Your Guide to Undersink Water Filtration Systems

Posted on: 10 November 2015


Undersink water filters are ideal installations in larger households that use a lot of water for drinking and cooking. They are a suitable alternative to reverse osmosis filtration units, both in terms of affordability and water wastage. Installation of these units necessitates a few minor changes to the plumbing system, but they are more efficient and more durable than countertop, refrigerator or pitcher water filters.

Undersink filtration units are typically made up of separate water dispensing urns which allow you to choose between filtered and unfiltered water. In addition, they are easy maintenance, requiring filter changes that are as simple as inserting a new filter cartridge in the canister. Being hidden under the sink cabinet, these filters won't occupy valuable counter or refrigerator space.

Undersink water filters come in a number of shapes and sizes according to the space under you sink, and there are different levels of complexity depending on your budget.

Contaminants eliminated by under-sink filters

While different filters work differently, most undersink filtration units have activated carbon as their filter medium. Activated carbon removes any unpleasant taste and odour from the water. Some filters comes with pre-filters which block dirt, sand, limescale, silt and other sediments.

Depending on the level of complexity, there are undersink filters with the ability to remove very small contaminants – up to 0.5 microns. These are the safest since they remove heavy metal particles like lead and mercury and organic contaminants like algae, microbial cysts, herbicides, pesticides and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

How to choose an undersink filter

Before deciding on the ideal water filtration solution, it's important to know what's in the water supplied to your house. You can do this by asking your local council for a copy of the water analysis report, if this is possible.

However, the best way is to engage a private laboratory to test for the entire spectrum of contaminants. While expensive, this will give you the most accurate details to inform your selection process. If you are relatively confident in your water supply, you can use a home testing kit which is available in home equipment stores.

In addition, your filter capacity should account for all the needs of your family. In large households for instance, undersink water filters connected to the main supply in the kitchen faucet are ideal, since thousands of litres are used daily for drinking and meal preparation. Consider any future requirements such as new family members on the way and buy a filter that will be able to handle the extra capacity.

However, remember that the best filter is not necessarily the most expensive in the shop. Consider level of complexity, efficiency and rating vis-à-vis its cost and then make your decision.