How to Choose the Right Water Filter | Ask This Old House

How to Choose the Right Water Filter | Ask This Old House

Wow water filtration look at all the toys your water seems to be front of mine for a lot of people these days I get in a ton of questions you know maybe some people saw me visit Flint Michigan last year on this uh-huh in Flint I mean that's the story right that was a water catastrophe catastrophe the water became toxic would lead there was some unintended consequences when they changed the chemistry of the water but I got to say there on the men there but in general in this country America has got some of the best water quality available that's good to hear but water is the universal solvent and so waterfall you know down through aquifers and so you got to think about the way the country is up here with all kinds of ledge down here there's tons of sand and all kinds of clay here and that universal solvent water wants to pick up everything it can find along the way I mean that's your idea of the solvent that whatever the water passes through it's gonna grab a little bit of it that's right but you don't see it the water all looks the same you look through it looks clear so you gotta start with sort of what's going on and there's a test that you can do which is a little kit right here you put a little water ship it away that comes back with a report and you can at least know with some scientific level what's going on but you can also look around the house and say do I see rusty stains in the toilet okay do I see scale up at the showerhead well if you've got rust you know there's a whole house filters right here this is the cartridge right here when it's brand new to remove on it look at this this is one that was in for about 30 days never ceases to amaze me when you see this that's right but in this case it's important to know that iron it's just a cosmetic it's just cosmetic it's a health problem right here's one for just sediment a pleated filter here now sometimes you're gonna see the scale up on the shower heads and that's the cosmetic issue as well it's not dangerous you might have a water softener like that alright and that's got Brian inside and it's an ion exchange resin to make the to get rid of the scale everything here though is a whole house filter so that means that we're filtering the water that not only goes to the sink that we drink but also to the toilet showers and that's a lot of water yeah that's a lot more on average Americans use about 64 gallons of water a day for people that's like 253 on the gowns so you may not want to filter all the water you want to do the water that you drink now the key to taste and odor is the magic potion real stuff called granulated activated carbon GAC and the carbon of these little black background right here that's right and what that is it's got a really strong molecular bond so any impurity will want to bite onto that and stick so that's interesting so when we put something that's black as a filter into a jug like this the water is not actually picking anything up this is actually pulling stuff yeah it's almost sticky it's not really but it's holding it onto and clean water passes through so in this case we're not whole houses is just point of view right simplest is this this stuff is inside this cartridge right here so you take up you fill them with water it drips down through and you've got that much clean wide you know you can trust make sense except that you don't get much water it's never full there's the same sort of cartridge sits here at the end of a the spout right here and with that either got water coming out and there's your filtered water right here yeah that's nice although you are looking at this filter all day long you can also have a separate dedicated faucet right here and there might be a unit like this either down in the base that down onto the sink right or they also make these things in the larger size that could be in a whole house cartridge right here so that you could actually have taste and odor filtration for the whole house for the entire house even though some of us going to be going to the toilet you can do that now with this that cartridge would sort of build up over time they also make a larger version like this that you could put that GAC in and change it every three years which Wow yeah so good information and the big news is is that the water here in this country actually is very good drink up


  1. Uh Richard Flint is still in a water crisis not was!!! I should know I don’t live to far from there. Thank god my water wasn’t affected though.

  2. I've seen 2 video from This Old House about water filter and neither caution that if you have the faucet attached filter, you should never run hot water through the filter because it will break down the filter very quickly.

  3. So if I don't have a problem with taste, and minerals are very low. I have a gauge from a ZeroWAter filter system that says my tap/well water is .004 ppm solids. pretty clean of 'solids' ? and taste is EXCELLENT. Gravity fed well, from an OLD well, stone [granite boulder] lined .. so my concern is possible contamination from bacteria on occasion. Never been sick from it since 1985, but still bacteria from shallow well is a concern for some, so how many micron filter is needed for well water ?

  4. "the water in this country is very good." I would say not especially when our water contains Fluorosilicic acid.

  5. Water Distillation needs to be a growing thing, the only downside to that is apparently it takes a lot of energy to do but if we ramp up solar and wind power it would work.

  6. Any water filter guy must research Reverse Osmosis, it's not mentioned in this video and easily one of the best filter systems any home owner or gardener should buy for proper water filtration. FIltered water at the store is usually reverse osmosis filtered on a commercial scale, but home systems are very affordable and superior to the carbon filters

  7. My problem is I live in a rental house that has iron pipes and if you turn on the water real hard it turns brownish orange from all the rust that has been disturbed in the system.

  8. Thanks for the information on this.. we’re going to be adding something like this in our project.. thanks

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