Best Water filters in 2020 - Complete Reviews

Best Water filters In 2020 – Complete Reviews


Drinking is essential for us. On average, the human body consists of 60 percent water. The younger you are, the higher the percentage, even up to 70 percent. With increasing age, it falls to up to 45 percent. We survive just 3 days without water. But the purity of the water is also very important. If you consume contaminated water for an extended period of time, there is a risk of serious illnesses and even death. For example, if your drinking water contains too much lead, nickel or copper. Old house installations pose this risk, which is why you should test the water regularly in this case.

But sometimes there are other residues in our water, even if it is one of the most strictly controlled foods in United Kingdom. This includes bacteria, drug residues, chlorine and especially lime. Lime is not harmful to you, but to your electrical appliances. In our guide you will learn everything about the possible dangers in drinking water and how you can counteract them with a water filter. We also go into the different types of water filters, what they filter exactly, what you should pay attention to when buying, we present a selection of 10 popular water filters in our comparison.

Top 10 Best Water filters – Reviews

Contents

1. Amazon-Basics Water filter with activated carbon filter made from coconut shells

When  Amazon-Basics is a simple, but according to customer response quality water filter. You get the model in the variants white or black, both of which have a transparent container. In terms of price, the two differ minimally. You get a good performance for a relatively low purchase price. The capacity is 2.3 liters and the filtered water capacity is 1.4 liters. The AmazonBasics water filter contains an activated carbon filter with coconut shells. According to Amazon, this is particularly effective with very hard and calcareous water and at the same time reduces chlorine and other impurities.

Does calcareous water damage electrical appliances? Yes, filtered water is not only good for your health, but also for your household appliances. It extends the lifespan of kettles, coffee machines and irons. If they come into contact with calcareous water too often, the pipes become calcified, the power consumption increases and the service life is shortened. In our guide you will find out where the lime in our tap water comes from.

An electronic cartridge change indicator reminds you when to change the filter. The cartridge change is necessary approximately every 30 days. The model is compatible with the AmazonBasics filter cartridges, but also with the BRITA Maxtra + filter cartridges. The material of the container is BPA-free and suitable for your dishwasher with a program below 50 degrees . However, the lid is not, because it contains the battery for the electronic cartridge change indicator. Amazon recommends cleaning it carefully by hand with lukewarm water and a mild detergent.

Is it possible to change the battery of the electronic cartridge change indicator?  No, because almost all manufacturers weld them tightly in the lid. Batteries always carry a certain risk of damage and could leak. In this case, the dangerous battery fluid would run into your filtered water, which is why it must be welded tight. Water filters with a manual cartridge change indicator are an alternative.

Overall, the AmazonBasics water filter performs very well among users. They describe the handling and the cartridge change as simple and could see a significant improvement in the water quality. A review reveals that a user even checked this using a test strip. This indicated that after the filtration, his water was no longer hard, but soft.

We found only a small shortcoming in the user reports. Always pour the water carefully out of the jug, otherwise there is a risk that filtered water will mix with unfiltered water. In addition, some users stated that there were small suspended particles in the water. But Amazon gives the hint that this is normal. These are activated carbon particles of the coconut. The smaller these are, the better the filter performance. However, the size of the particles increases the likelihood that they will get into the water. Your body excretes them undigested and, according to the manufacturer, they are harmless to your organism.

Amazon-basics - water filter

Product features:

  • Filter system: activated carbon from coconut shells
  • Capacity: 2.3 liters water jug ​​for 1.4 liters of filtered water
  • Accessories: One cartridge included
  • Dimensions: 24 x 10 x 26 centimeters
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

You get the AmazonBasics water filter at an attractive price-performance ratio. He works with an activated carbon filter, which according to the manufacturer should have a very effective filter performance.

FAQ

A user writes that the DM jumbo cartridges should fit.

According to Wikipedia, activated carbon also filters a certain proportion of heavy metals from the water.

According to one user, press the start button of the Amazon Basics water filter until you see all the bars of the electronic display.

According to one user, filtration takes about 3 minutes.

2. Brita Flow XXL – Table water filter with tap

Brita is one of the pioneers of water filter manufacturers. The company has been focusing on improving drinking quality since the 1960s and is constantly optimizing its table water filters. The  water filter  Brita Flow XXL is characterized by different features, of which the particularly large volume is the most striking. The total volume of the table water filter is 8.2 liters and gives you about 5.2 liters of filtered drinking water. Enough to take care of a large family or a small office.

For convenient handling there is a practical tap with a tab on the device. Simply pull them forward and the water flows out. To fill, simply press the sliding lid above the device. Of course, such a large water filter also has a higher weight, which is 1.29 kg.

