How to Choose a Water Filter

- October 3, 2018



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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains the many options available for filtering drinking water. (See below for a shopping list and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Choose a Water Filter:
– Pitcher-style water filter
– Faucet-mounted water filter
– Under-sink water filter
– Under-sink reverse-osmosis water filter
– Whole-house water filter
– Sediment filter

Steps for How to Choose a Water Filter:
1. The simplest way to filter tap water is with a pitcher-style water filter, which has a granulated carbon filter that improves taste and odor, and removes some chlorine and sediment.
2. Faucet-mounted filters have a switch that diverts tap water through a granulated carbon filter. Turn on the switch for filtered drinking water; flip it off when washing dishes.
3. For greater water filtration convenience and capacity, install an under-sink, dual-filter system that has its own gooseneck faucet.
4. For optimum point-of-use filtration, consider a reverse-osmosis system. Water passes through a series of three filters, resulting in extremely clean, pure drinking water.
5. Whole-house water filters are installed near the water main and are ideal for delivering clean, filtered water to every faucet throughout the entire house.
6. There are a variety of filters available to remove a wide range of impurities.
7. Sediment filters contain a stainless-steel pre-screen filter and back-flush system that automatically cleans the filter.
8. For the highest level of water filtration, first have your tap water tested, then call in a water-treatment specialist to install a whole-house filtration system designed specifically to treat your water.

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Comments (185)

  • It sounds like the reverse osmosis wastes A LOT of water

    LeopardLover LeopardLover - 1 month ago

  • Ima stick with my spring water cooler.

    Albert Hazelnuts - 1 month ago

  • At 2:00, so when you said that for every gallon of RO-treated water, another 1 to 2 gallons get flushed away? That seems wasteful and highly inefficient, no? Can you do reviews of those high-end water treatment systems, like ones on Ebay, Healthy Kitchen 101, Amazon, etc??

    Benny C. Miller - 1 month ago

  • Why would I filter my toilet water

    IRON60 BITCH - 1 month ago

  • Just because Flint Michigan event happened doesn't mean Public water is NOT perfectly safe. More so on average, public water is perfectly safe to drink. Tap water is regulated by the EPA which recognizes over 90 different containments that they look for to pass regulation. Bottled water is regulated through the FDA and they don't really ask about individual water company results. So you don't know how they're filtering it. You can just filter water yourself.

    Brandon Morris - 1 month ago

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