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Old 09-25-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
GearheadV8
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Default Home made Water filter system.

Soo pretty much the water out of the hose taps at my house sucks. Leaves water spots really easily and ive been looking at water filter system for car detailing and always got discouraged by the prices. Then when I was at my neighbors house helping put stuff up in the garage rafters I noticed a water filter that was sitting to the side. Small one and it was brand new. I asked about it and he said take it because he had no more need for it. So i went to home depot and about a hour later and about 30$ in parts I now have a small water filter!

The filter!


The Parts


The end result


All in all I am happy how it came out. Im feelin alil under the weather so cant wash a car today But when I can I'm gonna do a comparison test.

only question I have is.. Since ive been using the water with out any filtration for the past few years.. should i get a new hose to use with the filter? I just don't wanna start with a filtered water just to have it not useful with a hose that might have sediment build up.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
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I bet after you run some water through it it will be clean. It wouldn't hurt though to get a new one.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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that's some good rigging on ur part! I don't think a new hose is absolutely neccessary but it wouldn't hurt. Have a hose for car detailing and another hose for other crap!
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #4
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I bet after you run some water through it it will be clean. It wouldn't hurt though to get a new one.
Thanks for the advice. I ran it for a few minutes just to make sure that the water would flow right and as soon as i turned on the water black water spewed out of the filter. I was expecting some loose carbon but not that much ha. Never the less after a few more seconds it was running crystal clear!

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Originally Posted by j_steebs View Post
that's some good rigging on ur part! I don't think a new hose is absolutely neccessary but it wouldn't hurt. Have a hose for car detailing and another hose for other crap!

Thanks man! I was pretty proud of the end results!

I am really thinking of a new hose now ha. I just got 2 new buckets so i can do the 2 bucket wash method so maybe i will get a new hose ha. keep the old hose for watering and crap! and the new one for washing!
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #5
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Thats pretty sweet! I would also pick up some car shampoo thats pH Neutral. Dodo Juice Sour Power is one example.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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Thats pretty sweet! I would also pick up some car shampoo thats pH Neutral. Dodo Juice Sour Power is one example.

Thanks! Is there a a noticable difference in the end results? I'm always up for experimenting ha!

is this the stuff?
http://www.autogeek.net/dodo-juice-c...hannelid=FROOG
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #7
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Thanks! Is there a a noticable difference in the end results? I'm always up for experimenting ha!

is this the stuff?
http://www.autogeek.net/dodo-juice-c...hannelid=FROOG
Yep! Thats the stuff. It's hands down my favorite shampoo that i've used. A capful will wash your entire car. I've used a half bottles worth and washed roughly 15 cars. If you wash your car with Meguiars Gold Class and then wash your car with Sour Power, you will notice a difference. Sour Power leaves a much glossier finish and I think it cleans better also. It doesn't sud as much, but with it being a pH Neutral formula, water is purer and is more slick.

If you do happen to order from AG, make sure you get your free sample with your order..
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:41 PM   #8
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Yep! Thats the stuff. It's hands down my favorite shampoo that i've used. A capful will wash your entire car. I've used a half bottles worth and washed roughly 15 cars. If you wash your car with Meguiars Gold Class and then wash your car with Sour Power, you will notice a difference. Sour Power leaves a much glossier finish and I think it cleans better also. It doesn't sud as much, but with it being a pH Neutral formula, water is purer and is more slick.

If you do happen to order from AG, make sure you get your free sample with your order..

Sweet! I have been using turtle wax zip wax for along time now and it suds but it just doesnt do as good as it used to. I;m gonna take your word and order some up! I was about to ask if youve used it and you seem to be pretty happy with it so i shall give it a shot ha.

Would you use a sheep skin mitt? or use a normal sponge?

ha cant forget about the free samples!
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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Sweet! I have been using turtle wax zip wax for along time now and it suds but it just doesnt do as good as it used to. I;m gonna take your word and order some up! I was about to ask if youve used it and you seem to be pretty happy with it so i shall give it a shot ha.

