Friday, November 16, 2007

Home Depot and Zero Water

(UPDATE 18AUG2009. Please be aware that the comments following this post most likely originated with people connected to the Zero Water business in some way. Their perky, upbeat attitudes could only come from company shills -except for those coming from the anti-fluoridation wiggers. Honestly, if you need good information on water filtration systems, you shouldn't be looking for it in a bicycling blog! But if you truly need more authority than I can offer, Dr. Crankset may be along to address this issue sometime soon................Ed)

I was in Home Depot this afternoon. A salesman offered a small cup of water from his Zero water filtration system, and showed me the difference between tap, bottled, and filtered water. His gadget looks like an electronic thermometer, but he says it measures the "stuff" in the water. He wasn't exactly sure what the "stuff" was, but he could measure it. Naturally, the Zero system guessed All the other water was between 90 and 170 on the stuff-o-meter.

Then I asked if it removed giardia or viruses. "Well, not yet", he responded. "But we're adding a biologicals filter soon."

I asked if this was a reverse-osmosis device. "No", he said, "it's a triple filter." I thought triple filters were for vodka.

Then I asked if it removed fluorides. "Oh, yes! it removes all the fluoride." I said I have kids in the house and fluoride is good for their teeth. "Oh, no, fluoride is a poison. Read the label on a toothpaste tube. It says if you swallow it to seek medical attention."

Now, I don't mind talking with a salesman just doing his job, but I do object to the use of misinformation and fear mongering as a sales tactic. I'll give the guy points for doing a good presentation, but when my personal nut job alarm started sounding, I left quickly.

But there's a question in this after all - should a retailer permit on-site sales by an outside company when that company engages in deceptive sales practices?


Blogger The donut guy said...

My wife hates shopping with me, I usually egg those guys on when they start saying nut-job stuff.

I ran across some guy selling knives and they were the shittiest knives I've ever seen. Just because a knife can cut through a soda can doesn't mean it's a good knife.....

5:50 AM  
Blogger nyscof said...

I agree with you about salesman using fearmongering as a water salesman once said something quite offensive to me about my children - that I don't even like to repeat

However, in the case about fluoride, he is right. Fluoridated water began with the belief that ingested fluoride reduced tooth decay. Modern science shows that fluoride's benefits are only topical. So there's no need to swallow fluoride.

Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor essential for healthy teeth and like all drugs has side effects that occur upon ingestion.

for more info
Fluoridation 101

Fluoride Action Network

7:28 AM  
Blogger Fritz said...

Ban dihydrogen monoxide now! Accidental inhalation of even small amounts causes thousands of deaths each year! It's a major component of ACID RAIN! DHMO contributes to erosion, decreases braking effectiveness, causes structural failure and corrosion, is an industrial solvent and coolant, is used as by the U.S. Military/Industrial complex for power generation and propulsion systems, used in pesticide production, animal research, religious cult rituals and numerous other DANGEROUS and HARMFUL activities! Ban DHMO NOW!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

You're absolutely right, Fritz! Why, we should seal all of it up in drums and dump it into the deepest part of the ocean.

6:09 PM  
Blogger nyscof said...

Fritz I've heard that H20 Joke a million times - almost as many times as the Dr. Strangelove quote

Take Action to End Fluoridation

Online Petition to End Fluoridation and call for a Congressional Hearing

Sponsored by the Fluoride Action Network http://FluorideAction.Net

In a statement released August 9, 2007, over 1100 dentists, physicians, scientists. academics and environmentalists urge Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted. They cite new scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. (

6:31 PM  
Blogger Bujiatang said...

To me it looks like a pur water cooler. those are triple filters too right?

myself, Id rather get a reverse osmosis system.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Maddy's Mommy said...

Zero water is great. Compared to a Brita or a PUR this filter is five stages and only requires your tap water. Not only that it removes inorganic, organic and radiological contaminants in the water. As far as fluoride goes... hes right. Fluoride is meant as a topical and if consumed it causes Fluorosis which is a mottling brown discoloration of the teeth.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Ranger said...

I've had my Zero Water set for a month now and have been very happy until a few days ago. It suddenly satrted producing water that smelled fishy and rotten. While I know this thing isn't supposed to filter out microorgansisms, at least it would filter out the chemicals caused by these organisms (if that's what they are). I will try one more set of filters to see what happens...

