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Old 01-23-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
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The KW1 Water Filter Myth

I called the phone number at Forest River, listed on the KW1 filter or “proprietary FR1 Forest River water filter” and spoke with a FR water filter representative, to remain nameless. I was trying to validate a couple of Forum posts that claim that this is a best in class RV specific filter. I was really trying to justify in my mind, why I should pay such a steep price for a replacement water filter. I had two questions that I thought would be most relevant as well as fair industry standards for benchmarking:
1. Gallons per minute of water flow (GPM).
2. Filter micron level

For those not familiar with “microns”, a micron level is the number of micron sizes that the filter can eliminate of a contamination. The micron level is between .5 and 5 microns. A “micron” is a unit of measurement of the size of a particular unit of water contamination. A small pebble has a much higher micron size number than the microscopic bacteria that might be in your drinking water.

The KW1 has a 30 micron level. This level is common with the least expensive filters and does little more than remove large sediment.

A micron level of 30 is often selected to promote in increase in water flow which makes sense considering the larger the holes in the filter, the easier it should be for the water to pass through.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for the KW1; its GPM is 2.5, very poor.

A GE filter, with a carbon 5 micron filter, is 4.0 GPM. Freebirds2831 recent post speaks of their newly installed GE with a 30 micron filter (same as KW1) coming in at around 9.0 GPM and rave about the improved water flow over the KW1.

The cost of a fully adequate whole house unit ranges between $20.00 and $40.00. Some even include your first filter. The GE unit referenced is $39.95 at HD. Two packs of filters range from $7.00 to $12.00. The cost of just one KW1 replacement filter is $29.95 plus tax and shipping = $40.00.

Call me crazy, but I like the idea of paying less and get greatly improved water flow in the process.
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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I replaced mine with the following and could not be happier!!!

Pentek 158649 1/2" 3G Slim Line 10" Clear Housing Only $19.35

and these filter cartridges....

DuPont Whole House 10-inch Carbon Filter WFPFC8002 Only $6.89

5 gpm and 5 micron
$27 for housing and cartridges!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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Just because your filter turns brown after some time doesn’t mean it is time to replace it. It means it is working and in many cases the brown coloring is caused by the iron in the water. No big deal.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnF View Post
Just because your filter turns brown after some time doesn’t mean it is time to replace it. It means it is working and in many cases the brown coloring is caused by the iron in the water. No big deal.
Agreed, on a Trilogy, you know it is time when the Tecma Toilet will not function/fill properly as a result of reduced water flow, that is caused by a spent or clogged water filter.

Manufacturers months of use estimates mean nothing. Of more relevance is gallons of water usage...that flows through the filter. Many of the Trilogy owners are full-timers or extended stay users.
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #5
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A GE filter, with a carbon 5 micron filter, is 4.0 GPM. Freebirds2831 recent post speaks of their newly installed GE with a 30 micron filter (same as KW1) coming in at around 9.0 GPM and rave about the improved water flow over the KW1.

We are still raving about the waterflow increase. However the 9 gpm was a website error. After a week, we are sooo glad we changed. Recommend it to all Trilogy owners.

JD
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:20 AM   #6
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I installed a whole rv system in mine. I opted for a double filter canister set up as we were using the water in formula for our infant. Any way I wanted to make sure flow rate was not an issue so I went with a large canister setup as opposed to small ones. I found a place online that specialized in rv water filters and rv water systems. I spoke on the phone with the company owner for over an hour asking setup, flow, health, longevity questions etc. The owner was more then willing to spend the time with me. A few weeks after receiving the order I even got a phone call from him to make sure I got it setup ok and was happy.

Mod please feel free to remove this sentence if I cannot post this part, I have no affiliation with them just a happy customer. The place I bought my setup from was rvwaterfilterstore.com
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:14 AM   #7
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The KW-1 filter is simply made for FR to enhance their profitability via the consumable you have to purchase from FR - the water filter. People hate having to buy a filter from only 1 source. They don't like the ratchet tabs design as they break them, don't tighten them correctly and have the filter housing fall off, etc. Making money via irritating your customer is stupid game in my book.

Replacing the entire KW filter assembly is easy and that is the route many owners are going. PUR (not WaterPUR) is the brand I would go with as it uses widely available filters. Original WaterPur Water Filters and WaterPur Replacement Water Filters WaterPUR Company CC1-10-CLW is the label on the early Columbus rigs before they switched to the KW-1 series. Generic OEM replacement filters worked in the WaterPur brand also.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:31 AM   #8
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Unless you have actually seen the filter cut open and witnessed the "other filters" (some say to replace monthly, figure that into your cost analysis) a $30 is not so bad. Also check to see what the filter actually filters out, is it a taste and sediment filter; is it a whole house type filter doing much the same, is it a filter which really filters out contaminants like bacteria and microbes such as giradria. No thanks, I get plenty of flow and actually like the KW1. also, won't a smaller filter design in microns reduce the gmp? If not, then how does one get higher gmp with holes 6X smaller? Science will enlighten you.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTJohn View Post
Unless you have actually seen the filter cut open and witnessed the "other filters" (some say to replace monthly, figure that into your cost analysis) a $30 is not so bad. Also check to see what the filter actually filters out, is it a taste and sediment filter; is it a whole house type filter doing much the same, is it a filter which really filters out contaminants like bacteria and microbes such as giradria. No thanks, I get plenty of flow and actually like the KW1. also, won't a smaller filter design in microns reduce the gmp? If not, then how does one get higher gmp with holes 6X smaller? Science will enlighten you.
Science will enlighten you, but reading is a fundamental.

Per the post below, the KW1 is a 30 micron, the lowest rating amongst all filters. It is only good for sediment removal.

The fact that you are only getting 2.5 gallons per minute of water flow from a 30 micron filter should be a red flag. A 30 micron filter by design has larger holes to let more fluid and other things you don’t want to pass through. A preference for those that have additional filters on board that clean up drinking water.

You should be asking, “why am I only getting 2.5 GPM with a 30 micron KW1, when other brands 5 micron filters are getting 4-5 GPM?” The KW1 lasts no longer than the competition…all get 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of flow, but costs 6 times the price to replace… with poor water flow…very enlightening.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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OK, however I have no flow problem. I have flushed out all my lines and fixtures, which helped a bunch (scientific term). I see the KW1 (if you look at the waterpur.com website there is much more info) as a better filter. I have seen/cut into other filter as well as the KW1 and the amount of filter medium is very apparent. Having seen other filter dissolve into a slushy mass makes me not want to change, IMHO.
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