The tap water running from Stateside faucets is said to be among the safest in the world. It is not only thoroughly tested but regulated as well. Consequently, your kids will most probably never have to suffer cases of cholera or typhoid diseases that can spread through contaminated drinking water. So why do you need a faucet water filter then? Are these water filters a 21st-century fad that will soon go the way of the electric can opener?
Not at all. To keep your drinking water safe, treatment plants filter, treat and push your water via an elaborate piping system to keep it disease-free. This process, however, introduces chemicals like chloramines or Chlorine into the water. Unlike Chlorine, Chloramine, a combination of ammonia and Chlorine, can leach Lead and zinc from your plumbing pipes into your drinking water.
Cities also add fluorine to piped water due to long-held belief that its good for dental health, which in the end causes a myriad of health problems. However, your water could also have other hazardous contaminants such as pesticides, petrochemicals, or pharmaceuticals that seep into water reservoirs from non-point sources of pollution such as storm water runoff. Faucet water filters can clean up these pollutants from your drinking and cooking water. Below are ten of the best in the market.
|0.5 GPM||320 gal.||WaterGrop WD-FC-01|
|0.5 GPM||320 gal.||Engdenton B07DCMD991|
|0.5 GPM||200 gal.||Culligan FM-15A|
|0.5 GPM||1500 gal.||Home Master HM Mini|
|0.5 GPM||200 gal.||Culligan FM-25|
|N/A||200 gal.||KINGRUNNING FIL3|
|N/A||100 gal.||Pur FM-3700|
|N/A||100 gal.||Brita 35214|
|0.55 GPM||N/A||Aibika ABK-01|
|0.53 GPM||100 gal.||Spardar SUW-P08W|
- Long-life filter
- The brand has philanthropic activity
- Filters lead
- Food grade stainless steel casing
- Long-life filter
- 360゜ swivel head feature
- Has NSF certifications
- Effortless installation procedure
- Has a diverter lever to help switch between regular tap and filtered water
- Very easy to install
- Long-life filters
- Compact size for portability
- Very easy to install
- Attractive chrome finish
- NSF 42 and NSF 53 certified
- Is sold with three extra filters for replacements
- Can handle mildly warm water use
- Has a seven-step filtration process
- Has an electronic filter life indicator
- Has a 360-degree swivel head feature
- Robust carbon filters with an added ion exchange process
- Has a filter life indicator
- There is a water-switching lever
- BPA free outer casing
- Great seven-fold water filtration process
- 304 stainless steel casing
- Very attractive
- The efficient five-stage water filtration process
- Stable water flow
- Easy to install
Why you need a faucet water filter
Groundwater used in 40% of all US homes is often at the risk of getting contaminated by fertilizers and pesticides from unmanaged landfills and septic systems. According to data sourced from the Environmental Working Group, while most local water reservoirs meet the EPA water quality grades, 92% of the time, a lot of water supplied to major US cities has over 316 pollutants, such as Trihalomethanes. Volatile organic compounds are human carcinogens, and trihalomethanes can cause reproductive disorders and bladder cancer.
To find out which pollutants are in your water, you need to check your water utility’s quality report. However, faucet water filter systems offer the best solutions to the safest drinking water problems. They will provide your home with clean drinking and cooking water and save you cash that would have been spent on bottled water. Most bottled water is tap water in disguise, so, you are better off purchasing a good faucet water filter.
How does a faucet filter work?
Faucet water filters use two main methods to reduce the contaminants in your water. There is first a physical filtration process where they strain tap water to eliminate sedimentation and the floaties. The physical filter works just like a sieve, albeit one with a very fine membrane. The tap water will go into another filtration process where the water is forced through an active medium to eliminate microscopic pollutants.
Types of faucet water filters
There are different types of water filtration technologies used in faucet water filters as explained below;
Activated carbon filtration
Activated carbon filters are very popular water filtration agents. They are made from charcoal sourced from wood or natural fibers like coconut. This charcoal then undergoes a process that opens up the pores between its atoms, rendering it highly porous. Activated carbon, therefore, has cavernous surface areas. A gram of it has a potential of 2,000 square meters. This feature is what makes carbon very efficient at adsorbing chemical substances from liquids and gases.
Adsorption happens when substances attach themselves to the activated carbon via chemical attraction processes. Some chemicals like Chlorine will, for instance, be trapped by the carbon during the filtration process once they get close to the activated carbon filter. These filters also do trap some herbicides, industrial solvents, and pesticides. Your usual activated carbon filters will, nevertheless, not filter some other elements such as magnesium and calcium that cause water hardness.
Heavy metals, nitrates, fluorines, sodium, and some microbes will, nonetheless, swim right through a regular activated carbon filter. With special additives, however, a carbon filter can filter a large percentage of the water pollutants mentioned earlier. Activated carbon filters will clog up with impurities as they work, so they need to be replaced on a set schedule.
