Ceramic Water Filters: What To Know Before You Buy

by Jamin Arvig on January 2, 2014


Doulton W9123085 Ceramic Water Filter CandleWaterFilters.NET has grown into the online consumer’s first choice in water filters and filtration systems.  I am proud of this accomplishment, in no small part, as it reflects the level of knowledge that our team has amassed and is able to share with you as you make your water filter choices.  Believe me, there are any number of choices that you can make.

Today, I want to give you a closer look at just one type of option you have, a ceramic water filter.  Ceramic water filters are typically affordable and versatile, with systems ranging from smaller in-house countertop systems to larger portable systems.

As we commonly state on this blog, this type of filter may not be necessary for your specific water filtration needs.  If you are looking for a new water filtration system, and a ceramic water filter sounds like what you are looking for, I would recommend calling our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE for help in making your final decision.  We’ll ensure you get the best system at the best price to meet your needs!

What are ceramic water filters?

Ceramic water filters are a specific type of filter that use media with a small pore size to filter out everything from sediment, to bacteria, to lead out of your drinking water.

Doulton Ceramic Water Filter CutawayHow do ceramic water filters work?

Ceramic water filters work by simply allowing the water to seep through tens of millions of pores in the water cartridge surface. In the process, organic and inorganic particulates too large to pass through (often anything larger than 0.5 micron) accumulate on the ceramic surface.  As a point of reference, even cysts (like Cryptosporidium and Giardia) are too big in size to squeeze through the tiny pores of the ceramic filter cartridge.

Contaminants that may pass through the outer surface of the water filter cartridge are likely to be intercepted within the ceramic depth. Here inside the ceramic filter, even much smaller particles can be captured. This is because any remaining particulates in the water have to navigate through an intricate maze. This labyrinth of twists and turns involves so many sharp angles that contaminants that may have penetrated the topmost layer become trapped within the underlying complicated structure of the ceramic.

Many ceramic filters also incorporate a silver compound into the ceramic itself, because it acts as a bacteriostatic agent to repel bacterial growth in and on the filter. A granular activated carbon core may also be added to the ceramic core to reduce chlorine and other undesirable taste & odor issues–as well as pesticides.

What are ceramic water filters made of?

Although the exact composition may vary, ceramic water filters are generally made from a fine silica powder originally formed from the cell walls of microscopic algae deposited in lake beds millions of years ago.

This prehistoric sediment is known as diatomaceous earth (or kieselguhr). Today there are over 1500 uses of this material, including as a polishing agent in nail polish and as an insulator in kilns. The diatomaceous silica is fired at high temperatures into a ceramic cartridge or ceramic filter candle.

What type of bacteria and contaminants do ceramic water filters help to reduce?

Contaminants and bacteria will vary between brands and models.  That said, ceramic water filters and replacement cartridges will commonly remove up to 99% of pathogenic bacteria including salmonella, cholera and E. Coli, as well as cysts including cryptosporidium, sediment, organic chemicals and lead.

Most importantly, a ceramic filter, like most water filters, will help to ensure your drinking water is virtually free of unpleasant tastes and funky odors for the entire lifespan of the filter!

Do ceramic filters remove fluoride?

Doulton W9380001 Undersink Water Filter SystemSome ceramic water filter system set-ups will help to reduce fluoride.

A set-up I commonly recommend for this purpose employs a system, candle and cartridges from Doulton – the W9380001 Undersink Water Filter System (pictured to the left), the W9123053 Filter Candle and the W9125030 Specialty Replacement Filter Cartridge.  You can order the system, candle and cartridge online or by calling our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE.

If you are concerned with fluoride in your drinking water, I would also encourage you to consider one of the water filtration systems we offer from our fluoride water treatment offerings, including reverse osmosis water filtration systems.

What is the difference between a ceramic water filter and a reverse osmosis water filtration system?

One of the key differences is in regards to what types of contaminants or impurities the different filtration systems will help to reduce.  A reverse osmosis water filtration system, including the Pentek RO-3500 reverse osmosis system pictured below,  will reduce a greater percentage of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), including up to 90% of fluoride.  Reverse osmosis water filtration systems, when paired with a deionizing element, are also more commonly used for aquarium or fish tank set-ups.

Pentek RO 3500 Reverse Osmosis System

Pentek RO 3500 Reverse Osmosis System is an alternate to a ceramic water filtration system

A key similarity, though, when it comes to drinking water, both a ceramic water filter system and a reverse osmosis filter system will provide you with perhaps the greatest tasting water you’ve ever experienced!

Who makes ceramic water filters?

At WaterFilters.NET, we are proud to carry ceramic filters from several leading manufacturers.

Crystal Quest ceramic filters are conveniently sized for undersink and countertop use.  Several Katadyn water filters are ceramic, with styles ranging from the pocket-size microfilter systems that are great for casual hiking to hardcore camping filters that are built for longer expeditions.

Perhaps our most popular offerings come from the line of Doulton ceramic water filters, with more than a dozen cartridges and candles offered for multiple types of systems, including gravity-fed and undersink filter systems.  We even offer the parts and accessories you will need, including O-rings and undersink filter wrenches, that help ensure your filter is easily secured in its housing.

What is the price for a ceramic water filtration system?

Prices will vary dependent on the type of system, anywhere from $100 for an undersink or countertop model, to up to $2,000 for a more advanced system.

What is the typical lifespan of a ceramic water filter?

Ceramic water filters have the distinct advantage of having the capability to be reused several times before needing replacement.

In order to function effectively, however, their surface area must be regularly cleaned. Otherwise, the outer surface could become so clogged with contaminants that water will no longer pass freely through the cartridge.Pentek 10 Inch Big Blue Filter Housing

What are the most common uses for a ceramic water filter?

Ceramic filter products are available for use at home and away from home. In the house, ceramic filters can be located under the sink or on the countertop, as well as in Pentek’s 10″ Big Blue filter housings, pictured to the left.

Away from home, ceramic filtration offers the additional advantage of using a gravity-fed filter system, which doesn’t require electrical power or manual pumping to function. This can be an ideal choice in wilderness or emergency situations, when clean, safe water is scarce and electricity is unavailable.

If you are ready to buy a ceramic water filtration system, or if you have more questions, please call our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE.

I also invite you to subscribe to this blog or our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest drinking water news and hydration tips.  I also invite you to +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

If you are a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are buying a gift for a veteran or soldier, use the discount code ‘VETERAN’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order!

Jamin Arvig

Jamin Arvig

In 2002, Jamin Arvig founded WaterFilters.NET from his small college apartment. Just over ten years later, his company has doubled in revenue each year, grown into a multi-year honoree on the Inc. 5000, and become the online consumer’s first choice for water filters and water filtration technology. Jamin's success with WaterFilters.NET can be seen through coverage in publications ranging from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to the Wall Street Journal, its consistent ‘Excellent’ status from customer service ratings provider STELLAService, frequent appearances in Best Places to Work lists and in the pages of Upsize Minnesota who recently named the company Business Builder of the Year. Jamin also helps to ensure that WaterFilters.NET supports its core value of charitable giving by making significant contributions from its profits to various water-related charities. Posts from Jamin are contributed regularly to this blog.

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