How Does a Whole Home Water Filter Work?

How Does a Whole Home Water Filter Work?

Nowadays it’s pretty clear that you should use a water filter system for your tap water. That’s because even the chlorine or chloramine used to treat the water from your municipal water system can still pose a health risk. Besides, these things can also make your water rather unpleasant in taste and smell. Then you still have other contaminants to worry about, such as rust, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and lead. 

While one option is to install a water filter under the sink of your kitchen faucet, there is another option. You can put a whole home water filter system on your main water supply line. This will then treat every drop of water you get, and you get the same filtered water from every faucet and showerhead. The water goes through the filter layers before it reaches the various faucets in every room of the home. 

So how does this system really work? Let’s have a closer look at your various whole home water filter options:

What Does It Filter Out?

This will vary, depending on the model you get and the filer media you put in. The most common setup for a typical home getting water from the municipal supply mainly filters out the chlorine. Chlorine is generally the most common treatment agent for water, though in some areas you can get chloramine instead. In that case, you get a different filter that specifically reduces the chloramine level.

Chlorine is used to treat water because it can get rid of germs that can cause deadly diseases. People don’t die from diphtheria, cholera, and typhoid anymore simply because they drank the tap water. This is due to the chlorine in the water.

The problem is that chlorine can itself present a health hazard, which is why you need to filter it out. In addition, the chlorine makes your water taste bad and the smell is unpleasant as well. The chlorine can also take out natural oils from your skin and hair when you use the water for showering, and you end up with dry skin and brittle hair. 

In many cases, the typical whole home water filter system also adds another filtering layer to take out any sediment in the water. But the fact is that you can pretty much customize your setup so it can take out particular contaminants in the water. 

Does your area have “hard water”? This means the water has high levels of minerals and this can cause scale buildup in your pumps and various water-using appliances. Hard water can also cause problems for your skin and hair, and can ruin your clothes when you wash them. But you can add a water softener layer of filtration to your whole home water filter system.

In fact, you can add any layer of filtration that specifically deals with particular contaminants. That’s why it’s best that you have your water tested first so you know which contaminants have to be dealt with. You can then install specific filter layers for every contaminant you want removed or reduced, and you won’t have to pay for filtering layers that take out contaminants that aren’t even in your water. 

Some of these systems can be quite complicated as a result. This is especially true with untreated well water. The water hasn’t been treated with chlorine, so it can have germs that can cause disease. Some of the more advanced whole home water filters even include UV protection that can kill germs. 

All in all, the whole home water filter takes out the contaminants you want taken out. It’s all up to you.

What Are the Advantages of the Whole Home Water Filter System?

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to consider this option:

  • It’s a one-time deal, so you don’t have to disrupt your schedule dealing with individual water filter installations for each faucet in your home. 
  • This can last for many years. Typically, it will last for at least 5 years, and other options can go for 10 or 15 years. 
  • Because it lasts for a very long time, it can be considered cost-effective. At the very least, getting this water filter system will cost you a lot less than an extended stay in the hospital for your family. 
  • There’s very little maintenance required. 
  • You get the same quality of water from every faucet. This means you won’t have to worry if your tots like to drink the water from the shower head when they’re taking a shower. If you rig the whole home water filter to give you healthy drinking water, then the water in the bathroom will be the same type of water you get from your kitchen faucet. 

What Are the Disadvantages?

There are also legitimate reasons why not every home has one of these things:

  • One main reason is that these systems are expensive. After all, they filter all the water that goes into your home. At the same time, these are typically designed to last for a very long while. The cost goes way up when you also add additional filter layers for various contaminants. 
  • You also generally need a pro to install this. That will add to the total costs.
  • It may also be a bit silly when you realize that you’re using premium-grade drinking water to wash the dishes, clothes, and the car—and you’re also using that water to flush the toilet. 


Since you don’t really need commercial-grade drinking water for washing and the toilet, it makes sense why you’d want to go the usual route of just using a simple setup that reduces the chlorine, takes out sediment, and softens the water. In many cases this will suffice and that’s why it’s a popular option. 

But if you really want commercial-grade clean drinking water, you can add under the sink water filters for your kitchen faucet. That way, you also have terrific drinking water, and you won’t waste this water flushing the toilet!

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