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Frequently Asked Questions (Click for answers)

1. What are Chloramines?

2. What is Chlorine?

3. What are Cysts?

4. What is E.coli bacteria?

5. What is hard water?

6. What is lead and how do I know if I have it in my water?

7. What is a MICRON?

8. What are THMs?

9. What are VOCs?

10. Why do I have rotten egg odour in my water?

11. How do I get more flow rate from sediment filters?

12. Can I install 2 or more filters in series?

13. Can I install a carbon cartridge on the main line?

14. How can I drink water from a lake or river?

15. Why do my sediment filters plug up fast?

16. Can I use Rainfresh filter cartridges in competitive housings or systems?

17. Can I hook up the drinking water system in a remote location other than undersink?

Many municipalities across North America treat water by a process called “Chloramination”. It involves disinfecting water by chloramines, which are formed when ammonia is used in addition to chlorine. Chloramines reduce the formation of potentially cancer-causing Trihalomethanes (THMs). However, chloramines render an offensive taste and odour to drinking water & beverages made from such water. In addition, chloramines can cause skin irritation, are corrosive by nature, and are toxic to fish.

Chloramines are more stable than chlorine and therefore, unlike chlorine, cannot be removed by leaving a container of water open for a few minutes. Even regular activated carbon filters are not effective at reducing chloramines and need to be specially formulated for chloramines reduction. Rainfresh QS2 Drinking Water System & CA1 filter cartridge are specially formulated and are tested and certified for chloramine reduction. For whole house chloramine reduction Rainfresh ECRE chloramine filters can be installed.

It is estimated that over 10 million Canadians drink water that has been treated by chloramination. Following is a list of municipalities that use chloramination.

Canadian municipalities that use Chloramination*



Red Deer



Greater Victoria




St Johns






Grey Bruce


Holland Landing








Richmond Hill

Sault Ste Marie






* - As on Jan 01, 2012

Back to FAQ

Chlorine is the most common water disinfectant used in the world. Almost all municipal treatment plants in North America use chlorine for primary or secondary disinfection. Chlorine can form cancerous by-products with certain organic compounds present in water. In addition chlorine renders an offensive taste and odour to water & beverages made from such water. Coffee and tea tastes much better when chlorine is removed from water.

Chlorine can be effectively reduced by activated carbon filter cartridges. All Rainfresh Drinking Water Systems reduce chlorine effectively. Back to FAQ

A cyst is a resting stage of a parasite that helps it tide over unfavourable environmental conditions. When the parasite reaches favourable conditions (such as the human intestine), the cyst wall breaks and the microbe causes illness. Commonly known cysts are Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium. They are present in stagnant waters such as dug wells, lakes, ponds and other surface waters. Cysts cause illnesses such as Giardiasis (popularly called Beaver Fever), stomach cramps, fever, diarrhea, etc.

Cysts are resistant to chlorination, the most common disinfection method. As such, it is possible to have cyst contamination even in chlorinated (municipally treated) water supplies. Physical removal of cysts from water by filtration is the most effective way of preventing illnesses from cyst. Rainfresh Drinking Water systems are tested and certified for reduction of cyst from water. Back to FAQ

E. coli
E. coli is a bacteria whose harmless strains are commonly found in the intestines of humans. A particular E. coli strain, called the 0157:H7 strain, found in contaminated well or surface waters, can cause severe illness such as bloody diarrhoea or even kidney failure, especially at risk being young children and the elderly.

Rainfresh Drinking Water System 1, 2 and 3 use proprietary ceramic filter cartridges have been independently tested and verified for reduction of E. coli. In addition, they have also been tested for reduction of other bacteria that cause water-borne illnesses such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid etc. Back to FAQ

Hard Water
In simple terms, hard water is high in Calcium and/or Magnesium ions, does not easily form lather with soap or detergents and tends to leave white scaly deposits on toilet fixtures, bath tubs, shower heads etc. Hardness of water is measured in “grains per gallon” (GPG) or “parts per million (PPM)”. 1 GPG = 17.1 PPM

Hardness Value                Term
Less than 1 GPG               Soft
1.0 to 3.5 GPG                    Slightly Hard
3.5 to 7.0 GPG                    Moderately Hard
 7.0 to 10.5 GPG                 Hard
10.5 GPG and above         Very Hard

Hard water can be easily removed by Rainfresh Water Softeners. Back to FAQ

Lead is a harmful metal that is typically found in water supplies that either pass through lead pipes or have been soldered using lead-solder. Consumption of drinking water that has lead can lead to severe brain and blood damage, especially in young children, infants and pregnant women. Even low level exposure may harm the intellectual development, behaviour, size and hearing of infants. If your home was built prior to 1985 or you suspect that lead-based solder was used in your plumbing, you should contact your local water authority and get a water test done. Most municipalities in Canada will do a free lead test.

