A ceramic filter is the heart of a ceramic filtration system installed under your sink on your countertop to remove chemicals and contaminants from your drinking water. John Woodard, our Master Water Specialist, shares his expertise on ceramic filtration and tells you how to install your own ceramic filter system. 

What is a ceramic filtration system?

ceramic filtration system uses a ceramic filter as the heart of the filtration process. Ceramic filter systems can be a gravity-fed, under-counter, countertop, or in some applications, used for a whole house or light industrial processes.


ceramic water filter

What are the components of a ceramic filter system?

One of the components of a ceramic filtration system is the vessel that houses the ceramic filter. Sometimes, a ceramic filter can be used in conjunction or in tandem with other types of filtration, like sediment filters or anti-scale filters. But, a ceramic filter system primarily is the ceramic filter and the housing or the vessel in which it's housed.

How does a ceramic filter system work?

Ceramic filtration systems can't function without its heart-- a ceramic filter. The ceramic filter has a hard, ceramic outer casing. The water percolation through this ceramic filter is very fine particulate filtration. It's a mechanical filter. Some of the ceramics that we offer actually have stuff inside, like a carbon filter with various levels of adsorption capabilities. The ceramic itself can be plain ceramic or ceramic with silver ions added. Silver ions create a bacteriostatic environment. With the carbon inside and silver-impregnated ceramic, we've got a filter that can get rid of a list of chemical contaminants as well as living organisms.

Are there different types of ceramic filtration systems?

Ceramic filtration systems come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of the applications are point-of-use (POU) places where the water is consumed right away. The most common use for ceramic filters is in a gravity-fed system. This system has a reservoir with a couple of ceramic filters inside that sits on top of this bigger reservoir.

How to use a ceramic filter system:

  1. Pour the water you want filtered into the top of the container.
  2. The water slowly percolates through the ceramic filters into the bottom reservoir.
  3. When you want a glass of water, just hold your glass under the spigot.

A ceramic filter is a great filter for camping, living off the grid, or for your countertop to make city water even better. The filters inside can be a variety of different blends of ceramic. The ceramic can have levels of carbon inside, or it can just be simply ceramic. Based upon what kind of water you're going to be pouring into the system, choose a ceramic filter that coincides with the necessary contaminant reductions.

What does a ceramic filter remove?

Ceramic filtration removes quite a few things mechanically because the ceramic is typically half a micron in size. And within that half-micron, quite a few things, including living organisms, are eliminated. They can't get through the ceramic. Depending upon what's inside the ceramic-- a variety of carbon blends or a simple carbon block-- leads us to what kind of chemical contaminants the filter can remove.

What is ceramic filtration used for?

Ceramic filtration is used for quite a few things, but primarily, it's used for point- of-use drinking water. It's also used to filter down to a half-micron particulate. In conjunction with carbon inside, a ceramic filter reduces many pharmaceuticals and chemical reductions as well.

How do you install a ceramic filter system?

  1. Take a ceramic filter with the threads on the top and thread it down on top of the holder that the sits on the countertop.
  2. Once the filter is in, install the housing. Without it, you'll get water all over the table.
  3. The end of the hose connects to your regular faucet and has a diverter valve on the end. When you want to run water through the ceramic filter, move the diverter valve to send the water going out the faucet through the filter when you fill up a glass.
  4. When your glass is full, turn the diverter valve off.

The concept is also the same for under-counter systems. You mount the system under the kitchen cabinet and run a line to a special faucet that's already mounted on the countertop. Beyond that, there are ceramic filters that are double open-ended where you can drop this into a standard 10-inch water filter housing and use it like that. There are a variety of configurations and filters available in ceramic depending on what's inside the filter and what kind contaminants are in your water.

How do you know when it's time to replace the ceramic filter?

One of the benefits of ceramic filters is that the outer ceramic can be cleaned. You may see the water slowing down or stop flowing completely. This happens because the outer ceramic is covered with whatever contaminants it's filtering out of the water supply. But you can the filter to the sink and clean the ceramic with a brush or a rough cloth and put it back into play.

With the ceramic filters that have carbon inside, you can clean the outside a few times, but keep in mind that the carbon has a specific lifespan. Make sure that you don't let the filter run pass its rated gallon capacity. If your ceramic cartridge contains no carbon, then you can keep cleaning it until it just won't clean anymore and water still won't flow through it.

How does ceramic filtration differ from other filtration types?

The difference between ceramic filtration and other filter types is that the ceramic is a POU filter with great mechanical filtration (down to 0.5 microns). Depending upon what is packed inside, carbon or silver impregnation, ceramic filters can block bacteria so that it won't flow or grow through the ceramic.

A reverse osmosis system can filter down even farther than the ceramic, and it works in conjunction with carbon filtration as well. So what kind of system you need boils down to what it is your trying to filter out of your water. If you want to reduce inorganic dissolved solids, then ceramic's not going to be effective. A ceramic filter is a great choice if you're going camping or just want to have something to pour your city water into. If you've got the right cartridges in your ceramic filter, you could pour stream water or the creek water in and make it drinkable. Depending on your application and what kind of water you want, ceramic might very well be the best choice for you. 

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