Water is part and parcel of all living creatures. There is a vast range of quality and taste. Using them in everyday applications can be safe or dangerous without properly filtering. They may contain rust elements, harmful microorganisms like bacteria, lead, dust, etc. Drinking unfiltered water is not what a wise man would love. The best water filters can save your time, money, redundancies of carrying bottles of water.
According to Healthline, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that:
- An adult man should drink a minimum of 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) every day.
- An adult woman should drink a minimum of 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) every day.
Even if you live in hot or desert-like areas, then you will need more than these amounts. After all, water keeps our body hydrated, active, and ready to put our steps. But the contamination, dirty water can change the whole scenario.
Perhaps this is the reason why almost 95% of Americans drink only one-liter water daily. But they should drink a minimum of 2-3 liters daily to stay fit and firm. Many of them prefer plastic bottled water for drinking. But science has already proved how plastic is harmful to the environment. There are also a few things like carrying a bottle everywhere; spending excessive money for them can be frustrating. There is only one solution to all these issues.
At Water Pump Tools, you can get the exact thing you are looking for. The following content contains all the information about water filters. We have discussed the definition, types, benefits, buying guide, etc. You may have seen little water filter brands till now. But if you stay with us, there is no restraint to selecting the best water filters for home and office.
Definition of Water Filter
A water filter is a small or medium size tool that filters the water. It has scientific qualities to separate pure water and the invisible, unhealthy elements from water. According to the Cambridge dictionary, a water filter is a
“a device for removing unwanted substances such as bacteria or harmful chemicals from drinking water.”
Wikipedia broadens the idea. It says a water filter reduces water contamination through different biological, chemical, or physical barrier processes. It can be used in the irrigation system, drinking water, aquarium, and pools safely.
The prime definition is that it is such an important tool to serve clean, safe water for everyday uses.
Importance of Water Filter
You may ask why we need a water filter. You may also think everything is going well with municipal tap water. Even many of us assume that a municipal water filtration system is enough to get crystal clear water. Does that mean the water you get is appropriate for drinking or other stuff?
No. The answer is negative. It is a fact that every municipal community for water distribution makes sure that the end-user gets the right purified water. Their delivered water is better than the standard level. But you cannot be 100% sure that the water is just near perfect. There are some reasons too.
Position of Water Cleaning Stations
We place most of the water delivery stations in a particular area, far from the populated area where you live. Again, it is common to see these stations use decades-old pipes and equipment. Rust, leakage on the pipe, dust, etc., are also available in these pipes. And you know what the water travels a long way to reach your or our home. So, of contaminating the water. Even after you get the water, it may have the odd color or bitter taste for the contamination.
There are also more reasons you need water filters. The treatment of water in municipal experts is done in the possibly traditional way. Most of them use chlorine to kill some microorganisms. While killing them, the taste of water gets changed. Some studies also show this chlorine idea can be a failure. Because sometimes it can interact with other organic elements and create harmful carcinogenic compounds.
Filtering water is always essential to stay away from parasites, unhealthy microorganisms from the regular drinking water. As an example, Cryptosporidium is resistant to chlorine. When it goes to your stomach while drinking water, you may have several health worries. Diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, etc., are some diseases you may get. Even sometimes, you will need to suffer for 5-6 weeks.
Contaminated Water Source
This is also a reason to use a water filter at home. Suppose your water source is just near to a place where pesticides, different chemicals, metal particles are common to use. Of contaminating the water. Even the 1950s’ pesticides had heavy metal particles with a long decaying period. These particles are still available in the soil, which we are talking about right now. So, you must care for your water maintenance systems.
How do They Make Water Filter?
A water filter is not strange stuff for people who want to drink safe and clean water. You can find it in many residential areas. So, what is a water filter made of? Or what are the elements needed to make a water filter?
While researching water filters, we have found that they made water filters of four different materials. It means your selected filter may have one of these materials. These are the materials used in water filter production:
Water filters made of activated carbon are the most widespread household items. These filters are relatively low-priced and small. You can use these devices easily. These filters work with activated carbon granules.
