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3 Tips in Choosing the Best Home Water Filter that Suits Your Needs

Home Water Filter Home water filters have now become a standard part of many American homes because more Americans have come to realize the truth that dangerous contaminants in our drinking water are a constant threat to our physical health. Bacteria, illegal and prescription drugs, disinfectants, lead, chloroform, fluoride, radon, and E. coli are just some of the many harmful pollutants that infiltrate local water systems. Bottled water is often advertised as pure and natural and is generally made to seem safer than ordinary tap water. However, in actual reality, it is less regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency than municipal water supplies. Yes, many of your favorite bottled waters are nothing more than filtered tap water. Before you look into purchasing a home water filter, you should first find out if there are any pollutants in your tap water. You can do this by checking your consumer confidence report, or CCR. The EPA demand utilities to provide a CCR to their customers every year. Just recently, analyzing  CCRs from the 13 largest U.S. cities revealed that few claimed to have no federal water-quality violations. However, all had some samples containing significant quantities of contaminants. The CCR tells you about the water in your city, but not significantly about what’s coming out of your home tap water. Testing your own home water will give you an idea of what lurks in it. You can call the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) for the names of state-certified testing labs or for your local health authority, which might offer low-cost or free water testing kits.

How to choose Home Water Filters

When it comes to choosing home water filters, it's best to get one that closely fits your exact needs. In this step, you should choose a water filter that removes the particular contaminants in your city's tap water. Contamination removal will vary from filter to filter, so you will want to read the fine print very carefully. Remember first, you want to test for harmful pollutants in your water, then choose a home water filter that eliminates those pollutants. It is also essential to select a filter that is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation and engineered to reduce the contaminants discovered. Note: The more contaminants that are found in your water, the more complex and expensive your filter will be! Home water filters come in many different brands, so it is crucial to do thorough research before shelling out your hard-earned cash. It is also imperative to change out your filters on time and to also take into account the yearly costs of replacement filters. If you want to choose the best faucet water filter, follow these three steps:
  1.  Identify the chemical contaminants in your home tap water - You can learn what pollutants are found in your tap water by referring to the National Drinking Water Database.
  2. Find the right water filter that will destroy the contaminants in your particular area - As you have already learned, there are different types of water filters on the market. Do diligent research to locate the right filter for the job at hand.
  3. Try to avoid bottled water all together - Contrary to popular belief, industry reports show that up to 44 percent of bottled water is just tap water. Bottled water may be contaminated with plastic additives that migrate from plastic bottles. Plastic has now been proven to cause cancer.

How To Filter Water For Safe Drinking

To neutralize the contaminants in your water, you first have to know what type are present in your area. The best way to do this is to refer to the National Drinking Water Database, which will give you access to a multitude of state water testing records. The Environmental Working Group, which is responsible for this database, has identified 316 chemicals in U.S. tap water, and many of these dangerous chemicals aren’t even regulated. The EPA has failed to protect the drinking water sources around the country by not developing or setting any standards for scores of common tap water contaminants. This puts every human being at extreme health risks.

Whole house water filter systems

With the increase of air and ground pollution and the atrocities of toxic wastes being dumped in our reservoirs and other water sources, it should be no surprise to you that our drinking water is continuously in danger of being contaminated. Whole house water filters are a viable all-in-one solution to eliminating harmful bacteria and purifying your water.

What is a whole house water filter

Just as its name suggests, a whole house water filter is used to purify the water for your entire house. This type of water filter is connected to the main water line in your home, therefore, dispensing clean water anywhere in the house. This includes showers, toilets, water faucets, kitchen, and baths. Determining the type of whole house water filter system, you will need will depends solely on the type of contaminants found in your water supply. The cost of buying a home water filtration system can be quite expensive if you're on a tight budget. However, compared to purchasing several single water filters for every faucet in the house, a whole house water filter system is the much more viable cheaper solution over time. They should also be changed periodically to provide maximum protection. The entire house water filter price range can run you anywhere from 15 to almost 2000 dollars.

