Of all the different types of water filters, countertop water filters are the simplest to install and use. In fact, they are so simple to install that they are often referred to as no-installation water filters – simply attach the filter’s tube to your kitchen tap and you’re all set. Some countertop water filters are zero installation filters in the sense that they don’t have to be connected directly to a water supply. Gravity water filters are one example of filters that don’t fall into the category of pressure filters. Gravity water filters have an upper chamber that houses the filters and where unfiltered water is poured in for filtration. Other zero installation water filters like the Puricom ZIP countertop reverse osmosis system need electricity to operate, but they also don’t need to be connected to a water supply.
With so many available options, you need to know what to look out for when choosing a countertop water filter. The following tips may help you decide on a particular type of countertop filter:
- Dimensions: countertop water filters are generally smaller than under-sink water filters, particularly because they sit next to your kitchen sink. However, if you buy a multi-stage countertop filter like the PurePro CT3000 model, which has three different filter cartridges, you may have to give up some space for the benefit of better filtration. Of course, there are efficient single cartridge based solutions like the H2O PCT Counter-top Water Purifier, which is slightly more expensive than its PurePro counterpart, but has the advantage of not cluttering the area next to your kitchen sink.
- Contaminant removal ability: the ability to efficiently remove contaminants from water is probably the single most important aspect to consider when choosing any type of water filter. More advanced systems like the Puricom ZIP filter are able to remove a wide range of contaminants, however, the best way to decide on a model is to test your water for contaminants, and choose a filter based on the results. Your water may only have chlorine and sedimentation issues, in which case a countertop filter that removes sediments and chlorine will be perfect for you, or you may have more serious problems with your water (e.g. heavy metals, VOCs, bacteria, etc.), problems that may require a filter that is capable of a more thorough filtration.
- Free-standing vs attached: as mentioned before, some filters like gravity water filters don’t need to be attached directly to your kitchen tap, while traditional countertop water filters do. However, of the two system, gravity water filters may require more time to filter your water, but they do have the advantage of portability, and most types of gravity systems are powerful enough in terms of contaminant removal that they can also be used for filtering water sourced from lakes, rivers, streams, etc.
Although countertop filters are the simplest to install, they do require proper maintenance just like any other type of water filter. Whichever type of countertop filter you end up choosing, make sure you carefully follow the filter replacement indications of the manufacturer, and replace filter cartridges regularly.