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Whole House Water Filters

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What is a whole house water filter?

A whole house water filter is any filtration system that treats water at the point of entry (POE) to provide clean water throughout your home. POE refers to the point where water enters your home for plumbing, dishwashing, cooking, bathing, and laundering. A whole house filtration system could be an activated or catalytic carbon filter, sediment filter, acid neutralizer, water conditioner, water softener, or UV water purifier. Each type of water filter is designed to remove specific contaminants or alter the characteristics of well water or city water. The best whole house filter for your home depends on your water’s quality.

Whole house water filtration systems are customized to suit your home’s specific water needs. Determining what’s wrong with your water is the first step in finding the right whole house water filter. A water test helps you discover what contaminants need to be removed from your water.

Learn more about how contaminants enter water or how to test your water at home.

Whole house water filters for city water often include carbon to remove chemicals like chlorine or chloramine that leave your water with a bad taste or odor. A salt-free water conditioner or a water softener is the best solution in locations with hard water.

Whole house water filters for well water require a combination of different systems and filters to improve water quality. Well water filtration systems are pieced together to create a specific solution for your home. Sediment and other particles must be removed from well water, and then the water must be treated with a UV water purifier to remove bacteria. If you’re looking for a whole house filter for well water, our team of water experts would love to help you find the right solution.

Types of Whole House Water Filters

Whole House Carbon Water Filters

A carbon filter is the most effective way to remove chemicals like chlorine from water and nasty tastes and odors from water. Carbon water filters are often used to remove chemical byproducts from water treated with disinfectants by a municipal plant. Contaminants adhere to the surface of carbon like it’s made of Velcro. Carbon media comes in two forms: activated or catalytic.

  • Activated carbon has been heated with steam to open the pores of the carbon granules and expand the surface area.
  • Catalytic activated carbon
  • is a stronger carbon blend with increased reduction capabilities. The catalytic carbon blend removes chlorine and chloramines chemically altering the molecules.

      Browse carbon water filters for point-of-use systems.

      Learn more about how a carbon water filter works.

      Whole House Sediment Filters

      A sediment filter removes particles like dirt, debris, and sand suspended in water. Sediment is filtered mechanically, which means particles larger than the micron size of the filter are blocked. A whole house sediment filter is typically used with other systems as a prefilter. They don’t remove dissolved contaminants or bacteria, but they remove large particles to increase the efficiency of other water filters.

      Browse sediment filters for point-of-use systems or Rusco spin-down filters.

      Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioners

      A water conditioner treats water for scale by altering the property of minerals that create scale build-up in pipes and appliances. Water conditioners turn minerals into a crystalline form that does not adhere to surfaces. Because conditioners don’t remove hardness minerals, they cannot soften your water. Conditioners are easier to maintain than softeners because they use no salt and require no backwashing.

      Browse scale inhibitors for your water heater.

      Whole House Acid Neutralizers

      Pure water has a neutral pH, but contaminants that creep into the water supply have their own pH that increases the acidity of water. When water’s pH is less than 7, the water is acidic. Acid water is not hazardous to drink, but it can be detrimental to pipes and appliances. Acidic water causes corrosion that eats away at your plumbing, causes leaks, and leaves greenish stains on surfaces. Corrosive pipes may also cause lead or copper to compromise your drinking water.

      Calcite media dissolves calcium in water to neutralize the pH. Flomag is a blend of magnesium and calcium that’s stronger than calcite but can potentially over-correct acidic water. An acid neutralizer uses the high pH of the media to raise the pH of water. If your water has high levels of calcium and magnesium prior to treatment, adding more of these minerals may increase your water hardness. If this happens, you may want to consider a water softener or conditioner.

      Browse all filter media.

      Whole House Water Softeners

      A water softener removes hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium by exchanging their ions for sodium ions. Minerals that cause scale and make your laundry dull, your skin dry, and your dishes spotted are removed from the water. A water softer is the best way to treat hard water. Softening with salt causes concern about increased sodium intake. However, the amount of salt added to your drinking water is minimal and makes little difference to your health unless you are on a special sodium-restrictive diet.

