Well Water Maintenance Checklist: Spring Edition

Making Well Water Safe to DrinkOfficially, spring started a few weeks ago.  But in our Edina, MN headquarters, more than half a foot of fresh snow would disagree.

Fortunately, for those of you that use well water, this means that you’re not too late to get the spring season off on the right foot!

Below, find your well water maintenance checklist to help you prepare for the arrival of the real spring:

1. Test Your Well Water
In spring, as snow run-off starts to flow and organic matter starts to decompose, your well can become a parking lot for all sorts of nasty impurities.  Knowing what type of impurities you are dealing with doesn’t just protect your own peace of mind, it can protect the health of everyone living in your home.

Fortunately, several counties and townships will offer you help with this maintenance step by providing quick and accurate well water testing services.  These testing services often include complete laboratory analysis and can be had for a reasonable fee.  An example of services offered in Washington County, Minnesota may be found here.

WaterSafe Well Water Test KitYou can also conduct your own testing via do-it-yourself well water test kits, including the kit from Well Safe pictured to the left, that you can find for sale at our online store.

2. Check Your Pressure Gauges
Installing a pressure gauge inline before and after your well water filter housings is an invaluable maintenance step that can help you more quickly get your well ready for spring and more easily monitor your water quality throughout the year.

By monitoring your pressure closely with a gauge, an example of which we’ve included below, any noticeable water pressure drop will be displayed.  Our advice? When you see a 10 to 15PSI loss of pressure, whether the calendar says spring, fall or anytime in between, it’s time to change your well water filters.

Tier1 Pressure Gauge3. Sanitize!
Put bluntly, well water can get a little funky.  Sometimes this means the presence of harmful bacteria while other times it simply means an unpleasant but ultimately innocuous sulfur or egg smell.  Whether or not testing reveals the presence of harmful pathogens, doesn’t mean your well water maintenance checklist should skip over sanitation.

Using a DIY well water sanitizer in the spring can help eliminate harmful bacteria that can have an impact on your health, in addition to unpleasant odors that can have an impact on your quality of life.

4. Stock Up on O-rings and Lubricant
O-rings are the most inexpensive part of a water filtration set up, but also one of the most costly items to not have if something goes wrong.  Occasionally an O-ring may burst or even get crushed by improper re-installation of water filters (trust us, it happens.)

Having extra O-rings and O-ring lubricant on-hand will allow you to stop any potential leaks and/or get your system back online quickly without having to make an emergency call to your plumber.   Note that most manufacturers recommend replacing O-rings once per year. 3M Filtrete Whole House Filtration System O-Rings

5. Replace Your Well Water Filters
Many manufacturers of whole house filtration systems recommend a three month replacement time for sediment filters, 6 month replacement time for carbon filters and two year replacement time for reverse osmosis membranes.  As always, this will depend on the water quality in your well and water usage in your home.

Depending on the well water maintenance and filter replacement schedule you’ve established for yourself, you may not need to replace every filter you are currently using when the calendar strikes spring.  But trust us on this one, getting yourself onto a seasonal well water filter replacement schedule will make your life that much easier.  That said…

 6. Update Your Calendar
…even the best of us have trouble adhering to seasonal schedules or even remembering the last time we changed our water filters.  Adding quick notes to your calendar, reminding you of the next time you need to replace your filters, can only help.

Once you have all the products you need, including test kits, O-rings and well water filters, the well water maintenance steps above shouldn’t take you more than an afternoon to complete.  When it comes to the quality of your drinking water, this is time well spent.

What other well water maintenance steps do you take to get ready for spring? Leave a comment below and we’ll add to a future checklist.  Also, if you have questions on any of the steps or products lists above, please feel free to call our customer service department at 1-800-277-3458.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to stay up to date on future well water maintenance checklists and to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you buying a gift for a veteran or soldier?  Use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 5% off your entire order!

Celebrate World Water Day With Us Tomorrow

World Water Day 2014Visit our Facebook page on World Water Day – Saturday, March 22nd – to see how you can save money on your next order from DiscountFilterStore.com– while helping to provide clean drinking water for someone in need.

Saturday, March 22nd is World Water Day.

Established in 1993 by the UN, World Water Day is an occasion for world leaders and the general public to encourage and act-on solutions that could ease drinking water shortages faced by millions across the globe.

More than twenty years later, World Water Day has inspired dozens of initiatives, including:

If you are looking for a way to support World Water Day, we would encourage you to consider a donation to any of the organizations above.

We hope you join us tomorrow in observing this day so critical to so many across the globe, and if you visit us on Facebook, we can almost guarantee that you’ll like what you find.

