Buying A Whole House Water Filter – What You Need To Know

You may have heard or read that some water from your domestic supply is not as clean and as risk free as you thought. More and more people are looking to get a quick, easy and low-cost way of getting cleaner water for their entire house – which is where a whole house water filter comes in. Compared to water jugs with filters built-in, from manufacturers such as Britta, a whole house filter system will deliver the filtered water direct to your tap, which is much more convenient. One of the issues you will come across if you decide to buy one of these, is that there are many different models on the market to choose from. This article will describe the pros and cons of using a whole house system so that you can make an educated decision before you buy.

I suspect that your first question will be if this type of system is right for you and your family. Also, will it fit in your house? Some home may be more difficult to retro-fit than others. If you are renting a property, you will most likely not be able to fit a whole house water filter, but check with your landlord to see if they will allow you to. After all, they will benefit in the long run. Let’s look at a few of the benefits and drawbacks of using water filters or, in particular, whole house systems.

The obvious main benefit is that they can provide clean water to your whole house, via one single filtering unit. Other systems may require that you have devices attached to each faucet, but with this type, the entire house benefits from cleaner water. This will be ideal for large houses with lots of bathrooms, showers or sinks. You might be thinking that having filtered water in your shower or bath may not be something you need – however, studies have found that chemicals commonly present in domestic water supplies, such as chlorine, will be able to enter your body quicker when it is in the steam from your shower, than if you sat in a bath. Information like that may change your mind about where you need a water filter in your home.

Another obvious benefit as I stated earlier is that you have only need for one main filter system, rather than separate ones around your home. There are cost benefits from having a filter in a central location and is the obvious choice for providing water for the whole house. It is much easier to install and maintain than having single filters in each room. Although you will have to change the cleaning filter in a whole house system, changing a filter in each room suddenly becomes much more expensive. Therefore, the cost of a central system immediately outweighs separately installed ones.

With the benefits, there are also some drawbacks that you will need to be aware of too. The main one is the cost of installation, which will have to be performed by a professional tradesman. Although it is just a one-off cost, it will certainly stretch to over several hundred dollars. You could try to fit it yourself if you have the skills, but you must be able to plumb, solder and fit the device securely to ensure that there are no leaks. Buying the filter and a fitting service is the best advice and will keep your stress and the cost to a minimum.

Cost is in important factor and you may initially be put off by the higher price of a whole house water filter system. However, it is good to remember the benefits you will be getting. One single filter system, compared to several disparate units that all require their own maintenance will be more effective over time. If you project the costs over time, the whole house filter will work out more cost effective, due to the lower maintenance fees. Normally, the whole house water filters will require that you change the chemical filter once every ten years or more (dependent on the model). Compare that to the type of under counter filter that is installed in each room, that needs to have the filters changed every three months and the cost (and hassle) benefits are obvious. Filters in each room could stretch to over $400 per year if they are changed at the recommended time. Many people (myself included) forget to change the filters and therefore do not get the benefits of cleaner water. Unchanged water filters can build up bacteria over time, causing more harm than good. If you have also installed filters in your bathroom, you will need to change those too which could lead to more cost.

Something that may shock you is that the number of whole house filters in use in the nation is actually quite low. They are only used by a small consumer base. The main reason for this is that the filters are installed and used on a basis of need rather than something that people want to aspire to. Presented with the cost of installation, people who do not need the filter system installed may decide not to have it installed, perhaps opting for a counter top filter jug or point of use system instead. This may also be because they have some confusion of the types of filter there are on the market or that they are unsure if they need one at all. This may also lead people to not have any water filters at all. This is one of the main reasons why we believe that it is important to become educated about water filters and the various options before you buy. Make sure you understand what you are buying and the pros and cons of the systems available to you. Make sure you ask questions and learn about this filter system you are thinking of buying. Your installation partner can provide you with the information you need. A good question to ask is around the size, or capacity of the filter itself. Smaller filters tend to be more problematic than larger ones, sometimes clogging if there is too much dirt or particles in the water.

Other points to understand is the lifetime maintenance costs, which chemicals could be removed and any other features such as back washing or water channeling. Become informed about the products you are buying to make sure the filter is going to be right for you. It may be worth getting your water tested to ensure that any trace elements present are counteracted by the system and filters you choose. Knowing what is in you water and what you are trying to get rid of may be one of the more important decisions. You need to ensure that your filter can remove them properly.

How Do Water Filters Work To Protect Your Health?

It’s easy to learn how a water purifier works when you are talking about home filtration systems. Most home systems are really quite simple in principle and work very well. The water purifier is becoming standard fare in homes as public water supplies become less and less efficient.

Technology Rules

Water treatment technology is not that complicated, but it is important as quality degrades due to contamination. Some of the process you read about when you are learning how a filter works have been used for quite a while. For example, one of the most common water treatment technologies is to use to carbon filter inside a housing unit that water is run through to trap contaminants.