Activated carbon granules come from charcoal, having the power to block the contaminants. You may think that this charcoal is very dense. But it is not so dense in real. It has a porous structure filled with ridges. This structure attracts and traps chemicals, absorbing them.
Water distillation is relatively advanced than boiling the water for versatile uses. The filters containing distillation components boil the water, produce steam and store the filtered water after condensing the steam separately.
Distilled water is suitable for drinking without worrying. But most of us do not like to drink as it is flattering and tasteless. However, if you are concerned about your health, you can choose filters made for distillation.
Ion exchange filters are suitable for reducing the thickness of water. The contaminant atoms in water are broken or split apart in exchange. Then ions are created, and filters trap them.
Then release in such a way that the most dangerous ion turns into less harmful ions. It is like what we call changing a horrible thing to a useful masterpiece.
Most of the residences, commercial spaces are moving to reverse osmosis (RO) water filters. RO stands for forcing contaminated water through the membrane. However, most RO filter systems have several membrane filters: three pre-membrane, one semi-permeable, and one post-membrane filter.
Many models of RO water filters may have additional filters. Therefore, the semi-permeable membrane is always essential, as we know it as an RO membrane. It can resist contaminants depending on their size and weight (molecular). Thus, a very tiny compound can pass through the filter.
How Do These Water Filters Work?
Each of these water filters has the same purpose- filtering the water to make it more suitable for drinking. But all of them work differently. These are the ways of how do water filters work:
Filters having activated carbon work through absorption. In these filters, gas and liquids remain attractive to other liquids or solid materials. Water flows through the carbon filter of these filters. The contaminants in water are drawn to carbon. Then they fill the carbon filter’s deep ridges. Thus, you will need to change the filter periodically.
Activated carbon cleans most of the contaminants in water. But it cannot block the limescale. Also, there are a few more disadvantages, like some elements never get attracted to it. Fluoride, microbes, nitrates, sodium remain mixed in the water. While the charcoal is clogged, there will be no more chance of filtering water.
You have already known the basics of distillation water filters. These filters provide steam-produced clean water to the users. There are elements in these filters to distill the water you want to use. When the water is purified, it becomes tasteless.
Water passes through the distillation parts. Those parts heat the water at boiling temperature. Then vapor is created and condensed by lowering the temperature. Through these ways, some contaminants also get boiled. So, the steam sometimes may carry those contaminants. Next, it stored the condensed liquid in a container as pure drinking water.
Zeolite beads are the primary material of these water filters. These beads have sodium ions. It contains magnesium and calcium when hard water circulates through the water filter. The ions get attracted to these metal components, and someone releases instead sodium of them.
Zeolite beads are better than sodium. Therefore, they trap these ions to release their sodium. Sodium makes the water salty. Exchanging magnesium and calcium, water becomes lightweight. Lastly, you get the ion-filtered water.
RO water filters work with different filters. A quality RO filter has at least five filters. The first filter prevents the entry of dust, rust, etc., to the RO membrane. The second filter is the carbon filter. It fights against chemical elements harmful to our health, like chlorine, fluoride, etc. The third filter is also a carbon filter with more density. It works more actively to block smaller contaminants.
RO membrane is the fourth filter to block different contaminants regarding their size, weight (molecular), ionic charge. This filter blocks up to 99% of contaminants in the water. The last filter kills all the bacteria, viruses, bad-tasting elements. However, some exclusive Reverse Osmosis filters come with UV light to raise the pH of water.
Finding the Best Water Filtration System
So far, you have read about the importance of water filters. Also, the variations of these filters may make you confused. All these devices or systems can eliminate unwanted contaminants from the water. Then the question is, what would be the best water filter for home and commercial spaces. Well, we are here to forward our hands.
