Carbon based water filtration systems are commonly used to trap contaminants in the water. These type of filters have proven to be a reliable filter media and are used in stand alone filtering systems and as pre and post filters with other types of water purifying setups. This form of filtration is excellent at collecting many different kinds of contaminants which is another reason why they are so popular.
What is activated carbon?
You hear the term activated carbon filters, but may not know exactly what it refers to. These filters are made out of pieces of coconut shell carbon or carbon from bituminous coal. The pieces and particles of carbon are placed on a filtering material and act like little contaminant traps.
The reason these filters are referred to as activated is because it is put through a process whereby it is heated without air. Oxidizing gases are passed through the carbon while it is heated and at that point it is considered activated. The activation actually refers to the fact the carbon is now positively charged and can attract contaminants with negative ions.
Activated filtration systems is called adsorption water filtration. The term adsorption refers to the fact that contaminants stick to the surface of the activated carbon. The carbon pieces are like little magnets attracting and holding onto whatever it can.
Carbon based water filtration systems are commonly used in kitchen drinking water systems such as the faucet mount, countertop and under the counter units. The filters work great in cold water, but the water does have to pass slow enough over the carbon to allow the positive-negative ion attraction to take place.
What is a Carbon block?
A Block is another form of the carbon based water filtration systems. A carbon block is a honeycombed piece of carbon. Many consider this to be a better filter than the activated FORM, but both will work quite well.
These filters can get rid of a host of contaminants. These water contaminants include chlorine, copper, mercury, lead, cleaning chemicals, micro-organisms, radon and VOCs to name a few. You should only purchase filters which are NSF/ANSI rated to meet standard 53 which is written for water filtration systems.
This form of water filtration systems are often included ge vs whirlpool water softener with other types of filtration units such as reverse osmosis. The carbon filters attract those contaminants the major filtering device misses or does not handle.
There is one disadvantage to using carbon based filters in the kitchen or shower. The carbon collects micro-organisms while wet. This creates an ideal medium for bacterial growth. You need to make sure you change the filters regularly.
If you are looking for an effective and nominally priced water filtering system, the carbon based water filtration systems are economical and do a great job. Carbon has been used a long time as a filtering agent, and there’s a reason for that – it works!