Water is one of humanity’s most precious assets, which is essential to life. However, water can also contain and transport microorganisms and bacteria that can cause serious health problems (including high mortality rates in the Third World). Fortunately, today there are solutions to clean water from impurities, as is the case with water purifiers. Below we see what they are and what their pros and cons are.
WHAT ARE WATER PURIFIERS?
A water purifier is a device used to clean the water we drink from the tap of all impurities it may contain. The water we drink is likely to be drinkable, but this does not mean that it is spotless of potentially harmful substances or agents. It is from these agents that we are freed precisely by water purifiers.
WHAT WATER PURIFIERS ARE FOR
The water purifiers that we can find today mainly use technologies based on mechanical filters, activated carbon, separation membranes for microfiltration or reverse osmosis, UV disinfection systems, carbonation and electrodeionization.
In practice, they aim to soften drinking water and eliminate chemical elements and suspended particles which, through the water purification and analysis system, should already have been removed by the water system operator, which at the same time periodically ensures controls on microbiological, chemical and physical parameters in water quality.
HOW DOES A WATER PURIFIER WORK?
Water purifiers are placed directly in the tap or a container in the kitchen punt. Thanks to the use of various filters, they allow for cleaning water from microorganisms and bacteria and harmful agents, dirt or unwanted substances. They are, therefore, handy devices in those places where the water quality is lower. Drinking totally pure water is also the first step for those who want to start caring for themselves.
There are actually several different types of water purifiers (we’ll see later). The most complex ones involve facilities throughout the home; the simplest are simple containers with filter. In any case, they all serve the same thing but on different levels: remove impurities of water to improve their taste and take care of our health and those around us.
In the following points, we will see some of the main advantages of water purifiers and some other more negative factors that must also be taken into account. Let’s go!
ADVANTAGES OF WATER PURIFIERS
If you buy one of these tap diffusers that allows you to purify the water or any of the other systems indicated, you will see that among its most outstanding advantages we have:
YOU DRINK PURE WATER
The most obvious advantage is that they allow access to pure water to anyone who so desires. This is especially helpful in areas where water quality is lower. It could also be said to improve water quality, coming from where it comes from.
Now you always have to check the filters and change them regularly. Otherwise, the risk is that bacterial colonies will form, and you will no longer be drinking water so pure. The lack of hygiene and care of water softening devices promotes increased bacterial load. Regulation on such devices also underscores this aspect, focusing on the importance of informing the consumer about this potential risk.
REDUCES RISK OF DISEASE
On the other hand, the benefits of using water purifiers are that they allow anyone to drink water without risks to their health. That is, they increase safety and decrease the risk of disease or infection from contaminated water intake. For example, they eliminate the risk of gastrointestinal diseases from poor water.
But again, you must take into account the hygiene of these devices or filters. That’s the only way you make sure the advantages are entirely real.
RECOMMENDED FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN
About the previous point, the use of these purifiers is recommended to any person, especially to children or pregnant women, or to people who may be more likely to suffer from gastrointestinal problems.
THEY ARE EASY TO INSTALL
Water purifiers, especially those that are diffusers that we place on the tap, are simple appliances, which do not need large installations or complicated maintenance systems. Anyone can have a water purifier at home at an affordable price.
YOU SAVE MONEY AND EFFORT
Another strength of water purifiers is that, in the medium term, they come out cheaper than buying bottled water. It is true that an initial investment must be made in the water purifier and that some of its components will need to be replaced with use (filters, for example). Also, you need to use more tap water from the purified water you get. Still, the value of money is much higher.
On the other hand, buying bottled water to drink daily involves loading our car or car with packs of bottles or with five or ten-litre bottles, with the consequent effort that entails. Somehow, the installation of these purifiers makes you also able to rest a little, especially elderly or older adults.
IMPROVING THE TASTE OF WATER
Of course, it will also improve the taste of water. We all know that that water is tasteless is not true and that pure water has a much fresher and more pleasant taste than, for example, chlorine water.
