Use home water filters to safe your family’s drinking water

Do you drink bottled drinking water? Why? Is it merely for convenience or is it because you are afraid of polluted tap water? If you could decontaminate your tap water, would you drink it? Especially given the dire straits our environment is in today?

The most popular home water filters in the market today are made of carbon. They are made of either granular activated or powdered carbon block filters. In general, the cheaper home water filtration systems with coarser pores are made of granular activated carbon while the higher-end filters are made with powdered carbon blocks.

One advantage of these carbon drinking water purifiers over the older sediment filters is that they not only remove sediments, they also remove chlorine and organic chemicals (e.g. herbicides and pesticides).

Their main deficiency is that pure carbon filters do not remove heavy metals, nitrites, and nitrates. To gain that level of decontamination, you would need to look for a carbon water filter that also includes a resin ion exchange system.

For purification of drinking water, you have five main choices:

PUR/Brita water filter jugs

The Brita water filter pitcher (as well as the jugs made by PUR) are portable, affordable and ideal for personal use. A dorm student with one or two of these drinking water purifiers in his room or an office worker with one of these on his desk will always have clean water to drink. All he needs to do is keep it topped up with water from the pantry and replace the water filter cartridge every few months. The common models of these water filter pitchers remove sediment, chlorine, cysts, and lead.

Faucet-mounted home drinking water filters

The faucet-mounted filters are exemplified by the Culligan faucet water filters. They are cheap, they remove most sediment and they also remove a certain amount of chlorine. They are also easy to install and serve the needs of many families as well. Due to their compact size, their capabilities are naturally limited. PUR and Brita are two other famous brands that make faucet mounted home water filters. Like Culligan drinking water filters, their capabilities are also limited by their compact size.

Drinking water filters mounted under the kitchen sink

If you need a more complete purification and decontamination of your drinking water, you need to mount a large under sink water filter. Such home water filtration systems would have a greater volume and finer-grained carbon filter material to remove more contaminants. They are better at removing fine sediment and cysts, and also remove more chlorine. However, because they force the water to flow through more of the filter, they slow down the flow of your tap water much more than the faucet water filters. For most families, these home water filters offer the best combination of effective decontamination and affordability.

Refrigerator drinking water filtration systems

High-end refrigerators like those from GE, Whirlpool, Maytag, and LG contain drinking water filtration devices. Most of their filters are meant to remove sediment, cysts, and chlorine. PUR and Brita also make higher quality replacement water filter cartridges for certain models of these refrigerators that can also remove lead. Most of these refrigerator water filters work like a cross between a water filter pitcher and the normal home water filter. They take water from a pipe, filter it into a container and then leave it there to cool down.

Whole house water filters

Whole house water filters are large systems that intercept your water supply when it enters your house, then filters the water before distributing it to all the taps in your house. These home water filtration systems are meant for house owners, not apartment dwellers.

They are usually multi-stage devices – with a coarse sediment filter, a fine sediment filter, a large carbon filter (to do most of the work) and a resin ion exchange system (to remove heavy metals) chained together to provide maximum decontamination of your water supply while minimizing your maintenance expenses (of replacing the water filter cartridges).

Instead of the main carbon filter and resin ion exchange system, some of these large drinking water purifiers use a small carbon filter (to remove chlorine) and reverse osmosis filtration (to remove all heavy metals and nitrites/nitrates). Reverse osmosis is actually a well-established technology.

It purifies/decontaminates water as completely as distillation but at a lower cost and is widely used in desalination plants as well as kidney dialysis machines. Unfortunately, it is not usually economical for point-of-use home water filtration because of the limited water pressure entering most homes.

On the other hand, reverse osmosis whole house water filters are large and can make use of certain clever mechanisms to overcome these problems.

While the drinking water in most industrialized nations is legally defined to be safe to drink, not everyone believes what their government says.

But even if you trust your politicians, the simple fact remains that sometimes accidents happen. And there is always the issue of sabotage and terrorism. While you can always drink bottled water, using home water filters to purify your tap water for drinking is both more economical and environmentally friendly.

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