Would you use a sheep skin mitt? or use a normal sponge?

ha cant forget about the free samples!
Sheep skin! Also, make sure you use a two bucket method and GET A GRIT GUARD. I can't express that enough, or two of them if you wish. After every panel make sure you go down to the guard with your mitt and rub it on the grit guard to loosen all of the debris from the mitt. All of the dirt will sit underneath the grit guard and won't come back into your mitt. I also recommend getting some high quality micro fibers. I never let anything but soft/plush ones touch my paint. Once they start getting ratty I demote them to interior, and after they get worse, the become engine/wheel towels.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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Sheep skin! Also, make sure you use a two bucket method and GET A GRIT GUARD. I can't express that enough, or two of them if you wish. After every panel make sure you go down to the guard with your mitt and rub it on the grit guard to loosen all of the debris from the mitt. All of the dirt will sit underneath the grit guard and won't come back into your mitt. I also recommend getting some high quality micro fibers. I never let anything but soft/plush ones touch my paint. Once they start getting ratty I demote them to interior, and after they get worse, the become engine/wheel towels.
I was on the edge about the guards but was not sure but i think i will put one in the shopping cart. What microfibers would you recommend? ive been using the kinda cheap ones from sams club. 24 for like 10$ I use a california blade and then (dont kill meh) i use towels that we got from a hotel. (we kinda forgot to take them outta the laundry bag ha). Do you keep them in separate containers? like have the exterior ones in one tub or box then int in another and the engine ones in another?

Oh and what is your preference on these items?
http://www.autogeek.net/lug-nut-brush.html
http://www.autogeek.net/wgpockets.html
and finally
http://www.autogeek.net/washing.html

Thanks again for the help! incredibly helpful advice especially since i am just starting to detail so i wanna do things right ha.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:21 PM   #11
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I was on the edge about the guards but was not sure but i think i will put one in the shopping cart. What microfibers would you recommend? ive been using the kinda cheap ones from sams club. 24 for like 10$ I use a california blade and then (dont kill meh) i use towels that we got from a hotel. (we kinda forgot to take them outta the laundry bag ha). Do you keep them in separate containers? like have the exterior ones in one tub or box then int in another and the engine ones in another?

Oh and what is your preference on these items?
http://www.autogeek.net/lug-nut-brush.html
http://www.autogeek.net/wgpockets.html
and finally
http://www.autogeek.net/washing.html

Thanks again for the help! incredibly helpful advice especially since i am just starting to detail so i wanna do things right ha.
First off, Thanks! I enjoy giving advice. Second, scrap that california blade.. it will cause marring and scratches. Bath towels from a hotel? Scrap them also. Your Sams club towels you can keep.. but only use them as interior cleaners and for wheels/tires.

Pick up some Cobra microfibers off AG. I prefer the light blue ones that are edgeless. I can't find them on AG, but the Cobra gold XL, the purple ones and the silver supremes are all great. Costly, but they are awesome! I wash mine with hypoallergenic detergent. The "Free" detergent. Sometimes I will use the "Baby" formula detergent. AG sells some MF cleaner but i've never personally used it.

As for the boars hair brush.. Yes, that's a good by. Very useful for lug nuts and emblems. I've also found it useful for bugs on grills. It can also be used inside your car, dry, for all the cracks and creases to remove dust/debris.

I would pass on the WG Pockets, as they are useful for applying sealant/wax on your wheels.. that's about it in my eyes. You can easily apply sealant/wax on wheels with other cheaper foam appliers as your wheels won't scratch nearly as easy as your cars paint.

I'm not sure what your trying to show me from the 3rd link? But foam guns are sweet, but not needed.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:22 PM   #12
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Oh and also, what car(s) do you have?
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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First off, Thanks! I enjoy giving advice. Second, scrap that california blade.. it will cause marring and scratches. Bath towels from a hotel? Scrap them also. Your Sams club towels you can keep.. but only use them as interior cleaners and for wheels/tires.

