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Faucet filters are just what they sound like, a small canister attaches to the faucet of your kitchen sink. This carbon canister is tightly packed with charcoal, which cleans the water as it passes through.
Charcoal has been used for centuries to help clean water and is very good at what it does especially when it is used in combination with other filters.
Faucet filters are a first step to filtering your water. See chart at bottom of page.
The things to keep in mind with a charcoal faucet water filter is that it does not remove all impurities from the water, a faucet water filter will remove in significant quantities chlorine, gases, odors, tastes and reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds THMs (trihalomethanes) and pesticides.
But only to the degree of how long the water stays in contact with the charcoal as the water runs through the canister.
Less charcoal in the faucet filter means less time the water remains in contact with it and the less it purifies, so be aware of how fast the water runs through the faucet filter.
The more charcoal that is packed into the canister the longer the water stays in contact with it and the cleaner the water is and the slower it comes out of the faucet.
Faucet filters will not remove bacteria; in fact bacteria will multiply and flourish in the dark moist environment of the charcoal. That is why it is so important to change the filter cartridge frequently otherwise you are drinking more polluted water than before it was filtered.
How often should you change the filter? The manufacture usually recommends changing after so many gallons, some units have a gauge telling you to replace the cartridge.
Certainly any change in taste, cloudiness or bits in the water is time to replace the cartridge. Another important thing to keep in mind is charcoal can be damaged by inadvertently running hot water through it.
A counter top faucet water filter usually has a lever to divert the water through it when you need filtered water.
Faucet water filters are available at most department stores and are inexpensive, usually under $100 and a faucet water filter is better than nothing and works very well in combination with other filters, but remember it will not filter out all impurities by itself. (see chart at bottom of page under carbon filter)
It is a good idea to calculate how often you will need to replace the filter and the cost, so you have an idea how much it will cost to make a gallon of water.
Remember it is not just the cost of the filter but your time and effort to replace the water filter at its prescribed time (no slacking off) otherwise you will be drinking more contaminated water, which defeats the purpose of installing the faucet water filter!
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