Everybody by this point is familiar with the fact that public water supplies contain varying amounts of chlorine.
Now cities are adding a chlorine compound called chloramine that lasts longer to make it more effective.
That’s bad news for people that have already started to filter out their chlorine because the process is totally different for chloramine.
To get rid of chloramine you need to break it down from a compound to its individual parts.
How do you remove chloramine from water this way? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that this can be done.
Chlorine vs Chloramine
Chloramine is made by a reaction between chlorine and ammonia. (Source) Yes, cities are also adding ammonia to their water in addition to the chlorine.
As I mentioned, this is to prolong the effects of the chlorine.
To give you an idea of how stable chloramine is compared to chlorine, if you leave treated tap water out at room temperature the chlorine evaporates completely out of the water in about 4 hours. Chloramine, on the other hand, takes over 24 hours to evaporate from tap water and never totally. There will still be some residual amount left behind.
This also highlights how removing chloramine is going to be a bit more complicated than getting rid of chlorine.
Does Vitamin C remove chloramine?
This is a bit of a trick question. The answer essentially is that, yes, Vitamin C can neutralize chloramine in tap water. The problem is that it takes a long time for this to work.
If what you’re really asking is if Vitamin C filters work to remove chloramines from water, the answer is, no, they don’t.
To get rid of chloramines from tap water to be able to drink you have to use Vitamin C tablets or ascorbic acid and add it to the water. You can add some to a pitcher of water before you drink it if you are only looking to do a little at a time.
Beer makers use these tablets to brew beer since the chloramine would kill the bacteria and yeast needed to brew the beer. But, they can’t use a regular filter since there will still be chloramines present there.
There are a lot of shower head filter brands that claim to neutralize chloramines, but this is not true at all. They work great at getting rid of chlorine, though, so if you are trying to get chlorine out of your shower water then check out my article on the best shower head filters.
Does a Brita filter remove chloramine?
Brita makes no claim to be able to remove chloramine from your tap water. Does that necessarily mean that it doesn’t though?
Here are two things that seem to come into play when it comes to a water pitcher filter and chloramine.
The ones that use activated charcoal, especially the kind made from coconut shells, should be able to remove it.
Here is the issue, however. It takes six minutes of exposure to the charcoal to be able to remove it. No water pitcher filters can allow the contact with the charcoal to be that high.
You could run the water through the filter several times to remove some of the chloramine, but it likely won’t get all of it. Also, that can be a pain in the neck to do this every time you want to drink some water.
The other part of that problem is that the charcoal removes the chlorine from the water, but leaves behind the ammonia. This is just swapping one problem for another.
What type of filters remove chloramine
To properly remove or neutralize chloramine from tap water, you have to break it down into its individual molecules.
Activated charcoal can do this but a catalytic carbon filter is necessary to properly remove the chloramine to make it safe to drink. Well, safer in a way. Again, there will be ammonia left in the water so it has to be treated again after the chloramine is removed.
A cation filter is needed for the next step to remove the ammonia from the water. This is commonly called a Reverse Osmosis filter.
It is a two in one filter that is ideal at purifying your water to drink or shower in.
It is the most expensive treatment, but also the most effective and easiest way to remove chloramine from your water.
Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filter
There are two kinds of RO filters to sit on your countertop. One is installation free and another kind will hook up to your faucet. Obviously this is only for drinking water and not to use to also bathe in or wash your hands.
Essentially you can think of them as tank vs tankless RO filters. The installation free uses a tank that needs to be filled to filter the water and then refilled manually when it is empty.
The tankless kind will need to be hooked up to your faucet and the filter will work when you turn on the water.
- No need to wait for water as long as the tank is filled
- The sink can be used to wash up with normal water pressure and no need to wait for water
- They can be placed anywhere in the kitchen freeing up space around the sink
- Very easy to maintain
- Needs to be refilled continuously
- Tanks need to be washed regularly to prevent mold and mildew developing
- Water on demand without refilling a tank
- Most brands fit on any standard faucet
- Nothing to clean or maintain
- Cost less than tankless generally
- Water is very slow to come out of the tap
- Need to be located close to sink
Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Filters
These are very convenient RO filters as you place them under your sink and attach the tank to your faucet. The size of the tank depends on how much water you need and how much space you have. An example is the iSpring RCC7 High Capacity filter.
You do need to install this which can take over an hour. You don’t need to be a professional or a plumber, but you do need to be able to follow directions.
When buying an under sink RO filter make sure you pay attention to the GDP or Gallons Per Day. In the case of the iSpring listed above, you get the capability of 75 GDP which is more than enough water usage for the entire family.
