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Health Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
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poledaddy Offline
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Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I moved to Arizona about a year ago. Unsurprisingly water here is pretty bad. I never heard the phrase “hard water” before I moved here. It leaves cloudy stains on glass. And it tastes really shitty out of the tap.

But I used a Brita filter, as I have been for at least a decade. The water tastes and looks fine coming out of a Brita. Because of the taste difference, I assumed it was doing a decent job of clearing out the bulk of shit in the water. Boy was I wrong.

I always heard that Brita filters don’t catch things like fluoride and trace elements of female birth control, and that could be causes of the low T epidemic, among other health issues. And a reverse osmosis system was the way to go if you wanted to do it right. But anytime I looked into getting one, it seemed like a pain in the ass and because it would involve drilling holes in the pipes which I didn’t want to mess with while I was renting a place. So I gave up and figured I’d definitely go the reverse osmosis route when/if I bought a place. And I figured that a Brita filter was good enough for the time being, only trace elements, blah blah.

I don’t know what made me finally pull the trigger, I bought a $15 electronic water tester a about a month ago. I think I was getting pissed about all the cloudiness of glasses, pots, etc after I ran the dishwasher and was curious as to how bad the tap water was. This was what I got: http://www.amazon.com/HM-Digital-TDS-EZ-...B002C0A7ZY

This measures the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the water. EPA max recommended limit is 500. Anything over that is not safe to drink.

I took a reading from the tap water. 830. Wasn’t too shocked to see that but certainly confirmed you do NOT want to be drinking tap water here.

Then I moved next to the Brita filtered water. In my head I was expecting to see something like 100-200 range.

It came in at 750. I couldn't believe it. I even changed the filter just to make sure it wasn’t because I had a bad filter. Same result. Freaked out a bit honestly with all the shit in the news about Flint.

I called up APEC, the company that makes the top selling RO filtration system on Amazon. At the time I was prepared to drill holes in my sink and get fucked on my security deposit when I moved out if it came down to it, in order to get clean drinking water.

I was calling to ask for help in figuring out if there was enough room under my sink and if it could be installed. But I was pleasantly surprised when the rep told me that they actually have affordable countertop Reverse Osmosis filters. I immediately bought this one $230 because it had decent reviews from all my research: http://www.amazon.com/APEC-Water-Countertop-Portable-Installation-Free/dp/B00IB14XDU


It was extremely easy to set up. I tested my first glass and came in at 30 TDS. Supposedly it will eventually get close to zero as I use the filter, but for now I’m satisfied going from 750 to 30.

The only downside of the countertop RO systems is they aren’t as fast as the under-sink versions. It takes about 5 minutes to fill up a half gallon jug. But I usually get it done as part of my morning routine and fill up 1.5 gallons for the day so it's not too bad.

My one piece of advice is to set a timer just to make sure you don't forget if you are filling a large container. The other day I forgot I started to fill up and went to the gym. Probably poured about 6 gallons down the drain. But that's happened only 1 time and I've been filtering every day since I got it.

In summary - the number one thing I can say that if you haven't tested your water yet, fucking do it. It's $15. You are a fool if you don’t at least find out what you are dealing with.

If you are making the financial investment to buy healthy food, juicing, or taking any kind of supplementation be it multivitamin or TRT, or even nootropics--but you are drinking water filled with shit - I think you’ve got your priorities mixed up.

Perhaps where you live your water is clean enough out of the tap and RO isn’t necessary. But do yourself a favor and at least find out.

And if you like the taste from a Brita, nothing wrong with that. But don't make the mistake I did and assume that just because it tastes better, it's clean too. It's probably not.
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 06:22 PM by poledaddy.)
04-01-2016 06:13 PM
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Centurion Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
As far as I know it's even more important to filter the shower water compared to drinking water, because it goes straight through your skin instead of through your liver/kidneys.

What makes Arizona water worse than the rest of the US?
04-01-2016 06:18 PM
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poledaddy Offline
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
(04-01-2016 06:18 PM)Centurion Wrote:  As far as I know it's even more important to filter the shower water compared to drinking water, because it goes straight through your skin instead of through your liver/kidneys.

What makes Arizona water worse than the rest of the US?

Do you have a reputable link on that? An average shower is 17 gallons, how much gets absorbed into the skin?

I don't disagree, but I don't know how I could do anything about shower water. If there was something like that available that didn't require plumbing modifications, and I could take with me when I move out, I'd definitely do it in a second.

