The water you get when you turn on the shower or faucets in your home has a number of contaminants that are not good for you. Whether you get water from the city’s water supply or from a well, there are many contaminants that reduce the quality of water. By installing filters in your home, you can remove most of these contaminants with the aim of improving water quality. Read on to learn more about choosing the best whole house water filter.
What is a Whole House Water Filter?
A whole house water filter is a filtration system designed to remove sediment, chemicals and pathogens that may be found in your home’s water supply. The device is installed at the water entry point in your home to soften water and make it safe for domestic use. The device can transform hard water into soft water that you can drink or use to make coffee, or do the laundry. While tap water may look clean, the water supply in most cities have contaminants, chemicals and sediment as well as some pathogens.
What Type of Whole House Water Filter do I Need?
There are many types of whole house water filters on the market. Your choice of filter will largely depend on the source of your water as well as the types of contaminants in the water you use. If you get your water from the city or municipality, you may only need a filtration system to remove chlorine and sediment that might have been picked up along the way. If you get your water from a well, lake or river, you will need a whole house filtration system to remove sediment, pathogens, minerals and other impurities that may be found in the well water. The following are the two types of whole house filters in the market:
– Cartridge Filters: If you are looking for an affordable filtration system to improve the quality of water in your home, a cartridge filter may be the perfect option. However, the filtration system requires a lot of maintenance. The filters in this type of system usually deteriorate fast, so you will have to replace the actual filters regularly. Since sediment and other contaminants are normally trapped in the filter, you may have to replace your filter every 3-12 months to ensure the system does not get clogged.
– Backwashing Filters: This is a more elaborate filtration system that cleans itself up after a certain amount of water has been filtered. This is done by pumping water in the opposite direction to wash away the sediment or filtered contaminants. Backwashing filters cost more than cartridge filters, but they do not need regular maintenance. The filters in the system can last several years before they have to be replaced – such as Home Master 3-stage system.
Water Softening vs. Water Filtration
When it comes to improving water quality, there are three phrases you need to get familiar with. The first is water softening. The second is water filtration while the other is water purification. Water softening is the process of removing minerals found in hard water. This may be done through addition of chemicals to hard water followed by filtration to get rid of the salts that may be formed. Water filtration, on the other hand, is the process of removing sediment and contaminants from water. Contaminated water is passed through a serious of high capacity filters to remove the contaminants. Filtration is usually done on tap water while softening is often done on well water.
Types of Contaminants
These are solid particles and salts found in hard water. If you get water from a well, river or lake, it is bound to have a lot of sediment.
These are compounds used in water treatment. Chlorine is a common type of chemical found in tap water. Dissolved salts and hydrogen sulfide from well-water are also examples of chemicals.
This is a mineral found in hard water as well as tap water. Iron usually gives water a funny taste as well as well a greenish color. Whole house filtration systems can remove iron and any other contaminant found in the water.
Selecting a Whole House Filter — What to Look for
i) Flow Rate
This is the amount of water a filtration device can filter per second, minute or per hour. Since you need filtered water for your washing machine, shower, water heater, faucets and dishwasher, you should choose a filter with a flow rate of several gallons per minute.
ii) Filter Size
The size of the filter affects the flow rate of a whole house water filter. The larger the filter, the more the water it can filter at a time.
iii) Filter Life
Quality filters do not come cheap, so you want a filter that has a long life. You do not want to replace the filter after every couple of months, so be sure to compare the life expectancy of the top-rated filters before making a commitment.
iv) Port Size
The best filters usually have a port size of 1-inch. While there are filters with half or three-quarter inch ports, you should choose a filter with a 1-inch port even if your home’s plumbing is 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch.