What are Tap Filters?

Even though the UK has some of the highest water quality standards in the world—meaning your tap water is safe to drink—some of the chemicals used during the water treatment process can leave it with an unpleasant taste. 

This is especially true in hard water areas such as London and the South East. Although hard water is suitable for drinking, the taste can put people off getting their recommended eight glasses a day. This can result in buying bottled water instead, which is not good for your wallet—or the environment.

If hard water is something you struggle with, then buying a tap filter could be the perfect solution. The plumbing pros at UKOOA have created this guide to take you through everything you need to know about tap filters.  

What do tap filters do?

Installing a tap or faucet filter is a cheap and easy way to ensure that your water tastes as fresh and clean as possible. 

Water from the tap contains harmless chemicals, such as chlorine, which is used to clean the water but has an unpleasant taste. Additionally, unfiltered water can contain more harmful components like excess fluoride, limescale and even small amounts of lead. Yuck.

A tap filter’s job is to make sure that these nasty-tasting extras don’t end up in your morning coffee or glass of water. Using a tap filter ensures that your water is better tasting and more hygienic than unfiltered water.

How does a tap filter work?

How a tap filter does its job depends on the type you go for, as there are a wide variety of filters available.

Charcoal tap filters

The most common type of tap filter people use in their homes is a charcoal or absorption filter. This type of filter is fitted underneath your sink, and uses granulated or block charcoal to remove impurities from water. 

When water flows through the charcoal, any chemicals inside the water are caught by the charcoal granules and are prevented from making their way through the faucet and into your drinking water. 

While these filters remove lots of unpleasant extras, they maintain healthy minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 

Though charcoal tap filters are low cost and easy to maintain, the charcoal will need to be replaced every two to three months to ensure your filter continues to work effectively. Failure to regularly replace charcoal can result in clogging and bacteria growth, which can be catastrophic both for the taste and cleanliness of your beverage. 

Ion exchange tap filters

An ion-exchange water filter is a way to soften hard water, which can wreak havoc in your home, affecting everything from kettles to heating systems

These filters work by exchanging the ions present in hard water, namely magnesium and calcium, and replacing them with safe-to-drink ions like sodium and hydrogen.

An ion exchange tap filter is great if you have an issue with limescale building up in your kettle, which is especially common in hard water areas

Reverse osmosis tap filters

Don’t be deterred by the overly scientific name, reverse osmosis tap filters are a simple and effective way to regulate your water.

Osmosis is the movement of water through a semipermeable membrane, which is a barrier that only allows certain solids to move through it. When it comes to a reverse osmosis tap filter, water passes through the membrane with force, so that when the water flows through the barrier, larger particles are removed. 

Sometimes, reverse osmosis filters are used alongside other types of filters, such as mechanical or carbon filters. As a result of the combination of two filters, the water coming from the faucet contains even fewer unnecessary contaminants.

Contact UKOOA to install your tap filters

Though it’s possible to install your own tap filters, hiring a professional service can take the strain away from you. By having your filters installed by a professional service like UKOOA, you ensure that your taps are perfectly placed to provide the most hygienic, refreshing water to your household. 

UKOOA is a team of friendly, professional plumbers who provide expert services to clients across London. By using our service, you can expect:

  • A fully certified, expert service in compliance with health and safety regulations
  • The finest, WRAS approved parts, used on all installations
  • Affordable pricing and free, no-obligation quotes

If you’d like to speak to a member of our team about having a tap filter installed, then please don’t hesitate to call us on 0203 519 6605, or email us at [email protected]. We’d be delighted to help.