How to install a water filter in the shower

Handyman superstar A step by step interactive guide to installing a water filter in your shower.

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I know that the tap water here is clean and safe but it seems to be making my hair and skin feel dry. Friends who installed a water filter on their shower say it has made a real difference. How do I go about fitting one?

Since water in the UAE often sits in tanks for long periods, sediments can accumulate - and desalinated water is generally hard, which can take a toll on your hair and affect how clean you feel after a shower. The filter you need for a shower contains an extra length of hose for attaching to the tap. We chose a UAE-made So-Safe Hair Conditioning filter (Model HCU-17), which cost Dh99 at Carrefour or other large retailers.

? Electric drill with a drill-bit close to the size of the plastic anchors included in the filter box ? Channel Lock Pliers, with channels that allow you to adjust them to grip differently sized items ? Phillips-head (+) screwdriver

? A blue attachment bracket/filter top the cartridge housing ? A hose to connect from the tap to the adapters on the housing ? Two small rubber circles washers that fit into each end of the hose to reduce leaks ? Two 90-degree elbow adapters to connect the hose to the housing ? Two screws and plastic anchors

A wide range of filters for home use is available in the UAE, the simplest to find being those from the local manufacturer, So-Safe Water Technologies. Filter systems span a range of functions, from simply filtering debris and particles from the water to high-end multi-stage purification systems. The main filtration methods are: Reverse Osmosis - contains a membrane that is permeable by water molecules but blocks other molecules from passing through. Example of a reverse osmosis unit: MP Reverse Osmosis Unit 50 GPD Ultraviolet (UV) - uses UV light to kill bacteria. This sterilises the water but needs to be part of a multi-stage system to remove particles as well. Examples of UV units: Three-N-One Ultraviolet Clear 10" - DPC105G; Ultraviolet 9311 Triple Clear 10" with Gold Cartridge (a 3-stage system) Cloth Filters - use a physical barrier to block particles from the water stream. Typically, this is wound Polypropylene thread and looks much like a spool of yarn. Example of cloth unit: Hair Conditioning Unit Clear 10" - HCU-17 Each of the above units can take various types of filter cartridge (the labels will indicate sizes and model numbers that work together; make sure that you get the right size when replacing filters). Cartridges need replacing every month or two, according to the quality of your water supply. The cartridges contain various materials that affect how they filter the water. - Activated Carbon binds to molecules to remove minerals, chlorine, and reduces odours in the water - Coconut Shell is very good at removing volatile vapours, odours and discoloration - Ceramic is found most often in units that attach directly to a tap to filter water for drinking - Spun Polypropylene filters are the cheapest and most common. They filter particles and reduce minerals in the water but do not purify (sterilise) it for drinking. So-Safe's cloth-based cartridges - the WPP and SPP series - include 1, 5, 10 and 25 micron sizes, according to the size of particles that can be filtered. A micron is 1/1000 of a mm. (For a real world comparison, a human hair is about 100 microns wide.)