While reverse osmosis and carbon filters are both popular water filtering systems, they operate in very different ways. While both types of filtration systems are used primarily to lower the number of pollutants in a sample of liquid water, they serve in very different ways. Understanding the main differences between reverse osmosis water filtering systems vs. reverse osmosis carbon filters can help you be better educated and better positioned to discover the water filtering system that’s right for your individual needs. Here are some main differences and characteristics of both types of filtration systems.
The primary difference between reverse osmosis systems and carbon filters is the method of delivering water to your faucet. Carbon filters use a pressurized liquid to draw dirt and contaminants out of your water. With reverse osmosis systems, a series of thin layers are put on your water lines, allowing for water pressure to push the dirty water through.
Carbon reverse osmosis systems work well for removing contaminants from your drinking water, but not so well at removing contaminants from your showers and sinks. Reverse osmosis systems simply don’t have the micron size required to trap most biological contaminants, especially those that are smaller than water molecules. This means that they will not trap many of the heavy metals that are most common in American tap water. Some of the contaminants that carbon reverse osmosis filtration systems are designed to remove include lead, cysts, THMs, VOCs, chlorine, and other chemicals that are commonly found in American water supplies.
Metals are not the only contaminants that are unable to be trapped by reverse osmosis systems, either. There are some naturally occurring compounds in water that are extremely irritating to people with various types of respiratory illnesses. The metallic ions that comprise EDTA are a cause of these problems, and it is possible to purchase an under-the-counter liquid chlorination system that will work effectively at removing these EDTA traces. For heavy metal and bacterial contamination, an ion-exchange filter system is the best choice.
When it comes to comparing the performance of carbon and reverse osmosis filters, there really isn’t much of a comparison. One filter will reduce the number of impurities in one glass of tap water, while another will remove everything. In order to truly understand how these filters perform, you need to make sure you get the most thorough test available. You should never trust the data, the manufacturer provides on their website or in their advertising when it comes to evaluating water filters by reverse osmosis systems.
The best way to compare carbon and reverse osmosis membrane is to purchase an effective multi-stage unit that incorporates both of these filtering systems. The first step is a pre-filter designed to remove the larger metallic particles that are generally present in water, as well as the smaller, yet potentially harmful chemical contaminants. Next, the pre-filtering step involves a carbon block with a large surface area, which traps the larger impurities on its interior and allows water to pass through without them being re-absorbed by the porous surface of the carbon. This gives you the ability to remove all of the large particles from your water while leaving behind the valuable natural minerals that your body needs for optimal health. A multi-stage filter system like this will give you great-tasting and crystal clear water, without any of the impurities that you would otherwise have to remove with reverse osmosis membranes.
This post was written by a water treatment expert at Paragon Water Systems. Paragon Water Systems is a water filter supplier. We know that the best product comes from the best materials. We manufacture home water solutions such as reverse osmosis systems, under sink water filtration systems, showerhead filtration systems, carbon cartridges, and a wide variety of other products. Our focus is to provide Americans with safe and clean water throughout the home.