Pick up some Cobra microfibers off AG. I prefer the light blue ones that are edgeless. I can't find them on AG, but the Cobra gold XL, the purple ones and the silver supremes are all great. Costly, but they are awesome! I wash mine with hypoallergenic detergent. The "Free" detergent. Sometimes I will use the "Baby" formula detergent. AG sells some MF cleaner but i've never personally used it.

As for the boars hair brush.. Yes, that's a good by. Very useful for lug nuts and emblems. I've also found it useful for bugs on grills. It can also be used inside your car, dry, for all the cracks and creases to remove dust/debris.

I would pass on the WG Pockets, as they are useful for applying sealant/wax on your wheels.. that's about it in my eyes. You can easily apply sealant/wax on wheels with other cheaper foam appliers as your wheels won't scratch nearly as easy as your cars paint.

I'm not sure what your trying to show me from the 3rd link? But foam guns are sweet, but not needed.

Always enjoy when people take time to give advice! And again thank you so much for taking the time to help me so much! incredibly thankful!

What would you recommend for drying the cars? If it makes a difference my dad actually go the california blade a few years ago at a huge car show in Pennsylvania. Purple handle and really flexi rubber. But it if can still cause scratching id rather stop using it. i use the sams microfibers for the wheels and interior and i use them wel now used to use them to remove the wax.

How often do you wash your microfibers? and how many times do you wash before you demote them?

That brush has honestly been the one thing i have gone back and forth on ha. I wanted one for a few months but was waiting to get some work before i placed my order on AG. This brush and the sonax wheel cleaner. have you used the sonax full effect wheel cleaner? Ive been using black magic wheel and tire cleaner along with a power washer.

So should i just get the normal round foam applicator pads? Or would you get micro fiber ones?

and ha my bad the 3rd link was supposed to be these. http://www.autogeek.net/nitrile-gloves-pack.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by fancyfootwork15 View Post
Oh and also, what car(s) do you have?
And I drive a White 2005 Honda CR-V
and i do my sisters 06 black civic
my moms 2002 silver honda accord
dads 2008 white honda accord
and my brother goes through the car wash tunnel o' death.

my car, moms, and dads have alloys and my sisters has hubcaps.

So i dont know if it pays to get a cheaper wheel cleaner for the use on our cars because they always get washed so they barely get a chance to get dirty. or should i just get a high quality wheel cleaner for our cars and customer cars?
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:34 PM   #14
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Always enjoy when people take time to give advice! And again thank you so much for taking the time to help me so much! incredibly thankful!

What would you recommend for drying the cars? If it makes a difference my dad actually go the california blade a few years ago at a huge car show in Pennsylvania. Purple handle and really flexi rubber. But it if can still cause scratching id rather stop using it. i use the sams microfibers for the wheels and interior and i use them wel now used to use them to remove the wax.

How often do you wash your microfibers? and how many times do you wash before you demote them?

That brush has honestly been the one thing i have gone back and forth on ha. I wanted one for a few months but was waiting to get some work before i placed my order on AG. This brush and the sonax wheel cleaner. have you used the sonax full effect wheel cleaner? Ive been using black magic wheel and tire cleaner along with a power washer.

So should i just get the normal round foam applicator pads? Or would you get micro fiber ones?

and ha my bad the 3rd link was supposed to be these. http://www.autogeek.net/nitrile-gloves-pack.html



And I drive a White 2005 Honda CR-V
and i do my sisters 06 black civic
my moms 2002 silver honda accord
dads 2008 white honda accord
and my brother goes through the car wash tunnel o' death.

my car, moms, and dads have alloys and my sisters has hubcaps.

So i dont know if it pays to get a cheaper wheel cleaner for the use on our cars because they always get washed so they barely get a chance to get dirty. or should i just get a high quality wheel cleaner for our cars and customer cars?
Honda fans?

