Do Water Filters Need Electricity? (And Remove Chlorine?)

One of your responsibility as a homeowner is to ensure that the family gets clean drinking water. That means finding the best way to filter out contaminants from the water that comes into your home.

Now, water filters work fine for the job. They get rid of unwanted contaminants, tastes, and odors using reverse osmosis. That gives you clearer and fresher-tasting water for use in various household chores.

But one question that often comes up is whether or not water filters need electricity to work. If that’s what you need to know, we have everything covered in this article. Keep reading to the end to get the whole thing!

Does a Reverse Osmosis System Need Electricity?

Usually, a reverse osmosis (RO) system doesn’t need electricity. A RO filtration unit uses water pressure to push the water through a semi-permeable membrane filtering out the impurities.

Before we proceed, it’s worth mentioning that reverse osmosis units are becoming more and more popular. That’s because they produce very high-quality drinking water by removing up to 99.9% of impurities. And even more, they achieve all that without the need for power.

So, how do they manage to get rid of all these impurities minus electricity? Well, you could be wondering.

To better understand how RO water filtration systems work, let’s begin by defining osmosis.

Osmosis is the process whereby solvent (water) molecules move from an area of low concentration of solute (impurities) to an area of high concentration of solute through a semi-permeable membrane.

Now, in the case of RO systems, the direction of water flow is reversed. That’s what makes it ‘reverse’ osmosis.

Reverse osmosis systems use a process called cross-flow filtration. Here, gravity forces water through the RO membrane against the natural flow direction by pressurizing the water on the side of the RO unit that has more contaminants.

By doing so, only the water molecules can pass through the semi-permeable membrane. The larger contaminants are left behind and flushed out of the system.

Usually, this process doesn’t need electricity. So, while some RO systems may have an electric pump that boosts the water pressure, they often don’t need electricity to function.

The pump is there in case you have low water pressure coming into your home and therefore need to increase it to allow flow through the RO membrane.

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However, you can turn this electric pump off when not in use. So, an RO system can function without electricity as long as there’s enough water pressure to push the water through the membrane.

Differences Between an Electric And Non-Electric Water Purifier

The difference between an electric and non-electric water purifier is as the name says. In other words, the electric variety uses electricity to work, whereas a non-electric unit works without electricity.

Before I proceed, let me point out that a purifier is different from a filter. The latter removes impurities from water by using a physical barrier. That’s unlike the former, which needs chemical and physical processes.

You can think of a purifier as an advanced form of filter. It gets rid of more than the standard filter.

Now, purifiers are of two types – electric and non-electric. Electric – as the name says – requires electricity to run. However, non-electric don’t.

But that’s not the only difference between the two. Electric water purifiers come with several benefits, some of which include:

  • Ability to remove smaller impurities
  • Faster and more efficient filtration process
  • Greater versatility
  • Longer lifespan

On the other hand, non-electric water purifiers have a few advantages of their own, such as:

  • Lower upfront cost and maintenance costs
  • No noise pollution
  • You can install it in virtually any location where there’s a water source

So, which one should you get?

Well, that really depends on your specific needs and preferences. An electric water purifier may be the best choice if you have a high-quality water supply. However, if your concern is cost or ease of installation, then a non-electric unit may be the better option.

In the end, it all comes down to what’s most important to you, and choosing the right water filtration system is all about finding the one that best meets your needs. So, do some research, talk to experts, and make an informed decision.

Do Water Filters Remove Chlorine?

While the RO itself won’t eliminate chlorine, most RO systems have carbon filters that can capture chlorine from water. However, average RO filters used at home can’t eliminate all chlorine molecules.

Municipal water treatment systems typically add chlorine to the water to help kill off any harmful bacteria and other contaminants. And while chlorine is effective at killing microbes, it can also be harmful to human health. It can also make the water have an unpleasant taste.

That’s why many people opt for water filtration systems that can remove chlorine from their water supply. Now, standard RO filters won’t remove all traces of chlorine. However, they can significantly reduce the amount of chlorine in your water.