I was under the assumption that I didn't have any viable options for drinking water as a renter, but I was clearly wrong. Glad I at least got that fixed.

As far as AZ water, I don't know but it's especially bad in Scottsdale. Perhaps that's one of the reasons both AZ and FL have a rep for having people that are batshit crazy, everyone is drinking water that turns them into straight up retards.
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 06:33 PM by poledaddy.)
04-01-2016 06:32 PM
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Post: #4
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I don't know if you'd agree if Mercola is reputable or not.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articl...ystem.aspx

Quote:If you can only afford one filter there is no question in most experts' minds that the shower filter is the most important product to buy for water filtration, even more important than filtering your tap water. This is because the damage you incur through your skin and lungs far surpasses the damage done by drinking water (which at least gives your body a fighting chance to eliminate the toxins through your organs of elimination).

Edit: I just did a cursory glance online at Scottsdale water out of curiosity and the opinion of most(on TripAdvisor) is that it should be safe/safeish? It seems that it's just very "hard" ie has a lot of minerals. Which wouldn't actually be bad in of itself.
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 06:48 PM by Centurion.)
04-01-2016 06:45 PM
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AneroidOcean Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Interesting. Although, honestly I would've tried to game the landlords into paying for it through reduced rent every month to add value to their place. A professional installation wouldn't damage anything and would add a selling point to their apartment rental in the future.

I've always loved the RO systems my family has, I've been meaning to get one myself and will have to look into a good one.

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04-01-2016 08:48 PM
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Laurifer Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I grew up in AZ. I was fortunate that my dad installed both a water softener and RO system in our house.

I always wondered why the water at my friends houses tasted like total shit until I realized the water at my house was an exception haha.

Water softeners are also a great idea because I've found that without one in AZ, taking a shower feels like you've scrubbed your skin with industrial break cleaner.
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2016 09:54 PM by Laurifer.)
04-01-2016 09:50 PM
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eatthishomie Offline
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Thanks for bringing this to our attention OP. All this time I thought my Brita filters were adequate. Will be buying a countertop RO system as soon as I can. In the meantime, have a rep point.
04-02-2016 02:54 PM
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Don't remember where I've heard it, but from what I recall, a certain amount of minerals in your water isn't a bad thing, otherwise it starts leeching minerals from your teeth etc. Penny for your thoughts.

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04-02-2016 03:08 PM
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thoughtgypsy Offline
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Good write up. I'm surprised you didn't go for a Berkey water filter first. No installation with them and they can filter duck pond water. They're pretty slow, somewhat expensive, and take up counter top space though.

I discuss them a bit more in detail here:
https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-51922...pid1160218

The worse the water quality, the more often you'll have to clean the filters.

As for shower water filters, they sell ones that attach in between the shower head and the pipe. If the water quality is bad they'll have to be replaced often. I'm not sure how much they would help. I've read that the body absorbs about 2 cups of water from showering.

Some ways to reduce the amount of water your body absorbs from showering:
  • Use cold, or lukewarm water. The pores open up when exposed to warmer water. The rate of water absorption increases when the pores are open.
  • Use the Navy method for showering. Turn on the shower just long enough to wet the whole body, shut the shower off. Soap up and clean the whole body. Turn on the shower just long enough to rinse everything off. You're done. Less time in the shower, less water to absorb.
04-02-2016 07:36 PM
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Kona Offline
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I poured a beer through the Brita and its still beerish. That is bullshit.

This thing is supposed to take out harmful microbial agents, but not barley and hops?

Never in a million years would I have thought to do that if it wasn't for this thread.

I'm smashing this god damn thing.

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04-02-2016 10:11 PM
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I have always been a bit of an OCD when it comes to water quality living in New England where artesian wells drilled a 1,000 feet down often contain dissolved Radon Gas, the public water supplies in cities eventually pass through lead or copper pipes soldered with tin/lead solder and where ground water has been tainted by hap hazard waste water disposal and or lack of treatment since the early 1800's industrial revolution in the 13 original colonies. There is also the interesting mineral deposits and or biologics that tend to accumulate in the public water supply lines over the decades.

Case in point Saint Gobain contaminates Litchfield, Merrimack and Bedford aquifers...
http://www.wmur.com/news/residents-seek-...k/38689298
On Feb. 26, Saint Gobain Performance Plastics tested its water well and found high levels of perfluoro-octanoic-acid.

