How to choose a filter for water: we figure out which filter is better + manufacturers rating
The quality of our tap water, to put it mildly, is far from international standards. You must admit that drinking untreated tap water is an extreme activity that can result in serious health problems. Therefore, the purchase of a good filter is a priority.
If you do not like to risk your health, then you are probably thinking about how to choose water filters. A variety of offers on the market will make even the most daring be taken aback.
We will help you put everything in its place and make a choice - this article discusses the existing types of filtering devices and their characteristics.
It also lists the main criteria that affect the choice of the most suitable filter, and the rating of the best manufacturers both domestic and foreign. For a better perception of information, visual diagrams and photo materials, expert video recommendations of choice have been selected.
The content of the article:
- Varieties of filters by design
- Criteria for choosing a good filter
- Rating of the best manufacturers
- Conclusions and useful video on the topic
Varieties of filters by design
There are several main varieties of household water filters.
To make a choice, it is better to study in detail the principle of work, the advantages and disadvantages of each type, so as not to get lost in the variety of offers.
View # 1 - a jug for clean water
The simplest type of filter for drinking water is jug. It looks very simple, the name speaks for itself. The filter is a plastic vessel in the shape of a jug.
A replaceable cartridge is installed in a special hole. It purifies water from impurities in ways that combine mechanical, chemical, and less commonly biological treatment.
To understand the principle of operation of the filter jug, you need to consider its "heart" - a replaceable cartridge in a section.
His interiors can be very diverse, it all depends on the manufacturer, but the technology is always the same. Water enters the filter from above, sequentially goes through all levels of purification and enters the jug's bowl.
What filtering substances can be in your filter jug:
- Activated carbon. The most common component. Due to the high level of adsorption, almost all harmful organic impurities are removed from the water;
- Zeolite. It is found very often in filters. Eliminates ammonia and other organic compounds;
- Shungite. Add to the cartridge to remove chlorine and its residues from water;
- Ion exchange resin. Softening, used in cartridges marked "for hard water";
- Anti bactericidal additives. Most often, based on silver ions - they are used to prevent the growth and reproduction of bacteria, algae and other undesirable living creatures inside the cartridge during its use.
The main advantages of pitcher category water purifiers are compactness and mobility. They can be transported and transported wherever you want, left on the table, placed in the kitchen cabinet, but at least in the refrigerator.
A significant plus - ease of use: poured, waited, ready. Attractive price compares with other types of filters.
Among the shortcomings, the average quality of treatment is distinguished - it all depends on the initial quality of tap water. Frequent cartridge replacement and small volume are not happy.
View # 2 - flow-through filter options
In the series of devices for mechanical purification of water, flowing varieties are leading.
There are several options for implementing this method:
- in the form of nozzles on the crane;
- under the sink and onto the highway.
Desktop - The easiest to use option. The cleaning system is a replaceable cartridge in a plastic case.
On one side there is a tap for purified water, on the other a flexible hose connecting the filter to a water tap.
To clean tap water, a nozzle is put on the tap and a low pressure is turned on. After passing through all levels of cleaning, ready-to-use water flows out of the filter.
Filter nozzle for crane - The same technology, but in a different design. Manufacturers simply reduced the distance between the cartridge and the spout of the mixer.
The filter nozzle has a universal mount and can be installed on the mixer with either an external thread or an internal one. The obvious advantage is that it does not take up space. Installing a nozzle is as simple as a desktop model - you can do without calling a plumber.
Filter system under the sink - The most radical method among flow filters.
Installation requires free space directly below the sink and space for the output of a separate tap from above. Such a filter It is connected directly to water pipes, and then to the mixer.
The modular filtration system is a console with plastic flasks. They are installed in the direction of movement of water in accordance with the degree of purification.
The first is mechanical filtration with retention of large mineral and organic inclusions. Next, the water passes through the modules that conduct sorption, softening, deferrization.
In addition to large dimensions, this option has no significant drawbacks. The degree of purification, of course, does not reach the more expensive reverse osmosis systems, but it is quite suitable for domestic use.
View # 3 - modernized ultrafilter clarification
Despite the loud name, the ultrafilter is a kind of flowing device located under the sink. It also consists of several series-connected flow modules with different characteristics.
In fact, the ultrafilter is a cross between a conventional flow system and a reverse osmosis system.
