spot free portable car wash equipment. We sold the equipment nationwide. Most of this is off the top of my head. I saw dozens of companies provide us with example of products the would change my industry. None of them worked. We used deionized tanks or reverse osmosis for our equipment. The company and industry still does.
In order for a spot free rinse water needs to be pure. There are a few ways to achieve this. The idea is to remove the dissolved solids and and the result is pure water. A TDS meter will be used to gauge the purity.
Distillation takes heat to perform the process.Not a point use product. We did not use this due to cost
Ion exchange or de ionized water takes Cation and Anion Beads which are chagred negativity and positively and capture the solids in water and produce pure water. The tanks exhaust and need to be exchange and recharged. point of use product.
Reverse Osmosis takes water and passes it through a membrane. The membranes are called self cleaning as the pure water goes to a holding tank and the waste water goes to the drain taking the solids with it.
Soft water require and ion exchange and will have two tanks holding tank of salt or potassium and one for the ion exchange process.Soft water is not pure it exchanges calcium for salt. Calcium is harder than salt thus the water is soft. A hardness or grain test is used to gauge this. Some waters are naturally soft. This water will still have dissolved solids and will spot glass.
We used thes at times before the reverse osmosis sytem as soft water will have a reduction in membrane failure and sometimes higher yield or less waste.
Filtered water will remove clorine and iron and other particles. It will not make the water soft as there is no ion exchange. We used these sometimes before the system to remove the chlorine. The thin film membranes fail when chlorine reaches them. We would either use a system like this or simply fill an empty tank with activated carbon as a pre filter. The advantage of these filter was the carbon was a higher quality and lasted longer than the product we used. It also had an automatic flush reducing the maintenance time for customers on site.
Chlorine is in our systems to kill bacteria. If another cost effective solution for the safe distribution large quantities of water is available I am unaware of it
The system on the website is a water filter not a purifier and not a softener. There are allot of great benefits to a water filter and I think they are a great solution for a number reasons.
Pure water does not boil faster.
The savings are based on a sediment filled tank I think a sediment filled tank typically fails.
I have an under sink RO system for drinking water my family and no system for the rest of the house