Whole House Reverse Osmosis?
In this article we are going to look specifically at whole house ro systems and why these products can be more effective than other types of water filters. Your water quality is important especially from a health perspective.
Why Whole House?
A whole house reverse osmosis system connects to your main feed water source line coming into your home. As the name ( whole house ro system ) suggests this means that your whole house can benefit from the filtered water. So every tap and shower in the home is supplied from this one filtration system. You have clean water while up in the bathroom, or down in the basement. Hence the ‘ whole house water ‘ comes into being.
Alternative Water Systems
Why do you need a ro system? Americans spend a lot of money – and quite a lot of time – making sure they have clean, tasty drinking water at their disposal. Often well water or municipal water is not clean enough or has an odd taste to it due to heavy metals or pollutants in there. There are under the counter ro systems, which are installed in the kitchen and connects to the faucets at just one sink. Another popular choice are easy to install countertop water systems. These sit alongside the sink and provide filtered water to just the one sink area.
This article is about one of the more effective and comprehensive ways of getting pure drinking water for your household: a whole house reverse osmosis system is the filtration system we want to look at.
What Is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis is a popular, effective method of water purification. There are plenty of different ro system options out there. Some people opt for the easy to install countertop filtration systems. Others prefer a more cost effective method such as a water filter pitcher.
A reverse osmosis water filter removes impurities – salts, fluorides, pesticides, lead, calcium and magnesium, and other harmful materials – from your household water. It achieves this by passing the water through a semi-permeable membrane, followed by specialized additional filters.
The membrane is super effective at purifying drinking water. It can filter out molecules and ions, along with larger particles.
This isn’t a new and untested technology, mind you. Reverse osmosis has been in use by governments since the 70s. Even the military use portable versions. It’s steadily gained popularity ever since its introduction and is now among the choices for homeowners.
What Is A Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?
The story’s in the name! Many people choose to install a reverse osmosis water filter in only one faucet in the house. A whole house system means that all your faucets will dispense the purified water.
This type of reverse osmosis system is also known as a POE (point of entry) filter. It’s usually installed in the garage, discreetly tucked away. As the flow from your water source comes into your property it’s is filtered from the get-go, hence the whole house benefits.
Water system selection is important. If you live in a small apartment then you can possibly get away with a countertop water filtration system.
What Is The Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?
This depends on your needs and obviously your budget. Some but not all remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), as an example. The type and quality of the reverse osmosis membrane in the filtration system will be the benchmark of what percentage of contaminants are removed. With a big variation between the different water filtration system brands and even models, this needs to be a focal point. You might see one filtration system offering a three-stage filter that removes up to 93 percent of fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. Compare that to other reverse osmosis systems that claim they remove up to 99% of over 1, 000 contaminants and hardness, including lead (removes up to 98% of lead), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium and more. Please make sure you check this if you have well water or high lead content from your water source.
Obviously, not all water filtration systems are created equally. You’d need to look for a water system model that will filter out contaminants like fluoride, nitrates, lead, sodium, and mercury as a minimum.
Do I Need a Whole House Sized RO System?
Depending on your usage, you need to consider how many gallons per day you use on average. I actually know a guy who bought the iSpring RCB3P Commercial Grade Reverse Osmosis package because his local pizza restaurant has one installed and the owner raved how great it was. Now, this is a 300 gallons per day system, where the APEC Water Systems ROES-PH75 Essence Series is more affordable and is 75 gallons per day.
80 to 100 gallons per day of water is the figure that each American uses on average. So ideally for a family of 3, your whole house ro system needs to have the capacity to handle your needs. The iSpring RCS5T High Flow model as an example is a 500 GPD product. Minimum feed water pressure (psi):35, for this item, so should be ideal for most property types.
Other Reverse Osmosis Systems Considerations
Some products come with a storage tank as part of the system, but for others, you need to buy the storage tank separately. Make sure to check the size and that you have room for this in your basement.
Your system may require a tank, but don’t worry we have you covered here in this article.
Do you need a booster pump? Depending on your water pressure and where you install your filtration systems you may need to invest in a booster pump. If you have a house over 4 or more floors, then the water pressure at the top of the house could be all but a trickle. So here you need to make sure that you have adequate water flow throughout your whole home. Checking flow rates to ensure you have constant water pressure is advisable too.
For this type of water, then a water softener is the better option. If the feed water coming into the home is hard then this can cause issues with limescale which can be problematic with appliances.
