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Posted on Sep 4, 2010

What Do “Micron Levels” Have to do with Whole House Water Filters?

This is what you know. Water goes through your filter and comes out cleaner. You know that when your drinking water has gone through a reliable inline water filter system, you don’t have to worry about unseen chemicals, bacteria, or pesticides getting into your body through inhalation from the shower or consumption through drinking water.

One aspect about your filter that you might not know is whether it is a whole house water filter. This type of filter is built to remove any imperfections that are found in your water. This process is usually done before the water even gets to your kitchen faucet. It is typical for a whole house water filter to incorporate carbon filtration. Another thing to know about whole house water filters is that it will protect the plumbing of your house from wear and tear. Because the water is purified before it gets into your house, that also lengthens the water heater’s life.

Another aspect of a whole house water filter that you probably don’t know about is the micron level. A micron level is the number of micron sizes that the filter can eliminate of a contamination. The micron level is between .5 and 5 microns. A “micron” is a unit of measurement of the size of a particular unit of water contamination. A small pebble has a much higher micron size number than the microscopic bacteria that might be in your drinking water.

It is helpful to know that the lower the micron number, the more contaminants caught and purified. You should look for the micron level number when you are purchasing any carbon filtration water filter. This number determines how well the filter will process different contaminants. For example, if the filter says it filters contaminants of 5 microns, literally anything below the level 5 is passing through the filter. Many chemicals would be passed over.

A charcoal filter is commonly used in a whole house design for water filtration and, in some cases, in point-of-use water filters such as faucet or shower water filters. This type of filter works the same way as a carbon filter, except the contaminants pass through charcoal instead of carbon. Micron levels are also present in a charcoal filter.

If a charcoal filter can stop anything 1 micron level or lower, the filter is most likely to be able to filter out cryptosporidium and giardia. Both cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are caused by these parasites that affect the small intestine and can result in symptoms like diarrhea, dehydration, stomach cramps, and vomiting, to name just a few. Remember a lower micron level is better when it comes to cleaner and healthier drinking water.

Micron levels determine how well a carbon filtration water filter will function. Most likely, if a filter only removes so much chlorine or so much lead, it is probably because of the micron level. The price of a good water filter with a low micron level will be a little bit more expensive than a filter with a higher micron level. A low micron-level filter will also eliminate excessive fluoride from your water.

As you look into the best filters with the smallest micron levels, remember Aquasana for your pure and fresh drinking water needs. Aquasana can help you identify the best home water filtration solution for you and your family’s needs.

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you, I am trying to decide what water filter cartridge to replace in my home water filter system. The more filters I look at the more confusing it becomes. Your article helped tremendously concerning the micron filtration rating of various filters.

  2. So glad we could be of service! Let us know if you have more detailed questions this article did not address.

  3. Hi,

    I am Tajudeen living in Nigeria. Please I need more clarifications on microns. I recently drilled a borehole in my compound and i did a water test for the borehole to know the level of potability. The result of the water analysis indicated that the turbidity of the water is 40. What size of micron will I need to have clear water?

    Best Rgds.

  4. Hi Tajudeen! Great question.

    Since your water isn’t otherwise treated, you’d be best served with a complete large-scale filtration system with several stages of micron filtration that get progressively smaller. We’d recommend an initial 5-micron filter to get rid of the larger particles and a lot of the turbidity, then something like our EQ-300 whole house system to actually filter the water and deal with contamination, then a .35-micron filter to further reduce particles and turbidity, and then a UV filter to deal with any bacteria that may have escaped the preceding processes. You’d have to watch the micron filters and change them frequently, but that should do the trick.

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