Buying a water purification system

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In the last decade, the number of products designed to reduce contaminants in tap water has expanded significantly. In this article, I summarized a quick lesson on home water purification systems.

  1. Know the TASTE. Does your water taste funny or smell bad? Does it look reddish or leave
  2. Look for products that tackle specifically your problem. Filters reduce chemical contaminants, some metals, parasites, sediment. Provide about 1/2 to 1 gallon of water a minute.
  3. DEVICE. Choose a style that fits your needs: Pitchers with filters: Inexpensive. No installation; frequent filter changes (every 40 gallons).

Faucet devices:

Faucet with builtin filter — may require pro to install; filter changes every 100 gallons or so.

Device that mounts on existing faucet; filter changes every 100 gallons or so.

Countertop device that connects to faucet via hose; filter change starting at about every 100 gallons. Plumbed-in: Systems that install under sink and refrigerator filters that install directly to plumbing line. Both have long filter lives; generally require pro to install.

CERTIFY/VERIFY. Look for an NSF-certified product. And be sure to read the owner’s manual to make sure you change the filter appropriately.

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