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Choosing Water Filters for my Family...Where Do I Start for Clean Drinking Water?

When choosing water filters follow these steps.

1. You must evaluate your specific water filtration needs. Are you interested in only a drinking water filter or do you need a shower filter? Determine what your family needs.

2. Decide if you want to target any specific contaminants when filtering your drinking water. If you receive water from a public water system, it likely has chlorine added to disinfect your drinking water.

In addition to chlorine, there may be added fluoride that you may want to remove. You will want to find a water filter that is certified to remove chlorine AND trihalomethanes (a carcinogenic by-product of chlorination) as well as fluoride.

Filtered Drinking Water3.When choosing water filters, do your own research. Find out what exactly a water filter does. In order to understand certification claims, you will need to know a little about the process of water filtration. Find out what a micron is. Learn what granular activated carbon or GAC is as well as what KDF does.

4. Choose a brand of water filter that removes the most contaminants. In this way, you KNOW you are covered for anything that will come out your pipe! Most manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the product.

5. Check to see what the cost of cartridge replacements. What may seem like a cheap costing filter may end up costing you hundreds in maintenance!

6. Check out the manufacturer...How long have they been in business? Will they be there for the long run to service you and support the product?

The Popular Filters

Basically, water filters fall into two categories -- point-of-use and point-of-entry.

Point of use, such as pitchers, faucet-mounted, or shower filters are the most popular because they are the least expensive. Point-of-entry is a whole-house filter that filters the water before it even makes it into your pipes.

FamilyHere are the most popular methods and how they work to assist you in choosing water filters for your family.

Carafes or Pitchers. Carafes/Pitchers filter small quantities of drinking water inexpensively and can reduce up to 99 percent of chlorine, require no installation and are inexpensive. Priced from about $15 to $60. Crystal Quest pitchers will filter up to 2,000 gallons of water on a single filter. Others filter only 40 to 100 gallons.

Faucet-mounted. These filter drinking and cooking water with easy installation and allow switching between filtered and unfiltered water. They range in price from $20 to $60.

Counter Top. These filter large amounts of water without plumbing modification. The filters get water from the faucet by replacing the standard aerator (the part where the water comes out of the faucet) with a diverter valve. Pulling the knob on the diverter valve sends water through the filter for drinking. Diverter valves won't fit faucets with the pull-out vegetable sprayer. They are less likely to clog than carafes or faucet mounts, but they can clutter counter tops. Prices range from $50 to $300.

Undersink. Good for filtering a lot of water without changing the existing faucet or cluttering the counter. But they take up cabinet space and may require plumbing modifications. A hole must be drilled through the sink and/or counter top for the dispenser. Prices range from $55 to $350.

Reverse osmosis. The water is being forced under pressure through an ultra-fine semi-permeable membrane that filters out salt and other impurities, discarding them, and passing pure water to a storage tank for later use. The water is stored in a pressure tank and is treated to a final activated-charcoal filtration to remove all remaining odors and tastes before dispensing the purified water. Prices range from $25 to about $300.

Reverse osmosis, also, by removing alkaline mineral constituents of water, produces a more acidic water. Acidic water can be dangerous to the body system, causing calcium and other essential minerals to be stripped from bones and teeth in order to neutralize its acidity. Trace elements of minerals were intended to be in water; their removal leaves tasteless, unhealthy drinking water. I advise all who use reverse osmosis systems add a High Quality collidal mineral supplement.

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