What do water filters really bring? According to experts, water filters do a lot, depending on the quality and type of filters used. Activated carbon filters and ion exchangers are among the effective filter types. They remove even the smallest floating particles and even unpleasant smells and flavors. You can find out in our guide how the individual filter types work.

Like almost all Brita water filters , this one also works with a Maxtra + filter cartridge. It contains an activated carbon filter made from natural coconut shells and an ion exchanger. In two steps, the two filter materials free your drinking water from coarse particles, heavy metal components from domestic water installations, chlorine residues and lime. Brita states that a cartridge lasts approximately 4 weeks. This depends on the hardness of your water and the residues in it. The more lime is removed from your water, the faster you have to change the cartridge. An electronic display reminds you of the exchange.

Less waste, better for the environment! Britas offers you to take back used cartridges for recycling. To do this, call the hotline and receive a free return label for the return shipment.

Brita Flow XXL - table water filter
Product features:

  • Filter system: activated carbon from coconut shells and ion exchanger
  • Capacity:  8.2 liters of water jug ​​for 5.2 liters of filtered water
  • Accessories: One cartridge included
  • Dimensions: 21.7 x 30.7 x 22.4 cm
  • Fits in the fridge door:  No.
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

The water filter Brita Flow XXL is ideal for large families or offices due to its large volume. However, when making your purchase decision, keep in mind that filtered water should be kept in a cool place and this model will take up a bit more space in your refrigerator .

FAQ

The manufacturer writes that all parts of the water filter that come into contact with water are BPA-free. With one exception: the electronic filter display in the lid is not BPA-free.

Brita states that this is the case if you drink the first filtration directly. First activate the cartridge with one to three filter runs, but you can throw it away.

Brita states that the best way to do this is to call customer service on 0800 500 1919.

Yes, the tap snaps into the Brita Flow XXL water filter.

3. Isenpenk  Water filter with LCD display for the filter change indicator

The Isenpenk water filter made of BPA-free plastic scores points in addition to its low purchase costs with a large water tank, the total capacity of which is approximately 3.8 liters and results in approximately 1.45 filtered water. According to users, the device lies comfortably in the hand and is easy to use. You open and close the lid with just one hand and fill the container through a special opening in the lid. This water injection opening prevents unnecessary spilling and splashing.

According to the manufacturer, the integrated filter not only reduces lime, but also chlorine and heavy metals such as rust, lead and copper from old domestic water installations. He also filters out unpleasant flavors and smells. In addition, with this model the cartridge change is only necessary every 8 weeks and not every 4 weeks as is usual. This reduces your follow-up costs. Please remember to reset the electronic filter display before changing the filter.

An electronic LCD display reminds you in good time when you should change the filter. According to users, the filter change is easy to carry out. However, we miss an indication of whether the cartridge is really properly engaged. On most models you will hear a small click, which is not the case with the Isenpenk water filter.

Isenpenk - water filter

Product features:

  • Filter system: activated carbon from coconut shells
  • Capacity: 3.8 liter water jug ​​and approximately 1.45 liter filter capacity
  • Accessories:  Two cartridges included
  • Dimensions: 26.7 x 12 x 25 cm
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator, reduces the lime and heavy metal content as well as the content of odor and taste-disturbing substances
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 60 days

Summary

The Isenpenk water filter works with an activated carbon filter and, according to users, has a balanced price-performance ratio. The special features of this model include the large water tank and the longer durability of the filter. They do not replace the cartridges every 4, but only every 8 weeks.

FAQ

According to the manufacturer, press the start button twice.

The manufacturer recommends cleaning by hand.

According to user reports, an English Language operating manual is included with the Isenpenk water filter.

4. Water filter BWT 815073 Penguin – Enriches your water with magnesium

The table water filter BWT Penguin is characterized by its low weight and slim dimensions. It weighs less than 1 kilogram, filters about 120 liters of water according to the manufacturer, has an electronic cartridge change indicator and fits in every refrigerator door. The multi-stage filter process of the activated carbon filter not only reduces contamination, but also enriches your water with magnesium thanks to the integrated BWT magnesium mineralizer by exchanging calcium for magnesium.

The materials used are all BPA free. According to the manufacturer, the activated carbon filter already mentioned removes lime, heavy metals and chlorine from your tap water. The BPA-free container is suitable for your dishwasher up to a temperature of 50 degrees, but the lid is not because of the batteries it contains. It is best to clean this by hand with a mild detergent.

What is BPA? BPA stands for bisphenol A, a plasticizer in plastics. You can find it in plastic dishes, water bottles or similar plastic products. Experts warn of products containing BPA because they can detach from the plastic and get into your organism. There, among other things, they have negative effects on the hormone balance. Therefore, pay attention to BPA-free products. You can find out more decisive purchase criteria in our guide.

