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Pros and Cons of Ceramic Water Filters
Having access to clean water ensures you can stay hydrated for longer, improves digestion, detoxifies the body, and improves skin health. Having this in mind, it’s important to use an effective water filtration system to ensure you are drinking quality water.
Ceramic gravity water filters are one of the most effective filtration systems on the market because it uses natural material, clay, which has millions of tiny pores the size of half a micron to filter out impurities in water. This process imitates the natural purification process of the Earth and is one of the reasons why people often suggest using ceramic tiles for collecting rainwater.
Fortunately, there are many kinds of water filters out there. Each type has its own pros and cons. In this article, we will cover the pros and cons of a ceramic water filtration system.
If you would like to learn about the benefits of Brazilian Clay Water Filters, How to make a DIY Ceramic Water Filter, or our 6 favorite Ceramic Water Filtration Systems, consider reading our articles on the topics.
What Is a Ceramic Water Filter?
A ceramic water filter is a type of cartridge filter that has a ceramic surface containing millions of tiny pores. They are often referred to as ceramic filter candles.
The ceramic filter cartridge – also called ceramic filter candle – sits on top of a ceramic or plastic receptacle. This filter pushes water through ceramic pores, which trap contaminants; clean water comes out from the other side.
Note: Ceramic filter candles can be used with other popular gravity systems, such as Berkey water filters or Alexapure water filters.
How Do Ceramic Water Filters Work?
As mentioned earlier, ceramic water filters have millions of tiny pores in their casing. As water flows through these pores, the contaminants within the water are trapped in the pores and are unable to make it to the other side of the filter.
The way a ceramic water filter works copies the way the Earth naturally purifies water. Water seeps in through the layers of rock and soil in the ground and gets filtered as it goes along.
What does a Ceramic Filter Remove?
Ceramic water filters can remove many harmful contaminants found in untreated water. For example, the below are filtered out when using a ceramic filter:
- Pathogenic Bacteria: Drinking water from an untreated source can lead to serious severe fevers, stomach pains, and diarrhea. In fact, 60% of diarrheal deaths are related to drinking unclean water. Fortunately, ceramic filters can remove 99% of pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli, cholera, and salmonella as well as microbial cysts.
- Chemicals: In addition to removing harmful pathogens, ceramic filters remove chemical contaminants. Some of the chemicals that are removed by ceramic filters include chloroform, pesticides, PFAS, and disinfectants. However, do note that to remove chemicals, ceramic filters must come with activated carbon.
- Sediments: Ceramic filters are effective in removing dirt, debris, and other small sediments found in untreated water.
- Turbidity: Ceramic filters removes the cloudiness that comes from the suspended solids found in untreated water. Removing the cloudiness from the water makes the water look more appetizing and clean.
- Heavy Metals: Ceramic filters with ion exchange resin greatly reduce the amount of heavy metals like lead, copper, zinc, and mercury found in the water.
- Unpleasant Tastes and Odors: Filtering water removes many of the odor and taste-altering bacteria and sediments from the water. Once they are removed, it makes the water look cleaner and taste better.
What Are the Pros of Ceramic Water Filters?
- Affordable: Compared to other kinds of water filters, ceramic water filters are cheap. So, they’re usually used as part of affordable water filter systems like countertop filters and pitcher filters. Upfront, you may need to pay less than $30 to buy a ceramic filtration cartridge. Then, for yearly filter maintenance, you’ll pay just less than $50. If you have a small budget, a ceramic water filter is perfect for you.
- Reusable: Ceramic water filters aren’t made to be disposable. Instead, you can flush them out and reuse them. To stop contaminants from building up and slowing the flow rate of the filtered water, you’ll need to send water in the opposite direction through the filter. Doing so will wash the suspended contaminants down the drain.
- Retains Healthy Minerals: Ceramic filters can remove even the smallest of drinking water contaminants. With that said, it’s impressive that it can do so without getting rid of healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Removes Harmful Contaminants: Ceramic water filters are highly effective at removing contaminants from water. A ceramic water filter system has the potential to remove turbidity, sediments, and micro-organisms from the water. Coupled with other filters like activated carbon filters, it can act as a comprehensive water purification system within a single cartridge.
- Natural Filter: Ceramic water filters are natural and don’t contain any chemicals, metals, or plastics. So, no harmful substance will leech into your water.
- Anti-Bacterial: A ceramic filter is one of the few kinds of filters that can effectively remove bacteria. This is because the pores of ceramic filters are small enough to trap bacteria, viruses, and protozoans. Moreover, compared to the other few filters that can remove bacteria, ceramic filters are cheap.
