So you’ve done your research and believe you have finally found the perfect shower filter. You’ve managed to wade through intense marketing hype and various sales pitches put out by dozens of shower filter companies. Your shower filter installation goes smoothly with nary a hitch and you pat yourself on the back for taking the first step towards healthier living. Congratulations! But there’s one problem. You don’t really know if that brand new, expensive shower filtration device hanging from your shower arm is actually doing anything useful. This article will reveal a very simple and inexpensive method of quickly checking how effective your shower filter is for neutralizing total residual chlorine.
Purchasing and installing a shower filter is one of the quickest and easiest ways to protect yourself and your family from the potentially harmful effects of chlorine on the human body. It’s no longer a question of whether you need a shower filter, but rather, which shower filter will produce the best results when it comes to reducing or eliminating your exposure to chlorine and chloramine.
Complications and diseases, such as bladder cancer and birth defects, resulting from chlorine exposure in residential tap water have been documented by several environmental, medical and scientific studies over the years. Government regulated public water municipalities have been adding chlorine to our water for nearly 100 years while telling us the benefits of doing so far outweigh any risks associated with daily exposure to chlorine. While the benefits of using this powerful disinfectant in our tap water are indeed necessary for overall public health, there is no reason we should be forced to bathe in chlorinated water.
There are literally dozens of shower filters available on the market today available in every conceivable style, color and configuration. Prices for these devices generally run anywhere from $20 for basic models, up to $250 for more exotic brands. The cost of a shower filter has very little to do with its level performance with regard to how well it will neutralize the chlorine or chloramine found in your shower water. Also, paying more for a shower filter does not necessarily guarantee better performance either. The type of shower filter that will work best for you will depend on several factors.
Factors That Can Effect Performance
Many shower filters feature a combination of two or more of the items shown above. The vast majority of standard shower filters feature a combination of KDF and AC. Others will feature only one type of media, as with Vitamin C type shower filters. A few will go so far as to add other items not directly related to chlorine or chloramine removal. This supplementary media usually consists of magnets, quartz, sand, mineral stone and a few others generally found in shower filters with a higher price tag.
Testing Your New Shower Filter
Testing a shower filter in your own home, under your own specific circumstances is the only way to truly know if it can live up to your requirements. The following list outlines one very simple method to test a shower filter for its ability to reduce or eliminate total residual chlorine. The reduction of chlorine or chloramine with any shower filtration device is the most you should expect. Contrary to many marketing claims, shower filters have never been proven to remove any other contaminants from your shower water.
Use the simple formula below to calculate the reduction in percentage assuming your unfiltered reading is 2.5 ppm and your filtered reading is 0.5 ppm. Just grab a calculator and plug in the actual numbers from your own readings. Here’s a simple equation you can use to find the percentage.
(Unfiltered – Filtered) ÷ Unfiltered x 100 = % Reduction
Plug in your own readings as shown in this example.
(2.5 ppm – 0.5 ppm) ÷ 2.5 ppm x 100 = 80% Reduction Total Residual Chlorine
If you calculate a total residual chlorine reduction less than 80%, this shower filter may not be your best choice. Before sending it back, you may want to retest your filter over the next few days. Chlorine and chloramine levels will vary from day to day but usually fall within the range of 1 ppm to 4 ppm, depending on which disinfectant is used. Write down your test results and save them. At the end of a few days of testing, take an average of all tests to get a better indication of how the shower filter is performing. If the shower filter is not providing you with at least 80% neutralization of total residual chlorine, send it back and try another brand.
A Final Word
With so many different brands of shower filters available, it’s never been more important to find one that works well in your home. Customer testimonials, third party celebrity endorsements and best buy awards are great, but they don’t really mean very much if that shower filter can’t perform to a minimum standard for you. When it comes to choosing the right shower filter, a little extra effort in the beginning will end up paying huge dividends in terms of overall health and well being for you and your family.
Many shower filter sellers offer some sort of money back guarantee for the products they sell that you should always take advantage of. The only way to know for sure if a shower filter is really working is to test it yourself. Don’t fall victim to extravagant marketing campaigns designed to distract you from what is most important in the long run. It may seem like a lot of work, but think of it this way. Why would you purchase and use a shower filter that doesn’t provide your family with the best level of protection from chlorine or chloramine? It’s your money after all. Spend it wisely.