Best Water Filters that Remove Chloramine: Reviews & Buying Guide 2021
Written by: Maria Martino // Last Updated:
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Water chloramination can produce high levels of currently unregulated disinfection byproducts such as nitrosamines, which have shown to be genotoxic. In addition, chloramine can leach neurotoxic lead from pipes. And there are other issues associated with chloramine in water supplies.
In other words, there are a variety of reasons why people want the disinfectant out of their home water before consuming it.
If you, too, are serious about going chloramine-free check our buying guide below. It features the best chloramine water filters and other helpful stuff.
1. Best Whole House Chloramine Filter: SpringWell CF
In our opinion, the best whole house chloramine filter in 2021 is the SpringWell CF. That’s because its massive filter tank is filled with catalytic carbon media, which is the preferred filter material when it comes to chloramine removal.
In fact, SpringWell guarantees chloramine and chlorine reduction below the minimum detection level for 1,000,000 gallons of water or 6 years.
What’s more, the SpringWell CF whole house water filter removes harmful chemicals like disinfection byproducts and heavy metals including lead. Healthy, odorless, and great-tasting water incoming! 5 stars!
2. #1 Chloramine Water Filter Pitcher: Clearly Filtered
In our opinion, the best chloramine water filter pitcher in 2021 is the Clearly Filtered. Tested according to NSF standards, it has shown to remove a minimum of 99.7% chloramine from water. And the unit also removes more than 270 other contaminants, all according to standardized NSF testing, making it our #1 water filter pitcher overall.
Ideal if you want drinking water that is healthy and tastes good.
The filtration mechanism combines several types of filter media for broad contaminant removal. This is how more than 270+ water contaminants can be targeted, including: >99.7% chloramine and chlorine, 99.5% lead, 96.9% chromium 6, 99.6% arsenic, >96.9% fluoride, up to 99.9% pesticides and herbicides, 99.9% of different pharmaceuticals, up to 99.9% VOCs, 99.9% bacteria, etc.
The requirements for NSF 42, 53, 244, 401, and protocol 473 were met or exceeded.
Beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium are not filtered out.
The 10-cup jug is large enough for families.
The lid can be removed which makes refilling the water filter pitcher much easier.
A water dam allows you to pour even if there’s water left in the upper tank.
Medical-grade Tritan plastic doesn’t leach chemicals like BPA. Besides, it preserves the pure water’s taste.
You get 100 gallons of filtered water out of each cartridge (up to 4 months) – a lot in comparison to how long other pitcher filters last.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Clearly Filtered Pitcher gets shipped with a limited lifetime warranty.
Replacement filters are made in US and thus not cheap. If you subscribe and buy in bulk you get a discount.
A few people had issues with slow filter speed and clogging.
3. Our Favorite Under Sink Water Filter for Chloramines: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage
Want an under sink water filter to solve your chloramine problem for good? Try the Clearly Filtered 3-stage. In our opinion, it is the best on the market. Chloramine removal according to standardized NSF testing: 95.3%.
In addition, more than 230 other water contaminants can be filtered in a 3-stage filtration process. The end result is clean and healthy drinking.
Apart from chloramine, the Clearly Filtered under sink water filter removes heavy lead (99.9%), arsenic (94.3%), chromium 6 (99.4%) and other metals, chlorine (98.6%), pesticides (up to 99.9%), PFOA (99.9%), fluoride (99.5%), and dozens of volatile compounds.
All tested according to NSF standards 42, 53, and 401.
The 3-stage filter process combines various proprietary filter materials:
The Aquasana OptimH2O is our top recommendation in 2021 when it comes to under sink reverse osmosis systems – this not only goes when you are looking for a water filter for chloramine which the unit reduces to 97.66% on average.
In fact, the OptimH2O is NSF-certified to eliminate 80+ harmful water contaminants, from disinfectants and their byproducts to heavy metals, chemicals, metalloids, and overall TDS.
The Sonaki shower filter probably outperforms any other unit when it comes to chloramine removal. As water passes through the filter cartridge, vitamin C dissolves and neutralizes 99.9% of all chloramine (and chlorine).
Vitamin C is natural pharmaceutical-grade and recovered from oranges to ensure highest quality.
Can be upgraded with an additional 5-stage filter (Puremax) that removes contaminants including particles, rust, lead, phenols, chromium-6,and THMs.
Brass material is durable.
Installation is easy and your shower head will remain more or less at its old height. Thus, you can still stand comfortably.
Cartridges are translucent so it’s easy to tell when all vitamin C is gone.
Replacing the cartridges is fairly easy.
Sonaki says one vitamin C cartridge lasts 2,640 gallons or 3-6 months, but this is unrealistic. The problem is that ascorbic acid quickly degrades in water. Thus is must not stay wet. But the filter doesn’t always drain properly.
Most people need to install a new cartridge every 1-2 months which gets expensive over time.
In order to prevent paying a fortune, you can refill and reuse the cartridges.
