The Leader in Whole Home Water Filtration Since 1989. Providing Safer, Cleaner, Softer Water for your Health.

Filtration Explained

Drinking Water Filter Systems

How Does a Carbon Filter Work?

The activated carbon material that is inside a tank or filter housing works like a sponge, attracting and holding contaminants as water passes through it.  Carbon is very porous and has an unusually high surface area for contaminant removal.  A teaspoon of activated carbon has the total surface area equal to a football field. This contact time causes the contaminants to be adsorbed from the water supply.  Other contaminants may be filtered out like a strainer and trapped. Once you identify what your specific water problem is you can then decide which type of carbon filter system will solve your water quality issues.

 What Does a POU Carbon Filter Remove?

Besides improving taste, odor and color, activated carbon in the Carbon Filter system effectively removes these wide range of impurities from your household water. The type of carbon material and it’s mesh size are an important factor in this removal.

Ethylene dibromide
Trihalomethanes (THMs)

Can I Filter Only the Kitchen Sink Water?

Yes, a point of use (POU) activated carbon filtration system is an effective method of improving water quality in the kitchen for cooking, drinking and ice cubes.  It can be installed under the kitchen sink, with a third faucet, to supply the filtered drinking water. The carbon filter cartridges need to be replaced periodically and are available at Clean Water America’s retail water stores. You can do it yourself or our Service Department is available to change them for you.

Can I Filter my Refrigerator Water and Ice Cubes Only?

Yes. Clean Water America can install an inexpensive inline filter cartridge behind your refrigerator. This involves pulling out the refrigerator each time you need to change the cartridge, but when taste and odor are a problem, it is well worth the effort. However, if your refrigerator’s ice maker is fed by the water supply line from under your kitchen sink, the unit can be installed in that location.


 Whole House Water Filtration Systems

 Can I Filter the Water Coming into the Whole House? 

You absolutely can!  Whole House Carbon Filter Systems are among the most common home water treatment systems because of their effectiveness, ease of use and cost efficiency. If you want to filter the water throughout the whole house, this is a convenient and effective means of removing offensive tastes and odors.  It also removes a wide range of organic materials and certain hazardous contaminants.  A Whole House Carbon Filter is a very effective way to protect your loved ones for just pennies per gallon.

How Do I Select the Proper Whole House Carbon Filtration System for my Home?

Begin by having your household water tested to determine which contaminants may be present.  For concerns about health-related contaminants, contact your local Health Department to secure the names of state certified laboratories that can test your water.  If you are concerned about aesthetic contaminants that affect the taste, smell or odor of your water, contact us for a reliable in-home test to determine the type of filtration product that best addresses your concern.  There are times that your water quality expectations may require a “systems” approach that combines several technologies.

 Are There Different Types of Whole House Carbon Filters?

There are two different types;  “Cartridge Filters” and “Tank Filters”
The Cartridge Filter is a large filter housing, about 20”, which allows for a very large cartridge to be installed.  These cartridges can handle high flow rates and are able to remove a broad range of chemicals.  The cartridges should be replaced every 6 months and can be easily changed by the homeowner or by Clean Water America’s Service Department.

The Tank Filter, which are between 4 and 6 feet tall, consist of three different types:

  • Automatic Backwash Valve
  • Manual Backwash Valve
  • Non Backwash Standard Head.

The Automatic Backwashing Valves consist of Timer and Meter Heads:

  • The Timer head backwashes the carbon according to a clock only and can be pre programed by multiple day settings.
  • The Meter head backwashes the carbon according to the amount of water used.  It is the more efficient filter head and saves excess water usage.
  • The Manual Backwash Valve System needs to be periodically backwashed to fluff up the carbon granules so pressure drop does not occur.
  • The Standard head in/out valve is a fully automatic, non backwashing system and is the least expensive of the trio.

         All carbon filters need to be re-bedded on a periodic basis when the mineral is exhausted.

What Types of Carbon Mineral are Available for the Whole House Carbon Filters and What do they Remove?

There are basically four different types of carbon mineral that provide a specific service and/or filter out specific contaminants.  The most common types of carbon mineral are:

  • T&O Carbon which is coarser and can adsorb larger molecules like chlorine and their by products of THM’s, along with man made pollutants such as benzene, PCB’s etc.  This mineral needs to be re-bedded at a set length of time depending on its exhaustion from pollutants. This is best for city water whole house carbon filter systems.
  • Silver Impregnated Activated Carbon is perfect for part time residents on city water supplies.  Silver has bacteriostatic properties that impedes the growth of bacteria in the mineral bed when the system has been left unused for long periods of time.  The Silver Impregnated carbon mineral has all the same properties as T&O carbon as well.
  • Organic Color Removing Carbon is a finer grade and mesh size of the carbon mineral.  It has more surface area and adsorbs more organics due to its small particle size.  It is best suited for well water whole house carbon filter systems.
  • Catalytic Removing Carbon is also a finer grade and mesh size of  carbon mineral.  It has more surface area and adsorbs more organics due to its small particle size.  It is also best suited for well water whole house carbon filter systems.


 Where is a Whole House Carbon Filter Installed?

Clean Water America’s water systems are manufactured in Florida, for Florida weather conditions and can be safely installed outdoors.  For a city water, a whole house carbon filter system should be installed outside the home, after the water meter, on the main water pipe coming into the house. For well water it should be installed after the pressure tank outside the house.  The system’s installation location should provide easy access for the maintenance of the system.

How do I Maintain a Whole House Carbon Filter?

A carbon filter loses its effectiveness as it becomes saturated with contaminants, consequently the carbon needs to be replaced on a regular basis.  Before purchasing any unit, determine the approximate period of time the carbon should last, and how much it should cost to replace it. If a filter is used longer than its rated lifetime, it may cause harmful contaminants to be flushed back into the drinking water. Bring a sample of water to Clean Water America’s water stores.  The samples should be both before the system and after the system to determine if the carbon is still effective.

 What type of Carbon Filter Systems does Clean Water America Have?

We have many different types of systems to fit every need and budget.  Call us today to have one of our representatives stop by your home to check out the installation site and test your water or drop by one of our Water Center Stores and bring a sample of your water for testing.  We can show you our different systems and give you a hand’s on experience.