Everpure Claris - Adjustable Water Softening Filter System - Page 7

Water analysis, treatment, and mineral recipes for optimum taste and equipment health.
Team HB

#61: Post by ira »

Chrisw wrote:I just got a quote back from http://www.hach-lange.co.uk for the testing kits Shadowfax used for his tests.

5-B Hardness - 145300 - £19.20
AL-AP ALKALINITY - 2444300 - £51.60

Adding VAT and delivery the total comes to £103.56.
$76.05 delivered from http://www.hach.com, their US branch.


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#62: Post by Peppersass »

shadowfax wrote:Chris, I was just using a digital meter to measure TDS. I was using a cheap one for most of the tests; some of the more recent ones I've done with a nicer HM Digital COM-100 TDS meter.
Nicholas, did you find a significant difference in accuracy between the two TDS meters? I've been using the digital TDS meter that comes with the ZeroWater pitcher. It's made by HM Digital as well, but I don't think it's temperature compensated. The accuracy is rated as +/- 2% FS. Seems like that would be accurate enough for our application.


#63: Post by Chrisw »

Thank you Shadowfax for the update and thank you ira for the US cost.

After international postage and the import tax/duty I would pay in the UK it would probably work out to a similar price.


#64: Post by Lyvyoo »

Have you wondered what is inside of Everpure Claris? :idea:

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Team HB

#65: Post by another_jim »

Carbon filter, anion resin, and cation resin -- exactly what you want to be in there.
Jim Schulman


#66: Post by Lyvyoo »

After 1year i'm pretty happy with Claris, except the low Ph - 5.5-6.2!!! Maybe a future upgrade will correct this drawback...

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#67: Post by Peppersass »

I discontinued use of my Everpure Claris system because the output measured a decidedly acidic 6.2 using a high-quality digital pH meter. Note that Jim's water FAQ points out some issues with measuring pH, so I'm not sure that my measurements are truly meaningful. However, I decided to err on the side of caution and go back to using my cation system, which produces decidedly alkaline water (zero hardness but the same high alkalinity as my tap water, about 150 ppm -- pH about 8.)

One theory is that the H+ ion exchange bed in the Claris produces small quantities of HCL (hydrochloric acid) when used with city water containing chloride/chloramine. But I don't have city water -- I have untreated well water. A lab analysis we did 20 years ago shows a tiny amount of chlorine, but no chloride or chloramine.

It's very possible that my low pH is caused by dissolved CO2 in the water, which forms carbonic acid. But at boiler temperatures the dissolved CO2 comes out of the water -- or so I'm told. Note that there's a relationship between hard water, like mine, and dissolved CO2. Here's a reference:


An excerpt:
"Carbonate-bicarbonate alkalinity (and hardness) in surface and well waters is produced primarily through the interactions of CO2, water and limestone. Rainwater is naturally acidic because of exposure to atmospheric carbon dioxide. As rain falls to the earth, each droplet becomes saturated with CO2; and pH is lowered. Well water is pumped from large, natural underground reservoirs (aquifers) or small, localized pockets of underground water (groundwater), Typically, underground water has high CO2 concentrations, and low pH and oxygen concentrations. Carbon dioxide is high in underground water because of bacterial processes in the soils and various underground, particulate mineral formations through which water moves. As ground- or rainwaters flow over and percolate through soil and underground rock formations containing calcitic limestone (CaCO3) or dolomitic limestone [CaMg(CO3)2], the acidity produced by CO2 will dissolve limestone and form calcium and magnesium bicarbonate salts:

CaCO3 + H2O + CO2 = Ca+2 + 2HCO3


CaMg(CO3)2 + 2H2O + 2CO2 =
Ca+2 + Mg+2 + 4HCO3

The resultant water has increased alkalinity, pH and hardness.
The high concentration of CO2 in the water forms carbonic acid, but the dissolved limestone raises the pH to an alkaline level (my tap water measures 8 or more.) But when the Claris reduces the concentration of alkaline components, the pH comes back down to an acidic level. It's not clear whether the CO2, and hence the carbonic acid, remains in the water when it's raised to boiler temperatures, or whether it's harmful to the machine.

Adjusting the Claris mix to reintroduce more alkaline components raised the pH, but I wasn't able to mix in enough get it back to neutral (7). The best pH I could get resulted in a high enough hardness level that I was concerned about scaling.

At least one espresso machine manufacturer will not honor the warranty if the machine is used with a Claris system. Another manufacturer has said that there's nothing to worry about. There was a case of one of their machines being damaged by acidic water, but the user had adjusted the Claris to remove virtually all of the alkaline components (i.e., was using RO water, which is known to be a bad thing.)

I have some anecdotal but inconclusive evidence that there may be problems with water from the Claris system. I have one of the infamous "fire sale" machines from Franke. Like some other owners, I had the problem of strange green mineral growth (we called it "verdigris") inside the group head. I found this after using the cation system for several months. Shadowfax found it in his machine, too, but also found that the chrome plating under the group cap had been eaten away. The plating under my group cap was fine. But after I ran the machine on Claris water for about a year, the plating under my group cap was almost completely dissolved -- I was able to wipe off what remained with a paper towel. It's possible that acidic water from the Claris was responsible for ruining the plating. Or maybe not.

