Clean and Clear Water Filters

Under Counter Multi Stage Filters: 5 Things to Know

Nov 2017

 

Perhaps you’re considering which under counter multi stage filters to purchase and install for your home. That’s why in this comprehensive guide (15-minute read), we’ll discuss the different stages, processes, costs, possible drawbacks and advantages that undersink filtration systems have. Let’s start with the stages and costs.

1. More stages, higher costs

General rule is that the more stages a filtration system has, the more expensive it will be. That’s because more parts and components will be involved. There will be more pipes, housings, cartridges and fittings. In addition, advanced filtration processes tend to be more expensive than the basic ones.

Also, filtration systems with more stages have finer filters. For example, a 2-stage under the sink system might only have a 0.4 micron filter. In contrast, a full 5-stage reverse osmosis system (compact and can fit under the sink) will have a 0.005 micron filter. The latter is finer which means it can remove more contaminants and smaller substances and molecules.

In other words, you get what you pay for. Here’s the good news. You can still find quality multi-stage filters at affordable pricing. You can even get a high-quality unit with a free installation service.

For instance, you can get a 3-stage filter for less than $300 (with free installation included). In addition, you can also get a free designer complimentary tap so everything will look brand new. An experienced technician can install the whole unit in less than an hour (or as fast as 30 minutes). This way you can immediately enjoy the clean and fresh water.

That’s the upfront cost. What about the long-term costs and expenses? Replacements of a few parts will need some expenses. For example, a quality unit’s filter cartridges will need to be replaced every 12 months. This is to ensure the filter is working at its best.

What about the housings, pipes and fittings? The warranty should cover repairs or replacements on these parts. It’s recommended to ask about the warranty specifics so you’ll have fewer worries about future repairs and replacements. For example, the warranty should cover free replacements of fittings and free labour costs.

2. Different stages in water purification

We’ve discussed the basics about the stages and costs of water filters. Next is we’ll dive deeper into the different stages on how contaminants are being removed from drinking water. This way, you’ll know for sure that you’re paying your money’s worth. Here are the common stages:

  1. Removal of dirt, dust and sediments
  2. Removal of chlorine, heavy metals and other substances
  3. Removal of bitterness and bad taste

 

The first stage is often removal of dirt and sediments. These are the easiest to remove because they’re often large particles. Basic filters can already remove sediments. Its main purpose is to “take care of the big guys first.” This helps in greatly improving the appearance of water by removing the common causes of turbidity such as sand and dirt. This also makes the job easier for the succeeding stages which require removal of smaller particles.

For a three-stage system, the second stage is often about the removal of chlorine, heavy metals and other substances. In more elaborate systems such as in full 5-stage reverse osmosis, the removal of chlorine is a separate stage in itself. That’s because chlorine removal helps in the protection of the succeeding ultrafine membrane filter.

Nevertheless, the second stage (or the middle stages) is often the heart of water purification. This is where the small but harmful particles are taken care of. This stage should remove the following:

  • Chlorine
  • Aluminium
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Zinc

 

In addition, many filters also remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and microorganisms such as E. coli and Cryptosporidium. This is possible because of the ultrafine membrane filter (e.g. as fine as 0.005 microns).

That doesn’t stop there. Drinking water should smell and taste fresh. That’s why the final stage is often for removal of unpleasant odours and taste (these two are often correlated). This way, you and your family will be encouraged to drink more water, which could lead to a healthier lifestyle.

It’s an overall straightforward process. It starts with removal of dirt and sediments. Next is the removal of chlorine, heavy metals and other substances. Finally, it’s removal of the unpleasant taste and odour. The initial stages ensure improvement of aesthetics and quality of the water. The final stage is for ensuring its great fresh taste for everyone to enjoy.

3. Useful lifespan and output of filters

As mentioned earlier, you can still find quality units that cost less than $300. This already includes free installation with parts and labour. However, will the unit last for several years? How will you know if it’s truly durable and long lasting?

One way to ensure that is to confirm where the parts are made (especially the housings, fittings and tubes). These parts should be able to handle the high pressure even during everyday use. That’s why the unit should have parts made in USA, UK or Australia. It’s also recommended to ensure that the assembly was made locally. This way, there will be no issues regarding compatibility.

The bracket and screws should be made from stainless steel. This is to prevent corrosion and ensure durability. These will help in making the parts last longer. In addition, accidental dislodgment will be nearly impossible.

