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The first thing you need to do if you decide to go down the WFP route is what the TDS reading of your tap water is. For more information about TDS readings visit my Hard Water/Soft Water page.

Once you have found out your TDS reading and know whether you live in a hard or soft water area, you now need to decide which filtration system you are going to use.

There are three types of water filtration system you need to choose between

1. The first is a DI resin vessel system (De-Ionised) Often called a polisher

2. DI resin vessel + RO filter (Reverse Osmosis) and pre-filters.

3. DI resin vessel + RO filter and pre-filters + water softener


If you are lucky and live in a soft water area then all you'll need is option 1.

As a general rule, if you live in a area that scores a TDS that is over 100ppm will need option 2. This is because the DI vessel's resin wears out quickly when used to purify hard water. So you use the RO filter to soften it first and then polish it off with the DI vessel.

If you are really unlucky and live in a particularly hard water area where the TDS reading is very high, you might benefit from a water softener being put in place before the RO filter as this will make the membranes in your RO filter last longer. I suppose you'll just have to weigh the cost of the water softener against the cost of replacing the RO membranes to decide whether it's worth having one.


TDS: Does it really need to be 000ppm?

Ideally you want to change the TDS of your water from whatever it is when it comes out of the tap to 000ppm. As long as it’s 005ppm or below though, it will probably be ok. I have heard of window cleaners using a TDS of up to 015ppm to clean windows.

Another issue with the TDS is if you can get the TDS reading down to say 002 - 003ppm with just an RO filter, do you really need to use a DI polisher to get the reading down to 000ppm? Remember that if you don't need to use a DI vessel you'll save money because you won't have to buy resin.

A lot of WFPers like to consistently get their TDS down to 000ppm because if they receive a customer complaint, they will know it wasn't the purity of their water that caused it.

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