The BWT table water filter has an above-average rating among users. They emphasize the easy handling and the good taste of the filtered water. However, some users also mention that you have to change the cartridges more frequently if the water is very chalky and that you can only filter about 80 to 90 liters of water per cartridge, instead of 120, but only.

Water filter BWT 815073 Penguin

 

Product features:

  • Filter system: filter based on magnesium technology
  • Capacity: 2.7 liter water jug ​​for about 1.5 liters of filtered water
  • Accessories:  One cartridge included
  • Dimensions: 27 x 12 x 29 cm
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator, reduces the lime, heavy metal and chlorine content as well as the content of substances that impair odor and taste
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

With the BWT Penguin table water filter you purchase a device in the normal to low price range, which filters lime, heavy metals and chlorine and simultaneously enriches your water with magnesium.

FAQ

According to the manufacturer, these two models differ minimally in design and filling volume.

According to a seller's answer, no. You should always boil water that contains faecal bacteria.

According to one user, it has been with him for more than 2 years.

The manufacturer recommends the following cartridges: BWT Soft Filter, BWT Soft EXTRA or the Anna Duomax cartridges.

5. Brita Marella  Water filter including six Maxtra + filter cartridges

The Brita Marella water filter works with a four-stage filtration. First, coarse particles such as sand or rust are filtered out of your water. In the next step, activated carbon particles in the coconut shell reduce odor and taste-disturbing substances, such as chlorine. In the third step, the filter removes lime, lead or copper from your water and then the water runs through an ultra-fine sieve again.

Why is there lead or copper in our tap water? Tap water in United Kingdom is strictly controlled, but only up to your house connection. If there are old pipes or fittings there, there is a risk of contamination by heavy metals. In such cases, experts advise testing the quality of the tap water at regular intervals. You can find out which contaminants could still be in our tap water in the guide.

You get the Brita Marella including six Maxtra + filter cartridges, so that you are supplied for about 6 months. With this offer you benefit from a very attractive price-performance ratio. According to the manufacturer, all components that come into contact with your water are BPA-free. The 2.4 liter water jug ​​filters around 1.4 liters of water – filtration takes about 4 to 5 minutes. Like the table water filters described above, the Brita Marella is also equipped with an electronic filter change indicator.

The Brita Marella scores mostly good to very good among users. They praise the simple handling and the easy filter change. The water tastes much softer and the difference is clearly recognizable. Only the comparatively high cost of the replacement filter causes displeasure among some buyers.

TÜV approved ! Brita has all product components checked regularly by independent institutes. This also includes TÜV-SÜD, which certifies that the product components are food-safe – certified according to test report 18-B0601-19, March 8, 2018.

Brita Marella - water filter
Product features:

  • Filter system: water filter with an activated carbon filter made of coconut shells and ion exchanger
  • Capacity: 2.4 liter water jug ​​for about 1.4 liters of filtered water
  • Accessories:  Six Maxtra + cartridges included
  • Dimensions: 11 x 26.5 x 27.5 cm
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator, reduces the lime, heavy metal and chlorine content as well as the content of substances that impair odor and taste
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

The Brita Marella water filter comes with this offer including six Maxtra + filter cartridges. The filter system used is a combination of an ion exchanger and an activated carbon filter. According to the manufacturer, both together should filter both lime and heavy metals from your tap water.

FAQ

The manufacturer writes that warmer environments promote germ growth. Therefore, keep the water in the refrigerator.

According to the manufacturer, this water filter does not filter fluoride.

Brita replies that the Maxtra + Kart searches contain both ion exchangers and activated carbon.

According to the manufacturer, the Maxtra + cartridge filters lime, chlorine and metals such as lead and copper, but no sodium, which occur due to domestic installation.

6. Brita Marella XL – Water filter for approx. 2 liters of filtered water

We presented the Brita Marella to you in fifth place. This water filter is the same model, it only differs in size. The Brita Marella XL filters about 2 instead of 1.4 liters of water. The filter used is also identical, it is again the Maxtra filter cartridge. This works in four steps with an activated carbon filter made from coconut shells and an ion exchanger.

According to the manufacturer, the Maxtra + cartridge removes lime, but also heavy metals or chlorine from your tap water. An electronic memory display reminds you of the filter change, which Brita recommends after four weeks at the latest. Please note with this model that according to the manufacturer it does not fit in your fridge door.

Manufacturer’s note: Please only use the third filling after changing the filter. The first of the two filter runs should activate the filtration material. Please pour the water out of the first two filtrations.