      Browse all water softeners.

      Learn more about how a water softener works.

      Whole House UV

      A UV water purifier treats water for bacteria and viruses by altering the DNA of living organisms so they cannot replicate and infect. Sediment filtration is needed prior to UV disinfection so debris does not block UV light from reaching the bacteria. UV purification does not remove contaminants from water, so you may need another filtration system to work alongside your UV to provide your home with clean water.

      Browse all UV systems.

      Learn more about how a UV water purifier works.

      What does a whole house water filter remove?

      Tastes and odors: Carbon filter

      Chlorine: Carbon filter

      Chloramine: Catalytic carbon filter

      Cysts and bacteria: Granular activated carbon (GAC) filter rated for cyst reduction or a UV water treatment system

      Heavy metals: Catalytic carbon filter, acid neutralizer, or a water conditioner

      Lead: Acid neutralizer

      Mold and algae: Spa filter designed with Micro-Pure technology

      Scale: Catalytic carbon filter, acid neutralizer, water conditioner, or a whole house water softener

      Sediment: Sediment filter

      Bacteria: A UV water treatment system

      Benefits of a Whole House Water Filtration System

      A whole house water filter is certainly worth the time and investment. They help guarantee that the water you use for drinking, cooking, washing laundry, brushing teeth, bathing, making ice clean, safe, and delicious. Here’s how a whole house water filter benefits your entire home.

      Showers: Using a whole house carbon filtration system reduces chlorine or chloramine in water. These disinfectants cause skin and hair to become dried out and damaged. Hard water makes your skin feel slimy in the shower and creates soap curds that make washing more difficult. We recommend a whole house water softener or salt-free water conditioner to solve these problems.

      Refrigerators & Ice Makers: Hard water deposits make your ice taste terrible and look foggy or clog your ice maker. A clogged ice maker leads to costly maintenance fees. Some ice machines come with a pre-installed filter to remove hard mineral deposits, but this filter must be changed often. Installing a whole house filtration system that includes scale control or a whole house water softener saves you time, frustration, and money.

      Faucets & Sinks: We use tap water for brushing teeth, washing food, cooking, and making beverages. Investing in a whole house filter system brings clean drinking water to your tap.

      Washer & Dryer: A whole house salt-free water conditioner or chemical-free water softener removes water hardness at the point water enters your home. This not only keeps clothes looking brighter and feeling softer, but it also reduces the amount of detergent and soap needed, which saves you money.

      Whole House Filters vs. Under Sink Filters

      A whole house filter treats all the water in your house, but an under-sink filter treats water at the point-of-use (POU) for a specific application, like clean drinking water from your kitchen faucet. Under-sink filters are preferred if incoming water quality is suitable for laundry, showers, and the dishwasher but not filtered enough for drinking. Like whole house filters, under sink filters come in a variety of filtration options. Reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, and drinking water systems are the most common choices for under-sink installation.

      Is a whole house water filter necessary?

      A whole house water filter may be necessary depending on your water quality. If your water contains harmful contaminants like lead and arsenic or living organisms like bacteria and viruses, then you should install a whole house filter to keep your home safe. A whole house filter is beneficial, but not necessary, if you have hardness or taste and odor in your water. Water treatment removes contaminants that make cooking and cleaning a nuisance and drinking water unpleasant, even though they may not be dangerous to consume.

      Whole House Water Filter Customer Reviews

      Here’s what our guests had to say about their whole house filters from Fresh Water Systems:

      Great for Chlorine Removal

      As a licensed plumber, I install many different types of water filtration systems. I've found this one the best for municipal water supplies to remove the chlorine from the water as well as many other things. -- Kevin H.

      Great product - we love it.

      Received product in great condition and good time. Had Master Plumber install, although brother-in-law could have done it. Money well spent. We love the change in our water quality. -- Clifford A.

      Browse water softeners by brand: Watts | 3M | Pentek

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