About Carbon Block Filters
Q. How do Carbon Block Filters work?
A. These systems use very fine filtration, usually 1 micron or less to remove small particulate in water, and activated carbon block mixed-media filters for the removal of chlorine, organic compounds, giardia, cryptosporidium, and other contaminants in a process known as adsorption and de-ionization.
Q. Is this the best type of drinking water filter for my water?
A. This depends on the quality of the source water. Generally, if the water to be filtered is municipally-treated city water low in minerals, then these carbon block filtration systems are the best type. If the water is very high in minerals, then a reverse osmosis system or distiller that removes minerals, salts and chemicals may be desired. If you see a large amount of white mineral staining on your fixtures, or you use a water softener to soften your water, generally we recommend reverse osmosis systems which remove the dissolved minerals and salts in addition to removing the chlorine tastes and odors. The carbon block filters remove chlorine and chemicals, and some selective metals such as lead, but leave in the minerals and salts such as calcium and sodium.
Q. Can I use carbon block filter systems to filter all the water through my house?
A. Yes, as long as the system is sized properly. Make sure you choose one that delivers at least 7 GPM for a 1 bathroom house, or 12 to 20 GPM for a two to four bathroom house. However usually it is impractical and expensive though to use carbon block filters for whole-house filtration. Most of our clients use a Backwashing Carbon Filter to dechlorinate water through out the house, which supplies higher flow rates, longer life and are much less expensive to maintain than carbon-block filters.
Q. Will these filters remove hardness minerals or cut down on scale buildup, white-spotting in coffee pots, etc.?
A. No. The system removes sediment and oxidized iron particles, which may cause some spotting, but the minerals remain the same. If scaling or spotting is a problem or for instance if you want to reduce mineral build-up in coffee makers or tea kettles, a reverse osmosis system is recommended.
Q. How do I know what contaminants, if any, are in my water?
A. If you are on city water, your local water utility must meet very strict Federal and State standards for purity. Almost all municipally treated water is chlorinated, and this can affect taste and create odors in the water. Carbon Block Filter Systems will remove these tastes and odors. If you are on a private well or spring, you should have your water tested, and you also may want to contact our technical staff for help in selecting the best filter system for your water chemistry.
Q. Does the total dissolved solids (“TDS”) affect the taste of water?
A. Yes. If your water has a moderate to high total dissolved solids content over 300 or 400 ppm, then merely filtering the water of chlorine will improve taste, but many people will say the water still tastes “heavy” or “minerally” compared to purified water. Taste is very subjective, and the ability to taste varies widely from person to person. The higher the TDS level, particularly when it reaches over 500 PPM (the USEPA recommended aesthetic guideline) the more people will want to purify the water by using reverse osmosis or distillation, or by purchasing bottled water. However, in areas where the TDS is low, carbon filtering the water can make it taste great, without the need for further filtration.
Q. Will these systems remove lead?
A. Yes, the carbon block filters we use are certified for lead removal.
Q. Will these systems remove parasites or cysts?
A. Yes. The Matrix carbon block filter cartridge is certified for cyst removal.
Q. Is bacteria a problem with activated carbon systems?
A. Yes and no. We have tested many of our systems for total bacteria counts over the years and have not found higher levels after the systems unless the systems sat for several days in between uses. However, in some cases, particularly if the source water is high in bacteria and/or low in chlorine residual, bacteria can grow. It is always wise to run the water, from any tap, for a few moments to avoid getting the water that has sat in the fixture or filter. An ultraviolet sterilizer can be used to disinfect the water after it leaves the filter system, insuring disinfected water.
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