Brita Marella XL - water filter
Product features:

  • Filter system: water filter with an activated carbon filter made of coconut shells and ion exchanger
  • Capacity: 3 liter water jug ​​and approximately 2 liters of drinking water
  • Accessories:  One Maxtra + cartridge included
  • Dimensions: 14.7 x 25.8 x 25.6 cm
  • Fits in the fridge door: No.
  • Special features: Electronic filter change indicator, reduces the lime, heavy metal and chlorine content as well as the content of substances that impair odor and taste
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

The BPA-free water filter Brita Marella XL filters around 2 liters of water per pass and is therefore one of the larger types of table water filters. When making your purchase decision, bear in mind that this model does not fit into common refrigerator doors.

FAQ

According to the manufacturer, this water filter takes less than 1 minute per liter.

You activate the display on the Brita Marella XL by pressing the start button until all black bars are visible.

According to the manufacturer, immerse the Maxtra + filter cartridge in the water and swivel it back and forth several times. Then run two filtrations and pour the water away.

No, according to the manufacturer, it is not equipped with anti-slip feet.

7. PearlCo Standard  Water filter with LGA seal of approval

Just like Brita, PearlCo specializes in the manufacture and sale of water filters. You can recognize the quality from the overall very good customer reviews. The range includes a whole range of different water filters, including glass ones. With the  PearlCo Standard you get around 1.2 liters of filtered water per run. PearlCo also uses a combination of activated carbon filter and ion exchanger, which removes lime, heavy metal components, chlorine as well as odor and taste-disturbing substances.

What are the advantages of a water filter?  First of all, a health one, because it not only frees your water from lime, but also from harmful substances, if available. In addition, filtered water extends the lifespan of the coffee machine, iron, kettle, etc. But your wallet and the environment also benefit from a water filter. You save yourself the purchase of the countless water boxes, which may be filled with environmentally harmful PET bottles. You also save time and energy, because there is no need to buy the boxes and transport them.

In contrast to the models presented so far, the PearlCo Standard is equipped with a manual filter change indicator. You operate a slider after each filtration. The advantage of a manual display is that it works without batteries, which limits the lifespan of electronic displays. This model is certified with the LGA seal, which confirms that the water filter is free of pollutants.

What is the LGA seal of approval? The LGA seal of approval is awarded by TÜV Rheinland, thereby confirming that there are no ingredients in the material that are harmful to the organism.

PearlCo Standard - water filter
The product features:

  • Filter system:  water filter with an activated carbon filter and ion exchanger
  • Capacity: 2.4 liter water jug ​​for about 1.4 liters of filtered water
  • Accessories:  One cartridge included
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Manual filter change indicator, reduces the lime, heavy metal and chlorine content as well as the content of substances that impair odor and taste
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

With the PearlCo Standard water filter, you are buying a tested and comparatively inexpensive product which, according to user feedback, is easy to use and noticeably reduces the lime content.

FAQ

The PearlCo Standard is compatible with the filter cartridges from DM and Brita.

According to the manufacturer, it is.

PearlCo recommends cleaning by hand.

According to the manufacturer's taxes, yes. The jug of the water filter is 25 centimeters high.

8. Maunawai® Kini Bio – Water filter made from 100 percent compostable material

Even if the Maunawai Kini Bio is  clearly one of the high-priced water filters in our comparison, it also has a unique selling point: According to the manufacturer, it consists of 100 percent compostable, biological material that is otherwise only used in the medical field. It is called SMMA N30 and is a PA-free and 100 percent compostable plastic. 

Some studies indicate that normal plastic releases small particles when exposed to high heat or other loads or treatments – for example, when washing in the dishwasher. According to the manufacturer, this is not the case with SMMA-N30 plastic. The Frauenhofer Institute checks the Maunawai water filters and confirms the information provided. The Maunawai Kini is also ISO certified.

Who is the Fraunhofer Institute?  It is a renowned and internationally recognized institute for applied research and development services. Every manufacturer can send their products there, have them checked for harmful substances and have them certified.

The filtered water should get the properties of pure mountain water back through this new filter system. During filtration, it passes through coconut shells, zeolite and a specially developed ceramic filter. Incidentally, the filter is transparent, which is also visually appealing. You get 0.8 liters of filtered water per run. A big advantage of the Maunawai Kini is that you only change the filter every 90 days. The follow-up costs are reduced accordingly.

Test the Manauwai water filter! If the jug remains undamaged, you can send the water filter back within 30 days if you don’t like it. The manufacturer will then refund the purchase amount.

Users described the Maunawai Kini as excellent in almost every way. Filtration takes place within a few minutes; The majority perceive water taste and water quality as extraordinarily good.

