Number 1 Mistake – Buying on Price
There are many different water filters at many different price points – you could be thousands of dollars for the “best water filter” that may be matched by one a fraction of that cost. On the flip side you could end up buying a cheaper model which may split causing flood damage or may not even filter effectively due to cheaper cartridges not sealing properly and allowing water to pass through unfiltered.
When buying a filtration system, always have in mind what you want to remove from the water, then look for units that are certified to do this. Remember that some manufacturers will make wild claims about removal of lead etc. when only a small amount of that contaminate is actually removed. The NSF website provides a list of cartridge manufacturers that are independently tested.
If you are buying a system that seems very expensive be prepared to ask questions as to why the price is so high, there may be legitimate reasons however they should be clearly explained to you in simple easy to understand terms. For example a reverse osmosis membrane tested to NSF 58 is worth more than an untested membrane, however as long as the membrane is tested then one costing twice as much is not worth the extra expense.
Number 2 Mistake – Buying on amount of Stages
The amount of 2 stage 3 stage and even 7 stage systems available are staggering and this can become a minefield. Unfortunately more stages sounds better and companies have exploited that to their advantage and to the detriment of the industry. We have seen 3 stage systems that have cheap non certified cartridges and fake labels flooding the market.
Research is key. There are many cartridge manufacturers around such as Omnipure, Coldstream, Matrikx and Aragon all of the comapnies mentioned have independent testing on their cartridges for example the Doulton UK cartridge which has been tested at 99.99% flitraton efficiency at 0.9 micron. In other words one single cartridge may be all you need and better than 3 stage systems with cheap cartridges that may at best remove some chlorine from the water. Do not be afraid to ask for product certifications and also proof as to which cartridges are used in your system, the cartridges should come wrapped and have original labels.
Number 2 Mistake – Buying a proprietary filter system
Some companies sell water filters where you can only use their replacement cartridges which are in turn overpriced and may not have much longevity. Think of how cheap a laser printer is to buy and how expensive the replacement drums are and you get the idea.
Always ask if there are any other sellers of the replacement cartridges and also how long are the cartridges expected to last for