Whole House Water Filters
When it comes to filtering tap water, there are usually two avenues that you can follow – install a filter to a single point of use, or install a point-of-entry water filter.
Both types of filters produce quality filtered water, but point-of-entry filters or whole house water filters deliver freshly filtered water to every water outlet throughout your home.
Whole house water filtration systems are convenient, cost-effective, and they ensure that whichever tap you turn on in your home, you get the same quality filtered water.
Our comprehensive guide to whole house filtration systems will cover all that you should know about whole house water filters before you install one in your home.
When Do You Need to Install a Whole House Filtration System?
For cooking, drinking, washing dishes, and other kitchen activities point-of-use filters are usually enough. The problem appears when you want to have filtered water in other parts of your home as well.
Let’s say you live in a large household with two or more bathrooms, and you want to have filtered water in both. Point-of-use filters installed in your kitchen won’t be able to meet this demand. Only a whole house water filter will be able to deliver filtered water to any and every water outlet in your house.
Here’s when you should opt for a whole house water filter rather than a countertop or undersink water filter:
- Your filtered water consumption needs extend beyond drinking and cooking;
- You live in a large home with multiple baths and a higher than average water consumption;
- You want a multi-stage water filter system so you can target multiple contaminants at once.
Whole house water filters are great at removing sediments, chlorine, taste and odour issues, and other tap water contaminants. These whole home filtration units are multi-stage filters with a high filtered water output, and robust filter cartridges built for durability and high usage.
As with most multi-stage water filters, proper maintenance is imperative for the optimal functioning of your whole house water filter system.
As we will discuss further on in this article, failing to maintain your whole house water filter system will lead to malfunctions, low water pressure, and more importantly, bad quality filtered water.
A whole home water filter has a series of advantages over simple POU filters, namely:
- Higher filtered water output – compared to a POU filter, a whole house filter has the capacity to filter all the water needed for cooking, drinking, washing, bathing, etc.;
- Convenience – installing and overseeing a single whole house filtration system is easier than overseeing multiple point of use filters;
- Multiple contaminants removed at once – due to them being multi-stage filter systems, whole house water filters remove hundreds of contaminants like chlorine, VOCs, bacteria, heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, and many more;
- Cost-effective – installing a whole house water filter is more economical than installing a point-of-use filter at multiple water outlets in your home;
- Less scale – certain whole house filters have descaling effects as well, which means that you’ll experience less scale in your appliances and bathroom sanitary ware;
- Brighter clothes and less detergent usage – with less scale in your water, the efficiency of your detergents will be improved, and you can preserve the colour and texture of your clothes;
- Healthier baths – with a whole house filter you’ll experience healthier baths as contaminants that may cause skin irritations or that may damage your hair will be removed;
- Flexibility – if you notice any changes in the level and type of contaminants present in your tap water, you can replace your existing water filter cartridges with other filter cartridges that can target those newfound contaminants as well.
Are There Disadvantages to Installing a Whole House Water Filter?
In terms of the disadvantages of a whole house water filter, here’s what you should know:
- Installing a whole house water filter may be more difficult than installing an undersink water filter;
- Maintaining a whole house water filter may require more attention, especially that any decrease in the system’s efficiency due to improper maintenance can interfere with the quality of the filtered water produced by the system;
- Customisation of the type of filtered water (e.g. alkaline filtered water, non-scaling filtered water, etc.) can happen only for the entire system, but not for individual water outlets. To customise the type of filtration at individual water outlets, you will have to install additional undersink filters.
As you will see below, there are various types of whole house water filters that you can use to improve the quality of your tap water in your entire house.
Types of Whole House Water Filters
Not all whole house water filters are made the same, thus, we distinguish the following types of whole house water filters:
Simple Taste & Odour Whole House Water Filters
As their name implies, these whole house water filters are designed to target tap water taste and odour altering substances like chlorine. Besides chlorine, these filters may also remove sediments, and inhibit scale formation.
