Monday, October 22, 2007

What water filter should i buy?

I guess most ppl ask me this question. First, it would be strange for me to recommend a specific brand, as this is going to look like commercial stunt which i largely disagree with.

Mostly i recommend products from USA for one strong reason, they have laws and policies to ensure that such products meets a strict standard. Read up on this site, American Water Works Association and you will gain some understanding of the mentality and policies they have :

But here are the guidelines :-

1. MasterFilter - You will only use the master filter to filter out dirt and rust. Some master filters even claim to filter chlorine but in most cases you only need a master filter to filter the dirt. Additional claims are mostly either unjustifiable marketing claims (eg master filter filtering chemicals up to xxxx microns etc). Look, the master filter have to handled large volume and pressure, it just doesnt have the mechanics to handle other more fine grain filtering.
I would say products from pentair ( or waterco ( should be good and decent. There are many other products

2. Inhouse Water filter -
If really want to spend and dont mind spending, i guess the Amway water filter is a safe choice, be prepared to pay ^_^. Actually if you boil water, you get the same result as what the Amway ultraviolet component does, it kills bacterias...minus the cost. But on the whole, at least Amway is honest in their claims. (if they reduce the price to say RM 1200, and the filters to 50%, i would say it would be the appropriate value).
Do a google search on water filter products from USA and i believe you will find many have distributors in Malaysia that you can contact and evaluate for yourself. If the product dont comes from USA, at least make sure its sellable in USA.

What water filter products i use? Apart from the experimentation products of the twin combo filter in my wet kitchen, i do use a a main water filter at my dry kitchen. Well lets just say its the same water filter u will find in "Old town kopitiam", "gloria jeans", "MCDonald", "StarBucks" and onboard of AirForce one (^_^). Its called Everpure (

However let me warn you, the filter comes in 3 parts (the poly dirt filter, the carbon chlorine filter and the Everpure filter), the most important is the 3rd one which is direct import from USA, the first 2 component the local distributor here created it themselves for "profit" and the name on the label is very much misleading that you would think all 3 component comes from USA. I think they called it "EverGood" or something. (duh!). If you already havve master filter, just buy the third component.

Anyway, well, so far the quality is constant and i do get crystal clear and it filters even chemical (certain lethal, cancerous ones). It is NSF certified for 2 claims which i have verified and happy with. Its also cheaper than diamond/nesh which is uncertified and full of misleading claims.

Now dont get me wrong here, Diamond and Nesh DOES filter water. I am not saying that they dont do anything. I am saying they don't do a LOT of those things they claimed in their marketing material (watch the video ). They do not filter any dangerous chemicals (no certification on this), and they sure dont filter the bacterias (no certification). If you boil the water, then i guess all is fine ^_^.

Basically, a RM 150-200 panasonic filter will get you the same if not better results. In fact if you already have a master filter, those pensonic/panasonic filter is all you need.

**** Sept 2009 : There is a new water filter by philips, that uses UV and the double filter (sediment, carbon) and priced at just rm 1200. Definitely a better buy than Amway. The NSF certification is also true.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Diamond Energy Water - Hong Kong Reaction

Well i guess HKong people are not as guillable as Malaysians!

See the youtube here, findings by the HK on Diamond Energy Water.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Combo Unit , combining a Pensonic Twin and a Panasonic

What you will need to buy :-

Before reading this make sure u read my earlier post on "Water filters in Malaysia"

Now we all know that Panasonic being a product from Japan would at least have some quality tests seeing that its reputable companies. Thus for some people connecting a Pensonic twin filter to rid the main dust and primary filtering and then to filter it further via the Panasonic PJxxx series without the need to frequently change the Panasonic filters is a "peace of mind" combination.

** This is an edit : As of May 26, 2007
Warning : the Pensonic carbon
block or the Nishimen carbon block has found to increase of PPM. This is the
reason why you need to allow generous amount of water to go thru it, there are
some materials in those block that somehow dilute into the water.
In my
observation, it took around 3 days or estimated 200 liters of water before the
reading will go down. However, i have tried instar carbon block, Pensonic carbon
block and Nishimen and ALL of them resulted in a rise of PPM even after it goes
down after some flush. The PPM reading can go up as much as 10 or more. (eg, 34
-> 44). This suggest there is something that is leaking in the carbon blocks
and diluted to the water. So I do not recommend using any of the said carbon

You should use both the pensonic + panasonic, you can use both
polypropylene on the pensonic Twin filter and depend only on the Panasonic for
the carbon filter.
The Panasonic uses carbon filter and DOES NOT increase
the PPM like the carbon blocks of Pensonic, Nishimen and InStar.

Cost of cartride for the Pensonic twin filter :

1. Polypropylene filters RM 8 for 3, some even RM 6.50 for 4. Interval to change: 2-3 months depending on water quality.
2 Optionally you can replace Polyprophylene with Doulton Ceramic, but the water pressure will need to be stronger. RM 40-RM60. Interval to change: 12 months.

