Are you concerned about the water quality in your area? The easiest way to make sure that what you consume is clean and safe to drink is by filtering it yourself with a water filter pitcher.
This type of filter looks just like a regular jug, and from all domestic water filtration systems out there, it is the least expensive and the easiest to use.
How Does a Water Filter Pitcher Work
Water filter pitcher uses filters developed to block contaminants and output tasty, clean water.
The way they operate is simple:
- You pour the water in the filter as you would normally do, then wait for the pitcher to filter it.
- A bypass system allows you to pour the filtered water into your glass by preventing it from passing through the filter again.
There are two (2) types of filtration systems for your pitcher to choose from:
- Activated carbon filter: It is usually made from coconut shell, coal, wood, or lignite and developed to absorb most of the common contaminants present in water. However, this type of filter is sometimes ineffective in retaining some ions. In addition, activated carbon tends to get saturated quickly, which means letting some contaminants (such as volatile organic compounds) to remain in the water.
- Cartridge filter: Consists of an activated carbon core but also uses other technologies to remove more contaminants and improve the taste of the water. Some of the most advanced pitchers boast as many as seven stages of filtration including ion exchange resins that enrich water with healthy minerals while removing the harmful ones. Cartridge filters also tend to last longer than activated carbon ones.
Water Filter Pitcher Pros and Cons
The water filter jug comes with a host of advantages compared to all other systems out there. Its main benefits include:
- Portability: These filter jugs are lightweight, compact, and easy to carry with you. They come in handy both on trips and when traveling to other places, giving you access to cheap, clean water regardless of where you are.
- Fridge friendly: If you want to chill your clean water during summer, the water purifier pitcher is the only system you can place in a fridge. Other countertop systems are typically too large for this purpose, while the under-sink water systems are fixed in place and supply water at ambient temperature.
- Cost-effective: A water filtration pitcher is cheaper than all other systems, and in the long run, it’s less expensive than bottled water. Because it has a convenient upfront cost, it is also accessible to most homeowners, regardless of their financial situation.
Like with anything else though, these pitchers come with downsides too. The main disadvantage is the capacity. The best water filter pitchers can hold around 18 cups. If you have a larger family, you’ll have to continually refill the pitcher if you don’t want to run out of clean water.
Another disadvantage would be the speed the water is filtered; this means, if you need to fill up a few glasses with filtered water, you will have to count on the time required to get what you need.
What Pollutants are Removed with a Water Filter Pitcher?
Both activated carbon and cartridge filters do an excellent job in removing most harmful contaminants including:
- Chlorine: it is commonly used as a disinfectant for public water supply and is linked to a series of diseases including gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders.
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): are usually found in hydrocarbon based products, herbicides and pesticides, and can trigger a series of adverse reactions, especially in pregnant women and nursing moms.
- Heavy metals: some of the best water filter jugs can also trap heavy metals such as lead and mercury; heavy metals can affect your immune and neurological systems as well as your internal organs.
- Giardia and Cryptosporidium: these are two (2) parasites responsible for causing gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, which could be particularly dangerous for people with compromised immune systems.
- Fluoride: it is a chemical usually added to municipal water to reduce tooth decay. Too much fluoride can lead to bone disease though. Since not all filters remove this chemical, it is recommended to get a fluoride water filter pitcher capable of trapping this compound.
It is very important that you buy a water test kit; this will help you to understand what sort of pollutants are contained in you water.
How to Know When to Change Filters?
Although, most manufacturers give clear indications on how often you should change the filters, if the water in your area is is potentially heavily impacted by pollutants, you might have to replace them more frequently. There are a few signs to look for:
- Drop in flow rate: monitor the filtering rate regularly. If you observe a drop in flow rate, it means the filters are clogged by too many particles. Therefore you should change them.
- Foul smell: Particles and bacteria buildup in the filters can give a bad smell to the water passing through. This is another clear indicator that you should replace the filter.
- Bad taste: most alkaline water pitchers are known for improving the taste of water. If there is a sudden change in the flavor of your filtered water, perhaps you should change the filters.
What to Consider When Choosing a Water Filter Pitcher?
The best-rated water filter pitchers have a few things in common, such as low maintenance and high capacity. Here are the most important things to consider before buying.
Most filter jugs require minimal maintenance, such as regular cleaning and periodical replacement of the filters. The main differences between the models are the quality of the filters involved and the shape of the jug.
Lower-end filters must be replaced more often, and awkwardly shaped carafes are harder to clean.
Good indicators of how much time you have to spend on maintenance are the water filter pitcher reviews that will give you a real user overview regarding the product’s quality and effectiveness.
- Pitcher Capacity
Water filter carafes come in various sizes, and how small or big you need it to be depends on your circumstances. However, it’s always more convenient to have a pitcher with a greater capacity.
Most high-end models have a capacity of around 10 cups, and a small range can even hold up to a gallon.
- What Needs to Be Filtered
An essential thing to check before buying is what contaminants are removed. Most filters are effective in removing chlorine, parasites, and VOCs, but only a few can get rid of heavy metals, fluoride, and viruses or bacteria.
- Efficiency vs. Costs
The lifespan of the filters and the overall quality of the pitcher are clear indicators of its efficiency vs. costs. Although, it could be tempting to buy a cheap pitcher (which most people do), you will probably spend much more on replacement parts than you would if you’d buy a quality pitcher in the first place.
- Filtering Rate
Having a water filter carafe that can give you clean water quickly is essential especially if you have a larger household. Consider that it may take up to 15 minutes for the pitcher to filter your water.
Again, this time varies depending on the filter condition.
- Jug Material
The last thing to consider before buying a water pitcher filter is to review the material of the pitcher. You can choose between:
- Plastic pitcher: is the least expensive, however it scratches easily and may contain bisphenol A (BPA), a compound that is commonly used to make plastic bottles and can be harmful to fetuses and young children.
- Glass water filter jug: Perhaps the best choice in terms of water quality. Glass can break easily though and it is a little heavier that the plastic ones, making the pitcher less suitable to carry on trips.
- Stainless steel carafe: Stainless steel is virtually unbreakable and lightweight. It resists wear and tear and can last for many years, but it can potentially give an unpleasant metallic taste.
Regardless of the material of the pitcher, most of the 2019 filters currently in the market are made BPA free and have a covering layer that prevents the addition of potential pollutants; also, helps minimize the creation of bio-films (bacteria growth) in the long term.
Check the manufacturer’s description for more information or find some useful and trusted reviews like the ones we provide.
Whether it’s at home or on travel, you must make sure that the water you drink is as safe and clean as possible.
Cartridge or activated carbon filters are both good for removal of contaminants, however the each of them have their own specifications and qualities. Having said that, it is required that you check what you want to remove.
Portability, fridge friendly and cost-effectiveness are positive aspects for this water filtration system. Nevertheless, the volume of water you can filter per minute and the number of glasses you can fill up could be limited.
Keep a track of the lifespan of the filters. Basic check ups such as reduced water flow and change in the water smell and taste are good indicators that you filter is not working as efficient as it used to be.
Check what water filters jugs are the best in the market. Just consider the type of material the pitcher is made of and the manufacture’s instructions regarding the removal of BPA.
A water filter pitcher is an inexpensive and convenient way of providing pure water to your small household, and we hope the information above can help you find the best water filter jug for you.