How to Pick a Home Water Filter

Do fears about the water quality in your home have you reaching for bottled water? Water filters may be a cheaper alternative. Handyman Jay Baker shows you how to find the right home water filter for you.


More and more of us are turning to bottled waters because we think it’s the safer choice, but you don’t have to doll out extra cash for fancy bottles or even flavors. You might be pouring your money down the drain.

The water from your tap is going to be just fine. That’s because all public water systems must comply with standards set by the Safe Water Drinking Act. That means if your water comes from a city or county source, it’s probably drinkable.

That doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved, though and that’s where water filters come in.

If your water tastes a bit off or if you’re worried about the contaminants that may have gotten past the safety standards, water filters will work. Let me show you how they operate.

The easiest water filtering system to use is also the least expensive, a carbon filter inside a pitcher. The activated carbon inside the filter traps the contaminants so that they don’t end up in your glass.

If you don’t want to bother with a pitcher, carbon filters can be installed on your tap. It’s a very simple installation. You’ll spend anywhere from $35-$60 and the filter works for about 3 months.

If you don’t want to put a filter on your tap, there are other ways to trap contaminants as they make their way from your source to your faucet. These go underneath the sink and they range in price from $40 to $300. But these are middle of the road.

This is the big daddy of water filters. It’s a whole house water filter. And it is literally your first line of defense for all of the water that comes into your home. It’s designed to remove rust and sediments from the water which makes your appliances, like your washing machine, ice maker and dishwasher, last longer. It’s a good idea to call a plumber because it’s an advanced installation.

But before you go out and spend any money on a filter, download a free report on your water quality from the EPA website. The report may read like a chemistry exam but its worth having because it lists everything found in your tap water.

Remember, the EPA results only apply to water from public utilities. If you’re on a well or private water source, you’ll need to have your own testing done.

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