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How to Choose the Best Tannin Filter For Your Family | BUYER'S GUIDE

How to Choose the Best Tannin Filter For Your Family | BUYER'S GUIDE

Do you have unsightly yellow water from your lake or well that needs fixing? We understand that the search for the right tannin filter can be overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be! Gary the Water Guy is here to simplify your water filtration needs. Our expert customer service representative, Ana, is also here to help break down the essentials of tannin filters so you can make an informed investment for your family.

Read on to learn what tannins are, how to choose the right tannin filter for your situation, where to find it, and what to avoid. Say goodbye to nasty, yellow water in your lake or well with the perfect tannin filter for your family!


What does a Tannin Filter do anyway?

A Tannin Filter eliminates unsightly brown water caused by tannins, prevents staining, and restores the quality of water for all your household needs, such as laundry and cleaning.


Types of Tannin Filters

Salt-based Tannin Filters
Salt-based tannin filters are water treatment systems that use salt to remove tannins from hard water. Tannins are organic compounds found in soil and vegetation, and when they come into contact with water, they can cause discoloration and a tangy, bitter taste. Salt-based tannin filters work by passing water through a resin bed that is saturated with salt ions. As the water flows through the resin, the salt ions exchange places with the tannin ions, effectively removing them from the water. The result is softer, clearer water that tastes and smells better, with no bitter aftertaste.


Aries Filter Works 20" Tannin Water Filter

Cartridge Tannin Filters
Unlike salt-based tannin filters that use salt to remove tannins from water, cartridge tannin filters use a special type of media. This media captures the tannins as water passes through it, ultimately removing the unwanted compounds from the water. The downside of cartridge tannin filters is that they can be costly and only filter a limited amount of water, so frequent cartridge replacements are required — which can add up! 


Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems

HUM Water Saver 75 gpd RO
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems are advanced water treatment systems that use a semi-permeable membrane to remove most impurities, including tannins, from your drinking water. Unlike salt-based tannin filters and cartridge tannin filters that are designed specifically to remove tannins, reverse osmosis systems can remove a wide range of contaminants, including pesticides, chlorine, and heavy metals, too. The process of reverse osmosis involves pressurizing water and forcing it through the membrane, which traps impurities on one side while allowing clean water to flow to the other side.


Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective and can improve the taste, odour, and appearance of water, while also providing a safer and healthier drinking water source. They are often used in conjunction with other water treatment systems as an added layer of protection. 



  1. How does a tannin filter work? 
    Typically color in your water can be caused by a few things but if the color is brown or a rusty brown it can be either tannins or iron.  Tannin filters have two tanks; one with a control valve at the top, which is called the media tank and the other tank (that looks like a garbage can) with a lid that you open, holding the salt, is called the brine tank. All of the water in the house runs through a bed of specialty-purpose ion exchange resin. This resin fills most of the media tank. As water passes over the beads, the tannins stick to the beads and are removed from your water. Eventually, the resin gets covered with tannins and those tannins need to be removed from the media so they can continue to remove the tannins from your water. The tannin filter regenerates every 3 days, or sooner if the capacity has been used up, which typically is programmed to happen at night or anytime there is very little water usage in the home. By the way, a tannin filter uses about 12 lbs of salt per regeneration. 

    If you use very little water, you might consider a cartridge-type filter like one of these for your home — but be careful, that filter will only remove tannins from about 300 gallons of water and at only 0.5 gpm. So this will only work for a cabin or cottage where there is very little use or for a single faucet at the kitchen sink. >> SHOP NOW

    For a whole house application, you would need one of these. >> SHOP NOW

  2. Will it clean up the damage previously done by the tannins?
    Household damage caused by tannins typically includes staining on fixtures, sinks, clothing, and dishes, as well as a bitter taste in the water. A tannin filter will prevent further tannin buildup in the water, but it will NOT remove any existing tannin buildup or stains caused by the tannins. In order to remove stains and damage caused by tannins, additional cleaning methods and products may be necessary, such as bleach, vinegar, or specialized cleansers. It's important to note that the effectiveness of these cleaning methods will depend on the severity and duration of the tannin damage, as well as the type of surface where the damage has occurred.

  3. Can I install one myself? 
    It is absolutely possible to install a tannin filter yourself, though it is recommended that you have some plumbing experience and knowledge of your home's water system before attempting the installation. Tannin filters are typically installed on the main water line where it enters the house and requires some basic plumbing connections to be made to the filter housing and to your home's plumbing. It's also important to make sure that you select the right size and type of tannin filter for your home's water volume and tannin concentration. If you're unsure about the installation process, it's recommended that you consult with a professional plumber or water treatment specialist for assistance.

    >> Gary the Water Guy offers some great DIY installation tips for water softeners and tannin filters in this video series - the installation process is the same for both units and easy to do!




What should shoppers look for in a tannin filter or water treatment system? What should shoppers definitely avoid?

  1. Made in North America
  2. Non-proprietary
  3. Metered with override valve
  4. Correct size of system – do not oversize!
  5. Avoid Big Box Stores – inefficient, outdated valves, no support


Discover the Benefits of Tannin Filters: Quick Tips for Easy Ownership

Tannin filters are ideal for removing organic material from your water supply. While they use more salt than traditional softeners, the result is worth it — and with our quick pro tips, ownership is a breeze.

To maintain crystal-clear water, be sure to follow up your tannin filter with a carbon filter as this will help eliminate any potential "fishy smell" in your drinking water. Plus, keep in mind that tannin filters may slightly lower the pH of your water, so you might need to add a neutralizer to keep your water balanced. Experience the difference with a tannin filter today — your water and your family will thank you!


For more information about tannin filters, check out our website today or explore our extensive YouTube playlists @GarytheWaterGuy for pro tips, tricks and advice. 


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