The shower filters for hard water and Chlorine activated carbon as one of the primary ingredients. The others could be KDF and the synthetic membrane. The other water hardening elements are the fluoride, sulfide, heavy metals, and the carbonates. The construction of the shower filter with the multiple layers of these elements can remove all the hardening factors and convert it into soft water.
Carbon Vs. KDF
Carbon annihilates the chlorine, while KDF converts the chlorine into the chloride ions. You can choose the filter depending on your specific requirements. The following brief description will illustrate how the KDF works better than the activated carbon.
The removal chlorine results in the partial softening of water. But it can also result in the loss of many healthy compounds that are essential for the skin health and fitness. For example, the chloride ions are useful for enhancing the skin texture, tone, and the collagen content. Hence, you may prefer to choose the KDF filter.
KDF and Carbon
But the activated carbon has many other benefits also. For example, it induces many healthy minerals like the potassium, sodium, magnesium and their compounds into the water. The percentage of the content is well below the risk factors of water hardening. The other known benefit of activated carbon is the ionic treatment of water. It removes the microbial germs and bacteria. It also energizes the water molecules to a considerable level. Hence, the shower filter needs to have the combination of active KDF (at the top layer nearer to the inlet) and carbon (subsequent layer).
KDF is the layer which softens the water by removing the sulfides, carbonates and the heavy metals. The soluble metallic ions are the most significant risk factors that harden the water. By converting the compounds into the insoluble forms of metallic hydroxide, the KDF filters them. Most of the sulfide forms in the hard water are present in the soluble state. The KDF layer converts them into insoluble forms and filters them. These deposits on the KDF layer can block the free flow of the water and cause clogs. Hence, you need to ensure regular maintenance of the shower filter.
Fluoride removal is perhaps one of the toughest tasks in the water softening process. It is primarily due to the high rate of dissolving property. The KDF, carbon, and the other forms of the filter cannot remove the fluoride.
However, the processes of ion exchange and reverse osmosis can remove the fluoride to the extent of 99.99% from the water. The synthetic membrane used in the shower filter can achieve this purpose. TFC (polyamide), cellulose and ceramic are some of the membranes which can eliminate the fluoride efficiently. Every element has its pros and cons. You can analyze their benefits and limitations here.
The polyamide membrane has a density of less than 200NM. Hence, it fits into the compact shower filter. It has a better capacity to attract the fluoride ions and remove it more efficiently. But the deposition on the membrane can be difficult to clean. Frequent back-washing can remove most of the congestions and impurities deposited within the filter.
The filtering rate of the material can match perfectly with the 2.6GPS flow rate of the standard showerhead. The permeable membrane removes most of the hardness causing compounds including fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, sulphides, and the dissolved elements. It can also remove the dissolved salt ions and micron-level molecules which can pass through most of the other filters.
TFC (Polyamide) has excellent resistance to the temperature and pressure variations. It can work with the same efficiency at 1100F and room temperature water. Hence, the manufacturers of shower filters prefer to use the TFC over the other forms of Reverse Osmosis filters.
Cellulose has a higher rate of reverse osmosis when the water flow rate is at the minimum. Since the density is very thin, the thick deposits can clog the material. Replacement is the recommended method over back-washing.
The micro-sized ceramic stones can remove the fluoride content to a considerable level. It uses the principle of ion exchange for this purpose. The efficiency level of this material is also relatively higher compared to the others. The only probable limitation could be the size of the layer. The shower filters using ceramic stones are larger in size and heavier in weight.
Stages of Water Softening
The shower filters in the market today work on multiple stages of water softening. They can remove pesticides, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, and the sulfides efficiently. Some of the most commonly found layers in these shower filters are the ceramic stones that are treated using the various mechanisms for water softening.
- Alkaline Treatment: Increasing the alkaline-content of the filter stones can ensure the elimination of micron level dissolved compounds. They can filter these elements to an accuracy of 99.99%. Alkaline treatment also provides the inducing of alkaline ions into the water molecules. They can convert many of the fluoride compounds into the insoluble forms and filter them.
- Infrared Treatment: The infrared treatment of the ceramic stones can induce the negatively charged ions into the stones. The dimension of the stones plays a vital role in the absorption and sustenance of the atoms. The standard conditions of the treatment can ensure one year of sustained water softening through these stones. You may need to replace them every year to provide the highest quality of water softening.
You can opt for the multi-stage water softening to ensure 99.99% efficiency. The shower filters working at 5 to 10- stages cleaning are stated to be the most efficient among the currently available models.
The shower-filter you choose should be able to work under varying water pressure and temperature ranges with the same efficiency. The maintenance procedures should be simple and fast. The frequency of component replacement should be as few as possible. Then you can consider that brand and model for the installation in your bathroom.