TOP 10 tips on what to look out for when buying a water filtration system
1. Does the filter take standard size cartridges, many systems will take non standard cartridges meaning that even if you pay less for the system at first you could end up paying more money over the lifetime of the water filter in expensive non standard cartridges. Standard size cartridges are referred to as 10" they are actually 9 3/4" long.
2. If you are buying a water filtration system that connects to the town water supply in Australia, you need to ensure that it is installed by a licensed plumber (not a "service technician" etc.) ask to see their plumbers license.
3. Any plumbed in system should always be fitted with a pressure limiting valve, pressure fluctuates during the day, the pressure limiting valve protects the housing from water hammer, if your water filter cracks due to this and you do not have this valve installed will your insurance company pay for the damage caused?
4. Are the cartridges that are used certified by NSF or Water Quality Association? Both bodies are recognised globally and test water filter cartridges for claims made by the manufacturers.
5. Lifetime Warranty, if you think that this is too good to be true then you are right. This is is used to convince the unsuspecting buyer that the system must be superior than anything else available. The lifetime usually refers to the expected life of the system which could be anything from 1 year to 10 years, even the best quality systems should be replaced after 10 years.
6. In the case of plumbed in water filtration systems, have they been tested to Australian Standards 3497 and watermark approved?
7. How often do the cartridges need to be replaced, are the cartridges certified, and how much will they cost?
8. When referring to micron size is the filter absolute or nominal, for example Omnipure rate all their cartridges as absolute so a 1 micron Omnipure cartridge is in fact a 0.5 micron nominal micron rating. The lower the micron rating the finer the filter.
9. Carbon is Carbon quite simply any carbon cartridge will remove the following contaminants unwanted tastes, odours, chlorine, detergents, radon, and some man-made, organic chemicals such as many pesticides, and volatile organic chemicals, such as paint thinners. Carbon filtration does not remove microbes, sodium, nitrates, fluoride, and hardness. Lead and other heavy metals are removed only by a very specific type of Carbon filter. Unless the manufacturer states that its product will remove heavy metals, one should assume that the Carbon filter is not effective in removing them. Whilst carbon is carbon many cartridges will treat for less than 3000 Litres due to the amount of carbon that goes into the manufacturing process, think about it like a printer cartridge the more ink the more pages you can print.
10. Finally talk to the supplier before buying the product, ask them questions and let them answer before selecting your system. It can be a confusing subject and unfortunately some suppliers will muddy the waters to try and sell their particular brand.