Whole House Water Filters

Let’s talk about whole house water filters.  It is a filtration system that purifies the water that enters your home by way of the main water line. A whole house water filter makes certain that water is treated before streaming to every faucet, shower-head, washing machine, ice-maker, or other appliance. A whole house water filter is considered a POE (point of entry) filter. They are an entrance way for all your water sources, such as your tap water, and will only allow fresh, clean, and filtered water to stream to the rest of your appliances and faucets.

Q: What you should expect a whole house water filtration system to accomplish?

A: With a whole house water filtration system, you can expect all contaminants that were previously floating in your water supply to be removed. Water sources vary from town to town, so you might need to remove a chlorine odor, filter sediment, or soften your water, depending on your unique situation. There is a whole house water filter for every specific water quality issue you might be experiencing.

Q: How many different types of whole house water filters are available?

A: There are five different types of whole house filters: acid neutralizers, ultraviolet purification systems, carbon filters, water softeners, and sediment filters. The various filters deal with specific contamination or water quality problems so it is important to know the type of water you have in order to select the appropriate filter. Let’s learn about these whole house water filters, the impurities that they filter, and how this will improve your water quality. Home water testing kits or a lab water analysis can help with figuring out what contaminants are in your water, which will help you decide which whole house filter works best for you and your home.

1. Water softeners  

If you have hard water, which is the most typical water problem we encounter, a water softener will be your answer. Higher concentrations of dissolved minerals (calcium and magnesium) are the cause of hard water and can be a pain to deal with in your home. Common symptoms of hard water are soap residue in your shower, your laundry is faded and stiff, and dishes that are chalky . Besides this, hard water can also cause deposits that may clog your pipes, restrict your water pressure, and ultimately decrease the life or your appliances… but it doesn’t stop there. Hard water can cause dry and itchy skin, and give you dull and frizzy hair after you shower. If you have hard water, a whole house water softener is a sound investment that will save you money in the long run.  Not being proactive may result in expensive repairs, or even a water heater replacement because of hard water deposit build up.

Q: How are water softeners used?

A: Water softeners work by removing minerals that cause hardness through a chemical process called ion exchange. Ion exchange (IX) is a treatment process where dissolved ions are replaced by other, more desirable, ions of a similar electrical charge. Magnesium and calcium have positive ions, while water softener resin beads have negative ions. Opposite charged ions attract each other, so the water softener resin traps the magnesium and calcium, enabling softened water to flow. If maintained adequately, a whole house water softener should last 15 years, making it a sound investment for years to come.

2. Ultraviolet purification systems

If you are worried about bacteria, parasites, fungi, and even viruses in your water, ultraviolet purification may be the answer you are looking for. An ultraviolet purification system can be useful in an emergency situation such as a natural disaster, a boil water advisory, or if you use well water and can allow you to have safe filtered water when you need it. Ultraviolet purification systems do not use chemicals , nor do they waste water.

Q:  How are ultraviolet purification systems used?

A: They use Ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy the DNA of micro organisms, causing them not to be able to reproduce and therefore they cannot transmit disease in your water supply. Ultraviolet purification systems work best in conjunction with another filter, like a sediment filter to remove debris and dirt that may block UV light from reaching the micro organisms.  When water is first filtered through another filter, UV filters are around 99.9% effective against micro organisms, which can be a significant addition to your whole house filtration system.  

 3. Sediment filters

Sediment filters are used to maintain a more clean and refreshing water supply which can prevent damage to your home. They trap contaminants such as sand, clay, dirt, rust from old pipes, and removes them. Sediment can reduce your water pressure, damage your appliances, and clog your pipes, costing you lots of money in repairs. It can make your water appear cloudy and murky (turbidity).

Q: How are sediment filters used?

A: They use mechanical filtration by by preventing sediment from coming into your water supply by using physical material to block them. The material inside the filter contain pores that are only large enough to allow water to enter, while not allowing foreign particles in. Sediment filters are typically the first line of defense in a whole house filtration system.  Used in conjunction with other water filters, they improve effectiveness, prolong life of carbon filters and water softeners, and improve UV system performance.

4. Carbon filters

Carbon filters are used to eliminate chlorine from your water supply, which removes the chemical smell and taste. Chlorine is used in treating municipal water supply that may be contaminated with bacteria. Although safe to drink, the taste and smell of chlorine is not pleasing. In addition to clearing foul odors and taste, a carbon filter will also improve the safety of your water. You can be reassured that your drinking water is free from dangerous contaminants, like pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals with a properly maintained whole house carbon filter.

Q:  How are carbon filters used?

