Happy New Year everyone!!
We hope that 2017 was a great year for you and we hope that 2018 is even better.
Unfortunately, we have had some shifting priorities and this blog fell to the bottom of a long list for the past few months. For that I apologize and am committed to doing better in this new year. If you are not following our blog, give us a follow. We don’t (and will never) spam and we try to provide useful information with regards to things we are doing, some of them work and some of them are truly disastrous, but we have been and will continue to be as completely open and honest as possible. In full disclosure, we have built relationships with some of the companies that sell the products we use and are Amazon affiliates–so the more links you click and the more things you buy from this blog the more money we will make and the more time we will have for spending time with this. All this being said, we are not in it to make money–we are in it to share our experiences and let you know what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work for us. We will NEVER recommend something we do not have first hand experience with!
Today I want to talk about what we use for water filtration—It’s important to note that all of our water comes from “trusted sources,” our current sources are a city spigot and water catchment. We aren’t using standing or stagnant water, we also aren’t taking any water out of streams so we don’t have to deal with the potential contaminated water issues that come with those.
We researched many ways, some cheap and some expensive, some intricate and some simple. I’m a big fan of the KISS method, so I went with the cheap(er) and simpler way. For us, that was using Ceramic Dome filters and two (food grade) five gallon buckets. We started with a kit similar to this that included a Dome filter and a spigot. We used these food grade buckets, now I don’t know what the difference is between food grade and non-food grade but, in my mind, some things just aren’t worth questioning and this was one.
We started with two ceramic filters, I have a link above for the kit that included the spigot and here is one that goes to the individual ceramic filters.
Lesson learned with regards to Ceramic Water Filters: Make sure to get the ones that have a “pre-filter” or “sock” to cover them–we made the mistake of buying one without the pre-filter and immediately regretted it. The pre-filter really helps to keep the actual filter clean and helps to lengthen the time in between cleaning the filters. A quick fix for us when we realized that we really needed that sock was just to use some ground or garden cloth to fashion a sock that fit over it and used rubber bands to hold it on.
We bought two food grade buckets, with lids. The first step was to install the filters in the bucket.
The Ceramic Filters have a shaft that extends down an inch or two with a nut and washer that you can use to secure it—all we had to do was drill a hole the size of the shaft, we did start with a pilot hole. The hole went through the bottom of what would be the top bucket and through the lid of what would be the bottom bucket. So now the two filters are locking the top bucket and the lid for the bottom bucket together.
Alternative configurations: We decided to just use two ceramic dome filters, however with the buckets that we used we could have used anywhere from 1-4 filters. The more filters you use the faster your water will filter and the more water you can filter before having to replace your filters. When it is time to replace the filters we have we will go to the four filter configuration.
Once that was done, it was as easy as drilling a hole in the lower section of what would be the bottom bucket and fitting the spigot in.
Spigot tip: We recommend installing the spigot a couple inches (give or take) from the bottom of the bottom bucket. This will give any debris or sediment that may get in the water a chance to settle to the bottom.
We clean the whole system–just washing the buckets and using a green scrubby on the filters ever month or so—it is readily apparent to us when they need to be cleaned–depending on the amount of water you are filtering and the cleanliness of water you are filtering you may need to clean it more or less. The filtration rate certainly slows down when the filters get dirty which is an indicator that you need to clean your filters.
In short, this system works great for us. There are two “what I could’ve done better” lessons for me on this one. 1. I should have just invested in the extra filters and set it up as a 4 filter system. 2. I should have bought a filter that came with a sock or pre-filter for our second ceramic filter. As soon as it is time to change the two filters out I will be rectifying both of those deficiencies.
Take a look at the slide show we made, let us know your thoughts in the comments–if you have any questions or tips or better ideas, please let us know. We are always looking for ways to help but are also always looking for better ways.