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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Plumbing Category: Filters

Improvement Project:

How to choose the type of filter for your needs, some things to consider.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):



When considering a water filter as a means to purify your house water for consumption, become familiar with the types of filters available and the respective primary purpose of each such type.  There are three typical types of water filters:  1) Distillation filter; 2) Carbon filter; and 3) Reverse osmosis filter.

All the three types of filters are the most typical-popular.  It is important to note that not one of the filters actually filters out all pollutants and otherwise potentially hazardous particles, as each one primarily focuses on filtering out certain kinds of pollutants/hazardous particles, as noted below:

Distillation filter.

The distillation filter lessens the amount of bacteria, sodium, pesticides, herbicides and lead in the water that it filters, while also minimizing foul odors and taste.  Though, in order for it to do all of that filtering, it requires a lot of maintenance cleaning and a significantly more amount of energy to operate than other filters.

Carbon filter.

The carbon filter gets rid of pesticides, herbicides, and lead, while also minimizing foul odors and taste.  However, it does not get rid of bacteria like the distillation filter, and is not known to remove sodium.  Furthermore, maintaining this filter by replacing the filter cartridge often is very crucial since a lack of such maintenance can lead to the exact opposite of the intention behind getting the filter in the first place:  The condition of the water that runs through a non-maintained filter will actually be worse and much more harmful than if the water were to otherwise come through the faucet without going through such a filter.

Reverse osmosis filter.

The reverse osmosis filter, of all three, really focuses on removing all sorts of metals, not just lead, but also copper and aluminum, etc., in addition to removing minerals like salt/sodium and the usual impurities such as bacteria, pesticides and herbicides while reducing foul odors and taste.  Though, comparatively, the significant drawback of the reverse osmosis filter is its inefficiency:  It operates much more slowly than the other types of filters, and wastes a significant amount of water in the process of its unique filtering.

These are just some of the three typical types of filters you should consider when planning to purchase a water filter for your home.  You may want to consult a hydrologist in your area--perhaps one at a local university or college--or your local water utility company to ask them what are the most common types of water pollutants in your area so that you can limit your water-filter shopping to filters that actually are designed to remove such pollutants and not necessarily pollutants that are not as big of a threat or problem in your area.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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