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Sediment Filters in Whole House Water Filtration

What is a Sediment Filter?

A sediment filter traps and removes particulate matter, such as dirt and debris, from your water supply. Sediment is a general term for all particulate matter in your water that are not liquids. Rust flakes can enter your water from plumbing that is corroded, while rainwater carries silt, clay, soil and sand into groundwater supplies. Flow rate or water pressure changes in your mains can transport sediments into the home. Sediment filter cartridges act as the first line of defence for your home’s water supply, as well as pre-filters for your entire water filtration system. Whole house water filtration systems utilise sediment filters to eliminate particulate matter, prolonging the lifespan of the other filters.

What Does the Sediment Cartridge Do?

The sediment water filter is a crucial component of any good water treatment system. These filter cartridges function to remove large particles from your water supply. Sediment filters ensure the water filtration system can operate efficiently by protecting the resin filters, carbon filters, carbon silver filters and KDF / heavy metals cartridges. When managed correctly, these cartridges can last up to 12 months.

What Does The Sediment Cartridge Filter Out?

Sediment filtration removes visible particle matter, including any particles of dirt, sand, dust, rust and debris that can be caught by its micron rating capacity. These water filters also remove turbidity from water, which is the cloudiness caused by the presence of suspended solids and can turn water to yellow, orange or brown in colour.

Sediment filters do not remove chemicals, heavy metals, dissolved particulate matter or bacteria, and they do not improve the taste or smell of water. This type of water filter is primarily a preservative filtration method, often utilised as pre-filters in other filtration systems. Sediment filtration commonly works in conjunction with filtration methods such as reverse osmosis or ultraviolet (UV) purification.

How Many Microns (uM) Should the Sediment Cartridge be?

Sediment cartridges use a micron rating to determine their capacity for particle removal. A micron, or micrometre, is one-millionth of a metre in size. The cartridge micron rating indicates the size of particle that will be eliminated from the water supply, for example a 10uM cartridge will remove particles 10uM and bigger. At WestOz Water Filters, we suggest either 5 or 10 micron rated cartridge. Either 5uM or 10uM cartridges are suitable for scheme water and 5uM cartridges are best suited to bore water. Having said that, if the bore water is unusually turbid, a 10uM cartridge may be required. Using a cartridge smaller than 5 microns in a whole house system, will impact water flow rate, causing low pressure.

How Do I Know When to Change the Sediment Cartridge?

When new, the sediment filter is white in colour. When fully used, the colour of the cartridge will be light to dark brown the entire way to the centre of the filter. We recommend checking the filter cartridges approximately three months after the installation date. If the cartridge is still white in the centre, then it is fine to go back in the system. Should the cartridge be fully brown in colour then it must be replaced. Replacement filter cartridges are available through our online shopping platform.

How Often Should the Sediment Cartridge be Changed?

The cartridge should be checked every three months but the best way to know when you’re due for a change is to observe water pressure to your home. When pressure begins to drop you will need to change the filter cartridge. When the pleated sediment filters reach holding capacity, water will struggle to pass through them, negatively affecting your water pressure.

3 Stage Whole House System Scheme Water

Different parts of Western Australia experience different water quality. If you have a 3 Stage Whole House System installed in your home, then you can use the following as a guide.

  • The Northern suburbs of Perth and beyond have relatively hard water and go through four Sediment Cartridges per year.
  • The Southern suburbs of Perth generally go through three per year.
  • The South West coastal area of WA: a family in Esperance goes through one cartridge in five weeks and Albany one cartridge in three months.

2 Stage Whole House Tank / Bore Water

If using a 2 Stage Whole House system for your home, the following can be used as a guide for replacing your sediment cartridges.

  • When the 2 Stage is being used to filter rainwater, the Sediment Cartridge will last six months, usually.
  • When the 2 Stage is being used to filter bore water, the same principles apply as to 3 Stage scheme water.

How can I remember when to change the Sediment Cartridge?

There is a gauge on each filter which gives you a visual representation of the health of your sediment water filter cartridges. When you first install your system, it is recommended to mark the gauge where the black needle points to on the gauge. When your sediment cartridge is full, the needle will have dropped from its original position – mark where the needle points to when full and you can then observe the gauge instead of opening the filter housing all the time.