Buying Guide: How to Buy the Best Chloramine Water Filters
Test Your Water
Start your endeavor by testing your water. Determine the level of chloramine and other common contaminants and potentially harmful contaminants.
Armed with this information, you can go out and search for the water filter best suited for your water conditions.
NSF Testing & Certifications
The next step is to look out for testing and certification according to NSF/ANSI standards. They guarantee that a filter model does in fact remove a certain contaminant, chloramine for example, from water in sufficient amounts.
Without standardized NSF lab testing, all you can do is trust manufacturers that their claims regarding the removal or reduction of said impurities are indeed valid.
For chloramine water filters, look for NSF Standard 53.
Type of Filter (Media)
In contrast to chlorine, chloramine is not the easiest substance to remove from water. Thus, the selection of filters and filter types you can choose from is limited. Above is a list of the most promising products currently in the market.
The best results can be achieved using a water filter featuring catalytic carbon.
Filtration Capacity & Water Flow Rate
Especially whole house water filters need to be able to provide enough filtered water at any given time – imagine you open your bathroom tap and turn on the shower and water pressure drops.
That’s why it is important to pay attention to water flow rates.
Furthermore, filter cartridges have a limited service life. Long lasting filters save you from frequent replacements which is often cost-saving and also much more convenient.
Installation + Maintenance
The amount of work required to install and service a water filter system depends first and foremost on its type. Obviously, a whole house water filtration system is more challenging to set up than a faucet water filter.
More on Chloramine Water Filters
What is Chloramine?
Chloramines are compounds of chlorine and ammonia. Although there are different forms, the one that you will find in your water supply is inorganic monochloramine (NH2Cl) since it’s very stable and thus can be used for water disinfection by municipal water supplies.
Water chloramination isn’t new. It has been applied in major cities of the United states since 1929. In 1998, research found that about 70 million Americans received tap water disinfected with chloramine.
Chloramines are also formed when chlorine reacts with ammonia introduced into water bodies by biological substances – think excrements, rotting leaves, and insects. These chloramines are why some swimming pools have that distinct chlorine smell.
Chloramine vs. Chlorine
Most communities use either chlorine or chloramine to disinfect water. In other words, chloramination is used an alternative to chlorination.
The reason is that chlorine is used up rather quickly in water systems. So it can happen that there is not enough chlorine left to kill germs in the water by the time it reaches your home. That’s where chloramine comes into play. It lasts longer and guarantees complete water disinfection all along the way.
And sometimes, communities even switch back and forth between chlorine and chloramine at different times of the year, mainly because chloramines are less effective at immediate disinfection than free chlorine.
Health Effects of Chloramines – Are They Safe?
Chloramines produce fewer halogenated disinfection byproducts than chlorine which is a clear advantage, since DBPs are known carcinogens.
Toxicity of Chloramine
Chloramines themselves are toxic to fish and kidney dialysis patients.
What’s more, research suggests that chloraminated drinking water has the highest levels of currently unregulated iodoacids. Iodoacids are a group of chemicals that, by some experts, are considered to be likely the most toxic group of water treatment contaminants known today.
Chloramine disinfection can also lead to elevated nitrosamine levels. Nitrosamines are a chemical family associated with cancer and currently unregulated by the EPA.
On top of that, chloramine can leach lead from pipes, especially in areas with older housing. The toxic heavy metal will dissolve into your water and eventually enter your bloodstream, a serious health risk.
Other than that, chloramine can cause respiratory problems, it damages plumbing systems, fixtures, and household appliances, and it’s deadly to fish in aquariums and ponds.
How to Remove Chloramine from (Tap) Water?
Contrary to many people’s belief, skin contact contributes much more to our everyday chloramine exposure than ingestion. The same goes for chlorine.
Therefore, if you truly want to reduce your body’s daily chloramine load you won’t get around a shower filter, or even better a whole house filtration system that treats the water in your entire house.
How to remove chloramine from water? We have listed the different methods below, but only included those that actually make sense for water treatment at home:
Carbon filtration– Activated carbon is perfect to filter chlorinated water. For chloramine, however, it won’t suffice. Well, actually it does, but it takes very long contact time and therefore bigger filters and/or slower water flow to achieve the desired results.
That’s where catalytic carbon filters come into play. Catalytic carbon is like activated carbon on steroids – at least that’s how we like to put it. Not only does it remove chloramine and chloramine byproducts up to four times faster than activated carbon, it’s also highly effective at reducing TTHMs and VOCs. The only downside is that catalytic carbon filters are about twice as expensive a regular carbon models.
Reverse osmosis – While the semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane does almost nothing to reduce chloramine content, the various carbon pre-filter stages that every RO system comes with will. The slow filtration speed adds to the effectiveness.
