Why you should consider a faucet-mounted water filter, Building plumbing tips, Property clean filtering advice
Faucet-mounted Water Filter
15 Oct 2021
Faucet water filters combine all the best elements of other water filtration methods into one product. Like handheld pitcher filters, they’re cheap and don’t require any alterations to your kitchen’s plumbing. And like under sink or whole-house filters, they let users receive fresh, clean water straight from the tap.
Furthermore, the design of many faucet-mounted filters allows them to pack in an impressive amount of filtering ability. The best faucet filters are capable of removing heavy metals, microorganisms, and other potentially harmful contaminants from a water supply.
Here are the basic things you need to know about faucet water filters.
What are faucet water filters?
Faucet-mounted water filters are a type of popular home filtering device, mainly used in people’s kitchens. They are point-of-use filters, attached directly to the end of a faucet to clean the water as it runs through the device, unlike whole house filters which clean at point-of-entry. Many products include a lever that allows users to switch between filtered, unfiltered, and spray functions.
To filter the water, most faucet filters use activated carbon, which is the same method used by the majority of other tabletop and kitchen filtration devices. This method requires replaceable cartridges that are filled with finely ground charcoal powder. When organic (carbon-based) contaminants dissolved into the water supply come into contact with this powder they adhere to its surface.
While many lower-priced water filters use activated carbon, faucet-mounted water filters can also harness the faucet’s water pressure to help push water through the device. This, combined with the larger cartridges that many faucet filters incorporate allows them to offer greater filtering ability.
Do faucet water filters fit onto any tap?
Before investing in a faucet-mounted filter, it’s important to check whether your tap is actually able to support a filtering device. Not all kitchen faucets are compatible with all filter brands, due to several factors.
First, most filters come with adapters that replace the existing aerator on your faucet, allowing the filter to attach. So faucets with non-removable or non-standard aerators may not be able to accommodate a filter product. Often, this includes vintage or high-design taps, and those with hose attachments.
Other sink systems that might not work with a faucet filter include very cheaply made taps that may struggle to support the weight of an extra element screwed onto their end. If you suspect that your faucet is a little flimsy, consider faucet filters made from plastic, which are often significantly lighter. Well water systems tend to be more complex than systems for city water because the water has relatively more contaminants.
What contaminants can a faucet filter remove?
While shopping by brand reputation can help you avoid sub-par products, the most reliable way to find a high-performing water filter is to check whether it falls under the NSF standards for water treatment systems. These universally recognized standards let consumers know exactly which pollutants and contaminants their device can protect them from. The most common NSF standards applicable to faucet filters are:
This standard refers to pollutants that might be safe to drink, but affect the appearance, taste, and smell of water. If a water filter is certified for NSF 42 category contaminants, it can remove chlorine, chloramine, volatile organic chemicals, trihalomethanes, and dissolved sediment, when listed on the product label.
This standard refers to pollutants that may negatively affect health if consumed. If a water filter is certified for NSF 53 category contaminants, it can remove lead and heavy metals, pesticides, benzenes, cysts, and microorganisms, when they are listed on the product label.
Which faucet filters are currently the best to buy?
PUR is a longstanding water filter brand with over 30 years of experience in the industry. This faucet-mounted filter, the FM-3700, comes with a large-capacity cartridge estimated to filter 100 gallons of drinking water. The device is rated to NSF standards 42 and 53, and is listed as being capable of removing 99% of lead and 97% of chlorine, among other common contaminants. The PUR FM-3700 comes in several finishes and has some convenient extra features like an LED filter life indicator.
Brita is the go-to brand from home kitchen filters—and for good reason. This faucet filter offers excellent value for money whilst still being certified to NSF 42 and 53 standards, and is listed as being capable of removing lead, chlorine, asbestos, cysts, and volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).
For a sleek-looking option, this DuPont WFFM offers high-performing filtering power with a particular focus on lead removal. The bespoke cartridge housing design gives the product a huge 200-gallon filter lifespan and incorporates antimicrobial cartridge protection to help ensure contaminants don’t build inside the filter itself. Like the above devices, the DuPont WFFM is rated to NSF 42 and 53 standards, as well as NSF 372—a specific lead-removal certification.
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