Water filters fact sheet

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Courtesy of Kinetico International

Why do people use water filters?

Water filters are used to upgrade the quality, taste and appearance of water in the home. Water filters can also be used to eliminate concerns about contaminants and other potential health hazards in tap water.

What do water filters do?

Water filters eliminate a number of common water problems in the home, including chlorine taste or smell, cloudy water, metallic or earthy taste or smell, and “rotten egg” smells caused by sulfur. Contaminants causing these problems are either trapped in the filter or flushed out of the system.

What are the different types of water filters?

Filter pitchers and under-the-sink systems, called “point-of-use units,” are used to specifically treat water for drinking and cooking. Other filtration systems, called “point-of-entry units,” treat all water before it’s distributed throughout the house. Some consumers prefer point-of-entry units because contaminants like radon and organic chemicals can pose a risk when inhaled (as in steam from a shower or dishwasher). Point-of-entry units combat this issue by treating all water when it enters the home.

How do water filters work?

The following list explains some of the most common kinds of water filters and how they work:

  • Carbon filters absorb and trap many kinds of water impurities like copper, mercury and pesticides. Their most notable use and benefit is to remove the taste and smell of chlorine from water.
  • Distillers remove contaminants, including arsenic, fluoride and copper, by boiling the water and recondensing the purified steam into drinking water. Distilling water is laboriously slow and inefficient—distillers take two to five hours to produce one gallon of water and require electricity during the entire operation.
  • Reverse osmosis forces water through a semipermeable membrane that prevents most contaminants from passing through. Kinetico reverse osmosis systems with multi-step filtration eliminate nearly all disease-causing organisms, salt and most chemical contaminants and are often used in combination with a carbon filter. Water produced from reverse osmosis very nearly reaches the purity of distilled water, but in a much shorter amount of time and without using any electricity—while producing better-tasting water.

How do you know which water filter is best?

Water filters come in all shapes and sizes and determining what’s best in a particular home depends on the quality of tap water and level of concern. For example, while a regular carbon filter will eliminate many potential contaminants, it must be changed regularly and it will not filter out perchlorate, a rocket fuel ingredient sometimes found in water supplies. Consumers can determine the quality of their tap water by contacting a Kinetico dealer for a free individual water analysis, or by requesting copies of their annual water quality report from their local water utility.

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