The main difference between the ultrafilter is the presence of a special finely porous membrane located in the cartridge of the fine filter. The size of the holes is from 0.1 to 0.01 μm.
Water enters the membrane after passing through all stages of mechanical cleaning: coal, polypropylene, etc. The pore size of the membrane is so small that even some bacteria and viruses do not pass, not to mention large particles.
An ultrafilter disinfects water without changing its chemical structure and mineral composition, which occurs when boiling, for example.
View # 4 - reverse osmosis system
The reverse osmosis system is by far the most advanced method of purifying tap water. The system includes mechanical filters for preliminary cleaning of sand, rust, organic compounds, chlorine, ammonia.
This is followed by a membrane with pores of 0.0001 μm, filtering water at the molecular level. After membrane cleaning, the filtered water enters a special tank, and all harmful impurities are discharged into the sewer.
The design of the system is quite complex, at the request of the customer, it can be equipped with additional components:
- pump - at low inlet pressure;
- pressure reducing gear - if the pressure is too high;
- tourmaline cartridge - to restore the structure of water;
- increased water capacity - for apartments with high consumption;
- mineralizer - enriches water with calcium, magnesium, sodium;
- ultraviolet block - control sterilization of water.
The disadvantage of reverse osmosis systems is energy dependence and the need to maintain a stable pressure.
Our site also has other materials about reverse osmosis systems, we suggest you familiarize yourself with:
- How to choose a reverse osmosis filter: ranking of the best manufacturers and their products
- How reverse osmosis works: the principle of operation of fine water purification devices
- Reverse osmosis: the harm and benefits of membrane purification of tap water
- DIY reverse osmosis: step-by-step assembly and installation instructions
Criteria for choosing a good filter
To understand which one is right for you, consider:
- average water consumption;
- degree of purification;
- availability of free space in the kitchen;
- Estimated purchase budget.
First of all, water consumption is taken into account. It depends on the number of people living in the apartment.
Criterion # 1 - daily water consumption
It is recommended to drink about 2 liters of water daily. Add to this amount 1 liter in the form of soup, tea and coffee, which are also best prepared with filtered water, and get an approximate rate of 3 liters of water per adult per day.
Using simple calculations, you can derive a monthly consumption rate for a family of three:
3 pax * 3 l / day * 30 days = 270 l.
By comparing the figures obtained with the declared resource and filter performance, you can choose the right model.
If we take into account that the average cartridge yield for a jug is 250-300 liters, then a family of three will have to change it every month. This is not very rational. It is better to buy a jug as a temporary portable filter, for example, for travel or for a summer residence.
Consider the same family of three people who, according to our estimates, consume 270 liters of purified water per month.
Having examined the market, we see that the cartridge yield for the reverse osmosis system is 3-6 thousand liters. About the same picture with sorption flow filters - 3.5-8 thousand liters.
- Min. 3000 L: 270 L / month = 11 months
- Max. 8000 l: 270 l / month. = 30 months
However, manufacturers do not recommend using the same cartridge system more than a year and even less. For a family of 3 people, any of the filters for washing is suitable. Moreover, it makes no sense to buy a filter with a larger consumption resource - it is unlikely that all 8000 liters per year will be able to be used.
Criterion # 2 - water quality without filter
What just doesn’t come to our apartments under the guise of tap water: sand, rust, algae, fungi, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, all kinds of salts, acids and bases - the list goes on.
Therefore, it is advisable to see the original picture before buying a filter.
You yourself will not find out, unless you have your own mini-laboratory and you are a chemist. The rest will have to collect water for examination. You can go to the sanitary and epidemiological station and take samples for analysis. Faster, but more expensive - private laboratories.
One of the key indicators is rigidity. It's no secret that our tap water is very hard. But how much? In the laboratory you will be given the exact value in mEq. If it is within 8, then the installation of a flow filter is allowed.
But such a system is unlikely to cope with very hard water - 8-12 + mEq. With this level of rigidity, only a reverse osmosis system is suitable, which simply does not let the molecules of hardness salts pass through the membrane.
Another direct indication for installing a reverse osmosis filter is the presence of organic matter in water.
Fungi, bacteria, viruses, even the simplest multicellular microorganisms - none of the above will get into your glass after passing through the membrane and final cleaning with ultraviolet light.
Criterion # 3 - free space and price
The availability of free space - everything is clear here. Not every kitchen has space for a large “under the sink” system, while the extra 15 cm2 for a jug on the table you can always arrange.