The fact is water filters work with the same purpose. But they differ in their ability to remove all or a certain type of contaminants. So, we are sharing the ideas about how to find the best water filtering solution:
Test the Water:
It is usual to think about water filters first. But we suggest testing the water you use every day. It will help you find the precise water filter with no risks. You can check water quality following these methods:
Make use of a test kit:
Water quality does not mean it is sweet or sour. Here, we are referring to it as the density or rate of contaminants in the water. These contaminants can be anything like bacteria, chlorine, pesticides, viruses, nitrates, metals, and more.
Hard water is not suitable for our health. It can gain buildups, pest killers, nitrates, which are unhealthy. If your water tastes bad, then it can be acidic water. Acidic water is prone to welcoming corrosion. Even the pH level of water also influences the quality. So, find out the pH of the water too.
To avoid drinking contaminated water, find a water testing kit from the store. This kit has test strips as a package. These strips change their color depending on the contaminants of water. You can buy different test kits having separate strips for checking versatile materials. For example, it should include a chlorine testing strip for knowing the amount of chlorine in the water.
How to use the test kit:
Read the instructions written in the manual that comes with the testing kit. It will help you to use the strips easily. You can learn how to test the water with test kits. Also, you can learn the warmth, thickness of water while interpreting the color changes.
Once you have read the instructions, proceed to the next step. Submerge each strip into the water for some time (mentioned in the manual). After that, remove the strip and shake the extra water drops from the strip. Again, wait for a specific time according to instructions to change the strip color. Know details of changed color by comparing it to the color chart. Thus, you can get ideas about the number of hazardous contaminants available in the water.
Using the senses
Experts suggest using human senses to determine the quality of the water. They also offer to notice how professional engineers use sensory organs like the nose, tongue, eyes. It means you can get a basic idea of water contamination without tools. Here are the processes of checking water condition with different senses:
Smelling the Water:
Water from different sources and regions has distinct odors. Their scent declares a level of contamination. For example, municipal water distribution systems sometimes use chlorine for water disinfection. Chlorine-mixed water may smell like bleach. It may scatter with air when you use the water.
If there are bacteria grown in the pipeline, tank, or the source, water will smell like sulfurous or rotten eggs. You can check this matter easily. Fill a glass of water from one part of your house (like the kitchen). Please take it to another room or place and keep it there for a couple of minutes. Now, recheck the smell. If there is no smell, then the problem is in the drain system. Do this again with hold and cold water. If it has the same lousy odor, then the municipal water line has the contamination.
When organic matters decay in water, you will get a soil-like or musty scent. You can check this smell following the glass of water testing like rotten eggs.
Using your tongue:
We are not telling you to swallow water first, as it can be harmful if it is contaminated. Water having too many minerals or low pH may taste metallic. Bleach taste of water refers to having chlorine in it. Sulfates or chlorine ions bring a salty taste.
You can taste the water quality by visually observing it. Bring a glass filled with water and hold it near the light. There may appear different particles floating in the water. If it has no particles floating, then it has less chance of contamination.
Different colorful particles like brown, orange, red show the water system has rust. If you run water through hoses, you will see black particles. Chlorine can cause these black particles. If your water system has harder water, you will see cloudy, white, and tan particles in the water. It means the water has an excess level of magnesium and calcium carbonates.
Run water for a few minutes to see if there is any buildup in the fixture. Then, bring a glass and fill it with that water. If you see brown, discolor of water, there is the contamination of water. You should also check all the fittings, pipes, faucets to see if there are unusual brown or red colors.
Contact the Municipal Water Distribution center
After you have done the above tests, you can contact the local municipality to get a report copy of the water quality. They may have regular documentation as they test the water frequently.
But this method may not be effective because the water may run into different passages from the municipal lines.
Figure Out What You Need
So far, you have gained the idea of water contamination level at your place. Now, you can prepare yourself to find the solution. Boiling the water for drinking is not always helpful in this case. Instead, you should go for a technical solution that will last longer. You may think of skipping this point. But think again!
Why do you need a great quality water filter?
What is making you feel bad: the taste or the smell?
You may have thought of changing water pipes, faucets, or tanks to get clean water again. But the main thing is changing the parts will not work if the problem is in the water. Even you cannot change the municipal line as most areas have a single water distribution company.
