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Common Water Filtration Questions

Water Filtration

Below you will find answers to common questions we hear on a regular basis about RO systems, water softeners and water filtration systems.

  • Can Voltage Coffee Supply help test my water?

Voltage offers three products to help test your water, our basic Water Test Kit, BWT's Water Hardness Test Kit, and OptiPure's H2O Water Test Kit. Once you have your results, contact us and we can help identify what type of filtration is best for your environment. 

  • How much water do reverse osmosis systems waste? 

The reverse osmosis systems we carry do not “waste” any water! They have a reject stream going to the drain that is required to wash away contaminants removed by the membrane. This is the cost of producing optimized water for your application and is the most cost-effective and reliable method to remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) such as chlorides, sodium, calcium and sulfates from ingredient water. With many of the RO systems, the amount of water “rejected” can be adjusted to maximize efficiency.

  • Will a carbon filter reduce chlorides, sulfates or calcium?

No, activated carbon filters do not reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) such as chlorides, sodium, calcium and sulfates. Carbon filters are extremely effective at reducing chlorine, improving taste and reducing odor.

  • Should I put a water softener on my ice machine?

Water softeners on ice machines should be avoided in most cases. Excess sodium in water has the ability to alter the freezing and melting temperatures of water. Thus, water softeners will lead to soft, mushy ice cubes that melt faster and can negatively impact beverage quality.

  • What is the best water filter for an espresso machine?

In most cases, systems that utilize Reverse Osmosis (RO) with mineral addition and/or blending will provide water with ideal characteristics for the best coffee beverages and protect your equipment from lime-scale build-up, or corrosion, preventing costly service calls. It is never recommended to utilize polyphosphate (softening)-filters on your espresso machine, as this chemical will collect in the boiler and lead to additional service calls for your machine.

  • How do I measure the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water?

Total dissolved solids, or TDS, is measured using an electronic meter similar to a conductivity meter that measures the conductance of the water caused by the dissolved solids and converts it to a part-per-million (ppm) reading. A conductivity meter will not measure a number of contaminants in the water that do not conduct electricity, nor will it provide an accurate measurement or indication of the amount of chlorine or chloramines in the water.

  • What is chloramine and how do I know if my water has been treated with it?

Chloramines are an alternative disinfectant to chlorine. Specifically, chloramines are a blend of chlorine and ammonia that has been shown to greatly reduce the disinfection by-products caused by chlorination. There are different forms of chloramine: mono-chloramine, di-chloramine, trichloramine and organic chloramines. The city water treatment plant uses only mono-chloramine. We recommend asking your local water utility if they use chloramine in the water or have your water tested. For more information on chloramine, go to the EPA website.

  • What is the best way to remove chlorides from my water?

The best method for removing chlorides from water reliably and economically is using a reverse osmosis system.

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