Another bit of anecdotal evidence is that I had to clean or replace the vacuum breaker three times while I was using the Claris system. One time it failed after only three months. I haven't had to do that since I switched back to the cation system eight months ago.

I think all this is inconclusive and possibly coincidental. But I didn't want to take any chances. I went back to the tried-and-true cation system, and the taste of my espresso didn't suffer in any significant way. In fact, I think I'm getting somewhat more extraction now due to the higher %TDS.

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Team HB

#68: Post by another_jim »

It's an odd set of circumstances. The acidity from dissolved CO2 should disappear from standing water after a few hours (like soda going flat), at which pH should stabilize at the point dictated by the carbonate content. For dissolved CO2 to be causing all this grief, it would need to be retained in the water. Alternatively, the water could be to purified, in which case it will also be slightly corrosive.

I'm always amazed at how such a minor thing can cause big problems. My brother lives in a soft water area, and after fifteen years needed to replace most of his copper pipes, as they had corroded to the point that they were leaking slowly at every joint.
Jim Schulman

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#69: Post by Peppersass »

another_jim wrote:Alternatively, the water could be to purified, in which case it will also be slightly corrosive.
Yes, but if it was only slightly corrosive, I don't think it would have stayed that way after mixing in my tap water. My tap water typically measures around 170 ppm hardness, 150 ppm alkalinity and 150 ppm TDS. I usually set the Claris mix to produce about 68 ppm hardness, 70 ppm alkalinity and 90 ppm TDS. Since the output water measured 6.2, the purified water produced by the Claris must have been very acidic indeed!

Unfortunately, I didn't measure the output with no tap water mixed in. It takes quite a bit of time and effort to change the mix setting because several gallons have to be flushed through the system, which includes a 2-gallon expansion tank. I spent my time trying to increase the amount of tap water to overcome the acidity, but wasn't able to do so.

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shadowfax (original poster)

#70: Post by shadowfax (original poster) »


First of all, thanks for pushing this out. I'd been meaning to follow up on this for months as you know, and it's just fallen off my radar. Something happened very recently that changed that. But, first things first.
Peppersass wrote:One theory is that the H+ ion exchange bed in the Claris produces small quantities of HCL (hydrochloric acid) when used with city water containing chloride/chloramine. But I don't have city water -- I have untreated well water. A lab analysis we did 20 years ago shows a tiny amount of chlorine, but no chloride or chloramine.
I think this is probably unrealistic, perhaps downright fanciful. The Claris guys laughed it off easily enough, and so have some other people that I've talked to.

Realistically, I think what explains the low pH entirely is the alkalinity removal. I recall Jim's discussion of the Langelier index in the Water FAQ-alkalinity is directly related to equilibrium pH, and neutral equilibrium pH corresponds to an alkalinity of around 50 ppm. I am not totally sure if that relation holds for water that's treated as Claris water is, so that's a potential unknown there. But it seems clear that when measuring pH at room temperature, the addition of the CO2 to the water by the Claris filter exaggerates the pH reading below the equilibrium pH level that your boiler is seeing.

I'm not sure how big of a deal that is, but to get to the point-the 'problem' with Claris is that you can set it to give you an alkalinity far below 50 ppm with most waters... and you should not do this. I don't think they adequately warn about how much of a big deal this can be.

A couple of weeks ago I was helping a friend service the groupheads of a couple of La Marzocco 2-group Linea MP (which is a tedious PITA). This Linea was fed by an Everpure Claris filter, and had been in operation for about a year at the time, perhaps less. It was bought brand new. We had originally set this Claris up at a setting of 6 (least alkalinity reduction). When I pulled the grouphead, I was appalled. The whole inside of the group was coated in a copper-red metallic patina (should have been shiny stainless steel). It came off on my fingers when I rubbed it. The copper tubes looked that fuzzy red that you see when you descale copper in citric acid. This was NOT kosher. We eventually discovered that someone had messed with the filter setting and changed it to 0 (maximum alkalinity reduction, with our water this would be about 10-15 ppm alkalinity-!!!). Needless to say, we immediately changed it back to the 6 setting on the mix valve (which, in Houston, gives ~60ppm alkalinity) and flushed a bit of water through. Everything seems OK now.

I can now say firsthand that Claris can and will damage your espresso machine if you use it wrong. My advice based on what I see is to forget trying to do anything with Claris other than hitting 50 ppm alkalinity (KH) or higher on your output water. Don't pay attention to GH, don't even look at TDS. They don't matter. The TDS of the water that corroded the Linea I worked on was easily 200 ppm. Its GH was likely pretty low (<50 ppm), based on my Houston water data, but I didn't have my water testing stuff with me during the repair so we didn't check at the time.

So I'll just say, you've been warned... You should be much more worried about using water with low alkalinity in your espresso machine than using water with high alkalinity. Scale is reversible to some extent. Corrosion, not so much. It sounds like, in the end, old-school salt-based ion exchange is far and away the safest way to protect your espresso machine from hard water. I think Claris can give some fine water, but if you just get it without testing your water and making sure you get alkalinity right, you are gambling with your espresso machine.
Nicholas Lundgaard