Anyone use any garden hose filters?

Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZAugust 5, 2014

I've been getting too much salt burn on a lot of my plants lately and have lost quite a few so far from it. So I decided to try hooking up a garden hose filter. I bought one from Lowe's that's by Arizona mist. It's called a Calcium filter. I've read good reviews from it online so I thought I should test it out with my TDS meter that's hooked up in my Reverse Osmosis water system.

I tested the water coming in to my RO system, which is hooked up really close to the mainline outside coming into the house so my results from that unfiltered water are actually lower than the water that I tested from the other faucets inside and outside the house. (Water has ran through more piping and possibly picking up more particles or sediment that has built up over the years inside the pipes.)

My results are:

Water coming into the RO system before being filtered is 379ppm
Water coming out of the RO system after being filtered is only 18ppm
Water coming out of the faucets inside the house and backyard are over 500+ppm
Water coming out after being "filtered" by this calcium filter through my garden hose is still way over 500+ppm!

In other words, this filter does nothing! I'm going to return this to Lowe's and see what my other options are.

Anyone else have any other filter they're using that are getting any good results?

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Salt burn and sun burn. Salt burn usually means you're not watering long enough and deep enough to move the salts below the root depth of your plants. Sunburn is watering too late in the day and the water droplets act like a magnifying glass and burn the leaves. Other than osmosis filters, the only filter that will remove calcium is a DE-ionization filter which in most cases uses salt in the ion improvement there. I would just water slow, deep and long.Low TDS water sound like a good idea until you realize that it will leach most of the nutrients OUT of your soil.

This post was edited by jkochan on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 14:20

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:55PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

I'm well aware on how to remedy salt burn. But since i have hundreds of tropical plants that I'm growing, watering them slowly with one single hose is next to impossible. I don't have time to do that. I'm currently landscaping the backyard and installing sprinklers and drip irrigation, but the recent high temps have been keeping me from doing that.

Sun burn from watering the foliage during the hottest part of the day on the other hand is a common myth that people still pass around as truth to this day. A little simple search on google you'll find articles and studies that debunks this myth. The only reason not to water during the hot part of the day is water conservation. (I rarely water the foliage anyway).

Anyway, back to the topic, if anyone have any input or experience on garden hose filters, please let me know. I would like to find an alternative solution.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:23PM
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raimeiken, you already have the solution to your problem- the reverse osmosis unit! That filter you have isn't made to remove salts.

RO is the only practical way to lower the salt content of our crappy tap water. Filters won't do much except remove the chlorine and taste/odors from the water. The downside to RO is that it uses a lot of water and leaves you with a waste stream of higher salt content water that you can either put down the drain, or use it on some salt tolerant plants like bermuda grass or oleanders (some shade trees will accept it also.)

I've recently started using an outside RO for my outside potted plants because, like you, I was having scorched leaf margins (leaching wasn't enough.) I'm seeing improvement in their health already. And I disagree with the other post- RO water won't leach away all the nutrients anymore than rain does. You'll still need to fertilizer on a regular basis of course.

I hope that makes sense.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Raimeiken - z9b - Peoria, AZ

My RO system is rather small. I have a 3 gal tank. It'll take a long time to water all my plants this way lol! Plus it does waste a lot of water. I mainly use the system for drinking water, cooking, coffee, and watering my indoor plants.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:01PM
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MaryMcP Zone 8b - Phx AZ

There's a long discussion here that might be helpful for you, it starts talking about chlorine but also goes into salts a bit. I believe it's difficult to cut the salt from tap water w/o RO.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chlorine Filter Discussion

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:38AM
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Yup, your only choice is to use an RO unit. Dump the waste water into the sewer. Putting it on your land will eventually salt the soil.

Or live with it as most do with an occasional salt removal heavy wash with distilled/RO/rain water.

Any watering or any water in a container will wash away nutrients. Container soil sucks in that regard anyway. So replacing every couple of weeks with dilute low salt fertilizer watering or using a frequently replaced delay release fertilizer is essential.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:09PM
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phxphoto(USDA 9B, Sunset 13)

Just to make sure this is clear, the TDS numbers not changing much doesn't indicate was doing *nothing* -- it was sold as a calcium filter. Filtering agents exist that will selectively filter calcium (and, often, magnesium with it). Calcium filters using them work great when problem is calcium.

But TDS, or Total Dissolved Solids, isn't a measure of calcium. It's a measure of EVERYTHING dissolved in the water (thus "Total").

If you have a calcium problem, keep the filter and use a calcium test to find out how much it's filtering. If you have a generalized salts problem, then as has been mentioned, it's pretty much RO or bust. At least unless you want to go all DIYer and build a freshwater still or something...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 5:35PM
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iandyaz(Zone 9B - QC)

I have 4 32 gallon trash cans that I bought from Home Depot a few years back that I save rain water with for this reason. The only problem with this is (sometimes even with a lid), the water gets mosquito larvae in it around this time of the year so I use a small amount of vegetable oil (depending on how soon I will be using the water) in the water and they all die off. It doesn't rain very often but when it does, it easily fills up all 4 trash cans + my 5 gal pails and a few other random things.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 3:38PM
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