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Whole house filter

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brasilmom

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Greetings,

We are considering installing a whole house filtration with a water softner and uv. We spoke to a plumber and his view were not exactly cheerful, so I figure I would ask here what people know about it and if anyone here has such a device. We looked couple brands and as usual there are pros and cons for both. Does anyone here have some info or experience that you can share? Thanks.
 

Bob Reynolds

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This is one of those questions that has a lot of possible answers.

The first thing you are going to need to do is get your water analyzed so you know if you have a problem in the first place. What is your TDS reading on the existing water? Are you on a well or a city water system? A city water system contains chlorine. A well system does not.

Just an FYI, the guy that sells the water system is not always the best guy to give you an unbiased opinion. All water has something in it. That does not necessarily mean that that the water is bad. Your local county health department usually can test your water if you provide them a sample. The cost is about $20-$30. You would need to call them for instructions on how to do this.

You need to understand that you use water in many different ways in your house. You will want to treat your water differently for each type of application. (if you need to treat it at all)

If you are on a well, sometimes a simple filter system installed at the point of entry (like a garage) will remove any sediment that is getting into the system. That is the simplest solution.

You drink and cook with water. That water needs to be the purest water of all. It is usually treated with a reverse osmosis system which is placed under the kitchen sink. It makes 7-20 gallons a day depending on how much you use. You'll want to remove the chlorine out of this water. You don't need to treat the whole house with a reverse osmosis system. A reverse osmosis system is not generally used on well water for reasons that I will not go into here.

There is water used to wash clothes. That water is treated in a different way. You don't not need to remove chlorine out of this water, but you might need to add a water softener if your water is bad. Most of the time, you don't need to do anything unless you have a problem. A water softener adds salt to the water to "soften" it while running the water though sediment filters that need to be changed on a regular basis.

There is water used for showering. That water is also treated in a different way. Sometimes a point of use catalytic system on the shower head will treat that water. You will want to remove the chlorine out of this water.

Water treatment systems will require regular maintenance no matter which one you use. If you don't maintain them, then you will find they will clog up and you won't have any water at all.
 

billshack

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I have several filters at my cottage up north. i take lake water out of the lake and it has small bits in it, the water is non potable . so at he kitchen sink the water goes through two other filters . One is activated charcoal to improve taste , the other is ceramic with silver nitrate to kill bacteria and filter out anything left behind .
I would look at your water . is it hard or soft? If hard then get a salt machine.
 

brasilmom

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Tahnk you Bob, this is really helpful. We have city water but we need to address the drinking water of the house. The plumber did advise us against the whole house for the same reason and also other reasons. I have another question, are there filters (such under the sink) that will also filter the hot water? Are there systems other than reverse osmosis that can be used under the sink and are very effective?

Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the insight.

This is one of those questions that has a lot of possible answers.

The first thing you are going to need to do is get your water analyzed so you know if you have a problem in the first place. What is your TDS reading on the existing water? Are you on a well or a city water system? A city water system contains chlorine. A well system does not.

Just an FYI, the guy that sells the water system is not always the best guy to give you an unbiased opinion. All water has something in it. That does not necessarily mean that that the water is bad. Your local county health department usually can test your water if you provide them a sample. The cost is about $20-$30. You would need to call them for instructions on how to do this.

You need to understand that you use water in many different ways in your house. You will want to treat your water differently for each type of application. (if you need to treat it at all)

If you are on a well, sometimes a simple filter system installed at the point of entry (like a garage) will remove any sediment that is getting into the system. That is the simplest solution.

You drink and cook with water. That water needs to be the purest water of all. It is usually treated with a reverse osmosis system which is placed under the kitchen sink. It makes 7-20 gallons a day depending on how much you use. You'll want to remove the chlorine out of this water. You don't need to treat the whole house with a reverse osmosis system. A reverse osmosis system is not generally used on well water for reasons that I will not go into here.

There is water used to wash clothes. That water is treated in a different way. You don't not need to remove chlorine out of this water, but you might need to add a water softener if your water is bad. Most of the time, you don't need to do anything unless you have a problem. A water softener adds salt to the water to "soften" it while running the water though sediment filters that need to be changed on a regular basis.

There is water used for showering. That water is also treated in a different way. Sometimes a point of use catalytic system on the shower head will treat that water. You will want to remove the chlorine out of this water.

Water treatment systems will require regular maintenance no matter which one you use. If you don't maintain them, then you will find they will clog up and you won't have any water at all.
 

brasilmom

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Thank you Billshack. So, the filter under your sink is a 2 part or is 2 filters? Does it filter hot water as well? WE do have a water softner but the initial thought was to eliminate if we decided to go with a whole house filtration.