Maunawai® Kini Bio - water filter

Product features:

  • Filter system:  activated carbon filter made of coconut shells, zeolite and a specially developed ceramic filter
  • Capacity: 2 liter water jug ​​for approximately 0.8 liters of drinking water
  • Dimensions: 28.6 x 26.8 x 16.2 cm
  • Accessories:  One cartridge included
  • Fits in the fridge door: No.
  • Special features: Reduces the lime, heavy metal and hormone content of the water as well as the content of odor and taste-disturbing substances
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 90 days

Summary

The Maunawai Kini bio water filter is made from 100 percent biodegradable material and uses a unique filter system. The manufacturer promises a filtration based on nature, which should give your water the properties of pure mountain water. This manufacturer promise and the positive user reports seem to justify the high price.

FAQ

According to the manufacturer, this has no impact on filtration or water quality.

According to users, not in every fridge door.

The manufacturer writes that you should filter once a day. If the jug remains unused for more than 10 days, please remove the filter and store it in the refrigerator.

No, the Maunawai Kini Bio has no magnet.

9. Brita Optimax – Water filter for around 5 liters of filtered water

The Brita water filters and the principle by which they filter is known to you from the introduction of the other Brita models. The Brita Optimax does not differ in these points. He also uses the Maxtra + filter cartridge made of activated carbon fibers and an ionizer. The only difference is the filling volume. The 8.5 liter water tank provides about 5 liters of drinking water, which you can skim off via a practical tap.

Brita recommends changing the filter approximately every 4 weeks. The electronic change indicator reminds you of the exchange. However, keep in mind that the replacement is necessary earlier if the water is very chalky. As with all other models, the material of the Brita Optimax is BPA-free. All parts, except the lid, are suitable for your dishwasher up to a temperature of 50 degrees.

Product features:

  • Filter system:  activated carbon filter made of coconut shells and ionizer
  • Capacity: 8.5 liter water jug ​​and about 5 liters of drinking water
  • Dimensions: 20 x 35 x 22.8 cm
  • Accessories:  One cartridge included
  • Fits in the fridge door: No.
  • Special features: Electrical filter change indicator, reduces the lime and heavy metal content of the water as well as the content of odor and taste-disturbing substances
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

With the Brita Optimax you get a practical water filter for larger water requirements at a comparatively low purchase price. However, consider the dimensions of the model and check beforehand whether you have the space to keep the water cool. If there is not enough space, an alternative is to tap the water in bottles and put them in the fridge.

FAQ

According to the manufacturer, a cool place without direct sunlight is sufficient.

Brita recommends that you contact customer service.

Brita states that the water filter reduces lime, installation-related metals such as lead and copper, and chlorine and chlorine flavors. But uranium or fluoride is not.

No, the battery of the Brita Optimax water filter cannot be replaced.

10. BWT 815532 VIDA – Water filter including 13 filter cartridges and magnesium mineralizer

We had already introduced the table water filter BWT Penguin to you in the fourth position of our comparison. According to the manufacturer, the BWT VIDA only differs in design and filling quantity, but not in the way it works. Here you will also find an activated carbon filter and a magnesium mineralizer, which enriches your water with the vital mineral.

When you buy the table water filter, you also get 13 replacement filter cartridges and a practical carafe that is also suitable for on the go. So you always have your filtered, mineralized water with you on excursions.

BWT 815532 VIDA - water filter

Product features:

  • Filter system:  activated carbon filter made from coconut shells and magnesium mineralizer
  • Capacity: 2.6 liters total volume gives 1.4 liters of filtered water
  • Dimensions: 26.4 x 11.5 x 28.7 cm
  • Accessories:  13 cartridges included plus a practical carafe for on the go
  • Fits in the fridge door: Yes
  • Special features: Electrical filter change indicator, reduces the lime and heavy metal content of the water as well as the content of odor and taste-disturbing substances
  • Recommended cartridge change: every 30 days

Summary

The table water filter BWT VIDA not only frees your drinking water from lime and other substances, but also enriches it with magnesium. In addition, when you purchase this product, you will receive 13 replacement filter cartridges and a practical drinking carafe.

FAQ

BWT writes that it is ionic magnesium.

The manufacturer states that it will replace it within 2 years if it no longer works within this period.

According to the manufacturer, the table water filter releases between 5 and 40 grams of magnesium depending on the water hardness.


How do water filters work?

Most water filters for home use work with a combination of an activated carbon filter and an ion exchanger. There are often several filter layers of natural substances, such as coconut shells, in the activated carbon filters. These microgranules reduce, among other things, heavy metals, medication residues or similar substances, since they adhere to the surface of the activated carbon. Ion exchangers work on a different principle. They replace the cations and anions contained in tap water with ions and therefore filter lime.

There are also reverse osmosis filters and physical filters. How exactly the individual processes work, how effective they are and whether they are suitable for your needs, we explain in the course of the guide.

