Cartridge filters are an effective way to remove whole house sediment. They are affordable, easy to install, have no power demands and don’t generate any wastewater. Unfortunately, some people have difficulty in choosing the right filter cartridge to suit their needs. Let’s take a look at some of the types of filter cartridges available, and some of the advantages and disadvantages to look out for. 

The Size and Type of Filter Cartridge Needed: rock-formation-1195062

The first step we need to take is to find out the size of the filter cartridge that you need. Filter cartridges are sold in a variety of sizes, but generally, a cartridge that is at least 4.5” diameter is best. This kind of filter cartridge is often referred to as a “big blue filter” because they fit into a large blue housing. There are advantages to using a filter cartridge as mentioned previously, but there is a disadvantage to consider. Eventually, the sediment will block the pores in the filter cartridge membrane, and this will cause a drop in water pressure. Filter cartridges are quick and easy to change or clean and reuse.  

There are three main types of filter cartridges for sediment removal; they are surface filter cartridges, refillable media filter cartridges, and depth filter cartridges. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail. 

Surface Filter Cartridges: 

The filtration in these cartridges takes place on the surface of the pleated filter membrane, and the contaminants are trapped there. When a pressure drop eventually occurs, the filter can be removed, washed off and then reused. The pleated surface filter is often used as a pre-filter in the 30-500 micron range and can be used in the submicron range. A surface filter can be rated from 50 micron right down to 0.04 micron and at this level it could be used as a semi conductor or as a pharmaceutical water filter. A surface filter has a higher filtration area when compared to a depth filter to compensated to the lack of depth.  

Depth Filter Cartridges: 

A depth filter traps larger particles on the surface and smaller particles closer to its deeper core. It’s a good option when a variety of different sediment particles need to be filtered. It removes more sediment, and it can hold more sediment for longer periods without losing pressure when compared to a surface filter cartridge. It’s quite common to install filters in series, for example, a 50 micron surface filter will catch larger particles and then a 5 micron depth filter could give a finer level of filtration. In this example, the surface filter (that can be washed and reused), would reduce the wear, and tear on the depth filter and extend its lifespan. 

Refillable Filter Cartridges: 

This cartridge contains a variety of granular filter media types, such as activated carbon, nitrate resin, calcite, and others. The most common filter media used is activated carbon, and it can be significantly cheaper to use refillable filter cartridges. When the cartridge needs to be refilled, the top is unscrewed, the old carbon is poured out, and the new carbon added. Activated carbon can be purchased in bulk by the cubic foot to lower the cost even further.  

Various filer cartridges are readily available to remove your Whole House sediments. Look for a water treatment specialist who is fully WQA certified to solve your water problems today.

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.