You can install Rainfresh Drinking Water system 3, Reverse Osmosis System (RO450) or TWIST system to have lead-free drinking water. All these systems are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI 53 for lead reduction. Back to FAQ

A micron, also called micrometer, is a unit of measurement. 1 micron = 1/1000 mm, denoted as µ. A human hair is about 100 micron in diameter and a spec of talcum powder is about 40 micron. In filter cartridges, a micron rating refers to the smallest particle size in microns that the filter cartridge is capable of removing. For example, a 30 micron cartridge will remove particulates as small as 30 micron while a 5 micron filter cartridge will remove particulates as small as 5 micron. The lower the micron rating of the filter cartridge, the tighter the filter and the smaller the particle size it can remove.

For sediment filters, generally a “nominal” rating is used, meaning that a high percentage of particles of the rated size are removed. An “Absolute” rating means that >99.99% of the particles of the rated size are removed. Rainfresh ceramic cartridges have a 0.3 micron absolute rating, meaning that they remove > 99.99% of particles as small as 0.3 micron. Back to FAQ

Trihalomethanes (THM) - CHEMICALS
THMs are chemical compounds formed by the reaction of disinfectants such as chlorine, with natural organic compounds (decaying leaves & vegetation). Many THMs were also used over the years as solvents and refrigerants and now sometimes find their way into our drinking water supplies. THMs most commonly found in drinking water are chloroform, bromodichloromethane (BDCM), dibromochloromethane (DBCM) and bromoform.
THMs are considered possible carcinogens (cancer-causing) in humans. According to Health Canada, animal studies indicate a link between specific THMs and tumours. Some human studies also link THMs with colorectal cancers & reproductive problems.

Rainfresh Drinking Water System models UCS3, QS1, QS2 and filter cartridge models LR1 & VC1 are tested and certified for reduction of THM from water. Back to FAQ

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) are organic compounds that find their way into our drinking water supplies through paints & solvents, petroleum & certain aerosols. VOC are regarded as potentially cancer-causing and should be removed from all drinking water supplies.

Rainfresh Drinking Water System models UCS3, QS1, QS2 and filter cartridge models LR1 & VC1 are tested and certified for reduction of VOC from water. Back to FAQ

I have rotten egg odour in my water.
Rotten egg odour is an indication of hydrogen sulphide gas (Sulphur gas) in water. Rainfresh Greensand Filter systems reduce sulphur gas from water.

Sometimes certain bacteria (sulphate reducing bacteria) react with the anode in the hot water tank and release sulphur gas in the hot water. This becomes evident if the smell is predominant in hot water and not noticeable in cold water. In such a case, simply replace the magnesium anode with an aluminium anode, or any other less reactive anode. Call your water heater supplier or manufacturer for details. Back to FAQ

How can I get more flow rate from sediment filters
To get more flow rate than the rated capacity of sediment filters, you can install either a high flow filter housing or install 2 sediment filters in parallel. But both filter housings should have filter cartridges of the same micron rating. Back to FAQ

Can I install 2 or more filters in sries?

It is common to install 2 or more sediment filters in series in order of decreasing micron ratings. For example, a 30 micron filter followed by a 5 micron and then a 1 micron. This distributes the dirt load and enhances the life of the tighter filters. Back to FAQ

Can I use a carbon filter cartridge on the main line?
Standard 2.5” x 10” filter cartridges, are generally rated for only 0.75 GPM flow rate compared to 7-8 GPM for sediment filter cartridges of similar dimensions. For main line you can use BH020 filter housing with a BC202 carbon cartridge that is rated for 6 US GPM. A 5 micron or lower sediment pre-filter will also be required. The best way to remove chlorine from the main line is to install a whole-house backwashable Activated Carbon System.Back to FAQ

How can I drink water from a well or lake?
Rainfresh provides several options for well or lake water, depending upon whether you wish to have safe drinking water throughout the house or have a single dedicated safe-water faucet. For whole house water disinfection you can install a Rainfresh UV system with a 5 micron sediment pre-filter and for single outlet you can choose from Rainfresh Drinking water system 1, 2 or 3 that use our proprietary ceramic filtration technology. Back to FAQ

My sediment filter plugs up very fast.
You can install a coarser sediment filter before to take some dirt load off the filter. If the dirt load is too high then you should contact us for further options. Back to FAQ

Can I use Rainfresh filter cartridges for a competitive system?
Rainfresh filter cartridges fit virtually all major standard housings, but CSA certification does not extend to use with other housings or brands. Rainfresh TWIST filter cartridges cannot be used for any other system. Back to FAQ

Can I hook up the drinking water system in a remote location other than undersink?
Yes you can, as long as the location is not more than 15 feet away. You can install the system in the basement or across the kitchen and run the tubing to the faucet. Longer than 15 feet of tubing can cause a drop in water pressure. Back to FAQ


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