Clean water may sound so simple but its importance is beyond what we can imagine. Clean water is hygienic. If you drink from your tap supply, one way to ensure clean drinking water for you and your family is by using water filters or water purifiers.
Faucet water filters can really improve the quality of drinking water by removing unpleasant odors and tastes. Although often overlooked in favor of the higher end sink water filters and whole house water filters, faucet water filters are a great choice for some households.
Let’s learn more about this product and hang on for our recommendations!
What are Faucet Water Filters
Faucet water filters are attached to the water faucet in place of the aerator. They consist of a cylinder that contains the filter as well as a knob that turns the filter on and off. Some faucet water filters do not have a knob, but rather the cartridge tank itself moves up and down to the filter on and off. The purpose of being able to turn off faucet water filters is so that filtered water can be used for drinking, but non-filtered water is used for other tasks, such as washing dishes. This conserves the cartridge, thus making them last longer.
Installing Faucet Water Filters
Installing faucet water filters is extremely easy and most home owners will have no problem doing it themselves. First place one hand under the faucet and turn counterclockwise to remove the aerator. Next, screw in the metal coupling provided with the faucet water filter and then attach the water filter itself by screwing it in.
Install the cartridge inside the cartridge tank and turn the water on. Allow the water to run for several minutes to flush excess carbon out before using.
What do Faucet Water Filters Remove?
Faucet water filters remove several undesirable elements from drinking water. They remove trace amounts of both manmade and natural chemicals such as radon, pesticides and chlorine. If the cartridge is an activated carbon filter, as most are, then it also removes any odors or tastes, such as sulfur in coastal locations.
Cost of Faucet Water Filters
Faucet water filters are the most inexpensive water filter available other than a pitcher filter. Prices vary by manufacturer but in general, faucet water filters run between $20 and $60. In addition, they require a filter cartridge that must be replaced on a monthly basis, sometimes more depending on water usage. The average cost of a replacement filter cartridge is $20 to $35.
Home water usage
Since water is filtered on demand, a separate container should be used to collect filtered water. There are three usual usage profiles. Let’s discuss them briefly.
This type is best for homes with two people especially if the water demand for cooking is low as well.
A medium usage profile is ideal for a household of four with each consuming average amount of water daily. This is truer too if the household members prepare food using filtered water.
Now once a household has four or more members who take up lots of filtered water in their daily activities, a high usage profile is recommended. These households may also opt to utilize a different form of filters, like under sink water filters.
Water filtration capacity
Each filter has a different water capacity before replacement is needed. Typically, this is expressed in months and gallons. The smallest faucet filter has a capacity of 40 gallons while larger ones can filter up to 120. Thus, filters can last from as quick as 2 months to as long as 6 months.
Water filtration quality
To know the efficacy of water filtration, you might want to check a filter’s certification. The two most common certifications are:
- NSF/ANSI 42: effective removal of iron, chlorine, magnesium, sulphides, hydrogen, and other similar substances
- NSF/ANSI 53: effective removal of asbestos, arsenic, lead, copper, mercury, organic and inorganic compounds, and bacteria
NSF 53 remains to be the highest standard as it can eliminate more contaminants than the others. This is highly recommended if you have a poor water supply in your area. But, if you just need to have a better tasting water with no odors, NSF 42 will work just fine.
How do faucet water filters work?
Faucet water filters has two layers:
The first layer is a protective screen that covers the main filter. This is the layer water comes in contact with first and it is through this layer that sediments or large contaminants get filtered.
The second layer typically is made of activated carbon which is an effective disinfectant. It boasts of 32,000 square feet surface area to trap the smaller contaminants and other metals such as magnesium and calcium.
Why do you need a faucet water filter?
Destruction of bacterial growth
Tap water isn’t bacteria-free. While we cannot totally eliminate bacteria 100%, using faucet water filters still do enough to eliminate them significantly. But still, the more contaminants are eradicated, the cleaner and safer the water is!
Elimination of chlorine
Another harmful contaminant is chlorine. It may be a great disinfectant, but it is not good for human bodies. In excess, it may cause vomiting, coma, and even death. Yikes! Although your tap water does not need as much cleaning as swimming pools do, it still contains chlorine so it’s safe to have that filtered out before you consume it.
Elimination of lead
This may be a surprise to you but we do not want 100% pure water. Why? Because this means we’re missing the essential minerals that it typically houses such as calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium. But when it comes to lead, that’s a different story. Lead can increase blood pressure and induce kidney damage! It is a toxic element so you’d want a filter that effectively eradicates this. Thankfully, most faucet water filters do!
