How do shower filters work
The design of the shower filters determines the way they work. The basic components of a filter are the metallic screen, crystalline quartz, cartridge, KDF media, sediment tap and the jet dispersal head. The water from the inlet passes through these components in sequential before the jet dispersal sprays it onto your body. Every part performs a unique function which is summarized here.
The stainless steel screen performs the task of regulating the water flow through its aeration function. The standard flow rate is 2.75 gallons per minute. Its task is to mix air with the incoming water to balance the flow within the standard range.
The crystalline quartz has the unique property of energizing the water molecules passing through it. The core ingredient of quartz is silicon dioxide which removes micro sized impurities as the water passes through it. The quartz can also neutralize and eliminate many types of germs that get carried in water.
The filter cartridge performs the task of removing the chlorine content, dirt and other impurities in the water. Hot water flowing through the cartridge can contain chlorine in the form of liquid or vapor state. The probability of inhaling these vapors is stated to be high when the water temperature increases. When using cold water, the chlorine content is dissolved in water.
- Chlorine Conversion: An efficient cartridge converts the chlorine (water and vapor forms) into chloride form though REDOX (oxidation-reduction) process. The hardness of the water gets reduced considerably after passing through the cartridge.
- Metal Removal: The cartridge also removes other harmful metals including lead, magnesium, iron and calcium.
The Kinetic Degradation Fluxion is a layer made from the combination of copper and zinc which captures all the micro and Nano-sized particulates in water. It reduces the chloride into harmless material called benign. The layer also removes Nano-sized cations like mercury, chromium and other hardness causing elements from the water. The media works at high and low temperature range at the same efficiency level.
The sediment trap filters out low concentration particulates that may accidentally pass through the other layers. It removes dissolved salt and other undetected cations.
Jet Dispersal Head
Finally the water passes through the jet dispersal head before spraying onto your body at the pre-set temperature and pressure.
The design and construction of advanced shower filters may also include carbon layers after the KDF media to enhance the level of purification. Since most of the parts of the modern shower head filter are replaceable, maintenance is stated to be simple.
How much are shower filters (Cost)
The average cost of shower filters may vary from $35 to $90 and more. The basic forms of the filter may remove only the hardness factors of chlorine and heavy metals. The advanced filters have many additional functions which are listed here.
Volatile Chemical Removal
Some of the volatile organic chemicals in shower water may include benzene, formaldehyde, chloride compounds and Methyl-Tert-Butyl-Ether etc.
- Benzene Removal: The activated carbon filter in the shower head filter can remove benzene near to zero levels.
- Formaldehyde Removal: Thecombination of 3 stage filtering systems can remove the dissolved formaldehyde compounds from the shower water. They also remove the pungent odor that gets carried by water after the filtering process.
- Chloride Removal: Thebasic versions of the shower filter can only convert the chlorine into chloride or Benign. But when the water temperature is high and the vapor concentration is intense, the gaseous chlorine and chloride may escape through the water and enter your body. The advanced multi-stage filters can filter the contaminant vapors and the chloride compounds efficiently.
Multi Layer Filter Systems
The multi layer shower filters have activated-carbon, germanium, calcium sulfite, magnetized ceramic and tourmaline. These layers are in addition to the KDF, and the filter cartridge installed in standard filters.
- Germanium Layer: The germanium balls inserted into the shower filter can release negative ions into water for neutralizing the effects of cations present in Nano-size. The benefit of germanium is its efficiency at high water temperature of 30+-degree centigrade. In addition the layer also filters microbes and bacteria that may pass through the other filter layers.
- Calcium Sulfite Layer: The calcium sulfite layer is capable of filtering most of the dissolved chemical particulates like the chlorates, chlorites, tetra-chloro-compounds etc. These particulates generally pass through the other layers undetected. At the end of the filtering, the hardness factors of the water get reduced considerably.
