What's the deal with waterfilters?
March 18, 2004 1:26 PM   Subscribe

What's the deal with waterfilters? They're either sold like razors, with overpriced cartridges, (Pur) or offered through cheesy networks of multi-level-marketing that look like something from the Davinci Code.

After doing some googling I got interested in aquasana then discovered they were spamming usenet as recently as 1999. That sets my spider sense a-tingling.

I have yet to find an unsponsored site with reviews of filters, but Dr. Weil suggests a combination of charcoal and KDF for most filtering needs. Is there any reliable information out there, or do any of you have positive or negative experiences?

We're looking for something that will fit under our sink and make our highly mineralized well water taste good. Filtering out toxic crud is an added bonus. Thanks in advance!

addendum: This site (the NSF) has some good data, but no price-per-gallon.
posted by mecran01 to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I use the Culligan water filtration unit, and I think Consumer Reports said it was best. Don't quote me on that though. It's very reliable, solid, and it's made some pretty terrible water taste decent.
posted by banished at 2:16 PM on March 18, 2004

Home Depot sells "inline" water filters that work just fine IMHO. Just splice it into your water line and enjoy.

Did anyone else read "the NSF" as "the NSFW"?
posted by milnak at 2:32 PM on March 18, 2004

I did a small amount of the same research, got frustrated and ended up just getting a water cooler (like at an office).
They deliver on whatever schedule I choose and it's pretty cheap $14 - $22 a month. Just something to consider.

on preview: milnak, yes, I read it the same - dirty, dirty water.
posted by milovoo at 2:34 PM on March 18, 2004

IIRC (from previous research) reverse osmosis is the process the pros prefer.

This Google search should give you a good start. Commercial sites (with costs/gal) + a Poular Mechanics tutorial included.

There may be issues re:annual servicing/leasing as opposed to buying outright &c.
posted by i_cola at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2004

We use an inline Culligan-ish filter at our house. Water comes from the well, goes through a filter thingie, and goes out to the rest of the house. There are a few good points to this system

1. all water at all faucets is filtered, and it doesn't impede water flow much at all. NB, I have a small house.
2. the little thing that holds the filter is transparent, so you can see when it's time to change the filter
3. it takes a variety of filter inserts that vary from basically keeping out frogs and dirt, to really doing some high-tech filtering that keeps out cryptosporidium and other nasties that might be in your water. you can change to a higher or lower tech filter as you please.

And a few bad points

1. I don't know if it does anything about taste, our water tastes excellent usually but it may start that way.
2. it's all yours, if you can't get the water filter holder off, even with the special wrench [$7 but still annoying] then you're stuck with calling the plumber or trying to do some really dramatic home plumbing that can go really badly wrong [don't ask me how I know this]

You might also need something in the water softener range depending how mineralized and problematic your water is.
posted by jessamyn at 5:01 PM on March 18, 2004

Response by poster: I saw the home depot filters but couldn't tell how expensive they were to operate. I think they're made by GE. Hmm...
posted by mecran01 at 5:10 PM on March 18, 2004

Water delivery water comes in monstor plastic jugs that are being suspected of contanimating the water with plastic outgasses. You may want to google that.

I use a Brita. Our tap water is chlorinated and on the hard side (leaves water spots). The Brita disposable filter lasts two to three months for two adults. We do, I believe, drink more water than most people. The filters cost about eighteen bucks per four- or five-pack, on sale. So that,s all of twenty-odd bucks a year. Can't beat that deal with a stick.

The Brita makes the water palatable. It's always cold, coming from the fridge, there's no chlorine taste, and maybe the minerals have been reduced. Been using it exclusively in my espresso machine, haven't needed to clean it yet.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on March 18, 2004

We use a Brita as well -- or have for the last 5 months, anyway -- and despite the fact that the tap water here is really, really bad, it does a bang-up job. I drink four things only, for the most part -- coffee, green tea, water and beer -- so I end up drinking an enormous amount of water too, and having grown up in the pristine north of Canada with sweet sweet well water to drink, I'm pretty picky.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:34 PM on March 18, 2004

Water delivery water comes in monstor plastic jugs that are being suspected of contanimating the water with plastic outgasses. You may want to google that.

The snopes on that. 'Tis a myth embarrassingly amplified by college students and their newspapers in my province. ;-(
posted by shepd at 1:30 AM on March 19, 2004

Response by poster: The Brita, which I had originally discounted because of price and slightly weaker filtering, looks like it will be a great deal if we ebay the replacement filters. Thanks!
posted by mecran01 at 8:20 AM on March 19, 2004

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