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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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Magneto .. thanks for your effort in saving our Malaysians' $$$. Can you also check out those water dispenser along the 5-foot way?


shinchan said...

hi magneto. i agree with u. thats why instead of buying a nesh or diamond, i use a separate 2 level filtration. 1st level from the tab goes into a doulton ceramic filter, then link to the national (panasonic) filter.

i remember last time my friend's diamond agent came to demo at my house & leaving the whole diamond set + free cookware to me for 6 months, without me paying any $! well, i didnt open the boxes coz i dont wanna use it nor pay for it later... eventually he came to take it back. sigh... shouldve charge him rental fee, for placing his stock in my house, hehehe :D

Magneto said...

shinchan ...LOL thats a good one. Interesting setup u have there. The doulton cermic filter requires a strong pressure to use not easily achievable if you are having low pressure water.

shinchan said...

by the way, magneto, do u know whether is it true that we r not allowed to install external filter, the one next to the water meter?

i'm living in a 5-storey condo apartment in penang, n our management told us that should we install one near the meter, the pbapp (perbadanan bekalan air penang) will confiscate the filter. but i wonder why many apartments still allow filter near the meter. bribery???

Magneto said...

these kind of policies is best u call them up to confirm. If they allow, get some b&W proof and then u can install.

Victor said...

That's no way that the combination of Pensonic and Panasonic filters that you use can ever compare to Diamond or Nesh water filter, look at the price and you will know, can a RM50 product out-performed a RM2000 one, if so, you got to be kidding me, how stupid can you be!
You can say whatever you want, do whatever stupid test to support your idea, but I do firmly believe that when comes to your health, don’t ever thrifty to buy a good product.

Lee.Chen (Deg in Chem Eng.) said...

You are speaking illogically. If tests and data by Mr.magneto here does not prove anything and ur logic that only $$$ matters. Here, PLEEEASSSE buy this water filter from me, I will sell it to you for RM 100, 000. And i make nonsense claim on how good my product is.
Here, maybe by buying this you can show how smart you really are (dumbass)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, the whole site actually. :P

I'm doing your suggested setup. Pensonic double filtration system plus Panasonic jug.

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