- Magnetized Ceramic Layer: The diatomic properties of the magnetized ceramic layer can remove most of the undetected bacterial particulates that pass through the KDF, germanium and even activated carbon layers. At the end of the layer, the water is effectively free from all types of bacteria and infection causing microbes.
- Tourmaline Layer: The water passing through the tourmaline layer gets exposed to the infrared emissions of negative ions. The mild increase in the alkaline nature of water prevents the dryness generated by the hot water showers. It also increases the ability of your skin to stay wetter and absorb moisture. The other advantage is the elimination of toxic elements from the skin pores.
When a shower filter performs all the above listed activities apart from the standard functionalities in FAQ-1, the cost will naturally increase. The dimension of the filter will also increase proportionately.
Are shower filters worth it?
The worthiness of a shower filter depends on the quality of water you get at the end of purification and filtering processes. Let us consider factors like water hardness, contaminants, bacteria, volatile chemicals, chloride compounds and dryness factors (hot showers).
- Hard water Effects: Regular hard water showers can damage the sensitive skin layers of the epidermis and dermis. At the top epidermis layer it can create dry patches, dehydrate the moisture layer and result in acne and other skin blemish. The chlorine content in the water prevents complete washing off of soap from your skin layers as it forms a firm bonding on the skin pores. It can lead to clogged pores. The money you invest on (one time) an efficient shower filter and maintenance tasks (high quality filters need minimum DIY procedures) is stated to be negligible, compared to the savings you get by avoiding skin damages in the long run. More than the money, it is the protection you get from skin health hazards.
- Volatile Chemicals Effects: The effects of volatile chemicals on your skin can cause skin irritation, allergy and infections. The gradual deposition of chemicals cal lead to formation of rashes. The skin aging process accelerates due to weakening of collagen on your skin. Brittleness and dryness can cause the skin to crack on joints. When exposed over extended period, the chemicals can cause abnormal loss of the vitamins and proteins stored on the skin layers. It can in turn lead to diminished protection from the UV radiations. Subsequent results are the appearances of dark spots and patches on the skin due to the attack of free radicals. The uncontrolled production of sebum is another risk factor that increases the formation of oily scales on the skin.
- Bacteria Effects: The bacterial effects of the skin can cause infections and diseases. Long term exposure can reduce the skin immunity considerably. Since skin is the protective layer, its degeneration can cause other infecting viruses to enter your body through the layers.
When you consider the net negative effects on your skin health and the stress factors, the investment you make on the shower filters is really worth the cost.
Why Filter Shower Water?
Apart from avoiding the negative effects on skin and body listed in the previous FAQ answer, the filtering of shower water can have plenty of beneficial effects on your skin, body and mind. Let us review a few of them now.
- Skin Texture: Filtered water is free from hardness factors like chlorine and dissolved chemicals. The softness of water shower can eliminate the skin dryness and increase the moisturizing effects. It can cleanse the pores efficiently and eliminate the contaminants from the epidermis layer of the skin. Your skin can retain and sustain its original texture for a long time.
- Skin Strength: Tourmalinelayer in the advanced water filter can enhance the alkaline nature of the water. It eliminates the aging signs by strengthening the collagen layers on the epidermis and dermis layers. Though the results are slow, consistent exposure to moderately alkaline showers can enhance the tensile strength and elasticity of your skin layers considerably with time. Aging signs like wrinkles, black and brown dots and patches stay away from your skin.
- Skin Detox: Enhanced negative ions in the filtered water shower at moderate pressure and temperature can detox your skin consistently. Most of the external pollutant deposits on the skin layers get washed off. It can also balance the sebum content of the sebaceous glands.
- Skin Massage: Softwater irradiated by tourmaline can cause gentle skin massaging from the scalp region of your skin to the toes. Using the handheld showers with filters at close proximity to your skin can enable smooth blood circulation to a certain extent due to the alkaline nature of the water.
