Check Your Water Filter: Is It As Safe As You Think?
Water filters are an essential part of any household or outdoor adventure kit. These devices can remove contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, and chemicals, from water, making it suitable for consumption. But how do you know if your water filter is suitable for your needs? And what happens if you drink water from a bad filter?
In this blog post, we'll explore these questions and provide you with the information you need to look out for bad water filters.
Understanding How Filters Work
Firstly, it's important to understand how water filters work. Different filters use different methods to clean water, but most use a combination of mechanical filtration, chemical filtration, and biological filtration to remove contaminants.
Not all of them work the same way though. You’ll often see a number, eg. 99.9%, followed by the word ‘tested’ and a list of contaminants in the descriptions of filters. What this refers to is the specific viruses, bacteria, and contaminants that a filter has been tested for and how good it is at removing that contaminant.
Log reduction is a method used to measure the effectiveness of a water filter in removing contaminants. It is a mathematical way of expressing the reduction in the number of contaminants after filtration.
When measuring log reduction in water filtration, we look at the number of contaminants before and after filtration and calculate the difference in logarithmic terms. Water filters are often tested for log reduction using standardized methods such as the NSF/ANSI standards. These tests involve exposing the filter to a known concentration of contaminants and measuring the reduction in the number of contaminants after filtration. The log reduction achieved by the filter is then reported.
Log reduction is an important measure of a water filter's effectiveness because it provides a standardized and quantitative way of comparing different filters. A higher log reduction means that a filter is better at removing contaminants and providing clean water.
How Do You Know If Your Water Filter Is Bad?
When buying a water filter, it can be difficult to know if it's a good or bad one. It's important to do your research and choose a reputable brand. However, there are some things to look out for that can help you make an informed decision:
Certification: Look for water filters that have been certified by reputable organizations such as NSF International or the Water Quality Association (WQA). These organizations test and certify water filters based on their ability to remove specific contaminants, and their certifications indicate that the filter meets certain standards for performance and safety.
Filtration technology: Different types of water filters use different technologies to remove contaminants. Research the type of filter technology that will best suit your needs and look for filters that use high-quality materials to ensure effectiveness.
Contaminant removal: Be aware of the specific contaminants that are present in your water supply and choose a filter that is designed to remove those contaminants. Check the filter's product description to see which contaminants it is certified to remove. For example, the lead contamination in places like Montreal, QC or Flint, Michigan would require a water filter that has been tested for filtering higher levels of lead.
Lifespan: Consider the lifespan of the filter and how often it will need to be replaced. Some filters may require more frequent replacements than others, which can impact the cost of using the filter over time.
Reviews: Look for reviews of the filter from other customers to see if they have had positive or negative experiences with it. This can give you a good idea of how the filter performs in real-world situations.
It's important to keep in mind that no water filter can remove all contaminants from water, and different filters are designed to target different types of contaminants. It's always a good idea to test your water supply periodically to ensure that your filter is effectively removing the contaminants present in your water.
How Often Should Water Filters Be Changed?
Your specific product should have a guideline for how long each filter should last, or how many gallons of water it can effectively filter. So it definitely depends on your product, but there are a few other signs that could help you determine when it’s time to swap out your filter:
Slow water flow: If the water flow through your filter is slow, it may be clogged or reaching the end of its lifespan. This can be a sign that it's time to change your filter.
Bad taste or odor: If your water tastes or smells bad, it could be a sign that your filter isn't removing all of the contaminants.
Cloudy water: If your filtered water is cloudy or murky, it could be a sign that your filter isn't working properly.
Visible debris: If you can see debris or particles in your filtered water, it's a clear sign that your filter isn't doing its job.
Once you've chosen a filter, it's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance. Most filters need to be changed regularly to ensure they're working effectively. But how often should water filters be changed? It depends on the type of filter and how often it's used. For example, Survivor Filter recommends changing the Pre-Filter and Internal Ultra Filter of the Pro X after every 100,000 liters of use and the carbon filter can be cleaned and reused up to 2,000 liters.
What Happens If You Drink Water From a Bad Filter?
The answer depends on the type of contaminants present in the water. Drinking water with bacteria or viruses can lead to illnesses such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Chemical contaminants can cause a range of health problems, from headaches to cancer. In extreme cases, drinking contaminated water can even be fatal.
In conclusion, it's important to be vigilant when it comes to water filters. Look out for signs that your filter may be bad, choose a reputable brand, and follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance. By doing so, you can ensure that your water is safe to drink and avoid the health risks associated with contaminated water. As Survivor Filter we make sure that all the information you need to know about our filters is available and easily accessible.