Learn More: Sediment Filtration
Clean drinking water is vital for health. If there are harmful substances in your water supply, home water filtration is the best solution. Suspended matter like sand, dirt, rust, loose scale, pipe corrosion, clay, and other organic materials can be reduced by sediment filters.
Why use sediment filters?
Sediment can make water look and taste unpleasant. It can also clog plumbing and appliances, and leave stains on clothes and fixtures. Sediment filtration ensures water is free of physical particulates, helps appliances work better and longer, and makes drinking water clearer and better tasting.
How do sediment filters work?
To filter water for an entire home, install a point of entry system at the main water source. When water flows through a sediment filter, particulates are trapped in the filter. Filters have varying restrictions ratings and should be chosen based on the size of particulates the user would like to reduce.
Sediment filters are often used as a pre-filter for other water treatments such as carbon filtration. By trapping larger particles, sediment filters extend the life of subsequent filters in the system.
Filter sizing: micron ratings
A key dimension for water filter sizing is the filter's micron rating. This is a measure of the size of particles that a filter restricts. The lower the micron rating, the smaller the particles blocked by the filter. One micron, also known as a micrometer, is one-millionth of a meter.
For reference, a strand of human hair is typically around 90 microns, a speck of milled flour is around 25 microns. A one-micron filter is designed to restrict particles any larger than one micron in size; anything smaller than one micron would pass through the filter unimpeded.
The two types of sediment filter media
What are sediments filters made of? Sediment filters are typically composed of one of two materials: Cellulose or Polypropylene.
Cellulose Filters: are manufactured from cotton fibers, treated to contain a cellulose content of 98%.
Polypropylene Filters: are plastic-based, synthetic media filters designed in a variety of styles and formats.
Celluose or Polypropylene: What's the best choice?
The choice of cellulose or polypropylene depends on your water source:
Households with an Untreated Water Source such as a private well require polypropylene filters. Because cellulose is an organic plant fiber, microorganisms can live, grow, and feed off it. Polypropylene is made of plastic which makes it bacteriostatic, meaning that microorganisms will not live or grow on it.
For households using Treated Water, either cellulose or polypropylene filters can be used.
The Styles of Sediment Filters
How are sediment filters designed? Sediment filters are available in several "formats" or styles: string-wound, pleated or spun-wound cartridges..
String-wound filters look like a spool of tightly wound string. The string changes in thickness by layer, so the outer layer traps the largest particles, ultimately getting thinner to the center, which has the rating (eg. 5 micron) of the filter.
Spun Polypropylene filters are melted and blown out of a gun and spun onto a cartridge. As with string wound filters, the outer layers trap the bigger particles.
Pleated filters offer higher flow rate, lower pressure loss, and more surface area. Polypropylene pleated filters can also be washed and reused.
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