So, a water filter is the best idea for curing unhealthy, dirty, smelly water. Choose the best water filter for getting cleaner, safe, odor-free water.
Types of Filters for Water Filtration
You can find several types of water filters, regardless of the variation or how the filters are made. It designated these to use in certain conditions.
Depending on Hardness of Water:
- Multiple filters: When your water line has limescale deposits, install several filters for better results. You can use budget filters or the one costing too much.
- Budget-friendly filters: Ion exchange filters are comparatively cheaper than other variations. These filters eliminate the metal ions like magnesium and calcium. In return, they release sodium ions to solve limescale issues. Waters filtered with these filters may taste salty. But financially, these filters are incomparable.
- Not-cheap or not-expensive filters: By the way, we are telling you that there are also devices that cost a medium amount of money. Electronic water softeners are some examples of them. These are small devices fitting onto the feed pipe. They do not get any touch with water. But they can remove salts from the water while softening it. You will get good minerals in your water, too, as softeners do not change the TDS.
- Expensive filters: No. We are not talking about investing a lot of money on a piece of the filter. There are much water filter systems available for using the entire house. These devices are large and most potent. They can convert hard water to freshwater for the entire house. When you take a bath with filtered water, you will see a better version of your skin and hair.
Depending on Water Smell:
There are also differences in the water filters depending on odor removal power. Here are some of them:
- Cheap filters: Activated carbon filters are popular since many of our ancestors used them. The design, ability, and services of these filters are improved with the pace of time. You can buy activated carbon filters in versatile sizes and capacities. This is the cheapest solution to remove odor from water and clean it.
- Medium-cost filters: Ozone filters fit in this principle. These filters can remove most of the water contaminants and unpleasant smells. Water may have a bit of ozone scent and taste after using the filters, depending on quality and amount.
- Expensive filters: Now, you can choose the reverse osmosis (RO) filters to remove any kind of bothering smell out of water. This is an all-rounder solution for purifying and making water tasteless and odor-free.
Depending on Bacteria Levels:
Suppose the test of water quality has expressed that water has bacteria. You should prefer buying and installing the water filters. Killing those bacteria is not a permanent solution. We do not recommend it to kill the bacteria again and again without the help of water filters.
So, this condition also addresses some variations of filters:
- Economy filters: Boiling the water can destroy the living beings available in it. You can choose the water distillation filters that boil the water. It boiled water at an extreme temperature, so most bacteria will vanish in this filter. Distillation water filters are budget-friendly. You can find the best water distiller in the market.
- Medium-cost filters: Water filters made of UV filters are very suitable for killing bacteria and viruses. It would help if you powered the filters from an electrical outlet.
- Expensive filters: Again, the RO filters are preferable as powerful bacterium killer. In these filters, most contaminants go away in the first phase. Gradually, other membranes or filters start working to clean all the bacteria and tiny harmful agents in water.
What Size Filters Do You Need?
When you install a new water filter in your home system, filter size would be a concern. Each filter will take a specific amount of storage space. Besides, you should also choose a filter depending on the place you want to install it. Here are three different sizes of water filters:
Mini size filters:
These filters require little space. So, they will not create any issues of doing other activities in those spaces. Several types of filters are mini-sized units. It activated this carbon, electronic, in exchange, and some ROs.
Medium size filters:
You need to manage some space at your residence to install these filters. Even many uses transfer things to separate places to make space to use the filters. Most modern RO systems, several ion-exchange, ozone, and distillation filters fit in this category.
Substantial size filters:
The word “substantial” is enough to give ideas about the third type of filter. You will need to manage a large space to install large-sized filters. Usually, these filtration systems are placed in sheds or basements. Examples of these filters would be water softeners, deionization units, and multiple filters for the entire house.
The ABCs of Water Filtration Systems
Let us get the ideas of the basics but necessary information of the water filter technologies. You can find the complete definition, benefits, and disadvantages of the filters enlisted here:
Activated Carbon filtrations are the oldest method of filtering the water. Ancient Egyptians used the technique for the first time. It works the natural phenomenon, absorption. Water molecules get trapped in the carbon substratum’s porous structure.
