Top Eight Mistakes by Water Filter System Buyers

by wfnblog on October 4, 2010

WaterFilters.NETWaterFilters.NET has been in business for over 10 years now, and in that time we have observed many things about the purchasing habits of our clients.  Some clients make good decisions, while others not so much.  In an effort to turn a negative into a positive, we present this list of the top eight mistakes made by water filter system buyers.  Hopefully this will help you to make wise, informed decisions when you purchase a filter or filter system.

In the tradition of David Letterman we’ll do a countdown.

#8.  Buying too small a system.
This most often happens with whole house systems.  Unfortunately there are a number of filter housings and systems labeled as “Whole House”, but that are much to small to properly accommodate the flow rates of a typical whole house application. Far too many people end up with a filter housing that uses a 10″ x 2.5″ cartridge (the smallest of the four major industry standard sizes).  These will allow for whole house flow for only a short while, but the filter will clog quickly and force the client to change cartridges often or suffer with the inevitable flow restriction.

#7.  Buying a system based solely on a recommendation.
Don’t misunderstand us, we certainly appreciate that your friend’s or neighbor’s opinion is important to you and, with the growing popularity of product review web sites, people have access to more information than ever before in history. Be careful that those recommendations are balanced with other factors.  Filter systems need to be taylored to the specific wants and needs of your unique situation.  What works for someone else may not work for you.

#6.  Buying based on brand name only.
It’s not 1950 anymore, and brand names are not what they once were. In the water purification business there are constantly buyouts and mergers. The point being, the brand you buy may not even be owned by the same company it was 5 years ago. Additionally it may be manufactured in an entirely different part of the world. In many cases several brands will be manufactured in the exact same factory and labeled differently for each brand, but it’s essentially the same product.  The point is to be open to new brands you are not familiar with.  There was a day in the life of every brand that most people had never heard of it.  There are many really solid products offered by companies that are not at all well known, but that have proven they offer a solid product.

#5.  Buying more system than you really need.
This item is similar to #4, but deserves to be separate.  People often ask for the ultimate super power filter, but have no point of reference as to why they want or need this “mega filter”.  Why spend extra $ for a filter system that removes MTBE’s if you don’t even know what MTBE’s are.  Most likely you will only know what they are, if you’ve become aware that they are found in your water supply. Clients often ask for shower filters that remove fluoride or other very difficult to remove contaminants.  Why??  Are you drinking your shower water? Fluoride is bad to ingest but, according to the Water Quality Association, would take concentrations 10,000 times as strong to be equally harmful through skin absorption.  Unless you have a serious illness, compromised immune system or severe allergy to fluoride, this is just overkill.

#4.  Failing to test the water before buying.
As indicated, this is similar to #5.  If you are serious about your filter system, and are suspicious of some real problematic contaminants, you absolutely need to analyze your water. If you merely want to remove some sediment or some chlorine to make the water taste a little better then you can probably skip this, but if you have a serious problem or are planning on spending some serious $$ on your system, get a serious laboratory water analysis.  It’s worth the money, and will take the guesswork out of the equation.  It will also help you assess the knowledge of those selling you the equipment.  If they have a puzzled look on their face when they see your test results, or can’t offer solid answers or solutions to your water problem based on the test results, you should move on.  WaterFilters.NET has a CWS (certified water specialist) in our technical department waiting to help you.

#3.  Not buying a filter system.
We know this seems silly, but way too many people find themselves overwhelmed by the myriad of available products and walk away scratching their heads confused.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Everyone will benefit from a filter, and the simplest filter is better than no filter at all. WaterFilters.NET has trained customer support reps. available to help you sort through the options and find a filter or system appropriate for your application and budget.

#2.  Buying a high priced system just because it’s high priced.
The old adage, you get what you pay for, is still sometimes true, but not often in the water purification world. There is plenty of price gouging in this industry simply because people are ignorant of the industry and the products available to them. Don’t fear the inexpensive system that’s half the cost of some local dealer. He’s having his cake and eating it too because of your fear and ignorance.  Sure some systems do more than others, and sometimes a cheap system is exactly that, but don’t allow that to scare you away from the many good products that are inexpensive simply because they are reasonably priced.


#1.  Buying a proprietary filter system.
By proprietary, we mean a filter system that accepts only one exact type and size of cartridge.  WaterFilters.NET does offer a limited selection of systems that use proprietary cartridges, but these cartridges are available through a variety of retail outlets both on the internet and at brick and mortar locations.  The systems we are criticizing here are those where you can only obtain filters from the brand name dealer that sold you the system.  Often these filters are highly overpriced because the dealer knows you can’t get the replacements anywhere else. Ask the salesman where you can obtain replacement cartridges.  If he can’t give you multiple options, beware!

We hope this list will help you navigate the water filter universe and avoid some of the common pitfalls. Please call the WaterFilters.NET customer service center for more information and answers to all your water filtration questions @ 888-801-7873

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