Living with the Lowes Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
It's unfortunate in some areas that tap water can't be made to taste better. Where I live the water has so many chemicals in it, it almost makes you thirstier. I decided to install the reverse osmosis system for both environment and health reasons. I was buying gallon jugs of water for the longest time. Half of them tasted like plastic which probably was leaching harmful chemicals into the water. Also I was sick of wasting gas and time driving to the store when you can get water out of your tap. Plus I have heard it takes 2 gallons of water to make a plastic jug. What a waste of water! Because of the initial cost and price of the replacement filters, it seamed like it would be hard to get any return on the investment but now after using it for 6 months it's hard to believe we lived with out it. I purchased the unit for $155 on sale at Lowes. To make the current faucet work I had to order extra parts from kohler to change my faucet from a three hole into a single hole unit. Lowes also sells different finishes of drinking water faucets that work with this system so you don't have to live with the chrome faucet. It doesn't have a battery filter change reminder but you can sign up for email filter change notification to change your water filter every 6 months. Two of the filters ($45 for the two filters) need to be changed every 6 months while the reverse osmosis filter ($59) should be changed once a year. The biggest complain I have heard about these reverse osmosis systems is that it appears that a lot of waste water goes down the drain. When I initially installed the reverse osmosis system I ran the waste water drain directly into the sink drain. All night I could hear the water running and gurgling in the sink while it filled the tank. The next day I ran the waste drain into the basement so I wouldn't have to listen to it drip all night. For about a week the water ran and ran. I ended up calling whirpool about the excessive water consumption and they had me take the system apart to look at the gaskets. It turns out my gaskets were not working properly so they sent me another whole unit. Once the new unit was installed everything worked great. I would bet there is about 3-5 gallons of waste water everyday but I believe as with any reverse osmosis filtered water there is a similar amount of waste water. I'm thinking about eventually running the waste water to a rain barrel outside. Since the water draining was noisy I would recommend running the waste water into a drain in the basement if possible, it may have just been my old plumbing but I didn't like hearing the water trickle down the drain.
After using this system for the past 6 months I am extremely happy with it. The water tastes better than most bottled water and I never have to carry those water jugs again. I wish the filters were cheaper but the convenience of water from the tap is wonderful. Also I feel that even though there is waste water I'm probably wasting less natural resources than I was before. Also I drink much more water than I ever did before. Now I'm wondering if you can recycle the filter cartridges?
You can find the WHERE25 instruction manual here. It includes how to sanitize and purging the filtration system. It also includes updated information on sanitization cartridges that are available.