Water plays a crucial role in our lives; while a human being can live for weeks without food, without water that duration is shortened considerably. Most people get their water from treated municipality supplies that despite being safe to drink occasional feature unpleasant taste and smell. Some of the chemicals used to disinfect water remain in the water in very tiny particles that cannot be seen with a naked eye. The solution is to use water filters, you can check out fridge water filter reviews and learn more about these filters.
How do water filters work?
Water filters utilize two unique techniques to eradicate dirt; physical and chemical filtration. The former refers to straining water so as to remove huge impurities. So, a physical filter is basically a special sieve in the form of a fine textile membrane or thin gauze. These filters are normally given micron rating that indicates their effectiveness in terms of the particle size they are capable of removing. Chemical filtration, on the other hand, involves passing the water through active materials that eradicate impurities chemically as the water pass through.
Types of Active Filters
- Active Caron Filters
As the name suggests, these filters use carbon, the element that has been found to be highly effective at filtering water-borne contaminants. The reason is carbon has a huge internal surface, which is jam-packed with crannies and nooks capable of trapping chemical impurities like chlorine. So, the domestic water filters featuring GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) are effective at reducing unwanted odors and tastes through absorption.
- Ion Exchange Filters
Ion Exchange filters are especially great at softening water (removing limescale). This type of chemical filters is designed to separate atoms of contaminating substances thus forming electrically-charged ions before trapping the ions and releasing other less harmful ones into the water. The filters, therefore, exchange bad ions in your drinking water for good ones. It mostly eliminates magnesium and calcium ions, that have odors and cause hardening of water and introduce the less troublesome sodium ions. Disadvantages of this form of filtration include; introduction of different contaminant and the need to recharge the filters from time to time with sodium ions.
- Sequestration Filters
Sequestration simply refers to chemically isolating a substance. Water filters using this technique utilize food grade polyphosphate as it can sequester magnesium and calcium, the minerals responsible for corrosion and limescale. However, since polyphosphate is only introduced in small amounts it only prevents the large-scale occurrence of the minerals instead of totally eradicating them. So, sequestration does not soften water but instead minimize the level of minerals in water thus inhibiting them from forming precipitates on any of the surfaces.
Different water filters have unique limitations on their filtration process. So, modern day filters employ a combination of the above techniques to capitalize on their strengths. For instance, modern household jug filters use physical, carbon and ion-exchange methods while inline filters use physical and carbon (with some models, designed to prevent scale, including sequestration).
Water filters use different techniques to eliminate unwelcome odors and substances from your drinking water. So, you need to familiarize yourself with the difference and limitations of the various filtration techniques. This way you can easily identify the filter that best suits your application. Consider settling for models that combine different techniques for even better results.