How Do Home Filtration Systems Work?

Whole-home water filtration systems provide healthy, contaminant-free water to all outlets in the residence. Since the device is attached to the incoming water main, it eliminates the need for multiple filters throughout the house. Read about how a whole-home filtration system functions and the many benefits included in owning one.

Installing a Whole-Home Water Filter

Normally, filtration systems for an entire home require professional installation. The plumber will first locate the main water supply line. The system must have two shutoff valves — one on the supply side and one on the side leading to the rest of the house. If you have only one shutoff valve, the plumber will install another.

Maintaining the System

Once installed, the system’s maintenance will depend on manufacturer specifications. The life expectancy of a filter is usually measured in gallons. How long the filter lasts will depend on how much fluid cycles through it on a daily basis. A filter’s longevity will also be affected if the device is regularly in contact with hard water, which is chock full of minerals and can lead to clogs and scale buildup.

An odor or bad taste may signal the need for a filter change. Another sign of the end of a filter’s life is decreased pressure. Most filters should be changed every one to five years, depending on system construction.

Benefits of Using a Whole-Home Filtered Water System

While tap filters limit contaminants in drinking and cooking water, unhealthy substances can still flow into the water supply used for bathing, brushing teeth and washing clothes. Your home’s water may have a limited amount of bacteria and pesticide runoff — how much depends on the standards set by your town’s water treatment regulations — but even the elements used to purify the supply may still pose a health hazard.

Chlorine is routinely added to water supplies to kill pathogens. When the chlorinated water is heated, such as when used for a shower, chloroform can form and be inhaled. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists chloroform as a hazardous substance for humans, affecting digestion and cardiac health, and taxing the liver and kidneys. Humans absorb chloroform through their skin or by breathing it in as it evaporates. Filtration at the main supply line reduces chlorine and protects household members from exposure to toxic chloroform fumes at each outlet.

Whole-home water filtration systems also can cut down on maintenance: the homeowner only needs to replace only one filter on an annual basis, rather than individual filters for each sink, shower and appliance. The benefit to complete supply protection far outweighs the initial cost.

If you have an interest in whole-home water filtration systems, contact Ed Gardner Plumbing for a professional opinion on your home’s water quality and the investment costs for installation and upkeep.

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