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Where the water contains chloramine, a more enhanced filter like the catalytic carbon is necessary. That’s because chloramine is harder to remove from water than chlorine.

Can Water Filters Filter Saltwater?

Yes, RO water filters are highly effective at removing salt from water. They’ll also get rid of a wide variety of other contaminants, giving you clean, safe, and great-tasting water.

As aforesaid, RO filters work by forcing water containing impurities through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane then captures impurities’ larger molecules, allowing the smaller ones of water to pass through.

Now, among the impurities that RO filters can remove from water, salt is one of the easiest. That’s because salt has a large molecule size, making it easy for the filter’s membrane to trap it.

How Much Electricity Does a Water Purifier Consume?

The electricity consumption of a water purifier depends on the type of purifier, the brand, and the model. However, a typical unit will need 20 – 60 watts of power per hour. That means, on average, you can expect a water purifier to consume less than a kW per day when running non-stop.

When buying an electronic device, it’s normal to want to know its electricity consumption level. After all, many of us are trying to reduce our energy footprint, so anything that consumes a lot of electricity can be problematic.

Now, if you will get a water purifier, don’t expect it to make your electricity bill skyrocket. Actually, a water purifier will require less power than most household appliances.

Usually, water purifiers need 20 – 60 watts of power per hour. In other words, your water purification system won’t require anything more than what an incandescent bulb would, which typically needs about 60 watts per hour.

And always remember that water purifiers don’t all consume the same amount of electricity. Despite their general low electricity consumption, these machines vary in power usage depending on the specific model and brand.

That’s why it’s essential to do your research before choosing a water purifier. Consider the different models and brands, and find the one that best meets your needs.

Can I Turn Off My Water Purifier At Night?

While most people tend to turn off their water purifiers at night, leaving them on is better. Leaving the water purifier on will prevent bacteria growth and won’t cost you much electricity.

Some people prefer to switch off a water purifier at night to save electricity and reduce the wear and tear of the unit. But generally, we don’t recommend this.

Leaving your water purifier on at night will actually help prevent bacteria growth in the filter. Again, some components may damage when you unnecessarily turn your purifier on or off.

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Having your water purifier run continuously generally offers more advantages than switching it off. So while turning it off may seem like a good idea to save money and prolong the unit’s life, sometimes it can be the opposite. Hence, always leave it on.

How Long Does a Water Purifier Last?

The period a water purifier can last again depends on the brand, model, and type. Some can last for a few years. Others may serve you for as many as 25 years with proper maintenance.

When purchasing a water purifier, it’s only natural that you want to know how long it will last. After all, these devices come with a hefty price tag, and you want to make sure that your investment will be worth it in the long run.

Generally speaking, water purifiers last for a long time. Most models can serve you for years as long as you take care of them properly. However, the exact lifespan of a water purifier will depend on the brand, model, and type.

Some models will keep going strong for a few years, while others may last for 25 years. So, when choosing a water purifier, always consider the quality of the model.

But that doesn’t mean you won’t incur any costs all this time. Purifiers use filters that need replacement after a few months. The replacement frequency will depend on the brand and the amount of water you filter.

It’s advisable to read the manufacturer’s take on the durability of the filter you buy. Alternatively, you can look out for signs that your filter needs replacement.

These signs include;

  • Water odor: You will notice a change in your water’s smell when the filter is no longer effective. The water may start to smell chlorine or have a sulfur odor.
  • Water taste: You may find that the water tastes different, or it may appear off-colored.
  • Decrease in water pressure: When your filter gets clogged or starts to wear out, it will reduce the water pressure in your pipes.
  • Filter notification: If you notice that your filter replacement indicator is on, the filter has reached its end of life and needs replacement.

Final Verdict

While water filters don’t necessarily need electricity, there are some cases when they do. A case in point is when you don’t have enough water pressure to support reverse osmosis (RO) filtration.

But again, even for those that need electricity, the consumption is much low. In fact, most of them will consume much less than other water-using appliances like dishwashers.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.