Water Filtration Systems Tips

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What difference does it make if I use a shower water filter?

Understanding the Dangers of Contaminated Shower Water

Even individuals who realize the importance of using water filters for drinking water don't always realize why shower water filters are so important. The primary reason for using filtered water is to make sure that harmful contaminants in the water supply don't end up in your body. Drinking contaminated water is not the only way that your body becomes affected by water pollution. Showering in contaminated water can actually lead to greater absorbtion of harmful substances than drinking a glass full of the same water.

Chemical Absorbtion Via Skin

When you take a warm shower, your pores expand. This increases the rate with which your skin absorb substances in the water with which you are showering. If your shower water is filled with chlorine, lead, and other harmful contaminants, these substances will find their way into your body through your skin.

Inhalation of Dangerous Chemicals

Water contaminants also find their way into your body during showers via the steam that is produced when warm water hits the air. The synthetic chemicals in tap water vaporize more rapidly than water, making the steam more dangerous than the water itself. As water comes out of your shower head, the majority of the chemicals in the water vaporize into the air, and we breathe them in. When chemicals enter the body via inhalation, they hit the blood stream much faster than those that are consumed.

   
Does magnetic water filtering change water's pH?

Magnetic Water Filtration

Magnetic water filtering involves passing the water over or through a magnetic field. In effect, this process rearranges the ions. Without the fundamental splitting of ions that occurs in the Water Ionizer (H2O to OH- and HO) lasting change is not possible, although many claims are made by the manufacturers. Free standing magnetic units do not filter or change pH.

   
Who should avoid reverse osmosis water filtration systems?

Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Know the pros and cons of reverse osmosis water filtration systems before you decide to purchase one. Although reverse osmosis water filtration systems are thorough, they require a lot of excess water to work. This is because high pressure water is used to flush ions and precipitates from the filtering membrane. If you live in an area that is prone to drout or if you are concerned about water conservation, a reverse osmosis water filtration system is probably not the best choice for you. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems also experience problems with bacteria growth. Removing this growth can be costly.

Water filters that come with special water filter pitchers or that attach to your sink are often all you need to get delicious, safe water.

   
How does carbon absorption work?

What Happens During Carbon Absorption

Activated carbon is extremely useful in purifying both the water and air. Usually it is used in very fine powder or granular. Since it is an extremely porous material, activated carbon has particular affinity to organic materials such as solvents used in printing inks and common coatings. When the carbon particle becomes saturated with the contaminant, the exit stream will evidence a higher level of that contaminant. This is the time that the filter will be replaced and/or reactivated. The waste stream usually can't be interrupted during this regeneration, therefore two or more carbon beds are often designed into the system

   
How do carbon water filters work?

Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters used to filter water in your home typically contain either granular activated carbon (GAC) or powdered block carbon. Carbon water filters generally have a higher contaminant removal ratio. Two important factors that affect the efficiency of activated carbon filtration are the amount of carbon in the unit and the amount of time the contaminants spend in contact with it. The more carbon present, the more effective the filtrations system. Also, the lower the flow rate of the water, the more time that contaminants will be in contact with the carbon, allowing more absorption to take place.

   
How is redox treatment used?

How Redox Treatment Is Used

Redox treatment can be used in a variety of pretreatment, primary treatment, and wastewater applications. It is generally used in conjunction with -- or even in place of -- granular activated carbon filters. It can also be used for carbon block or inline filters. Redox treatment may even extend the life of granular activated carbon (GAC) while protecting the carbon bed against fouling by bacterial growth.

   
What should I look for in a water filtration system?

What to Look For in a Water Filtration System

Water filtration systems are rated based on the size of the holes in the filtration screens. Larger holes let in larger contaminants, so smaller holes will filter most effectively. Water filtration systems may provide you with an "absolute" hole size and a "nominal" hole size. Absolute hole size is the measurement of the largest hole in the filter. The nominal hole rating refers to the average hole size. When shopping for a water filtration system, pay attention to the absolute hole size only. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends an absolute of one micron for the best level of filtration.

   
How can I remember to change my water filter?

