You’ve set your eyes on a great filter tap, but it’s not compatible with your filter system? Installing a new water filter can become a real hassle especially if things don’t match. Sometimes, the solution to a successful water filter installation can be one tap adapter away.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the various cases when an adapter can save the day if a compatibility issue arises. Our water filter webshop carries John Guest and Mur-lock adapters for these very situations, so you can successfully connect a water filter tap to virtually any water filter system.
Tap connectors can be used for any drinking water application including water coolers, ice makers, water conditioners, etc. Learn how you can turn a difficult installation project into a success story with a simple accessory like an adapter.
What is a Tap Adapter?
If you’re new to water filtration, you may think that all filter taps are compatible with all filter systems. Although standardization opens the way to all sorts of filter and tap combinations that could best serve the interests of homeowners, unfortunately, standardization is not as widespread in the industry, and the chances for you to buy a filter tap that doesn’t match your filter system are quite high.
For the most part, you can return these products and replace them with products that are compatible, but what if you did your research, and the products you’ve chosen are exactly what you’re looking for? Or, for whatever reason, returning the products is not an option for you?
In any of these situations, tap connectors or adapters can be a godsend, allowing you to install these products regardless of compatibility.
We like to think about adapters as compatibility problem solvers. Indeed, adapters or tap connectors are a type of threaded fitting that allows you to attach filter tubes or hoses to taps of any size or shape.
These practical accessories help attach your preferred water filter to your preferred filter tap, and not worry about compatibility or having to replace your tap or filter.
They may seem as a small or inconsequential accessory, but they can make a real difference when you accidentally purchase a filter that does not match your filter tap or vice versa.
Although this article is focused on tap adapters, adapters for washing machines, water coolers, ice makers, or water conditioners are also available. Some adapters can also double as an adapter for other drinking water applications not just for water filters.
For the most part, you should not encounter any issues when installing a water filter or when connecting a drinking water appliance to a water supply. But it may happen that pipes and tubes don’t match due to non-standard product manufacturing. This is where connectors or adapters come in.
Types of Adapters
Besides having different adapters for various house appliances, adapters can also be push fit adapters, plug-in stem elbow adapters, female thread or male thread adapters, adapters designed for hot water applications, brass adapters, plastic adapters, etc.
Of all these tap connector types, push fit ones are the easiest to fit, especially when you’re forced to work in confined spaces. Another advantage is that they usually allow quick disconnection without any tools.
How to Choose a Tap Adapter?
Adapters for drinking water applications are available in a variety of sizes and thread types to match all sorts of water filter tubes and filter taps. For example, a tap connector can help you to fit a 1/4″ (10 mm) water filter pipe onto a 7/16″ (11 mm) drinking tap base thread.
When looking for an adapter, make sure to consider the following aspects:
- Size of your water filter pipe;
- Size of your water tap base thread;
- Suitability of adapter for hot or cold water application;
- Check if the adapter meets food quality requirements if you plan on using it for drinking water applications.
Filter Taps with Known Compatibility Issues
In most cases if you purchase an undersink water filter, a simple filter tap is included with your filter. These are either offered for free by the manufacturer or by your vendor. With these filter taps you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues.
In other cases, the filter tap kit or filter system kit may contain adapters with various thread sizes to help with compatibility issues. In other cases, however, taps or filter systems are dispatched without this accessory, and you have to buy one yourself if the filter tube of your filter doesn’t match your filter tap.
Usually, compatibility issues arise with proprietary products that are designed to work only with another product manufactured by the same brand. Apple products are a good example of this business model.
In the domain of water filtration, Brita taps are known to be designed to work with Brita’s proprietary filters. Brita even includes a free filter with all their 3-way taps.
The filter included is usually the Brita P1000 filter cartridge, which reduces limescale, chlorine, off tastes and odours, and even claims to reduce levels of lead and copper. If your tap water has these issues, then this tap and filter combination from Brita is certainly a good choice for you.
Since Brita includes a filter with all their triflow taps, compatibility is not an issue unless you’re struggling with other contamination problems as well (e.g. bacteria, fluoride, etc.), and the P1000 cartridge is sufficient to deal with all issues, so you’ll have to look for other filters instead.
Even though Brita taps are designed to work with the P1000 filter, the right adapter can make them compatible with other filter systems as well. For the most part, your vendor can help you find a suitable adapter to overcome compatibility issues.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are filter tap manufacturers that design their taps to be compatible with all standard under-sink filters, or include adapters with their filter tap kits to minimize any incompatibility issue. Franke’s kitchen taps are one example, where even though they have a proprietary filter system designed for Franke Filterflow taps, you can use their taps with other filter systems as well.
Tips for Buying Water Filters and Filter Taps
Buying filters and taps from the same manufacturer is one way to eliminate incompatibilities. However, you may still face compatibility issues down the road, if the brand of filter you’ve chosen is not good enough to tackle all water ingredients that you want removed from your water supply, and there are no options to upgrade to more proficient filters.
Some of the compatibility issues can be solved with an adapter, but not all, so as a general rule, it’s best to avoid incompatibilities altogether.
To minimize or eliminate any incompatibility issues between filter systems and filter taps, we recommend following the tips below:
- Avoid brands that have a bad track record at coming out with new products or don’t seem to innovate their products;
- For the most part, try to buy filter products that are dispatched with adapters;
- Whenever in doubt about compatibility issues, ask your vendor for recommendations;
- If you’ve paired two products that don’t match, ask your vendor if the issue can be solved with tap connectors or adapters;
- Prioritize filter systems over filter taps (having the right filter system that can remove all undesirable contaminants is more important than having a fancy filter tap instead of a standard one);
- Don’t compromise (if the filter tap you want to buy comes with a filter system that’s not good enough to deal with the contaminants in your tap water, look for another filter system, and don’t settle for the filter that comes with your tap).
Following these tips can help you buy the filter system and filter tap that best matches your needs. Not all incompatibilities can be solved with an adapter, but if you’re otherwise happy with the products you’ve chosen to buy, it’s worth a try to see if there are any adapter solutions that can solve the problem.
Hopefully, this article has answered most of your questions about filter compatibility issues, and how an adapter can help overcome these. Of course, it’s best to avoid any “hacks” to systems that are not designed to play well with each other, but if the adapter you choose is designed for drinking water applications and creates a perfect seal, there shouldn’t be any reasons not to use them.