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Filter Buyers Guide 

Faucet Filters

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Next to pitcher filters, faucet (or tap) water filters are an economical, quick and an easy way to get filtered water in the home and a convenient way to replace bottled water. Just attach the filter unit to a kitchen faucet and enjoy filtered water directly from the tap. Installation is simple and usually no plumbing or tools are required. There are several kitchen faucet water filter brands on the market with some even having 5-stage filtration capabilities.

The advantages of a faucet filter are low cost, space-saving, easy access, quick and easy to install and use, attractive designs (some with chrome look) and of course convenience. Models with multi-stage filtration can effectively reduce hundreds of contaminants from tap water.

In the most designs, a turn of the switch is all it takes to get filtered or unfiltered water. Clean filtered water comes out from the bottom of the filter unit for drinking. Unfiltered water flows through your regular faucet as before for washing or when filtered water isn't required.
Chrome Faucet Filter  Replacement Cartridge White Faucet Filter
Faucet Filter Chrome RF-9999 Cartridge Brita Faucet Filter
Most faucet filters have been tested and certified for chlorine reduction and improved water taste/odor. In most models, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) within the filter cartridge is used as the basic filtration medium which reduces bad tastes, odors, chlorine, pesticides and other chemicals that are often linked to cancer risks. The flow rate of the filtered water depends on the faucet water pressure which in some cases could be slow. However, the resulting fresher tasting healthier water is worth the wait.

Some advanced models like the Chrystal Quest CQE-0501 utilize a five stage filtration process. In Stage 1, water passes through a pre-filter one-micron filter pad which reduces suspended particles such as silt, sediment, cyst, sand, rust, dirt, and other un-dissolved matter. In Stage 2, water passes through Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC), which reduces chlorine, bad tastes and odors, pesticides and chemicals like benzene, TCE, toxaphene. In Stage 3, Ion Exchange Resin reduces heavy metals such as lead, copper, aluminum, and water hardness (pH). In Stage 4, water passes through a combination of KDF 55 and KDF 85 to reduce iron, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, cadmium, aluminum, lead, other dissolved metals and hydrogen sulfide, and prevents growth of bacteria, algae, fungi, scale, and other microrganisms. In Stage 5, water passes through a post-filter one-micron filter pad which again reduces any remaining suspended particles or other un-dissolved matter.

As another option, the next generation PUR RF-9999 replacement cartridge (which fits all the PUR faucet filter systems) now offer the MineralClear™ filter which additionally filters the water over natural minerals for a crisp, refreshing taste. The premium carbon filter is certified to reduce chlorine (taste and odor) and many contaminants including 99% of lead and microbial cysts. It also helps reduce trace levels of pharmaceuticals.

Good Basic Filtration

In most faucet filters, the simple filter cartridge within the faucet is based on carbon filtration, which provides chlorine removal and sediment reduction. However as in pitcher filters, it is not a complex filter system and provides only basic filtration. A faucet filter does a better job than a pitcher filter in reducing chlorine, taste/odors, particulates and contaminants like copper, lead, mercury, zinc and microrganisms but most would have difficulty with complex chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOC's) or benzene.

A faucet filter also requires regular filter changes. The most common styles use an activated carbon filter cartridge which needs to be changed regularly (typically from 3-12 months depending on the manufacturer and model). However, a faucet filter is a low cost investment and a convenient, easy solution in order to have healthier, better tasting water.

To compare some faucet filters and prices click here

More information is available from the following organizations:
EPA  EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
NGWA NGWA (National Ground Water Association)
NSF NSF (The Public Health & Safety Company)
WQA Water Quality Association
Download Standards from ANSI
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