PFOA is a synthetic chemical used in some household items like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpeting and candy wrappers. Although the State Department of Health and Human Services says the long-term health effects are unknown, a 2006 study found a probable link between PFOA and certain cancers. DES has tested more than 100 wells within a one-mile radius of Saint Gobain and is giving bottled water to the owners of 3 private wells in Litchfield and Merrimack that tested positive for 100 parts per trillion of PFOA or above.

Who knew about PFOAs???

Any way... I installed a top of the line MaxION PUR filter on my faucet to filter out the sediment and crud in the tap water... Used a Total Dissolved Solids Tester referenced up-thread... Results were:

162 PPM out of the Tap
167 PPM out of the PUR filter (Charcoal residuals from the Filter curious???)
000 PPM Yes Zero out of the Zero Water

As you can see by the PUR MAXION front an back they claim Removes 99% of Lead and Mercury, "Reduces" Chlorine and Certified to remove 10X the contaminants as a Brita... including Metals, Industrial Chemicals, Herbicides, Chlorination By Products and some pharmaceuticals... would need to do lab testing of samples to confirm... Claims NSF and WQA testing to verify claims.

The ZERO Water meaning readings of 000 on a TDS tester does in fact read 000 after the 5 stage filter and advertises removes 99.63% of all dissolved solids but no claims regarding Lead, Mercury, Chlorine, Chlorination By Products, Biologics, Fluoride, Pesticides or Pharmaceuticals (Birth Control Pills urinated into the sewers are not removed at water treatment plants and then discharged up river into the same river our local Water Company fills it s reservoirs with if needed (low rain fall) any way drinking water with God knows what kind of Pharmaceuticals in it can't be good for boys or men or young girls for that matter - could be why so many City Dwellers are so Crazy... just saying...

PUR and ZERO Water Box scans follow:

Note the PUR seems to allow the Zero water filters to last longer but i would have to measure starting with new filter replacements and am too lazy to do so - the Zero water when reading 000 and in the fridge seems to taste as good or better than Dasani or Aqufina Reverse Osmosis purified waters from Coke and Pepsi... the Copper alloy ION exchange is claimed to chemically bond with ion impurities and be nearly as effective as RO filter - a number of Commercial RO plants uses similar ION exchange to reduce the need for water softening chemicals to reduce the number of ions in the water that can clog RO filter membranes.

So NOT sure of all the Chemical removal claims of either the PUR MAXION and Zero Water units but the Water from out of the Zero Water Pitcher - yes uses simple gravity and Pitcher can be stored in your fridge - just do not freeze the Zero Water filter as could crack it and ruin the filter - Well I like the taste of the water and use Zero Water for all of my cooking, coffee, tea and ice cubes.

Still shower in the Tap water as compared to Arizona 162 PPM from the tap does not seem so bad. HTH


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(This post was last modified: 05-31-2016 10:07 AM by Deepdiver.)
05-31-2016 09:47 AM
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storm Offline
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
You can buy world class clean water at most Wal Marts from the little machines in the back which are privately owned reverse osmosis + filter machines. It costs less than bottled water and you can bring in the same plastic bottles for reuse.

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05-31-2016 10:00 AM
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
(05-31-2016 09:47 AM)Deepdiver Wrote:  (Birth Control Pills urinated into the sewers are not removed at water treatment plants and then discharged up river into the same river our local Water Company fills it s reservoirs with if needed (low rain fall) any way drinking water with God knows what kind of Pharmaceuticals in it can't be good for boys or men or young girls for that matter - could be why so many City Dwellers are so Crazy... just saying...

I friend of mine is the lead engineer for the water supply in a town of 100K+. The facility is considered state of the art by U.S. standards. He doesn't use home filters, and only gets his drinking/cooking water from a local spring water distributor, which he occasionally tests the purity of. Natural spring water, according to him, is the purest form, which naturally filters out the heavy metals.

I believe the deteriorating water supplies in the U.S. are contributing part of a lot of health issues. Those heavy metals collect in the organs, including the brain, and are hard for the body to naturally filter out.
05-31-2016 10:22 AM
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Deepdiver Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
P.S. If the PUR Filter l.e.d. starts flashing orange or red when you turn it on instead of green I found that unscrewing and removing the filter (Faucet off or water will spray everywhere trust me) - and tapping on the clear plastic filter switch a few times will reset the unit and trick it into thinking is is a new filter - sort of like the HP printer cartridge warnings - try to trick you into buying new replacements before you really need too...