YOU COLLABORATE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Finally, it can also be cited that water purifiers also reduce the production of plastic waste. While plastic bottles are recyclable, there are still many people who don’t recycle, so those bottles end up like waste anywhere. Water purifiers are already helping to reduce this problem.
BEING ABLE TO CHOOSE THE PURIFIER THAT SUITS YOU BEST
The truth is that we can say that water purifiers seem to have become fashionable lately. In fact, we are currently on the market, a wide variety of purifiers and accessories specially designed to meet your needs, which will allow you to choose the system that best suits your needs. Besides, it is practically all cases of purifiers of high quality and high performance. Depending on the system, they are also quite economical.
These are the main advantages of water purifiers. Now let’s see the disadvantages they also have and what we need to consider.
DISADVANTAGES OF WATER PURIFIERS
There is no doubt that the use of water purifiers brings many more advantages than drawbacks, but to try to be fair and objective, let’s also look at some of their less favourable or improvable points:
IT ALWAYS HAS TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION
It is not a negative point in itself. Still, for a water purifier to fulfil its function, it is necessary to keep it in perfect condition, mainly involving the revision and change of filters. Manufacturers often incorporate specific instructions. This is very important because if proper maintenance is not carried out, the filters could become a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria, achieving precisely the opposite effect to the one intended. It is estimated that a poorly cleaned filter could cause up to 2,000 more bacteria to exist than in water without passing through the purifier. Therefore, if you are going to use or purify, use it well.
The disadvantages of installing a purification system are quite small, and all are focused on the initial expense, often quite high. Actually, this purchase is amortized very quickly: think that the cost of bottled water for an average family of 4 people in a year is 500 euros.
Other disadvantages that can be encountered in the installation of purification systems are the sometimes too cumbersome dimensions of some devices and the need for a filter change or maintenance every 10/12 months.
MAINTENANCE OF WATER PURIFIERS
As noted above, water purifiers must be rated correctly to prevent bacteria and dirt from accumulating. This periodic maintenance consists of the revision and, where appropriate, the replacement of the cardboard cartridge. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but it is also possible that depending on the use we give to the purifier, we need to do so more assiduously.
This is all about water purifiers. We hope to have helped you understand a little better the pros and cons of these devices. Of course, for us, the use of water purifiers has many more advantages than drawbacks, and we believe that, in many cases, its price is negligible compared to the health benefits they may offer.
TYPES OF WATER PURIFIERS
There are different types of water purifiers, adapted to the needs of each or, of course, the money that each is willing to spend. They range from homemade purifiers to fairly inexpensive and simple small containers to more complex installations and even industrial purifiers. Let’s look at the most common types of water purifiers we can have at home:
CONTAINERS WITH FILTER
They are the simplest and most economical option when it comes to cleaning water of bacteria and impurities. However, although they perform to some extent their function and even make the water taste purer, their effectiveness is minimal. They are hardly based on a simple filter that only serves to clean the most superficial impurities but not purify the water completely.
They are also known as filter jugs. As I say, the most used water purification system for domestic water is very economical and can reduce the hardness of the water and improve its taste.
The device is shaped like a common jug. A compartment containing an activated carbon filter is tasked with capturing organic compounds and chlorine possibly present in water.
Its operation is intuitive: the tap water is poured into the jug, usually equipped with a small funnel, and the filter inside acts immediately. After use, it is always best to store the jug in the fridge and do not consume water in the jug after 24 hours to avoid bacteria’s formation.
Filters have a limited life: they must be changed every 100 litres of water consumed or at least every month. On the other hand, another of its glues is the limited amount of liquid that the containers can hold.
