The quality of tap water has long ceased to be considered sufficient to eat it without additional purification. The specific taste and smell of untreated water can spoil the cooked dish, and it is completely unpleasant to drink it. For this reason, many people install a water filter under the sink in the kitchen of their home or apartment, which is better and which characteristics are important when choosing – we will look at this article.
How to choose a water filter for washing: features of devices
The name speaks for itself about the specifics of using these devices. Filters of this type are installed directly under the sink on water pipes using special connectors. During the cleaning process, the water is discharged through a separate faucet mounted on the sink.
Another option for placing such filters (in cases when there is not enough free space under the sink) is to mount to the wall. Special flexible connections allow you to effectively connect elements and supply purified water through the same additional tap on the sink.
An inexperienced user can easily get lost in the abundance of offers that are on the market today. After all, not only is there a lot of manufacturers, each filter also has its own peculiarity. Therefore, in order to facilitate the selection, consider in detail the three main selection criteria:
- type of filter installed;
- manufacturing firm;
- choice of device model.
In order to make the right choice, you need to navigate the proposals that are on the market today. It is best to familiarize yourself with each of the types of devices in advance, so that you can purchase the one that best suits you
All filters for drinking water under the sink are divided into two large groups according to the principle of their work: flow-through and water filters with reverse osmosis. Buy the best one that will be appropriate in your situation. Consider both options.
Modern models of flow-through filters carry out the purification of the passing water in several stages. As a rule, the process consists of passing three or four modules, each of which affects the quality of the water produced. The main argument in favor of buying a flow filter for water under the sink is the ability to independently change the complete set of cartridges and thus regulate the degree and quality of cleaning. Among the most popular modules you can find not only mechanical filters, but also those that purify water with the help of small particles of silver or a special sorbent.
Such filtering allows not only cleaning from mechanical impurities, but also eliminating particles of chlorine along with the corresponding odor, and eliminating unsafe microorganisms that can harm human health. Also, multi-level cleaning allows you to rid the water of pesticides that fall into it, heavy metal salts, and even oil refining products, if any. All this can be adjusted independently by installing cartridges of various types.
Replaceable cartridges for water filters are of the following types:
- cartridges for water purification only from mechanical impurities;
- universal, which are suitable for ordinary water supplied through the mains. They are fairly well cleaned of all the most common impurities;
- cartridges for cleaning very hard water;
- providing water purification, which is characterized by an excessive amount of metallic impurities;
- antibacterial, allowing the destruction of microorganisms that can live in water, including various viruses, bacteria and cysts.
Given the variety of options that are on sale, pick up and install the appropriate labor cartridges will not be. And although in the future they will require regular replacement, which will entail additional costs, you will be able to protect and provide yourself with clean and high-quality water.
Note! Identify exactly what threats can be in the water, can only expertise. To do this, you must take the sample for analysis, then wait for the results, and only then begin to select the appropriate cartridges.
The second type of systems uses the principle of reverse osmosis. Externally, these filters resemble conventional sorption devices, but they have a significant difference: a few additional nodes that provide better cleaning. There may be several such modules: from one to four, and in some models of premium class and five.
By themselves, they represent the plastic container inside which the cartridge is located, but together they constitute a complex cleaning system. A mandatory component is a module equipped with a reverse osmotic membrane, which provides ultra-thin water purification.
The advantages of reverse osmosis filters for cleaning water under the sink include:
- high level of purification from various mechanical impurities;
- high-quality purification from various organic compounds, hydrocarbons, chlorine and salts of heavy metals due to the presence of coal sorbent;
- possibility of water purification from iron impurities.
A module equipped with a reverse osmosis membrane is always installed last in the chain, and water flows to it only after preliminary cleaning of mechanical impurities. A special membrane is designed in such a way that only water molecules can pass through its pores, while larger particles remain outside.
However, it should be borne in mind that for the passage of water through such a membrane it is required that the pressure in the system be at least 3-3.5 bar. For this purpose, a special pump is often added to the filter kit, which additionally pumps pressure to the desired level.
Helpful advice! Separate models of such devices can be equipped with special ultraviolet lamps that can destroy microorganisms that can harm health, and completely disinfect water.
Such filters for water purification by reverse osmosis ultimately give water, the composition of which can be compared perhaps with distilled. And its use, as is known, cannot at all have a positive effect on human health. Therefore, the lack of mineral substances must be artificially replenished using a special mineralizer.
It happens as follows: water passes through the membrane at a low speed, which allows using a special reservoir for this purpose. As a rule, its volume does not exceed 10 liters. In it, water is enriched with essential trace elements in the quantity that is really necessary. In addition, such a container greatly facilitates the task, if you suddenly need a large amount of water, and there is no time to wait until it clears.
Given all of the above, we can conclude that reverse osmosis cleaning systems are the most advanced to date. The level of purification they are able to offer can be compared to that practiced for bottled drinking water sold in a store.
After you get an idea of each type of filter that can be installed under the sink, you must decide which option to make. And, oddly enough, focus on this issue should be more on the quality of water than on the technology itself of a filter.
In order to really present a complete picture of the quality of tap water, you must contact a special laboratory that takes samples for analysis. It is important to understand that water is an individual matter, and its composition largely depends not only on where it is taken and how well it is cleaned, but also on the path it takes after. So, rusty water pipes are one of the main sources of mechanical impurities, as well as a favorable habitat for many dangerous infections and bacteria.
In order to get a qualitative analysis of water, you can contact the sanitary epidemiological station, providing them with a clean plastic bottle filled with tap water. But in this case, the results will have to wait a certain time. Another option is to take the same sample to the test center. In this case, the service will cost more, but they will do everything very quickly.
Water testing is done on thirty points, which allows you to get the most detailed picture of its quality. The greatest threat is the presence of radiation in the water. The level of presence of lime, iron, salts and various organic elements, which include pathogenic viruses and bacteria, is also checked.
Additionally, an analysis is carried out to determine the PH level of water, the degree of its transparency, as well as the compliance of smell and taste with the norms. You get the results in writing, after which you can proceed to the selection of the appropriate filter and cartridges.
There are several basic rules that allow you to make the right choice, and choose the most suitable model.
If an excess of substances such as chlorine, iron or other chemical compounds was detected in water, but the level of hardness is normal, then the following set of cartridges will be enough:
- for cleaning from mechanical impurities;
- sorption, which contains activated carbon;
- for the removal of iron impurities.
If the analysis showed that the level of water hardness exceeds the established norms, then you must also take care of the presence of a softening cartridge. However, in this case it is not the flow filters that are considered to be more effective, but systems equipped with the function of reverse osmosis. In this case, the role of the softener is performed by the reverse osmosis membrane.
The removal of various microorganisms from the water should also be given special attention. They can have a negative impact on human health. And here, again, the reverse osmosis system can help, equipped with an ultraviolet filter, which is designed to destroy even the smallest microorganisms that can penetrate through the pores of the membrane.