I wash my microfibers everytime after using them. I generally use enough of them to fill the washing machine up. I then air dry them. Always air dry them as heat from the dryer will destroy them. I dry my car with micro fibers and a shop vac blowing air. If you can get your hands on a leaf blower I recommend that. Less touching of the paint the better.

Here's my biggest tip for your wheels... Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush. Yes, it costs $29.99... but you won't be sorry and it will be the best purchase for your wheels. The bristles bounce back and never deteriorate so they last forever. Sonax Full Effect is awesome! I wouldn't use it every time though unless you can afford it. I use Megs All Purpose Cleaner to clean my wheels every 3 of 4 times. Say you wash your car once a week, every 4th time use a dedicated wheel cleaner like Full Effect. Otherwise an APC will work just fine, especially if you coat your wheels with a sealant. I recommend Poorboys World Wheel Sealant.

Get foam applicator pads. MF works but I feel like it doesn't apply as well as foam and soaks up more product then it applies. You can get foam applicator pads at Autozone, Pepboys, OReillys, etc. I've never tried those Nitrile gloves from AG but i'm assuming they work great. I never use gloves when cleaning my cars but if you feel like you need to protect your hands from chemicals, give them a shot. I think they are a sample option if your interested.
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:24 PM   #15
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Honda fans?

I wash my microfibers everytime after using them. I generally use enough of them to fill the washing machine up. I then air dry them. Always air dry them as heat from the dryer will destroy them. I dry my car with micro fibers and a shop vac blowing air. If you can get your hands on a leaf blower I recommend that. Less touching of the paint the better.

Here's my biggest tip for your wheels... Daytona Speed Master Wheel Brush. Yes, it costs $29.99... but you won't be sorry and it will be the best purchase for your wheels. The bristles bounce back and never deteriorate so they last forever. Sonax Full Effect is awesome! I wouldn't use it every time though unless you can afford it. I use Megs All Purpose Cleaner to clean my wheels every 3 of 4 times. Say you wash your car once a week, every 4th time use a dedicated wheel cleaner like Full Effect. Otherwise an APC will work just fine, especially if you coat your wheels with a sealant. I recommend Poorboys World Wheel Sealant.

Get foam applicator pads. MF works but I feel like it doesn't apply as well as foam and soaks up more product then it applies. You can get foam applicator pads at Autozone, Pepboys, OReillys, etc. I've never tried those Nitrile gloves from AG but i'm assuming they work great. I never use gloves when cleaning my cars but if you feel like you need to protect your hands from chemicals, give them a shot. I think they are a sample option if your interested.
hahaha just a wee bit

I didnt know if it was safe to wash them in a normal washing machine because of the wax and stuff. I needa start washing cause i loose track what each was used for so i ended up using a new one to be safe ha. Have a pile ready to wash. You think i could use just regular tide to wash the sams ones? or should i just use the generic stuff and do them at a laudry mat?

I was looking at the Jr. wheel brush but the tip was just not settling with me. it looks like a bare end with metal protruding out and it looks like it could scratch bad if the rubber tip falls off. I will go with the normal version then. As long as the product justifys the cost its all good ha (not saying money is no issue just dont mind paying alil more if something is actually going to perform like it is explained to do ha) Ill order up some of the megs apc and eventually get a thing of sonax for real baked on brake dust.

what about these here?http://www.autogeek.net/pinfoamwaxap.html any good? or can i get ones at other stores for cheaper?
As far as the gloves i was gonna get a box just to have around incase i needed them for something. I had a small box of black textured gloves that i used to dress the engine bays. Sprays them with armor all and i was able to reach every crevice ha.

I didnt think i was gonna hit the 50$ mark for the free samples but i think im gonna end up hitting it!
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:30 PM   #16
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hahaha just a wee bit

I didnt know if it was safe to wash them in a normal washing machine because of the wax and stuff. I needa start washing cause i loose track what each was used for so i ended up using a new one to be safe ha. Have a pile ready to wash. You think i could use just regular tide to wash the sams ones? or should i just use the generic stuff and do them at a laudry mat?

