How Do Water Filters Work?

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How Do Water Filters Work?

Water filters work by removing contaminants from the water. There are many different types of water filters, including tap and under-sink models. A home water filter is an excellent way to ensure that you always have clean drinking water on hand. This post will discuss how they work so that you can decide which type of filter is right for your needs.

Water filters are a great investment for anyone who is concerned about the quality of their water. They are easy to install and use, and they help ensure that your water is free from pollutants. Read on to learn more about how filters work, what types there are, and when you should consider using one.
How Do Water Filters Work

What Are Water Filters?

Water filters (also known as water purifiers) are mechanisms designed to make the water we drink clean and safe for human consumption. They can range from simple straws, which filter out sediments and germs while catching them only to be removed when you drink; to advanced systems that use ultraviolet light and other technologies to kill viruses and bacteria in the water continuously. Water filters come in a variety of forms: pitchers, bottles, or flasks with purifying elements inside them, faucet attachments, countertop devices, and even whole-house systems that filter all tap water before it appears in your glass. Some will notice an immediate improvement in their drinking water’s clarity, taste, or smell while others may not detect anything different at all. A few will find that their water has an unpleasant taste, color or smell after it has been filtered.

Water filters remove dirt and other impurities from water using a series of processes known as purification methods. These can be classified as either physical or chemical treatment systems.

How Do You Know If The Water Is Clean Enough?

The best drinking water is hydrogen-rich pure water, which has a neutral pH and an ORP (oxidation reduction potential) of zero. This shows that the ionized mineral particles in the water are inactive and won’t interfere with cellular activities in your body. For perspective, healthy human blood has an ORP between +150 and -200 mV (millivolts).

When tap water is purified, it loses its natural negative electrical charge due to the chemicals added during processing. When this occurs, minerals are no longer bound with oxygen in the water and they fall out of solution. The more minerals that are lost in this manner, the higher your drinking water pH will be.

It’s important to note that while distilled water has a near-neutral pH (between 6.5 and 8 on the 0-14 pH scale), it doesn’t have an ORP of zero because there are still positive mineral ions present. You can learn more about pH here. You want to avoid drinking high-pH alkaline water because you have enough acidity in your digestive system already from eating acidic foods like soft drinks, coffee, fruits, and most grains. High-pH water makes it harder for your body to maintain the proper acid/alkaline balance in the blood which can lead to health problems.

You also want to avoid low pH (acidic) water because it will pull minerals out of your body and increase the acidity of your blood. This can cause serious health problems. Drinking distilled, reverse osmosis, or deionized water for an extended period of time is not a good idea because you’ll eventually start noticing symptoms like fatigue, headaches, bone loss, digestive disorders and joint pain.

In order to make sure that the pH levels in the drinking water from your filter are natural and healthy for optimal hydration, you need a special kind of mineral called a “Catalyst Mineral™” which most filters don’t contain. These special minerals work by changing the properties of alkaline ionized water positively with a negative charge. This is best for detoxification and ridding your body of acidity.

Do You Need A Water Filter?

The United States produces more than 15,800 toxic chemicals and most of them are used in the production of everyday items like cleaning products, medical supplies, personal care items, toys, building materials and food. This means that you’re constantly surrounded by toxins that can affect your health. Many harmful ingredients in these common products have been linked to ailments such as cancer, autism, reproductive disorders, asthma, neurological problems, birth defects and hormonal issues just to name a few.

Research has shown that 92 percent of all Americans have at least 10 industrial chemicals in their bodies. 20 percent have 25 or more different chemicals inside them. These contaminants enter our blood through the air we breathe (indoor pollution), what we eat (food chain pollution), or what we drink (drinking water pollution).

You can’t avoid toxins in your everyday life, but you can reduce the risk of health problems by filtering out the harmful substances. The best water filter will eliminate contaminants and balance pH levels so that you’re drinking healthy alkaline ionized antioxidant water.

How Do Water Filters Work?

There are several different types of water filters used in homes today. The first is a pitcher-style filter that sits on top of your faucet and it’s the least effective type because it doesn’t remove many contaminants. The second is an under-sink system which is more powerful, but still not as efficient at removing toxins as the other methods listed below.

The third method involves installing a full house water filter system so you can control exactly what goes into your drinking water. This kind of system will take out chlorine, fluoride, herbicides, pesticides, organic chemicals, heavy metals and certain minerals to give you cleaner drinking water for better health.

