Sunday, June 30, 2013

maintenance, water filter edition

In addition to the normal maintenance schedule for most houses - changing the batteries in the smoke detectors, cleaning out the gutters - tin box has a few other systems that need regular service. One of them is the group of filters we use to make rainwater potable. The three filters are mounted on a skid in the garage, close to the point where the supply line from the rainwater cistern enters the house. The pump (lower right) draws water from the cistern whenever we turn on a tap or appliance; the water passes through a string filter (blue tube, far right), an ultraviolet lamp (silver cylinder, center) and a charcoal filter (left). These three items need to be replaced annually.

The string filter uses a very long piece of string wound into a thick tube to catch small particles in the rainwater. The photo at left shows our new filter (the sparkling white one at left) and the used one, which is filled with schmutz.
The string filter (left) and the charcoal filter (which removes any lingering flavor in the water) fit into long blue plastic cylinders. These tubes fill with water around their perimeter, and the water passes through the filter surfaces into the center, from which it is drawn into the next stage in the system. The pieces are easy to service, and the whole process is very quick.
The ultraviolet light kills microbes and pathogens in the water. The light bulb sits inside a glass cylinder, around which the water flows.

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