Water Filter

How Does A Water Filter Work?

Everybody deserves to gain access to clean, safe drinking water. But not all places have clean water. And that’s when water filtration comes to the rescue.  

Water filtration removes impurities, sediments, unwanted tastes, odors, and contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and disinfection byproducts in water. Water filters ensure the retention of magnesium, calcium, zinc, fluoride, and other minerals. But not all water filters are the same, so it’s crucial to choose high-quality filters, such as Filtap Water Filters

But how does a water filter work? Read on below to learn more. 

Blocks Or Traps Debris From Passing Through

A water filter is a physical barrier, blocking or trapping debris and bacteria from passing through water. Filter membranes have gaps, controlling the water flow speed. Hence, a fine water filter with tiny gaps has a slower water flow than that with bigger gaps.  

One common type is a mechanical filter, which physically removes dirt, sediment, and other unwanted particles in the water with a barrier. The different types of mechanical filters include basic mesh and ceramic filters.

A basic mesh filter is typically used to trap larger particles such as sand, rust, and other sizable sediment. The mesh is constructed with large enough gaps to allow water to flow freely while still catching these larger impurities.

On the other hand, ceramic filters have a very fine, complex pore structure. This allows them to catch much smaller particles, including bacteria and other pathogenic organisms. Ceramic filters are often used in situations where microbial contamination is a concern.  

Adsorbs Contaminants

Domestic water filters have granular activated carbon (GAC), reducing unwanted tastes and odors through adsorption or trapping liquids or gases by liquids or solids. A water filter with GAC can remove organic chemicals and chemicals, like chlorine and hydrogen sulfide, that cause unwanted taste and odors in water. It has a looser nature than a carbon filter, providing a higher flow rate. 

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A carbon block water filter is made of fine carbon powder compressed into a solid block for better purification. Carbon has a large internal surface that can adsorb contaminants. It also has nooks and crannies, trapping chlorine and other chemical impurities.  

Household water filters usually use activated carbon granules or active carbon (AC). Active carbon is based on charcoal, made by burning wood or coconut shell in a low oxygen supply. Charcoal has a large internal surface area, trapping chemical impurities via adsorption. 

Promotes Ion Exchange

Impurities can negatively affect tap water’s taste, smell, and safety. Ion exchange water filters can help improve water quality through a chemical process, specifically targeting and removing certain water minerals and impurities that are typically responsible for water hardness.  

Ion-exchange water filters soften water by removing limescale. They exchange ions to eliminate unwanted ones. But what’s an ion? An ion is an electrically charged atom. Sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, or other minerals become ions when dissolved in water, affecting the taste, color, smell, and hardness of water. 

Anions or negatively charged ions include nitrate, sulfate, chloride, and fluoride ions. While these ions can negatively affect water quality and cause health problems in large quantities, it’s worth noting that some of these ions, like fluoride, can actually be beneficial in small amounts.

On the other hand, cations or positively charged ions include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium ions, causing water hardness. Cations also cause scale buildup in plumbing and water appliances. 

In an ion exchange filtration, anions and cations exchange. An ion exchange water filter removes minerals that cause water hardness and certain specific impurities that negatively affect water quality.  

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Purifies Through Reverse Osmosis (RO) 

Reverse osmosis water filtration systems reverse the water flow through osmosis. This natural process allows water to pass from a more concentrated to a more diluted solution via a semi-permeable membrane.  

A reverse osmosis water filter has a semi-permeable membrane or synthetic lining. And a reverse osmosis system consists of pre- and post-filtration water filters. The water pressure pushes tap water through the water filter’s semi-permeable membrane, filtering out large particles like dirt, salt, chlorine, and other sediments from drinking water. 

A reverse osmosis filter comes with an ultra-fine filter of approximately 0.0001 microns. It’s effective in eliminating bacteria and protozoa. Moreover, reverse osmosis water filtrations systems effectively remove metal ions and chemical contaminants. Today, reverse osmosis water storage tanks are available to store RO-treated water used in commercial applications.  

Uses Natural Media 

Ceramic water filters utilize natural media, porous ceramic, to remove sediments from drinking water. A ceramic filter has an ultra-fine, complex pore structure capable of filtering out bacteria and other pathogenic organisms. 

Henry Doulton invented ceramic filters in 1827, which were used to remove waterborne pathogens from drinking water. Today, ceramic water filters come in different installations, including under the sink and portable filters.  

Utilizes Combined Water Filtration

Many advanced water filtration systems utilize a combination of filtration methods to optimize the purity and safety of drinking water. For instance, household water jug filters use activated carbon, ion exchange, and mechanical filtration. Inline water filters work through mechanical and absorption. On the other hand, reverse osmosis systems utilize mechanical absorption and reverse osmosis. 

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A water filter removes impurities, unwanted minerals, and other harmful substances. How a water filter works depends on its size, material, design, and capabilities. Choosing the best type of water filter for your home or commercial establishment depends on your unique needs, personal preferences, and compliance with water safety standards.

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