Types Of Water Filters

1. Mechanical Filters

What Is A Mechanical Filter?

A mechanical filter is typically made of granulated activated carbon (GAC) or coconut shell carbon which is considered an “absolute” type because it can trap particles as small as 1 micron. There are different kinds of GAC filters and they’re rated by percentage: 20-30%, 50-60% and 95%. The higher the percentage, the more contaminants it can remove.

The 95% absolute GAC filter will catch most chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). They do this by using a porous powder that attracts these unwanted substances like a magnet so you’ll get clean drinking water without any aftertaste.

However, there are some drawbacks to using this kind of system. Since GAC filters are made of carbon, they don’t remove chemicals that dissolve in water like fluoride and arsenic. Also, if you use these types of systems, you may notice a pressure drop because the water flow rate is reduced due to the large amount of contaminants it traps.

How Does The Mechanical Filter Work?

The water filter is installed under the sink and it has an activated carbon tank where most of the filtering takes place. The dirty water flows through this tank and over the GAC filters to absorb particles like chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, sediment and other impurities. It then flows into another chamber where it passes through a second set of filters which trap microscopic contaminants like cysts, viruses and pharmaceuticals.

Once all these harmful substances are captured in your mechanical filter’s internal chambers, the water is sent through another valve that releases purified water into your home for drinking while releasing filtered water back down the drain so what you release in your septic tank isn’t wasted.

What Contaminants Does Mechanical Filter Remove?

Mechanical filters are rated by percentage, so the higher the percentage the more contaminants they can eliminate. The 20-30% filter has a pore size of 1 micron and it removes chlorine, sediment, cysts and organic chemicals like herbicides.

The 50-60% filter has pores that trap particles between 5 and 10 microns in size so it will remove more pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, asbestos fibers, fluoride, arsenic, nitrates and some parasites.

The 95% absolute GAC water filter is one of the best types to use because it’s made with activated carbon which attracts all kinds of contaminants like lead, mercury ammonia, VOC ‘s (volatile organic compounds), chlorine and chloramines. Any system that uses activated carbon will remove fluoride to some degree.

Mechanical Filter System Benefits

  1. Removes chlorine, dirt, sediment, organic chemicals and many other impurities.
  2. Faster flow rate so you don’t have to wait for the water to drain out of your sink.
  3. Systems are more economical than reverse osmosis because they use less electricity since they don’t waste as much water through evaporation or drain leakage.
  4. You can install a mechanical filter under the kitchen sink that only requires one connection being made under the sink. That way you can still use all your kitchen faucets just by turning on the hot and cold valves without removing hoses from the faucet.. And since some systems are self-cleaning, there’s no need to turn off or bypass your system during maintenance.

2. Absorption Filters

What Is an Absorption Filter?

Absorption filters use active carbon to remove contaminants like chlorine, chemicals, hydrogen sulfide, bad taste and odor. While there are different kinds of absorption systems (like deionization and twin bed media), the one we’ll be focusing on is the type that uses filtration media made from activated alumina.

Although you can install it under your sink, most people choose to mount it under their kitchen sink since it’s easier to maintain than external units that need to be replaced every few years. The reason why absorption filters cost more than mechanical filters is because they last much longer.

How Does Absorption Filter Work?

Water passes through a sediment filter which traps dirt, sediment and rust particles. Then it flows into an activated alumina chamber where microscopic particles are absorbed before reaching the final carbon block that absorbs chemicals like chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, VOC ‘s (volatile organics)and other contaminants.

The most common absorption filter that uses activated alumina is the AC-30 Alumina Trio cartridge that has one sediment filter and two filtration membranes. The AC-15 Trio cartridge only has one membrane with three different sized pores to trap larger particles like silt, rust and dirt while allowing smaller chemical molecules to pass through. Although this model doesn’t have a GAC (granular activated carbon) stage, it will remove all kinds of contaminants from your water including fluoride, arsenic, nitrates and other heavy metals.

What Contaminants Does Absorption Filter Remove?

Absorption filters with activated alumina remove chlorine, dirt, sediment, rust and many other impurities.

The AC-15 Trio cartridge absorbs hydrogen sulfide along with VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) like herbicides, pesticides, benzene and toluene. The AC-30 Trio removes these chemicals plus some parasites that the smaller unit doesn’t. It also absorbs fluoride to some degree.