Are water filters useful?

Water filters make sense, because depending on the technology and type of filter used, they clean your water, make it softer and free it from pollutants, bacteria, germs or unwanted suspended particles. Whether a water filter is a good choice for you personally depends on various factors. For example, whether your water is heavily chalky or your pipes are old or made of lead. Drinking water is one of the most strictly controlled foods in United Kingdom, but this only applies to your home connection. In addition, there may be times when there are undesirable substances in the water.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Water Filters

Pros
  • You save the money for the purchase of mineral water
  • You save yourself the burden of carrying the heavy boxes
  • Less purchased PET bottles are better for the environment
  • Coffee and tea taste better and more aromatic
  • Calcified water is beneficial for the life of your electrical appliances – kettles, coffee machines, irons
  • Depending on the type of filter, water filters even remove heavy metals and bacteria
  • Depending on the model, low acquisition costs
  • Easy to use
  • Space-saving
Cons
  • Depending on the filter type, more or less time-consuming
  • Not all filters absorb all undesirable substances
  • Sometimes high follow-up costs for replacement cartridges

What impurities can the water contain?

  • Heavy metals

Heavy metals include lead, copper, iron, zinc and nickel. But how can this be when our drinking water is so well controlled? It is due to the lines within the house installation.

If these are out of date and are not maintained regularly, there is a certain risk. Have your lines checked regularly. If you are a tenant, speak to your landlord or property manager.

To be on the safe side, a water test is recommended. You can find different variants of self-tests on the Internet. For example, they show you bacteria, nitrates, nitrites, the chlorine content or the pH value of your water. You carry out this test yourself using the instructions.

There are specific tests to determine the lead content in your drinking water. You take a water sample, then send it to a laboratory and receive the corresponding evaluation after the specified processing time.

Don’t underestimate the dangers! If you suspect that the pipes are out of date, be sure to carry out a water test. Your body no longer excretes lead, which can have serious health consequences, especially for babies and toddlers. The same applies to copper and nickel. Too high a concentration can trigger tumors and lung cancer or even be fatal. Especially for infants and toddlers. Experts recommend regularly checking the drinking water that runs through outdated pipes for the heavy metal content.
  • Microorganisms

Our drinking water contains microorganisms, including small animals, parasites and bacteria. You will rarely find small animals in drinking water at all, as filters and sieves collect them beforehand in the water treatment systems. The best known bacteria include Escheria coli, enterococci and coliform bacteria. These cause gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea. These should not be present in our drinking water, which is why the monitoring is very large and should ensure that the concentrations remaining after the treatment are safe for your health.

Nevertheless, there are isolated cases in which the drinking water is contaminated with intestinal parasites, for example, due to faecal contamination. In such cases, the health department warns and the municipal utility company takes all measures to remove the relevant contaminants from the water. For the residents of the affected localities, it is then a matter of boiling the water before use until an official all-clear is given.

  • Drug

What sounds astonishing at first is easily explained. People ingest medication through bowel movements and urine. In this way they reach the tap water via the wastewater. Even if the water in the waterworks is thoroughly cleaned and filtered, more than 23 different active ingredients were found in tap water in 2012 alone. Minimum values ​​are also set here, but they apply per liter.

Pharmaceutical residues are of concern in so far as there is still no clear evidence that even small amounts taken over a long period of time are harmless to your body. This is especially true for antibiotics and psychotropic drugs. These are suspected of causing resistance and behavior changes in humans, animals and plants.

  • Chlorine

We all know chlorine from the swimming pool. But it is also used to disinfect water contaminated with bacteria. In United Kingdom, the use of chlorine is rather rare, here the sewage treatment plants mainly work with UV light. Nevertheless, it does happen occasionally, but the permitted amount is regulated by law and must not be more than 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams of chlorine per liter. The chlorine in drinking water should not be harmful to health, but the taste is unpleasant.

Other contaminants and sources of danger

Another source of danger for contaminated drinking water are residues of pesticides, which seep into the ground and thus into the groundwater through the fields. According to the Federal Environment Agency, sales of the crop protection products used in United Kingdom were around 30,000 tonnes between 1995 and 2005. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes several decades until these are no longer detectable in the soil. Even today there are carcinogenic pesticides in the groundwater, which have been banned for more than 20 years.

The Legionella danger in drinking water

Legionella are bacteria that are not in the drinking water from the start, they form when it is hot. They trigger a kind of pneumonia, which is also known as legionnaires’ disease. Legionella is particularly common in the summer months and especially in old buildings. The bacteria feed on lime, which is why they get into your pipes and thus into the drinking water. For this reason, the United Kingdom Drinking Water Ordinance stipulates that landlords or owners of apartment buildings must have their pipes tested for Legionella every three years.

