Are Water Filter Cartridges All the Same?

Learn about different types of water filters and how to choose the best replacement cartridge for your needs.

Are Water Filter Cartridges All the Same?

No water filter or treatment system is 100% effective at removing all contaminants from the water, so it's important to know what you want your filter to do before you go shopping. Not all filters of a particular type use the same technology, so it's important to read the label carefully. Empty refillable canisters work like GAC cartridges, maximizing water contact with filter media. Purchasing the cartridge and media separately allows you to refill the cartridges any time they need to be changed.

Before replacing the water filter cartridge, you should know if your system uses a standard filter size or a proprietary size. Most companies that make filter cartridges offer them in one or more standard sizes to fit a wide range of filter systems. However, some manufacturers make systems that cannot use any of the standard sizes, which means they can only buy replacement cartridges for water filters from them. This allows the manufacturer to charge whatever they want for replacement cartridges, since you have no other option.

These cartridges are inserted into filter housings that are installed as part of the pipes of the house or cottage. They can be installed in a basement or utility room, or even smaller systems can be installed under the kitchen sink. The most common size manufactured in water filter cartridges is essentially a drinking water size, though some discount store manufacturers use this size in economical whole-house filters. Compatible with our model 77, Black & White RO and under sink filters.

The NSF tests water treatment products for distillation, cyst reduction, reverse osmosis, and taste and odor; in other words, whatever you want your water filter to do, the NSF will be able to tell you how well it does it. One advantage of whole-house filter housings is that you can experiment with different water filter cartridges to see what works best for your application. While there are plenty of water filters and home filtration systems to choose from, most don't require a major renovation or a large investment, as they generally won't affect your flow rate. Then, there are many options for a whole-house water treatment system, which can be useful for those who use a well or with particularly hard water.

Several additional and larger water filter sizes are available, but these are most commonly used in large-scale commercial and industrial environments. These “mechanical filters” are most commonly used to remove sediment and are most often used if the water comes from a lake or river source. If you choose a whole-house filter that removes chlorine from your water, the CDC warns that there is a possibility that it will end up increasing the number of bacteria and germs that live inside the pipes. Water filters are composed of a substance that traps, adsorbs, or modifies contaminants in the water flowing through them. Here, however, water passes through something like activated carbon, where there is a chemical reaction that causes impurities to be drawn out of the water and into the filter. The Home Depot has a large inventory of water filters and filtration systems, along with all the supplies you'll need to install it.

As you can see, you need to know what type of filter you have and what you are trying to accomplish before you can choose the best replacement water filter cartridge. For example, if you were using an activated carbon filter cartridge, you could replace it with a carbon filter in most cases. There are many types of water filters to choose from and most do not require a major renovation or a large investment of time and money. It's important to read labels carefully and understand what type of filter is best for your needs before making any purchases.