Two main types of whole house water filter systems

The heavy-duty filtration system

This contaminant removal system performs at the highest level because it uses large amounts of filter media. The media is placed in a tank that stands about 2 feet 10″ tall and provides iron protection for 5-10 years it’s replacement schedule. The compact single tank system connects to the main water supply line of the house.

Standard capacity water cartridge

These water filter cartridges are placed inside durable filter housings to treat the polluted water throughout the entire home. The filters are usually 4.5” D by 10” or 20” H and are placed at the main water line. These capacity systems are standard and affordable. However, they do require more maintenance because these filters should be changed out frequently. If you want the best and highest performing contaminant removal system look for heavy-duty filtration systems and for standard capacity filtration, look for affordable whole house water filter systems.

How often should you change your filter

Manufacturers recommend changing water filters every 2 to 6 months. However, with that being said, you should replace them whenever you notice a decline in performance. This could be lost water pressure, strange taste, or decrease the flow rate. Water filters used in the whole house or reverse osmosis systems should be changed every two months or 8,000 gallons of water. How often you should change your water filter depends on how much water you and your family use daily. If you have a large family who consumes many gallons of water and washes large baskets of clothes weekly and takes regular showers daily, then you're looking at replacing your filters very frequently.

What types of common water contaminants you should look for

Sediments – are known to be too visible particles in the water which need to be mechanically strained out. This would include sand, dust, rust, and dirt. Water supplies that harbor a vast amount of sediments should be put through multiple stages of sediment filtering. Iron – ferrous (aka dissolved or clear water iron) and ferric (aka rust or red water iron) are the two types of metal that are usually found in water supplies. Clearwater iron can be eliminated with ion or oxidation exchange. Sediment filters are capable of removing rust particles, and red water iron. Chemicals – Chlorine is the most common chemical disinfectant found in municipal water supplies. It can be removed with a carbon water filter.

Activated Carbon Water Filter and Carbon Filtration

Water contamination is a genuine and dangerous problem that we regularly face daily. Water filters are a viable solution to this problem and can reduce the risk of contamination in big time. The activated carbon water filter uses activated carbon filtration to filter water. Carbon filtration is a technique of filtering that uses activated carbon to eliminate contaminants with the method of chemical adsorption. Carbon provides a vast surface area – pore structure that traps contaminant molecules hiding in fluids. Carbon filtering is usually used for water purification. The usual particle sizes that can be removed by carbon filters range from 0.5 to 50 micrometers.

Carbon filter types

There are mainly 2 types of filters used in water filtration, that being: granular activated filters, and also powdered block filters. Carbon block filters can eliminate a considerable number of contaminants' reason being the large surface area of the carbon.

How To Test the PH of Water using Water pH Test Strips

Knowing how to test the pH of water is very important for understanding how water is continually changing chemically. pH is used as a measurement of how acidic or basic water is at any given time. PH range goes from 0 – 14, with 7 indicating neutral. PH under level 7 signals acidity, while a pH level greater than 7 signals a base. In reality, the measuring of pH is really about finding out the relative amount of free hydrogen and hydroxyl ions in the water. Acidic water contains more free hydrogen ions than water that contains more free hydroxyl ions, which is essential. Similar to the Richter scale, which is known for measuring earthquakes, pH is reported in "logarithmic units." Each and every number represents a 10-fold change in the acidity/basic properties of the water. For example, water that contains a pH at level 5 is ten times more acidic than water containing a pH of level six.

How to test the pH of water For Acid or Alkaline

Before you begin your pH testing, it is highly recommended by the EPA that you request a copy of your annual water quality report from your water supplier. After you have done this, it's time to purchase your water pH test strips (Litmus paper). Once you have your ph test strips for the water you want to:
  1. Fill a clean cup or container with some sample tap water, well water, or groundwater (warm or cold).
  2. Insert your pH test strip in the water for the specified period time per your instruction manual that comes with the kit.
  3. Compare the end of the litmus paper that you dipped in the water with the color chart that came with the litmus paper.
Whatever color your strip shows after removing it from the water sample, and the chart has a matching color, that will show you the pH of your water sample. You can also repeat this test for other substances that you wish to test for. Knowing how to test the pH of the water should be the first priority for anyone who cares about his or her well being. Clean, healthy water is vital for all life on earth. Let's all make an effort to protect our drinking water.

