Buying a refrigerator that comes with a built-in water filter seems like an added advantage but have you ever wondered how clean the water that comes out of your fridge dispenser is? Well, a refrigerator water filter isn’t the best of the bunch, meaning that there are contaminants it cannot remove. As such, you may need a more elaborate water filtration system to protect your health. This article discusses the contaminants your refrigerator filter can remove, those that it cannot, and how to resolve the difference. Also, you can click on this hyperlink for some of the most reliable water filters.
What Do Refrigerator Filters Do?
Refrigerator filters are simple carbon filters that treat the water your refrigerator dispenses. Usually, refrigerator filters are NSF 42 certified, meaning they are only able to remove chlorine from drinking water and get rid of some of the taste and smell. Since most drinking water has been treated with chlorine, removing chlorine from water is a significant function. However, most households have to deal with tens of other contaminants.
The activated charcoal in refrigerator filters also removes man-made chemicals such as benzene, radon, and volatile organic chemicals. Considering their size, we can say that refrigerator filters do a pretty good job at removing these contaminants. However, their efficacy is limited, compared to that of larger water filtration systems. Activated carbon, though effective, cannot efficiently remove all contaminants in your drinking water.
What Your Refrigerator Filter Cannot Remove
Two of the most common contaminants your refrigerator filter cannot remove are chromium-6 and lead. Suffice to say, these two contaminants are a huge threat to many households throughout America. Most of the lead contamination comes from the lead service lines, and replacing them has appeared to do even more harm in the past. Chromium-6 started being an issue when companies began cutting corners by dumping waste in lakes and rivers. Filtering either of these contaminants requires a level of power that refrigerator filters do not possess. It is important to note that some types of heavy-duty activated charcoal can remove lead from water. However, such filters rarely ever come in fridge units.
Also, a refrigerator filter cannot protect your entire house. The water in your showers and sinks is just as contaminated with these elements as the water in your refrigerator and as such, requires a powerful filtration solution as well. That is why you must invest in a whole house filter too. They are affordable and can remove all these contaminants that a fridge filter can’t.
Built-in refrigerator filters are also quite expensive, especially with regard to filter replacement costs. The activated charcoal in a fridge filter works by absorbing the contaminants. Therefore, it is bound to clog up and will require a replacement. Whole house filters get clogged eventually too, but not as fast as their refrigerator counterparts.
Things To Do To Effectively Protect Your Health
- Test Your Water
If you have never considered getting your water tested, now is the time. This is the only reliable way to determine the kind of contaminants you are dealing with in your household water. You can use this information to choose the most suitable filtration system.
Some additional reasons why testing your tap water is a good idea are:
- Most waterborne contaminants are tasteless, odorless, and colorless, making it hard to spot them with your naked eye. Lab testing is the only water to determine what these contaminants are and how harmful they are.
- Copper and lead are a threat to most households due to the plumbing materials used in most homes. If they end up in your drinking water, these two elements can cause numerous health complications, including brain damage.
- Research shows that approximately 50% of private water systems fail one or more water drinking standards.
- Talk To The Experts
You may not necessarily be a water treatment professional but that’s why there are experts you can talk to. Most of them will recommend testing your water first so that should be a no-brainer. More importantly, they can give you an in-depth analysis of the kind of water you have in your home and the best water filters for it.
- Buy Quality Filters
If you are keen on keeping those waterborne contaminants out of your body, you must invest in a good-quality water filtration system. It may seem like a good idea to settle for a cheaper, less effective system just to cut costs, but the health implications later on could be fatal. As such, finding a high-quality water filter should be a priority.
Qualities Of A High-Quality Water Filter
The best way to choose a high-quality water filter for your home is to compare product claims based on their certifications. For instance, NSF certifies water treatment products for various claims. An example is a certification stating that a product doesn’t add any substances to your water that weren’t already there. However, if you are keen, you will notice that this certification says nothing about the product removing any contaminants. That is why you must check what organization has certified a product and for what claims.
Nevertheless, a good water filter should have the following qualities:
- A good water filter should remove 99.9% of harmful waterborne contaminants. If a filter removes a percentage lower than this, it is likely a cheap, ineffective imitation.
- A high-quality water filter must have a sustainable filtration rate. For instance, if you use 10 gallons of water per day, you require a water filter that supports that capacity.
- A good-quality water filter has durable cartridges that don’t need replacement every few weeks.
When dealing with something as critical as your drinking water and your family’s health, you cannot afford to compromise. That is why it is best to consult a water treatment expert before purchasing a water filtration system for your home. That is the only way to ensure you get value for your money and a water filter that will address all your home water needs.