What Contaminants Can't Carbon Filters Remove from Water?

Carbon filters are a popular choice for water filtration systems, as they can effectively remove contaminants such as lead, copper, and fluorine, as well as chlorine and arsenic. However, there are certain substances that carbon filters cannot remove from water. These include fluoride, nitrates, and sodium. Reverse osmosis and distillation are the most effective methods for eliminating all three of these contaminants, so combining them with a high-quality carbon filter provides a complete treatment. Activated carbon is the most commonly used material for filtering water.

It improves water quality, eliminates unpleasant odors, and removes chlorine and other contaminants. However, it is not enough to eliminate certain toxic organic compounds, significant levels of metals, fluorine, or pathogens. Some activated carbon filters can be used to remove chlorine and the unpleasant odor and taste it causes. Activated carbon filters are designed and tested to remove the 14 most common pesticides that can be found in water. On the other hand, activated carbon in the form of carbon blocks usually has a pore size of between 0.5 and 10 microns.

Carbon particles have a large surface area, allowing them to be exposed to as many active sites in the filter medium as possible. The type and concentration of contaminants in your water will determine whether you should use a carbon filter or a non-carbon filter in your home. Despite the more than 80 contaminants found in activated carbon filters, there are also some materials that they do not remove. Reverse osmosis and distillation are the most effective methods for eliminating all three of these contaminants. Fortunately, some activated carbon filters are great for removing chlorine and the unpleasant taste and odor that comes with it. In addition to the surface area, active carbon filters can have different capacities in terms of the size of the contaminants they remove.

On the other hand, carbon block filters are made of finely powdered granules (usually 1 micron or less) and a binding agent that holds the granules together so that they don't move over each other. Activated carbon filters do an excellent job of removing and reducing many different contaminants from water, including chemicals, gases, and physical impurities. While activated carbon filters can remove many more contaminants than regular carbon, there are some differences. You can install one if one or more of the toxic contaminants that activated carbon filters remove or reduce appear in your water supply unexpectedly. Despite all of those great benefits, a major problem with GAC filters is that water can sometimes open a path through carbon and allow contaminants to pass through.