Be aware that absorption filters will reduce the pH of your water because they contain an alkaline resin which is used as a neutralizing agent to absorb acidic contaminants like hydrogen sulfide. This isn’t usually a problem unless you use it for cooking or making coffee. You can compensate for bypassing your drinking water through a carbon filter with a pH reduction cartridge.

Absorption Filter System Benefits

  1. Economical because they last longer than RO units (7-10 years) and don’t waste as much water like reverse osmosis units.
  2. When combined with a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter stage, it will remove most chemicals, some parasites along with some fluoride.
  3. Water that comes out of an absorption filter is pH neutral which means you can use it for cooking or making beverages without affecting the taste or quality. This makes it the best whole house system to get if you have well water except you would need to install GAC filters in your bathrooms.
  4. Since there’s no drain leakage after installation, you won’t have to mess around with maintenance shut-off valves under your sink or at the main line like you would with an external unit.
  5. Installation is as easy as hooking up a washing machine and most people can do it themselves with little to no plumbing experience.
  6. You don’t need to worry about buying replacement filters (the manufacturer recommends that they be replaced every two years) and there’s no need for alarm systems or maintenance shut-off valves like you would with whole house RO units.
  7. Absorption filter cartridges are made from various resins that will last longer than coconut carbon, but there’s still a chance that some have plastic components that will release DBP’s or EDB ‘s into your water over time, so look for ones made entirely from aluminum oxide if possible.

3. Sequestration Filters

What Is Sequestration Filter?

Sequestration filters are not designed to purify water at all. They’re used mainly for removing heavy metals from drinking water and they’re a better choice than absorption filters if you have a lot of arsenic, lead, nitrates or fluoride in your source. These types of resins don’t contain chemicals but instead consist of an insoluble form of iron oxide that traps heavy metals as the water passes through the filter.

How Does Sequestration Filter Work?

Sequestration filters use a process called ion exchange. It works by exchanging toxic ions like lead and arsenic for hydrogen and hydroxide ions to form salt and water. The water that comes out of these units is safe to drink, but the concentrated salts can corrode pipes over time, so you need to dispose of it properly.

The Sequestra Drinking Water Filter removes lead, arsenic, mercury and nitrates. It even removes Fluoride, but only up to the EPA’s MCL (maximum contaminant level) of 4 ppm which can be obtained by filtering water through activated alumina or AC cartridge.

Sequestration filters are good for homes with very contaminated source water because they will trap toxic elements so they don’t go into your drinking water along with some fluoride. The downsides are that you need to purchase replacement cartridges every few months depending on how much water you use and there is a possibility that plastic resin components in them will release harmful chemicals into your drinking source over time.

What Contaminants Does Sequestration Filter Remove?

Sequestration filters use a resin that is either sodium or copper based. This means they can reduce lead, arsenic and mercury along with nitrates and some fluoride too.

The problem with these types of resins is that they contain plastic compounds like phthalates (DBP) and Bisphenol-A (BPA). These chemicals will leach into the water while it’s stored in tanks especially if you live in a hot climate.

More importantly, phthalates and BPA mimic hormones that can cause chromosomal damage, preterm birth and early puberty in girls. The good news is that no test results have found these chemicals to be present at harmful levels when using Sequestration Filters, but I definitely would not recommend buying those that have been exposed to heat as they can release dioxins into your drinking water.

Sequestration Filter System Benefits

  1. Heavy metals and some fluoride is removed from your drinking water.
  2. Since a lot of plastic resin has been used in Sequestration Filters, the chance of leaching toxic chemicals over time is less than with absorption filters.
  3. The chances of releasing dioxins into your drinking water have not yet been fully documented because no studies have openly tested this type of filter for them, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on if you decide to purchase one anyway.
  4. If you buy an aluminum oxide cartridge like the ones made by Elix Water Systems (3 PPM Heavy Metal Reduction), there’s no need for alarm systems or maintenance shut-off valves like the ones required for whole house RO units because all toxic chemicals will be trapped inside the cartridge.
  5. Elix simply makes a product that works without any frills and doesn’t have a few thousand dollars of hidden costs built into its design like other water filters do.
  6. A wide range of Sequestration Filters are available from different manufacturers, so you can find ones that will fit your existing water delivery system provided they’re made from PVC plastic. This means you don’t have to spend thousands on whole house RO systems or under sink RO units either.
  7. You just need to replace the cartridge every 6 months or when it stops absorbing toxins well enough, but this is cheaper than replacing all the resin in an absorption filter pack every 3-4 years for $250-$300.
  8. If you live on a farm or have livestock, some Sequestration Filters will remove heavy metals, nitrates and even pesticides so you don’t have to buy additional equipment for this purpose.

