What is a faucet water filter?
While most public drinking water is considered safe to drink, it, nevertheless, still contains a broad range of contaminants that can affect taste and health. A faucet water filter provides a convenient and economical method to improve the quality of household water for drinking and cooking.
Water filters come in two general types: point-of-entry and point-of-use. Point-of-entry water treatment systems filter all of the water that enters a house. They have multiple stages of filtration and cost more. These types of filters include sand, carbon, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet.
A faucet water filter is a point-of-use device. It typically mounts directly on the faucet, does not require any special tools, is easy to install and is relatively inexpensive. This simplicity makes a faucet water filter a perfect project for the do-it-yourselfer.
A faucet water filter can have three to five filter stages. The construction and composition of each filter removes a specific type of contaminant from the water.
The first stage in a five stage filter has one micron filter pads which will remove suspended particles such as sand, sediment, silt, dirt, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and rust. The last filter, stage five, also has filter pads that provide a final cleaning for any remaining suspended particles.
Stage two has a granulated activated charcoal filter. Activated charcoal works by the process of adsorption, which means that dissolved chemicals stick to the surface of the carbon while the water passes through. Activated charcoal effectively removes chlorine and its by-products, such as trihalomethanes and volatile organic compounds.
The third stage is an ion exchange resin filter. These types of filters remove calcium and magnesium ions from the water, thereby "softening" otherwise hard water. They also remove other heavy metals, such as aluminum, copper and lead.
Some filters have a fourth stage, which is a KDF filter. This type of filter uses an electro-chemical process to remove bacteria, iron, chloramine, algae, fungus and hydrogen sulfide.
Most faucet water filters have a by-pass feature that only produces filtered water as needed. It does not filter all of the water coming out of the faucet. The filters normally last about two to three months.
Faucet water filters usually have very slow flow rates, in the range of 0.5 gpm to 2 gpm. This slow rate could be annoying to some homeowners.
Before selecting a faucet water filter, the water should be tested to identify the specific contaminants. A complete five stage filter is not always necessary.
Many people have turned to drinking bottled water as opposed to tap water. This is not surprising given that municipal tap water often contains contaminants and chemicals that at the very least makes the water unpalatable and at its worst can sometimes make you sick. However, is bottled water really the healthier option? The truth is manufacturers of bottled water are not as strictly regulated as most municipal water sources so the level of contaminants in bottled water can be comparable if not worse than the water coming out of your kitchen faucet. So, what is the solution to finding clean, purified water? The answer is the faucet water filter. Faucet water filters are simply water purification systems that are designed to be installed into most standard sized kitchen faucets. While the level of filtration varies from system to system, most faucet water filters will adequately filter out contaminants in your water such as chlorine, lead and other heavy metals. Most experts agree that