Elimination of other sediments
Sediments are residual dirt, sand, or metal in water. Although the amount may not be significant, you would still be surprised at how much sediments you can filter out of water. We are better off without consuming these and most water filters can help eliminate them.
Fresh and odorless water
Some contaminants can make your water have some weird taste and smell. This may throw you off and prevent you from drinking water. Faucet water filters can solve this problem so you can have a tastier water you’d look forward to drinking!
Although you’ll need to replace your filters once every few months, faucet water filters are still generally cheap. Especially as compared to purchasing bottled water all year round! In fact, research revealed that 90% of the cost of bottled water goes to marketing and manufacturing while it is only the remaining 10% that’s allocated to water itself. Do the math!
Plastic is harmful to the environment and opting for faucet filters rather than bottled water does our environment a whole lot of good!
Cheaper than large filtration systems
Just because it’s cheap, it does not mean that faucet water filters’ filtration system is inferior. Plus, it does not take a lot of space and typically has a switch that allows you to toggle between filtered and unfiltered water. Plus, they are pretty easy to install!
Water filter types
- Direct flow-thru faucet filter
This type is directly attached to the end of the faucet so it saves space. However, because of its small size, it means that it should be replaced faster.
- Side offset flow-thru faucet filter
The more famous one is the side offset filter which literally is placed on the side of the sink. Thus, it has a larger capacity so you won’t have to replace as much as you would in the previous type. However, this is more expensive.
Best faucet water filters
PUR FM-3700 Advanced Faucet Water Filter
This faucet water filter from PUR is undoubtedly the best we have tried. PUR has been making great water filtration systems for 30 years now so the years of experience speaks for itself. It can remove 99% of lead and up to more than 70 contaminants typically found in water. So with this, rest assured that you’ll have odorless and tasteless water.
With this unit’s one click tool, you can easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water. It is easy to install as it requires no additional tools to do so. The manufacturer offers a generous 2-year warranty for your peace of mind.
The filtration capacity of this filter is 100 gallon which may last you up to 2-3 months before replacement. But, when we personally tried it, 100 gallon filters only lasted us a month but of course that’s largely dependent on your household’s usage.
- PUR advanced faucet water filtration system
- Removes 99% lead + over 70 contaminants
- No need for additional tools
- One click tool free attachment
- Compatible with most faucet types
- 2-year warranty
- 100 gallon filter capacity should be improved
Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter with Advanced Water Filtration
Culligan’s FM-25 is a large faucet filter that boasts of a 200 gallon capacity. What’s even better? It’s twice the capacity of our previous filter, but is not double the price! It NSF/ANSI Standards 42- and 53-certified with the effective capability to eradicate lead, chlorine, bad taste and odor, and other harmful contaminants.
This filter utilizes 0.5 gpm (gallons per minute) flow and 60 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure. In short, this is a strong one! The company claims that this is easy to install with no additional tools needed. While this is true, we see that customers complain about the replacement of the faucet filters.
Just like the previous filter, this also has a switch between filtered and unfiltered water. Plus, it comes with a 2-year warranty as well.
- 200 gallon capacity
- Effectively removes contaminants
- Diverter tab to switch from filtered to unfiltered
- 2-year warranty
- Easy installment plans
- Compatible with most faucets
- Quality can be improved
- Customer complaints regarding faucet filter replacement
DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier Faucet Mount Drinking Water Filter
The DuPont WFFM 100XCH’s #1 feature is its built-on micro ban antimicrobial product protection for added protection. Take note though that filters do not have the capability to eradicate all bacteria and virus so you may want to consider purchasing a water purifier as well as it can eliminate more than 80% of microbes.
But still, the added protection this unit brings is still added protection. Thus, it will still make your water extra clean. On top of bacteria, this filter can also filter out chlorine, lead, sediment, linden, cysts, asbestos, benzene, and mercury.
A downside is its limited 100-gallon capacity. But for us, it’s 0.5 gpm flow and 3 years of warranty makes up for it.
- Added antimicrobial protection
- Reduces harmful contaminants
- 3-year warranty
- Compatible with most faucets
- There are other higher quality products
- Limited 100 gallon capacity
Engdenton Faucet Water Filter
This filter from Engdenton has an impressive high-quality food grade 304 stainless steel housing making it highly durable. In fact, it is leak-proof and crack-proof. On top of its topnotch exterior, it also boasts of a whopping 320 gallon filter! The highest on our list. At the very least, it should take you 3 months before a replacement is needed. It has a 0.5 gpm and is easy to install.