I was looking at the Jr. wheel brush but the tip was just not settling with me. it looks like a bare end with metal protruding out and it looks like it could scratch bad if the rubber tip falls off. I will go with the normal version then. As long as the product justifys the cost its all good ha (not saying money is no issue just dont mind paying alil more if something is actually going to perform like it is explained to do ha) Ill order up some of the megs apc and eventually get a thing of sonax for real baked on brake dust.

what about these here?http://www.autogeek.net/pinfoamwaxap.html any good? or can i get ones at other stores for cheaper?
As far as the gloves i was gonna get a box just to have around incase i needed them for something. I had a small box of black textured gloves that i used to dress the engine bays. Sprays them with armor all and i was able to reach every crevice ha.

I didnt think i was gonna hit the 50$ mark for the free samples but i think im gonna end up hitting it!
Yep, the wax you remove is so minimal it won't affect a washing machine. Regular tide on the sams ones will be just fine. Those Pinnacle pads are good.. but they are just so expensive. I would check out a local store and see if you can get a pack of pads for cheaper.

It's pretty easy to hit the $50 mark for free samples.. It's very gratifying doing all your own work on your car(s).
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Old 09-25-2011, 10:53 PM   #17
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Yep, the wax you remove is so minimal it won't affect a washing machine. Regular tide on the sams ones will be just fine. Those Pinnacle pads are good.. but they are just so expensive. I would check out a local store and see if you can get a pack of pads for cheaper.

It's pretty easy to hit the $50 mark for free samples.. It's very gratifying doing all your own work on your car(s).
ill put them through the wash tomorrow then! I mean is it possible to get just straight crap pads? im all for a good low price but i dont wanna go so low that the pad actually scratches.

ha im at 65$ now ha. I love the feeling when people ask where i get my car done and i smile and say i do them myself. Most people are kinda surprised mainly because im only 17 and people normally dont think a 17 y/o can take the time to actually do there own detail work.

Oh would you recommend the use of a air compressor over a leaf blower? (air compressor would have a oil water seperator)
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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Hi Gearhead,

A couple of things....

First, I'm not sure if you're aware but that product is intended for filtering drinking water (for ice makers, drinking fountains, mobile homes, etc.). It's main purpose is to help improve taste and possibly help remove some other components from the water that are not necessarily desirable when consuming. In this application, I doubt it will provide you with as good a result as a soft water filter and definitely not anything like a dedicated DI system. ....which purpose is remove all of the minerals from water to eliminate water spotting.

You can certainly try it and it may help to some extent, but if your water is as bad as mine, you will likely be looking for other alternatives soon after. Personally, I use sediment and soft water filtration as well as DI (deionized) water for rinsing. The soft water helps get my water down from ~500+ to around 400+ PPM, but my DI system gets it down to zero. Water spotting (IME) occurs around 20 PPM so once my water gets to that level, I replace the media in my DI system. Resin for DI is relatively expensive while my soft water filter can simply be "recharged" by submerging the cartridge in water with potassium tablets (you can buy large bags for cheap).

DI systems are by no means inexpensive even when you try to build your own. You also have to factor in the size of the filter housings and the amount of media the water runs through (there are limitations as to how how much water you can pump through while still being effective). Typically, the larger the unit, the more GPM you can muster. ....and when your application is intended for cleaning cars, you need an adequate flow rate.

I have researched this subject quite a bit in the past before I eventually purchased my DI system (a CRS DIC-20). Here's a shot of my sediment and soft water filters:



....and my DI system:



Hope this helps.

....by the way, on the subject of MF towels, whatever you decide to try I would strongly urge you to buy sample quantities first before committing to a larger order. IME, quality can vary even between batches from what you might think are reliable sources. Personally, I had been a long time user/buyer of Cobra towels and stopped buying them after several bad experiences with linting/shedding. I have since moved on to PakShak which have seemed to be quite consistent for me (at least for now).
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:09 PM   #19
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dbl post
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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Hi Gearhead,

A couple of things....

