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shower filters

An in-home review of several shower filters tested under real world conditions. Tests include before and after total residual chlorine levels using a digital chlorine meter to measure the results. The shower filters are tested for their ability to remove total residual chlorine in an actual residential shower unit. This review puts various manufacturer's claims to the test. Find out what they don't want you to know.

Don't buy a shower filter before reading this review.

 

 

 



Shower Filter Test Results ...

The following is a brief explanation of the columns you will find in the comparison chart located further below on this page.

Manufacturer Model Number: lists the manufacturer's model name and/or number for the unit included in this comparison.

Filter Media Type: lists the primary technology used to neutralize chlorine.

Manufacturer Claimed Shower Filter Life: is based on marketing claims, as it is beyond the scope of this review. Variables such as, geographic location, water quality, water pressure, water temperature, time of year, shower length and number of showers per day will impact your individual results.

Manufacturer Claimed Chlorine Removal Percentage: is based solely on that company’s marketing and sales literature.

Observed Chlorine Removal Percentage: is measured with an Extech EX800 Digital Chlorine Testing Kit. Unfiltered water was measured for total residual chlorine levels and compared to a filtered sample. This number represents the reduction percentage for total chlorine that was observed and recorded. All testing was conducted in actual residential shower facilities in order to mimic real world conditions as closely as possible.

Price: is how much you can expect to pay online not including shipping, sales tax or any available discounts. This price includes one complete shower filter kit that may or may not include a showerhead, depending on how it is bundled from that seller.

Comparison Chart ...

Images of Actual Units As Tested Mfg. Model Number Filter Type

Mfg. Claimed Filter Life

Claimed % Effectiveness Observed % Effectiveness* Price
aq-4100

A***sana

AQ-4100

KDF/ Carbonized Coconut Shell 6 Months Not Specified 36% $67.99
p-2201

Paragon

P-2201

KDF/GAC 6 Months 95% 38% $19.97
cq-1000

RainShow’r

CQ-1000

KDF/Quartz 6 Months 95% 39% $32.95
hoc

Sprite

H.O.C.

KDF/Chlorgon 12 Months 100% 99% $29.79
wellness

Wellness

Wellness Shower

Japanese Minerals + Ceramics 24 Months Not Specified 29% $249.00
vs-1

VshowerUSA

VS-1

Vitamin C 6-8 Months 100% 99% $69.95
multipure

Multi-Pure

SFFH

KDF/Quartz 6 Months 90% 39% $49.95
luxury

Crystal Quest

Luxury Shower

KDF/GAC 6 Months Not Specified 19% $35.95
luxury

Vitashower

SF-1

Vitamin C 6 Months Not Specified 99% $39.95
More Shower Filters On The Way. Email With Your Suggestions!            

 

* This percentage is derived from the observed differences in total residual chlorine found between filtered and unfiltered shower tap water as it relates to this review. These numbers may not be typical for every application or household. The water supply used for testing contained a high amount of combined chlorine (chloramine), which may or may not exist in your tap water. You are urged to get a copy of your water municipalities latest water quality report to verify the type of disinfectant currently being used. Most water municipalities have recently, or will very soon, be introducing chloramine as their disinfectant of choice.

UPDATE

I also tested each of the shower filters in this review with relatively cold water samples (below 75˚). I suspected some of the chlorine was immediately evaporating out of the hot shower water before it could be collected and measured. I felt a cold water test would show the effectiveness of the shower filter across all possible shower conditions. My cold water test exposed the shower filters to more stable chlorine/chloramine concentrations. The results were astonishing, to say the least. The observed residual chlorine reduction for all but the top three shower filters (Vitashower SF-1, Sprite HOC and VshowerUSA VS-1) in this review dropped anywhere from 10%-15%. They both maintained almost perfect chlorine/chloramine removal across both hot and cold water tests.

The cold water tests add another very interesting wrinkle. But since most people take warm or hot showers, I felt it was important to post the results for the hot water tests instead. You may be asking yourself, "So what? What's the big deal?". Most of the shower filters in this review rely on the inherent unstable nature of chlorine in hot water. Chlorine, being extremely unstable by nature, will immediately evaporate out of hot shower water. So it now becomes a matter of the level of chlorine you are breathing instead of the amount of chlorine on your skin. This is most likely the reasoning for water municipalities switching over to chloramine as the disinfectant of choice. It's highly stable across a wider range of water temperatures.

I firmly believe most shower filter manufacturers are well aware of this phenomenon and actually rely on it to pump up their shower filter's claimed effectiveness. These guys are very sharp, but so am I. If you happen to come across any online lab results for a particular shower filter pay close attention to the wording. Most reports only include data for the removal of "free residual chlorine" and make no mention of total residual chlorine levels. This is generally how many companies skew test results to make their data appear to be more favorable than it really is. Look for the term "total residual chlorine" or "chloramines" in the lab report wording. This makes a huge difference in how a shower filter may perform in your home. Just as it did in my situation.

UPDATE

I was surfing the net the other day and came across a very interesting website called the "Gallery of water-related pseudo science - Junk science in the marketplace". It appears this guy has gone to a lot of effort compiling information about various water products and processes that he believes have no scientific evidence to support their various claims. He even goes so far as to say that none of the 300+ products listed on this page are anything more than clever marketing strategies intended to take your money. He says, "In my opinion, there is no credible scientific support for any of the claims referenced here".

While I do not personally endorse and have not verified many of his claims, I was particularly interested in his comments referring to KDF as "redox magic" as used in shower filters. In any case, you can click the link above to get there and read about it for yourself. I do, however, disagree with his position that residual chlorine in our water is harmless. I believe the current change from free chlorine to chloramine as the disinfectant of choice provides some evidence of this. At the very least, he'll give you something to talk about at the water cooler tomorrow.

Shower Filter Test Results ...

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