Replacing Water Filters

Depending on the method of water filtration you use, you should replace your filters regularly. Usually, replacing a large countertop or under-the counter filter should be done every six months or every 750 gallons. Pitcher filters should be replaced about every month. Try replacing your filters on a memorable day of the month, your favorite number for example. Mark your calendar to remind yourself when replacing is needed. Keep a store of replacement water filters on hand to be sure you don't run out when you need them!

   
What is water aeration?

How Water Aeration Works

You may have heard of a process called "water aeration." Aeration allows volatile contaminants to be broken down when water is separated into small droplets in the air. This is most commonly used in sink faucet aeration tips. Water looks bubbly as it leaves the tap. However, contaminants that are removed from water by aeration are transferred to the air, where they may be capable of posing a health threat. In larger aeration equipment, fresh air is drawn through the spray, collected in a storage tank, repressurized, and then passed through a filter.

   
Should I aim for pure water?

Pure Water Isn't Always Best

Save yourself the trouble of searching for a water filtration system that completely rids your water of all additions. Although pure water is essential for laboratory experiments, the minerals and extra oxygen in water are what give it flavor. Instead of insisting on completely pure water, aim for water that contains mineral levels that are below the EPA recommended limits. When your drinking water tastes good you'll be more likely to consume you reight cups per day for optimum health.

   
What is ion exchange?

The Basics of Ion Exchange

Almost all recognized household water softening or water filtration system equipment on the market now uses what is called the ion exchange principle. Equipment using this principle contains a bed of permanent bead-like or granular softening material through which the water flows. As the water travels through the bed of ion exchange material, the hardness minerals are removed, leaving the water soft and more satisfactory for household use.

   
What do water filters remove, exactly?

What Water Filters Remove

What exactly do water filters remove, anyway? At the very basic level, water filters remove dirt particles from the earth as well as rust that may come from pipes. Deeper filtration also occurs. Water is treated with chemicals like chlorine to kill bacteria. A good water filter will remove up to 99% of these chemicals, leaving your drinking water virtually bacteria- and chemical-free.

   
How can I make sure my drinking water is clean?

Making Drinking Water Safe

Perhaps the first thing we think about when we consider the importance of clean water is making sure the water we drink is safe. Luckily, there are many methods of cleaning our drinking water. Drinking water filters can be attached to your sink faucet. Another option is an under-the-sink filtration system. Whole-house filtrations systems are more expensive, but offer the added benefit of filtering impurities from all the water that enters your household.

   
How do sediment filters work?

About Sediment Filters

Sediment Filters remove solid particles out of water by straining it. Fiber sediment filters contain cellulose, rayon or some other material spun into a mesh with small pores. Suspended sediment is removed as water pressure forces water through tightly wrapped fibers. These filters come in a variety of sizes and meshes from fine to coarse, with the lower micron rating being the finer. The finer the filter, the more particles are trapped and the more often the filter must be changed. Sediment filters will not remove contaminants that are dissolved in the water, like lead, mercury, trihalomethanes or other organic compounds.

   
What is MTBE?

MTBE Water Filter

Ask your water system provider about Methyl Tertiary Buty Ether (MTBE) levels in your water when you request your annual report. MTBE is a suspected carcinogen and a common chemical found it groundwater. Although its contribution to cancer development isn't completely clear, it has been shown to cause kidney lesions in animals. MTBE gets into drinking water through leaky fuel storage tanks. Because MTBE leaves a foul taste and odor in water even at very small levels, it is easy to detect. Thanks to MTBE water filters, it's also easy to protect yourself from MTBE once you've determined its presence in your water supply.

   
Is clear outdoor water safe to drink?

Water Safety and Camping

Don't let the purity of the outdoors cause you to let down your guard when it comes to water safety. Even the clearest water can contain harmful bacteria and pathogens caused by animal and human byproducts. To make outdoor water safe to drink, use a portable water filter or portable water purifier. Portable water filters remove bacteria and protozoan cysts, while portable water purifiers remove viruses as well.

   
How can I make sure my water filter works properly?