The Watts Pro 4.5 x 10 Inch Scale Treatment and Chlorine Filter System is an example of this type of whole house filter. This filter comes with two filter cartridges – a filter cartridge that targets scale by transforming calcium ions into calcium crystals, thus rendering them unable to stick to surfaces, and a coconut shell carbon block filter that removes chlorine, improves taste and odour, and reduces sediments.
Of course, you can always add an undersink or countertop filter to any water outlet in your home if you want to customise the level of filtration at that particular water outlet. For example, you may want to remove bacteria and heavy metals from your drinking water, so you can install a POU filter in your kitchen.
Traditionally, these types of taste and odour whole house filters are more affordable than more advanced models, and their price is comparable to the price of undersink water filters.
UV Whole House Water Filters
These types of whole house water filters use ultraviolet light to treat tap water or other water sources. UV water filters can be used on their own or in addition to a taste and odour whole house filter, or even in combination with POU water filters.
All UV whole house filters must be equipped with a pre-filtration system that removes sediments from water before treatment with UV lights. UV water filters don’t remove chemical contaminants, VOCs, heavy metals or suspended solids, these filters can be used only to sanitise tap water, and destroy any harmful microorganisms.
For a more complete filtration, we recommend using whole house UV water filters together with other whole house filter systems, undersink water filters or countertop filters.
Some UV whole house filters may be supplied with filter cartridges that can target various other contaminants as well. For example, the the Pentek 7.6 LPM UV-110-2 UV Whole House Water Filter System is supplied with a carbon block filter cartridge that reduces bad tastes and odours, sediments, chlorine, and Giardia and Cryptosporidium cysts. The system is capable of producing 7.6 litres of UV purified water per minute.
High-Efficiency Whole House Water Filters
These types of whole house water filters are the ultimate in whole home water filtration. They are also the costliest compared to the other whole house filters we’ve discussed.
While simple taste and odour whole house filters and UV whole house filters are priced between £200 and £350, high-efficiency whole house water filters can cost double or even triple that amount.
These filters combine carbon block filters with sediment filters, ceramic filters or granular activated carbon filters, and some even feature KDF filter media. The multi-stage filtration process that these filters employ reduce an impressive number of contaminant.
Some of the contaminants removed by these filters include: microorganisms (e.g. Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli, Pseudomonas, etc.), chemical disinfectants and their by-products, hormones, toxins, volatile organic chemicals, organic matter, herbicides, pesticides, fluoride, sediments, heavy metals, hydrogen sulphide, bad taste and odours, etc.
The Osmio PRO-III-XL Ultimate Whole House Water Filter System is capable of removing all these contaminants and more, with the help of the three heavy duty filter cartridges that make up the system: an active ceramics whole house filter, a 5-micron carbon block filter, and a granular activated carbon filter with KDF filter media.
The active ceramics filter contains a blend of 4 different ceramics that each have their role in the removal of contaminants. Besides removing contaminants, the active ceramic filter has water pH balancing properties, adding antioxidants and minerals back into the water to make it more alkaline. This filter has an impressive service life of 3 years or 300,000 litres.
The carbon block filter has a filter life of 6 to 12 months, while the GAC & KDF filter will last up to 12 months.
The challenge with most multi-stage filter systems is to remember to replace the filters on time. Given that different filter cartridges have different filtration ratings, their replacement may have to be carried out at different intervals. Read our tips below on how to care for your whole house water filter:
How To Care For Your Whole House Water Filter
Monitoring the performance of your whole house water filter is key to ensuring that everything works fine, and quality filtered water is delivered to every tap in your house.
Changing filter cartridges in a whole home water filter system may be more challenging than replacing filters is a simple POU filter. Even though whole house filters usually operate with no more than three filter cartridges, these are often replaceable at different intervals.
For example, a sediment filter in a whole house water filter may need replacement every 6 months, while other filters in the filtration process may last as many as 24 or 36 months.
Forgetting to replace the pre-filters on time may lead to clogging issues, system malfunctions, damage to other filters in the process, contaminated water, and low water pressure, which will affect every single water outlet in your home.