Often, filter selection is limited to a financial issue.
Arrange the filters in order of increasing cost:
- Pitcher - the average price is $ 10-12.
- Nozzle on the crane - $ 12-15.
- Desktop flowing - $ 22-25.
- Flow system for washing $ 60-80.
- Flowing filter with a membrane - ultrafilter - $ 80-85.
- The reverse osmosis system in different trim levels - $ 180-200.
An important nuance is the quality of the parts. All connecting elements must be of proper quality.
Criterion # 4 — Filter Maintenance Required
Buying and installing a filter is not all. It must be constantly looked after.
Some systems are designed in such a way that for full operation you do not need to contact the masters, everything is easily replaced and installed with your own hands in a few minutes.
The list of mandatory regular procedures includes:
- replacement of mechanical cleaning cartridges (for any filter - after the consumption of the declared amount of water or after the expiration of the useful life);
- reverse osmosis membrane replacement or in an ultrafilter (the period depends on the quality of water and the mode of use, on average - once every 1.5 years);
- membrane flushing (if it is to be chemically reduced, then it is much cheaper to rinse it than to change it);
- flushing valve and its prevention;
- refilling filters (replacement of cartridge fillers, iron removers, softeners);
- softener recovery chemicals (if any).
There are operations that can only be performed by an experienced master. For example, if you decide to install some additional elements to your reverse osmosis system, like a UV cleaner.
Rating of the best manufacturers
To make your task a little easier, we offer you a rating of the most popular (and for good reason) manufacturers of water filters. Perhaps this will narrow your search.
At least, most filter buyers opted for these brands.
No. 1 - filter for washing IKAR
Development of the Russian company SIC “IKAR”, which is a manufacturer of plants for the production of top-quality drinking water. The IKAR filter rightfully takes technological leadership in the market for household water treatment.
The ICAR filter is mounted under the sink and consists of:
- 5 step premium reverse osmosis system - the degree of water purification is the highest among competitors (~ 98%) according to WHO criteria.
- The patented SIC “Icarus” module, which activates very fresh water, structures and gives it a negative redox potential (ORP) an average of -300. In this case, the ionization of water lasts from 3-7 days in the storage tank. Water enhances immunity and has antioxidant properties.
- The mineralization unit built into the module works automatically in a dosed manner by the injection method, which ensures saturation of water with useful substances: K +, Ca ++, Mg ++, Se ++, Iodine ions. Mineralization is carried out using the mineral supplement “Severyanka plus” No. 4. Additive consumption is calculated on average per year of use.
The system has a low power consumption of 50 watts. The prime cost of the received water of the highest quality - 3 rubles / l. Also, SIC “IKAR” has developed a pH-reactor for raising the pH of water to values of 7.5 - 8.5, since the water comes out through osmosis with a low value of about one from the pH of the input water, it is purchased separately.
It is believed that the use of water with such pH values increases the overall life expectancy and allows you to maintain the acid-base balance of the body. The unique patented ICAR filter technology has been awarded prestigious international awards in Switzerland and Belgium.The installation has no analogues in the world, the technology allows you to get clean, tasty and healthy water at home.
The largest dealer of IKAR installations is home-spring.rf. Delivery is carried out in Russia and around the world. Any discounts are constantly valid. Installation services are provided in Moscow, Moscow Region and St. Petersburg.
Among the disadvantages of the installation are the following: at first glance, the high cost of the system compared to filters of a lower class, it is also necessary to replace replaceable reverse osmosis filter cartridges at least once a year (as in any other filter), once a year to buy the mineral supplement “Severyanka” plus ”(cost about 1 TR). However, the output is water, which is comparable in properties to the water from Lake Baikal and its cost is 3 p. for 1 liter.
No. 2 - Russian Aquaphor, aka Aquaphor
The well-known Russian brand Akvafor produces all of the above types of water filters. In principle, this manufacturer can satisfy every customer, there are offers for any budget.
Cartridges for jugs Aquaphor can be purchased not only in specialized stores, but also in many large supermarkets. This is very convenient, since they will have to be changed with enviable regularity.
In the rating of filters of the “jug” type for water purification of the Aquaphor trademark, 3 popular models can be distinguished:
- Aquaphor Ocean;
- Aquaphor Prestige;
- Aquaphor Premium.
