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7 tips for choosing the best water filter in Australia | featured image

Are you looking to buy a water filter but overwhelmed with the many choices out there? We take the confusion out of choosing the best water filter for your needs in this short guide

Australia has some of the best tap water in the world. So great, in fact, that a Tasmanian town took out the top honours for Best Municipal Water in an event deemed the “Olympics of Water” – the Berkely Springs International Water tasting event held annually in the U.S.

However, despite the reputation of our water, more and more people are concerned about chemicals and heavy metals that still find their way in it. And they have good reason to be concerned.

Contaminants such as aluminium, arsenic, chlorine, lead, nitrates, human faecal matter, and most recently, the COVID19 virus inevitably find their way into our drinking water. Depending on where you live, other contaminants can also make its way in your drinking water, such as limescale and pipe corrosion.

We live in a lucky country where quality water is readily available. Even bottled water is cheap and easy to buy. But even bottled water has its own set of health concerns, as they contain microplastics that are known hormone disruptors causing infertility. In addition, the production and disposal of single use plastic bottles is one of the main contributors to the build-up of plastics choking the world’s oceans.

For these reasons more and more people are choosing to invest in a water filter, not just for their health, but also for environmental reasons.

How to choose a water filter

Choosing a water filter can be hard. There are so many products out there and it can be confusing trying to sort through the many choices available.

In this article we outline our 7 tips to help you decide the best water filter for your needs, and a comparison of some of the filters available in the market.

1. What are the types of water filters available in the market?

The first step in figuring out what type of filter will suit you is to understand the types of filters available in the market. Each type has its purpose, depending on what you are looking for.

Faucet filters

Faucet filters are ones that you screw on directly to your tap. They are compact and house a single filter cartridge inside that you replace every few months.

They contain a pass-through that allows water to flow through either the filter or straight through the tap. You simply flip a lever or switch to choose whether you want filtered water for drinking or regular tap water for washing.

Faucet filters are the most accessible of filters as they do not require installation and suits most household faucets.

Countertop filters

There are two types of countertop filters. The first type is a standalone filter that contains a water reservoir at the bottom and a filter on top. You simply fill it with water, which passes through a filtration system and collects in a reserve at the bottom. They store several litres of water at a time. The down-side to this type of filter is that it can be quite bulky and take up space on your countertop.

The second type hooks up to your main kitchen faucet and are much smaller, taking up very little countertop space. They have their own faucet that dispenses filtered water when you turn it on. This type of filter is a little pricier than faucet filters or the standalone countertop filter.

The main advantage of countertop filters are that they require no plumbing and are portable, so if you live in a rental you can take them easily with you.

Undersink filters

Undersink filters fits underneath your sink and hooks directly into your water system. They generally come with their own faucet that gets mounted onto your kitchen sink alongside your existing faucet.

These filters work in a multi-stage process that filters out a large number of contaminants. They require a plumber or handyman to install and are more expensive than the portable types of filters.

The main advantage of undersink filters is that they have a longer lifespan than other filters.

Whole house filters

Whole house filters are the largest and most expensive filters available. They require professional installation and hook into your mainline system. They provide you with filtered water everywhere in your house, including the bathroom. They are the most expensive of filters and work in a multi-stage filtration process. Many of them also include water softeners that remove hard minerals in the water.

2. What method of filtration does it use?

Depending on where you live, your water may be contaminated by agricultural waste such as nitrates that come from fertilizers, or it may be contaminated by corrosive pipes if you live in an old apartment in a big city.

Different filters use different methods for removing contaminants in the water. When looking for a water filter, the best ones are those that filter out the contaminants as well as preserving beneficial minerals in the water.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal or activated carbon is made from wood, coal or other substances. They work through the process of adsorption – pulling in contaminants from the water and binding them onto the charcoal. Activated charcoal is highly porous, meaning their surface area is very large giving them the ability to pull in large amounts of contaminants.

Activated charcoal can remove a range of contaminants such as heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, fungus and chemicals.

Ultra-Violet Filters

Ultra-violet filters work by exposing the water to ultra-violet light, killing off bacteria and other pathogens in the water. However, they do not remove heavy metals, salts, chlorine, and other chemicals.

 

Distillation filters

Distillation is the process of boiling the water, then collecting, cooling and storing the vapor. In other words, it’s taking pure water out of the water, leaving behind other impurities and sediments. The main disadvantage of this filtering process is that sometimes contaminants can be “carried over”. Some herbicides and pesticides for example, cannot be removed efficiently as they have a different boiling point than water.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis works by forcing water through a semi-permeable membrane to filter out salts and other contaminants. A semi-permeable membrane is a barrier that has tiny pores which only let water molecules through, so larger molecules such as salts and dissolved contaminants are kept out.

Filters using reverse osmosis generally have a multi-stage filtration system, where sediment and chlorine are first removed before it goes through reverse osmosis.

