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Types of Home Water Filtration Units

Drinking Water Purification Systems Remove Pesticides and Metals.

© 2010 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Author’s Google profile

An in-refrigerator Brita water Filter; photo courtesy Kelly Smith



A residential water filtering unit may be simple or complex, effective or snake oil chicanery. Popular types are the Brita pitcher inside the refrigerator, Pur kitchen sink attachments, or whole-home reverse osmosis systems. But as the buyer beware; many technologies are based on bogus scientific claims.

Even though any time is a great time to start using filtration, know that a “quality technician” will try to sell you a kitchen, whole-home, or bath model.

When you buy a new appliance at Home Depot, they will probably try to schedule an appointment fo0r installation, but you don’t know who you are dealing with. A better approach is to find local reviews at Angie’s List – Exclusive discount for readers – Get 45% off!

It pays to determine which kind of filtration is right for you. This article goes over some common filters.

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO). You might hear these units called hyperfiltration devices. Many experts consider this the best filtration units on the market. That’s one reason that many premium bottled water producers boast using this technology.

    The main advantage is the elimination of a broad array of contaminants. Reverse osmosis functions by removing particles that may be as tiny as individual ions. To get more specific, there are generally 2 categories commonly available: Thin Film Composite (also called TFC) and Cellulose Triacetate (called CTA)

    Which one is best? It depends on who you ask. TFC is superior at filtration, although available chlorine will degrade it quicker than it will CTA. Reverse osmosis systems utilize GAC technology as a pre-filter positioned in front of an RO membrane.

  • Magnetic Filtration Systems. If the “quality technician” tries to pitch you one of these you should run, run, run! Even though part of the rationale presented might sound logical, they are like political campaign vows; the bottom line is that they are pure nonsense and the seller is a Mountebank!

  • Activated Carbon Filters. Carbon filters are not just for aquariums; they are also one of the most common for drinking water; Brita, built-in refrigerator water filters, and Pur water filters fall in this category.

    Hotpoint refrigerator water filter; photo courtesy Kelly Smith

    They have a reputation for both economy and efficiency. Usually they are either powdered block carbon or GAC (granular activated carbon).

    Both are specified by the size of the impure particles that they are designed to remove. The scale ranges from a mere 0.5 microns, which is the most effective, up to a whopping 50 microns, which as you might have guessed, is the least effective.

    What constitutes the carbon materials? Commonly, bituminous, wood, and coconut shell carbons. If you are into being green, coconut is not only a sustainable material but also the most efficient. As a rule, GAC is good at removing both VOCs (Volitive Organic Compounds) and chlorine.

    In addition, it’s a good choice for removing toxic radon gas. Since it is not very effective in removing sediment consider preceding it with a good particulate filter.

  • Ultraviolet Water Purification Lamps. UV lamps operate by emitting UV-C, or “germicidal UV”. This makes it extremely effective guarding against bacterial contaminants.

    Unfortunately, because of its nature, it is not designed to remove any particulate (physical) matter. To do this, it’s usually paired up with another class of filtration media. Also, it has zero effect on present chlorine and very little on VOCs.

    So how does it work? Microbes recognized as health risks are irradiated by the Ultraviolet rays. This makes the microbial nucleic acid to absorb the lamp’s UV energy.

    Then the the DNA structure is effectively confused and scrambled up. The result is that the cell becomes sterile and no longer a threat to your family’s health.

Quality Drinking Water is a Factor in Good Health

Clean potable water in and of itself is no strict guarantee of one’s good health, but there exists little doubt that it’s one critical component.

Making the effort to install one of the systems mentioned above (or a combination of units) in your home makes much more sense than depending exclusively on commercially bottled water. Why?

First, in the long run, it is much more economical, which makes it a logical long-term budget consideration. Secondly, with bottled water, there is rarely any third-party monitoring to ensure that you are really getting what you’ve been promised.

In fact, a recent report told that much local bottled water was simply bottled tap water. Is it safe? Sure. Is it worth the money? No!

Follow Kelly Smith

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© 2011 by all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission