Are You Using The Best Home Water Treatment System?
Filtering is important for anyone who is concerned about the possibility of waterborne contaminants. Our drinking water may even seem fine but filtration is still advisable. Some dangerous contaminants like lead and other heavy metals will not have a significant impact on the taste, appearance, or smell of your drinking water. That’s what makes finding the best home water treatment system so important for homeowners.
Obviously we believe in the water filtration systems we offer, but there are a wide range of products available on the market designed to filter drinking water. In order to make sure that you are really getting the best possible drinking water quality, we’re taking a look at several popular filtration technologies to help you decide what is best for your home.
Pitchers: The filtered pitcher is probably the most popular water filtration system on the market. These plastic pitchers come in all shapes and sizes from compact pitchers to large tanks designed to filter and store water in refrigerators. While these pitchers have become household staples across the world, they are generally one of the least effective water filters available.
Water is drawn through the filter cartridge of these pitchers using only gravity. Unfiltered water is deposited in an upper tank where its weight pushes it down through the filter cartridge and into the lower storage reservoir. This is both the system’s biggest fault and its greatest strength. Because these filters use only gravity to provide filtration, they can be used under almost any conditions. No need for power or an additional source of water pressure.
Sadly the use of only gravity to “power” a pitcher filter means that the cartridges have to provide ample water flow. The loose media in these cartridges is designed using activated carbon, a fantastic filtration medium. In order to achieve the necessary water flow through the filter, the carbon has the consistency of fine gravel. This makes it possible for water to pass through easily, but does not guarantee thorough contact with the water.
The loose media in these cartridges often lead to low quality filtration. Basically you can think of filter media like a sponge for waterborne contaminants. Because there are significant gaps in the filter media, there are not consistent standards of filtration for these systems. This also means that water can be continuously filtered through these systems and come out just a little cleaner every time. For most homeowners the idea of filtering their water several times is not a viable option, so people just filter it once, slightly improve their water quality, and drink it.
While there definitely is some level of water quality improvement happening when you use one of these filters, the overall change is not significant. Combined with their need for daily maintenance and the average short 40 gallon filter cartridge lifespan, the pitcher system is far from the best home water treatment system available.
Faucet Filters: One of the next most popular options is the sink or faucet filter. These filter systems are designed to attach to the end of a faucet. Typically they give the user the option to continue to use unfiltered water for tasks like washing, while providing the option to divert water through the filter to obtain filtered water on demand.
Part of the reason that these filters are so popular is the fact that they require pretty limited installation. All users have to do is securely mount the filter onto their faucet and they system is ready to use. Because they are attached to your faucet, they use your home’s water pressure to fuel filtration, already giving them a major advantage over gravity fed pitchers.
The ability to work under pressure means that these filters can use much finer filter media in their cartridges. Most of these systems use ceramic or activated carbon filters that can reduce the presence of many contaminants including heavy metals, which has helped boost their popularity over the years.
Unlike pitcher filters using a faucet filter will provide consistent filtration results. The water from these filters is definitely a step up, but far from being the best filtration quality. The filter cartridges used in these faucet filters have an average lifespan of about 100 gallons, though some models may provide up to 300+ gallons of filtered water.
One of the biggest problems with these filters is their longevity and appearance. Not everyone wants to add a bulbous fixture to the end of their faucet, even if it does provide a cleaner source of drinking water. In addition, these filters are often designed as a budget option. This means that construction can be an issue. Many users report issues like poor seals, leaking, and poor flow rate within their first year of use. In order to avoid all of these problems, it is worth investing in a higher quality filtration system.
Under Sink: One of the best home water treatment systems is the under sink filter. These systems are available from many manufacturers but they are all designed to use the space under your kitchen sink to mount a larger filtration system that provides powerful water filtration typically all year round. Using large cylindrical cartridges packed with filtration media, these drinking water filters can offer incredible water quality.
One of the biggest advantages for homeowners is the fact that these filter systems stay out of sight. Instead of taking up room in your fridge or sticking out like a sore thumb on the end of your faucet, an under sink filter operates using one of the spaces in your kitchen that often goes unused. The only evidence of your filter is typically a counter or sink mounted dispenser in the form of a small faucet. Luckily users can choose their own dispenser to match the result of their kitchen fixtures. If this is not an ideal solution for your kitchen, we also offer a selection of water filter “full flow” systems that use your existing faucet’s cold water side to dispense your filtered drinking water.
