Last updated on November 7th, 2020 at 10:43 am
How to choose the perfect Water Purifier: The Definitive Guide
Developing countries in Asia like India and the majority of African countries where the common population has no access to clean and safe drinking water.
It is a matter of great concern that these people are getting or are not getting ill due to water-borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid, amoebiasis, acute gastrointestinal illness, etc.
Therefore a water purifier is a necessary item to have in the household for obtaining portable, pure, and safe drinking water for these people who face this problem each and every day in their life.
Thus water purifiers are an important thing to have and the thing is that the use is not limited to a domestic household only but also they have good applications in offices, factories, hospitals, etc.
In this water purifier buying guide, I’ll provide you a walkthrough on safe drinking water standards, different types of water purifying machines, and how to choose the ideal water purifier for your home based on your requirements.
Before diving into more in-depth concepts let us first make ourselves more familiar with some of the important related factors that will help you understand more about the water quality, source of drinking water, and type of water factors that influence the selection of the perfect water purifier.
Importance of safe drinking water
Water is not just for drinking that makes us quench our thirst but it is responsible for the function of other vital processes in our body that has a direct impact on living a healthy life.
Characteristics of drinking water – what should it contain.
Your drinking water should have a neutral pH of 7 that is not acidic nor alkaline. If your water is found to be acidic then it will be detrimental to your health.
Our body produces wastes that are acidic in nature and water helps to balance the accumulated acids in our body.
Major diseases like cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc are due to this acid accumulation.
That is why you may know or you have a habit of drinking plenty of water in the morning immediately after waking up from bed, the reason?
Simple it the water helps to flush the excess acids that have accumulated overnight from the body.
Water with antioxidants are very helpful in preventing potential metabolic syndrome among others. Oxidizing has adverse effects on our cells. Antioxidants food helps in preventing it further damaging the tissues.
Note that not all drinking water has antioxidant nature.
Our drinking water is supposed to have many valuable minerals & nutrients like calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc. And also other trace elements.
Minerals like calcium & magnesium get more absorbed in our body through water than food. All these minerals are mainly found in underground water reservoirs.
For more info refer this publication by WHO:
Water can get contaminated with many things, this is due to the source of water from where it is coming. Contamination of water is classified into 4 categories.
Physical – This refers to mainly organic sediments like muddy water.
Chemical – Water gets contaminated with chemical compounds like pesticides, bleach, etc. This happens when rainwater flows from cultivation fields to nearby water sources or factories release untreated water waste on nearby rivers or seas.
Biological – As the names suggest it is the contamination of bacteria, fungi, algae.
Fact: There can be more than 1500+ contamination in one glass of water depending on the water source. Our drinking should be free of all impurities.
As per WHO guidelines water should be safe to drinking if it’s free from any pathogens. Water easily gets contaminated with biological elements if there is a leakage in water pipes.
I hope I’ve been able to give you a basic idea on drinking water standards, Now we’ll move towards the water purifying process that is available in the market.
Impurities in drinking water comes from the very own water source
Our source of drinking water comes from the municipality, groundwater, bore well, or multiple sources. Each of these sources contains different levels of contamination & the TDS level.
Here is a new term TDS, you’ll read this term everywhere. I’ll explain it to you below.
What is TDS?
The full form of TDS is Total Dissolved Solids. It is measured in parts per million, PPM.
This is a laboratory factor/aesthetic value, which is used to determine the amount of total dissolved solids in water. TDS elements are both organic & inorganic substances like calcium, magnesium, potassium sodium, carbonates, nitrates, chlorine and iron etc.
These solids get in the water through two ways 1. Natural causes 2. Because of human interference.
Water from underground reservoirs have only useful minerals as TDS whereas open water sources may have harmful TDS contaminations mentioned above.
Is High TDS harmful?
Well, it’s tricky because a high level of TDS generally doesn’t mean it is harmful to drink [upto 1200 TDS, water is drinkable, though not at all recommended].
But if it’s contaminated with harmful elements then it’s preferable to purify the water before drinking!
Water can have high amounts of minerals as TDS which goes up to 2000 in some water sources. Usually, people refer to drinking water which has a TDS range of 100-900.
TDS also influence the taste of the water if it’s very low. It tastes bitter and is unpleasant to many.
But consuming water with highly elevated levels of TDS i.e. more than 700 ppm may lead to health issues and will increase the chemical count in the body.
By the way, BIS i.e. Bureau of Indian Standards has stated that water having TDS of more than 500ppm is not fit for drinking at all whereas the WHO states TDS in water above 300 is not fit for drinking.
Read more about TDS here: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/tds.pdf
The main objective of water purifiers is to lower the elevated levels of TDS in water and make it fit for consumption.
Types of Drinking Water Sources
Groundwater: They have a TDS level of 200-2000 ppm.
Municipality Water: They have a TDS level of 100-300 ppm.
Multiple sources: It has a TDS range of 1-2000 ppm.
The source of drinking come to home is the first factor to consider before purchasing a water purifier.
Continue reading to know why.
Well, you’re almost halfway there in the water purifier buying guide for home.
It’s time to discuss the filtration/purification methods that are widely used.
Types of Water Purifiers based on Filtration methods
Know more about the latest type of water purification methods that are available in the market right now.
Gravity Based/Ultrafiltration (UF) Water Purifiers
These are basically non electric water purifiers. Gravity based water purifiers use pressure filters or Ultra filtration technique to purify water.
Know more about the ultra filtration process.
These are very cheap to buy but are not that handy in removing all impurities from the water. They cannot remove dissolved solids, bacteria and viruses.
