Drinking plenty of clean water is one thing your family can do to stay hydrated and healthy. However, the cost of a home water delivery service or the use of bottled water is probably not appealing to you. Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air has a solution for you to consider: a whole-house water filter. Whether your water source is from a well or a local utility, the water is sure to include a spectrum of undesirable contaminants. With a whole-house filtering system, you treat the water at the point that it enters your home. There is no need to have a water cleaning system at every faucet. You can have the convenience of hygienic, healthy water throughout your home.
Here are some common questions about whole-house water filtration systems and information about the different types, and how to choose the right one.
What Is the Source of Santee’s Drinking Water?
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California provides water to the San Diego County Water Authority. The sources of the water are primarily the Colorado River and locations in northern California. The water is transported long distances and, along the way, has undoubtedly picked up undesirable contaminants that you want to eliminate from your family’s water supply.
What Kinds of Maintenance Does a Whole-House System Require?
If you have a water treatment system that uses filters, you will have to change the filters every three to 12 months. The factors that determine how often a change is needed include:
- How much water you use
- The contamination level of the water
- The type and brand of filter
Also, inspection and maintenance of your filtration system by a plumbing professional once per year is recommended.
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Whole-House Water Filtration System?
With regular maintenance and required filter changes, you can expect to derive benefits from a whole-house system for approximately 10 years. Of course, the system components, installation conditions, and usage vary from home to home, and some systems deliver healthy water for up to 20 years. With extremely heavy usage, your system can be counted on for approximately three years.
Types of Whole-House Filtration Systems
Whole-house filtration systems are available in one, two, or three stages. The more the stages, the more filtration is done to the water before it comes out of your faucet. The two principal technologies for cleaner household water are filters and reverse osmosis.
Whole-House Water Filters Using Cartridges
Cartridge water filters will remove particles from your household water that range in size from .04 to 500 microns. As a reference, human hair is estimated to be 70 microns thick. The cartridges are aligned to capture the impurities in your water system before you use it for cooking, bathing, or drinking.
Differences Between the Stages Water Filters
The most basic whole-house water system uses only one stage. It consists of one sediment filter cartridge. In contrast, a two-stage system removes unwanted sediment, and then the water flows through a second filter that will remove other contaminants. At this stage, dirt, chlorine, sand, and rust are typically removed. A three-stage system is designed to eliminate pesticides, organic matter, algae, microorganisms, lead, heavy metals, and odors.
Factors That Point to Your Optimal System
Two primary steps are used to help you decide what whole-house filtration is best for your family. The first is identifying what types of harmful contaminants are in the water that your family is consuming. A professional plumber with water filtration experience can help you have your home water tested. Then you will know what contaminants your family is exposed to and how the filtration system needs to be designed to remove the harmful and unpleasant ones.
Another step to help assure that your new water purification system is right for your home is to determine the water flow rate. This is a balancing act. You want a low rate to assure thorough filtration, but you want to have a high enough rate to service the water needs of your family. Usually, whole-house water filter systems have a water flow rate ranging from 10 to 25 gallons per minute. However, many successful systems have either a higher or a lower rate. Our plumbing professionals at Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air can help you determine your optimum water flow rate.
The Reverse Osmosis Alternative
Reverse osmosis uses pressure to force water across a semipermeable membrane. This membrane removes the smallest of contaminants from your water. Most homeowners find the cost and maintenance of a whole-house reverse osmosis water filtration system to be prohibitive. The systems are not only expensive to purchase and install but also require frequent maintenance and tend to waste a lot of water. Therefore, most home-use reverse osmosis systems are attached to a single faucet. These are referred to as point-of-use systems.
Ultra-Violet Light for Cleaner Water
Ultra-violet light can be used to remove microorganisms from drinking water. However, it is not helpful for removing many of the other contaminants in your drinking water. It will not remove sand, silt, rust, bad taste, or odors. A filtration system is required to remove these items in addition to ultra-violet light to eliminate harmful microorganisms.
What if You Want Softened Water?
Having softened water in your home or not is a personal choice. Water contains a selection of minerals that are not considered to be harmful or unhealthy and are not removed by a filtration system. If your water has a high concentration of these minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, it is called “hard.” Water can go through a process to reduce the level of these minerals and make it “soft.” Softening water will help prevent mineral build-up in your pipes, water heaters, and fixtures. Installing a whole-house water filtration method does not prevent the use of a softening system. They can be installed to work hand-in-hand.
Once you have made the decision to install a whole-house water filtration method, you will need to schedule a time that is convenient for your family for the water to be shut off at your home. After all the pipes are drained, at the point of installation, the pipe will be cut, and fittings installed and soldered.
National Certifications for the Water Filtration Industry
NSF International, an organization accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), publishes guidelines and standards for drinking water and purification systems. Be sure and know that whatever system you choose has been certified by the rating organization.
Improve the water in your home today with the assistance of Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, located in Santee, California. We are a full-service and professional plumbing company, including 24-hour emergency plumbing responses. We also offer cooling and heating services. You can count on us for installations, repairs, inspections, and maintenance. When you have a new build, a remodel, or just want to improve the quality of the air in your home, we offer ventilation, indoor air quality, and insulation services to our neighbors in the San Diego area.
Give us a call today to learn more about all our home services and get to know our competent and dedicated staff members.