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How Do Whole-House Water Filtration Systems Work?

water-from-faucetIf the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the words water filtration is a pitcher with a water filter cartridge in it, you should know there are much more effective ways to provide clean water to your house. A simple water pitcher can do some good, but it certainly doesn’t help your whole home, and there are many impurities that may escape it. Point-of-use filters attached to individual faucets have the same drawbacks.

The best alternative is for a whole-house water filtration system installation in Cincinnati, OH with our water treatment specialists. They’re glad to speak to you and go over the various options available to provide you with cleaner water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.

The basics of whole-house water filtration

There are a number of different methods for filtering water entering a home, but there are two main ones that we work with: adsorption filters and reverse osmosis filters.

Adsorption Filters

Also known as activated carbon or AC, this is the most common type of household water filter. It uses activated carbon granules based on charcoal. You might think of charcoal as something like a solid sponge that can trap numerous particles that move across it. The activated carbon in an adsorption filter has an enormous surface area because of all its nooks and crannies. As water passes through the activated carbon, the impurities are adsorbed by the porous surface of the charcoal. (Adsorption is when liquids or gases are trapped by solids or liquids.)

These filters are good for many standard impurities found in water, such as chemicals, pesticides, chlorine, and larger particles that cause turbidity (cloudiness) in water. However, they aren’t as effective at filtering heavy metals, such as lead, or microbes and hard water minerals. The carbon will eventually become clogged and must have ongoing maintenance to keep it working.

Reverse Osmosis Filters

This type of filter is powerful enough to trap the impurities that may pass through an adsorption filter, such as heavy metals, magnesium, calcium, and even some microorganisms. A reverse osmosis filter forces water through a semi-permeable membrane capable of straining out minute contaminants. The force comes from creating two different areas of pressure inside the system with the membrane between them. The incoming water is kept at higher pressure, so by process of osmosis, it will attempt to move to the area of low pressure, passing through the membrane.

Although reverse osmosis filtration systems are powerful, they must be carefully installed to match a household plumbing system; otherwise they might cause a drop in water pressure throughout the plumbing.

To know what type of filter is best for your house and if you may need another type of water purification system, start by arranging for water testing with our experts. They’ll provide you with a full breakdown of the pH balance and hardness of your water as well as the presence of harmful contaminants. After this, they can help you locate the right type of water treatment system for your needs.

Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. offers professional plumbing throughout the Greater Cincinnati and the Surrounding Tri-State Areas.

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