Vitamin C– Vitamin C a.k.a. ascorbic acid can be used to reduce monochloramine to chloride and ammonia. In fact, before the rise of catalytic carbon, Vitamin C was used to dechlorinate water for dialysis and other medical applications. Furthermore, it has a long history in water treatment. Recently, vitamin C has become quite popular for use with shower filters. For drinking purposes, you can simply infuse your water with fresh fruit and let it sit for about 30 minutes to neutralize any possible chloramine. In case you like to bath, dissolving 1000 mg vitamin C will neutralize all chloramine in an average-sized bathtub. Just keep in mind that, since ascorbic acid is mildly acidic, the pH of your water will decrease, too.
Ultraviolet light – UV light is also good for destroying chloramines in water. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly and very low maintenance.
Campden tablets – Not necessarily the best option for water used for drinking or cooking, but home brewers swear by Campden tablets, another chloramine reducing agent that contains either sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite (also referred to as “metabite”).
Carbon decomposes chloramine. The chlorine is then rendered harmless. However, the ammonia is left behind. So it might very well be that if you use a carbon filter to remove chloramine from your water, the ammonia content will increase.
What you can do about this is add an additional cation exchange media type filter, such as zeolite or a regular softening cartridge.
We will soon provide a guide on removing ammonia from water.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Chloramine?
Yes, purifying your water with the help of an RO system will reduce the amount of dissolved chloramine significantly.
Like we said, the RO membrane itself is not very effective at eliminating the water disinfectant. However, the various carbon pre-filter stages that basically every RO system is equipped with are. In addition, the slow processing speed increases contact time.
Another benefit of using a reverse osmosis system for chloramine removal is that the semipermeable membrane takes care of the ammonia.
Do Carbon Filters Remove Chloramines?
By far the best chloramine water filter is a whole house backwashing unit that utilizes catalytic carbon media. Regular carbon can also work. You just need to make sure that you have enough carbon, meaning large filters, to allow for sufficient contact time – the more carbon the better! You might also want to consider using multiple stages/tanks in a row.
Does a Water Distiller Remove Chloramine?
Yes, a water distiller does remove chloramine from water. In fact, distilled water is almost pure H2O.
Does Vitamin C Remove Chloramine?
Vitamin C neutralizes chloramines just as it neutralizes chlorine. The biggest benefit of this method is that vitamin C won’t add any unwanted chemicals or salts to your water.
The drawback is that ascorbic acid degrades within a couple of days rendering it useless.
Does Boiling Water Remove Chloramine?
Yes, boiling will help remove chloramine from water. For example, the time required to remove 50% chloramine from 10 gallons of water by boiling is roughly 27 minutes.
Boiling water for tea or coffee will remove about 30% chloramine. (Source)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for chloramine to evaporate from tap water?
Chloramine can be removed from water by simply letting it sit. The problem, however, is that this is a lengthy process. Why? Because monochloramine is relatively stable and does not dissipate fast. The half-life in standing water can be way above the 100-hour mark. Tip: The half-life can be greatly shortened by aeration or stirring.
How do I know if my water has chloramine?
You can test your water using a test kit or you can contact the utility.
Do Aquasana water filters remove chloramine?
It depends on what system you’re eyeballing. Aquasana’s OptimH2O reverse osmosis system, for example, is NSF certified to remove 97.66% chloramines. Then there is the Aquasana AQ-4000 countertop water filter that reduces chloramine to more than 97%.
As for the AQ-5300, chloramine reduction is insufficient. And both the AQ-4100 & AQ-4105 shower filters are claimed to remove chloramines but to what extent we don’t know.
Do Brita filters remove chloramine?
Brita filters are very popular because they are inexpensive. So, sorry to spoil the party, but Brita’s Standard and Longlast filters are not certified for chloramine removal. The same goes for the Brita Complete – although this does not mean that they are completely ineffective against it. After all, they use activated carbon and both Brita pitchers allow for a long contact time.
How to remove chloramine from water for plants or fish?
Chloramines have to be removed from water for aquariums as well as hydroponic applications. This is because (A) it kills fish, chloramine goes directly from the water through the gills into their bloodstreams, and (B) it can inhibit plant growth.
For aquarium water, a common approach is to add sodium thiosulfate or another suitable additive into the water. The average tap water requires between 0.04 and 0.12 grams of crystalline sodium thiosulfate per gallon. Products are available online and at your local pet/aquarium supply store.
What you can also do is make use of carbon filtration as explained above. You need to be careful, though: The carbon won’t reduce ammonia content. In fact, it will actually increase ammonia levels. Thus, you must add a primer that converts the chemical into a safe, non-toxic form.
The same applies to a bunch of additives. If a product label mentions chlorine and chloramine but does not list ammonia, beware. Another agent might be required complementary.
And keep in mind: We’ll add new chloramine water filter reviews occasionally. So come back for more!
About the Author Maria Martino
Maria Martino is one of our part-time content creators. She owns a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Chicago and enjoys writing about all walks of life. When she doesn’t write, Maria likes to portray people and support her local community.
Learn more about Maria and the rest of the BOS Team.