My Coffee Maker has a Carbon Filter. Do I Still Need to Use R.O. Water?

Coffee pouring into a cup

A morning cup of coffee. For some people, it is as essential as breathing. Many high-end coffee makers are now equipped with activated carbon filters to help make your brew as perfect as can be. The question remains though; if your coffee maker has an activated carbon filter to remove contaminants from the water, does it make sense to also use a separate water filter?

How Does an Activated Carbon Filter Work?

An activated carbon filter uses a process called adsorption to remove contaminants from water. According to, “Adsorption is defined as the adhesion of a chemical species onto the surface of particles.” As water travels through the activated carbon, organic contaminants are drawn to the carbon and adhere to its surface. The carbon is a very porous material, which means it has a lot of surface area where the organic contaminants can adhere.

There is a wide array of organic contaminants that are removed with activated carbon. This includes chlorine and chlorine by-products. Chlorine is often used as a disinfectant to treat municipal water. While it isn’t harmful when consumed, the chlorine can leave behind odors and make your water taste or smell like a swimming pool.

Activated carbon filters don’t remove everything. Particles or minerals, including magnesium and calcium, are not captured by a carbon filter. These are the minerals that cause hard water which leaves scale build-up on plumbing fixtures and appliances, including your coffee maker.

How are Reverse Osmosis Filters Different?

A reverse osmosis (R.O.) filter system, generally installed under the sink, uses a multi-step process to remove contaminants from your water. Water first travels through an activated carbon filter (pre-filter) to filter out sediment, chlorine, and some dissolved solids. This helps protect the semi-permeable membrane that the water passes through in the second stage. This filters out larger particles including fluoride, cysts, viruses, lead, nitrates, and more. Step three is another activated carbon filter (post-filter) that removes anything that made it past the first two steps. The water is then transferred to a holding tank until you’re ready to use it. As the water leaves the holding tank and travels to the faucet, it passes through one last stage. This is an in-line activated carbon filter to polish your water one last time, leaving you with fresh, filtered water.

Getting the Best Water for Your Coffee

Using only the activated carbon filter in your coffee maker means there may still be contaminants you don’t want in your morning cup. Using a reverse osmosis filter system means you can be sure the water in your coffee is free from contaminants that can affect its taste.

As an authorized Evolve dealer, our technicians can install a reverse osmosis filter system that is certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) for the reduction of lead, cysts, and other harmful contaminants. You can enjoy a cup, or two, of great tasting coffee every day using the highest quality water!

Contact us today with any water concerns. We can test your water and find the best solution with our entire line of Evolve water softeners, filters, and reverse osmosis units.

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