Replacement Water Filters

To keep your water filtration system running at its optimum, change your water filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. Your water filter's owner's manual will specify whether you need get a replacement water filter based on amount of time or number of gallons filtered. This is because after a given amount of filtration, the filter's pores will become clogged with sediment and will render the filter useless. If you don't replace the water filter cartridge, your filter's guarantee will no longer be binding.

   
What is source water?

Uses For Unfiltered Water

Unfiltered or untreated water is that is supplied to a home or business is referred to as "source water." Essentially, this means that the water comes from the "Source" of a well or municipal plant. Usually, the best use of source water is outdoor applications. Water your lawn is a great example. Gardens can also be watered with source water, but you my wish to test it on more sensitive plants like certain flower varieties.

   
How should water taste?

The Taste Of Water

We've all experienced the times when water just "doesn't taste right." Ideally, water should have no taste at all. Or, for the discerning palate, clean water may have a slightly sweet and fresh taste. There can be many reasons why water can taste off, however. The amounts of naturally occurring minerals and non-natural treatments with chemicals can alter water's taste. Water filters act to remove these taste altering elements and return water to its fresh and clear taste.

   
How can I tell if a water filtration system has been certified?

Certified Water Filtration Systems

Make sure a water filtration system is certified before you purchase it. You can find cerfication information on the water filtration system packaging. Certified water filtration systems have been tested and approved by NSF International, Underwriters Laboratories Inc., or the Water Quality Association. These companies place water filtration systems into categories based on which contaminants they are proven to filter. A "Gold Seal" of approval on a water filtration system indicates that the Water Quality Association considers the water filtration system to be of extremely high quality. You can contact any of these three certification companies for help choosing a water filtration system that will work for you.

   
Why should I choose an Aquasana water filtration system?

Top Reasons to Choose an Aquasana Water Filtration System

When selecting a water filtration system, it's important to choose one that provides the maximum benefits for the best possible price. There are several reasons why Aquasana water filters are the best available choice. A few of the reasons Aquasana makes the best water filters are:

Affordability - Aquasana filters are an affordable solution to the problem of drinking water contamination. You'll enjoy a virtually limitless supply of clean and safe water in your home for less than ten centers per gallon.

Ease of Use - Aquasana filters are easy to install and operate. Any of Aquasana's water filtration systems can be installed quickly and simply without the need for any special tools or expertise in plumbing. Once installed, you'll have access to healthy water every time you turn on your faucet. Maintenance is minimal. You'll just need to swap out replacement water filters once every six months.

Environmental Responsibility - When you install an Aquasana water filter in your home, there is no need to purchase bottled water. By making sure that your tap water is safe to drink, you are able to reduce your family's use of plastic water bottles. This can have a profound and positive impact on the environment.

Performance - No system provides greater filtration benefits than those offered by Aquasana water filters. You'll enjoy water that is free from unpleasant smells, bad odors, and a wide variety of dangerous chemicals and other dangerous substances.

   
Why is chlorine used in the water supply if it is not safe to consume?

Understanding the Role of Chlorine in the Water Supply

Many people mistakenly believe that chlorine can't possibly be harmful since it is approved for use in the water supply by the government entities that regulate the process by which water is treated for public consumption. It's important for people to understand the history of water purification to put the use of chlorine in the water supply into the proper perspective.

During the 19th Century, when chlorine first became commonly used in water treatment, the outbreak of deadly waterborne diseases was rampant. People often died from illnesses such as cholera and typhoid, which were transmitted primarily via the water supply. Chlorine was introduced to the water supply as a means of putting a stop to the spread of these deadly illnesses. Today, these types of waterborne diseases have been largely contained.

Even though chlorine was the best option for stopping the spread of disease in the 19th century, this is no longer the case today. Chlorine is the least expensive technique for treating water, but it is certainly not the healthiest solution. Since the 19th century, the health risks associated with chlorine consumption and absorption have become widely known. There are now many better ways to remove contaminants from water, such as via water filters, yet this chemical is still utilized to treat public water supplies throughout the United States and many other parts of the world.