I have several filters at my cottage up north. i take lake water out of the lake and it has small bits in it, the water is non potable . so at he kitchen sink the water goes through two other filters . One is activated charcoal to improve taste , the other is ceramic with silver nitrate to kill bacteria and filter out anything left behind .
I would look at your water . is it hard or soft? If hard then get a salt machine.
 

brasilmom

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Another thought. Is it possible to install the under sink directly to the pipe that provides water to the kitchen and thus having the water out of the faucet and also water tot eh fridge be filtered at once?
 

billshack

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Thank you Billshack. So, the filter under your sink is a 2 part or is 2 filters? Does it filter hot water as well? WE do have a water softner but the initial thought was to eliminate if we decided to go with a whole house filtration.
There are two filters under the sink . the first one is carbon activated to improve. The second one filters out bacteria . This is one the cold water only and just for a special faucet . https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/rainfresh-drinking-water-system-2-0621001p.html#srp
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kok328

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I'm on city water. Kitchen sink has a 5-stage RO system for drinking and cooking. Remainder of the house is untouched.
 

68bucks

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We are on a well and have a whole house sediment filter with a softener after that. We also have a 7 stage RO system to a single drinking water faucet and the ice maker. We added the RO just to improve taste a bit. An RO will also remove sodium if that's a concern. We installed it in the crawl because I didn't want it taking up all the space under the sink. BTW it's not really good to drink RO water all the time. Our system has a re-mineralization stage on it to add a small amount of mineral content back. We cook with the regular softened water not RO water.
 

kok328

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We are on a well and have a whole house sediment filter with a softener after that. We also have a 7 stage RO system to a single drinking water faucet and the ice maker. We added the RO just to improve taste a bit. An RO will also remove sodium if that's a concern. We installed it in the crawl because I didn't want it taking up all the space under the sink. BTW it's not really good to drink RO water all the time. Our system has a re-mineralization stage on it to add a small amount of mineral content back. We cook with the regular softened water not RO water.
Somewhat true. The minerals removed from the RO system can be gained from other sources in your diet.
My RO water has less TDS than any bottled water on the market due to water bottlers adding back a touch of minerals for taste.
 

Bob Reynolds

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I was always told taught that the type of minerals in water do not absorb into your body; rather they just pass through it. It's sort of like sucking on a nail and trying to get iron into your body.

Bottled water companies will add minerals back into water for flavor because folks are not used to the way purified water (AKA RO water) tastes. If you have ever consumed distilled water, it just tastes different. It's much the same with RO water. Distilled water is made with a heat process. RO water is made with a cold process.

The Reverse Osmosis process (or RO water) does not add anything to water. Rather it pushes water though pre and post filters including a membrane (like a roll of plastic wrap) that is designed to let pure water pass though and anything that is not pure water is flushed away. It takes about 7 gallons of regular water to make 1 gallon of pure RO water. (This will vary depending upon the density and quality of the membrane and the system)

If you have one of these RO systems under your kitchen sink, you will notice several (3-7) "tubes". One of those tubes contains the RO membrane and the other tubes are the pre and post filters. The systems are designed to remove as much sediment as possible prior to entering the RO membrane and usually have an activated charcoal filter after the RO membrane to help the taste of the water.

For regular homeowners, on a municipal water system, the reverse osmosis systems work well because the incoming water is treated with chlorine which treats (and kills) the organic matter that gets into a municipal water system. Chlorine is good for this purpose, but it is poisonous to the human body and you should not drink it or shower with it. Remember chlorine is bleach and you don't drink bleach in any quantity.

So it's a great idea to use the RO system on the municipal water, because it will remove 99.9% of the things in water that are not water (including the chlorine).

However using an RO system on a well water system is not recommended for a homeowner. The reason is because there is not chlorine in well water (you don't want it) and the incoming well water going into the RO filtering system can actually start to grow organic material within the pre and post filtering parts of the RO system. This can result in the water coming out of your RO filtering system being worse than the water going into it.
 

68bucks

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Your body will readily absorb minerals that are dissolved in water, they are dissolved and available. Sucking on a nail for iron or a rock to get calcium of course won't work because the mineral you are seeking isn't dissolved and available. It's really a poor analogy. As far as "things" growing in non chlorinated water it can happen but it's no more likely to happen on an RO system or filter than it is in your plumbing. What's the difference? If bacteria in your water is a concern you should be treating it in some way like chlorination. As far as chlorine being poisonous it has to be in pretty high levels, well beyond what is palatable. Too much oxygen is poisonous, just drinking enough water can kill you. I mean really you shouldn't shower in chlorinated water? Wouldn't that make 99% of all swimming pools toxic? That sounds like something a guy selling chlorine removal systems would come up with. I mean most people eat food every day that has been washed in chlorinated water. Is that ideal, no, but it's vastly safer than washing it with plain water which has very little sanitizing properties. Well water with a high level of certain minerals tastes bad so you treat it in some fashion to improve the taste. However there are many essential minerals that come from drinking water. Cooking with RO water is especially bad. The water being void of minerals will naturally leach the minerals out of the food. Some studies say as much as 60%. Studies also say that minerals are leached from the body and passed in the urine. So if you don't eat a well balanced diet you can become deficient in minerals like calcium, and magnesium.
 

billshack

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I agree with 68 buck, If you go mountain climbing you can not drink snow melt all the time because it does not contain any minerals. this i know
 

kok328

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just added another stage to my 5-stage RO. Haven't tested TDS as my meter batteries are dead.
 

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