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Buyer's Guide: Countertop Water Filters

In This Buyer's Guide:
  1. How to Install a Countertop Water Filter System
  2. Which Contaminants Do Countertop Water Filters Reduce?
  3. Reasons to buy a countertop water filter
  4. Reasons not to buy a countertop water filter
  5. Our Recommendations

How to Install a Countertop Water Filter System

Installing a countertop water filter is relatively simple, and does not require any changes in plumbing. Simply place the filter on a convenient place on your countertop close to the sink. Remove the aerator from your faucet and replace with the diverter valve that is included with the filter. When you turn on the water, it will flow through your sink's faucet as usual. Turn the diverter valve handle to redirect the water through a line attached to the filter.To stop the flow of water through the filter, simply turn the diverter valve handle off or turn off the water at the faucet (See Fig. 1).

Countertop Water Filter Setup
Fig. 1: Countertop Water Filter Setup
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Which Contaminants Do Countertop Water Filters Reduce?

Depending on the type of filter your system uses, countertop water filters may reduce some or all of the following contaminants: chlorine, cysts, organic chemicals, parasites, particulates, bacteria, rust, sediment, lead, mercury, copper, cadmuim, and benzene.

Reasons to buy a countertop water filter

Reasons not to buy a countertop water filter

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Our Recommendations

Good: The Omnifilter OCT2 Countertop Water Filter reduces chlorine taste and odor, rust, sediment, and, depending on the type of filter cartridge used, may also reduce cryptosporidium and giardia cysts. Compatible replacement filter cartridges are sold separately and should typically be replaced every six months to a year (See Fig. 2).

OmniFilter OCT2 Countertop Filter
Fig. 2: Omnifilter OCT2 Countertop Filter
Better: The Cuisinart CleanWater WCH-1000 Countertop Filter system employs a gravity replacement filter that reduces many contaminants including: chlorine taste and odor, lead, mercury, benzene, cadmuim, copper, dirt, sediment, rust and more (See Fig. 3). Unlike most conventional countertop filters, this does not need to be attached to your sink's faucet. It has a convenient flip-top lid for easy filling and dispenses both chilled and room-temperature water. A blue LED light shows when the water has been chilled to 44 degrees Fahrenheit. The 3-month/12-week filter timer reminds you when it's time to change the filter. This particular system holds up to 1.5 gallons of water; however, the Cuisinart CleanWater WCH-1500 model holds up to 2 gallons and is able to dispense hot water (up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit) as well (See Fig. 4).
Cuisinart 1.5 gal                                                                            Cusinart 2 gal
Fig. 3: Cuisinart WCH-1000 1.5-gal. Countertop Filter                                Fig. 4: Cuisinart WCH-1500 2-gal. Countertop Filter
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The Doulton HCPS-UC Counter Top Filter System comes with an UltraCarb Ceramic Filter Candle that effectively reduces chlorine, lead, Class I particulates, as well as cryptosporidium and giardia cysts. This filter should be replaced every six months (See Fig. 5).
Doulton HCPS-UC Countertop
Fig. 5: Doulton HCPS-UC Countertop Filter
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The Filtrete Water Station (a.k.a. the 4-bottle water filter) lets you enjoy the convenience of bottled water without the added expense and plastic bottle waste. Similar to the Cuisinart Countertop models, this filter does not need to be attached to the sink. Simply pour tap water into the top of the filter and watch it simultaneously fill the four reusable bottles that are attached at the bottom. The Filtrete water station replacement bottles are BPA-free and dishwasher safe and may be stored in the fridge and retrieved later for an ice-cold refreshing beverage when you're on-the-go (See Fig. 6). 
3M Filtrete Water Station
Fig. 6: Filtrete Water Station
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