7:04 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I can't speak for the Zero Water filters, Ranger, but I know my Brita water bottle will develop slime mold inside the activated charcoal filter if it's stored while damp.

You don't want to know how I discovered this.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

I've been using the Zero Water system for some time now, and I love it. At first the kids didn't like the looks of it, but once they drank it they kept commenting on how much cleaner the water tastes. In addition, I find myself drinking more water because it tastes so good. Lastly, there's no more water company deliveries (or screw-ups) to deal with and no more $10 deposit on bottles, or the worry that my wife will wrench her back putting those heavy bottles on the cooler when I'm away.

As a Biochemist, I can tell you the best water is through filtration (not bottled, which is simply water passed through a one-stage carbon filter, to remove chlorine and fluoride). The problem is the chlorine is what keeps bacteria from growing and once removed the water is sitting in those bottles, which serve as an incubator for bacteria to grow. In fact, I did a colony count on my tap and the bottled water I was using and found the bottled water had more than twice the growth of my tap water.

My only concern with Zero Water is that is doesn’t have a stage for cysts and bacteria. This isn't too much of a concern because the water from my tap is chlorinated and the filtered water doesn't sit long. My other concern is that upon refilling, adding new water to sitting water could promote bacterial growth (which could be the reason for the other gentleman's comment about fishy smelling water). Remember, like bottled water, once the chlorine is removed and the water is sitting bacteria will start to grow. So, as a precaution I wait until the lower tank is empty before refilling. This way I am assured that the old water (which may have the beginnings of some growth) isn't contaminating the new water that I'm adding. Even though the lower tank is empty, there is still plenty of water to drink inside the cooler itself. I also take the precaution of sanitizing the Zero Water bottles with near boiling water upon every filter change, and sanitizing my water cooler every 6 months with a 3% bleach solution.

As for fluoride, I'm also of the opinion that it does nothing to reduce tooth decay. It was junk science that promoted this myth and when the ADA put it to a true test (monitoring the level of tooth decay between two towns - one with fluorinated water and one without) they found that the town with no fluoride had less tooth decay than the one with fluorinated water - so, to reduce liability, they scraped the study). Fluoride, is however, a dangerous halogen element (one stage more dangerous than chlorine). So I certainly don't want that in my water.

7:53 AM  
Blogger RoHo on Software Testing said...

I too have been a happy zero water user. The fishy smell according to the website is expected when the filters are giving out. Within a week of noticing the odor you'll start to see the contaminant count go up so it's time to change it. Go to and click on support and FAQs. Now for that to happen in a months sounds fast but if you're getting around 40 gallons of water in that months that's about right (dirtier water will cause the filters to not last as long and vice versa). I have been keeping an eye on it and i'm getting between 45 and 50 gallons.

note at $5/5 gallon bottle (very cheap price) the zero water is definitely cheaper over time once you've put in the initial investment.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Minnie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Minnie said...

Sorry, it wouldn't let me edit it so I am revising here. Thanks Michael, your comments were informative. I too have a zero water filter and like the taste of water filtered by it. Had some recent dental work. My dentist said that the outter edge of the enamel can be remineralized by brushing toothpaste with flouride. This is one element that can help remineralize the tooth This is when the damage to the outter edge is on the superficial level and not quite a cavity yet. He said as stated above by someone else that this is topically applied to the tooth and not meant for the toothpaste/flouride to be swallowed.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks for the excellent, detailed post. I'm just picking up my first zero set today and appreciate the instructions you shared!

11:25 AM  
Blogger George Van Winkle said...

As with a lot of things, the sodium fluoride found in water and toothpaste is both good and bad. In low doses and in topical applications, it is great for dental health. Much fewer cavities. When the ingested dosage gets too high for too long, it causes problems with bone growth, brain development, kidney function, thyroid function, and a cosmetic issue with about 1 in 6 patients' teeth.

The most common symptom of acute fluoride toxicity is gastroenteritis (upset stomach). So if your kid munches whole tube of toothpaste once, expect a belly ache. The level of fluoride in most water system in the U.S. is too low to cause much if any damage.

The basic take-away is DO NOT STOP the fluoride treatments at your dentist! Those are topical and to a fantastic job reducing cavities. Don't swallow the goop in that treatment tray, spit out your toothpaste and rinse after you brush. Drink tap water if you like it, or bottled water if you don't. Water is good for you either way.

9:59 PM  

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