Do Water Filters Come in Standard Sizes?

Learn about the different types of water filters available and how to determine the right size for your needs. Find out which materials are best for filtering out dirt, chemicals, and other contaminants.

Do Water Filters Come in Standard Sizes?

Pleated filters are designed to have a larger surface area and a longer lifespan than conventional water filtration systems. These cartridges are washable and reusable, and come in a range of micron (µ) sizes and ratings. Replacing a quick-change cartridge usually requires no tools; the water filter cartridge is simply screwed by hand into a receiver valve head. Before purchasing the right filter, it is important to determine the exact problem with your water.

Depth filters come in a variety of materials, such as fiberglass, cellulose, ceramic, polyester and polypropylene. Whole-house filters provide the convenience of experimenting with different filter cartridges to find the one that works best for you. Water softeners remove hardness minerals specifically, while water filters are designed to remove a wider range of contaminants. Manufacturers of nominal filters have different standards for acceptable rejection rates; some consider 75% satisfactory, while others want at least 80%.

It can be difficult to classify these proprietary filters by size, as they vary greatly from brand to brand, but often have a similar appearance. If the water contains dirt such as sand, silt, or sediment, physical filters are excellent at removing them. Whole house ion exchange water filter cartridges target specific groups of contaminants that other types of filters don't even touch. Many of these filter cartridges utilize electrokinetic absorption that attracts and retains negatively charged microorganisms.

Typically known as “pleated filters” (due to their acorn-shaped structure), these whole house filter cartridges contain a thin film that traps all dirt. Granular activated carbon filter cartridges are more commonly used in whole-house applications than charcoal filter blocks because they allow higher flow rates. Granular activated carbon is one of the most popular filter media for the whole house because it eliminates bad taste and odor in addition to removing chemicals such as pesticides and disinfection by-products.