4. Ion Exchange Filters

What Is an Ion Exchange Filter?

Ion Exchange filters are used in whole house water filtration devices, but they can also be purchased separately for under the sink applications.

The good news is that you don’t need to replace ion exchange resins like you do with other types of water filters because their capacity will last about 10 years especially if the calcium, magnesium and sodium levels in your source water are low.

However, keep in mind that not all ion exchange resins remove fluoride or even any contaminants at all, which means this type of filter is not suited for most people’s needs.

How Does Ion Exchange Filter Work?

Ion Exchange Filters use resins that are made from zeolite, which is a type of volcanic rock. It contains aluminum, iron and sodium ions in the form of tiny tunnels or channels through which positive and negative ions pass when they’re introduced to water. They go in one end, but can’t get out the other because the tunnel ends are tightly sealed.

Water molecules also travel back and forth through this maze after picking up beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium or picking up contaminants like lead, arsenic, pesticides, nitrates, fluoride, viruses and bacteria along the way.

Trouble is that the zeolite minerals used to make these resins are mined from water and soil, which makes them porous enough to allow bacteria and viruses through their ion tunnels. These contaminants slip through because they’re about 2,000 times smaller than water molecules.

What Contaminants Does Ion Exchange Filter Remove?

Ion Exchange Filters remove the following contaminants from your drinking water column:

Large Particles – These filters can trap most heavy metals, but they have to be replaced more often than not because a lot of them leach chemicals into the water.

Bacteria – Most ion exchange filters will reduce bacteria levels by about 95%, which means you don’t have to worry about your immune system being compromised. They also kill most viruses and parasites, so this problem won’t affect your health either.

Chemical Gases – This type of filter does a good job at removing radon gas as well as hydrogen sulfide from well water. However, some types of ion exchange resins cannot remove chemical gasses from municipal tap water unless it’s pretreated properly.

Viruses – Some ion exchange filters don’t get rid of viruses, which means you’ll need to invest in an additional filter like a reverse osmosis system or distiller that will take care of them.

Ion Exchange Filter System Benefits

  1. You can use ion exchange filters to remove fluoride, arsenic and other heavy metals from tap water even if they don’t block bacteria. Reverse osmosis units require a lot of energy to produce drinking water, but this type of filter only causes the water pressure in your pipes to drop by about 10%.
  2. Because these filters work on an exchange basis, they will reduce heavy metal levels over time as more contaminants are exchanged for sodium ions. This enables you to replenish healthy alkaline minerals that were removed by soil erosion or chemical pollution which will lower blood viscosity and risk of heart disease.
  3. Ion Exchange Resins usually do not leach chemicals into the filtered water, so they’re considered one of the safest options available. However, this also means that there’s a small amount of air mixed in with the water when it leaves the filter. Reverse osmosis units produce water with no air at all.
  4. This type of filter is cost-effective especially if you have high levels of contaminants in your source water that require frequent replacement of other types of filters. You don’t have to replace ion exchange resins every six months or even 10 years for that matter, unless your local water supply has a lot of corrosive elements like arsenic and fluoride.
  5. Ion Exchange Filters take out large particles along with most chemicals and microorganisms, so they work well for whole house applications where several appliances are connected to one central filtration system. These include dishwashers, shower heads, ice makers and water distillers.
  6. Because these resins are relatively large (8″ x 2″ or 15 cm x 4 cm), ion exchange filters can be a bit bulky if you’re looking for a small countertop unit to take with you on the road. You have to consider that they can’t be used in places where there’s no electricity to power them either. These include boats and off-the-grid cabins where solar panels may not work because of bad weather conditions.
  7. Reverse osmosis systems contribute to environmental pollution because they use so many plastic cartridges filled with activated carbon. Ion Exchange Filters use up much less space inside the house, so they produce fewer carbon emissions.
  8. This type of water filter may not remove chemical gases from tap water unless it’s pretreated, which means you might have to invest in a granulated activated carbon (GAC) or other type of system for that matter. Reverse osmosis units do an excellent job at removing gases, but they’re also relatively expensive compared to ion exchange systems.

5. Reverse Osmosis Filters

What Is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?

Reverse osmosis is a process in which water is forced under pressure through a semipermeable membrane that doesn’t allow dissolved solids or other contaminants to pass through.