We also invite you to follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you buying a gift for a veteran or soldier?  Use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 5% off your entire order!

The Great Mystery Revealed: Does Water Have a Taste?

What does water taste like? It’s a simple question, but a quick trip to Google tells me that everyone has a different idea of exactly what water tastes like. My search uncovered a wide range of responses from some of the internet’s top flavor detectives and included…

the expected:  “it tastes like water” and “it has no taste”

the more scientific: “the taste depends on what was dissolved in it”

the outright humorous: “Liquefied boring” and “Mundane in a glass”

and my personal favorite: “One Atom Hydrogen, Two Atoms Oxygen. Shaken Not Stirred”


Obviously, there isn’t a clear consensus on what exactly water tastes like, but there is definitely a growing market for flavored water. In addition to bottles of flavored water like Aquafina’s Flavor Splash, many companies offer flavor packets that can be added to water anywhere you go to improve the taste. Kraft foods, the second largest food and Beverage Company in the world, recently launched their line of MiO flavor dispensers, hoping to break into what is now a billion dollar market for flavored water.

Floating-dollar-signDrinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and it should also be the cheapest, but when you add in the cost of adding flavor packets or buying fancy bottles with a hint of fruit flavoring it actually becomes more expensive than soda. Why are consumers paying more to add flavor to their water? The answer would seem to be that even though we aren’t really sure what water tastes like, we have decided that we don’t like the way water tastes.

This is primarily because most tap water is disinfected with chlorine, which adds an unpleasant taste and odor to the water, and often has dissolved minerals and organic material that can adversely affect the flavor of water. The unpleasant taste of tap water is one of the main reasons the bottled water industry grew so quickly and helps to explain the new fad for flavored water.

The easiest way to improve the quality of your tap water is by filtering out the chlorine and other contaminants that cause the poor taste. You would be amazed at how much better your tap water will taste with just a simple filter, like this GXULQ system from GE, installed under the kitchen sink.

Of course, variety is the spice of life and you may find you still want to add a little flavor to your water. Instead of spending a lot of hard earned cash on single-use packets why not try making your own flavored water. Adding a little mint or citrus is easy to do and is a fun way to enhance the flavor of filtered water.


Once you have perfected your masterpiece, why not share your favorite flavor recipes with us on Facebook? We would love to hear what you do to make your water taste great!

Tap Water – What a Deal!

Groupon, Living Social, Woot, ManDeals… It seems like every other day a new daily deal site is popping up! 
I don't know about you, but my inbox is positively flooded with deals for kids' art classes, spa visits, and teeth whitening. But hey–who doesn't love a deal?  We certainly do–we're the Discount Filter Store, after all!

Dollar symbolWhether you're searching for  a water filter for your fridge, a weekend getaway, or an LED kitty collar (yes, it's a real thing!), you'd probably prefer to buy your goods at a discount. Let's face it–with the price of gas hovering at a bajillion dollars a gallon pretty much everyone in the country but Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could stand to save a couple of dollars whenever they can, right?

By the way–you're going to love us for this–we found a way to get all of our daily deals and coupons in one daily email. JACKPOT! You've got to check out yipit.com (after you read this awesome blog post, of course!) You inbox will thank you.

Truth is, while you could join every deal site out there, you might be overlooking the easiest possible way to save money every day. And you don't even have to have an internet connection to get this deal, folks! It's right in your kitchen. You know, that cool, clean, live-giving fluid that come straight out of your faucet and refrigerator dispenser? That's right. We're talking tap water. Bottled water money

(Wait–before you turn up your nose at the thought of drinking from the tap, ask yourself when was the last time you changed your water filter. Hmmm?)

Tap water is just as clean and just as safe as bottled water…and at $0.002 a gallon is monumentally less expensive than the same stuff bottled water. (Did you know? 24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi.)1

Klean kanteenYes, you can buy a half-liter of Evian for $1.69. Seems cheap, right? But here's the deal. If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000!

Put another way, if you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with  tap water before that water would cost $1.69. 

I don't know about you, but we here at Discount Filter Store think that $0.002 for a gallon is a pretty darn good deal. Consider this: a gallon of Hershey's syrup costs $13.23. Tobasco sauce–$94.46 a gallon. And a gallon of scorpion venom? That'll set you back a cool $38,858,507.46.2

There are lots of great ways to save dollars. Switching from bottled water to tap water might just be the easiest one. Just get yourself a refillable water bottle (we like this one from Klean Kanteen), fill 'er up, and carry on. Or Groupon. Or clip a coupon. 

Come on!

Discount Filter Store

1 Charles Fischman, Message in a Bottle, http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/117/features-message-in-a-bottle.html?page=0%2C0 (July 2007).

