Carbon filters have actually been in existence for hundreds of years. In fact there is evidence that they were used in ancient Egypt as a purifier. Charcoal was added to water containers to kill harmful organizers and improve the flavor.
Many people; will tell you that a carbon filtration system is all that you need to ensure you have pure water coming out of your tap at home. The best water filters certainly have carbon filtration systems in them.
But, before you rush out to purchase a carbon filtration system, it is important to understand what it can do and what it can’t.
What The Carbon Filter Does
The carbon filter works through a process known as adsorption. Fluid passes through the carbon and the pores on the structure trap debris and other pollutant materials.
Carbon is very effective at removing chlorine, sediment and volatile organic compounds. It can also make the water taste better and remove any odors.
However, there is a limit to the capabilities of carbon. While it can remove particles as small as 0.5 micrometers, anything smaller than this will be allowed through.
In fact, you’ll need to verify the filter capability of the carbon filter you choose to ensure it removes the right particles for you.
It is worth noting that the flow rate of your water will make a difference to the efficiency and capabilities of your carbon filter. The lower the flow rate the longer the water will stay in the filter and the more contaminants that will be removed.
What The Carbon Filter Doesn’t Remove
Unfortunately no filter is perfect. The carbon filter is a very popular and very effective filter but there are a number of things that it cannot remove:
- Hard water
If one of the above substances is likely to be in your water then you may need to look at purchasing a different type of filter.
Fluoride is actually added to the water by many, but not all, water boards. It is believed to help improve tooth health but there have been questions over its impact on your health. This is why some water treatment works do not add it.
It is also important to note that hard water is a completely separate issue. It is caused by mineral uptake as the water passes through rocks. The hardness of your water will be dependent on the area you live in.
Using The Carbon Filter
Once you have decided that the carbon filter is what you need, despite the few limitations, then you can install an inline system in your home. This involves creating a branch from your mains water to the filter and on to a specific tap.
Alternatively you can run all the water in the house through a carbon filtration system. Obviously this is a more expensive option but prevents you from having to worry about which tap to use for drinking or doing your teeth.
Carbon filters may be ineffective against a few substances but they are still one of the best methods of ensuring your water is safe to drink; that’s a big benefit.