Pressure pushes the water into the filtration unit, where it moves down over an adsorption filter made up of activated carbon. This removes chlorine and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), which are common tap water contaminants. Next, it flows over another thin film composite (TFC) membrane with tiny pores that trap heavy metals like lead, mercury and chromium. At this point, the water is moving in two directions at once. One direction pulls pure water through the membrane while the other is a reverse flow that forces contaminants to move in the opposite direction. If it encounters a high-density dissolved solids area on one side of the membrane, it flows around these areas and carries more purified water with it back toward your faucet.

Reverse osmosis membranes are made up of thin sheets of plastic with microscopic pores per square inch. These pores can be as small as a single nanometer, which means that particles half that size or smaller pass right through them into your filtered tap water. The standard pore size used in most RO systems measures between 0.0001 and 0.001 microns.

How Does Reverse Osmosis (RO) Work?

RO systems are classified as either low-pressure or high-pressure units. Low-pressure RO units use the pressure of the source water to force it through the semipermeable membrane. High-pressure RO units not only use your home’s pressure, but they also have their own electric pumps that push the water through the membrane even faster than the pressure coming out of your faucet.

One drawback to high-pressure RO systems is that the membrane only lasts about six months before it needs cleaning or replacement. Low-pressure RO membranes filter much better, but they also take twice as long to filter water because they use so much more of it than their counterpart.

What Contaminants Does Reverse Osmosis (RO) Remove?

Reverse osmosis systems remove dirt, sediment and rust particles along with most synthetic chemicals. Many contaminants are reduced by 90% or more, which is better removal than some other types of water filters.

This type of water filter also removes soluble heavy metals like lead and mercury that can cause serious health problems if ingested in high amounts over a short period of time. It’s important to note that RO units don’t produce 100% pure H2O. In fact, they leave behind many minerals as well as hundreds of hazardous chemicals found in tap water such as dioxin, trihalomethanes (THMs), pesticides and herbicides from agricultural runoff from farms.

In some cases, RO membranes create a high level of sodium in the water that can cause an imbalance in your body’s electrolytes. Reverse osmosis is also only effective at removing contaminants that pass through its membrane. Other contaminants such as bacteria and viruses are too small for RO membranes to remove them from the water.

Reverse Osmosis System Benefits

  1. Easy installation and maintenance – You can quickly connect most RO systems to your faucet. There’s no need for a plumber or an engineering degree. All you have to do is attach the included tubing lines and turn on the water. It’s best to hire a professional if you want them to disconnect your old system, but it typically takes less than 30 minutes for someone with basic plumbing knowledge to install one of these units.
  2. Removes more contaminants than other types of home water filters – Reverse osmosis systems usually remove more harmful chemicals from tap water than any other type of filtration unit available. If there were a list of best home water filter pitchers, reverse osmosis would be at or near the top. 
  3. Filters entire house – Reverse osmosis is also one of the most efficient water purification systems available. It can filter an entire house, including hot water with no adverse effects to showering or faucet use.
  4. Lower maintenance cost – The RO membrane can last about six months before it needs cleaning or replacement depending on usage and how hard the source water is. Most homeowners report that replacement filters typically cost about $30. This is an affordable price compared to some other types of home water filters, especially since you don’t need to replace them as often.
  5. Adjustable flow rate – You can increase or decrease the pressure coming out of your faucet by popping open a valve on your RO system’s feed water line.
  6. Reduces chlorine taste and odor – Most RO systems are installed after your home’s main water line which is where the city or county puts its chlorine disinfectant into the tap water. The best place to install an RO unit is at your house’s main water line, but it can be difficult for plumbers to get there depending on your property layout. An average home filter system can reduce up to 97% of chlorine in the water. This not only improves its taste, but also reduces health problems associated with ingesting too much chlorine over a lifetime.

12 Types Of Water Filter Media

1. Activated Carbon 

Carbon filters are primarily made up of activated carbon which is a porous form of carbon that has been treated with various chemicals to open up the spaces within its molecular structure. These pores give water passing through it greater contact with the carbon, thus increasing the filter’s ability to absorb impurities. Activated charcoal has many other names, including activated coal, active carbon, and purified absorbent charcoal. The most popular type of home water filter pitcher uses this type of media for its filtering ability since it can adsorb impurities quickly and efficiently. It’s also economical because you only need 1-2 tablespoons for every gallon of filtered water. You should replace activated carbon about once per month or after 40 gallons, whichever comes first. To maximize its effectiveness, you should store the water in a dark place to prevent its exposure to light.