PUR filters can last 3 or 4 times longer than the timer tricks you...
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2016 10:40 AM by Deepdiver.)
05-31-2016 10:31 AM
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Guitarman Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Time to bring a bit of science to the discussion.

Brita filters are not as bad as the OP makes out.

Yes, reverse osmosis or distillation will be better but a Brita filter does a good job of lowering water hardness.

These filters contain charcoal granules as well as ion exchange granules. The charcoal (activated carbon) WILL remove some % of organic molecules, including pharmaceuticals ( such as traces of birth controll hormones) and the ion exchange resin removes heavy metals such as lead and water hardness ( Calcium). The reason why your water still had 700mg dissolved solids is because the ion exchange granules swap Ca2+ and heavy metal + charged ions for sodium (Na+) ions. Two Na+ ions per Calcium ion. Sodium has a lower atomic weight than calcium and lead so even though the ions are swapped two for one the amount of dissolved solid remains approximately the same. You now have sodium salts ( carbonate, chloride, nitrate etc) in solution which is much less harmful that lead and better for your kettle than Calcium.

So in conclusion, Brita water filters are not useless. If you can't get a reverse osmosis system or a distillation system then they do improve your water quality and are worth using.
05-31-2016 11:00 AM
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AboveAverageJoe Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I use a cheap Brita on my kitchen faucet. We also just received a letter from out utility company informing us of higher than acceptable level of trichloromethanes which seems to be one more toxic endocrine disruptor. Would a Brita filter those?
05-31-2016 11:32 AM
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TravelerKai Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Brita Filters are junk indeed. Technically they work, but compared to legit water filtration solutions, they are not worth much.

Reverse Osmosis Systems are good, but the biggest drawback is that real water is supposed to have some trace minerals in it. RO strips out all minerals, even the healthy ones. Basically you are drinking water from a test tube/laboratory at that point. That is not very good for your body in a way. You would have to make sure you don't skip taking vitamins daily basically.

There are some RO systems that have a mineral tube that will add it back into the water and makes it taste more like real water. It's called a Re-Mineralizer.

[Image: aq-ro-3_360b.jpg]

Another one by itself.:

[Image: 31xUd2ExqnL._SY355_.jpg]

I highly recommend getting a RO system with one.

If you can break the bread on a nice RO system, and live in a hard water area, you probably want to invest in a whole house system of some kind. I won't lie it can take a while to figure it all out, but maybe I can help break it down on a 10K view level.

1. Get a whole house pre-state or stage 1 filter, with a large or long sump (what that tube housing is called)

Looks like these:

[Image: WH-5.jpg]

You can buy different kinds of filters for these. Stage 1 kinds up to Chlorine blocking types.

These block dirt, rust, etc. A Stage 3 can block cysts in the water too. Stage 1s can just block large particles like dirt and rust.

After 3 months, pull it out and be amazed what you blocked from coming into your house. Remember you wash your hair, body, and clothes with this water.

[Image: filteryourwater.jpg]

[Image: sd_system3.jpg]

2. After this, buy something to filter or soften (or both) the water past the first filter. I strongly recommend Pelican Water Systems because it does not use salt. Salt-free systems are not good for people with blood pressure issues, etc. A regular filter will be something like 750 dollars (a top notch RO system alone is 300-600). The second tube is the softener tube (~1300).

[Image: Pelican-Whole-House-Water-Filter-Systems-5-1.jpg]

You probably don't need the UV component unless you think you have serious microbe issues. Test your water with a kit from Home Depot first before you buy anything. I had high lead, rust, chlorine, and dirt in my water, so I had no need for UV light.

You can hire a plumber to put those in, but I did it myself and learned some light plumbing along the way. I watched alot of Youtube videos on this stuff and the install as well. Don't be afraid to try it. Many of you may not even need the large Water Softner tube if you get a large filter like that 700 dollar Pelican one /w the Stage 1 filter sump, of course. The reason why is because it strips out chlorine too.

Your woman/wife's hair and skin will look better than it ever has before (yours too), your clothes won't fade, you will save money on all soaps and shampoos (because you will use less), your appliances (washer, fridge, etc.) will last longer, and best of all you will be ALOT healthier.