2 Cockeyed.com, The Price of a Gallon, http://www.cockeyed.com/science/gallon/liquid.html.








Get Ready for Hurricane Season in 7 Easy Steps

Here in North Carolina, just as soon as the Hurricanes' season ends, the hurrican season begins. We say goodbye to Skinner and Staal (too soon this year, my friends, too soon) and hello to flashlights and batteries. Yep, the start of the Stanley Cup finals means the start of  hurricane season for all of us on the East Coast, Gulf Coast, and Hawaii.

H003-hurricane-gefahrenkarte-hinterland-gefaehrdetimage via The Weather Channel

The good news: getting ready for hurricane season isn't nearly as difficult as training for the NHL hockey season. Here's the down and dirty guide to being ready when the next storm hits:

  1. Know the location of your nearest shelter (your county's Emergency Management website will have this information. Have pets? The you should have a plan for them too. Check out this great info from the US Humane Society on disaster planning for your pets.
  2. Catalog your belongings before disaster strikes with this nifty (free!) iPhone app that allows you to store photos, barcodes, and serial numbers of your personal property. This way you'll be ready to make insurance claims or take tax deductions for storm losses.
  3. Avoid the pre-hurricane run on the grocery stores and stock up now on 
    • batteries
    • a radio
    • flashlights, candles or lamps, and matches
    • canned foods, pwdered milk, and other non-perishable foods you can prepare without cooking
    • lumber, plywood, and masking tape to protect your windows
    • first aid supplies
    • a manual can opener
  4. Keep your gas take at least half full at all times.  Gas pumps won't work if the power goes out!
  5. Neither will ATMs. Stash some cash now in case you need it during a bad storm.
  6. Go ahead and refill your prescriptions. 
  7. Be prepared for drinking water contamination. Have some clean, airtight containers on hand that you can fill up if a hurricane watch is issued. Sorry, your Brita filter won't cut it your county orders a boil water advisory… even filtered water must be boiled if your county suspects bacteria in the water supply! 

Quick note–once officials give word that the water is safe again, you'll need to take a few precautions:

  • Replace all water filters (faucet, fridge) that were installed when the water went bad
  • Toss your ice cubes and disinfect ice cube trays and containers
  • Run cold water faucets for one minute before using the water.
  • Drain and refill hot water heaters set below 120°.

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What to Drink, When: How to Hydrate for Exercise

Water, Sport Drinks…Coffee? What do you drink to stay hydrated–and does it matter? We break down your best options for keeping hydrated before, during, and after exercise. 

Glass water

Before you jump on that treadmill, tie your running shoes, or reach for that Wii controller, pour yourself a glass of water. (From the tap, of course!) But be sure to start drinking 2-3 hours before you work out! Don't wait till you get to the gym to fill your water bottle!


Don't like the taste of your tap water? You're not alone. In fact, it's the number one reason more exercisers drink flavored water. Be careful, though-some flavored waters can deliver as much sugar as soda while others contain potentially problematic artificial sweeteners. Do yourself a favor and filter your tap water. You'll be surprised just how good your water can taste! 


Looking for a natural alternative to plain water? Coconut water might be your best bet. It's naturally rich in electrolytes, with twice the potassium of a banana. But with a price tag of $2-3 a serving– is it really worth it?



Many of us turn to sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade during longer, more intense workouts. Sports drinks replenish the sodium and potassium your body loses through sweat–but they're relatively pricy and ugh-those plastic bottles.  Try the powdered mixes instead–they work just as well, cost far less than buying sports drinks by the case, and leave your recycling bin lighter.


Most of us are used to that morning cup of joe–but few of us think of coffee as a workout enhancer. But if you can stomach it (pun intended), a cup of coffee or two before or during exercise can give your workout a boost. 


Turns out that most of us don't exercise heavily enough to need a sports recovery drink. Water is just fine for most people. But if you need few more choices for what to guzzle down before you hit the shower, read on.  A dose of juice can ease inflammation and quelch those exercise-induced free radicals. And what's even better than a carb-loaded sports drink? Milk.  It helps with muscle recovery and replenishes glycogen stores–it really does do a body good!


Perhaps the best post-workout beverage option we've heard of, though, comes from a group of Spanish researchers who claim that your best option might just be…


Beer.   Guinness for Strength poster.img_assist_custom-480x355


Yep.  Those Guinness ads were right all along. Beer is good for your health after all! Turns out a
pint of beer works even better than water to replenish lost carbohydrates and rehydrate your body. 


So now we know the secret of Babe Ruth's success…

Community : Water – For Women It’s Personal

Nearly one billion people lack access to clean water. 

Yep, you read that right. 