2. Ultraviolet Light (UV)

Ultraviolet (UV) light is a disinfection process that involves exposing water to ultra-violet rays in order to destroy any pathogens it contains. The UV method has been used for this purpose since the 1920s and earlier, but advancements in technology made it more efficient over time. Between 1940 and 1950, many cities began using UV light as an alternative to chlorine because of its ability to kill harmful organisms without chemical residue being left behind afterwards. Today, it’s also one of the most cost effective methods of water purification worldwide. Unlike filters which only reduce contaminants, ultraviolet treatment completely eliminates them so you don’t have to change or replace anything about your water filtration system.

3. Catalytic Carbon

Catalytic carbon is created using a natural chemical reaction to combine two compounds, magnesium oxide and activated carbon. Not only does this process create the porous structure of activated charcoal without any need for animal bones like in traditional methods, but it also speeds up the adsorption of impurities by water.

4. KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion)

KDF is a metal alloy that has been used by NASA and the United States military to purify water during experiments and missions beyond Earth’s atmosphere. This process involves creating free radicals, which are atoms with unstable electrons. When these free radicals come into contact with organic compounds such as bacteria and other pathogens, they destabilize and break them down into smaller components. Some of the contaminants become trapped inside KDF media itself, while others attach themselves to existing surfaces until their chemical reaction destroys them.

5. Filter Ag

Filter Ag is an ionic silver media that’s made from 100% pure silver and has been used to purify water for over 200 years. The best part about using this type of filter is that it doesn’t leach contaminants into your drinking water like other types because the ions are too large to pass through its pores. It also kills pathogenic bacteria and prevents the buildup of mold, mildew and algae because it’s bacteriostatic. If you’ve ever had a pet fish that died after adding tap water to its tank, then this type of filter is perfect for you.

6. Manganese Greensand

Manganese greensand is a type of filtration media that uses iron and manganese oxides to remove contaminants from water. Like most other types, it’s common for these metals to leach into the water as well, but they typically don’t exceed EPA limits. Greensand works by removing sodium, chlorine and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) with its porous structure before those chemicals turn into gas under normal atmospheric conditions. If you’ve ever noticed rust-colored stains around your faucets or in your bathtub then it’s likely that you already have this filter in your home without knowing it.

7. Reverse Osmosis Membranes

Reverse osmosis membranes are made from thin sheets of polymers that allow water molecules to pass through while preventing any contaminants in it from doing the same. It’s a relatively new technology when compared to other types, but they’re growing more popular every day because they effectively destroy harmful bacteria and remove toxic substances. Reverse osmosis is also one of the most energy efficient methods of purifying drinking water in addition to being inexpensive and easy to maintain.

8. Birm Filter

Birm filters are made from ground up metal oxides that have been used to purify drinking water since the 1930s. As with most other types, it removes chlorine particles by oxidizing them so they can’t do any harm to your body. It also absorbs organic contaminants where manganese greensand doesn’t, which makes it perfect for thick mud, silt or other types of turbidity that don’t settle at the bottom of your water source. Birm is typically included in a household’s water filtration system because it reduces the amount of manganese greensand needed to eliminate odors and improve taste.

9. Activated Aluminum 

Activated aluminum oxide is a form of filtration media that’s actually made from the same compound as china clay and works by trapping impurities in its pores. It’s capable of absorbing contaminants that react with it such as arsenic, mercury and chlorine. There are different types of activated aluminum oxide filters which you can read about here, but they’re commonly used in household water purifiers for their large storage capacity and affordability.

10. Calcite

Calcite is a porous mineral that’s made from calcium carbonate and used to purify water through its ability to remove iron, lead, copper and aluminum contaminants. As with other types of filtration media, it oxidizes harmful chemicals while attracting them into itself before they can diffuse into your drinking water. The best part about calcite filters is that they’re inexpensive and don’t leach anything into the water supply like some other types do which makes them perfect for any household.

11. Manganese Dioxide

Manganese dioxide is a man-made filter that’s capable of removing chlorine as well as organic contaminants by oxidizing them. The only downside to using this type of filter is that you have to clean it on a regular basis because manganese builds up in its pores over time which can reduce lifespan. It also filters out certain types of substances such as arsenic and asbestos, but not all contaminants.

12. Mixed Media

Mixed media filters are typically used by people who can’t afford anything else because they use a combination of filtration media to purify water. If you know for sure that there’s no harmful contaminants in your source then you can bet it’ll work just fine, but more often than not, these filters require more maintenance and don’t get rid of nearly as many contaminants compared to other types.

