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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DIY In Line Charcoal Water Filter (ver. 2 updates)

The most important item in any disaster preparation is water. The average human needs a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day. Storing water is the easiest method for preparations, but if you live on a water source, like we do, you don't need to store water for the long term. We will be able to filter approximately 170 gallons of water, per day.

Our hollow fiber membrane filter will stop 99.99% of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. This filtering exceeds EPA and NSF guidelines, but it does nothing for chlorine, chemicals or taste. Even though our water will be safe for drinking, if it has a flavor of green slime, we're not going to like it.

Activated carbon or charcoal filter is an excellent medium to remove chlorine, sediment, VOC's, taste, and odor from water. Finding a charcoal filter for re-purposing proved to be a challenge, so we made our own. The materials are readily available at any hardware store.

MATERIALS:

  • 16oz. HDPE Bottle w/ cap
  • 1/4" Nylon Hose Barb (2)
  • 1/2" FIP Connector CPVC (2)
  • 3/4" Rubber O-Ring (2)
  • Coffee Filter or 3" round fine cloth
  • 1/4" Surgical Tubing
  • 3/4" Spade or Fortsner Bit
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • 12 oz. activated charcoal (rinsed)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Drill 3/4" holes in cap and bottom of bottle
  • Fit O-Rings on Hose Barbs
  • Cut off the FIP end of the CPVC connectors
  • Connect Hose Barbs & CPVC connectors
  • Install filter over bottom CPVC connector (paper or cloth)
  • Wet the filter to lay it down over the CPVC connector
  • Add charcoal
  • Add tubing as needed

PICTURES:











































 

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Brilliant! Thanks for the post! I see myself making two of these in the near future. Getting water in Minnesota is easy. Getting drinkable water is another matter. We have a Berkey for the house, but these would be perfect for our survival bags in our trucks.

Thanks again - If I could like it more than once, I would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I redesigned the filter a bit. I found the bottle was too long for tool-less repairs and the paper filter wouldn't stay in place.

Version 2 shows a jar that is wider and shorter will still providing 12 ounces of charcoal filtration. I also added a cloth filter over the bottom fitting and secured with a zip-tie, although the same size o-ring on the barbs can be used as well..

The filter works in a gravity system. First the water is gravity fed into a purifying filter. Secondly the purified water is treated in the charcoal filter. The outlet tube of the charcoal filter drains directly into a storage container.































 

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I'm thinking a large fuel filter like for an 18 wheeler or heavy equipment would work. Cut in half, remove internals & wash clean, install activated charcoal, & use epoxy to reassemble. Probably find used ones for free.
 

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Thats awesome. Thanks for the how to. will have to setup and build one.
Without another filter, would you boil water before or after charcoal treatment, if that was only available?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thats awesome. Thanks for the how to. will have to setup and build one.
Without another filter, would you boil water before or after charcoal treatment, if that was only available?
First strain through a cloth filter then boil. Charcoal is last.
 

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While doing a search for activated charcoal, found that some people use it as a tooth whitener? Never would of thought that.
 

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I think there are a bunch of ACTIVATED charcoal filters on the market already that are designed to filter down to 5 micron and some down to 2 to 0.5 micron. The ones I have stocked up on fit into a plastic, whole hose filter. I added water hose fittings on it and have a supply of different adapters for various hook ups to a rain water catch barrel, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think there are a bunch of ACTIVATED charcoal filters on the market already that are designed to filter down to 5 micron and some down to 2 to 0.5 micron. The ones I have stocked up on fit into a plastic, whole hose filter. I added water hose fittings on it and have a supply of different adapters for various hook ups to a rain water catch barrel, etc.
Do you have a pic of them?
 

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Im still sold on prepperdogs, I will find some activated charcoal and make my own, becouse I will buy the fittings, but, realisticly, everything else is free to me, I could use some of the brass fittings we have at work, but wanna try it just like his. I think its kool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Im still sold on prepperdogs, I will find some activated charcoal and make my own, becouse I will buy the fittings, but, realisticly, everything else is free to me, I could use some of the brass fittings we have at work, but wanna try it just like his. I think its kool.
The fittings can be found at Lowe's or Homey Depot as well as the 1/4" tubing. I'm using charcoal pellets which I found online.