Panasonic :
PJ3RF filter : RM 37.50
Interval to change : 24 months (if used in combo, this is my estimated safe usage)

Initial Total Cost : RM 59 (pensonic) + RM 140 (Panasonic PJ3RF) = around RM 200
Running cost yearly : RM 16 (2 set of RM 8 polypropylene) + RM 37.50 = RM 53.50

RM 200 for initial setup, and yearly RM 53.50. DIY.

Below are images of how the unit would look like and how to combine them.

Here is an example of how dirty a Polyprophylene can be in just 4 days of use!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The TDS Device

Please read my blog on 21-5-2007 (Water Filters in Malaysia) before reading this one as to why i need to test the water result.

Here is the device from Hanna Instruments, HI 98301, which i will be using to get the results from various water filter products, unlike the basic models used by most RO sales people this device is on the higher end. Complete with the calibration liquid (which u need to use to reset the device if the reading begans to sway). Total cost me around RM 300...


PPM readings

Pandan indah tap water


Ampang tap water


Boiled water from (pandan/ampang)


Puchong tap water


Diamond water on Ampang


Amway Water Treament

*pending test

Nesh Water

*pending test

Pensonic Twin filter on Pandan


Panasonic PJ3RF on Pandan


Pensonic Twin + Panasonic (combined)

32 (without carbon block on pensonic, both poly)**

Cactus mineral water (Esso station)




EconSave 0.20c Mineral Water


RO Water “water factory”


Delcol RO Water Unit (not serviced yet)


Delcol RO Water Unit


Distilled Water from Petrol Station


Conclusion : None of the water filter are able to filter anything significant when it comes to dissolved chemicals, except the activated Carbon filtration of chlorine and the dirt filtration of raw sediments, mud, rust and sand (except RO water filters). None of the water filter adds any minerals that is significant to the readings.

**May 26, 2007 : Now i seriously recommend using the combo unit of Pensonic + Panasonic, however, do not use the default Pensonic /Nishimen carbon block, for some reason when using the carbon block, the PPM readings goes up by 2. Eg, 32(tap water) to 34 (after filter). This is however NOT a normal filter behaviour,
because on a Panasonic model PJxx that comes with carbon filters, the readings does NOT go up.
Use both poly filters on the Pensonic, route it to the Panasonic for carbon filtering.
See here for how it to make such a unit.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Water filter Products in Malaysia : Facts and Myths

I know many people who felt that water filters are a necessity in Malaysia due to the quality of water that we get here. Hence many families pay anywhere around RM 1k -> 5k for a water filter system.

In Canada there was one case there 7 ppl died as a result of E.coli, a deadly bacteria that contaminated the water source there. That event led to a avalanche blooming business for water filters. Are all the water filters sold there are as claimed?
Read the following (i strongly advise readers to read the link and to understand bodies like EPA and NSF which are important certification bodies for water purity and products). In America, there are LAWS to govern certain aspect of this, unfortunately as in Canada, Malaysia is an open target for all kinds of claims and products.

Please read :

So I began to investigate into this matter and do my community a service.
Lets see, in the market here, we have

1. Diamond Energy Water (Price around RM 2000)
Claims to have 6 water stage filtering. Various claims on water "clusters"(Filter D), infrared (Filter E), and the infamous magnetic stones(Filter F).

I decided to write NSF an email and whats their certification on the Diamond Energy water system and here is their reply :

Dear Mr. xxxx:
NSF maintains a website at that can be used to verify if a water treatment system carries our independent certification as well as to determine what performance claims, if any, were validated for a particular system. As indicated in this database under the name NEP Holdings, the only testing conducted by NSF International on the Diamond Energy water system was for material safety on Cartridge A. NSF has not certified any of the other components used in the system for material safety, nor have we certified if the system as a whole has any ability to reduce contaminants.
Thank you for your inquiry. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Cheryl Luptowski

Public Information Officer
NSF International

What does this mean? This means simply that NSF only certified that 1 out of 6 of the component used in Diamond is safe to use. Thats all . period. The rest of the claims are unproven and uncertified (aka urban legend)

2. Nesh Life Water (Price around RM 1700)
Consist of 3 cartridges filter. And its claims to even "encourage blood circulation, expel toxins, increase oxygen in water up to 10 times, smoother water texture ..."
Certification ? None

3. Amway Water Treatment (RM 2700-3200)
Ok frankly i found the materials and marketing facts presented on this product to be fair and honest. However the price is ....ouch... typical of MLM prices. This product however is NSF 55 certified (germ/bacteria removal)

4. Reverse Osmosis (RM 1200 - 2000)
This is considered the de facto for water purification. After all what you get is water as pure as any system allows. However do consider that the proper maintenance of such a unit is expensive (RM 500->RM 1000) and the water usage will be high. For every cup of RO water that the system produce, you have a cup of water that will be drained out.