How does the lime build up in the water?

We differentiate between soft, medium and hard water. The harder, the more calcareous. Lime is a combination of calcium and magnesium, but refers to the calcium carbonate contained in this chemical compound in relation to our water. In the form of calcite, it is one of the most common minerals on earth. Depending on where rainwater seeps into the earth in United Kingdom, it passes through several layers of rock and soil.

If these are very calcareous, the water absorbs this limestone and is softer or harder depending on the region. How much lime is absorbed by the water also depends on the pH of the water. Acidic water removes more lime from the rock layers than basic water. Acidic water has a pH between 0 and 6.5, neutral or soft water has a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. The pH values ​​in our water are on average 5.5 to 8.5.

Is lime harmful in water? Lime, a chemical combination of calcium and magnesium, is not harmful to our body, but essential. According to scientific studies, we already consume our needs through food, but our bodies excrete excess from it. The concentration of the lime ingested should be excessively high so that our organism can no longer break it down. According to studies, this is almost impossible. Accordingly, lime is harmless to us. It is only of concern for our electronic kitchen appliances.

That is why limescale deposits are harmful to electrical appliances

As safe as lime is for us, it is more harmful for our electrical appliances. So for coffee machines , kettles , irons and Co. The more often these devices work with calcareous water, the more deposits are formed. These have a negative impact on the functions. Especially on the heat pipes. The result is a higher energy consumption, which is also reflected in your electricity costs over a long period of time, as well as a decrease in performance and ultimately a shortened service life of the devices.

In addition, too high a lime concentration affects the taste of your coffee or tea. If the water is very chalky, use distilled water for your electrical appliances or buy a water filter.

Which water filter is the best – An overview of the different filtration methods

The decision as to which is the best water filter depends on your individual needs. Not every filter is suitable for all fabrics. Some water filters are specialists in limescale removal, others also remove bacteria, heavy metals and chlorine from your tap water. We now present the different filtration methods, how they work and what they filter. You will then learn about the different types of water filters.

Activated carbon filter

Activated carbon filters remove non-polar substances dissolved in drinking water. The non-polar particles include pollutants such as dust or heavy metals from liquids or gases. But also drug and crop protection residues, chemicals and chlorine. The more non-polar the impurity, the better it is filtered out and the more layers an activated carbon filter has, the better the filter performance. Most activated carbon filters consist of carbon particles from coconut shells. These are natural, but effective at the same time. The following applies: the smaller the particles, the greater the filter performance.

The filtration takes place in different steps. On the one hand, activated carbon particles block particles that are too large so that they do not even get into the water. On the other hand, there is an absorption process. In order for this to be particularly effective, the surface of the activated carbon particles is enlarged by means of an oxygen treatment. The added oxygen reduces the distances between the individual coal particles and at the same time increases the surface area to which the pollutants bind. These are attracted magnet-like and adhere to the surface of the carbon particles.

Lime, nitrate, salts, bacteria and germs, however, are not non-polar, but polar. So either negatively or positively charged particles. These do not filter out activated carbon filters, which is why most table water filters are equipped with a cartridge that contains both an activated carbon filter and an ion exchanger. These in turn are specialists in filtering out lime and co.

The different types of water filters

Table pitcher water filter

Table jug water filters are among the best known and most used water filters. They are characterized by simple handling, low acquisition costs and, depending on the model, good filter performance. Table pot filters are mainly used to free your tap water from lime and, depending on the type of filter, from chlorine, bacteria and heavy metals.

There is a funnel in table pitcher filters, in which the filter cartridge is located. You pour your tap water into the top, it passes through the filter and the filtered water collects in the jug below the funnel. There are usually activated carbon filters in the filter cartridge or several filter types are combined.

For example, an activated carbon filter in combination with a ceramic filter or an ion exchanger. Ion exchangers often consist of small resin granules, which replace the calcium and magnesium ions with others and make the water softer, i.e. decalcify. The activated carbon granulate is said to reduce the content of microorganisms and chlorine.

The disadvantages of such filter systems are that you have to buy new cartridges regularly, which is associated with ongoing costs. If you neglect the regular replacement of the cartridges, not only does the filter performance decrease, but germs can also form.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Table jug filters

Pros
  • Inexpensive to buy
  • Easy to use
  • Space saving
  • Remove lime and chlorine
  • Depending on the system, also remove bacteria and other substances
  • Minerals that are important for our body remain in the water
Cons
  • Regular replacement of the cartridges required, associated follow-up costs
  • Contamination risk
  • Some plastic models are not BPA-free, they contain plasticizes
  • Do not filter all pollutants out of the water

Undersink water filter

You usually install these under the sink on the water pipe. You are working with an activated carbon filter or reverse osmosis filter. Sometimes with both. There are three versions:

  1. The filter system is connected directly to your cold water pipe. This is how all your cold water is filtered.
  2. Works according to a 3-way tap. All pipes are connected below your sink and filtered drinking water comes out of your tap.
  3. You install a second tap and draw off your process water and drinking water using separate taps.

