Why to Install a Whole House Water Filtration System
A filter on the kitchen tap will get rid of many problems in drinking water, but it doesn’t solve all water problems. Sediment can result in poorer washing of dishes and clothes. Minerals can damage pipes and appliances. Where situations like these are a concern, a whole house water filtration system may be a better solution.
A whole house filtering system is installed where the main water line enters the house. It cleans up the water going to the heating system, appliances, sinks, and bathrooms.
To determine if you need whole house filtration, and what kind, you need a water analysis. If you get municipal water, your utility should be able to provide this to you. A condominium association with a community well should also have the information on hand. If you have well water for your own home, you’ll need to have a professional analysis done. (You should do this periodically in any case, to make sure your well water is safe.)
Types of Problems
Problems in the water supply fall into several categories, with different solutions:
Biological contamination is potentially a serious health risk. Filtration isn’t going to fix it. If you have well water, you need to find and remove the source and disinfect the fell. If this is a problem in the municipal water supply, legal action may be necessary.
Herbicides & Pesticides
Herbicides and pesticides can enter the water supply locally, and they can be toxic in sufficient concentrations.
Lead is serious health risk and can cause long-term harm to people who drink it every day. It often comes from old plumbing. A filter can reduce lead levels, but sometimes replacing the old pipes is necessary.
Sediment includes particles of dust, rust, sand, and dirt. It can get grit into your laundry and discolor your drinking and bathing water.
Iron can come in the form of iron oxide (rust) particles or ionized iron dissolved in the water. Rust can spoil the taste and color of water. Dissolved iron gives water a metallic taste, and it can turn coffee, tea, and boiled foods dark and unpleasant tasting.
Hard Water Minerals
Hard water minerals include calcium and magnesium. Hard water isn’t a health risk, but it can cause mineral buildup in plumbing, and it makes soaps and detergents work less well.
Chlorine at excessive levels in drinking water may produce long-term health risks, though this isn’t clearly established. By the time water comes out of the tap, the chlorine that was added has done its job of disinfecting the water, and it can affect the taste. Chlorine is a very reactive chemical and may combine with organic molecules to form toxic compounds.
Filters to suit the problems
Once you know which issues you need to address, you can decide whether you need a filtration system and what kind it needs to be. There are several different methods a filtration system can use, and it can include more than one if necessary.
RO forces water through a membrane under pressure. It will remove sediment, ions, and some types of molecules. It isn’t effective by itself against hard water, and in fact hard water can leave a deposit on the membrane, reducing its effectiveness.
Ion exchange uses an electrochemical process to remove calcium and magnesium ions, softening the water. The filter contains a resin made of polystyrene beads. Ion exchange and reverse osmosis together can deal with many kinds of water problems.
Carbon filters remove chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides
Installation requires turning off the main water shutoff and cutting the main water pipe. Schedule it at a time when you can do without water for a few hours. Unless you have strong plumbing skills, you should have a professional plumber do the job.
All filters have a limited life, and they have to be replaced periodically. When budgeting for a filtration system, keep the cost of replacement filters in mind.
Passaic Bergen Water Softening offers water filtration systems to meet all kinds of needs. Contact us to find out what’s right for your home.