Your Complete Guide to Choosing the Best UV Water Purifier for Your Home
UV rays are powerful enough to make water 100% microbe-safe. Discover more about UV water purifiers here.
Despite being critical to sustaining life on planet Earth, water sometimes comes with elements that can pose harm to the body. Even in the US, which boasts one of the world's safest drinking-water systems, around 63 million Americans drank unsafe water more than once over the past decade.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted there are somewhere between 4-32 million cases of acute gastrointestinal illnesses caused by contaminants in public drinking-water systems in America each year.
Thankfully, there are at-home methods that help cleanse our water. One of the most popular ones on the market today is the UV water purifier.
How does it purify water? Can it kill different kinds of microbes and is it an investment worth considering? Continue reading to learn more.
What Is UV Purification and How Does It Work?
Before we discuss how to choose the best UV water purifier, let's first go through the technology behind it. The main purifying component is the ultraviolet or UV rays that emanate from a UV lamp. This form of light purifies your water not by killing microbes that live in your water, but by inactivating them.
The UV-C radiation from the UV rays attacks microbes’ DNA, altering the chemical bonds of the microbes. This renders them sterile and prevents them from replicating and spreading further.
The inactivated microorganisms can still pass through the body’s system, but they can no longer cause any harm. And, because the microbes can no longer replicate, there's no chance for them to cause waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.
Choosing the Right UV Water Purifier
Just like investing in alkaline water machines, there are key factors you need to consider before buying a UV water purifier. Let’s look at some of them below.
How Much Water Do You Use?
First, you need to determine your family’s daily water consumption. How much water do you normally use per day, especially during peak usage times?
This is crucial as it directly affects the size of the UV system you need. You should buy a UV water purifier that can match your consumption.
Determine the Flow Rates
Next, you need to determine your water flow rates at home. UV purifying systems come with gallons-per-minute (GPM) ratings, which tells you how much water the system can accommodate.
The key is to choose a purifier that comes with a GPM that's a bit higher than your home’s flow rates to help ensure full coverage. Generally speaking, the flow rate for a house with one bathroom (when the faucet is running) is six gallons per minute. For two bathrooms, it's nine GPM, and for three bathrooms, it’s 12 GPM. However, your home could differ, so it's best to check.
A home with a very high flow rate means water may not get enough exposure to the UV light. On the flip side, a house with a very low flow rate may overheat your UV purifier’s lamp.
Understand the UV Dose
You also need to consider the UV dose the system offers. This refers to the amount of UV energy the lamp emits every time water passes through the system, measured in millijoules per square centimeter (mJ/cm2).
Interestingly, each microbe requires a specific UV dose before it becomes inactive. E. coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia, for example, need a 10 mJ/cm2 of UV dosage before they becomes harmless.
Sediment in the System
An excellent way of maximizing the benefits of a UV water purifier is to determine the quality of the water before you install the UV system.
Water that comes with high levels of iron, hardness, and sediments can affect the performance of your UV purifier. It's recommended you determine if the contaminant levels in your water are acceptable.
You can visit your local water provider's website and download a copy of your annual water quality report to find out the kinds and amounts of contaminants in your water supply.
If you happen to get your water from a private well, you may need to go to a lab that can test your water because municipalities don't regulate wells.
If the quality of your water doesn't meet the UV system parameters, you'll need to treat it before installing and using the UV water purifier. In case you already have other types of filters at home, make the UV system the last one in your lineup.
Space and Size
Another factor to consider is the space where you'll install the UV water purifier. Thankfully, there are systems that are more compact, in case you have limited space at home. These compact options come with much brighter UV lamps, but the downside is that they'll probably cost you a bit more compared to their standard-sized counterparts.
Generally, you install UV systems vertically. But you also have the option to go for horizontal orientation, depending on your space requirements.
Regardless of your space at home, the key is to get the dimensions right. Make sure you reserve space that is double the size of the UV system to ensure that you have enough room to move and navigate. This is crucial when replacing the system’s sleeve and lamp.
Additionally, you should consider reserving more space if you wish to install any pre-filtration systems.
The Key Benefits
To get a better appreciation of UW water purifiers, let’s take a look at the key benefits they offer:
UV systems effectively work against different kinds of microbes, instantly purifying water as it passes through the system by inactivating salmonella, viruses, and other microbes that cause flu, meningitis, cysts, and more.
All you have to do is switch on the electric supply for it to begin working, whereas other types of purifiers typically take a little while before you can enjoy the results.
UV systems don't use any chemicals, harmful or otherwise, to purify water. Moreover, they doesn’t use heat to do their job.
This makes UV systems an excellent alternative to chlorine, which is toxic in large amounts and also changes that taste of water, as anyone who's swam in a pool can attest to.
UV systems are also cost-effective and generally use nothing more than a 60-watt bulb, which requires a low level of energy.
The initial expenses for a standard UV system are relatively cheap, and you can treat hundreds of gallons of water from then on at very low rates. This means you get to enjoy more clean water for less money and less electricity.
Despite the various environmental problems happening in our world, you can rest easy knowing that your UV purifier is eco-friendly, in part because it uses very little energy and in part because it doesn’t come with any disinfection by-products like chlorine.
Furthermore, UV water purifiers are safe for your water pipes (and your body) because the system is chemical-free.
While UV purifiers are terrific at negating microorganisms, they can't remove metals, minerals, and other inorganic contaminants. You'll need to use another filtration system to handle that job.
For Travel and the Backcountry
If you're someone who travels frequently, investing in a portable UV water purifier is wise, so you can treat the local water using the UV system.
The same principle applies if you're living or traveling in the backcountry, where the risk of drinking contaminated water is high.
Learn More About Safe Drinking Water, Today!
If you wish to learn more about water and other related topics, send us a message anytime. It's through knowledge that we can continue to ensure that the water our families enjoy is safe and clean.
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