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Do I need to remove the water filter from my machine?Updated 6 months ago

If it is a carbon filter (similar to a Brita filter), then it does not need to be removed. 

If it is an ion exchange filter or something similar (found in some espresso machines like the Lelit Bianca), then it does need to be removed. 

See below for more information.

Typically, if someone is not using tap water to brew their coffee, they are using some form of filtered water. This can be in the form of a counter top filter like a Brita filter, a “PUR” filter mounted to your kitchen faucet, or even an under-the-counter reverse osmosis filter. 

Some of the most common filters we get questions about are those that are built-in to the coffee brewers that our customers use. Some examples include: 

  • Keurig®
  • Lelit Bianca
  • Jura machines
  • Breville Espresso Machines
  • and many others

Coffee makers have two primary types of water filters: (1) charcoal filters or (2) resin filters.

CHARCOAL FILTERS

These filters are installed in Keurig® coffee brewers and many other drip coffee makers too. They are also found in Brita filters and in many refrigerators.

Charcoal filters do not remove minerals from the water. They do a great job at removing the chemicals and organic matter that may be present, but do not affect the mineral content. 

Never use water that is filtered by charcoal filters to add Third Wave Water to since these filters will leave behind the minerals in the water.

We do not recommend using them because your water will be perfect for coffee (and the coffee brewer) when mixed. But if you keep it in the coffee brewer it will not hurt it either.

RESIN FILTERS

Resin filters have many different names and come in all shapes and sizes. They can be called ion-exchange filters, deionization filters, resin filters, and more. These filters are commonly found on some espresso machines, like the Lelit Bianca and many Jura machines. Zero Water filters would fall under this category as well as reverse osmosis filtration systems.

The primary thing to understand about resin filters is that they affect the mineral content of your water. That can be by removing the dissolved minerals altogether, or by replacing certain minerals with others.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT KIND OF FILTER MY MACHINE HAS?

Most manufacturers will state what kind of filter is in your machine either in the user manual of the machine or on the product page for any replacement filters you’ll need to buy. See below for an example on Lelit’s website:

Oftentimes, companies will recommend using filtered water with their proprietary filters installed on your machine. However, because Third Wave Water will not harm your equipment with the formation of limescale or corrosion, you can remove the resin filters and not worry about any impact to your machine. 

If your machine has a resin filter in it, we recommend removing it before using Third Wave Water in your machine for best results. If a charcoal filter is in your machine, it is not necessary to remove it because it will not affect any of the Third Wave Water minerals that pass through.

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