In addition to looking great, these systems are also designed to offer incredible drinking water quality. Because they are tapped directly into your water line, they filter water under high pressure to produce incredible results. In terms of our Everpure under sink filters, the cartridges are rated to remove particles as small as 0.5 microns in size. That is about 1/100th the thickness of a single strand of hair. This amazing filtration quality is all thanks to Everpure’s efficient cartridge design and their Micro-Pure carbon based filtration media.
We have seen a lot of different versions of the under sink filter over the years and have chosen to focus on Everpure systems because they are engineered to be efficient and user friendly. Installing one of these systems can typically be completed by anyone with a few hand tools. No need to call a plumber, just screw the filter head in place under your sink, use a wrench to secure the water line adapter, and mount your water dispensing faucet. Once all of these pieces are in place, users just have to hook up a few hoses, screw their filter cartridge in place, and run the system for a few minutes to purge any air for the cartridge and the lines.
Another reason why the under sink filter is one of the best home water treatment systems is their maintenance requirements. Filtered pitchers require daily refilling and monthly cartridge changes and even faucet filters will have to be changed every few months. Our Everpure filtration systems are designed to provide a filter life that can handle hundreds to thousands of gallons of water per cartridge so users typically only need to perform one annual filter change. The only reason to change the filter before one year’s time is if you notice that your system has a noticeably slower flow rate than usual.
When you do finally need to perform a filter replacement, the process is quick and easy. Just hit the shutoff valve on the filer head, screw the old filter out, install the new cartridge, reopen the valve and run the system for a few minutes just like your initial installation. Once this process is complete you can continue to enjoy delicious water while your new cartridge continues to remove harmful contaminants from your tap water.
Reverse Osmosis: Finally we have the home reverse osmosis or RO water filter. These filter systems produce incredibly clean water, offering the purest results of any home filtration options. They are designed to mount under your sink like the previous system we discussed, but their mechanism of action is very different from carbon media based house water filtration systems.
RO filtration takes the natural process of osmosis and reverses it. Osmosis is a process where a solvent, typically water, moves through a semipermeable membrane to achieve equal levels of solute concentration on each side of the membrane. Simply put, if you put a membrane between two bodies of water, water will move across this membrane until there are equal concentrations of “dissolved stuff” on both sides.
To reverse this process, RO filtration takes your tap water and empties it onto one side of a membrane. Pressure is then applied until water travels through the membrane, leaving all contaminants on the original side. When the process is complete, you are left with a small amount of waste water with a high concentration of contaminants on one side of the membrane and clean freshly filtered water on the other side.
RO water is remarkably well filtered. These membranes can remove contaminants smaller than 1000th of a micron in size, which means they are a great option for removing lead and other harmful water borne substances. Despite the incredible filtering power of the RO membrane, chemicals like chlorine can eat holes in the membrane and large particles can clog it. This means that most home systems, including our ROM IV RO system, have a pre filter designed to remove chlorine and large particulate matter from your water. The ROM IV also has a third post filter that is designed to ensure that any volatile organic compounds that made it through the filter membrane are removed.
All of these filter cartridges obviously means that these RO systems are not small. Typically they will take up most of your under sink space because, in addition to the three cartridges, they also require a water storage tank. RO filtration is a little slower than standard carbon media filtration, which means that water has to be stored in order to provide a great water flow rate on demand.
Just like most of our standard Everpure filters, the ROM IV RO system needs a small water faucet to dispense its filtered water. They also require occasional filter replacements, though the central RO cartridge typically lasts for 2 to 3 years, though the pre filter cartridge should be replaced more frequently.
So what is the best home water treatment system for you? Obviously that is going to depend on your needs, but hopefully this guide has helped to explain the benefits of installing a dedicated system to provide your home with clean drinking water that is always available when you need it.
If you need help finding the perfect filtration solution for your home, the team here at efilters is always here to help you. Based on factors like the amount of water your home consumes, the number of people in your household, and the amount of room you have under your sink, our team will help you put together a list of models that will be great fits for your home.
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to address any questions that you may have while trying to find the best home water treatment system. We know the value of efficient filtration and we are always happy to help our customers find the filters they need.