In a previous post we talked about why you should be getting a water filter installed as soon as possible. Some people’s water is contaminated with bacteria, or harmful debris like lead and rust; and unfortunately there is no way to get rid of those harmful contaminants unless you use a water filter. Even if your tap water is safe to drink (as most Australian tap water is), you can still benefit from a water filter, because a good water filter can make your tap water taste much better. But, what kind of water filtration system should you get your plumber to install? If you are confused or unsure about what water filter to get, do not worry, we are here to help. We’ll be going through everything you need to be looking for when buying a water filter.
The NSF (national sanitation foundation) is a third party, international organization that has been testing food and water sanitation products since World War Two. They do not test every commercial water filter, but they do test a lot. The water filters they test range from cheap $20 dollar ones, all the way up to expensive, top of the line, $500 water filters. So, when looking for a water filter, it is recommended that the first thing you should look for is a NSF stamp of approval. NSF certification guarantees that the water filter has been thoroughly tested; it also guarantees that the water filter works as advertised, that it filters out the chemicals that are listed on the filter’s packaging. A NSF certification also ensures that the water filter is well made and will not break easily.
Not all water filters are built the same. You have water filters that are installed directly onto the faucet, ones installed under the counter, ones installed on the main water line, and many more.
Do you want to filter all the water in your house? Well, if you want purified water in every part of your house you have two options. You can buy an individual water filter and get it installed on each faucet. That would obviously be very expensive and time-consuming to have a water filter installed on each faucet, especially if you live in a house with 5 or 6 faucets. The other option is to get a whole house water filter installed. These water filters are often installed where your main water line enters your house. This eliminates the need to have water filters installed on each faucet. Even if you already have water filters installed, it might still be worth looking into a whole house water filter, just because it can act as a second layer of filtration (your water can never be too clean after all).
As you can probably tell from the name, these types of water filters are installed directly onto the faucet. If this type of water filter appeals to you there are some things you should consider. First, since faucet filters are so common, there are a large variety of filters in different price ranges. Lower end faucet filters will probably make your water taste slightly better, but they will not really purify the water. If you want the best tasting water from a faucet filter, you are going to have to shell out some money. The good news is that these filters are very easy to install, and they also tend to be very small, so you’ll barely notice that it is even there.
If you want to keep your water filter out of sight and out of mind, then you will want to consider a water filter that is installed under the sink. They are able to filter large amounts of water with ease. But, if you are interested in getting a water filter installed under your sink, know that these filters tend to be very large. So, before buying, make sure you have the space available for an under the sink water filter. In terms of price, the cheapest ones are probably in the $40 to $50 dollar range, while top of the line models will run into the hundreds of dollars.
Now that we have covered some of the different types of water filters, we need to look at some factors that you should consider before making a decision.
Only the most expensive water filtration systems will filter out every possible contaminant, most moderately priced filters will only filter a certain amount. So, consider what problems you are having with your tap water, or what problems may occur and buy accordingly. Are you having trouble with mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium? Get a filter that gets rid of mineral deposits. Think that your tap water may be at risk of getting infected with a certain type of bacteria in the near future? Make sure you buy a water filtration system that gets rid of that bacteria. It is very easy to find what contaminants a water filter removes, simply by looking online.
Water filters will need to be replaced, how often depends on you. Assuming you live alone and own a good quality filter, you will only need to buy a replacement filter every couple of years. If you have more people in your house, you need to buy replacement filters more often. So, before buying a filter, check out the price of replacement filters and see if the price is affordable for you.
Pretty much every water filter is going to make your water flow just a bit slower, but different filters alter the flow speed at different rates. For example a reverse osmosis filter will be significantly slower than a regular faucet filter. So, if flow rate is important to you, research reviews on individual filters to see what the flow rate is like.
If you are responsible for a monthly water bill, then you are going to want to consider whether your water filter creates “wastewater.” Wastewater is murky water that is created by some water filters. The water is not used and it is immediately flushed down the drain. So, if you want some money on your water bill, get a filter that does not create wastewater.