Travel water filter

Travel water filters are extremely practical. They are small, light, space-saving and fit in every pocket. Most of the available models have a standard connection and an adapter. So you can quickly and easily attach the travel water filter to the tap anywhere in the world and get filtered water immediately when you open the tap. Most models are equipped with an activated carbon filter, filter up to 50 liters per hour and have a lifespan of around four weeks.

Domestic water systems

Domestic water systems are large and expensive to buy. You install this directly on the water meter of the main water tap. This variant generally only removes lime from the drinking water, but no other substances.

Important purchase criteria for your Best water filter

The commercially available drinking water filters do not have too many differentiating features. We have summarized the most important ones for you:

  • The filter type:  Most water filters work with an activated carbon filter. Some also contain ion exchangers, others mineralize your drinking water additionally. Then decide which substances you want to filter out of your water or the hardness of your drinking water.
  • The lifespan of the filter: All filter cartridges must be replaced regularly. Otherwise the filter performance will decrease and there is also a risk of acute contamination. You replace some filters every 4 weeks, others only after 6 months. Calculate the corresponding follow-up costs and include them in your purchase decision.
  • The volume of the water tank:  Water filters come in different sizes. Also in XL and XXL. Depending on how many people you want to supply with filtered water, the respective models are better or worse. But keep in mind that filtered water belongs in the refrigerator. Otherwise there is again a risk of contamination. The container should fit in your fridge.
  • The material:  Most water filters are made of plastic. Make sure that it is BPA-free, i.e. free of harmful plasticizers. Some manufacturers also offer glass drinking water filters. In addition, some parts are dishwasher safe and some are not. Make your decision based on these considerations.

Frequently asked questions about water filters

  1. Can water filters filter heavy metals out of the water? Depending on the filter type, yes. Reverse osmosis filters, for example, filter heavy metals particularly effectively, but they also extract all minerals from the water. These would have to be added to the water afterwards. Activated carbon filters are also suitable for this. You can find this in most table jug filters.
  2. What are the limit values ​​for copper, lead and zinc? The limit for lead is 0.01 milligrams per liter, the limit for copper is 2 milligrams per liter and that for zinc is 0.02 milligrams per liter.
  3. How do I change a water filter? You will find the corresponding instructions in the instructions for the respective model. Basically, empty the water tank, remove the old filter, unpack the new one and insert it. Then carry out a few filtrations without drinking the water. How many depends on the type of device.
  4. How do I dispose of a water filter? You can easily dispose of most devices with household waste. If this is not the case with your device, you will find a corresponding manufacturer’s note in the instructions.
  5. Who installs a water filter system? Under-counter water filters contain instructions that you can install yourself. If this is too complex or unsafe for you, it is best to hire a specialist company. You should always have domestic water systems installed by a specialist.
  6. How often should I change the cartridge? How often you change the filter cartridge depends on the manufacturer and your water quality. Most models change the filter after about 30 days, some after 60 and some after 90 days. These values ​​apply to table water filters. However, if your water is heavily calcareous, please change the filter sooner.

This keeps your water filter hygienic and clean

As already described, water filters have many advantages, but also disadvantages. The disadvantages include the regular replacement of the filter cartridges, which otherwise lose performance and harbor the risk of contamination. The following tips will keep your table water filter clean and powerful:

  1. Change the cartridge at regular intervals recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Clean the filter regularly according to the instructions.
  3. Replace the filtered water regularly.
  4. Store filtered water in the refrigerator.

The history of the water filter

Filtering water is not a modern invention. The first written references to filtered drinking water date from the 6th century BC. And that from India. The cultures at that time first boiled their drinking water and then let it run through layers of sand, gravel and coal. Basically, this is very similar to today’s filtration.

We find further information among the Greeks and Romans, later also in Northern Europe. Archaeologists found remains of coarse water filters at springs and wells from the 12th century. Britain built its first municipal water supply system after a major cholera epidemic, and in 1827 the first water filter for home use was developed and sold.

The first water filters for private use use earth and clay for filtration. The reverse osmosis process was developed by NASA when it faced the problem of providing its astronauts with drinking water in space in the middle of the 20th century. The principle was adapted for home devices and brought to the market in the 1960s. In United Kingdom, the first water treatment ordinance came into force around 1950 and the first version of the drinking water ordinance has existed since 2001.

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