Ion exchange filters are known for their water “softening” prowess. This action is most commonly referred to as limescale removal. These water filtration systems split atoms of calcium and magnesium apart and make ions out of them. These filtration agents then trap the ions produced and release beneficial ions instead.
Ion exchange filters are built from resin or zeolite beads that have many sodium ions in them. Once water laden with calcium or magnesium flows through the filter, their split ions are trapped by the resin beads, which then release their sodium ions in their place. Therefore, hard water will have a pleasant taste and much softer.
Water that has passed through ion exchange filtration, however, acquires a new contaminant, sodium, which can be a problem for household members on a low sodium diet. Thus, this water might need to undergo further filtration processes such as dual-stage activated carbon filtration.
Pollutants which faucet water filters will remove
Faucet water filters utilize activated carbon filters to filter out your faucet water. There are dual technology faucet water filters with an ion-exchange mechanism of water filtration, as well. Activated carbon, as cited by studies done by the NSF and EPA, can remove over 80 chemicals from water. The studies also claim that this carbon meshes can effectively reduce the occurrence of 30 other water pollutants and moderately reduce 22 others.
The filtration prowess of an activated carbon filter is, however, pegged to the form and quality of its filter. Some models use carbon blocks instead of activated carbon. The EPA, however, says that activated carbon is the carbon-based water filtration product that can eliminate over 32 specific organic contaminants, which include volatile organic compounds such as Trihalomethanes.
These filters also eliminate 14 pesticide pollutants, including glyphosate and nitrates, as well as 12 other common herbicides. For your reference below is the list of water elements that activated carbon faucet water filters will eliminate from your tap water.
- 95% of Chlorine and its by-products
- 50 to 70% of Chloride, which is not harmful to your health
- 14 listed pesticides such as Round-up, Chlordane, Lindane, and Heptachlor
- 12 registered herbicides including Atrazine, 4-D and 2
- 50-70% of nitrates, which are only harmful to human health at high concentrations
- 70 to 90% of Phosphates and lithium
- 95% of pharmaceuticals
Special activated carbon filters undergo a catalytic process or are combined with other elements to improve filtration.
Consequently, they can reduce many more contaminants than regular activated carbon filters can such as;
- 95% of copper, Chloramine, zinc, and Lead
- 100% microplastics removal
- 70% of mercury, other heavy metals, nitrates, and Flouride
- Between 30 to 70% of asbestos and arsenic
- Cysts such as cryptosporidium and Giardia
The addition of ion exchange mechanisms will eliminate calcium and magnesium.
Factors to consider when purchasing faucet water filters
So, if you are shopping for the best faucet water filter, what aspects should you look out for?
- Filter life
Faucet water filters are compact, and their life span is measured by the number of gallons that they can filter before they need a replacement. A filter that can filter more gallons in its lifetime implies that it has fewer maintenance requirements. However, it is important to keep in mind that a filter’s filtration capacity can be adversely impacted by heavily contaminated water.
- Filter life indicator
There are faucet water filters that do not have a filter life indicator. Thus, you will have to ensure that you do the replacement as advised by their manufacturer. Some models have indicators that will signal the right time to change a filter. These are very convenient features because, with them, you can rest assured that your filter is functioning at optimal levels until the indicator sends you a signal. In their absence, you have to use physical signs of a rundown filter such as bad odors in water or a slowdown in water flow rates.
- 360-degree swivel head feature
If you are going to be doing a lot of clean up on your faucet, you will need faucet water that will not get in your way. The presence of a 360-degree swivel head feature means that you can move the faucet filter out of your way when cleaning bigger kitchen items.
- Color/ finish
Some brands give outer casing color or finish options. The Culligan FM-25, for instance, is the chrome finish version of the white Culligan FM-15A model.
Some faucet water filters are made of cheap plastic outer casings that will break once subjected to a little impact. There are models, however, like the Engdenton faucet water, which is made from hardy food grade 304 stainless steel. They are more durable than plastic casings filters. Nonetheless, some plastics are designed for heavy-duty use.
- Cost and availability of filter replacements
Before you purchase any faucet water filter, ensure that its replacement filters are easily accessible and affordable. If they are not, you might have to dump the faucet water filter after its first use, which is expensive and bad for the environment.
- Ease of installation
Go through product reviews of the item you intend to buy. Ensure that it is reviewed as an easy install item, to ensure that you will not spend extra bucks on a plumber during installation.
Faucet water filters are prone to breakage, so purchase a product with a minimum one-year warranty for security. With a warranty on your side, your costs are covered if the casing breaks perchance.