These filters are popular all over the world. Also, these are helpful and affordable components. Sediments, chlorine VOCs, etc., removal is quickly done with these filters. However, they are not strong enough to fight against water salts, minerals, and some inorganic particles.
The powdered block and granulated activated filters are two types of carbon filters. First-type filters are better for their larger absorption structure. They can be multi-layered too, for a more satisfying result. Silver layers are also an example of block filters. These layers can prevent bacteria from regenerating as they have bacteriostatic traits.
Granulated activated carbon or GAC filters are available in different sizes, offering versatile applications. GAC filters have granulated charcoals. These filters have a smaller surface to produce a channeling effect.
After all, activated carbon filters may lose their potential to work well. You may need to install a newer one if the old one is unused or used for a long duration. The bacterium will bear in large numbers if it happens.
- Removes all the harmful contaminants and allergens.
- Eliminates terrible odors from water. It works better when it is combined with HEPA filters.
- Low-cost water filters.
- Water concentration does not get affected.
- Bacteria may appear.
You may know the water softening or deionization filters names. These filters are applied in the ion-exchange filtration system. Both filters are suitable for turning hard water into soft, drinkable water.
In ion-exchange filters, there are beads to deionize the water. It charged these beads with several ions like hydrogen a hydroxyl. They change these ions for necessary cations and onions. The metallic ions get in touch with the beads. Then, beads release hydrogen in return for trapped metal ions. Then, the water gets hydroxyl ions through exchanging the onions. Later, both hydrogen and hydroxyl combine. As a result, you get fresh, mineral-free water.
Water softeners also work in very similar ways. Here, the beads contain salt. Beads release salt when metallic ions or minerals such as magnesium, calcium,. get trapped in beads. In this way, water becomes soft, but a bit salty tasted.
- Produces less wastewater than other filters.
- Removes metals from water that make hard and contaminated water.
- Faster water softening method.
- Water taste is a bit changed to salty.
- We do not recommend it for bacterial reduction processes.
Sometimes, the doctor may suggest drinking boiled water. The reason behind this, boiled water is safe when distilled and separating the contaminants. Similarly, water is boiled in the distillation filters. When it is heated at a high temperature, there will be steam. Then, the steam is condensed and stored in a different container while reducing the temperature.
The stored water from steam is safe and free of contaminants. However, some contaminants have no impact on boiling the water. So, there will still be some contaminants in the water after distillation.
- Removes inorganic compounds like lead, nitrate, iron, etc.
- Kills bacterium and some viruses in water through boiling.
- Affordable and requires a small room for installation.
- Some contaminants will remain in the distilled water.
- Water loses some necessary minerals.
Reverse Osmosis (RO):
RO filters are available in most health-conscious families. These filters are getting popular over other types. You will need only a small or a medium space for RO installation.
RO filtration system involves several filters. It filtered water in a step-by-step filtration process. Besides, the filtration takes minimal time. So, the water is cleaner and safer than other water filters.
The first filter is usually mechanical, and the next two filters are carbon made; the fourth one is an RO filter or semi-permeable membrane. The last one is a chemical filter. Therefore, many modern RO filters have more filters, like UV filters, to purify water better. You can get many benefits from drinking reverse osmosis water.
- Removes maximum (95-99%) contaminants from the water.
- Improves the taste of water.
- Low maintenance cost and space-saving
- May waste some water.
- It required water remineralization to taste better.
UV filters are good for cleaning bacteria at a high level. Installation of this filter will kill most bacteria, viruses, and other unhealthy components. However, these filters alone cannot be such effective as other water filters.
- Cleans potentially harmful chemicals like chlorine.
- Low power consumption and money-saving maintenance.
- Kills bacteria and viruses powerfully.
- No impact on water minerals.
- Not effective as other water filtration systems.
