Buying a water filter for your home is usually a great decision, regardless of where you live and what the tap water conditions in your city or state are. Even in places where tap water is well cleaned and filtered by the municipality, there are still a ton of benefits that you can reap from purchasing a nice water filtration system for your home.
The bottled water industry has been capitalizing on people’s fears about tap water for decades, and while these fears are mostly unjustified and tap water is generally a much better alternative to bottled water, it is true that a home water filtration system can further improve the quality of tap water and thus – the quality of your life.
How does one choose a water filter, however? Today, there are almost as many types of water filters as there are types of bottled water. You can buy a whole home water filter system that filters the water of your entire home simultaneously; you can buy an under sink water filter that is installed below a sink in your home – the kitchen sink, usually – and filters the water that goes to that sink; you can buy a countertop water filter that functions in a similar manner but is placed on top of the sink or to its side and filters the water just before it flows through the sink faucet; or you could buy a refrigerator water filter which needs to be plumbed into a water supply. You could even just get a water filter bottle if you live alone.
Each of these types of water filters have their advantages and disadvantages. Each are designed for different situations and different homes and families. Plus, each of them has a lot of different models, many of which have their own features and purposes. With that said we’re specifically tackling a certain type of filter today; if you’re interested in buying one, check out our under sink water filter buying guide.
Lets Take A Look At Under Sink Water Filters. What Are They Exactly?
Under sink water filters work on a very simple principle – they are placed under the sink (let’s say – a kitchen sink) and a diverter valve diverts the cold water from the pipes to the filter before it has reached the sink faucet. The water goes through the filter and goes out through an exit valve that goes above the sink through a hole in it. Said exit valve ends with a separate faucet for filtered water that is placed on the sink, besides its standard faucet. And that’s it – now you have the options between hot water, cold water and filtered cold water.
To be a little more precise – what we described isn’t just an under sink water filter, it is a “conventional under sink water filter”. There are also “simple under sink water filters”
This second type works a bit differently – the cold water is diverted into the filter, but once it is filtered it goes back to its original valve and into the cold water faucet. This means that you won’t need to drill a hole for an additional faucet for filtered water, however, all your cold water will be filtered. This may sound like a benefit at first, but it actually means that you will be needlessly filtering water that didn’t always need to be filtered. In other words – you’ll need to change the filter cartridge more often.
Whether simple or conventional, under sink water filters have a lot of benefits they can bring to a household. So, it is not surprising why they have become so popular in recent years. Let’s go over all the benefits you can expect if you choose such a filter for your home.
Under sink water filter advantages include:
- They improve the water’s taste. Whether because of the chlorine and fluoride that’s often found in small dosages in tap water, or for another reason, depending on where you live your tap water might have an unpleasant smell or taste. For the lucky ones among us that haven’t experienced this it might seem weird, but unpleasant odors or taste turns off a lot of people from tap water and drives them either to bottled water or to just drinking way less water than their body requires. And a good under sink water filter can easily fix all that.
- They make the water safer to drink. Odors and tastelessness aren’t the only things a water filter can help you with. An under sink water filter can remove a lot of unsafe chemicals and contaminants from tap water.
- They make the water much healthier in every conceivable way. Both through removing unhealthy contaminants as well as by often adding healthy minerals, a great under sink water filter can significantly improve the quality of your tap water.
- They improve the physical development of kids. Especially in households with children, it is of the utmost importance to have a high quality source of drinking water. Unhealthy drinking water can seriously stifle the growth of your kids, as well as cause a lot of unnecessary diseases. Not to mention that tasteless drinking water can create the unhealthy habit of drinking less water than the body needs.
- They require no additional space. Under sink water filters are especially nice compared to countertop water filters in that they don’t take any countertop space. Yes, they take some space under the sink, but that’s much more preferable than the alternative.
- Fairly easy to install. A lot of people are afraid that installing an under sink water filter is just too darn complicated. It’s not. It’s slightly more complicated than installing a countertop water filter, but it’s nothing that requires plumbing experience or anything of the sort.
- Cost efficient. Under sink water filters are also exceptionally cost efficient. Not only are they themselves not too expensive, but the amount of money they are going to save you on bottled water is unimaginable. They are also generally more efficient than other types of water filters like faucet filters or freezer filters, although it depends on the quality of the brand and the model as well. Regardless, the price that you pay for buying an under sink water filter is something that gets compensated by its benefits incredibly quickly.
- They come in a large variety of different models. We already mentioned the two main categories of conventional and simple under sink water filters, but depending on the brands you look at, there is a lot of varieties of model you can buy. There are under sink water filters that have only one basic filter cartridge and there are those that have multiple filters within them, as well as those that don’t just filter the water, but also enrich it with minerals. Conventional under sink water filters generally have more models to choose from, but simple under sink water filters are gaining popularity as of late as well.
- They are easy to maintain. Under sink water filters aren’t harder to maintain than countertop ones. Sure, you’ll need to kneel for a bit to change the cartridge beneath the sink, instead of doing it on top of the counter, but other than that it’s the same basic principle.
Of course, no filter is without its drawbacks. After all, just as a filter bottle is not as effective as an under sink water filter, you can’t take the latter to camping, right? And joking aside, under sink water filters do have their share of disadvantages:
- They filter water at only one point of use. Unlike whole home water filters, under sink water filters work only for the sink they are installed to. This means that when you are in the bathroom or under the shower, you are going to use unfiltered water. And while you don’t drink from the shower, you certainly breathe in all the fluoride, chlorine and unpleasant odors that come with them. And if your water is harder (i.e. it is with a high mineral content) washing with it can get annoyingly slow.
- They require the installation of a water filter tap. Most conventional types of under sink water filters require the drilling of a hole in your sink and the installation of a whole new faucet. And while this is nice because it lets you choose when to use filtered water and when not to, it’s certainly a bit of a hassle as well.
And those are more or less the basics of this type of water filter. They are not perfect and in some situations a countertop water filter or a whole house water filter might do a better job.
However, a high quality under sink water filter is without a doubt a great addition to a lot of kitchens and will drastically improve the health and comfort of you and your family.
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