Is Bottled Water safe to drink?

Being that millions of people worldwide purchase drinking water regularly, it would make sense to ask if one's self is bottled water safe to drink? Within the last 10 years, the purchasing and consumption of bottled water have skyrocketed due to the aggressive media and advertising campaigns of these huge beverage companies. Between 2011 and 2012, the sales of bottled water rose to a staggering 7 percent, according to The Beverage Marketing Corporation. Annual spending on bottled water in the U.S. is close to 11.8 billion dollars, according to Drop the Prop, International Bottled Water Association. Despite the excellent municipal tap water system we have here in America, millions of average American consumers are busting down grocery store doors to purchase bottled water. However this costs consumers thousands of times more per gallon, reasons being:
  • We have been brainwashed by the thousands of ads and tv advertisements of how unsafe tap water is supposed to be, and how cool and healthier it is to drink bottled water. How many celebrities are plastered all over the tv promoting bottled water?
  •  Public drinking fountains are becoming harder to find, and maintaining the available ones seem to not be that big of a deal to our communities.
  • The fear of drinking tap water is escalated by stories of water contamination and ad campaigns that depict tap water as being undrinkable and dangerous to your health.
  • Many people have become so dependent on the convenience of bottled water that they feel tap water is no longer suitable to drink.
Americans spend close to 12 billion a year on bottled water as a result of aggressive campaigning by the industry. But is bottled water safe to drink? The production of plastic does not come without its consequences, and many average Americans are paying a high price, while companies are cashing in by boatloads. Public water has genuinely become a private commodity for these huge colossal beverage companies such as Nestle, Coke, and Pepsi. Nestle is the biggest bottled water company in the world. It operates under multiple names, one of which is Poland springs. What they do is go into these rural communities mining for public water, which they then sell back to the city for massive profits. The local residence is deliberately limited in their access to local groundwaters while being overcharged for that same water as well as dealing with environmental and health concerns. Nestle is known for selling ordinary groundwater as spring water and possibly bottling water from contaminated sources. In 2008 Nestle managed to net 3.6 billion dollars in bottled water sales. Fast forward 5 short years, and their profits have skyrocketed to billions of dollars yearly.

FDA and bottled water regulations

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are both responsible for the safety of drinking water. EPA regulates public drinking water (tap water), while FDA regulates bottled drinking water.

How you can use plastic bottles and plastic safely

Plastic has now become part of our everyday lives, from bottled water to plastic cups forks spoons and knives as well as plastic containers. So it only makes sense to see that it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. However, it has been recommended that to use plastic safely, make it your business to use plastic items made with number 2 (high-density polyethylene) or 5 (polypropylene).

When using any other plastics, you should follow these guidelines:

  •  Never reuse plastic, recycle it: Do not reuse microwave trays or bottles if they were not intended for the purpose of re-usage. Only use these products for what they are designed for.
  • Do not heat BPA bottles: Do not place boiling water in BPA bottles, and keep them clear of dishwashers. Do not heat up BPA bottles with hot water or put them in stoves or microwaves.
The best way to use plastic safely is to use it for what it is intended for.

Recycling your water bottles helps the environment.

The convenience of bottled water has created an enormous problem for our environment. Americans purchase more bottled water than any other nation in the world, adding 29 billion plastic bottles to our landfills, rivers, lakes, as well as our oceans. These plastic bottles take hundreds of years to disintegrate, and out of all this hazardous plastic polluting the planet yearly, only a small amount will ever be recycled. Each and every individual should try really hard to recycle water bottles as well as drink more tap water and carry water in a refillable steel container instead of plastic. This will guarantee a better and healthier living for everyone. For extra safety measures you should look into purchasing a good water filter for your home.
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