The tough reality is that the US has a 2nd world water system. Our infrastructure is in major decline and no politician is willing to address it seriously enough. The water situation in the US is easily a top 5 issue in terms of impact. Look at the lead problem that hit Detroit recently for an example. Lead makes children develop slower mentally and is a culprit of ADHD. It sucks but if you own a house, this kind of stuff needs to be a fairly high priority to address when you are able to do so financially.

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05-31-2016 12:51 PM
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Post: #18
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
After reading several articles published by folks who have these expensive water testing machines, it sounds like ZeroWater is the only one easily available that removes any decent amount of shit. Brita and PUR are mostly worthless too. ZW won't completely remove fluoride but supposedly it'll take out some.

Tops was a Big Berkey filter, but that's pricey, I'm definitely going to get a ZeroWater for the RV, I filter all the incoming water to it with a household sump system, but always filter the water again through a Brita before drinking, oops that doesn't do shit! At home I've started doing the giant 5 gallon bottle exchange at Walmart.

http://www.naturalnews.com/046536_water_...sults.html

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(This post was last modified: 06-28-2016 12:12 PM by DJ-Matt.)
06-28-2016 12:09 PM
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Post: #19
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
(04-02-2016 10:11 PM)Kona Wrote:  I poured a beer through the Brita and its still beerish. That is bullshit.

This thing is supposed to take out harmful microbial agents, but not barley and hops?

Never in a million years would I have thought to do that if it wasn't for this thread.

I'm smashing this god damn thing.

Aloha!

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06-28-2016 10:26 PM
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
OP, does the APEC unit you mentioned get rid of fluoride?

There's a million questions on the Amazon page about fitment and installation but I can't find a clear cut answer on this.

I'm trying to get fluoride out of my life, everything else is a bonus.
06-28-2016 11:08 PM
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RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
(04-01-2016 06:45 PM)Centurion Wrote:  I don't know if you'd agree if Mercola is reputable or not.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articl...ystem.aspx

Quote:If you can only afford one filter there is no question in most experts' minds that the shower filter is the most important product to buy for water filtration, even more important than filtering your tap water. This is because the damage you incur through your skin and lungs far surpasses the damage done by drinking water (which at least gives your body a fighting chance to eliminate the toxins through your organs of elimination).

Edit: I just did a cursory glance online at Scottsdale water out of curiosity and the opinion of most(on TripAdvisor) is that it should be safe/safeish? It seems that it's just very "hard" ie has a lot of minerals. Which wouldn't actually be bad in of itself.

I call hooliganism on that source. Even if toxins are absorbed through the skin it will still be filtered by your liver once it hits the blood stream. How else is blood cleaned?

Drinking water is far more important to filter first.
06-29-2016 09:41 AM
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DJ-Matt Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
(06-28-2016 11:08 PM)HonantheBarbarian Wrote:  OP, does the APEC unit you mentioned get rid of fluoride?

There's a million questions on the Amazon page about fitment and installation but I can't find a clear cut answer on this.

I'm trying to get fluoride out of my life, everything else is a bonus.

There are add-on filters for the Berkey that filter out fluoride. An RO system will as well.

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(This post was last modified: 06-29-2016 09:55 AM by DJ-Matt.)
06-29-2016 09:51 AM
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HonantheBarbarian Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Im confused; I thought the APEC unit was RO?

Why do I need an additional flouride filter if it is already RO?
06-29-2016 02:17 PM
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DJ-Matt Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
I was just saying in general, RO systems will remove fluoride, there are many brands

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06-29-2016 04:05 PM
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frozen-ace Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Brita Filters Are Worthless/ Countertop Reverse Osmosis
Where I live the water is untreated and comes from an unapproved surface source and is not safe to drink. There are warnings that the water poses a health risk and contains disease causing bacteria. A Brita filter in this setting would be completely useless. I use a Berkey filter because it is simple, there are no moving pieces or parts to break, and it is easy to set up an use in a rural setting with very little infrastructure. All you have to do is fill up the top and let the water drip down. The only complaint is that it takes FOREVER for the water to filter through, and if I don't remember to fill up the top portion I will run out by the end of the day. The filters are also expensive, but in this situation the price doesn't matter. Even if they were $1,000 a filter I would still buy them without hesitating.

One of my coworkers took samples of water into town to be tested. I haven't looked at the results, but he said he was told the raw water was really bad and that you probably shouldn't even shower in it (which everyone does). The water that went through the Berkey filter came back ok. I'll see if I can get my hands on the actual test results and post them here.
07-23-2016 02:54 AM
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