All in all, I think I might have $3 in it.
 

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Do you have a pic of them?
View attachment 2085 View attachment 2086
I also have a primary filter, same housing with what I would call a pre filter to keep the big junk (10 micron and larger) out of the charcoal filter.
View attachment 2087 View attachment 2088
It has a styro foam feel to it, not pleated paper design, so it could be washed off if necessary. If I had to do it all over again, I'd opt for the see thru plastic housing. Everything is available thru Loews, Home Depot, Menards, and I think I even saw it at Walmart. I picked them up on sale over the years and pick up the filters when they go on sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
paraquack...nice filters, but they won't work in the gravity fed system I designed.
 

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I have seen some of these filters that paraquak showed, at Home depot, for like $1. I used to work there, and if a product gets "lost", like say it doesn't get stocked, ordered or purchased for a while, the computer will do a markdown. When i worked there, the policy was to "put any of these items at the paint counter, give customers 24 hours to buy before employees could buy them". I have gotten 50 pound boxes of nails for 1.00(a nightmare after the box got wet and weathered at my house..), packs of sandpaper for .09 cents, shower heads for a couple of dollars. I saw the filters, but this was years ago, before I realized "I am a prepper". Also, it only took a cellphone call to call my uncle and he would swing by and purchase things for us.
I am guessing those filters are for pressurized?
The berkey water filter elements are a little pricey, but I saw a video on YOUTUBE about how simple they are to manufacture. I will probably make both, becouse my water is extremely calcified, and the pipes are very old, would be kool to have both.
Prepper dog, you have another container above filter using gravity? would an upside down three liter water bottle work, with the same fitting in the lid? OH, the ideas just never stop running around in my brain..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have seen some of these filters that paraquak showed, at Home depot, for like $1. I used to work there, and if a product gets "lost", like say it doesn't get stocked, ordered or purchased for a while, the computer will do a markdown. When i worked there, the policy was to "put any of these items at the paint counter, give customers 24 hours to buy before employees could buy them". I have gotten 50 pound boxes of nails for 1.00(a nightmare after the box got wet and weathered at my house..), packs of sandpaper for .09 cents, shower heads for a couple of dollars. I saw the filters, but this was years ago, before I realized "I am a prepper". Also, it only took a cellphone call to call my uncle and he would swing by and purchase things for us.
I am guessing those filters are for pressurized?
The berkey water filter elements are a little pricey, but I saw a video on YOUTUBE about how simple they are to manufacture. I will probably make both, becouse my water is extremely calcified, and the pipes are very old, would be kool to have both.
Prepper dog, you have another container above filter using gravity? would an upside down three liter water bottle work, with the same fitting in the lid? OH, the ideas just never stop running around in my brain..
I use a 5 gallon bucket as the water supply which filters into a Sawyer purifier. From there the water hits the charcoal filter inline, then ends up in a storage container. I have two systems in case one goes bad. During my initial tests on the water behind the house I will be able to filter approximately 150+ gallons of water per day. I only need water for 3 but extra is good for bartering.
 

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Stupid question here... Why not just use PVC pipe?

You can run a 1" line to a short 6" section and back out to a 1" line again. Fill it with whatever filter material you like.

I plan on making a bigger one with a used sand filter from a pool. Mo surface area means mo filter area.
 

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The filter system I showed is designed for a pressurized system, but I was able to get a 15 gallon/day flow of relatively clean water from a garbage can and a hose set up to siphon the water into the filter. The garbage can was about 5 feet above the filters.
 

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I still like the small, lightwieght versatility of it, just haven't ben to the depot yet, and yes GT GALLOP, it would probabaly work awesome out of 1 and 6 pvc, for a home/camp based unit. I hope I find some of the water filters on sale when i do get to the home depot.
 
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