First, I'm not sure if you're aware but that product is intended for filtering drinking water (for ice makers, drinking fountains, mobile homes, etc.). It's main purpose is to help improve taste and possibly help remove some other components from the water that are not necessarily desirable when consuming. In this application, I doubt it will provide you with as good a result as a soft water filter and definitely not anything like a dedicated DI system. ....which purpose is remove all of the minerals from water to eliminate water spotting.

You can certainly try it and it may help to some extent, but if your water is as bad as mine, you will likely be looking for other alternatives soon after. Personally, I use sediment and soft water filtration as well as DI (deionized) water for rinsing. The soft water helps get my water down from ~500+ to around 400+ PPM, but my DI system gets it down to zero. Water spotting (IME) occurs around 20 PPM so once my water gets to that level, I replace the media in my DI system. Resin for DI is relatively expensive while my soft water filter can simply be "recharged" by submerging the cartridge in water with potassium tablets (you can buy large bags for cheap).

DI systems are by no means inexpensive even when you try to build your own. You also have to factor in the size of the filter housings and the amount of media the water runs through (there are limitations as to how how much water you can pump through while still being effective). Typically, the larger the unit, the more GPM you can muster. ....and when your application is intended for cleaning cars, you need an adequate flow rate.

I have researched this subject quite a bit in the past before I eventually purchased my DI system (a CRS DIC-20). Here's a shot of my sediment and soft water filters:



....and my DI system:



Hope this helps.

....by the way, on the subject of MF towels, whatever you decide to try I would strongly urge you to buy sample quantities first before committing to a larger order. IME, quality can vary even between batches from what you might think are reliable sources. Personally, I had been a long time user/buyer of Cobra towels and stopped buying them after several bad experiences with linting/shedding. I have since moved on to PakShak which have seemed to be quite consistent for me (at least for now).

Wow! you really know your stuff ha! I knew it was for ice making and drinking water but i wasnt sure if it would have a impact on the water spots (i saw it as if it was making the water safer to drink then maybe it would help with spotting) Your setup is what i really wanna have eventually but i needa have a few more customers come through before i commit to a system. over the winter i might pick your brain about your setup if you dont mind.

I cant remember for the life of me but i remember seeing the filter housings on a detailin website and i saw the tablet on the same site. What do you think would be the best way to test if the filter will be useful? or should i just try washing a car?

As far as the MF i was looking on AG and wasnt sure if i should order the cobras just yet or wait till next year. pretty much everything else fancyfootwork15 gave his 2cents on i am ordering with a week but im gonna check out the PakShak ones and see if i can order them in sample quantities.
And thank you very much for the advice! and the pics of your system. Im gonna give this filer a try and if all else fails ill see if i can return the plumbing parts ha.
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Old 09-26-2011, 12:32 AM   #21
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Wow! you really know your stuff ha! I knew it was for ice making and drinking water but i wasnt sure if it would have a impact on the water spots (i saw it as if it was making the water safer to drink then maybe it would help with spotting) Your setup is what i really wanna have eventually but i needa have a few more customers come through before i commit to a system. over the winter i might pick your brain about your setup if you dont mind.

I cant remember for the life of me but i remember seeing the filter housings on a detailin website and i saw the tablet on the same site. What do you think would be the best way to test if the filter will be useful? or should i just try washing a car?

As far as the MF i was looking on AG and wasnt sure if i should order the cobras just yet or wait till next year. pretty much everything else fancyfootwork15 gave his 2cents on i am ordering with a week but im gonna check out the PakShak ones and see if i can order them in sample quantities.
And thank you very much for the advice! and the pics of your system. Im gonna give this filer a try and if all else fails ill see if i can return the plumbing parts ha.
I can't vouch for anything for filtrating water. I'm extremely grateful to live in a city with a very good filtration system and tap drinking water that is incredible.