Any of these claims justifiable?

Now lets breakdown on some of the claims made by these and other water filter products :-

1. smaller water cluster
2. Expel toxins
3. Energy water - raise the energy of water etc

Read them here :

To summarize what the professor in Chemistry would say

Some of these hucksters claim to make the water into clusters" that are larger, smaller, or hexagonal-shaped, allowing them to more readily promote "cellular hydration" and remove "toxins" from your body.

The fact is that none of these views has any significant support in the scientific communities of chemistry, biochemistry, or physiology, nor are they even considered worthy of debate. The only places you are likely to see these views advocated are in literature (and on Web sites) intended to promote the sale of these products to consumers in the notoriously credulous "alternative" health and "dietary supplement" market.

4. Oxygenated Water, or any claims on increasing oxygen into water
Basically, unless your a fish, your lungs main purpose is for the gas exchange not your intestines and the only increase you get is from your wallet.

How to build an ALCHEAPO water filter that makes sense

Ok i will now share on how you can build a cheap water filter and one that makes sense for us malaysians. Basically there already exist an industry standard for water filters for in house use. Typically these are the 10"inc bottle like shape filters that are easily available in Jaya Jusco, Best Dengki and other popular shops. The other options are the Panasonic and ready made Jug shape water filters.

Why i dont recommend the jug shapes water filter (not as first line of filter)?

If you have inspected any water filters at the cartridge level you will notice that the first
cartride / filter that removes dirt, mud etc are the murkiest of all and that filter needs cleaning/replacement in just a short time of weeks and even days (depending on water quality).
So imagine the Panasonic jug shape filter cartridge, before long the first layer would have been so dirty that its clogging up the water entry to the rest of the layers of filters (most of these water filters jug like has 4 levels). So you will end up replacing the whole cartridge since you cannot just replace the first filter element.

If you want to use the panasonic/other jug shape single cartridge filters, I would recommend that you install a Master filter at the main water inlet first. In this case your panasonic cartridge wont be easily clogged up and will last a decent amount of time.

Ok now lets get on to it

1. Get those Twin filter from Pensonic or those you see in Jaya jusco, standard twin 10"inch filters. The Pensonic only cost me RM 59. (Product code pp123 , Also available are similar Nishiim twin filters (cant remember how to spell this)

2. Open up the filters, Anti-clockwise with the plastic wrench provided, and remove the plastics from the filters.

3. Then well, not all the hose itemized rubbers provided are used, use only the ones that makes sense, basically you wrap the hoselike to the tap.

4. Boil the water! Before consuming ...this is not NSF 55 certified setup :-) but it does saves u tons.

Total Cost RM 59. The changing of the cartridge filter cost about RM 8 for first main element, RM 35-45 for the carbon filter.

** Note : Please read the Twin Filter + Panasonic Combo posting. I no longer recommend just the Pensonic twin filter alone due to my test conducted on nearly all the carbon blocks for these filters are leaking some contaminant to the water.

The Pressure Factor

I observed that on the twin filter that if its mounted correctly, and depending on the water pressure, one of the filter will be full of water before the other filter's water level goes up. Basically when the water level goes up in the filter to a certain stage, you will get filtered water coming out of the outlet.

The reason is that the water needs a certain pressure to be forced into the filters whether it be ceramic, carbon or Polypropylene filter. If water goes easily across it, then that filter basically doesnt really filter much and u will notice the water level doesnt climb high and yet you will get the filtered water coming out.

I tried replacing the main dirt filter, in this case the polypropylene(white) filter with a Doulton Ceramic filter. Guess what? The water level climbed to the max, and even when i maxed out the water pressure on my kitchen tab, only very low level of water comes out from the outlet. This is because getting water thru the Doulton Ceramic requires a lot of pressure which is normally accomplish in a RO system via a pump.

Then the question is : I dont see Diamond or Nesh connected to any electrical pump, and since they boast of having 3 or 6 filters that can filter all kinds of stuff, how can the filters be any good being that the default water pressure could only "push" so much thru compact filter that filters 0.000000xxx microns. Thus it can only be that the filters are "leniant" and water could easy go thru the filters and so with the default pressure, u see a decent flow of water coming out.

Here are the list of To dos which i will be posting to this site :


- I will provide the TDS (total dissolved solids) and PH readings for this fitting in comparison with diamond, nesh and others. Some people argue that TDS only makes sense for Reverse Osmosis, however since its the filtering capability that we are measuring here, i believe it served as a standard gauge.

- Test various "bottled" water available in our supermarkets, u cant believe how many brands are there now.

- Test those vending machines producing water for 0.20 cents

- My next plan is to route the outlet of the Pensonic twin filter to the Panasonic PJ-xxx series and compare it further.

- Master filters solutions

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