7 FAQs about Whole House Water Filtration Systems
Do you know what’s in the water in your home? Depending on where you live, that clear liquid may well contain all kinds of nasties which are dangerous for humans to drink or even inhale. A whole house water filter might be advisable to provide your household with cleaner, healthier, and better-tasting H2O. Here we answer frequently asked questions about whole house water filtration systems and what they can do for you.
1. Q. What is a whole house water filtration system?
A. A whole house water filter is a system connected to your home’s main water supply. All water used in your house, whether for drinking, cooking, washing, or bathing, will go through the central filter. This will eliminate the need to install individual filters on each faucet. You won’t have to bother with fussy filtration pitchers or juggle heavy – not mention wasteful – plastic bottles of water, either.
2. Q. Are there different types of whole house filtration systems?
A. Yes. The two most popular are the activated carbon and reverse osmosis types. The former is best for removing disinfectants and other harsh chemicals, while the latter is most effective against both chemicals and microbial contaminants. Various sizes are available, according to the number of bathrooms in your home; the smaller ones will fit under your kitchen sink.
3. Q. What does a whole house water filter get rid of?
A. A good filtration system can get rid of a wide range of health threatening contaminants from your home drinking water supply, including heavy metals (lead, copper, and mercury), radon, arsenic, pesticides, bacteria, parasites, chlorine, rust, and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). As a fringe benefit, you will also notice an improvement in the water’s taste and odor.
4. Q. Are there any other advantages?
A. Yes. Because the system filters out chlorine, dangerous chlorine vapors will not be released while you are showering or running the dishwasher; inhalation of these vapors is even more hazardous than consuming chlorine via your drinking water, particularly for asthmatics and allergy sufferers. The water filter also removes iron from the water, which would otherwise turn to rust and possibly stain your freshly washed laundry and your plumbing fixtures. Washing clothes in filtered water avoids exposure to contaminants which may cause skin rashes.
5. Q. Who needs one?
A. It depends on the quality of your local water supply. The Environmental Working Group publishes a searchable data base ranking US urban areas in terms of their water quality. (For those who rely on private wells, the Environmental Protection Agency provides guidelines for well water safety.) In a very low-ranking city such as San Diego, plumbers recommend using filtered water. You may want to have your home’s water tested in a state-certified lab to find out exactly which contaminents it contains and in what quantities.
Water quality can have an especially serious impact on members of your household who are delicate – under a year old, elderly, pregnant, ill, or immune compromised.
6. Q. How much does a whole house water filtration system cost?
A. For an average-sized home, a whole house water filter including installation currently costs approximately $1500 to $2000. Installing this type of system is not a simple procedure and should be done by a professional. Once the system is in place, maintenance will be minimal in terms of cost and hassle, involving only occasional replacement of the filters (annually) or filtering media (every three to five years).
7. Q. How long does installation of a whole house water filter take?
A. When you call a plumber for professional installation of a whole house water filtration system, you can expect minimal inconvenience to you and your family. The work is normally completed within an hour.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.
Updated April 23, 2018.