You hear about water filtration systems almost everywhere, but you still don’t clearly understand how they work and what do water filters remove? If so, then you are in the right place.
After reading this water filter complete guide, you will no longer need to read other water purification magazines. We will answer all the common questions that may pop in your mind when seeking to install a water filtration system.
In the first place, we will start with the most basic question, like what is a water filter? Why does someone need it? And how do filters work? Then we will get in touch with the most popular water filter technologies, so you will have a clear idea about which one is right for your case.
- What is Water Filtration?
- Why Do I Need a Water Filteration System?
- How Do Water Filters Work?
- What are Water Filters Made of?
- Types of Water Filters and Water Filteration Technologies
- Wrap up
What is Water Filtration?
Water filtration is a process that extracts impurities and contaminants from water, to turn impure water to a clean and safe one. Many people assume that water filtration is a recent technology. However, history proves that the first water filter technology was used in the era of Greeks. They boiled and distilled their water to eliminate unwanted germs. There are many types of water filters that will provide you with different solutions based on your needs.
Why Do I Need a Water Filteration System?
Water filtration can change your life. There are many reasons to have a water filtration system in your house that I cannot even count on the fingers of my two hands. Here are the top five reasons why you should invest in a water filter:
- You will avoid the dangers of drinking directly through tap water: water filters remove harmful toxins from hard water.
- A water filter increases the quality of water: It eliminates germs of tap water but remains the helpful minerals. In addition, it limits scaling, which will keep your teeth in good health.
- It saves your health from bottled water: contrary to what many people think, a water bottle can be more dangerous than tap water. Bottled water is less examined and regulated than tap water. Not to mention the side effects of the plastic bottles on the environment.
- It saves your wallet: investing in a water filter can be inexpensive compared to buying bottled water each time you need to drink. Water filters are available within your means to improve your healthy lifestyle.
- You will get rid of chlorine taste and smell from your water: the high intensity of chlorine no longer makes you want to drink. The water filter will allow drinking your glass of water peacefully.
Bear in mind that even if the government claims that tap water is safe to use, the old water infrastructures can contaminate your water.
How Do Water Filters Work?
In general, water filters remove large and heavy impurities, but they also remove micro contaminants and particulates. However, the real question here is how water filters remove those impurities. The water filtration system removes dirt through a screen or a barrier that catches impurities. It is based on many filtration techniques to get rid of dirt, mainly physical or chemical filtrations:
It traps the visible dust on a surface, which will allow your safe and clean water to pass throughout the physical filter. If your water filter is based on a physical filtration system, make sure to clean or change the filter when needed.
It removes chemicals from your water. The widely used chemical filter is Activated carbon. It filters impurities that affect the color, the taste, or the odor of water.
To make the long story short, all water filters, no matter their size or use, work with the same principle. They prevent contaminants and impurities from passing through the physical or chemical barrier. However, there are properties and features that are specific to each type of water filter.
What are Water Filters Made of?
The two water filtration systems that we presented in the previous section filter water differently, so its components also differ. To better understand how water filters work. We will detail the composition of water filters for each of these techniques.
Physical Water Filtration
A reverse osmosis filtration system is usually made of 3 essential components which are: membranes, reverse osmosis high-pressure pumps, and eventually an active carbon filter on the faucet. Thanks to the high pressure of these filters, the reverse osmosis system kills all harmful contaminants.
Water distillers are usually made of stainless steel. They include 4 critical parts: the tank, the condenser, the electric heater, and the distilled water collector. So you pour the water in the tank and turn on your water distiller. Once the water is boiled, the cooling system stops impurities from passing to the distilled water collector.
UV water filtration systems are primarily made of: the quartz sleeve, the UV lamp, the controller unit, and the reactor chamber. The latter provides housing to the quartz sleeve and the UV lamp, although the quartz sleeve prevents water from contacting the lamp. And here where the magic happens, the UV lamp kills the germs in the water to give you clean, safe water.
Chemical Water Filtration
Ion exchange filters are made of resin beads. They exchange unwanted ions with positive ions like sodium. Consequently, the water tastes better. It turns hard water into soft water.
carbon water filters are the most common and popular because they provide on a budget water filters. They are made of powdered activated carbon or granular activated carbon.
