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Refrigerator water filter vs. Brita or???

We've decided to stop using plastic water bottles (Sparklett's) and are wondering how the filtered water from our Kenmore fridge would compare with water passed through a Brita (or similar) filter. Tried Googling the subject but haven't really found much of use.

Is there a reasonably priced water test kit (and a simple standard) that can be used? OR has anyone (Chemicalkinetics, where are you?) got some info on this? What should we avoid in a water bottle as well?

TIA

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  1. I've used PUR for years. They have a large pitcher type (I have that) that has a filter you change ever three months or a filter you attached to the sink spigot (had that, found that it got in the way doing dishes). They also have a stand-alone which you can put in the frig or on a counter; it has an on/off spout.

    In my mind PUR gets the most undesirables out of the water, I don't think Brita gets them all. Do you change the filter on the Kenmore, or is it permanently installed - in that case forget it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: toitoi

      We change the Kenmore filter when the warning light comes on, so it would seem to be a question of what each filter does and what's enough?

      1. re: Midlife

        I think PUR gets out the most water impurities.

        Do a Google search for PUR and BRITA and KENMORE. I believe you'll be able to get the statistics on line.

    2. We use PUR in our home. We find the water tastes better than with the Brita. Consumer Reports has also given PUR very high ratings, which is what we used to make our decision.

      3 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        I've also tried the Brita pitchers and the PUR faucet filter, and I prefer the taste of the PUR tap. We've had it on our kitchen sink for about 4 years now, and it's still working really well. I get a pack of filters from COSTCO from time to time, not too expensive, especially compared to bottled water.

        1. re: iluvcookies

          If you want to take it one step further, you can buy a water test kit at Lowes and probably home depot and test your water for various things. I bought a TDS (total disolved solids) meter in the $12 price range and tested my water and the readings were way to high and looked into an R/O system. Water coming into the house measured over 800 PPM TDS, coming out of the R/O system measures slightly over 100 PPM. R/O systems cost much more than the PUR or Brita systems, but removes more junk from the water.

          TDS = total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts, chemicals or metals disolved in a given amount of water. A TDS meter is a battery operated device, there are two probes on the end of the meter, you dip it in a small amount of water. It measures conductivity, the higher the reading the more junk (TDS) is in your water.

          To help give you an idea, you can get a report of the minerals, solids and junk in your tap water from your water department, then look at what Brita and Pur removes then look at what a good R/O system removes. I do know that my icemaker makes clear Ice Cubes with R/O water compared to the cloudy ice cubes from using regular tap water.

          1. re: Buckeye_Local

            Typically, the high dissolved solids (TDS) you mention is a product of having well water (either directly at the house or from a utility that uses wells). Then either the water itself has high TDS or you soften it and replace the calcium and magnesium with sodium or potassium.

            Having hard water or high TDS is the only time I think it might make sense to have RO at home. That or if there's someone who's immunocompromised in the house. Otherwise, you're spending a bunch of money initially and on consumables. And you're sending a bunch of water down the drain all the time.

            With soft water as a starting point, you don't need all that.

        2. Well.............. the idea is to see if we can get along with something we already have. Should I just assume that nobody thinks the fridge filter is even worth discussing? I couldn't find any tech material on line to compare with anything else, but it must do SOMETHING..... or maybe not?

          4 Replies
          1. re: Midlife

            We have tried a Brita, a Kenmore and a GE. We also had our water tested every two years by an independent lab (not expensive and way more accurate than a home test kit. ) All of the filters got the nasties out, but none tasted that great. I will say that even without filtration we never had issues with lead or other serious hazards, and we never had to deal with bacteria. The main issue for us was the taste of our very hard well water.. We ended up getting an R/O faucet for the kitchen and that solved our taste issues.

            So to make a long story short, it all depends on what you don't like about your tap water. If you have town or city water, you'll want to get rid of the chlorine, but beyond that, it really depends on what's in your water. That's why I'd recommend having it tested, then buying the filter that will address any issues they find. If it's just chlorine, then by all means, go with the fridge filter. It's less of a hassle than the Brita.

            1. re: Midlife

              From my long usage (I speak of 15 or years) of the PUR, (I live in Los Angeles) was its ability to get rid of bacteria that the Brita was unable to. Los Angeles doesn't test for certain bacterias, saying it's not a government regulation.

              They do send out their water reports yearly, but I recently read that the congress wants to stop that requirement.

              1. re: Midlife

                I'm not sure what kind of filter your Kenmore has. Our KA/Whirlpool has plug-in PUR filters that seem to do a good job. Personally, I'd pick one of the flow-through filters over a pitcher or tank type (Berkey) that you have to manually fill. We use the Purlogix cooler/heaters in my office- these are hooked to the cold water line and include a sediment filter and 2 stages of carbon filtration. The newer versions have UV in the tank, also, as a default. You could get an undercounter filter and separate tap that would give similar results. There are proprietary systems that lock you into that maker's replacement filters, or there are off the shelf cartridge filters and housings that you could build a system from much more economically.

                I'm not really on board with the alarmism over fluoride in the water, though I still find Dr Strangelove a hoot. Mostly what I think people want is a glass of water (or ice) that doesn't taste like chlorine. That's pretty simple to accomplish with a carbon filter, and it has the advantage of removing other organic compounds at the same time. If you're looking to eliminate risk due to potential exposure to some chemical or biological trace constituent in the water, I think you're probably worrying too much unless you have a special health circumstance.

                1. re: ted

                  I checked on line and it IS PUR!!! "Get great-tasting, chilled water from your refrigerator while filtering out chlorine taste and odor, cysts, lead, mercury and asbestos with the PuR® water filtration system." I think I'm gonna relax about this. I'm not freaky about the rest either.

              2. We use a Berkey and the water is much better than my fridges filtered water. Plus I have the flouride filters. My water tastes as good as when we had RO water in our old house, and the Berkey doesn't waste water like RO does, nor does it require electricity. We have the stainless steel Big Berkey with the black filters and the PF-2 filters.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rasputina

                  >Plus I have the flouride filters.<

                  ahhhhhh this is what I am interested in. A water filter that also filters out the flouride. I will investigate the Berkey. Thanks