In cases when filters are overused, bacterial grow-through issues may appear, which in turn can cause bad tastes and odours in tap water, or even gastrointestinal problems.
To make sure this never happens, set reminders for each individual filter cartridge that you must replace in your whole house water filter. Make sure to have replacement filters ready by the time you need to replace your filter cartridges.
Even if you have an UV whole house water filter that eliminates bacteriological issues, it’s not enough to remember to replace the UV lamp on time. You also have to remember to replace the sediment filter cartridge in your UV pre-filtration system, which is a key element in ensuring that suspended solids do not block out UV lights.
If you’re using other filter cartridges in combination with your UV system, their replacement on time is just as important, especially if your tap water has other contamination issues, besides bacteriological problems.
Sometimes, even though filter cartridges in your home filtration system have not yet reached the end of their service life, you may still notice changes in the taste and odour of your tap water.
This may be due to increased water usage, which may shorten filter lifespan, or changes in the levels of contaminants in your tap water. When this happens, you may still have to replace your filters despite these not having reached the end of their service life.
Besides the Osmio Pro-III XL whole house filter system presented above, our selection of whole house water filters includes other heavy duty whole house water filters that may interest you. You can read about some of these filters in our review below:
Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews
Here at WaterFilterShop.co.uk, we bring you a large selection of whole house water filters that meet all budgets and filtration requirements.
For the purposes of this review, we’ve chosen two budget-friendly whole house water filters from the high-efficiency whole house water filter category:
This affordable whole house filtration system features only two filter cartridges housed in separate filter housings. The Osmio Pro-II-A is a filter system suitable for medium to large homes, and it’s designed to offer flow rates of 40 litres per minute.
The first filter in the system is a large active ceramics filter that contains four different types of active ceramics, which offer a uniquely thorough filtration. This filter has an extraordinary filter live, providing up to 300,000 litres of filtered water before needing replacement.
The second filter is a 5-micron carbon block filter rated at 46,000 litres that stands out through its high dirt holding capacity and virtually zero pressure drop.
These two filter cartridges together remove the following contaminants from your tap water: chlorine, heavy metals, toxins, hormones, bacteria (e.g. E-coli, Pseudomonas), VOCs, sediments, and other microorganisms and organic contaminants, improving the taste of your tap water.
The Osmio Pro-II-A will not only filter out contaminants, but it also improves tap water by adding minerals and antioxidants, and balancing the pH of water. The system also produces non-scaling water that is gentle on your skin, hair, and appliances.
This whole house filter is an excellent choice if you want a high-efficiency whole house water filter at an affordable price.
This Ecopure premium whole house filter is a single-stage filter system that uses an active ceramics filter that combines four different active ceramics for an advanced and in-depth filtration.
Despite being a single-stage filter, this whole house filtration unit can deal with the following tap water contaminants: chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, fluoride, toxins, etc.
The filter will increase the pH of water by 0.5, adding trace amounts of healthy minerals and antioxidants to your filtered water.
Thanks to the bacteriostatic environment within the filter bacteria, algae, and fungi cannot grow within the filter, which is rated for 300,000 litres or 3 years of usage. Replacing the filter every three years is the only maintenance required by this whole house filter, which makes this filter one of the least maintenance-intensive filters on the market.
If you want to install a whole house water filter in your home, but you prefer to have a set-it-and-forget-it type of water filter that requires minimal maintenance, yet it doesn’t compromise on efficiency, the Osmio Large Whole House filter can be an excellent choice for you.
Whole house filtration is an economic and efficient way of dealing with tap water contamination issues throughout your home. The sheer number of whole house water filters on the market makes it easy to find a filter system that meets your budget, your filtered water consumption needs, and contaminant removal requirements.
If you live in a large household with a higher than usual water consumption, and your tap water has contamination issues that would require the installation of several POU filters, a whole house water filter system can be an affordable and efficient alternative.