Ozone water filters are made of ozone particles to remove toxins and metals.
Types of Water Filters and Water Filteration Technologies
Activated carbon water filters are used widely to make the water taste and smell better. They reduce the intensity of chlorine. In fact, besides the bad taste and odor of chlorinated water, studies have shown that chlorine causes cancer for 93% in people who drink high chlorine water.
Using water filters as carbon filters remove besides chlorine, chloramine, and Pesticides. However, it does not remove lead, arsenic, dissolved inorganic compounds.
They filter water through adsorption and not absorption as many claims. It leads the impurities and unwanted substances to stick on the surface of the carbon filter. For that, make sure to replace the activated carbon at least once a year.
Maybe you are asking yourself now, “is carbon dust from water filters harmful?”. Well, the answer is yes. If you do not replace the activated carbon when needed, the collected particles on the barrier will flow into your water.
The water distillation process can remind you of the natural filtration process. By analogy to it, a water distiller boils the water into steam, then cleans and condenses that steam into liquid. Of course, water impurities will not turn into steam, so they will stay behind the barrier of the filter.
They are widely used in cooking, laboratory, or medical fields. They also serve to make healthy recipes for babies since they remove most chemicals. In fact, they remove inorganic minerals that activated carbons are not capable of removing.
You can clean water distillers easily with vinegar. To do so, first, turn off your water distiller and pour about half a cup of vinegar in the water distiller tank. Let it for 15 minutes then add a similar amount of water. You can clean the water distiller only once a month.
UV water filters work through a disinfection process that uses ultraviolet radiation to deactivate and kill any living organism in the water supply. The more the UV light is intense and high, the more the disinfection is done quickly.
If you extract water from a private well, the UV water filter is the best solution to kill living organisms. However, this water filter technology does not remove chemicals such as inorganic minerals or chlorine.
As we mentioned above, the UV filters are made of three main parts: the chamber, the quartz sleeve, and the UV lamp. To ensure that your water is clean and safe, make sure to maintain these three components as follows: For the UV lamps, you need to replace them at least every 12 months. For the quartz sleeve, you should replace every 24 months and clean each time you replace the UV lamp.
Reverse osmosis filter water thanks to the pressure of the three membranes. They remove contaminants gradually from water to provide you clean drinking water. The water that passes through the reverse osmosis high-pressure pumps is safe to use for drinking or cooking.
This water filter technology removes many impurities such as chlorine, fluoride, salt, sediment, and many other contaminants. However, it does not remove bacteria and viruses. It’s mainly used in the wastewater industries thanks to its high efficiency. So when you use it for your house, it will provide you with a high quality of water.
To make sure that the water quality stays high, you should clean and sanitize the filter periodically.
Ion exchange based water filters have small resin beads that act as a water filter. They prevent the water from passing through the resin beads surface so you can enjoy safe water with a great taste.
They are commonly used to treat hard water. In fact, they work exactly like a water softener. They remove hard minerals and reduce limescale intensity. This water filter technology replaces calcium and magnesium of hard water by sodium ions. Consequently, they eliminate dissolved inorganics effectively. However, they do not remove particles efficiently.
To keep your water filter a healthy source of providing water, make sure that you replace its components when needed. Usually, the resins need to be replaced up to 10 years of use.
This one is extremely powerful when it comes to water filtration. Because when you use an ozone-based water filter system, nothing harmful will remain in the water. It removes many ions and destroys bio organics. Moreover, you will not add carbon chemicals to filter your water, which is good.
It is an automatic filter that does not require any additional chemicals, and you will be happy with the great flavor and odor elimination. The most bottled water companies use it to filter water and sell it to customers. When getting one, you will have the same quality of water in bottled water.
However, this water filter technology is quite expensive compared to activated carbon. The latter technology provides budget water filters. But, it is up to you to determine which option is right for you.
Water is life; we all agree on that. Investing in a water filter can save the environment and your pocket. In this article, we did our best to provide you with condensed information about water filters. That will not make out of you a water filter ‘guru.’ Still, it will leave you with enough knowledge to choose a suitable water filter for you.