Everything you want to know about water filters!
What are the best water filters?
Before we answer this question we should clarify that no one water filter is “better” than the others, rather it is a case of finding the right water filter for every situation. A key factor in choosing the right water filter is the particular “problem” with the water you want to filter. For example, we will use one filter for water which retains solid (suspended) particles (soil, rust, stones), another filter to break down salts and yet another to ensure water is free from chemicals (chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, etc.). Of course, we can also use a combination of all the above options by choosing a multi-stage filter. So the right question to ask is: what filters are best suited to meet my needs?
Are water filters dangerous?
As long as you choose filters from a branded and reliable manufacturer which provides all the necessary manufacturing certificates and certificates on the safety of the materials, and which meets all the conditions for producing water filters, filters are certainly not dangerous. Because of this it is important to buy filters from a specialized store which stocks filters from and international companies which, of course, come with the necessary manufacturer’s guarantee.
What are countertop water filters?
Countertop water filters are filter devices that are situated on the kitchen counter next to the sink. They have their own built-in tap and are connected to the main tap with a dispenser and a hose. The dispenser has a switch which you can use to select or either use the unfiltered tap water, e.g. for washing dishes, or to run the water through the filter to get clean, filtered water.
A compact (density) activated carbon filter which meets your needs is placed inside the filter device. This can filter chemicals from the water, filtering out the simplest elements (such as chlorine, pesticides, unpleasant tastes and smells), up to the most difficult elements (such as heavy metals, asbestos fibers, cysts, etc.). In addition, if your water has a heavy load of sediment, such as mud, dirt, stones, etc., we can supply a double countertop filter with a polypropylene pre-filter to catch the sediment. In this way we are also protecting the activated carbon filter which, due to its low permeability (filtration), can become clogged up by solid materials in a very short time.
An advantage of countertop filters is the hose that connects the dispenser to the appliance is 1 meter long which allows you to place the appliance on whichever side of the sink is most convenient. Another great benefit is the long service life of the changeable filter as it only needs to be replaced once a year. Finally, a very basic advantage that marks out these filters is how easy they are to install. There is no need for specialized personnel or special tools, all that is needed is 5 minutes of your time.
What are below-the-counter water filters?
Below-the-counter water filters are filter devices that are placed under the kitchen counter. They can either be single, double or triple filters. Just as with countertop filters, which device to choose depends entirely on the quality of your water, ie how much of various elements it contains. If your water comes from a public network then you know it is microbiologically safe. However, we want to filter out the chlorine, unpleasant taste, odour and sediment, so a single filter device with a changeable compact activated carbon filter is the right choice.
However, if your water also has a lot of sediment such as mud, dirt, stones, etc., then you should choose a double filter device with an additional polypropylene pre-filter to remove them. In this way we are also protecting the activated carbon filter which, due to its low permeability, can very easily become clogged up by sediment.
If your water also contains heavy metals or some more difficult chemicals, then you should choose the triple device which has another compact activated carbon filter with very low permeability, which is able to remove the additional difficult chemicals mentioned above.
When it comes to installing below-the counter-filters, there are 2 ways which each have their advantages and disadvantages.
The first and easiest way to install a below-the-counter filter can be done without a plumber or an experienced installer. The filter device is fitted to the cold water supply for the tap. In essence, we insert the filter between the water supply and the tap so we can enjoy nature’s precious water, but free from any harmful elements. The disadvantage of this method of installation is that, as you always use filtered water, even for washing dishes, the replaceable filters do not last so long. With this method of installation the pre-filter should be replace every 2-3 months on average and the activated carbon filter should be changed every 7-9 months.
The second and more complicated way to install the filter is to place the device with an independent tap (on top of the counter), so that you can drink clean filtered water directly from that new tap. To do this you will need an experienced installer or a plumber to insure the device is installed properly. The disadvantage of this method of installation is the complexity of the installation and the possible need for a plumber. The advantage, however, is that you do not waste filtered water by using it for washing dishes, and therefore the filters do not need to be replaced so often. With this method of installation the pre-filter should, on average, be replaced every 3-4 months and the compact activated carbon filter should be replaced every 12 months.
What is reverse osmosis?
Reverse osmosis is a set of filters (usually 6 or 7 stages) that is mainly placed under the kitchen counter and includes filters for removing sediment (suspended), activated carbon filters to remove harmful chemicals, an ultrafiltration membrane (osmotic membrane) which catches all the “difficult” chemical elements that cannot be removed by activated carbon filters (eg nitrates, arsenic, etc.), filters which clear any salty taste (if you have brackish water) and which also remove pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
In the final stage of processing there is an enrichment ampoule, which adds all the useful mineral trace elements that are necessary for the human body as they have for the most part already been filtered out by the ultrafiltration membrane. Then the water is divided into 2 streams, the clean drinking water which goes into a storage tank and from there to an independent tap and is used for drinking water, and the “dirty” water which comes from the water that has not been filtered from the osmotic membrane and ends up in the drain.
Do water filters have to be changed and serviced?
All the replaceable filters contained in all water filters need to be changed regularly to ensure they are working to maximum efficiency. They should always be changed in accordance with the conditions and instructions set out by the manufacturer. Even water filters which do not have replaceable filters require regular periodic maintenance which, in some cases, should be carried out by qualified personnel. It is important to understand that replaceable filters operate at their maximum efficiency when the water specifications set out by the manufacturer are met.
However, if the water has too many impurities filters may need to be replaced more often than stated. For the most part, the replaceable filters in almost all categories of water filters, such as devises which are installed on the tap, countertop and below-the counter-filters, reverse osmosis filters, mains supply filters, etc. need to be changed. This is usually done by the consumers themselves. If it is not possible for the customers to change the filter themselves, it should be done by specialized tradesmen.