While it's important to drink water that doesn't contain harmful bacteria, it's also important to take steps to avoid consuming water contaminated with chlorine and other dangerous chemicals. Chlorine serves a purpose in water treatment, and you can easily utilize a water filtration system to de-chlorinate the tap water in your home. Using water filters is the best solution for making sure you are always able to enjoy safe and healthful water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

   
How does filtered water compare with distilled water?

Comparing Filtered Water to Distilled Water

While it's better to consume distilled water than it is to drink regular tap water, there are a number of reasons that filtered water is preferable to distilled water.

When water is distilled, it becomes de-mineralized. This is also the case with water that is purified via a reverse osmosis process. This means that it no longer contains trace minerals of even calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Unlike distillation, water filtration systems are designed to filter out contaminants, but not to remove all traces of minerals that the human body actually needs to flourish.

There are risks associated with extended ingestion of distilled water. When all of the minerals are removed from water, its pH levels change and the water becomes acidic. Because water naturally needs to be in balance, distilled water attempts to restore itself to a non-acidic stated. When we consume water that has been de-mineralized, it will actually leech minerals from our bodies in order to attempt to balance itself. Research indicates that consumption of de-mineralized water over time is likely to lead to mineral deficiency.

Water filters, while they are designed to filter out contaminants, do not remove all traces of natural minerals. When you drink water that has been filtered, you aren't consuming water that has been transformed to a de-mineralized state. Harmful contaminants that shouldn't be in the water in the first place have been removed, but the natural minerals that provide the substance with much of it's life giving nutritional value remain.

   
How do I know which systems are actually the best water filters?

How to Choose the Best Water Filter

If you're drinking water straight from the faucets in your home, it's a fact that any water filter you choose will be better than what you are doing now. When you consume straight tap water, it's likely that you're ingesting a number of substances that are hazardous to your health. Even a filter that doesn't effectively remove a wide variety of dangerous materials from your drinking water is likely to at least keep you from consuming something that isn't good for you.

When choosing among the different types of water filters, it's important to understand just what it is that separates the best water filters from the ones that are least effective. Pitcher filters, for example, are not as effective as faucet filter systems. Pour through pitcher systems utilize activated carbon filters that are able to effectively remove some harmful substances from water. Aquasana faucet filters combine activated carbon with other filtration methods, giving them the capability of removing many different types of dangerous substances from your drinking water supply.

If you're using a pitcher filter, you're reducing the potential risk to your health associated with consuming tap water. However, if you're looking for the maximum benefits provided by the best water filters, you'll get much better results with the exclusive dual filtration technology of an Aquasana faucet filter. Additionally, Aquasana filters are much less expensive to use than the popular pitcher filters. When you install a faucet filter, you'll enjoy the filtration benefits of one of the best available water filters for a fraction of the cost of a filtration device that is much less effective.

   
Why are water filters necessary?

Understanding Why Water Filters are Necessary

Many people question exactly why it is that a water filter is necessary, since tap water is processed through treatment plants before being pumped into homes for consumption. While it is true that the water that comes out of the faucets in your home has been treated, it's a fact that the vast majority of the water supply in the United States is contaminated with potentially harmful chemicals and other dangerous substances.

Chlorine is present in everyone's tap water. Chlorine alone can pose serious health risks when consumed, and is believed by many to be tied to an increased occurrence of birth defects, cardiovascular disease and several types of cancer. Removing the chlorine from your drinking water is reason enough to warrant installing water filters in every home in the country.

Unfortunately, chlorine isn't the only problem with the U.S. water supply. While contaminants may vary from one region to another, the fact is that there are likely to be several substances in the tap water in your home that pose serious health risks to you and your family. Research indicates that more than 90 percent of the water systems in the United States are contaminated with traces of lead and a minimum of ten inorganic chemicals.

The best way to protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of water supply contamination is with water filters. Having your own faucet water filters is the best way to make sure that every possible contaminant is removed from your home water supply before being consumed by the people you love.

   
How can I get fresh water in my RV?

Fresh Water on the Road

If you do a lot of RV travel, you need to look into a water filtration system that is designed specifically for RVs. Because you can't be sure that the quality of water at each of your stopping points is safe, an RV water filtration system will ensure your health wherever you go. Water kept in an RV water tank can grow unsafe bacteria and algae, and develop unpleasant odors. Filtering your RV water can get rid of these problems.

