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Activated Carbon 
These home water filters work through adsorption. This is a process where gasses and liquids are attracted to other liquids or solids. When the water passes through the carbon filter, most of the common impurities will be attracted to the carbon’s spongy surface, filling the deep ridges on its surface. While the charcoal filter is great at removing most contaminants, one of its disadvantages is that it can’t block limescale. Other contaminants are also not attracted by the charcoal, so nitrates, fluoride, sodium, and microbes will continue to flow in the water. Another disadvantage is that in time the ridges in the charcoal will clog up, so the filter won’t be able to capture any more contaminants. That’s why you have to change the filter periodically.
Distillation 
These home water filters work by boiling the water and capturing the steam produced. When the steam cools, it condenses back to water which is collected in a container. Water boils at a lower temperature than most common contaminants, so they will remain in the original container as the steam rises. Unfortunately, other contaminants will actually boil before the water, so the condensed steam will also carry them in the second container.
Ion Exchange 
The zeolite beads in the ion exchange filters are full of sodium ions. When hard water passes through the beads the ions are attracted to the magnesium and calcium components in the water, releasing the sodium in exchange. Magnesium and calcium are major components in limescale, so without them, the water will be softer and have a better taste. However, the sodium released will be present in the water, and it will make it salty. Some people might not like the new taste, while others might not be allowed to drink it because they’re on a strict diet.
Reverse Osmosis 
This home water filtration system uses at least 5 filters, sometimes even more. The first filter blocks out the rust, dust, debris, and other contaminants that might harm the RO membrane. The second filter is usually the carbon filter, and it blocks harmful chemicals like chlorine, fluoride, and more. The third filter is also a carbon one, but it’s denser so it will capture smaller particles, making sure the water is almost contaminant free as it reaches the membrane. The fourth filter is the reverse membrane and it will block the contaminants based on their size, molecular weight, and ionic charge. 95 – 99% of the contaminants in the water will be blocked. The fifth filter makes sure that bacteria, viruses, what’s left of the chlorine and any bad tastes or smells are removed. Some models will also have an UV light and special filters that will raise the water’s pH.

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