Posted by Jeff Wahl on 1/15/2023 to UV System Education
Choosing an ultra violet disinfection system to treat your water can be a challenging and complicated purchase as there are many different models on the market. How do you know what system to trust with your water quality? What system is right for a small cottage, average or large home? Will the UV system I choose have the necessary output to deal with a high level of e.Coli or coliform bacteria?
Which UV System Should I Choose?
I have reviewed six of the most popular UV systems available to Canadians and selected, in my opinion, the best overall system, led technology, most economical as well as the system with the most optional features. Included are the electrical draw for each system, the length and dimensions as well as the available plumbing connections. For example, if you have a tight space to install your system, you do not want a system that is too long to be able to complete the necessary maintenance, lamp changes, O-rings and quartz sleeve cleaning to ensure proper disinfection of your water.
Advanced Eco-Friendly Systems
New options have entered the residential UV market as validated LED technology is now available with reduced environmental impacts and ongoing maintenance requirements. LED UV-C systems can be used in solar and off grid applications as their power requirements are minimal and the system is water flow activated.
Have you considered the water flow rates in your home or cottage when selecting a UV system? It is possible to have a system with too low of a flow rate to ensure proper bacterial disinfection of your water when multiple plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers or washing machines are using water at the same time.
Popular Residential UV Systems in Canada
*** This review has no endorsement by any manufacturer and is solely based on my experience with treating water.
Water Quality & Installation Considerations
When selecting a Ultra Violet Disinfection System be sure to consider the water quality requirements for hardness, iron, tannin, sulphur and transmittance levels. Sediment filtration achieving five microns should precede all UV Systems. Ensure that system is sized for your water flow rate and can be easily maintained where it is installed.
Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Systems - Details & Features
Best Overall System
The Sterilight VH410 by Viqua has been given my best overall rating as it has a high 14 gallon per minute flow rate and is applicable to most residential homes and cottages. It has a shorter profile which makes it ideal for maintenance and fits in a crawlspace, pumphouse, closet or any location. The wider chamber allows for greater contact time for the UV Rays with the water and it has available one inch inlet and outlet ports for higher flow connections. The digital lamp counter indicates the days remaining for a lamp change with a warning when it time to replace it.
FEATURES - High Flow Rates | Short Profile | 3/4" & 1" Inlet & Outlet | Digital Lamp Counter
Acuva UV-LED water disinfection systems do not have an ultra violet lamp or quartz sleeve to replace as with traditional UV systems. As a result, the requirement for maintenance is reduced significantly. There is no need to annually replace the UV lamp / bulb. This reduces overall maintenance costs over conventional UV lamp based disinfection systems. The ArrowMax Home system is flow-activated, using minimal power consumption while having an extended product lifetime. These systems have an energy efficient operation <5% of traditional UV systems.
FEATURES - Minimal Power Usage | No UV Lamp or Sleeve | Flow ON & OFF | Real Time Monitoring
Most Economical System
The UVD320E by UVDynamics is my choice for the best economical UV System delivering a high output dose of UV Rays. It is applicable for situations with average flow rates and the cost for replacement lamps, quartz sleeves and parts are some of the most economical in the country. This is a great choice for smaller homes and cottages with all of the necessary features to provide proper disinfection of the water.
FEATURES - Economical Replacement Parts | 8 GPM Flow @ 40 mJ/cm2 | Lamp Replacement Reminder
Most Available Options
The LB5-105 by Luminor Environmental is my choice for the most available features to add to your UV System. The ability to add a sensor to monitor the UV output is a bonus for ensuring proper disinfection. The available solenoid option is also a good choice to prevent water cross contamination due to a power outage. It is applicable for mid size homes and cottages with a more advanced controller which provides the user with more information about the status of the system operation.
FEATURES - Optional Sensor or Solenoid Valve | Screen Shots for System Status | Digital Lamp Counter
Best Practice Recommendations
It is important to remember that UV Lamps and Quartz Sleeves require replacement / cleaning and most systems have these removed from the top of the unit. Generally you require the length of the UV Chamber above the system available without obstruction, to remove the lamp and sleeve properly during maintenance. Consult a water treatment professional if you are unsure or have questions about the proper application of any UV System.
Volume 6 – Issue 6 Wahl H2O - Water Awareness
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