ATTACHED DIRECTLY TO THE FAUCET
This is possibly the most commonly used option. They are based on a fundamental installation of the kitchen faucet. An adapter is attached that connects directly to a purifying vessel. In this way, the water coming out of the tap passes directly to the purifying container, which filters the water and then acts as a tap (the water will no longer come out of the tap, but through the purifying container that has been coupled.
There are a large number of such devices, from small 1-litre containers to significantly sized bottles.
This system must be connected directly to the water supply. It can be more or less bulky, depending on the compartment’s size intended to accommodate the waste of the purification process.
The operation is based on using a special membrane through which water is filtered: membrane impurities end up in a collector, while clean water will flow directly from the tap. Therefore, running water will be better in both smell and taste as well as quality.
We can then say that this is the option for those who want a house with spotless water of impurities. It is a more complex installation that requires more expensive equipment, although they can already be found from about 200 euros. In the following video, you can see how the reverse osmosis process works and how it is used to purify our home’s water.
To assemble one of these purifiers by reverse osmosis, we will have to be a little handy or at least have certain plumbing notions (you have to perform operations on pipes, possibly disassemble the sink, etc.). Also, we will need specific equipment. Therefore, we recommend that if you do not find yourself capable or do not have the possibilities to assemble it yourself, that a professional make the installation (many establishments that sell this type of equipment, such as Leroy Merlín, have installation service. WATER SOFTENERS
Water softeners are machines not too bulky, capable of removing water hardness. These machines are installed under the sink for best results, connecting them directly to the water supply, but there are also portable models. The operating mechanism is based on the transformation of calcium and magnesium ions into sodium ions, thanks to ion-exchange filters that, in addition to descaling water, also eliminate barium, nickel, cobalt and other toxic metals.
These devices are useful if you have too much “hard” water in your home that can cause, in the long run, premature wear of appliances, but also a larger consumption of detergents needed to remove the characteristic white halo of fabrics and crockery. Drinking water that is very rich in mineral salts can also cause problems with stones.
HOME WATER PURIFIERS
There is also one last variety, the cheapest and probably the ones that choose the ones that are really most committed to the environment and water quality. Making your own homemade water purifier isn’t too complicated, and you’re just going to need a bottle of the container, and a mixture of fine sand, gravel, small and medium stones and shredded charcoal or activated charcoal. Do you dare put it into practice, or would you rather be told everything?
These are some of the most common types of water purifiers out there. Let’s see how we can easily install a water purifier attached to the tap by ourselves in the following heading.
HOW TO PLACE A WATER PURIFIER
Next, let’s explain how to install a pipe filter on the tap, a much easier process.
First of all, we must get hold of the necessary materials, consisting of the purifying container, handles or tubes connectors, screws, wrench and, of course, adapters for the tap pipe and the purifying vessel.
On the other hand, it is important that before starting the “installation”, we close the pass-through key and open the faucets to remove all the wastewater that has remained. Once this is done, we can comment on the installation without any problems.
In reality, the pipe water purifiers present already come with straightforward systems that attach directly to the water purifier and from it to the tap. In any case, the installation consists simply of connecting the adapter placed on the faucet to the adapter placed in the purifying container. The purifying container can be coupled and placed in different ways, but most commonly, the container is practically attached to the tap.
Most of these systems, as we say, are already «dock and use» and do not need us to have any knowledge of plumbing.
The truth is that these purifiers are quite economical and have quite good value for money. Water quality improves markedly and does not require initial investments or any complex work.
This is all about water purifiers. We hope that INFO will help you and decide to put purer water in your lives. Finally, we leave you with a video and some links that you might find interesting to complement the article’s information.
EVERY HOW OFTEN YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THE WATER PURIFIER
Although no exact data is handled, or we have not found it, the filters of the water purifiers last many years but are not infinite. You will have to take into account the type of purifier you are going to buy or the type of filter, so we recommend that you ask before purchasing it to assess its durability.
Likewise, depending on the type of filter your purifier has, you will find that you have to do a simple maintenance every three months, remove, clean and relocate.