Water Filter Certifications

  • WQA Gold

The Water Quality Association (WQA) is an American agency that’s dedicated to setting standards for all sorts of goods and services related to drinking water. They also use gold seals on products that meet their rigorous requirements, but there are a few things you should know before buying anything with a WQA Gold Seal. Not everything labeled as “Gold Seal” actually meets the necessary requirements, so make sure you read what it entails before buying it.

  • NSF

Another certification system you should be familiar with is NSF/ANSI P231 which verifies the product’s ability to remove chlorine, taste and odor from drinking water. Although it doesn’t actually certify anything, it does let you know whether or not it’ll do what it says on the package without having to dig around for more information.

How To Clean Water Filters?

Clean your water filters regularly because accumulated contaminants can break them down over time. Generally, you only need to clean the elements inside every 6 months or so, but there are other types of filters that require different cleaning schedules which you should check before buying one.

Why Should You Clean Your Water Filters?

A clean water filter is a happy water filter that provides you with safe, clear drinking water without breaking down. Cleaning your filters helps extend their lifespan by removing the trapped contaminants before they have a chance to do any damage, but it’s also necessary for optimal performance.

How To Clean Water Filters: Step-By-Step

Step1# Remove the filter from its housing and inspect it for any damage. If anything looks off or if your filter is old then put it aside and get a new one instead of cleaning it because the risk of contaminating your drinking water isn’t worth it.

Step2# Take a bucket and fill it halfway with water. Mix in 1-4 tablespoons of baking soda depending on how bad the contamination is and stir until dissolved.

Step3# Place the filter in the bucket filled with cleaning solution so that all parts are submerged under at least an inch of fluid. Leave the filter in there anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight depending on how dirty it is.

Step4# Take out your old filter, rinse everything off with water and let dry reinstalling it after everything is dry.

Step5# If you have a filter pitcher then just pour the solution into your water pitcher and cycle the water through it as if it were actually filtered.

How Can I Dispose Of Old Water Filters?

Most water filter cartridges aren’t biodegradable which means it’s important to be conscientious about how you get rid of them. Fortunately, the majority of filters don’t hold onto contaminants very tightly, so there’s no risk of polluting your drinking water when throwing a used filter in a secured landfill.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

-Find out if your city has specific facilities for disposing hazardous materials  and whether or not they accept water filters. If not, look up landfills and recycling centers in your area to see where you can bring your old filtration system.

-Do NOT throw filters in with regular trash! They may clog the machines at the recycling center or landfill.

-Contact filter manufacturers to see if there are other recommended ways of disposal because some of them will give you prepaid shipping labels for sending old filters back.

-If your filter still has life left in it then trade or recycle it. Craigslist and other local listing sites are great resources that help you find new homes for secondhand items. You can also post on Facebook groups like Freecycle where people communicate about giving away things they don’t want anymore instead of throwing them out.

How Often Should I Clean My Water Filter?

It’s a good idea to check your water filter for dirt and debris on a regular basis to make sure it isn’t getting clogged up too much. If you eat, drink and breathe through the same straw then you’ll need to clean your filter as soon as any visible grime or particles start building up.

If you don’t use your water filter that often then try cleaning it every 2-3 months because those less frequent uses can still cause buildup  of sediment and other contaminants if not cleaned properly.

Can I Reuse Water Filters?

It depends on the type of water filter and how dirty it is. In general, though, it’s a good idea to replace most types of water filters every 6 months or 250 gallons because that’s when they start accumulating too many contaminants to be safe for drinking.

Otherwise, if you’re dealing with a reusable filter then just wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild soap before setting up again. For something like a refrigerator water filter, just take off the cartridge from its housing and rinse both pieces thoroughly under cold running water before letting them dry completely so everything’s ready for re-installation next time.

As you can see from this article, there are quite a few steps needed in order to clean your home water filtration device properly. The good news is that it’s not very difficult to do and you’ll be able to enjoy clean filtered drinking water in your home or office without having to spend a fortune on bottled water !

Can You Filter Any Type Of Water?

You can filter any type of water with your home filtration system, but it’s best to avoid  installing a filter that isn’t intended for the specific needs in your home.

For example, don’t put a whole-house filter in an undersink water purifier because doing so will cause slower performance and clogged filters over time.