- Skin Immunity: The filtered soft alkaline water shower can help in preserving the existing skin immunity levels consistently. It is du e to the antioxidant properties induced by the KDF media of the filter. When water passes through copper and zinc at high temperature it naturally absorbs microns of the metals and sprays onto your skin. Even if your skin were to absorb 1% to 5% of those ingredients, they can form a protective layer on the collagen layer of the skin. The combination can enhance the skin immunity in the long run.
- Skin Tone: soft water shower can preserve the skin tone at its original levels by eliminating the excess of oil and dirt deposits. Enhanced moisture retention is another reason for the enhancement of skin tone.
What Shower Filter is the Best?
The fundamental and advanced features of the shower filter can make it the best product for your needs. You may opt for wall mount/ceiling mount versions, apart from using the handheld device. The combinational effects on your skin health, conditioning and fitness can be healthy and long lasting.
Conformance to the ANSI, NSF and EPA standards is the key factor which determines the efficiency of the shower filter. Ease of installation and maintenance are the two additional parameters you need to consider. You should be able to test the filter periodically and use the DIY procedures to replace the components and parts with no hassles.
- Corrosion Resistance: The internal parts should preferably be made of stainless steel, aluminum, copper, bronze, ABS and other corrosion resistant material. The screws and nuts assemblies can be copper or bronze. They ensure proper fittings without leaking. The washers should be preferably polycarbonate, copper or stainless steel. They are light in weight and provide leak proof fitments with the connecting parts and components.
- Moderate weight: The entire shower filter assembly should be light in weight. It can ease the process of installation and dismantling. However, many advanced filters come with added components and material fillings (ceramic, sulfite and tourmaline). The product weight will be naturally higher. However you need to ensure the weight to be less than the net weight of the shower head assembly.
- Spare Parts: The spare components, accessories and parts should be available from your local stores. Buying here can let you test them immediately. Replacement and returns become easier and faster. In fact your friendly shop owner can help you by testing the filter after replacement and repair at his shop.
- Mount Height: The distance between the shower filter and your head should be at least 5 inches to 6 inches. The height allows the post filter effects to impact on your skin.
- Filter Versatility: The shower filter should be able to eliminate the chlorine, chloride and other dissolved chemicals in the liquid and vapor state. The density of the filter cartridge should be in microns to ensure comprehensive removal. Apart from reducing the hardness and removing the harmful chemicals, the shower filter should be able to enhance the negative ion concentration and the energy levels of the water. You may not be able to experience the explicit effects immediately. But the long term utilization can result in skin health and beauty enhancement.
Cost is a relative factor that depends on your affordability and necessity. If the advanced filter options like the multi-layer systems are needed for healing your skin, you may opt for high end showers. If you don’t need or want any advanced features, you can opt for the budget shower filters. But you should ensure the minimum requirements of water softening, harmful chemical removal and negative ion irradiation effects.
What shower filter to buy
You can decide on the best brands based on their conformance to the listed quality standards and the design & functional specifications. You can choose the best combo filters (for head and handheld showerheads) based on some of the results from the online evaluation.
Reading or watching (video) the genuine customer testimonials and reviews can give you the ideas about what shower filter to buy. You need to list out the exact number of models and brands from which you will make the final selection. The shower head size is directly proportional to the dimension of the filter.
Shower Filter Dimension
The dimension should be large enough to cover your body between the two shoulders. The metallic screen should be able to provide consistent water flow of at least 2.75 gallons per minute. The self cleansing filter can take the burden off you for the maintenance procedures.
The shower filter should have a long lasting resistance to temperature variations. Only metallic parts may cause the heat loss from the filter layers, while having only synthetic products can increase the stress of load on the components. Hence, it is better to opt for a shower filter that has a combination of corrosion free metals, ABS, Polycarbonate, rubber and other durable materials.
