Home Water Filters – What Everyone Should Know

Questions about home water filters are by far the most frequent questions I get asked. Accordingly I put together this little primer to help everyone out. As always I still welcome additional questions and comments. So, here we go.

  • NSF Certification is the most important thing to look for when considering a personal water product. The NSF seal is the best quality assurance available to us. LEARN ABOUT NSF CERTIFICATIONS
  • The most common type of home water filter can be found as a faucet or refrigerator filter. Most often these are Granular Activated Carbon. They remove chlorine compounds and organic compounds that may cause taste and odor. Filters that offer impregnated silver are better at minimizing bacterial growth.
  • Water Softeners are used to minimize calcium and magnesium hardness/scale. If you know how hard your water is in milligrams per liter multiply it by two to determine how much sodium the softener will put into your water. Using the softener only for the hot water tank will minimize the additional dietary sodium.
  • Reverse Osmosis systems remove a varying amount of 90% – 99% of all contaminants depending on the type. RO is a fundamental technology in creating pure water for industry, medicine and drinking water. Beware that once water is cleaned with an RO system it becomes unstable and immediately begins absorbing whatever contaminants are available in the surrounding atmosphere and container
  • Non Salt Water Conditioners – I do not recommend these types of products as the effect is only temporary and scale will still build up in your system.
  • Whole-House Water Systems – For the individual who has a strong background in chemistry and biology these can work just fine. Remember, once you alter the chemistry of your water it will behave differently. Water without chlorine will quickly grow bacteria, algae, mold and other organisms. Also, what sense is there is purifying water that goes to your showers, toilets and car washing?
  • Water Pitchers – These range from simple GAC filters to multiple step filters. The big caveat here is that they all remove chlorine. Bacteria, yeasts and molds will grow readily in such water. So, if you have a water pitcher please refrigerate it when not in use, and clean it often.