There are many reasons to purchase a filtration (or purification) system for your home’s water. Primarily, water filtrations systems purify the water entering your home to ensure that the water you drink and bathe in is safe and contamination-free. With the average person consuming about 185 gallons of water a year, this is a very important consideration! The second reason for a whole-home water system is to make the water palatable or acceptable for drinking by making it taste and smell better.
Unfortunately, not every treatment is made for every case. At Dierolf, we want to make sure that we advise our customers so they find the water filtration system that is best for their location and particular use cases. This article highlights common questions that you may have when purchasing your own water purification system.
Question 1: Do I need a whole-home filtration system?
The short answer is: it depends.
In eastern Pennsylvania, homes are served by two primary water sources – public water and private (well) water. All public water is subject to standards and regulations set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This oversight and regulation generally ensures that water will meet minimum standards for health and safety. With this said, water can still pick up contaminants along the many steps that take place to bring you fresh water. In addition, public water is often known for having a poor taste or smell (sulfur being a common complaint) which the correct filtration system can resolve.
Owners who have private wells on the other hand are fully responsible to ensure that their well water is safe from contaminants. In this case, we recommend that these homeowners strongly consider the purchase of a water filtration system.
In both cases, it is important to have your water quality tested by a trained professional. Depending on the results of the tests and the potential contaminants in the water, you may need a water software, a reverse osmosis (RO) system to remove all contaminants, or systems that are able to handle high iron content, smell, or other possible issues.
An important question to ask your water expert once the results have come back is: “Do any of the results from the water testing indicate a potential health hazard to me or my family?”
Question 2: What does a whole-home filtration system do for me and my family?
A whole home system can have many benefits and is well worth the investment, especially once water testing is taken into consideration.
Water is critical to life. Water that contains contaminants can be harmful. While we are fortunate to have high-quality water in the United States, water can still contain chemicals, bacteria, and other unwanted items in your drinking water. Some of these – such as lead – can have a profound effect on an individual’s health. Others, like pesticides that leak into ground water, have been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia. And, of course, bacteria is the number one cause for stomach symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Nothing is better, on a hot summer day, than enjoying a nice glass of ice water. But if your water has a taste or smell that is not pleasant – with sulfur and chlorine being common complaints – your water quickly goes from being enjoyable to being a stressor.
The right type of filtration system can remove and limit the impurities in the water that give it a bad taste or smell making it enjoyable for you and your family.
As we mentioned in a previous article, hard water can cause considerable damage to your appliances. But, other impurities in water can cause other damage. High iron content will cause stains appliances (and clothes!) and may damage electric appliances.
Question 3: What system is correct for me?
As the results of testing your water will help determine the specifics of this answer, but generally there are two considerations on the type of filtration system you buy.
Point of Entry vs. Point of Use
Water filtration takes place in two areas of your home. The first is Point of Entry (POE) which will filter all water that enters your home whether it is used for cooking, drinking, showers, or anything else you may use your water for. These systems are installed at the main water line where your water enters your home. POE systems have high-capacity filtration and are typically larger for a family’s home usage. They will often be paired with water softeners and will be found in a garage or a basement depending upon the entry-point of water into the home. A sediment filtration system is a common POE system which removes major sediment to make way for the Point of Use (POU) systems.
Point of Use systems are intended specifically in front of the actual use of the water – specifically water that is going to be consumed through drinking and cooking. POU systems make up the “final leg” of a whole home treatment plan and are intended to be used where they are actually needed in most cases. Many refrigerators have built-in POU systems in the form of carbon filters in their water and ice dispensers. Reverse osmosis and faucet carbon filters can be found under sinks or near the actual point of use.
When considering a whole-home system, a combination of the two systems are typically used to treat an entire home.
Question 4: What kind of maintenance and on-going costs are required?
Not every water treatment system requires regular maintenance visits, but most do require some sort of upkeep. Whether it is a simple cartridge change, a lamp replacement, or even a full material re-bed, chances are if you have treatment equipment it will require some sort of maintenance.
A simple mesh filter is something that the average homeowner can clean themselves, for example. A complicated valve controller that should disassembled, cleaned, and lubricated every year, may be better off in the hands of a professional. There are also different levels of maintenance for many systems. Much of your maintenance time or cost will depend on how much you are willing to do yourself.
At Dierolf Plumbing and Water Treatment, we offer a low-cost initial evaluation of your home’s water treatment equipment. This visit will include steps that we advise. So whether you are learning the best way to maintain your new home, or if you’re trying to get back on track in a home you have lived in for some time, we can help you! More importantly, if we installed the equipment ourselves, even if it was for a previous owner, this visit is FREE!
Your home, your equipment, and, most importantly, your family can all benefit from a whole-home water treatment system. The up-front investment will pay huge dividends for many years to come with relatively simple maintenance and care. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you determine the right solution for your home!