Opt for genuine brands which have an established market reputation and customer trust. Unless you are searching for cheap filters, you can opt for good quality products which carry a warranty of at least one year. Any defects on the manufacturing and design aspects will get you immediate replacement. Moreover, the safety factors are trustworthy. You don’t need to fear about loose parts or malfunctioning components causing any sort of physical damages to you.
Filtering and Disinfection
The shower filter you choose should also act as disinfecting medium to remove the unforeseen and harmful germs and bacteria. Untreated water from the municipal supplies can contain invisible microbes. Make sure the filter contains activated carbon, KDF and tourmaline as the basic filter layers. They can also enhance the immunity levels of your skin, besides keeping it healthy and preserving the youthful conditions to certain extent.
The shower filter you choose should be preferably mounted externally to the shower head. Then it is easy to fit it into any model and brand of showerhead. You don’t need to worry about the face of the filter as the vast collection of multi dimensional filter faces are available off the shelf and online. If an external mounted filter is not available, then you need to find a filter that fits into the head assembly of your existing shower.
Which shower filter removes fluoride?
Fluoride removal is a complex process which is often beyond the scope of activated carbon, KDF media and the other materials listed above. Some of the trusted methods recommended by the US water quality association, EPA, ANSI and SNF standards include reverse osmosis filters, distillers and high-end alumina filters.
The fluoride concentration in water could vary from 1.5mg per liter to 4mg per liter. The filters with reverse osmosis capacity can remove more than 95% of the content within its construction.
- Activated Alumina Filter: The activated alumina based shower filters contain micro size balls through which the fluoride water passes. The metal is highly anionic in nature. It shows high affinity towards absorbing the fluoride molecules. It can filter out the varying concentration levels of fluoride from 1.5mg to 4 mg per liter or even higher. The tests have revealed the absorbing capacity to be more than 20mg of fluoride per gram of alumina. The filter can also be in the form of a thin mesh installed within the filter interiors. The metal can work efficiently at a flow rate of 2.75 gallons per minute according to the practical usage. You should search for shower filters that restore the conditioning of the alumina layer by removing the absorbed fluoride through automated treatments.
- Reverse Osmosis Filter: The semi permeablemembrane used in the reverse osmosis shower filter can remove more than 97% of the fluoride content at a flow rate of 2.75 gallons per minute. The waste water generated from the filter could be about 5 to 6 liters. A separate waste outlet removes the waste water. The material is made of composite TFC covered with carbon filters. The Thin Film Composite membrane has an asymmetric construction with twin base layers. The layer is coated with Polyamide for increasing the material strength and the filtering ratio. The probable disadvantage could be the regular replacement of the panels, since the maintenance procedures are yet to be evolved in an efficient manner. If you can opt for a high end shower filter for reverse osmosis, the frequency of replacement could be extended to one year. The permeable membrane could be the most expensive part of the fluoride removal shower filter. Moreover the dimension of the filter will be naturally bigger compared to the standard filters. The probable limitation of the reverse osmosis could be the removal of all the useful minerals along with the fluoride. This process may affect the quality of the shower water as it gets rendered neutral.
- Ion Exchange Filter: The process of ion exchange happens through the resin with 0.25mm radius beads or the sheet. The cross linked polystyrene material absorbs all the fluoride ions into its layers and softens the water. The process also removes many of the hard chemicals and mineral deposits in the water. The outgoing water is free from all the contaminants and soft in characteristics. The only problem seems to be the regular maintenance required to keep the resin working in efficient condition. If you forget to clean the resin after it is saturated, the accumulated ions of metals and fluoride gets released back into the water outflow. The heavy concentration can make the water more harmful than before. The probability of foul smell from the ion exchange filter also increases. But cleaning of the filter is a simple process. You need to rinse it in sodium hydro-sulfite water for about 14 hours. Then you can use a soft brush to clean the surface area and wash the filter. Then you can replace it in the filter.
