Whole House Water Filters

whole house water filter

Why Filter Your Water?

Water is an essential part of your home. Every day you use water to cook, drink, shower, and clean laundry and dishes. That’s why setting up a whole house water filtration system is so important to ensure the water your family uses is clean and safe. 

The delivery of clean water to your home is important not only for daily tasks, but also for your health. Water treatment plants test and treat water to ensure it is safe for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Most public water uses chlorine to purify the water. Although chlorine is effective at killing lingering bacteria in water, it alters the taste and makes your skin and hair dry after showering. Since not every local water system provides the same level of quality, the chlorine levels can vary. With a water filtration system you do not have to worry about whether there is too much or too little chlorine in your water.

Also, a lot can happen to the water once it leaves the distribution plant and makes its way to your home. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that, 

“Contamination of drinking water supplies can occur in the source water as well as in the distribution system after water treatment has already occurred. There are many sources of water contamination, including naturally occurring chemicals and minerals (for example, arsenic, radon, uranium), local land use practices (fertilizers, pesticides, concentrated feeding operations), manufacturing processes, and sewer overflows or wastewater releases.” 

A home water filtration system can ensure the water you use is as pure, safe and healthy as possible. It reduces contaminants, removes odors to improve taste and overall quality of your drinking water, protects your appliances, helps the environment and even saves money if you are buying a lot of bottled drinking water. This post covers:

  • Why whole house filters are better than single outlet filters
  • How whole house filters work
  • Types of whole house water filters
  • The difference between water filters and water softeners
  •  Whether you need whole house water filtration, a water softener, or both

Why Whole House Water Filtration?

People who don’t like the taste of tap water install a filter at a kitchen outlet. The problem with that is it only treats one aspect of the potential problem. Contaminants can still invade other parts of the home, adding grit to your wash, or bad tasting/smelling water in bathrooms. It would be cost-prohibitive to install a filter at each and every water outlet. A whole house filter is the more economical option.

In addition to improving the taste of your water, a whole house water filter can reduce or remove undesirable contaminants such as:

  • Minerals
  • Dirt
  • Sand
  • Sediment
  • Chlorine 
  • Pesticides
  • Fluoride
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Parasites

How Whole House Filters Work

A whole house filter is installed at your home’s main water line. This way, water is filtered before it runs through your plumbing and out of your faucets. Consequently, a whole home water filter makes your water just as enjoyable from your bathroom sink as it is from your kitchen’s faucet! Filtering water can even help improve wear and tear that unfiltered water can place on your washer and other appliances.

Types of Water Filters

Every home has different filtration needs. The number of faucets and the size of your plumbing system determines what type of filter you should buy. Filters also have different flow rates so be sure to pick one with the right gallons-per-minute (GPM) rating to ensure your system is able to keep up with the demands of your home. 

Additional considerations include how long filters are likely to last (e.g. homeowners don’t want the hassle and inconvenience of changing a filter every month). 

Types of filters include:

  • Cartridge filters
  • Chemical filter systems
  • Backwashing filters
  • Sulfur removal systems
  • Iron removal filters
  • PH Neutralization systems
  • Sediment filter
  • Stainless steel filters (for high-heat and increased pressure)

With so many options, how do you determine which filters are best for your situation? It can require a bit of technical knowledge. For example, say you are considering a whole house water filter rated at 50 microns. So first you have to know what a micron is and just what it’s going to catch. Just so you know, 50 microns is equivalent to a strand of human hair. Maybe that sounds as if it’s going to catch a lot of particles. It does. But if the sediment in your water supply measures smaller than 50 microns, the filter isn’t going to do you a lot of good. 

How do you know what micron level you need? Consult a professional plumber experienced in installing whole house water filtration systems who can best analyze what’s in your water and recommend the appropriate filtration system.

The Difference Between Water Filtration and Water Softeners 

Walter filters and water softeners both treat your water, but they treat it differently. Filters remove impurities, while softeners specifically remove minerals that make water hard using a process called ion exchange to replace calcium and manganese ions in your water with sodium ones. Certain water softeners are also designed to remove chlorine and ammonia using activated carbon. 

Many homeowners have hard water that contains a high concentration of minerals. Although these mineral deposits are mostly harmless, they do diminish the taste of the water in your home. The sediment particles can also dry out skin and hair when bathing and can carry an unpleasant odor.

Hard water also degrades the performance of your water-based appliances – reducing their lifespan by a third. If you notice your dishes have watermarks after coming out of the dishwasher, there is a chance you have hard water. Softening your water helps preserve your appliances and save money down the line. 

Water softeners can help you enjoy clean, better-tasting water while also helping your water-based appliances last longer. Ongaro and Sons can test the water in your home for mineral concentration and chlorine. We can also inspect your home’s piping systems to see if any other problems are contributing to hard water issues. Once we have identified the issue, we can provide solutions that align with your lifestyle and budget.

Which One Do I Need?

Water filters sort out different contaminants based on what the filter media is designed to remove. A water softener only removes or negates the effects of magnesium, iron and calcium in hard water. Neither system can do both.

Chances are you only need one kind of whole house water filtration. For example, you have discolored water, but you haven’t noticed any dryness of skin when bathing. So maybe you only need a cartridge water filter that captures the sediments causing the discoloration. Maybe the reverse is true, and you’ve noticed your water tastes funny and your skin seems dried out after a shower, but water is crystal clear out of the faucet. Could be a water softener will solve all your problems.

But how can you know for sure? Here’s a quick guide that matches a specific water problem with a specific water filtration solution:

Water ProblemWater Solution
Rotten egg odorIron filtration system
Rust stainsIron filtration system
Chlorine smellActivated carbon filtration
Chemical odorActivated carbon filtration
Cloudy waterCartridge filter
Limescale build-up, white spots on dishesNo-salt water softener
Organic compounds, including nitratesReverse osmosis system

This list is by no means exhaustive. Don’t make any decision without testing your water for whatever contaminants might exist. Consult a professional with proven experience in both whole house water filtration and water softeners

One solution may not be enough to take care of every problem you have. If you want a total solution to virtually all of your water issues, it is probably a good idea to get both a water softener and a whole house filter.

Ongaro and Sons Whole House Water Filtration Solutions

Whole house water filtration removes mineral buildup and sediment particles to make your water clean and healthy for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Ongaro and Sons technicians are knowledgeable in just about every kind of plumbing problem and how to resolve them. We specialize in city water, municipal wells, and private well water systems.

With the help of our plumbing professionals, your water will be as pure as possible. Getting a water filtration system provides you with peace of mind in knowing your water is clean and good for you. Even better, water filtration is more affordable than you think! 

Contact Ongaro & Sons today to schedule your water quality consultation with one of our Water Filtration Specialists.