Removing Chloramines from Water


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Chloramine, which consists of a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, is added to the water of many cities as a substitute for free chlorine. It is often referred to in the plural, as “chloramines,” because it can take on a number of forms according to the pH and mineral content of the water.

The whole reduction discussion for chloramines can become quite complex, but the main thing you need to know is that chloramine is removed from water with essentially the same strategies that are used to remove chlorine. This means that carbon filtration is the best removal method, and, contrary to urban legends, filter carbon does indeed remove chloramine. The problem is that it takes more carbon and more contact time to do the job. In practical terms this means that if your city disinfects your tap water with chloramines you'll need to get a larger and better carbon filter than you would need if chlorine alone were used.

For drinking water you can consider high quality carbon units like Multipure, or double and triple units that use lots of carbon. And, contrary to another widely promoted myth, reverse osmosis units do remove chloramine. In fact, they do it well, because any good RO unit contains a couple of carbon filters and the water gets an extra slow pass through the first one.

In choosing carbon for chloramine removal, a specially prepared carbon called “catalytic” carbon is far superior to regular carbon.

Catalytic carbon is a specifically processed grade of filter carbon that is designed especially for, among other things, exceptional chloramine removal. On our site, the brand name for catalytic carbon is Centaur.

You should also consider specially prepared carbon filters from Pentek, which are expertly designed to reduce chloramines.

To remove chloramines, look for products in these categories:

Countertop Water Filters — In our Model 77 countertop, you can request our Centaur cartridge for enhanced chloramine reduction. It's made with Centaur catalytic carbon. We also stock the excellent Pentek chloramine cartridge (FC027 on this page). Double countertop models work better than singles. Multipure countertops are NSF certified for chloramine reduction.

Undersink Water Filters — In our Black & White undersinks, you can request our Centaur cartridge for enhanced chloramine reduction. It's made with Centaur catalytic carbon, or the Pentek specialty cartridges described above. Double, triple, and quadruple models work better than singles. The more carbon the better. Multipure undersink units are NSF certified for chloramine reduction.

Reverse Osmosis Units — Reverse osmosis is especially good at chloramine reduction because of its multiple carbon filters and slow processing speed. You can request a Centaur cartridge or the Pentek specialty cartridges in our Black & White reverse osmosis units if you like.

Whole House Carbon Filters — Carbon blocks filters are good and double filters are better than singles (see our Compact Whole House Filters), but the unchallenged best chloramine remover is a whole house backwashing Centaur catalytic carbon unit. Sizing for chloramine removal should be larger than what is needed for chlorine.

What About Shower Filters? — Most shower filters don't do a good job at chloramine removal, although they work well with “free chlorine.” Whole house filtration works best if you can arrange it. In shower filters, Vitamin C units like Vitashower work best with chloramines. (Sorry, we don't sell Vitashower shower filters at this time, although we do have Vitabath bath tablets.)

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