Putting a water filter through the pipes under your kitchen sink can mean clean water for cooking and food prep, not to mention for drinking! Many city water supplies are relatively clean but certain contaminants are still often found in drinking water; the right filter can get your water even cleaner before it reaches the tap, making it taste better and ensuring it's healthy. Note a few important tips for choosing a water filter for your home's kitchen sink before you start to shop.

1. Know what's in your water

Filters for under your kitchen sink will have different cartridges in order to trap different types of contaminants. Some filters are meant to get out a chlorine smell and taste, whereas others are made to remove lead or certain bacteria. To get the right filter for your home, you need to know what's in your water. It's good to have a water sample tested at a lab; you can usually call a lab and ask for a kit to be sent to you. This may include a small vial you use for the water and a quick questionnaire that will tell them why the water is being tested. Once you know what's in the water, you'll know what type of filter to buy for the kitchen sink.

2. Multiple cartridges

If you can't have your water tested for any reason or want to ensure that you remove as many contaminants as possible, you might simply choose a filter with multiple cartridges. These models may be more expensive but they run the water through a number of different filters so that they remove as many harmful elements as possible, rather than just one. This can give you the cleanest water and also ensure that you're removing whatever contaminants are present.

3. Installation

If your kitchen sink pipes have been soldered, you may need a professional to install the filter for you as they may need to cut the plumbing lines to have them run through the filter. If you install the filter on your own, you'll need to screw it to the wall nearest the cold water line, so be prepared with the right tools for drilling into a cabinet or wall. It can also be good to invest in what are called flex lines, which are stainless steel lines, rather than using plastic lines that are often included in a filter kit. These flex lines are more durable and may reduce the risk of plumbing leaks from the filter under your sink.