Understanding the Different Types of Water Filtration Systems

You probably have heard of water before. It’s that thing that comprises 60% of the human body. It’s not hard to determine that water is a vital component of your diet, and drinking it is not just a pleasurable activity but a lives-saving operation.

Dramatism aside, getting water in your home is, without a doubt, your most important service.

Unfortunately, the plumbing that brings it in is often old and rusty, drastically deteriorating the water quality. That’s essentially why water filtration systems exist–to remove contaminants and improve the overall quality of your water.

Choosing the right filter, however, might be tricky, so let’s dive a bit deeper into what, why and which water filters.

What Is A Water Filtration System?

Its function is to remove impurities from water using various filtration methods. Imagine your tap water as a wild jungle full of unseen creatures and impurities.

A water filtration system is like a brave explorer that ventures into this jungle, equipped with tools to capture and remove all the yucky stuff, leaving behind clean and pure water for you to enjoy.

It operates much like fishermen. They dip their nets into the water, catching all the fish swimming around. But instead of fish, the net catches tiny particles, dirt, chemicals, and even some pesky bacteria that are lurking in the water.

That’s exactly how a water filtration system works, but instead of a net, it uses various filtration methods to catch and remove impurities from your water.

They are typically installed at the point of entry (POE), where the main water line enters your home or at the point of use (POU), where the water is dispensed, such as under the sink or on a faucet.

By filtering out contaminants, water filtration systems provide cleaner, healthier, and better-tasting water for you and your family.

Why Are Water Filtering Systems Important for Your Plumbing?

Water filtering systems are important for your plumbing for several reasons.

Firstly, they help protect your plumbing fixtures and appliances from the damaging effects of sediment and other impurities. Sediment build-up can clog pipes, faucets, and showerheads, reducing water flow and causing damage over time.

By removing these impurities, water filtration systems can extend the lifetime of your plumbing and save you money on costly repairs.

Secondly, water filtering systems improve the taste and odour of your water. For example, chlorine, commonly used as a disinfectant in public water supplies, can leave an unpleasant taste and smell.

Filtration systems can effectively remove chlorine and other chemicals, resulting in water that is healthier and more enjoyable to drink.

Lastly, water filtration systems provide peace of mind by removing potentially harmful contaminants from your water.

These systems can eliminate various pollutants, such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical residues, ensuring your water is safe for you and your family.

The Top 5 Types Of Water Filtration Systems

Choosing the right type of water filtration system is just as important as finding the right plumber – it is hard. If you’re doing this for the first time, it’s quite possible you didn’t even know that there is more than one type of filter and many criteria to choose from.

So, here are the five most common water filter systems that are used in the UK.

Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters, also known as sediment filters, are like superheroes that specialise in catching and trapping larger particles and sediment in your water.

They are the bouncers at the door of your water supply, ensuring no unwanted particles make it through. These filters use materials like ceramic, fabric, or pleated paper with tiny pores that act as a barrier, capturing sediments and preventing them from entering your plumbing system.

Mechanical filters are great for areas with high sediment content or well water, where particles like sand, rust, or dirt may be present. They keep your water flowing smoothly and protect your pipes, faucets, and appliances from clogs and damage.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

Reverse osmosis (RO) filters are the stealthy ninjas of the water filtration world. They excel at removing a wide range of contaminants from your water supply. RO systems use a semi-permeable membrane that acts like a ninja sword, slicing and dicing impurities to ensure only pure water passes through.

These filters can remove dissolved solids, heavy metals, chlorine, pesticides, and even microorganisms, leaving you with crystal-clear and great-tasting water. RO filters often have multiple stages of filtration, including pre-filters and post-filters, to maximise their effectiveness.

They are particularly popular for improving the taste and quality of tap water, giving you water that rivals bottled water but without the environmental impact.

Ion Exchange Filters

Ion exchange filters are like the magicians of the water filtration world, performing a trick called water softening.

They specialise in removing minerals that cause water hardness, such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.

These filters use a process where unwanted ions are exchanged for more desirable ones, like sodium or potassium ions. It’s like a magic wand that transforms hard water into soft water.

Water softening prevents scale build-up in pipes, faucets, and appliances and makes your soap and detergent more effective, giving you softer skin, shinier hair, and cleaner dishes.

Ion exchange filters are commonly used in areas with hard water issues, bringing a touch of magic to your everyday water usage.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters are the comedians of the water filtration world, dedicated to removing unpleasant tastes and odours from your water supply. They have a knack for adsorbing contaminants and impurities.

These filters use activated carbon, a material with a large surface area and lots of microscopic pores that act like tiny magnets, attracting and trapping impurities.

They have a great sense of humour and can remove chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bad tastes, and odours from your water, making it more enjoyable to drink and cook with.

Activated carbon filters are most often used in point-of-use systems, like under-sink filters or pitchers, as well as in whole-house systems for comprehensive filtration.

Ultra Violet Filters

Ultraviolet (UV) filters are like the germ-zapping superheroes in the water filtration realm. They wield the power of UV light to neutralise and destroy bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms lurking in your water.

UV filters essentially work by exposing the water to UV rays. They penetrate the cells of microorganisms and damage their DNA, rendering them unable to reproduce and causing their demise.

These filters provide an extra layer of protection against waterborne pathogens, ensuring your water is free from harmful microbes.

It’s like having a shield of protection for you and your family. UV filters are frequently used together with other filtration methods to provide a multi-barrier approach to water purification.

How to install a filter

Installing a filter is not complicated per se since most filters have well-written instructions on what you need and how to do it.

Still, keep in mind that you will be handling your water system, which may cause problems afterwards if you fail to connect and insulate everything as it needs to be. For example, leaking pipes under the sink are easily noticeable and are not a huge problem.

On the other hand, a leaking pipe at the entry point of your plumbing system may cause much more significant damage to your home.

So, if you are unsure what to do or simply prefer to leave the plumbing work to someone else, you better call an expert plumber to install your filter.

After that, changing the filters will be all you. But the initial investment in hiring a professional to install such a crucial part of your water supply is a great idea.