Water Filters and Purification

Pitcher Water Filters

Convenient water filtering and storage

You might not remember a time when cold, filtered water wasn't immediately available to you upon opening the fridge, but it wasn't that long ago that no one had even heard of a pitcher water filter. Now they are everywhere, providing extra water-quality assurance for the small cost of a jug and filters.

Pitcher water filters can fit easily into many spaces in the fridge. Some are meant for placement in the door and are built tall and very thin; others hold a larger amount of water and are square or round. A home with more than two people can often benefit from a fridge dispenser, which is a large rectangular container that provides water through a spout. The dispenser can be removed from the fridge for cleaning and filling, but it's easier to just use a jug to fill it while it stays put. Many of the dispenser units hold two to three times the amount that jugs do, making them perfect for thirsty families.

Brands

Brita, PuR, Culligan and GE are commonly found in compact form, although it is usually a battle between Brita and PuR as to which is best. Consumer Reports tested carafe (pitcher) water filters and rated PuR as the leader in categories such as flow rate and removal of chloroform. Brita, though getting a low score on fill rate, beat the others on removal of off-tastes and lead. It also has the cheapest yearly cost. A smaller PuR jug was found to be the only one that could remove cysts.

How they filter

Activated carbon filters are the usual filtration method for home-use water filtration jugs. It is the best way to remove organic contaminants and can come in one of two forms:

  • Granular activated carbon (GAC) - These filter cartridges are packed with granules. Water passes through and particles such as chlorine, heavy metals and organic compounds become trapped.
  • Solid-block activated carbon - The carbon particles in these filters are compressed into a dense material. Smaller pores and increased surface area means there is a greater chance of trapping contaminants.

Whatever type of carbon used, pitcher water filters can make water taste and smell a lot better and go a long way to alleviate concerns about drinking-water quality in the home.

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