Advantages of faucet water filters
- A faucet water filter is a cost-effective source of clean, safe drinking water
Did you know that the purchases of bottled water are so high in the US, that they are only rivaled by soda? People spend more on bottled water than they spend on beer or milk! The bottled water market was practically nonexistent about 100 years ago. Nevertheless, today, you find most families purchasing water that is about 2000 times more expensive than its tap counterpart is.
The sad fact is that most households spend colossal amounts on bottled water, which in many instances, comes from regular taps. Moreover, while bottled water will cost an upward of $100 per person in a year, the best faucet water filters cost less than $30. The undeniable truth is that most faucet water filters will give you cheaper, safer, and better-tasting water than expensive bottled water sources can.
- Faucets water filters have environmental benefits
Bottled water is responsible for the massive amounts of plastic water bottles found in landfills today. Most of these plastics find their way into lakes, rivers, and oceans, causing catastrophic damage to the flora and fauna that is dependent on these sources of water. Plastics from bottled water will need at least 300 years to degrade.
Additionally, the water treatment process that produces bottled water is also very wasteful. The process will waste three times the water it produces in one bottle. Activated carbon water faucet filters are, however, very efficient at water filtration. Use them, and you will play a big role in environmental conservation.
- Optimal filtration efficiency
As mentioned, quality activated carbon filters can filter a wide range of water pollutants. A faucet water filter is an assurance you need that your home’s cooking and drinking water is free of mercury, arsenic, Lead, Chlorine, and other toxic pollutants. These filters also preserve beneficial minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and zinc which are needed by the body.
- Better tasting and smelling water
People that love to cook will tell you that the secret to a tasty dish is the quality of water you cook with. Chlorinated water, hard water, or water that smells of rotten eggs not only makes a horrible cuppa Joe, it also makes any other dish taste bad. If you love to serve great tasting food, you need a faucet water filter for pleasant tasting water, which does not have bad odors.
Nevertheless, beyond that excellent cup of coffee or that delicious pasta, your family will drink more water if it tastes better. Thus, your family will be healthier because good health practices begin with clean and safe water.
- They do not need much maintenance
Faucet water filter’s carbon systems of filtration need to be replaced to ensure that the water produced has been optimally filtered. Some faucet water filters require a replacement every two months, while some like the Home Master HM Mini will go for a year. This low maintenance advantage that a faucet water filter brings is much better than hauling heavy bottles of bottled water to your home every other time for clean drinking water.
- Easy installation
Most faucet water filter installations do not require any tools. You also do not need much DIY experience to enjoy clean water from these filters. Most of them have a tool-less one-click installation procedure that can be done in less than five minutes.
Disadvantages of faucet water filters
- Point of use filtration
Faucet water filters are compact and do not have the filtration capacity of larger whole house water filters, which can filter every drop of water getting into your home. They will, therefore, provide clean water at the point of installation. If you need filtered water for your shower or laundry, you will need to purchase another point of use filter.
- Some will reduce your tap’s water output
Faucet water filters are not heavy output filters, so they will reduce the flow of water coming from your tap. Their impact is, of course, dependent on the model of the faucet water filter. Some of the best model’s impact on water flow is hardly noticeable.
- Require maintenance
There currently does not exist a set and forget it faucet water filter. When that novel product hits the market, we will let you know! In the meantime, you have to ensure that the filter in your water faucet filter is replaced as per its manufacturer’s instructions. Besides filter changes, these products need regular cleaning and sanitization to ensure that they are offering optimal water filtration.
- Filtration technology limitation
There does not exist a filtration technique, that can eliminate all types of pollutants from your drinking water. Water filtration products, therefore, need multi-stage filtration processes to ensure that various types of contaminants are eliminated. Faucet water filters are small and compact and can only hold so many processes in their filters. This why most of them utilize multistage activated carbon filters coupled with ion exchange.
How to install a water faucet?
The faucet water filter has a straightforward installation procedure. You generally need to turn off your water flow then attach your faucet water filter using the adapter provided by its manufacturer. Turn your water back on and ensure that the filter’s water flow is convenient and that there are no leakages as well. If there are leakages, tighten the product gently.
How to replace a filter
Press your filter model’s filter release button. Pull the filter out and insert the new one into the filter cup. A simple “click” sound should signal that the new filter is properly aligned in the filter cup. Turn on the water flow and flush the filter for a few minutes to remove any carbon dust. This also cleans the faucet water filter system.
How effective are faucet water filters in water filtration?
Faucet water filters are very efficient at improving the safety, taste, and smell of previously treated water. If you have heavily contaminated water from untreated sources, you will need extended water purification processes.
For its robust and rustproof outer casing, we recommend the Engdenton faucet water filter. This model has a 304 stainless steel design that will not crack while in use in the kitchen. We also love the Home Master HM Mini for its long filter capacity. However, you have a choice of other fabulous faucet water filters on this list to choose from, which will ensure you have the best drinking water flowing from your faucets.