One billion people lack  clean water for drinking, for hygiene, for basic sanitation.

Water.org, founded by the ever adorable and all around nice guy Matt Damon, wants to do something about that. And so do we.  For all of us at Discount Filter Store, the issue of clean water is personal. 


Clean water is our passion, but honestly we never thought about clean water as a women's issue until we started following Water.org on Twitter. (You can find them at @Water. You can follow @DiscountFilters here).  

It turns out that for women all over the world, the issue of clean water is personal. Really personal. Check out this infographic:

04_Women(courtesy of water.org)

Are you shocked? We are. 

It's Mothers Day this Sunday, so lots of us are thinking about the women in our lives. (Have you bought a card yet? Skip the line at the store and honor your mom with one of these beautiful cards!) 

Better yet, honor women everywhere by getting involved. Donate your voice, start a fundraiser, share this post, make a difference. Because it's not okay that 4000 mothers will lose a child to water-borne illnesses this Mothers Day.

Let's do something about it!

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Get Smart: Drink Water

Ah, May…  The weather's getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and it's almost the end of the school year.  Here at Discount Filter Store, our  kids are counting down the days until summer vacation, while we're counting out the dollars we'll spend on summer camps and childcare.


Summer kids

But before we pull out the beach chairs and put air in the bike tires, lots of us have to get through one more thing…

Yep. That dreaded end-of-year testing.



Whether you've got a third grader or a college sophomore,  you've pretty likely got testing on your mind at this time of year.  You're doing everything you can to help your child get through her exams–making sure she studies hard, sleeps well, eats a healthy breakfast, and (the biggest challenge in my house) gets to school on time. 

But when test day comes, are you sending her to school with a bottle of water? (the refillable kind, of course!)

 It turns out–quite simply–that students who drink water during their exams do better than those
who don't.

According to a new study published by the University of East London (See? British people don't just sound smart-they are smart!):

  • Drinking water might have a physiological effect on the brain's cognitive functions. It turns out that even mild dehydration reduces your thinking ability.
  • It's also possible that, much like taking a deep breath, taking a drink of water calms your nerves and reduces your anxiety. (This applies to you too, moms and dads!)

So, come test day, don't forget to send some water with your budding Einstein!

The Klean Kanteen, availabe at Discount Filter Store


Now that's what we call Smart Water!


Your Guide to Good Ice–No Zamboni Necessary

If your ice cubes are starting to smell like the Flyers' locker room, don't despair!  Before you drop your gloves, try these simple steps to better tasting, clearer ice:

Ice cube

  • Use a water filter! Whether it's a pitcher filter, under-sink filter, or refrigerator filter, a fresh filter will reduce taste and odor problems. 

Young player

  • Empty your ice bin! Ice cubes can pick up odors from the inside of the freezer and
    refrigerator–especially from open food containers. So dump that funky ice like a puck from the blue line!


  • For the clearest cubes, boil your filtered water before freezing it.


  • Don't have an ice maker? Try using a stainless steel ice cube tray like this one we found on Amazon.com. Your water will freeze faster and you won't get that weird plastic taste. 



So don't be a hoser! Light the lamp with top shelf ice to serve your family and guests. 

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Community : Water – Ryan’s Well Foundation

Welcome to the first installation of "Community: Water," where each month we'll highlight a non-profit organization funding clean water projects for people all over the world.

Many of us here at Discount Filter Store have small children, so this story really touched us.

Ryan Hreljac was a first grader when he learned that people in Africa were sick–and even dying–because they didn't have clean water to drink.

 Hefigured that $70 would be enough money to drill a well in a place like Uganda and started doing extra chores to raise the money to pay for it.

It turned out the well would cost more like $2,000 to drill — but Ryan was undaunted, and he raised close to $3,000 that year. *image courtesy of Gaiam Life

From Ryan's Story: About_us_2

Ryan is now a 6'6" 20-year-old student at the University of King’s College in Halifax on the east coast of Canada, where he studies international development and political science. Ryan also travels the world speaking about water issues and “the importance of making a difference no matter whom you are or how old you are.”

Any kid can follow his lead, says Ryan. “Kids can begin with anything from helping out around the house to starting their own project,” he adds. They’re real words of wisdom, coming from a man who considered himself, at age 6, just as responsible as anyone else for solving a problem affecting people a world away. 

To date, the Ryan’s Well Foundation has built more than 700 wells that provide clean drinking water to more than 745,000 people in Africa as well as Haiti. The organization has also built more than 900 latrines to improve hygiene and sanitation in these communities.

*Image courtesy of Ryan's Well Foundation

All we can say is wow! Ryan is proof that any of us can make a change in the world.

You can make a difference too!