Water filters have made their way into many homes today. Many of us have grown accustomed to bottled water for drinking while out of home and want that same fresh flavor for drinking and also for cooking.
So what are some of the features that you should look for when purchasing a cost effective water filtration system for your home?
The most important thing you need to look at is quality vs price. In this HowTo we will cover a few different models that you can install near your sink or on your faucet. Larger models will have a higher initial cost while smaller models that attach to your faucet often have a shorter lifespan and require replacement of filters that may be costly.
Depending on your needs and how you use your filter you will see benefits from either choice. We will also cover a few tips on saving money and where you can find more information.
Filters that attach directly to your kitchen faucet are the most common type of filter used in homes.
The filter works by temporarily diverting water from the faucet through the filter to provide good tasting drinking water. You may also use it for cooking but remember the cost.
Most Faucet Type Filters are rated for about 50 to 100 gallons of water. If you use your filter specifically for drinking water you can expect them to last a few weeks to a month. Read the directions or rating of your specific model. This cost can be expensive so divide the cost of the replacement filter into the number of gallons it is rated for to understand the real cost per glass.
Replacement Filters are often sold in sets of 2 or more and are a cartridge design to allow quick and easy replacement.
To access the filter you normally unscrew the cap of the filter housing and then turn on your water with the cap held in place with your hand. The filter will then pop off easily. To replace the filter you just align the slots and press into place until you feel or hear it click then replace the cap.
Filters have black rubber o-rings and if they get damaged or if the filter is not seated fully when you replace it the filter will leak. To cure continuous leaks from your filter remove and inspect the o-rings then reinstall the filter properly.
Dedicated Drinking Water Faucets
When your needs grow bigger you can move up to a dedicated faucet that mounts in your sink to provide filtered water.
The filter system is mounted below the sink and a secondary faucet is mounted on the sink top to provide larger amounts of filtered water then the standard faucet mount filter can. The cost of the initial purchase and labor to install the device will be based on the model you choose but you can expect to spend
Dedicated filtration systems are used to filter out not only taste but also particulate. Sand and particulate can be a problem if your home is on your own well system.
When designing your homes water feed lines it is important to take proper care not to over filter water that will be used for toilets or outside bibs.There is no reason to filter for taste then flush it away unless you want to provide your dog with fresh filtered water in your toilet.
Although you should have a whole house filter for catching particulate adding this feature to your sink for drinking and cooking water can add an extra benefit.
Different Filters that fit the same system can provide a variety of specific cleaning solutions including carbon filters that can remove bad odors and tastes. If you have a problem with minerals or chemicals you should purchase a filter that meets your needs.
Replacement Filters for dedicated faucet systems come in a variety of types but resemble the look of a automotive air filter , if you happen to know what they look like.
Filters are also rated by the size of the particulate that it can filter out.
A 5 micron filter can catch smaller particles then a 20 micron filter and may cost twice the price.
Filters used in dedicated water systems have a lifetime of thousands of gallons. Under sink filters will often last for months even if you use them to filter your cooking water. This is a great choice to save money but remember to change your filters regularly.
If your home is on a Well you should filter for sand and particulate when the water enters your home and then a sink filter can be used to filter out smaller particles and treat the water for taste and other problems.
Specialty Water Filters
There are a variety of different specialty water filters that you can use to prepare water both in your home and on the go.
Pitcher water filters are great to take with you especially on vacation. If you like the fresh taste of filtered water for drinking or for your coffee a portable filter about the same size as a coffee pot can prepare about 8 glasses of water in just a few minutes.
Refrigerator filters can filter the water used when making your ice or for distribution via your units door. Many manufacturers are installing filters in the unit and this will require a branded filter but for everyone else a generic filter can be placed inline on the supply feed outside of the refrigerator for about $20.
Whole House Filters
Although we will not cover the use of whole house water filters or softeners in this HowTo we will in others. Whole house filters prepare water for not only drinking but for your washing and bathing needs.
They are large systems that must be fitted to the size of the home based on the number of people and your water use.
In many cases the install of a softener or whole home filter may require a plumber. This will depend on how much of your system needs to be segmented and if you are able to perform the work yourself.
See our other Plumbing HowTos for more information about upgrading and repairing your plumbing system.
The YouRepair Store carries a full line of water filters and replacement filters for your home.