Your guide to water purifiers

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As time has gone on, water purifiers have become more and more popular, both inside and out of homes. With the ease of access, a large number of people have looked into buying home appliances to ensure their family’s water is safe. However, because there are so many different kinds of water purifiers for sale, it can be difficult to know which is the proper investment. This guide to water purifiers will help you understand the ins and outs of the process.

What is in your water?
Certain kind of filters remove certain contaminants from the water. While some filters remove more than others, it is best to take a targeted approach and find a filter that fits your needs. Once you know what materials are in your water that you need to avoid, you can find a water purifier that will fit your needs.

Types of Filter
There are numerous kinds of filters, some of which work better than others.

1. Carafe Filter
This model is a pitcher with a filter fitted to the top. To use it, water is poured in at the top and left to drain through the filter. This model is small and inexpensive, and works great for one or two people; however, a family of four would find difficulty, as it would need to be refilled multiple times per day. The average carafe filter costs around Tk 600.
Pros: It doesn’t take up much space, and removes chloroform and lead. Inexpensive.
Cons: Takes a while to filter, and doesn’t hold much clean water. Requires multiple refillings to be used constantly.
2. Faucet-Mounted Filter
This filter attaches directly to a water faucet, filtering water as it flows through. To replace, it’s a simple matter of unscrewing the old one and putting a new one on. The model also allows for unfiltered water flow. A faucet mounted filter tends to cost around Tk 650.
Pros: Inexpensive and easy to use.
Cons: Reduces water flow, and doesn’t always fit on all faucets.
3. Counter top Filters
These are similar to carafe filters in size, but attach directly to a faucet. While these models allow you to filter more water quickly, their inherent size means they can clutter counter tops
Pros: Allow for a lot of filtered water, works quickly. Standard price for a counter top filter is around Tk 1,500.
Cons: Can clutter counter top, doesn’t always fit all faucets.
4. Under-sink Filters
These models are some of the most effective kinds, but require professional installation, which leads to their costs being a bit outside many people’s price range. They fit underneath the sink, allowing the user to store a large amount of filter water. The average under-sink filter costs around Tk 14,000.
Pros: Works quickly and efficiently while storing a lot of water.
Cons: Expensive modification is required to the kitchen.
5. Reverse-osmosis filters.
These filters are some of the most effective options available. They work by using the household water pressure to cause water to pass through a membrane that removes a large number of contaminants. These filters are the only way to remove arsenic from the water supply. However, there is a downside – they require cleaning with bleach on a regular basis, and the membrane itself requires replacement. The average reverse osmosis filter costs around Tk 42,000.
Pros: Very effective, and not as expensive as they could be.
Cons: Take an extremely long time to filter, and wastes a lot of excess water in the filtering process.
6. Whole-house filters.
These filters do just what it sounds like they do: filter water through the entire home. This means that when you turn on your faucets, clean water is coming out. However, this requires changes to the plumbing that a professional must perform.
Pros: Convenient, and relatively inexpensive. Long filter life.
Cons: Doesn’t remove a wide range of contaminants. Requires plumbing changes.

Added Features
While water filters tend to be pretty straightforward, there are additional devices that can be purchased and added on to make filtering water easier. These include an electronic indicator to tell you when to change the filter, as well as connections. When you’re’ trying to make the plumbing changes yourself, having an easy way to screw and unscrew plumbing connections can make all the difference in the world, and make your job much easier. The electronic indicator will change color when the filter is no longer effective, alerting you to change it.

What Water Filters Remove
Most filters are designed to remove mineral contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and other harmful substances. This is the problem with water in many places; however, few filters are meant to remove another hidden danger: bacteria and viruses.

Bacteria and viruses are microscopic, meaning they slip through the membrane filter very easily, getting into your family’s water and leading to sickness. Bacteria such as giardia, cryptosporidium, and helminths are common, and lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and more. The only real way to purify them is to get an expensive UV light treatment option, or to boil the water before drinking. Boiling it is the easiest option; after the water has been boiled, it can be cooled through refrigeration. While it does add additional time to the filtering process, it is worth it for the assurance of safety.

What brand to buy?
The brand isn’t as important when dealing with water filters are their overall effectiveness. Brands exist because many companies specialize in just a single type of water filter, and have built their business model around that. It’s not like clothing – water filters work whether they are brand name or not. When shopping for filters, look for the effectiveness rating.

You can even buy used water filters, but a word of caution: ensure that it works properly before purchasing, and buy your own filters. Used water filters are a health hazard, because if the filter itself has become contaminated, nothing it filters will be safe. New filters are less expensive than an entire filtering system, and can often be bought in bulk. When you purchase the filter, store it somewhere that it will remain clean and dry until it is needed.

A Few Final Thoughts
Your family’s safety and health is paramount. No matter what else, people should be entitled to a safe food and water supply. This means taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that happens. While water filters are not always cheap, they are always a good investment. Removing harmful chemicals from water ensures that your children are consuming nothing that can hurt them.

Once you have a water filter, maintenance is easy. The majority of filters are rated for 300 gallons of water, so keep track of how much you use on a daily basis, and replace your filter after a set amount of time. If you do not, the filter itself becomes dirty and discolored, and water takes longer to pass through. Replacement filters are inexpensive and can help keep your family safe, so stay on top of the maintenance. Whether you want a carafe, a faucet-mounted filter, or a more thorough option like a whole-house filter, they are all effective and useful. Even if the filter you have doesn’t remove everything, it’s a step in the right direction.

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