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Homeowners are increasingly turning to water filters to treat their home water.
Whole house water filtration systems are a bit expensive and need to be plumbed in. However, filter pitchers offer a convenient solution to get clean drinking water.
All you need to do is pour water into one, wait for a few minutes, and BOOM – access purified water right away.
Though water filter pitchers offer clean water almost immediately, a few homeowners question their safety.
That’s precisely what we will discuss in the guide below.
So, are water filter pitchers safe to use? Yes, they are.
If you purchase a high-quality water filter pitcher, it will usually remove several types of water contaminants. As a result, your family won’t be exposed to dirt-laden water anymore, and you’ll remain protected.
The question about filter pitcher safety arises when you go for a cheap, low-quality unit. You assume that it works – just as good as a premium model would – but in reality it doesn’t do much to purify your drinking water eliminating harmful contaminants. At best, all it might do is solve aesthetic water issues.
So if you think buying a poorly designed water filter pitcher will give you clean drinking water, you’re probably mistaken and putting your health at risk.
In terms of popularity, water filter pitchers are second only to water filters installed into refrigerators.
Perhaps this is proof that they do work. Otherwise, homeowners wouldn’t prefer buying them.
Nonetheless, note that performance varies from model to model, and understanding this difference is essential when purchasing.
If you think your water is clean just because it looks clean, think again!
Most water contaminants aren’t visible to the naked eye, but that doesn’t indicate they don’t exist in your water supply.
Thus, the most reliable way to find out what exactly resides in your water is to conduct a test. You can use DIY test strips or send your water sample to a professional lab.
Additionally, you can also get a water quality report from your water provider. However, you cannot access one if you’re on well water. What’s more, the report might not highlight contaminants that leach into your water through the distribution network or your very own plumbing system.
Ideally, it’s best to send a direct sample to an independent lab where a professional tests it and provides a precise report.
As stated earlier, water filter pitcher models come in different designs, and each is built for a specific purpose.
Many use activated carbon filter media that mainly improves how good your water tastes and smells.
On the contrary, some high-quality units feature a mix of filter media to target all the different contaminants groups out there, like lead and PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Ion exchange filters are popular in this category.
So when wanting to buy the right water filter pitcher, make sure you look for NSF certifications to know which impurities your system can reduce.
Note that no filter model is perfect enough to eliminate all water contaminants. Therefore, if you found very high levels of dangerous pollutants in your water, you might need a more extensive treatment system.
Not maintaining a water filter can promote bacteria, mold, and mildew growth. As such, the filter may contribute to harmful substances in your water rather than the water itself.
Simply put, maintaining a filter pitcher is a must to ensure clean drinking water.
Also, exceed its filtration capacity and it won’t eliminate any more contaminants. Thus, timely replacements are required in order to keep a pitcher up and running.
Depending on the model, filter cartridge replacements will cost you anywhere between $5 and $50. The price differs from brand to brand.
How often you need to change filter cartridges depends on the model of the pitcher, and your water usage and conditions. A few cartridges last quite long while others don’t.
For instance, Clearly Filtered, Epic Pure + Epic Nano, Aquagear, Seychelle and a few other pitcher filters last up to 100 gallons of filtered water and more.
In contrast, Zero Water, PUR Basic, and PUR Lead-Reducing filters will last a mere 20 to 40 gallons or around 1-2 months. Here is an overview:
|Filters||Gallon Capacity||Max Lifetime|
|Clearly Filtered||100 gal||6 mos|
|Epic Pure + Epic Nano||150 gal||6 mos|
|Aquagear||120 gal||5-6 mos|
|Invigorated Living PH001||96 gal||4-5 mos|
|Invigorated Living PH002||264 gal||12 mos|
|ZeroWater Filter||20 gal||1 mos|
|Brita Filter – Standard||40 gal||2 mos|
|Brita Filter – Longlast||120 gal||5-6 mos|
|Santevia Classic||80 gal||2 mos|
|Santevia MINA||80 gal||2 mos|
|PUR Faster Basic||40 gal||2 mos|
|PUR Basic||40 gal||2 mos|
|PUR Lead-Reducing||40 gal||2 mos|
|Nakii||150 gal||4 mos|
|Seychelle||100 gal||4-5 mos|
As stated earlier, cleaning a pitcher is an essential part of its maintenance. Doing otherwise won’t only exhaust the filter element but also contribute to more water contaminants.
Make sure you rinse your water filter pitcher every day, and washing with soap weekly will do.
Around once or twice a month, clean more thoroughly using a brush or sponge.
Also, do not forget to wash your pitcher before using it right after the purchase.
The question is, is it safe to keep filtered water in a plastic container?
The answer seems rather straightforward, right? Yes, it is.
You might think that it shouldn’t be a problem for BPA and BPS-free filter pitchers to store water. However, the story of BPA-free plastic is two-fold.
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a common building block of several plastic types. But after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey highlighted high levels of BPA in the urine of participants under study, companies felt pressured.
Manufacturers started producing BPA-free products using BPA variations like BPF, BPS, BPAF, BPP, BHPF, BPZ, and more.
But the fact most have BP in their names speaks volumes that they share a chemical structure similar to BPA. This is similar to exchanging a yellow Lego brick with a pink one.
This means that consumers might not be 100 percent safe even when purchasing BPA-free plastic.
Studies indicate that BPA and its alternatives can decrease eggs in females and reduce sperm count in males.
Even worse, these changes are passed down generations. Though researchers haven’t fully understood the different BPA alternatives, they think they look a lot like BPA and will behave similarly.
Therefore, even BPA-free plastic alternatives can be unsafe, and companies should move away from them.
If you have any thoughts about the question, are water filter pitchers safe, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!