Activated carbon within the carbon filters have pores along the surface and in it’s shell. As water flows through the activated carbon, chemicals and organic material become trapped or absorbed, so that only clean water can flow through to the other side. Activated catalytic carbon also limits the amount of chloramines from your water supply. Chloramines are commonly used in municipal water as an alternative to chlorine in city water treatment. Although significantly troublesome to eliminate, catalytic carbon can dismantle the chloramine molecular structure with greater efficiency than regular activated carbon.

 5. Acid neutralizers

The answer to acidic water is an acid neutralizer. Water rated with a pH under seven, is acidic in nature.  Acidic water can be responsible for corrosion to pipes, leaks, blue-green discoloration, and other serious damage. However, water with a pH of seven is considered “neutral”, but can become acidic if it absorbs carbon dioxide after a rainy day. For this reason, most wells contain acidic water due to typically being sourced from shallow groundwater. Another cause of acidic water is chemical run-off, which is harmful to your health and home.  Protect yourself and your investment with a whole home acid neutralizer.

How are acid neutralizers used?

They use calcite to lower the acidity of water, which is a mineral that is high in calcium and very alkaline. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic. Acid neutralizer tanks are full of calcium rich calcite. As the acidic water reaches the dissolved calcite in the tank, the water is then neutralized and the pH is elevated. A whole house acid neutralizer will prevent the high costs of repairs to your home caused by acidic water.  When properly sized and maintained, the neutralizer will raise and neutralize you water supply’s pH to a safe level.

Counter-top and under sink filters versus whole house filters  

Whole house water filters are installed where the water passes through the main water line at the point of entry to your home and is distributed throughout your entire home. Alternatively, under sink and counter-top water filters are placed at the point of use. They only attach to a specific single fixture, like at the kitchen sink or the counter-top, which only filters the water that you use at that specific location.

With a whole house water filter, you can be assured that every drop of your home’s water is purified at the point of entry. Therefore, the water you used to shower, launder your clothes, brush your teeth, cook and drink with is all filtered clean and pure. This includes protection to your appliances and plumbing as well. Counter-top and under sink filters are primarily used to filter drinking water, refrigerator ice-makers, and water you cook with. Although these counter-top and under sink filters cost less money than whole house water filter systems, they do not provide protection to your plumbing or appliances, as they only filter a single source in your home.

Q: What is the cost of whole house water filters?

A: It is dependent on how elaborate the filtration system needs to be to remedy the water issue that you are experiencing.  This varies from home to home, but on average the cost can range between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. This includes the price of protection to your pipes and appliances, so you can be rest assured that you will extend the longevity of your appliances are not worry about costly repairs nearly as often. On average, people spend up to $1,000 on bottled water every year. There would be no need to buy bottled water if your home was equipped with a whole house water filter, making it a great investment. Have peace of mind that your investment is protected and your water quality is pure and safe to drink.

Here are some advantages of whole house water filtration systems:

They remove various contaminants from your water and are customized to your specific needs.

They drastically improve the taste and smell of your water.

They will increase the longevity of your appliances.

They protect your pipes from damage.

Sleep well at night knowing that your entire home is protected from unfiltered, potentially damaging water. Your water is pure enough to drink, cook, bathe, and clean with, without the need to buy bottled water. Your water from all fixtures in the home is free from living micro-organisms. Every well water user should have one. Municipal water users can be assured that their water is safe , regardless of any uncertainties that might arise from city water.
Create less waste by avoiding plastic water bottles and help clean up the environment.

Here are some disadvantages of whole house water filtration systems:

Up front cost, as they can rage from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

The need to hire a licensed plumber, which can add to the overall cost.  Whole house water filters are recommended to be installed by a licensed professional.

There is potential for reduced water pressure since the water must flow through a filter at a prescribed speed. If multiple water fixtures are being used simultaneously, you could experience lower water pressure. Low water pressure can be remedied with the addition of a water booster pump to your filtration system.

In Conclusion:

There are a variety of reasons why you may need a whole house water filter. If your home’s water quality is poor or contains dangerous contaminants, a whole house water filtration system may be your best option. A whole house filtration system is highly recommended if you are on well water to disinfect and remove sediment from your water. If you are using municipal (city) water, you can greatly improve the taste and smell of your water with chlorine removal. If you have hard water in your home, a whole house water softener will be very beneficial to you and your home. Whole house filtration systems can be customized to purify your water from whatever contaminant that lies within.

A whole house filtration system may not be the best choice if you are only worried about the water you will consume (drinking, cooking). A counter-top  or under sink filter would be better suited for these purposes and save you money. A whole house filtration system is the right choice for you if desire the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your water is clean at every source in your house and all your appliances and pipes are protected from dangerous contaminants.

We strive to bring you the best purity, reliability, and safety to your water supply that is beneficial to your appliances, your home, and your well being. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have, or to schedule an appointment to have your home water evaluated.

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