Having clean, contaminant-free water is important for the health and safety of your family. While point-of-use water filters can improve water quality from a single tap, a whole-house water filtration system ensures that all the water entering your home is filtered. Suppose you want to remove impurities, chemicals, heavy metals, and microorganisms from your water supply and enjoy cleaner water from every faucet and appliance. In that case, a whole-house filtration system is worth considering.
In this blog post, we’ll provide an in-depth look at whole-house water filters—how they work, the different types, what they filter out, the benefits over point-of-use systems, important features to look for, and how to determine the right option for your needs and budget. We’ll also answer some common questions about whole-house filtration.
Let’s dive in and learn more about getting pure, filtered water throughout your entire home!
What is a Whole-House Water Filtration System?
A whole-house water filtration system filters all the water entering your home before it reaches any of your faucets or appliances. It is installed along the main water line where it first enters your house.
Water passing through the whole-house filter removes a wide range of contaminants from your water supply. This includes sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, microorganisms, and other impurities affecting water quality, taste, odour, and colour.
Unlike point-of-use filters, which only treat water at a single tap or fixture, whole-house systems treat your entire water supply all at once. This provides cleaner, filtered water throughout your entire home for drinking water, cooking, bathing, laundry, and more.
Whole-house filters are typically more robust and have a higher flow rate than under-sink or countertop filters. They also last longer since all the water in the home is filtered through one central system. Overall, whole-house filtration is one of the most thorough and convenient ways to improve your home’s water quality.
Benefits of Whole House Water Filters
Installing a whole-house water filter provides cleaner, better-tasting water throughout your entire home. Unlike point-of-use filters that only treat water from a single tap, whole-house systems filter all the water entering your home.
This means you get contaminated-free water for drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry, and all other water uses. Whole house filters remove a wide range of impurities, including sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, microorganisms, and more.
They can eliminate bad taste and odours, preventing the need for bottled water. The water will feel cleaner without irritating chemicals. Whole house systems also reduce strain on appliances and pipes by removing sediment and minerals that can cause buildup and clogging issues.
Types of Whole-House Water Filters
Several different types of filters can be used in whole-house water filtration systems. The right filter depends on your specific water quality concerns.
Sediment filters are designed to trap particulate contaminants through mechanical straining. They use a physical barrier made of media like polypropylene, pleated cotton or cellulose, or stainless steel mesh.
As water passes through, particles are captured on the surface of the filter media. Sediment filters effectively remove dirt, silt, sand, rust, and other suspended solids that affect the clarity and aesthetics of water. They help prevent buildup and clogging in pipes, faucets, and appliances. Sediment pre-filters are often installed first in a whole-house system to protect other filters from premature fouling.
Carbon Block Filters
Carbon block filters utilise activated carbon to adsorb contaminants through chemical absorption. The carbon block contains powdered carbon that is compressed into a solid form. As water passes through the porous block, impurities are trapped in the carbon media.
Carbon blocks excel at removing chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, radon, chloramine, gasoline, and heavy metals like lead and mercury. The dense carbon block design provides extensive dwell time and surface area for chemical absorption to occur. Carbon blocks offer high filtration capacity in a compact housing size.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis (RO) systems force water through a semi-permeable membrane that filters out dissolved contaminants. The membrane has microscopic pores that block particles, ions, and larger molecules while allowing water to pass through.
RO removes total dissolved solids like salts, minerals, metals, nitrates, sulphates, and pharmaceuticals. RO provides the most thorough whole-house filtration, removing up to 99% of impurities. However, the system wastes 2-3 gallons for every purified gallon and requires a separate storage tank and pump.
UV Light Systems
UV light systems use ultraviolet radiation to disinfect water. A UV lamp emits light at wavelengths that inactivate microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, protozoa, moulds and fungi.
As water passes the UV lamp, the DNA of the microbes is altered so they cannot reproduce. UV disinfection is highly effective against pathogens without using heat or chemicals. UV units are often installed after reverse osmosis systems to neutralise any remaining microbes.
Water softeners do not technically filter water but remove hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium. This addresses scaling from hard water deposits.
Softened water prevents buildup on plumbing fixtures, extends equipment life, and allows soaps to lather better. Water softeners use an ion exchange process. Hardness minerals are replaced with sodium ions, producing softened water.
Clean, Contaminant-Free Water For Your Entire Home
Installing a home water filtration system is one of the best ways to improve your home’s water quality and provide cleaner, contaminant-free water from every tap. Whole-house filters remove a wide range of impurities that can affect health, plumbing, and water’s taste, smell, and appearance. They provide benefits over point-of-use filters by treating your entire water supply simultaneously.
Several types of whole-house filtration systems address different water quality issues. Sediment filters remove particles and rust, carbon blocks absorb chemicals and VOCs, reverse osmosis eliminates dissolved solids, UV systems disinfect microorganisms, and water softeners reduce hard water minerals. The right system depends on your specific needs.
If you’re interested in installing a whole-house water filter system, the experts at WP Plumbing can help. We offer whole-house system installations and can advise you on the best type of filtration to meet your needs. Our licensed plumbers can take care of the installation process and any necessary repairs or upgrades to your existing plumbing. Contact WP Plumbing today to learn more about improving your home’s water with high-quality whole-house filtration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a whole-house water filter?
While point-of-use filters can improve water at a single tap, a whole-house system filters all the water entering your home. This provides cleaner, better-tasting water for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc. Whole-house filters are ideal if you have contaminated well water or want to improve your municipal water quality.
How often do I need to replace the filter on a whole-house system?
Most whole-house water filters need to be replaced every 3-6 months, depending on your water usage and the type of filter. Cartridge filters may need replacing more often than tank filters. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific replacement frequency for your system. Setting a reminder can help you stay on top of routine filter changes.