As for MF, Kean is right..Cobra occasionally does have bad batches. I haven't had a bad batch myself and have/used over 50 of them. I haven't used PakShak but hear good things.

You may be hard pressed to return your plumbing supplies. I know at the HVAC supplier I work for, we have never taken a return on used black pipe, copper or PVC fittings. Good luck trying though if you can get away with it!
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:26 AM   #22
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...over the winter i might pick your brain about your setup if you dont mind.
No problem. Just let me know. I also found a good, relatively cheap source for the mixed bed resin (windows101.com). .....or you could recharge your own but the process is a bit involved and requires the use of harsh chemicals (like lye and muriatic acid).

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Originally Posted by GearheadV8 View Post
I cant remember for the life of me but i remember seeing the filter housings on a detailin website and i saw the tablet on the same site. What do you think would be the best way to test if the filter will be useful? or should i just try washing a car?
You can find digital TDS meters for $20 or less in some places that will test the "total dissolved solids" in your water (in PPM - parts per million). You can do a before and after reading to see if the filter makes a difference. ....and if so, by how much.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #23
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As another poster mentioned, it's the TDS of the water that's causing the spotting. A carbon filter isn't going to help with that. Even a water softener doesn't. Softened water has approximately the same TDS as the hard source water, just instead of calcium/magnesium it contains sodium or potassium (depending on what salt is used in the brine tank).

DI systems work, but as mentioned are expensive, and expensive to maintain. Reverse-osmosis also works. Granted, it generally only removes about 95% of the TDS but that's generally enough to eliminate water spotting. Generally, the "spot free rinse" at a commercial car wash is reverse-osmosis water.

Granted, these aren't exactly cheap either, but if you're doing high volume, the long term costs are likely going to be cheaper than DI. I've read before that because of the expense of DI compared to RO, many salt water aquarium keepers use RO to pre treat their water, then run it through DI. Pre-treating with RO greatly extends the life of the more expensive DI resins.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #24
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Couple pointers for the OP...FWIW...

While free and DIY is always great, as stated above, the filter you have is for general sediment removal, not chemistry and resistivity change--which you will prefer for car washing. And, with the volume you'll be putting through it, chances are you're gunna load it up pretty quick. As a biotech project engineer spend a lot of time with hi purity water systems both softened and USP water-for-injection. To filter the water correctly for car washing you'll need to invest a bit. DI filter beds are a great start, but you need some pre-treatment/softening too. While your piping, add a means to backwash and re-gen the DI beds, it will come in handy. Pick your pretreatment based on local water characterization and chemistry. When it comes to water purification, one size doesn't fit all.

Me, I just use city water and wipe down with micro-fiber.
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #25
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As another poster mentioned, it's the TDS of the water that's causing the spotting. A carbon filter isn't going to help with that. Even a water softener doesn't. Softened water has approximately the same TDS as the hard source water, just instead of calcium/magnesium it contains sodium or potassium (depending on what salt is used in the brine tank).

DI systems work, but as mentioned are expensive, and expensive to maintain. Reverse-osmosis also works. Granted, it generally only removes about 95% of the TDS but that's generally enough to eliminate water spotting. Generally, the "spot free rinse" at a commercial car wash is reverse-osmosis water.

Granted, these aren't exactly cheap either, but if you're doing high volume, the long term costs are likely going to be cheaper than DI. I've read before that because of the expense of DI compared to RO, many salt water aquarium keepers use RO to pre treat their water, then run it through DI. Pre-treating with RO greatly extends the life of the more expensive DI resins.
....I'm not an expert on the subject but when I was researching solutions one problem I noticed with RO systems is that they usually require more water than they can produce. In other words for every gallon of filtered water, there can be several gallons of wasted water that go down the drain (or get recycled for other uses depending on how its set up). Flow rate was another one of my concerns (assuming I was going to adapt something like a home/under-sink unit for this particular application).
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