There are some that can even handle into the hundreds of gallons per day.
Undersink RO Filter Benefits
- Immediate, pure water right from the tap
- No need to fill a tank manually
- Usually comes with a dedicated faucet
- Can handle a lot of water demand
- Removes more than just chloramine, in fact 1000’s of contaminants as well
Whole House Reverse Osmosis Filters
When you want to drink and bathe in the same purified water, you need to treat the water as it comes into the house. This is when you need to go for a whole house filter.
There are a few things to look out for as there are different kinds. They work in stages so you’ll need to make sure the contaminants you want to remove is covered by one of the stages. In the case of chloramine, you’ll need at least a 2-stage system. The first needs to have either an activated charcoal or catalytic carbon to remove the chlorine molecules from the chloramine. Then the second stage should remove the ammonia. The more stages a filter has, the more likely it is to be ideally suited for removing the chloramine.
Another thing to consider is that a reverse osmosis filter leaves the water slightly alkaline. To get your water back to its normal range of pH, make sure the filter has that function. It should leave your water between 5 and 7 pH to behave just like normal water.
A very good and affordable RO 2-Stage filter is this one by Home Master.
That one gets 95% of sediments and contaminants including chloramine and ammonia.
Here’s the catch with whole house RO filters, however. There is a wait for the water and the flow is very slow. It will affect all of your fixtures unless you use a pressurized water tank. This way you have 4 or 5 gallons of purified water ready to go. When you open a faucet you have perfect pressure and allows the filter to catch up to the demand.
Removing Chloramine by UV Ray Filter
A very effective way to remove and neutralize chloramine is by using ultraviolet rays in a water filter. Not only are these UV ray filters effective at removing chlorine and chloramine, but they also don’t have some of the drawbacks associated with reverse osmosis filters. In fact it is the most natural way to remove chloramines from your tap water.
- Instant purified water with no wait or loss of water pressure
- Doesn’t change the pH of the water
- Leaves no taste and doesn’t use any chemicals
- Less expensive to buy and maintain
- No expensive filters to replace
There are some downsides to using a UV ray as there is no perfect solution to many problems we face.
- Doesn’t remove pesticides, rust, arsenic, fluoride or sediments
- Doesn’t work when the water is muddy
- Uses electricity so does have some costs to run
The best UV ray filters will purify the water for your whole house and don’t require any tanks. The thing to look out for is GPM or Gallons Per Minute capability. Understand how many gallons of water you need at any one time and then make your purchase accordingly.
Most commonly you will find that you can get 12GPM from a filter which is usually more than enough for most houses.
Here is a rundown of how many GPM common household fixtures are so you can see if you need a higher GPM.
- Shower – 1.5 GPM for low flow to 3.0 for standard
- Kitchen Faucet – 2 to 3 GPM
- Bathroom Sink – 0.5 to 1 GPM
- Dishwasher – 1.5 to 3 GPM
- Washing Machine – 2 to 3 GPM
- Bathtub – 4 to 6 GPM
The best one out there is this one from HQUA that gives you 12 GPM and will get rid of chlorine and chloramine in addition to bacteria, mold and fungus.
If you do have sediment that needs to be filtered then keep in mind you will need a pre treatment filter to place before the UV ray. These will screen out sediment and any larger contaminants that the UV ray doesn’t treat.
FAQ About Chloramine Removal
Yes, you can boil your water to remove the chloramine. You need to boil it for at least 20 minutes to bring the level down. (Source)
Yes, you can distill water to remove chloramine. If you need water without chlorine or chloramines for any kind of medical device but would rather not use an expensive filter then you can definitely do this.
The only way to get rid of chloramine from your shower water is to use a whole house filter. Either a reverse osmosis or a UV ray water purifier that attaches to the incoming water line. This will remove chloramine from every fixture making it safe to drink as well as bathe in.
No, you don’t have to but it is a good idea. There have been some studies done that suggest that there are some side effects that people don’t want. These side effects can be as benign yet annoying as your hair and skin drying out. While other side effects can be more serious, such as asthma sufferers breathing in the fumes can end up likely to have an attack.
If you have been looking into how to remove chloramine from your water, you may now realize that the best way is to use a special filter.
Neutralizing chloramine by using a filter is the only truly effective way to do it. Unfortunately there are not really any cheaper ways to do this that doesn’t involve treating some or all of your water with a filter.
Unless you only need small amounts of water at a time, then take a look at any of the filters mentioned above to get rid of those dangerous chemicals in your water.
If you have any questions or comments then let me know by adding a note in the box below!