A shower filter is a system that restores freshwater from contaminated water. Contaminated water contains both dissolved chemicals as well as sediments.
A shower filter prepares contaminated hard water for softening by removing sediments, bacteria, and odor.
A shower filter can alternatively be fixed after a water softener so as to filter the sediments that settle after ion exchange (recall that ion exchange is only a chemical method and is totally ineffective on sediments).
Water softening is a water treatment procedure. It follows a chemical method of separation which we will delve into in our article below.
Shower filters come in two designs; the all-in-one model and the in-line filter. The all-in-one model is a filter that is combined with the showerhead. An in-line shower filter is installed in between the shower arm and the showerhead.
A typical shower filter contains a cartridge. Cartridges are fashioned to meet a variety of needs.
Some are bacteriostatic to get rid of bacteria, others are effective on sediments and ineffective on dissolved chemicals, others remove chemicals but are ineffective on sediments, and some restore natural minerals to stripped water.
Some remove chlorine and chloramine, while others remove odors and have deodorant qualities. Still, on filter cartridges, modern cartridges are multistage filtration systems. This means you can achieve all the above processes with just one round of filtration.
Heavy-Duty Filtration Agents
|Sand Filters||Capture large sediments such as sand and limescale|
|Stainless steel mesh||Captures finer sediments in contaminated water|
|Micro-porous cotton||Captures the ultra-fine sediments and turpitudes from water|
|Calcium-sulfite||Effective at chlorine reduction in both hot and cold water|
|Redox Media||Also on chlorine reduction and scale-control in hot water|
|Activated carbon||Removes chlorine, trihalomethanes, and other impurities|
|KDF-55 and KDF-85||Remove up to 99% of water-soluble heavy metals|
|Coconut shell carbon||Removes volatile organic compounds otherwise known as VOCs|
It is also worth noting that having certain agents in your shower filter may eliminate the need of buying other shower filter cartridges. KDF-55 and KDF-85 are good examples of such agents. They use redox reactions to reduce heavy metals.
They also control micro-organism build-up in Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)as well as in in-line carbon filters.
Kinetic Degradation Fluxion Process Media is the perfect illustration of filtering agents whose presence protects other water treatment filters. In addition to this, they prevent fouling in ion exchange resins.
Note that KDF Process Media works best when in conjunction with other filtration technologies for full-spectrum protection. Periodically, they need to be backwashed with hot water to remove insoluble contaminants.
Water softening as we mentioned above is a water treatment procedure that inculcates the use of chemicals. Ion exchange is the most preferred method of water softening.
However, there are other methods applied on other occasions such as reverse osmosis, water distillation, and precipitation methods. For our review though, we expound on ion exchange as an effective water softening method.
As the name suggests, the ion exchange process involves the exchange of soluble ions with undesirable ionic contaminants.
A typical procedure requires that you run hard water containing calcium and magnesium through a resin bed. A single resin bead has sodium attached. Multiple resin beads provide for prolonged contact time with water for maximum exchange.
Hard water enters the resin bed through one opening and softened water containing sodium ions runs out through a second opening.
Continuous ion exchange eventually leads to the saturation of resin beads. At this point, you might want to recharge your resin bed. Recharging is effectively achieved by back-flushing the system with a brine solution.
In back-flushing, the opening that lets hard water in becomes your brine outlet; the opening that lets soft water out becomes your brine inlet. Wastewater containing calcium and magnesium runs out through the opening of the system.
Due to the nature of ion exchange, sedimentation, and filtration of water contaminants, it is so that water softeners precede the shower filter. However, as we mentioned in the first paragraph, the shower filter usually comes after the water softener.
The positioning is due to the obviousness that after ion exchange follows sedimentation hence the need for filtration. Also, due to the fact that shower filters provide the final procedure water undergoes before reaching your body.
With that regard, you ought to be utterly cautious with the brand you settle for in both softeners and filters. A reliable job depends on the effectiveness of the gadgets.
The pleasure of the bath, on the other hand, depends on its aesthetics and its ability to maintain favorable water temperature and pressure. For first-timers, imagine the concept of a water filter pitcher used for your drinking water, in your shower.
Shower filters are designed in such a way as to release clear water almost good enough for drinking. Unfiltered water poses many health risks which beg the need for an effective solution.
They are a gem, when combined with water softeners and even more precious if they can be customized to meet your needs.
The best shower filters are those that have a universal fit for standard shower arms. Their university equips them with the versatility needed by those who travel frequently. A ½-inch thread type is the standard fit for most showerheads.
The capacity of the cartridge is also important. A reliable cartridge is one that can handle water pressure effectively enough to output it at the same pressure. Most cartridges are of 10000 – 12000 gallons and last 6 – 8 months of regular use.
The construction material is also crucial for the durability of any shower filter. Stainless steel, titanium, or chromium finish are preferable seeing as they are scientifically proven to be strong metals.
Stainless steel even provides you the additional perk of having your filters free from corrosion.
Hassle-free installation is of customer-friendly quality. Standard connections are vital for a quick screw-in. This goes hand in hand with the compatible shower heads that are best suited for a frequent traveler’s needs.