Installation Options of Water Filters
Before you purchase the best water filters, you should know the installation options of these filters. Here, you can learn how to mount water filters:
Below the sink:
An under-sink water filter is a popular installation option. There are a couple of reasons you should pick the under-sink method. You can save the spaces for other applications by installing them under the sink. It also helps to hide the filter from your eyes. You can install and hide the filter in the kitchen cabinet.
You can see water filters following this mounting option in most public services areas and homes. You can install the filters faced at you if it is convenient. It is also helpful for getting instant water. You can look for many countertop water filters online.
On the Faucet:
There are many water filters available to mount on the faucet directly. First, you need to remove the aerator of the faucet. Then, attach the water filter to the faucet.
You can place the pitcher or dispenser’s water filters anywhere at your place.
Maintenance of Water Filters
You may miss this part of being excited about buying water filters. But it is equally important for keeping the filters active and influential. Even if you have bought water filters, you should know how to take care of them. Here are a few things you should concern about water filter maintenance:
You cannot use the same water filter for good. From time to time, they lose their productivity. So, it does not matter whether you install activated carbon or RO filtration system. You can read the instruction manual or product specs showing the lifespan of the filters. You can change the filters on your own or take services from relevant companies.
Beads of ion-exchange filters decay throughout time. They continuously exchange ions. The metallic components get trapped into beads. From time to time, the beads become incapable of exchanging ions. So, you will need to change beads after a particular time.
You will need to change the bulb of UV or RO filters by time. You will get notifications when the bulb is malfunctioning. You can also see them directly if they are not working in some models.
Advantages of Using a Water Filtration System
Installing a water filter system has many benefits:
- Improved taste and smell: Water may have a nasty odor or poor taste, whether it comes directly from a well or municipality. You cannot manage it on your own. Installation of water filters can improve the taste and smell.
- Safe water: When you are filtering water, it becomes equally safe and healthy for drinking and other application like cooking. So, to have good options for your health. Besides, there are reduced bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. Your body cleanses itself by drinking pure water.
- No harmful effect: You may think of water bottles made of plastics. The plastic in these bottles contains harmful BPA. When you install the water filters, there is no chance or least use of plastics. So, water filters are safe for the environment. Again, you do not need to worry about your kid’s health as there is no nitrate poisoning.
- Money-saving idea: Purchasing bottled water for drinking may cost you a lot of money. Again, unhealthy water may make you visit doctors frequently. But water filters are entirely money saving.
- No chlorine: Municipalities use chlorine to disinfect the water. But it can lead to some health issues. Water filters can eliminate chlorine from the water.
Differences Between Water Filtration & Water Purification
Most of us get confused by thinking filtering and purifying water are the same thing. But there is a clear distinction between the two subjects. The water filtration system has single or multiple filters to eliminate contaminants from the water. They can eliminate dirt, chemical, and toxins that exist in municipal water. Besides, the taste and smell of water get improved after filtration. However, few types of contaminants remain unchanged in water, even after filtering. In this sense, water is not entirely recognized as pure water. Water purification can eliminate up to 99% of contaminants from water. It can also remove the smaller particles, which filters cannot do. So, we consider here the water as pure water. Therefore, some healthy minerals get removed after purification too.
Can Water Filter Remove Minerals?
Some water filters can remove helpful minerals from the water. RO is a good example of these filters having 99% contaminants’ removal power. But they can eliminate some healthy minerals too.
Clean, we always expect safe water for everyday uses. Water filters make water better for us. It is, therefore, an integral part of contemporary life. You may have water sourced from a well or municipality. But they will cost you more money, make health unfit. Even you cannot get bottled water all the time. Water filters will help you get rid of it. You will not need to spend more time or money to get healthy, drinkable water.
Not only in drinking, but you can also take showers with the filtered water, too. That is the reason you should choose a whole house water filtration system. Besides these, your family members remain safe from contracting viruses, chlorine, bacterium, and poisoning from water.
We welcome you to read every information about the best water filtration system for the entire house and other places. This buying guide of Water Pump Tools will be resourceful for you.