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Installing a four-phase filtration system in a 125 year-old basement

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    Installing a four-phase filtration system in a 125 year-old basement

    Concern over chloramine and other mystery contaminants from the Missouri river in my tap water spurred me to spend two weeks off from work doing this little project. I likely overbought when I chose this system, but I think it will boost resale value plus my wife says the water tastes way better. I agree. I chose an iSpring three canister filter with one of their coarse sediment filters before it. Our house was built in 1895. The water pipe came in just under the foundation wall in the front of the house then to an ancient shutoff valve housed in a clay pipe end in the basement floor then on to another valve used to shut off the water to the outside hydrant. Two other pipes came up from the floor, one under the pipe chase to the second floor bathroom and one under the kitchen sink. Oh yes, all of these original pipes are lead. I wanted to have a new service line brought in from the valve at the curb but besides costing more than I can shell out right now, the front yard and walkway would have to be torn up. I was going to have the plumber who gave me the estimate take care of terminating the original pipe in a 1" shutoff valve but he ghosted me and I got to have all that fun myself. The reason for the 1" pipe is that this filter has 1" inlets and I wanted it that way until past the filter where I could reduce as needed.

    After the filter arrived, I mounted it all and roughed in the new PEX pipe. After that, it was time to summon up the courage to cut through that lead pipe in the floor and reroute the damned thing into something more modern.


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    I used an old pulley from a car I no longer own to bend the lead pipe in a 90 degree curve without kinking it after I used a cutting wheel on my angle grinder to sever the ancient thing. The other end and ancient shoutoff valve can be seen in the hole. I should have taken a picture of the severed end of the pipe to show just how thick they made them! The pipe is about one inch outside diameter but only 1/2 inch inside diameter! I brazed a chunk of 1/2" copper pipe to the service pipe after cleaning out the opening to the lead with a drill bit. I torched the pipe and used a set of pliers made for automotive hoses to compress the softened lead against the copper then topped the whole thing with some JB Water Weld I luckily had lying around from a failed RDWC project. From there, I used an adapter to a stiff grade of 3/4 inch copper pipe then to a ball valve with a 3/4" inlet going out to a 1" outlet. I like the Sharkbite fittings because they will work with copper as well as PEX and are reusable and basically, any idiot who can follow instructions can use them.

    The 1" PEX continues up the wall and over to the basement stairs where I mounted the filters.
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    On the far right is the coarse sediment filter which comes with a 50 micron screen to stop sand particles. There is a drain for flushing out the bigger stuff. I've been checking most every day and I'm still finding stuff in it. No wonder the ancient pipes under the floor were so choked. At center is Jinger supervising. No, I didn't name her or choose that spelling. (It doesn't rhyme with stinger.) Above her whiny head is the filter wrench for the sediment filter.
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    This is where the smaller stuff is dealt with. At right is a 5 micron sediment filter I believe is made from recycled polypropylene. The other two are carbon filters. I could later replace the leftmost one with a metals filter. It removes lead(good) but also removes iron and manganese and other minerals plants use. I will test for lead later and decide if it is necessary. At left hangs the filter wrench for these monsters plus some silicone grease for the o rings and a massive crescent wrench for adjust the jack posts for levelling the floors.
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    I added this Sharkbite pressure gauge past the filters to help keep track of when to change them out. I would like to know what the pressure was through the old pipes. The first time I took a shower with the new plumbing in place, the stream almost knocked me down! 60 psi is definitely enough for this house.

    I wish I'd tested the water from the tap before doing this. The water is so much cleaner yet the TDS of straight tap water here is over 300 when it had been at 220 for most of the summer. You may see me post about how I installed a RO system in the grow area if it doesn't drop. I thought it might be just carbon particles washing out from the filter (I could taste it for a day or so) but then I sampled the water from the sediment filter before it passed through everything else and got the same reading. The plants don't seem to mind right now so I will wait on that.

    Third state-sanctioned grow. Six plants in bloom. Two each of Acapulco Gold & Laughing Buddha from Barney's Farm and two Purple Haze from ILGM.
    4'X4' flower tent, AC Infinity 4" fan and filter, Advanced Platinum P4-XML2 LED
    RDWC six grow buckets and a reservoir.

    One Seedsman Blueberry and one Sweet Zombie (Expert) in bloom.
    Advanced Platinum P-300 LED
    3'X3' tent RDWC four grow buckets and a reservoir.

    Aurora Soul nutrients - Grow, Bloom, Infinity, Big Swell & PeaK.

    On deck: Seedy buds - possibly Skunk #1, Ghost Train Haze, BC Mango, Tuna God, Bubba God, DP Blueberry, Cinderella 99 or Mother's Finest. I'm thinking a skunk in each tent - Skunk #1 & GTH?

    #2
    Great job. I would have had no problem from the copper on but you have more nerve than me tackling that lead pipe.
    Side note .... was that alltatup helping you out in pic 2? 😁

    Comment


    • UndergroundFarmer
      UndergroundFarmer commented
      Editing a comment
      If it was, he needs to start helping out with checking pH while I'm at work and trimming bud after harvest. Nobody rides free!

      I just told myself what I always say when diving into a daunting job like that: People much dumber than you have done this job professionally.
      Last edited by UndergroundFarmer; 10-21-2020, 10:33 PM.

    #3
    Damn that’s a job! Our old house was built in 1910 so I fully understand the headaches and expense with upgrading them along with being ghosted by anyone you seek a estimate from. Great job! To hell with those lead pipes!!! Good thing you had a solid assistant

    Comment


    • UndergroundFarmer
      UndergroundFarmer commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, I'm down to about 20' of lead left from the outside valve to the basement, but it's still a great improvement.

    #4
    Our municipal water & electric company replaced the line in our city more than a decade ago. But last year midway thru my second grow they changed their chlorination process and really screwed me up so I decided to add an RO filter system. I enjoy growing but love to design and build stuff, after smoking the hash I make it is my favorite part of growing. Here's a few pictures of how I setup my filters and faucet for RO water in my basement.

    Comment


    • UndergroundFarmer
      UndergroundFarmer commented
      Editing a comment
      That may well be my next project if TDS levels don't come back down. At least I can buy one of the smaller outfits now that I already have the other filters in place.

    #5
    I flush out the first filter a bit every day and I'm amazed at how many crumbs it catches. No wonder the piping under the floor was so stuffed up.
    Third state-sanctioned grow. Six plants in bloom. Two each of Acapulco Gold & Laughing Buddha from Barney's Farm and two Purple Haze from ILGM.
    4'X4' flower tent, AC Infinity 4" fan and filter, Advanced Platinum P4-XML2 LED
    RDWC six grow buckets and a reservoir.

    One Seedsman Blueberry and one Sweet Zombie (Expert) in bloom.
    Advanced Platinum P-300 LED
    3'X3' tent RDWC four grow buckets and a reservoir.

    Aurora Soul nutrients - Grow, Bloom, Infinity, Big Swell & PeaK.

    On deck: Seedy buds - possibly Skunk #1, Ghost Train Haze, BC Mango, Tuna God, Bubba God, DP Blueberry, Cinderella 99 or Mother's Finest. I'm thinking a skunk in each tent - Skunk #1 & GTH?

    Comment

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