Best Water Filter Advice

What is the Best Water Filter for Australian Water (updated 2019)

When choosing a water filtration systems there are many things to consider, do I want a countertop water filter or would a more discreet under sink water filter out of view suit my needs better?

There are many different water filters available it can be difficult choosing the best water filter and water filtration system, even after spending hours on the internet reading all the water filter reviews, recommendations and comparisons.  What is the best water filter?  Which water filter should I buy?  Which water filter is right for me?  What factors should I consider?

If you have put in the time going through the various forums you will have found that by necessity most people’s reviews and recommendations are of filtration systems that they have owned, so it’s difficult to get the view of someone who is familiar with all the major brands. Clear Choice have been involved in servicing and installing water filtration devices for over 20 years, we are not tied into one brand as we are an independent family owned Australian business, this means that we can supply and install the best water filters to match your situation. Here is a list of the choices available and the pros and cons of each:

Countertop Water Filters

Water Filter Jugs

Pros: Inexpensive to buy, convenient and easy to use. Depending on manufacturer the jug can remove anything from just chlorine right up to fluoride reduction, using a mixture of activated carbon, activated alumina and ion exchange resin. Can also be used to produce alkaline water although we could not find any manufacturer who were claiming that molecular hydrogen was produced which is in our opinion the major benefit of high pH water.

Cons: Slow to filter water, some models can clog easily, short life of cartridges making cost per litre expensive, some brands are limited on amount of contaminants that they can remove. Due to the small size of the cartridge required to fit in the jug the reduction of contaminants would be very limited to maybe the first few litres in some cases.

Leading brands of water filter jugs are Brita, Zerowater and Soma. Each company has different methods of filtration which have huge impacts on the water. Here are a few of the methods used:

Brita Maxtra

This uses activated carbon and ion exchange resin. The ion exchange is not selective, that is it will reduce all  minerals in the water not just those which cause limescale. There is no micron rating which means that cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium will not be removed by this filter. Reports from the Telegraph UK states that the pH of the water is 6.5 which is acidic. And a reduction in TDS (total dissolved solids) of the water from 360 ppm to 258 ppm.

Zero Water

As above there is no micron rating for cyst removal. The jug uses a 5 stage filter with ion exchange resin that according to their website will reduce the TDS to zero. The downside of any ion exchange resin is a fishy taste in the drinking water produced. This from their website:

"Once the filter reaches end of life, you may experience an acidic or slightly fishy smell/taste in the water. As indicated in our instructions, once the digital meter reaches 006 or the light indicator lights up (depending on which was included in your device) you should discontinue the use of the expired filter and replace it."

Soma Water

The best looking jug by far however there are unfortunately very few details on their website as to what the filter media is.

CONCLUSION: As the major outlets such as Big W are selling the jugs, they have became quite popular. They can become expensive as the cartridges are quite small and you cannot buy generic replacements meaning that you are "locked" into buying from that manufacturer, a bit like buying an inexpensive laser printer only to find out that the cartridges end up costing 4 times as much as the printer. If you want a simple solution to make the water taste better by removing chlorine then you may consider the jug option, it is just not for us and that is why we do not sell them. The Best Water Filter jug may well come down to price and availability of the cartridges.


Water Distillers

Pros: Can remove all contaminants from the water.

Cons: Distilled water is extremely pure and needs to be fed through a carbon filter to improve taste, also any beneficial minerals that may be in the water are removed. Distillers can be expensive to buy and maintain, they also require a great deal of energy to produce pure water. Due to the build up of impurities in the boiling chamber, it is necessary to clean and descale the unit regularly.

What is the Best Distiller?

The process is very slow and due to the nature of distillation, all the units on the market will produce the same water which is 100% pure with a TDS of Zero, given that the best water filter distiller may well come down to production rate, weight (if you use this for travelling) and energy consumption.

The basics of distillation is to boil the water and then trap the condensate in a series of coiling coils before passing the pure water through a pad of granulated activated carbon to improve palatability. Things to look out for are the materials that the system and storage container are made from, it stands to reason that the units made from stainless steel and glass holding jars will outlast plastic models. The pH of all water created by distillation will be 7 however as soon as the water is exposed to the air, it will absorb carbon dioxide which will make the water slightly acidic.


Ceramic Urns

Pros: Water tastes good, inexpensive, can be made to suit kitchen decor.

Cons:  Low flow rate (1-3 litres per hour), Set up is fragile, breaks easily, allowing bad water through undetectable cracks, cleaning results in removal of ceramic layer; over time, filter life is short. Urns can develop hair line cracks which can cause a build up of bacteria, in fact some manufacturers recommend that the urn is replaced every 2 years. Take up a lot of bench space.