Although these types of systems remove all contaminants out of the water, they unfortunately also remove the beneficial minerals.

3. Is it easy to install and maintain?

The next thing to consider are the installation costs and maintenance. Does it require a professional to install or can you do it yourself? Installation can range from $0 to thousands of dollars in the case of a whole house filtration system. For undersink filters, they can cost at least several hundred dollars to install professionally.

All filters will require maintenance as filter cartridges lose efficacy over time and need to be replaced. Faucet filters need replacing every 3 months, while undersink filters require replacement every 6 months. Whole house filters require yearly replacement.

4. What is the water filtration speed?

When looking for a filter, you may want to factor in the speed of water flow through the system. The higher-end filters that go through a multi-filtration process typically have a slower flow.

5. Is it affordable?

How much you can afford, and how much you’re willing to spend, are important factors in considering when buying a filter. As discussed above, the portable filters are the most affordable and accessible. You also need to consider additional costs such as installation and ongoing maintenance.

6. Is it convenient?

Convenience is another factor to consider when buying a filter. For example, if you live in a rental, a water filter that you can easily remove and take with you to your next home would be ideal.

7. Does it come with a warranty or guarantee?

When you’re investing in you and your family’s health, you want to make sure that the product you’re buying is not only performing as you would like it to, but also that it comes with a warranty should anything go wrong, or a guarantee if you’re simply unhappy with the product for whatever reason.

Don’t forget to read the fine print of any purchase you make to ensure you’re happy with any warranty or guarantee they provide.

How does TAPP’s EcoPro stack up to the other water filters?

Below is a table to make it easy for you to see at a glance some of the filters available and how they compare with TAPP Water Filter. This is not a comprehensive list but just a sample to help you understand the different capacities of different filters.

Criteria EcoPro by TAPP Brita on Tap Aquaport Filtered Desktop Water Cooler Doulton Ceramic Single Countertop Stefani Reverse Osmosis System Undercouter Filter Complete Home Filtration System (CHF 6000)

1. Filter type

Faucet mounted

Faucet mounted

Countertop

Countertop

Undersink

Whole house

2. Filtration method

Activated Charcoal

Activated carbon and ion exchange fibre

Info not available

Activated carbon

Activated carbon and Reverse Osmosis

A combination of filtration methods that includes Activated Carbon, Reverse osmosis, and Water Softening Resin

3. Filtering capability

Over 80 contaminants including chlorine, heavy metals, microplastics, limescale, viruses and bacteria

Chlorine, heavy metals, microplastics, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, pharmaceutical residues, 99.9% bacteria

Reduces lead, copper, chlorine, bad taste and odours

Sediment, Bacteria, chlorine, heavy metals, industrial chemicals

Organic contaminants such as bacteria and pathogens, chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, fluoride and heavy metals

Dirt, sediments, chlorine and its by-products, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, limescale, organic substances

4. Installation and maintenance

DIY installation.

Replace filter cartridge every 3 months

DIY installation

Replace filter cartridge every 3 months

No installation.

Replace cartridge every 6 months

DIY installation

Replace filter cartridge every 6-12 months

Professional installation

Candles last 3-6 months.

Candles need to be cleaned if the water flow slows down.

Installed by licensed plumber

5. Water flow

4 litres per minute

1.6 litres per minute

Info not available

3 litres per minute

Info not available

18-32 litres per minute

6. Annual cost estimate

Annual pack starts at $159 and comes with 4 replacement cartridges. 

Starts at $270 (filter plus 4 x replacement cartridges)

$468.90 (filter plus 2 x replacement cartridges)

$449 (filter plus 2 x replacement cartridges)

$630 (filter plus 2 replacement cartridges)

$4,949

7. Portability

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Technically, yes, but will need professional re-installation

No

8. Warranty and Guarantee

30-day money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty on annual subscription

30 day, unconditional, 100% money back guarantee and 1 year warranty in case it gets damaged

12 month warranty

5 year warranty

Guaranteed for 12 months against faulty workmanship.

Extended warranty available on their website

2 years (can be extended to 4 years) and 7 years on workmanship


A water filter solution for your needs

With the wide variety of water filters available on the market, TAPP Water Filter provides a fuss-free, effective, sustainable and affordable entry point into the world of water filters.

Here’s a summary of the benefits of TAPP Water Filter system:

  • Provides a sustainable solution to using single use plastic water bottles
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Affordable packages and subscription prices
  • Advanced filtration system that filters out over 80 contaminants while keeping in more beneficial nutrients in the water like calcium and magnesium
  • Great tasting water
  • Great looking filter
  • Value for money

And with our 30-day money-back guarantee you can try out our filter risk-free and see for yourself how easy it is to invest in the health and wellbeing of yourself, your family and the environment. We also offer a lifetime warranty on your water filter if you choose to take out an annual subscription.