Last Updated September 2019
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Under Sink Water Filter System - Buying Guide
Research shows that tap water supplies in the United States often have as many as 2000 carcinogenic agents present in it. This makes water filtration / purification essential for homes. Many homeowners opt to install an under-sink water filter system to provide safe water for the kitchen.
An undersink water filter system has its advantages. For one, the unit is not visible - many people prefer not to have their water filters show. A good quality system can remove much of the contaminants present in tap water. Installation usually takes only about half an hour or so.
To provide safe water, these water filter systems must eliminate heavy metals like lead, as well as other contaminants like chlorine, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, bacteria and many other pollutants. Under-sink water filters achieve this by using multi-stage filtration systems. Some of the filtration technologies used include carbon filtration, ion exchange, sub-micron filtration and others, depending on the model chosen.
In contrast, city water supplies often use antiquated filtration technologies which cannot effectively remove much of the contamination present in water. Moreover, regulations only set upper limits for only a few dozen chemical pollutants in water - the thousands of other contaminants are not constrained by regulation.
One point to note is that natural water contains many essential minerals like potassium and magnesium in trace amounts. These minerals are needed for maintaining good health and normal functioning of the human body. Drinking water that has been stripped of all minerals is known to be harmful when continued for long periods of time. Therefore, you must make sure that the under-sink water filter system you choose removes harmful contaminants while retaining the mineral content of water.
To get a clear idea of what gets removed by the filter, read through the product's Performance Data Sheet carefully. This tells you exactly what substances are filtered out by the system and to what extent. The Performance Data Sheet will give you an overview of the filter's capabilities.
Under-sink water filter systems need to adhere to performance standards mandated by law. Different states have varying guidelines for what constitutes acceptable performance for these products. They certify a product after studying its design, manufacture and performance in detail, including filtration technologies used, purity of the water output, the manufacturer's internal standards, claims made about the product and more.
It is understood that California has some of the strictest guidelines in this respect. Therefore, try to go with a filter that has a California certification - you should then get the maximum protection out of it.
It is also important to choose a reputed filter manufacturer who has been in business for years and understands the technologies well. Most reputed manufacturers offer a performance guarantee or satisfaction guarantee. Makes sure that the filter you buy does offer a guarantee. That way, if there are issues with the way the filter is working, you can ask to replace it or even get a refund.
Ask your friends to recommend a good under-sink water filter system. Even better, ask if they know of any models that are known to have performance issues. It is sometimes best to work by eliminating models that are of inferior quality.
A good water filter system is a must for every home, given the pollution levels present in municipal water supplies today.