Understanding Your Whole-House Water Filter and How It Works

December 20, 2021

What goes into a whole-house water treatment system? If you have one of these systems already, you may not have considered much more than the fact that you have clean and fresh water on tap whenever you want it. However, it’s important to understand what a home water treatment system does, how it works and what its limitations are.

Here’s a quick guide to whole-house water filters.

Types of water treatment systems

Typically, a home water treatment system operates by disinfecting, filtering and softening the water. This can be done in several different ways. Whole-house water filters can include:

  • Disinfection methods: Disinfection kills bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that can cause illness. This can be done in a number of ways. Chlorination is a common method of disinfecting water, but your treatment system is more likely to include ultraviolet (UV) light. UV radiation can kill microorganisms without affecting the quality of the water or using potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Reverse osmosis: Reverse osmosis systems force water through a semi-permeable membrane, which filters out about 90 percent of contaminants. They are almost always used alongside filtration systems, and can waste water in the reverse osmosis process.
  • Ion exchange systems: Ion exchange systems are for softening water. Depending on the amount of minerals in your water, your water could be considered “hard.” This is characterized by mineral scale left in sinks, appliances, fixtures and pipes. Removing the minerals makes the water feel softer—and taste better, too.
  • Filtration: Filtration systems remove contaminants and debris from the water. Your system might use carbon filters, oxidizing filters or mechanical filters, depending on the type of treatment system you use. Filtration can remove minerals, silt, sand, debris and even some harmful gases, like radon.
  • Distillation: Distillation is the process of heating water until it’s converted to steam. When the water is heated, it not only kills germs, but also removes contaminants—they are not converted to gas like water may be. Sediment and contaminants fall to the bottom of the container while the steam is allowed to condense and collect for later use.

If you already have a whole-home water treatment system, you can figure out how it treats your water by figuring out which components are included.

Choosing a system

When choosing a whole-house water filter, consider your main needs first. If your water is particularly hard, you’d want your new system to include a softener. On the other hand, if you’re more concerned about pathogens in the water, you’d need access to a type of disinfection process. Make sure that your system addresses all of your needs.

Finally, remember that whole-house water filters treat the water before it enters your home, so all of your taps and appliances will receive treated water. This is different than under-the-sink water treatment systems and other localized options.

When you need a whole-house water treatment system, reach out to the team at WES Water today. We’ll be glad to supply and install your brand-new treatment system for you.

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