Fluoride Shower Filter Characteristics
The latest technology systems have made the fluoride removal shower filters highly compact in size and relatively light in weight. The average filter dimension is about 4” W X 8” H X 4” D. The water flow rate is also comparatively higher at 4gallons per minute to 5 gallons per minute. But the minimum input water pressure should be between 25PSI and 30PSI. The minimum temperature of input should be between 35-degree-F and 40-degree-F. The cleaning and filtering stages can vary from 1 o 4 or 5. The filters with multiple stages cleaning work more efficiently. The same filter can also be used for the removal of chlorine and volatile chemicals from the water.
Fluoride Shower Filter Installation
The installation procedure for the external filter is very simple and fast. You need to remove the existing filter from the shower and clean the internal parts with sodium sulfite solution. Remove any visible dirt and contamination with the help of a soft brush. Then you can wrap the threads on the shower arm with plumber tape. Make sure the adhesive part winds uniformly around. Now you can fit the shower filter onto the threads and rotate in clock –wise direction (refer user manual for direction of rotation). Then you can tighten the device and ensure no gaps. Flush the water filter for 5 to 7 minutes continuously in hot water at maximum pressure. It will remove all the contaminants from the filter.
The installation method may vary, depending on the dimension and the shape of the filter and the shower arm end. You need to refer to the user manual for the right procedure of installation. Follow the safety procedures correctly to ensure accurate installation without any leaks and damages.
What are the best shower-filters to remove chlorine?
The shower filters working on activated carbon filter can remove the chlorine content to an extent of 95% and more. The filter also removes many of the harmful water hardening elements and volatile chemicals from the water.
Combination Effects – Coconut Shell and Bituminous Coal
The most commonly used combination is the coconut shell and bituminous coal. However this technique is used more in traditional shower filters. The modern filters use a combination of carbon and synthetic material to gain extra efficiency in the cleaning and filtering methods.
Multi Stage Shower Filters – Chlorine and Derivate Removal
One of the methods used by the chlorine water filter is to convert the chlorine into the derivative called Benign. It is relatively harmless in nature and the negative effects are near to zero. However the other compounds of chloride will continue to be present in the water. They can cause skin irritation and other minor skin allergic conditions in the long run. Hence, the multi stage filter consisting of the following parts is recommended for the complete removal of chlorine, chloride and their compounds.
- Steel -mesh is useful for precipitating the sediments that are macroscopic in size.
- Fiber-resin is useful for the removal of minerals that cause water hardness other than chlorine.
- Ceramic filters can remove the chlorine content by more than 98% in cold and hot water. The filter is in the form of a resin or crystal balls of micron size. They absorb the chlorine in liquid state as well the vapor state. They are stated to be more effective than the resin as they prevent the chlorine vapor leaking from the shower which may get absorbed by your skin in hot conditions beneath the shower.
- KDF metal combination further removes any remnants of chlorine and its compounds. The material also eliminates all the microbe forms of germs, algae and bacteria from the water.
- Tourmaline Filter: The infrared emissions from the tourmaline material kills almost all the harmful germs and infection causing elements from the water completely. Now the water is soft, hygiene and ready for shower.
The process of maintenance for the multi stage shower filter might be slightly more complex compared to the other types. You need to “study” the maintenance manual in detail before taking up the task. Alternately you can depend on the maintenance services of an experienced technician to make the process fast and safe.
Shower filter how to install
The process of installing an external shower filter is relatively easy and fast for most of the models.
- Take out the plumber tape from the existing shower head and remove the filter. In most of the models, it is an assembly which can be dismantled. If the shower head face is square, it may have screws at the four corners of the head. You need to unscrew them, replace the filter and put the screws back in place.
- Clean the interiors of the head with cleaning-liquid and remove the contaminants and the deposits with a brush or soft cloth.
- If the showerhead is round in shape, you need to rewind the plumber tape around the shower arm threads and install the filter. You need to rotate the filter on the threads until it fits in tightly without any gap.