HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Water filters, a cautionary tale (13 msgs / 195 lines)
1) From: Frank Parth
I would strongly caution against under-counter filters based on a recent experience.
I had an under-counter filter bought at Lowe's that I installed about 8 years ago. It worked fine, until one day the 
1/4 inch plastic tubing decided to separate itself from the swage fitting and just popped out.
This happened within an hour (AFAICT) after I left for the airport at 6:30 one morning two weeks ago. My neighbor saw 
water by my front door about 10 AM, and when he looked out at noon the water was gushing down the street. When he 
couldn't get an answer to the door (my wife was on a business trip also) he shut the water off.
For only 3-4 hours of water pouring out of a 1/4 inch fitting, the damage is about $30,000. The entire first floor and 
the garage got flooded, ruining the carpeting and the wooden flooring, staining all the furniture that was sitting 
onthe floor, and creeping up the drywall to about 18 inches.
After ripping everything out we had to live with de-humidifiers and two dozen high-speed fans for over a week. 
Likeliving inside a jet engine. Unfortunately we both work from home when we're not traveling and we haven't traveled 
since a few days after it happened. The house was built in 1979, and the small bit of vinyl flooring in the laundry had 
11% asbestos so we had to deal with a hazmat removal process.
The flooring has since been replaced, the carpeting will go in this week, the downstairs has been completely repainted 
(and I just had the entire interior painted in January!), the wallpaper will be replaced within a couple of weeks, and 
the furniture stain removal should be another 2-3 weeks. I've posted some pictures on my personal site here: http://fparth.com/Family/flood/index.html.The insurance adjuster (Farmer's Insurance, which I can't say enough good things about) said the two most common 
causesof flooding in houses are under-sink water filters and water inlets to refrigerators for ice makers. He said they 
last7-8 years and then a percentage of them just decide to pop off.
This was my experience, YMMV.
Frank Parth

2) From: Robert Shields
Sorry about your bad experience, think I will reconsider the under sink 
unit.  Perhaps a Brita would be best.

3) From: Michael Wascher
I've had the same issue with the units using a plastic hose, fortunately no
appreciable damage.
I've had good results with copper tubing.
On 8/12/07, Frank Parth  wrote:
"We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities." --Walt Kelly

4) From: Rich
Ice machines and / or under counter filters are normally plumbed in using plastic tubing, usually a 
nylon plastic tubing.  It ages and breaks just like the insurance adjuster said.  If you have either of 
these neat gadgets you should have copper tubing for the plumbing.  Or very good flood / water damage 
insurance.  They all fail sooner or later.
On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 13:42:03 -0700, Frank Parth wrote:
one day the 
My neighbor saw 
most common 
makers. He said they 

Plumbed mine in with copper. Another problem with plastic is that I find it
takes too long to wash out the 'new' taste. I have an older home and my
entire water system is copper.
Sorry to hear about your leak & loss.
On 8/12/07, Frank Parth  wrote:
Start HOT and work your way Down...
Peppers AND Coffee.
(I'm the tall guy in the middle)

6) From: Richard Ferguson
A key to this story is the unit was purchased from Lowes.  Don't get me wrong,
I goto lowes almost once a week but lots of items there are cheaply made and
have parts that are imported.  The bigger lesson here is never trust your
water supply to cheap parts.  Is there a reason the Lowes under-sink filter
costs about 1/4 a quality under-sink filter does?  You bet.  If you are
interested in an under-sink filter, check out www.freedrinkingwater.com, they
have a reverse osmosis system that is 100% made in america.  No parts are
imported, period.  It may be more expensive than the lowes/homedepot
equivalent, but well worth it in my opinion.

7) From: Lynne Biziewski
Wow -
I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Since I won't be able to
afford much, I'll most likely eventually get something that won't go under
the sink. My landlord wouldn't be too happy if I caused a flood!
Sounds like you have good insurance, though, and I will remember this
if/when I ever own a house again, and need to choose an insurance co.!

8) From: Frank Parth
You're entitled to your opinion, but I disagree. I usually buy such things at Lowes because I've found the quality is 
better than the local True Value store and the prices are cheaper. Though I don't buy tools at either one (I prefer 
LeeValley, Highland Hardware, or vendors like Lie-Nielson for tools) and I won't buy lumber at either Lowes or Home 
Depot. The quality is just too poor. But for brand-name products they're just fine.
Other people on this list have expressed the opinion that reverse osmosis treated water does not make for good coffee. 
So I ended up buying an EverPure filtration system. It was several hundred dollars and it still has plastic tubing, but 
it seems much better made. I made a note to checking the firmness of the tubing connections every year.
Frank Parth

9) From: Leo Zick
copper fails too.  hell, even lead pipe does, just had to replace a section
of drain pipe in my families house.
there is no fail safe.
On 8/13/07, Lynne Biziewski  wrote:

10) From: Leo Zick
so made in USA guarantees quality?

11) From: Richard Ferguson
Compared to China?

12) From: Rich
The problem with tubing, either plastic or copper is that when a compression type of fitting is used the 
dominate failure mechanism will be a double ended guillotine break originating at the compression 
fitting.  The flare fitting will leak first which gives you a chance.  If you have compression fittings then 
an automatic flood detector and shut off is also highly recommended.  Changing all of the fittings is 
On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 06:41:36 -0700, Frank Parth wrote:
the quality is 
one (I prefer 
Lowes or Home 
make for good coffee. 
plastic tubing, but 

13) From: Leo Zick
cant put all the blame on the manufacturer, the designer (a US company) is
responsible for QC in a lot of cases.
On 8/13/07, Richard Ferguson  wrote:

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