Have your Water Tested First to Determine the Best Water Filter Type for your Needs
By Mark J. Donovan
||Frequently we take our tap water for granted. We think that it is pollutant free just because it is coming from a deep well or a municipal water supply. Unfortunately this assumption is frequently not the case. Both well and municipal water are occasionally found to contain coliform bacteria or parasite cysts. Other times the water may be technically safe, but has a funny taste or odor, or is laced with sedimentary particles. Consequently it is important to have your tap water periodically tested and if necessary a water filter installed.
Water Filter Types
Water filters come in a variety of types and styles to address different types of tap water issues.
There are faucet mounted water filters, undersink water filters, countertop water filters, reverse-osmosis water filters, activated carbon filter water filters and whole house water filters. What you choose to purchase depends on the results of your water tests and your specific household needs.
Faucet Mounted Water Filters
Faucet mounted water filters are easy to install and take up very little space. They are excellent for improving water taste, and reducing odors and chlorine levels. They also reduce rust and sediment. They do reduce the water flow rate, however most are able to switch between filtered flow and non-filtered flow. Installation does not require the need for a plumber and replacement cartridges are easy to change. Faucet mounted water filters range in price from $20-$70.
|Whole House Water Filters
The advantage of whole house water filters is that they address the needs of the entire home. They are ideal for removing rust, sedimentary particles, and even chlorine from tap water. However they typically do not effectively address other pollutants such as metals, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and parasite cysts and coliform bacteria.
Whole house filters are installed in series with the main water supply line into the home, and can cost between $40 and $1000. Typically smaller ones that are used cost between $50 and $100.
In addition, typically a plumber is required, unless you are a super DIY homeowner. Whole-house water filter replacement cartridges, however, are fairly inexpensive and easy to install.
|Reverse-Osmosis Water Filters
Reverse-Osmosis water filters are frequently placed under kitchen cabinet sinks and are excellent for removing a wide range of pollutants including arsenic, cysts, heavy metals, rust, Chlorine, Sodium, dissolved solids, and the associated tastes and odors that frequent these types of pollutants.
However they are inefficient (e.g. create a significant amount of waste water) and need to be regularly cleaned with bleach. Installation again typically requires a plumber or a super DIY homeowner. Reverse-osmosis water filters are also more expensive. They typically will set you back $200-$600 before installation costs. They also take up kitchen cabinet space.
Undersink Water Filters
Undersink water filters are great for producing a large volume of water and eliminating rust, sediment, taste and odor issues. However they take up kitchen cabinet space and require modifications to the plumbing system and the kitchen countertop. Prices range from $30 to $400 for an undersink water filter.
So before purchasing a water filter, have your water tested first to see what water filter type is right for your specific water needs.
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