When you rent or buy and aqualeader mains fed water cooler, you will most likely have a carbon filter attached to the machine. These carbon blocks help to filter the water by removing impurities, tastes, chlorine, VOC’s and odours from the mains water supply. Quite often filters are referred to as “1-micron carbon block filters”, and it got me thinking? What actually is a micron?
Turns out a micron is short for micrometre and is a unit of measurement. It is typically shortened to the word micron. A micron is a very very small-sized measurement, typically used to measure the thickness or diameter of microscopic objects. Britannica.com gives us a dictionary definition as follows:
A micron is a metric unit of measure for a length equal to 0.001 mm, or about 0.000039 inches. Its symbol is μm. The micrometre is commonly employed to measure the thickness or diameter of microscopic objects, such as microorganisms and colloidal particles. Minute distances, as, for example, the wavelengths of infrared radiation, are also given in micrometres.
So when a plumbed in water cooler has a filter that is labelled as 1 micron, it is referring to the size of the particles that the filter can remove. Anything bigger than 1 micron in size will effectively be caught by the filter and removed from the water. Anything smaller than 1 micron will pass through the filter into the water.
For a frame of reference, pollen particles are around the size of 10 microns in diameter. A human hair is about 70 microns, and the human eye can detect something the size of 40 microns. To find things that are smaller than 1 micron you really have to be digging around at a sub-cellular level. Even blood cells are bigger than 1 micron… So by using a micron filter with your mains water dispenser you will be removing most particles from your drinking supply. Filters should be changed every 6 months and if you require a service visit for your plumbed in water cooler or hot drinks dispenser, please just let us know – we are always happy to assist.