- Works With Pressure and Gravity Filters: You can use ceramic filters with pressure filters and gravity filters. Since ceramic filters are versatile, you can use them as part of systems that rely on water pressure.
- Long Life: Since ceramic water filters are reusable, they typically last longer than the average filter. Usually, ceramic water filters filter water effectively for up to two years.
What Are the Cons of Ceramic Water Filters?
- Susceptible to Breakage: Due to its brittle nature, even the highest quality ceramic water filters are likely to crack under pressure. This shouldn’t pose a problem, though. You need to ensure you don’t break the filter when you clean it out.
- Ineffective Against Chemical Components: On its own, a ceramic water filter can’t remove chemicals and heavy metals. It can only filter out these impurities if you use it in tandem with other filter media, such as granular activated carbon or ion exchange resin.
- Reduced Flow Rate: Over time, you’ll notice a reduction in the flow rate of water when using a ceramic water filter. Since ceramic water filters work by leveraging their tiny pores, they filter water at a slower pace than other kinds of filters. This is especially true for ceramic gravity filters since they don’t use water pressure to push water through.
- Regular Maintenance Needed: Ceramic water filters have small pores that are prone to clogging. So, you’ll need to clean your filter regularly to ensure you get a smooth and consistent flow of water from the cartridge. If you neglect cleaning and Maintenance, you’ll notice that water will pass through your clogged ceramic water filter at a much slower rate than usual.
How Should You Pick a Ceramic Water Filter?
Depending on how you’ll be using your ceramic water filter, you’ll need to consider several factors.
The first thing you need to think about is what type of water filters you already have. If you already have specific water filtration systems in place, think about whether a ceramic water filter will help you cover all your bases. For example, if you only have a UV water filter, a ceramic filter can supplement that effectively.
Next, you’ll need to figure out how many ceramic water filters you need. If you are using many ceramic water filters but are on a tight budget, you may want to choose ceramic filters that are cheap. This will allow you to buy them in bulk.
If you’re using a gravity-fed ceramic water filter, you’ll also need to consider the size of the container that will hold your filtered water. Many ceramic filters come attached to containers of different sizes, so this may affect your buying decisions.
If you are using your filter outdoors or as part of a portable water container, you’ll need to ensure you choose the right size for the ceramic water filter. Moreover, you’ll also want to consider how heavy the water filter is.
A ceramic water filter is an effective and natural tool to filter out sediments from water. We recommend it due to its independence from electricity, its effectiveness, and its affordability. There’s almost no reason why you shouldn’t use a ceramic water filter; however, we recommend coupling ceramic with a different kind of filter that can remove chemicals.
To learn more about the other types of water filtration systems, you may wish to consider for your home, check out our other comprehensive guides on our website.
If you found this article helpful, consider reading our other articles on water security:
- 12 Ways to Purify Water at Home
- How to Purify Water Using Solar Energy
- How to Purify Rainwater for Showering
- How to Filter River Water for Showering
- 11 Ways to Use Rainwater at Home
- Best Roof for Rainwater Collection
- How to Filter River Water for Drinking
- Brazilian Clay Water Filters: Everything You Need to Know
People Also Ask
How to Clean a Ceramic Water Filter?
We mentioned that one of the benefits of ceramic water filters is their ability to be reused. However, it still requires cleaning and basic Maintenance to ensure your water is being filtered properly. Here is a quick and simple way to clean ceramic water filters
- Gently remove the ceramic cartridge from the filter system.
- Scrub the ceramic cartridge in a bowl or under running water with a clean brush. This would remove many of the sediments stuck inside the pores of the filter. However, avoid using soaps, detergents, or rough scrubbing materials, as these will make the filter unusable.
- Once clean, place the cartridge back into the filtration system.
How Long Does a Ceramic Water Filter Last?
The lifespan of ceramic water candles depends on the brand. But generally speaking, they have a lifespan of 3,000 gallons or up to 3 years. However, to ensure it lasts this long and the water is clean, make sure to clean the outer shell of the filtration system once every 2 to 3 months.
Do Ceramic Filters Remove Fluoride?
Yes, ceramic filters can remove fluoride from water. However, it depends on the ceramic candle’s filter media and its ability to remove fluoride. Not all ceramic filters can remove fluoride, so when determining the best ceramic structure for your specific needs, make sure to use a filter that can remove the contaminants you are concerned about.
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