The largest manufacturer in Australia is Southern Cross, there is not really a best when it comes to ceramic urns; however the quality of the candle, that is the cartridge that your water is fed through from the top chamber to the bottom certainly does make a difference.

If you want a high quality candle, stick with the UK manufacturers such as Doulton, KLT or Ultraceram.

The UK made Ultraceram Candle is extremely good at removing fluoride and heavy metals.

Stainless Steel Urns

The only benefit above the ceramic urn, is that they will not develop cracks, whether they are as aesthetically pleasing would be down to the individuals taste or kitchen decor.

On Tap Water Filter

Pros: Fits directly on to your kitchen tap. Does not take up any bench top space. Inexpensive to buy. Easy to fit (N.B. not all models can also be a con)

Cons: May not fit your tap as thread size vary from one kitchen faucet tap to another. short life of cartridges making cost per litre expensive, some brands are limited on amount of contaminants that they can remove.

As with the jugs Brita are a leading supplier along with Culligan, Instapure and our choice the Aragon on tap water filter.

Brita

One of the advantages of using this water filter is the good water flow it produces. 

Culligan

One of the advantages of using this filter is the long warranty period it comes with. With a 2-year warranty period, it’s clear that the manufacturer is confident enough in this model to believe it will last longer.

Aragon

Removes a wide range of contaminants and due to he fact that it has a ceramic cartridge, it can be removed and cleaned in areas with high sediment loads such as Melbourne.

  • Deepwater purification by Aragon material (patent #2289636)

  • Repeated usage regeneration restores filtering properties

  • The capacity is up to 3000 liters

  • Bacteriostatic effect active silver in the cartridge blocks microorganisms multiplication

  • Quasi-softening reduces scale formation on heating elements

We believe the Aragon system is the best on tap option. Use the code Aragon10 at our checkout for 10% of the list price.

More Info.   

Bench Top Carbon Filters 

Pros: Housings are durable and last a long time, can be fitted with multiple cartridges to remove a wide range of contaminants, cartridges can be chosen to suit taste or budget. Good for rental properties.

Cons: Clutters countertop and needs to be attached to kitchen tap outlet.

With this type of system the most common cartridge that fits into the housing is an industry standard 10 inch x 2.5 inch, in some cases this may also be 9 inch x 2.5 inches. Things to look out for are the quality of the housings used, are they tested to Australian Standards and are the BPA free. After that it comes down to the quality of the cartridges used. Leading manufacturers are Omnipure (USA), Doulton (UK) and UltraCeram (UK). The countertop systems can also come in two or three stages depending on the level of filtration required, therefore they can be a perfect choice for customers looking to remove a wide range of contaminants such as Lead, Chloramines and Fluoride (if you see fluoride as a contaminant). The fact that the cartridges are large means that you will only have to change the cartridges once a year depending on use of course.

The best countertop water filters would be a unit that use Doulton, Omnipure or Coldstream cartridges or a mixture of different brand such as the Doulton/Omnipure Fluoride Removal system. Use the code Ctop10 at checkout to receive a 10% discount off any of our countertop water filters.

We are confident that we can make a countertop water filtration system which can remove any contaminant that are of a concern to you or your family. It is possible to also produce pure alkaline water by using a benchtop water filter.


Under Sink Water Filters

Carbon and Ceramic Water Filters

Pros: Filters large amounts of water, can be configured to remove specific contaminants, great in use per litre cost. All you see is the tap the entire water filter system fits neatly under the sink. Cartridges last a long time less maintenance.

Cons: Requires install by licensed plumber, system needs to comply with relevant plumbing codes in each state. Some carbon cartridges are not NSF standard or certified to remove contaminants such as lead or chloramines, always check with the dealer and ask for certification.

Reverse Osmosis

Pros: Filters large amounts of water, will remove all contaminants, great in use per litre cost.

Cons: Wastes water some RO systems will send 4 litres of water to drain for every 1 litre of water produced, when selecting a system always ask about waste ratio – our best modern water filter systems now run 1:1. This ratio depends on many factors including incoming water quality, ambient temperature and pressure. A holding tank is required under the sink to hold the pure water as the process is very slow.

UV Filters

Pros: Removes a wide spectrum of bacteria, UV water treatment devices can be used for well water and surface water disinfection.

Cons: Suspended particles are a problem because microorganisms buried within particles are shielded from the UV light and pass through the unit unaffected, if the flow is too high, water will pass through without enough UV exposure. If the flow is too low, heat may build up and damage the UV lamp. If the UV light is not maintained and replaced annually it will not be effective.

Ionising Alkaline Filters

Please read our article on alkaline water benefit or scam

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Call us on 1300 001 752 as every customer has a different requirement we are independent and can provide the correct water filtration system for you and your family all with a no risk 30 day money back guarantee!

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