Flowing filters Aquaphor are presented in a wide assortment. As a filtering filler, an innovative development of the manufacturer Aquaphor, the Aqualen substance, is used.
This material is a variation of the polypropylene filter patented by this trademark. Aquaphor offers flow filters with collapsible cartridges (you can add or change the filler) and non-collapsible (changes completely).
Top flow models:
- Aquaphor Trio;
- Aquaphor Crystal;
- Aquafor Favorite.
Aquaphor reverse osmosis systems are also very popular in our market due to their good quality, the availability of consumables and components and an affordable price.
The main element of the system - the membrane - is produced in China and Taiwan. This is considered a disadvantage of such filters. Reverse osmosis systems are represented by different versions of the filter Aquaphor OSMO and Morion.
No. 3 - domestic development Barrier
Like its main competitor, Aquaphor, the Barrier offers both filter jugs and simple desktop flow-through devices, as well as more complex flow-through systems and even reverse osmosis filters.
Popular jugs are easy to find in city supermarkets, cartridges for them are sold in many stores. Since Barrier consumables are suitable only for filters from this manufacturer, it is quite convenient. Pitchers themselves differ only in their design.
- Barrier Extra;
- Barrier Smart;
- Barrier Grand.
The line of flow-through filters is very widely represented. Depending on the type of your water, you can choose the right offer.
For example, with a high iron content they buy a system with Ferrostop technology, and with high rigidity - with a softening cartridge.
The barrier proudly names all the technologies used: if connected to the water supply, then "QuickFitting"if the carbon filter - then Carbon Blockif part of the water goes past the cartridge, then this is already "ByPass".
Reverse osmosis systems from this manufacturer have appeared on the market relatively recently. A 100 gallon membrane produced in Russia is used.
There is an unusual model - K-OSMOS. Its uniqueness is that all flasks and other elements are in a stylish translucent case, and not in the public domain, like most other manufacturers.
Among the other assortment of TM Barrier, very interesting positions are presented, such as a children's filter, a shower filter (important for bathing children), a filter status sensor.
The most popular models of flow filters Barrier:
- Barrier Expert;
- Barrier Standard;
- Barrier Profi.
Reverse osmosis systems are called Barrier Profi OSMO, SPACE, Barrier WaterFort Osmo.
No. 4 - inexpensive Taiwan Aqualine
Taiwanese manufacturer Aqualine specializes in reverse osmosis systems, as well as flow filtration systems.
The high quality of all components and the operation of the entire system allowed Aqualine to occupy a rather large niche in the market of filter manufacturers.
One of the features of these filters is that the first filter bulb is not made of ordinary white plastic, which we are used to seeing from other companies, but of durable transparent.
Why is this done? For the convenience of service. Through transparent walls it is visible when it is time to change a filler of cartridges.
Flasks are easy to install on the system Quick connect. It is possible to install a mineralizer after the membrane to restore water. The membrane is used in Korea.
Models: Aqualine standart - flowing under a sink; Aqualine RO-6 - reverse osmosis; Aqualine RO-5 - reverse osmosis.
No. 5 - South Korean Raifil (Raifil)
Another popular brand is Raifil. This company began its production activities in the early 00s and focused primarily on the South Korean market.
A component and filler plant is located in Taiwan, but the company works closely with South Korean firm S.S.K.
One of the advantages of Raifil is that they do not use widespread Chinese membranes, preferring Korean and American models. Raifil offers some of the best water purification filters among reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration systems.
The advantages of the filters of this company in high quality plastic, double O-ring, stiffeners along the length of all flasks, Teflon tape in the kit - for better fixation.
Reverse osmosis systems are equipped with high performance pumps. Universal flasks used, if desired, you can install flasks of any other manufacturer.
Like many other manufacturers, Raifil placed all the flasks of his filters on a mounting metal plate to protect against damage and ease of installation.
Raifil offers ultrafilters called Raifil Novo and reverse osmosis filters Raifil RO in different versions.
Conclusions and useful video on the topic
The video provides an overview of the most “running” model of Aqualine filters:
You can install the filter under the sink with your own hands, if these hands grow "where necessary." Here is a step-by-step instruction:
From the choice of water filters in specialized stores, your eyes run wide. With such an assortment, choosing a good quality model for reasonable money is a very feasible task. Responsibly approach the purchase and drink only clean water!
Are you looking for an effective water filter or have experience using such installations? Please leave comments on the article and impressions about the use of water filters.