To top that off, the device can be rotated up to 360 degrees. This way, you can now easily wash your hands and elbows comfortably without having to be in awkward positions. With its Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) technology, it can eliminate lead, chlorine, rust, sand, and bacteria. However, you have to remember that this is not compatible with some faucets which is a downside if yours won’t work with this filter/
- Durable stainless steel build
- Filters harmful contaminants
- Easy to install with no additional tools needed
- Rotatable 360 degrees
- Limited compatibility
- No warranty
Kabter Faucet Mount Water Filter System Tap Water Filtration Purifier
This faucet water filter from Kabter is durable and easy to use. All it takes is a quick switch for you to have a mercury-, lead-, cyst-, and chlorine-free water. This is conveniently compatible with most faucets in the market with 200 gallons of filter capacity.
While it does not have the most premium features nor a warranty deal to boast, its low price makes up for those. It does what a filter should do without breaking the bank.
- Made of durable ABS plastic
- Filters harmful contaminants
- 200 gallon filter capacity
- Compatible with most faucets
- There are other higher quality filters
- No warranty
How to clean and replace a faucet water filter
Here are the steps to effectively clean and replace your faucet filter. Remember, maintenance is key to keep your filter working well for a long time!
- Turn the water supply off.
- Remove the aerator located at the end of the faucet with a wrench. Wrap a cloth around the faucet to avoid unnecessary jerking. Skip this step if you don’t have an aerator.
- Clean the threaded aerator you just opened and apply a few wraps of Teflon tape to ensure that the threads attach after the clean-up.
- If the aerator is damaged, you might need an adapter. If not, skip this step.
- Install the faucet attachment piece. Refer to the diagram.
- Attach the cartridge and other parts.
- Flush the leftover water out by letting it run for 5-10 minutes.
- Check if the cartridge is properly installed.
The larger the filter capacity, the longer it will take before you’ll need a replacement, and the lower the overall cost to operate it. As a good estimate, a 100 gallon water filter capacity can last you up to a month. But keep in mind that the bigger the capacity, the bigger the cost of the unit as well.
Faucet filters can eliminate contaminants in varying degrees. It takes a quick research to know which ones are better than the other in this light. If you don’t want to look any further, check our recommendations above as they have great efficacies.
Not all filters are compatible with most faucets. The only workaround here is to ensure that the filter you’re buying is compatible with the faucet you have.
The more durable a filter is, the longer you can enjoy it. The most durable materials are stainless steel and ABS plastic so you might want to check filters built with those.
The longevity of the warranty almost always reflects the confidence of the manufacturer on its product. The longer it is, the better for you!
Although this is not 100% necessary, a faucet filter that swivels 360 degrees is an extremely useful and convenient future so you won’t have to strain your back when washing your hands or elbows.
Faucet filter change sensor
Some faucet filters boast of an advanced filter change sensor feature. Basically, this is an indicator that lets you know when you already need to replace the filter. There are two types:
- Light sensors: this is a LED light sensor that starts out green and slowly turns to red once replacement is imminent.
- Day counting sensors: this keeps track and displays the number of days which have passed since the last time you replaced your filter.
Are faucet filters better than water pitchers?
While both are effective and affordable, faucet water filters remain to be the better one between the two. It can eradicate higher amounts of contaminants and holds a longer life span.
Should I buy a large faucet water filter?
You don’t have to, but please do if you can! Bigger filters take longer time before having to replace them which makes them cost-effective in the long run.
Do I need any installation tools during installation and replacement?
Great models of faucet water filters are easy to install and replace without the need for additional tools. At most, you may just need a wrench if the threaded aerator is difficult to unscrew during replacement.
Which is better: direct or side offset flow-thru water filter?
Direct flow-thru faucet water filter
- Pros: more affordable and saves space
- Con: smaller cartridge
Side offset flow-thru faucet water filter
- Pro: larger cartridge
- Cons: pricer and imposes heavy load on the side of the sink which can induce premature wear and tear
And there you have it! We have discussed information you need to know before purchasing your faucet water filter. Refer to our buyer’s guide and recommendations to hopefully help you decide.
Faucet water filters have several advantages over other types of water filters, including their low cost, ease of installation and portability. They are also often used in conjunction with water softening systems, to further improve the quality of drinking water.
It goes without saying though that our easy favorite is the PUR FM-3700 Advanced Faucet Water Filter! Happy shopping!