The Stages Of Reverse Osmosis
A basic reverse osmosis water filter – or 3 Stage Reverse Osmosis – has the following features:
1. A sediment filter. This picks up particles such as calcium carbonate, heavy metals and rust.
2. An activated carbon filter. This traps chemical agents and chlorine, which could otherwise damage the delicate reverse osmosis membrane.
3. The main event: the reverse osmosis membrane. This takes care of a multitude of potentially harmful impurities in your water.
Now, 3 Stage Reverse Osmosis is effective technology on its own – but many homeowners have decided to take the extra step and splash out (no pun intended) on 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis. This includes all the filters mentioned above, plus:
1. Another sediment filter – this one with smaller pores to pick up even tinier particles.
2. A second carbon filter, this one placed after the osmosis membrane, to pick up any chemicals the ro membranes might not have picked up.
Advantages Of A Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
1. Pure, healthy water.
Reverse osmosis’ main advantage is simply the high quality of the water it produces. The multiple stages of purification mean that you can be confident of untainted, beneficial water. Remember not all filter systems are the same
2. Money saving
If you sit down and calculate how much bottled water costs you every year, you could be in for a nasty shock. Gallon for gallon, a whole house reverse osmosis system provides far cheaper hydration.
3. More environmentally friendly
On that note, the amount of plastic that gets thrown away due to bottled drinking water is quite frankly obscene. A reverse osmosis filter system cuts out all that waste.
A whole house reverse osmosis water system means that pure water is always available. You don’t have to go to a specific bathroom, or down to the kitchen, to get a beneficial glass of water or to clean your face without worrying about toxins. Thanks to storage tanks too, you can be sure you have plenty of water available.
Furthermore, a whole house system means that the water you use for your showers and laundry will be clean and pure. This means softer laundry, less irritation on the skin and easier cleaning – no build-up in the washing machine or the shower!
5. It tastes better!
This may not be the most important advantage, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Good-tasting water means that it’ll be a lot easier to get your family well-hydrated (and putting down the soda!).
Delicious water also means tastier food. Think of how much water goes into a normal meal for your family – it boils the potatoes, makes the base of soup stocks, and steams the rice. Taking out the impurities means a fresher, cleaner taste to your cooking. This is due to the water quality being much improved.
Use a cheap Total Dissolved Solids test kit to take readings once a month to ensure your well water or municipal water, is as good as you’d expect your purified water to be. Do you need to be concerned about TDS? read this article and find out.
How Long Will A Whole House Reverse Osmosis System Last?
If kept well-maintained (see below) your reverse osmosis system for home can last you for over a decade. As I mentioned earlier, not all filter systems are the same. Ensure you buy a good brand with a great level of customer service if you need to reach out for support.
How do you look after a whole house reverse osmosis system? Well, that’s pretty easy – but it’s important to keep on top of. The ro membranes and filters in your filter system will need to be replaced periodically. Your sediment and carbon filters will need to be replaced every 6-12 months. The high-tech semi-permeable membrane needs changing less often – every 2-3 years. Ensure your storage tanks are kept free from debris too.
The exact time frame for replacement will depend on how much water your system is dealing with and the quality of the water before it goes through the reverse osmosis filter system. Ask the manufacturer before installation.
Does a whole house RO soften water?
Not really is the best reply to this question. If you have well water then you want drinkable clean water and this is the idea of a filtration system. To get rid of hard water, you need a water softener. That being the case, some undersink and house reverse osmosis systems do have the built in softener ability.
A whole house reverse osmosis system will cost we have seen around $12,000 to around $18,000, fitted by a local contractor. Hey, that is what my buddy was quoted over the phone 3 months back. The telesales guy added ” This is depending on the whole house ro system, the manufacturer, and your personal circumstances.” Now if we said you could get for a fraction of that price a system, I’m sure you’d much prefer that. We look at all brands of reverse osmosis systems and tested them too. A good, reliable ro system does not need to cost the same as a second hand SUV.
If you are looking for a product that has water softener capability, one that removes contaminants like chromium and has 5, 7 or greater stages of reverse osmosis water filtration. Your complete house reverse osmosis set up can be as expensive as you need it to be. Many are straight forward to set up yourself, some you might just need a helping hand from your buddy down the street.
You may choose to hire a local plumber just to set up your water filtration system to ensure it’s done professionally.
If you like the water produced by your whole house reverse osmosis purchase, tell your friends and neighbors.