Also, always remember to check whether or not you have calcite or magnesium in your water supply before buying a new filter because too much of either one will block up the pores of your cartridge !

Which Contaminants Should I Be Most Concerned About In My Drinking Water?

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has set the maximum contaminant level for fluoride to 4.0 parts per million, which is considered safe, but some people prefer choosing filters that reduce fluoride.

Since bottled water doesn’t come with contaminants like lead or zinc then look for a filter that targets those issues, too.

Do Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

Yes, but the process is different for each type of filter because some filter out all contaminants and others just remove specific ones.

The main types of filters that reduce fluoride levels are: reverse osmosis, activated alumina and ion exchange.

Reverse osmosis requires a special faucet to draw water through the membrane so it’s not very ideal for under-sink use. Activated alumina is typically used in under sink systems, while ion exchange filters are more suitable for countertop models.

What Does The Water Filter Remove?

It all depends on the type of filter you buy and how often you use it. If your water supply is relatively free from contaminants then you’ll be able to enjoy clean filtered drinking water, but if there’s a lot of sediment in your source water then those particles will quickly build up so it’s time to clean or replace the cartridge.

Will A Water Filter Improve The Taste And Odour Of Water?

Yes, a water filter can improve the taste of your water because of its special cartridge design that removes trace impurities and odour from the source water.

The more often you use it then the cleaner it will get so always remember to clean or replace your cartridge when necessary.

What Is Activated Carbon?

Activated carbon is a porous form of carbon typically used for filtering purposes in most types of home filtration units. It has an extremely high surface-to-volume ratio which makes it suitable for absorbing contaminants on contact while also being able to reduce turbidity in some cases.

How Do I Clean A Water Filter Pitcher?

The simplest way to clean a water filter pitcher is to simply fill it with cold tap water and add a teaspoon of baking soda.

Then let it sit for an hour, but if the stains are worse than you can leave it overnight before rinsing thoroughly under running cold tap water.

If this doesn’t make the stains disappear completely then soak the bottom half of your water filter pitcher in white vinegar, or use a scrubbing sponge and warm soapy water instead.

Will A Water Filter Remove Bacteria?

Yes, but not all filters are capable of doing so. The most common types of bacteria in tap water are E. coli, salmonella and coliform (bacteria found in feces).

Bacteria tend to build up quickly when the cartridge is new because it hasn’t had time to absorb contaminants yet, especially if you use your filter on a daily basis.

The best way to prevent this from happening is by using filtered or bottled water for cooking and cleaning until after the pores have had time to open up.

Can I Recycle My Used Water Filter Cartridges?

Yes, most water filters have recycling programs to help you dispose of your used cartridges because they aren’t biodegradable.

Some companies will collect used cartridges from customers and return them back to their plants where they’ll either be re-used in other filters or broken down for raw materials so the process is completely environmentally friendly.

Will A Water Filter Soften Hard Water?

Yes, most types of home water filter cartridges are capable of significantly reducing the amount of calcium and magnesium minerals in your source water which leads to softer water for cleaning purposes.

The more often you use it then the cleaner it will get so always remember to clean or replace your cartridge when necessary.

How Much Do Water Filters Cost?

It depends on the type of filter and how often you use it but typically they cost anywhere from $40 to $100 so shop around for a good deal.

There are also options available for rental if you don’t want to make such a large investment, plus bottled water might be cheaper in some cases.

Can I Recycle Refrigerator Water Filters?

Yes, you can recycle your refrigerator water filters by simply throwing them away with the rest of your garbage because there’s no negative impact to the environment.

The problem is that not all cartridges are recyclable so make sure you check before doing anything.

How Long Do Water Filters Last?

Water filter cartridges typically need to be replaced every 1-2 months depending on the type and how often they’re used. Some types can make water taste better while others will remove contaminants and odour so choose the right one for your situation.



The process of water filtration is not a new idea, but with the advent of modern technology it has become much more efficient. As time goes on, people are becoming increasingly concerned with their health and what they put in their bodies. One way to alleviate this concern is by drinking filtered water instead of tap or bottled water that can contain harmful substances like lead or arsenic. Filtered water also tastes better because it doesn’t have any weird taste from chlorine or fluoride added during treatment processes at municipal plants. If you’re looking for an affordable option for your home’s filtered-water needs, contact our team today!

Read more:

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How To Install A Countertop Water Filter?

How To Clean Water Filter?

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How To Change A Whole House Water Filter?

How To Change Refrigerator Water Filters In 2022?

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