What is UV treatment?
The UV treatment process uses ultraviolet (UV) light to degrade the DNA of organisms in your water. DNA is the instruction manual for the organism that tells it how to function and reproduce. With those instructions damaged the organism is rendered harmless, preventing infection and disease normally caused by the organism.
Do I need UV treatment?
Any homes that have tested positive for bacteriological contamination (including E. coli or other coliform bacteria) should implement UV treatment as soon as possible to prevent sickness and infection that can result from using untreated water. Any home on well water can benefit from a UV treatment system, as a negative bacteria test just means there is currently no bacteria but is no guarantee that bacteria will not be present in the future. Most homes on city water will not benefit from UV treatment since city water is typically treated for bacteria with chlorine or similar treatment, but for those who like to be overly cautious or those who live in cities that have frequent contamination warnings it would not hurt to have one.
What size of UV system do I need?
UV systems are sized according to the number of gallons per minute (GPM) they can treat. If a system shows a range flow rates or multiple flow rates, those are for the different dosing standards. To ensure full treatment it is recommended to use the lower number for sizing, as this will meet the NSF dosing standard to ensure the highest quality treatment.
A simple way to test your flow rate is to fill a bucket (5 gallon is a common size) at the install point (typically where water enters the home, and right after the pressure tank on well systems), and time how long it takes to fill up. If a direct reading from the install point is not possible, measure the largest spigot (such as a garden spigot) as close to the install point as possible. Divide 60 by the time it takes to fill the bucket (in seconds), then multiply by the size of the bucket (in gallons) to get your GPM. Example: If it takes 37.5 seconds to fill a 5 gallon bucket -
Your flow rate would be 8 GPM.
Once you have your flow rate, you will want to find a system that will treat it OR HIGHER. Remember to use the lower number for sizing to ensure the best treatment. For example, looking at the Sterilight VH410 system, it is rated for 14-18 GPM so you would only want to use it if your maximum flow rate was 14 GPM or less.
In some cases your available flow rate may far outweigh your actual usage capacity. If you have a GPM flow rate but are only a single person in 1 bathroom home it is highly unlikely that you will ever actually use 20 GPM. In these cases you can use a smaller system, though it is recommended to use it in conjunction with a flow restrictor to ensure you don't accidentally pull more than the system can handle.
How do I choose between Sterilight, Trojan, or Viqua systems?
Sterilight and Trojan were two seperate companies that were combined under the Viqua name. Both brands will provide excellent treatment. The Trojan or UVMax systems tend to have nicer controllers with more features and are aimed at the more professional market. Sterilight systems are typically lower cost with simpler controllers aimed at the home owner.
Do I need a validated or certified system?
When looking at sytems you may have notice some systems appear to be similar except for one carries a certification, for example the UVMax-D4-650694 and the UVMax-D4-V. Both systems are essentially the same and will treat the water the same way, however the UVMax-D4-V has undergone additional testing to ensure it meets the requirements for NSF Class B validation. There are also the NSF Class 55 certified systems, such as the UVMax-Pro10. These systems have additional features and have been tested and certified by the NSF.
For most homes the basic system will provide the same treatment at a lower cost than the validated or certified systems, which are generally used for commercial application where the certification is required. Be sure to check any local codes to see if there are any requirements for UV treatment systems.
Do I need a monitor on my system?
Some systems offer both a non-monitored and a monitored version, for example the VH410 and the VH410M. Both core systems are the same and will treat the water the same way, but the monitored system adds an extra layer of protection against treatment problems, and when set up correctly can prevent contaminated water from passing through. Standard systems have a simple countdown timer that will tell you when the lamp life is up and alert you to a complete lamp failure. The monitored systems will actually measure the UV dosage the water is getting and alert you if it drops too low. This can be caused by lamps that have begun to lose intensity (but still shine) or by dirty water that prevents proper dosing. When coupled with a solenoid valve they can shut the water off in the event of improper treatment and prevent contaminated water from entering the home.
Although the monitored systems offer a nice feature and can add peace of mind, most problems can be prevented through routine inspection and maintenance. The lower cost of the non-monitored system also appeals to most people.
Do I need pre-treatment/What are the integrated units?
UV treatment requires clean water for the UV light to be effective. In general at least a sediment pre-filter is recommended to ensure the water is clean enough for the UV work as intended. If you have iron, hardness, manganese, turbidity, or other contaminants that could interfere with the UV light those will need to be addressed before the UV treatment system is installed.
The integrated systems are a nice all in one package that couples 1- or 2-stage pre-treatment onto the same mounting bracket as the UV system. This is particularly convenient for people who are limited on space or people who are looking for the simplest solution.
Why should I buy from Abundant Flow Water?
We have been in the water treatment business for over 19 years and are committed to ensuring the best customer service experience possible. We are a verified Viqua dealer so you can be assured that any warranty issues will be handled quickly and that all replacement parts are OEM for the highest quality. If you have any questions feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help you in deciding which system would be the best for your situation. If you have already purchased a system from us and need help with installation, setup, or troubleshooting we are here to help!
How can I save money on my UV purchase?
Due to minimum advertised pricing agreements enforced by the manufacturer everyone whoe sells Viqua/Trojan/Sterilight UV systems is requried to show the same pricing. However, we do typically have sales that will offer a discount over the advertised price when checking out. Currently you can enter coupon code UVTAKE10 on checkout to save 10% an any UV purchase!