Carbon filters are a critical component in water purification, acting as the primary agent in most water treatment technologies. Made from activated charcoal, these filters are highly porous, allowing water to pass through while trapping debris, particles, bacteria, gases, and vapors.
Carbon filters work like magnets, attracting pollutants to their surface and holding them as water passes through. They also neutralize chemicals from treatment plants upon contact. However, over time, a filter cartridge can become saturated with impurities, reducing its effectiveness and potentially allowing contaminants to pass through or dislodge into the water. Therefore, regular carbon filter replacements are essential, typically twice a year or after dispensing a certain number of gallons.
Carbon filters can remove various contaminants, including:
- Microscopic particles (sand, rust, silt, dirt, iron fillings, oils, dust)
However, not all cartridges can eliminate these toxins. It's crucial to get your tap water tested to understand its specific impurities and choose the right purification system accordingly.
Activated and catalytic carbon both improve water taste and eliminate odors, but they differ in several ways. Catalytic carbon can remove hydrogen sulfide and chloramine more effectively, reduce trihalomethanes and volatile organic compounds, and can be reactivated and reused. Activated carbon is less expensive and ideal for cartridges.
Popular carbon filters include Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), Carbon Block, and Radial Flow GAC. GAC filters offer great adsorption and faster filtration, while Carbon Block filters have a broader surface but restrict water flow, providing better filtration. Radial Flow GAC combines the mechanisms of both.
Proper installation of your filter cartridges is crucial. They can be installed at the point of entry (POE) to purify all water entering your home, or at the point of use (POU) for specific areas like the kitchen sink or refrigerator dispenser. The choice depends on your specific purification needs.
Filterway offers a range of NSF-certified replacement carbon filters suitable for various appliances. Contact us today to place your order.