They are useful only for municipal water where the TDS is generally between 100-200 ppm. So if your drinking water comes from the municipality then you can go for these types of purifiers.
Works without electricity
Removes the cysts, sand & mud from the water
Good for purifying municipality water.
Unable to remove any biological elements like viruses & bacteria.
Ultraviolet (UV) Purifiers
Ultraviolet water purifiers are the basic one in terms of electric water purifiers. They are just one step ahead of gravity purifiers.
These are also inactive against dissolved solids, they just disinfect the water but do not remove the sterilized microorganisms from the water.
But they effectively remove protozoans, viruses, bacteria, cysts and chlorine.
Makes the microorganism present in the water inactive
Doesn’t alter the water chemically
Good for TDS below 250
Cannot remove the killed microorganisms
Doesn’t remove any organic or inorganic particles.
This is recommended if your water source is municipal water and you want to upgrade from gravity-based purifiers. Not recommended for water whose TDS is above 300.
RO (Reverse Osmosis) Water Purifiers
This is the most effective water purifier of them all. They remove the hardness of water and make it fit for consumption.
RO which is the short form of Reverse Osmosis is the opposite of Osmosis which is used by plants for the intake of nutrients.
The RO process works in this way, it pushes down water through a semipermeable membrane to remove large quantities of impurities from the water.
Learn more about Reverse Osmosis here: https://puretecwater.com/reverse-osmosis/what-is-reverse-osmosis
Most effective water purifier
Improves taste of water
RO water purifiers waste a considerable amount of water than any other water purifier, they waste approx 3 liters of water to purify 1 liter of water.
Another thing I’d like to mention is the two types of water that is available in most parts of India.
Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals especially like calcium, magnesium, and sometimes iron. Consumption of hard water can lead to certain diseases.
TDS of hard water is more than 450. Therefore to make it fit to drink you’ll need RO water purifiers in this case.
Soft water is described as water having less to no dissolved salts like calcium, iron, or magnesium. TDS of soft water is generally between 100-300. Gravity based filters and UV filters are best for soft water.
Now time to sum it up! You have come all the down. Read the checklist for buying a water purifier for home written below.
7 Key things to keep in mind before purchasing a water purifier:
As discussed earlier the important thing to consider before buying a water purifier is to take into account the source of your drinking water at home.
If it’s municipality water consider a gravity based or UV water purifier machine for your home.
If it’s from other sources where the chance of TDS being high you have only one option and i.e. going with RO purifiers.
You need to look at your family water requirement too, this will help you to choose the water purifier with the ideal storage. This will in turn save you some money too. Buying a water purifier with more storage will also occupy good space too.
Also if there are power cuts or water supply is not that great in your locality then please go for a larger storage model that will help you overcome the crisis.
This again purely depends upon your water TDS level. RO is good up to 600-900 TDS range, but if the TDS is much higher then multi step purification water purifiers can be a great choice for your home needs.
Depending on the need the cost of water purifiers will increase. Low cost as gravity purifiers, mid ranges is UV models and RO starts from Rs 7000 in India.
When the water goes through an extensive purification method it loses all of it or say majority of its minerals & nutrient content. Some water purifiers contain mineralized features i.e. it adds the lost minerals back to the water.
I hope you’ll have heard the term mineral water as advertised by brands like Bisleri? Well this is the same type of water that you’ll get from these purifiers.
This is a tricky part, maintenance cost for higher-end models is costly. If the water quality is poor then you need to replace the filters at least once per year. Generally filters price range from Rs 3000-8000 in India. For UF/Gravity based models the filters cost around 300-500INR.
For normal maintenance the service charge for water purifiers is on the higher side, I have a Livpure pep+ model and the company charges rs700 approx for each time their technician visits.
So overall AMC will cost your around 4000-5000/year writing from my own experience.
Most of the leading companies provide 1 year of warranty but now some of them also give you the option of joining their so called membership programs/maintenance program where you need to pay some extra bucks for extending the warrant of the product.
With a TDS controller, you can control the taste of the water. The only drawback is that these types of purifiers are costly.
Tips: Buy a TDS meter to check the TDS of your home drinking water. It will help you buy the accurate water purifier for your home. Refer to the TDS chart below.
Well my research data ends here. I hope I’ve been able to provide you with an essential water purifier buying guide that describe each and everything that you need to know before purchasing a water purifier.
If I missed anything or have provided any misleading information, please fell free to correct me by commenting on this post.
And if you find this guide useful then don’t hesitate to share this with your friends & family.
Some Commonly Asked Questions
How to choose a water purifier in India?
There are things we need to keep in mind before purchasing a water purifier. For example, the source of your drinking water, TDS, Cost, etc.
Which water purifier should I buy for small domestic use?
If your drinking water has a lower TDS count then gravity-based non-electric or for a little bit for safety a UV purifier will do the job.
Which purifier is good for your health: RO or UV?
No doubt RO water purifiers are the best as they, not only remove the impurities present in our drinking water but also improves the taste of water.
What is the maintenance cost for a UV+UF water purifier per year?
In my opinion, the annual maintenance cost of basic UV+UF models will be less than 3000INR filter change depending on your home water.
What is the annual maintenance cost (AMC) for an RO water purifier?
Well, it is costly, it will be around 4500/year that too depends on usage & water quality. If any major part like filter needs to be changed then the cost will go up. It will be wise to opt for the company’s extended warranty schemes.
How much water is wasted during the purifying process?
Well for standard models for every liter they purify the machine throws out 650ml of water. So don’t waste that water use it for other household purposes.