Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains the many options available for filtering drinking water. (See below for a shopping list and steps.)
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Point-of-use filters, including pitcher-style, spout-style, Reverse Osmosis under sink filters, and whole-house filters with disposable cartridges are available at home centers and hardware stores. The whole-house filter that automatically cleans itself is the Braukmann filter, manufactured by Honeywell and available at specialty plumbing supply stores. The large, canister-style filter that is filled with different materials based on your local water quality is a solution installed by Culligan.
$10 and up
5 minutes to 5 hours, depending on the filtration system
Easy to Difficult. Depending on the filtration system
Shopping List for How to Choose a Water Filter:
Pitcher-style water filter [https://amzn.to/2Ls4Kxc]
Faucet-mounted water filter [https://amzn.to/2NXQxtH]
Under-sink water filter [https://amzn.to/2ZUdDJ5]
Under-sink reverse-osmosis water filter [https://amzn.to/2O1PRDB]
Whole-house water filter [https://amzn.to/2NV4jxf]
Sediment filter [https://amzn.to/34FDkvB]
Steps for How to Choose a Water Filter:
1. The simplest way to filter tap water is with a pitcher-style water filter, which has a granulated carbon filter that improves taste and odor, and removes some chlorine and sediment.
2. Faucet-mounted filters have a switch that diverts tap water through a granulated carbon filter. Turn on the switch for filtered drinking water; flip it off when washing dishes.
3. For greater water filtration convenience and capacity, install an under-sink, dual-filter system that has its own gooseneck faucet.
4. For optimum point-of-use filtration, consider a reverse-osmosis system. Water passes through a series of three filters, resulting in extremely clean, pure drinking water.
5. Whole-house water filters are installed near the water main and are ideal for delivering clean, filtered water to every faucet throughout the entire house.
6. There are a variety of filters available to remove a wide range of impurities.
7. Sediment filters contain a stainless-steel pre-screen filter and back-flush system that automatically cleans the filter.
8. For the highest level of water filtration, first have your tap water tested, then call in a water-treatment specialist to install a whole-house filtration system designed specifically to treat your water.
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How to Choose a Water Filter | Ask This Old House