   
What is a UV water filtration system?

Ultraviolet Radiation Water Filtration Systems

Use an Ultraviolet Radiation water filtration system to protect yourself against harmful bacteria such as cholera, typhoid and salmonella as well as pesticides and insecticides. Because these water filtration systems use ultraviolet radiation instead of filters, they aren't technically filters. They can still let in some harmful elements such as cysts. Also, hard water buildup in an ultraviolet system will damper the filter's ability to effectively rid your water of contaminants. If you choose an Ultraviolet Radiation water filtration system, be sure to clean it regularly according to the manufacturer's instructions.

   
Is distillation a good method for purifying water?

Distillation Water Filteration Systems

Distillation, also called demineralization, is a good method of water filtration if you are concerned about too many minerals in your water. Distillation water filtration systems work by heating the water until it becomes steam. The minerals in the water are unable to distill and are left behind. The steam is then transferred to another area and cooled until it is liquefied. Many people don't like the taste of distilled water, complaining that it has a "flat" taste.

Distillation is ineffective for getting rid of herbicides and pesticides. However, running the water through a filter that targets these chemicals before distilling will take care of this problem.

   
How does carbon absorption benefit water filtration?

The Effectiveness of Carbon Absorption In Water Filters

Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are disinfection by-products that result from chlorination of natural organic matter in drinking water. There have been concerns over possible carcinogenic effects of HAAs. Studies have been done to investigate the stability and biodegradation of HAAs in the presence of biologically active carbon (BAC), such as the kind found in water filters. BAC effectively removed milligram-per-liter–level HAAs that had been elevated in dechlorinated drinking water. In addition, granulated activated carbon (GAC) also removed HAAs, through a combination of carbon absorption and biodegradation.

   
What does "redox" mean?

What "Redox" Does For Your Water Supply

Redox is a shortened form of "oxidation-reduction," a process used to treat contaminated water. In this process, granulated copper and zinc-based alloys create an electro-chemical reaction. Electrons are transferred between molecules, and new elements are created. Some harmful contaminants like chlorine are changed into harmless components and are carried safely through the water supply.

   
How does ion exchange work?

How Ion Exchange Works

The ion exchange material (usually beads or granules of resin) consists of permanent insoluble anions, kept electrically neutral by replaceable sodium cations. Hard water loaded with calcium and magnesium ions enters the exchange column, also know as the "bed." As it flows through, magnesium and calcium cations in the water are drawn to the anions of the ion exchanger. The result is that harmless sodium ions replace the hardness ions.

   
What should I look for in a portable water filter?

Choosing a Portable Water Filter

The best portable water filter will be lightweight, easy to use and clean, durable and effective. Look for the following characteristics when shopping for a portable water filter:

1. Ceramic cartriges are long lasting and effective. They are also easily cleaned while camping or hiking.

2. A low pump force rating lets you know that the portable water filter is easy to pump.

3. A .2-micron "absolute" pore size will ensure that all hazardous toxins are captured.

   
How can I keep my water safe to drink while on a boat?

Maintaining Your Boat's Water Filtration System

When taking an extended trip on your boat, make sure that your water supply is ample and safe. Fresh water stored in a boat's tank should be treated with a chlorine solution to prevent pathogen growth. Because the chlorine can leave an unpleasant taste and cause health problems in some children and people with delicate immune systems, use a portable water filter to treat water kept in your boat's water tank before drinking. This will ensure that your drinking water keeps you healthy during your boat trip.

   
How can I tell if the water filter salesperson is trying to cheat me?

Portable Water Filter Scams

Beware of water filter salespeople at RV shows who offer to test your portable water filter for contaminants by dropping chemicals into your water. The salesperson in this scam will tell you that the chemical is specially designed to separate contaminants from the water to show you the filth in your water. The chemical used in this common fraud creates the same affect on any type of water.

Also beware of portable water filter salespeople who claim that their portable water filter will get rid of everything in your water. No water filter can filter everything. Fortunately, the vast majority of US water is safe to drink, so a general carbon portable water filter is sufficient.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Mary White