Other types of water treatment techniques include reverse osmosis and distillation. In the reverse osmosis process two filters are used and water is pressure flowed through solutions. In the distillation water purification process, the water is heated to boiling, and the vapor is collected leaving the contaminants behind.

One of the most technological water purification processes used ultraviolet light. There are two different types of UV light water purification systems which either disinfect water or simply reduce the levels of bacteria. Water softeners are also considered to be water purifiers because they remove minerals in the water to turn hard water into soft.

There is no perfect water purification system which is why so many different ones have been invented. But the most common systems which use the charcoal filters are the ones which are used in the home the most frequently and they do an excellent job of filtering up to 99% of the most harmful contaminants.

More Than One Place

When you begin to read about how a filtration system works, you discover it can be installed in several different ways. Many of the systems are used in-line, meaning they are attached right to the water line. For example, a refrigerator water purifier filter is often in-line.

Some water purifiers are mounted on the faucet or are actually installed as part of the permanent plumbing. Another way water purifiers are installed involves creating separate taps so when you want clean drinking water, you can run just that amount through the filtration system.

When you are deciding which system will work best for your needs, it’s important to understand how a water filter works. The carbon filters are probably the simplest on the market. Most systems using these types of filters require minimal maintenance. The filters come in cartridges you can easily replace every six months.

In the carbon filter systems, water runs through the filter and the filtering material catches and holds the contaminants. Different filters have different ratings and you need to make sure the filter you purchase meets your needs in terms of local contaminants typically found in the water.

Learning how a water filter works may not be difficult, but it is important in order to insure the right filtering system is chosen for your home water needs.

Water Filters – Three Main Methods Of Filtering Water For Your Home

Congratulations! By even considering installing a water filter system in your home you are already one step closer to the wonderful health benefits filtered water can provide. But choosing a water filter can be a difficult decision. There are so many different models available on the market that it can confusing to know which is best for you. Here are the three main methods of water filtration available for your home:

1. Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Reverse osmosis water filters are very popular and readily available. They can be installed as under-counter models, or even as a whole house water filter. Originally invented to clean salt water, reverse osmosis works by using water pressure to force water through a membrane, allowing only molecules that are small enough to pass through, thus blocking contaminants. Sediments such as iron, lead, mercury and copper are easily blocked, as are bacteria and viruses. Chlorine molecules also cannot pass through the membrane.

There are two main drawbacks to the reverse osmosis system. First, the process wastes a lot of water by needing a higher ratio of unfiltered to filtered water in order to ‘push’ the molecules through the membrane. The general ratio is 4:1. That means a lot of water is simply going down the drain.

Second, the reverse osmosis process strips the water of important minerals. Drinking ‘soft’ water that is free of minerals is not considered a good health practice. If you are taking a lot of extra vitamin and mineral supplements, however, this may not be of much concern.

The real advantage to a reverse osmosis water filter is that it requires very little maintenance, with only the occasional cleaning of the membrane.

2. Activated Carbon Water Filter

Activated Carbon, also known as activated charcoal, is a very common filtering system. Active carbon works by binding contaminants to its surface. The surface area in active carbon is massive for its small size, since it contains millions of tiny nooks and crannies. However, the binding process does eventually ‘fill’ the surface, and the filters will require changing.

The main advantage of activated carbon is that it is readily available, can be held in a small cartridge, wastes no water, and is relatively inexpensive.

The main disadvantages are that the filters need to be changed regularly, and if improperly maintained, can become moldy. Shower filters, in particular, which are exposed to a lot of hot water, can break down the active carbon filter, and become useless at filtration, or worse, a breeding ground for mold. Proper use and regular replacement of filters will prevent this problem from occurring.

3. Ceramic Water Filter

Ceramic filters are made of the fossilized remains of ancient sea life. They are an excellent filter of larger sediments, and of most bacteria and viruses, while still allowing minerals to pass through. Ceramic filters are often used in outdoor filter systems, where the main concern is filtering out pathogens, and not chemicals. Ceramic filters do not filter out chlorine, and when used in a home filter system, are usually combined with another form of filter to achieve that result.

Other Water Filter Systems

Beyond the main three there are several other types of filters that the researching homeowner may come across:

Ultraviolet water filters bombard the water that passes through with ultraviolet rays, killing all pathogens. Excellent at disinfecting water, Ultraviolet does not filter out sediments or chemicals.

Ionizing water filters separate alkaline from acid in the water, and provide both. Many people report health benefits of drinking alkaline water, and ionizer filters are used frequently in hospitals and health clinics.

KDF water filters use a brass alloy that creates a galvanic action which breaks down chlorine. These are very useful in shower heads, since the copper and zinc in the alloy actually works better at higher temperatures.

Navigating the confusing world of water filter options can seem quite daunting to the homeowner. But armed with this basic understanding of the different filtering methods available, you are now two steps closer to choosing the right filter for your home and beginning to enjoy the many health benefits a home water filter brings.