Whole House Filtration Systems

Do you own a Britta or Pur water filter? How about a filter that sits in your fridge? Have you ever thought to yourself, wouldn't it be nice if you only had to change that cartridge once every few years? Wouldn't it be nice if your bathroom sink had the same water quality as your kitchen sink? Well, here's how and why you should get a whole house filtration system.

    What is a whole house filtration system? As the title suggests, a whole house filtration system is a filter set that sits between the water main and the house. It is also sometimes referred to as a point of entry system or a POE system.

    Whole house systems filter harmful contaminants from even touching your in-house pipes. They prevent scale, sediment, chlorine, and a host of other bad things from affecting your water system. This means pipes may last longer, showers are easier to clean, and any appliance like your dishwasher or washing machine will be free of nasty hard water stains.

    So what's the downside? The only downside is the cost. Some whole house systems can cost thousands of dollars and require expensive cartridge filters that can only be purchased from the manufacturer website.  Avoid these systems like the plague. You can get a decent whole house system for under a thousand dollars if you can install it yourself. If you require a plumber, then it may take the cost up to three thousand. While that may seem expensive, remember that most whole house systems are good for over a half million gallons.

    So how do they work? Most filter systems use mechanical filtering. Imagine taking a screen and sifting water to remove rocks. That's mechanical filtering. Of course, the mechanical filters that water systems use, filter down to the micron level, or a micrometer. For comparison, a red blood cell is about five microns wide.
    Some filtration systems use a process called reverse osmosis, or RO. These systems also use mechanical filtering, but instead of just shoving water through, they use a semipermeable membrane and change the pressure to reverse the osmotic effect. Think of when you pour a glass of water on a shirt. The water spreads out, that is called osmosis. This just reverses the process. RO filters are highly effective, and can even make salt water potable. 
    RO systems are expensive but can accommodate up to a million gallons of water before servicing. Mechanical filters are usually less expensive and can last just as long as RO, they are just not as capable of removing somethings.

    So next time you're brushing your teeth, cleaning your shower, or wondering why there is a weird ring in your toilet bowl, remember a whole house filtration system may be what you need.