But in case the housings or the screws got dislodged or damaged, the warranty should cover the expenses (including the labour costs). The servicing is quick and easy which means minimal hassles for you. An experienced technician can quickly replace the parts and get the filter system running in less than an hour.

Aside from quality parts, the output delivered by the filtration unit should be enough for the whole family even during peak use (e.g. special gatherings, after dinner, early morning before going to work).

The daily average drinking water consumption is 2 litres. If there’s 4 people in your home, that’s up to 8 litres of drinking water requirement each day. If we add the water used for washing and preparing food and ingredients, let’s say the grand total will be 50 litres per day.

Fortunately, many under counter multi stage filters can deliver an output up to 140 litres of clean water per day. This is more than enough for individuals and small families. 24/7 it’s guaranteed that you have access to clean water.

Aside from the amount of water, you should also consider if the water you need is being delivered in a sufficiently fast rate. Some homeowners experienced a decrease in water pressure (and hence a slow output of water) because of the water filter.

The technician should perform pressure tests and flow checks for those cases. This is to ensure that you get clean water whenever you need it and at the most convenient speed. This is also an added assurance that your water filter system is working at its best.

4. Possible drawbacks

Perhaps you’re now ready to buy an under counter multi-stage filter. However, probably you still have a few doubts and concerns. Let’s address them quickly here in this section.

First, is it really worth it? In terms of health and safety, a filtration unit that can remove heavy metals and other contaminants is really worth the investment. After all, health is one of our priorities and we’re willing to spend more to safeguard our health and well-being.

What about the additional expense? You might have heard already that filtration systems (especially reverse osmosis) waste a lot of water. Up to three litres of water could be actually wasted for every litre of output. This could greatly increase your water bill each month.

Here’s the truth though. Water filtration is still the most cost-effective way to get clean water. It’s still more affordable than distillation, ozonation, UV radiation or other treatment methods. These methods often require more specialised and more expensive equipment. In addition, they require huge amounts of electricity which can further add up to your costs.

Water filtration is also considered a complete process compared to other water treatment methods. For instance, distillation might not be able to remove volatiles from water (they evaporate with the boiling water). Also, UV and ozonation just kill the bacteria. Additional processes are still required to remove the sediments and microparticles.

In other words, a filtration unit for your home is still the most affordable and most effective when it comes to water purification. This will help you safeguard your health and your family’s. It’s still a small investment (and lower operating costs compared to other treatment methods) compared to the benefits and advantages you’ll receive.

5. Miscellaneous and yet important details

We’ve discussed the advantages, costs, possible drawbacks and processes. These are all important to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

In addition, here are a few miscellaneous details that will help in your decision and selection:

  • Reinstallation (e.g. moving to another house)
  • Speed of service
  • Space needed for the unit
  • Other filtration options

 

A few companies can take care of the reinstallation in case you’re moving to another house and you want to take the undersink filter with you. For instance, here at Clean & Clear Purification Specialists, we can reinstall your filtration unit in your new home at no extra costs. We also provide the new pipings and fittings for free. We can even disconnect the system and then reinstall it to your new location.

Whether it’s reinstallation or new install, the speed of service should be exceptional. This way there’s minimal inconvenience for you. In addition, you’ll immediately have access to clean and safe water. The technicians handling the installation, repair or replacement should be experienced and efficient.

When it comes to the space needed for the filtration unit, many water filters are actually designed to take as little space as possible. Many units only occupy space as small as two 1.25-litre bottles. This is small enough to fit under almost any kitchen sink with still a lot of space to spare.

Another “miscellaneous” and yet important detail is about considering other filter options. Many families now want clean water even for their showers. There are shower filters now that can remove chlorine before the water comes into contact with your skin. There are also whole house filters that remove sediments and chlorine before they reach your taps. All the water that comes out of the taps and showers will be free from dirt and chlorine.

Under counter multi stage filters Sydney

Above we’ve discussed everything you need to know about under counter multi stage filters. We’ve explained the costs, advantages and even the possible drawbacks of water filtration units. We’ve also discussed other important details that help homeowners make an informed decision.

If you want to know which water filtration system is ideal for your home, you can contact us today here at Clean & Clear Purification Specialists. We have 2, 3 and 5-stage filtration systems. You can ask us about our pricing, warranty and free installation.

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