Water Filtration Systems
Having a whole house water filtration system is like having bottled water for your entire home. That’s not an extravagance — there are clear benefits to water softeners and filtration systems.
Water conditioning systems do more than improve the taste, odor, and appearance of tap water. They can also remove harmful substances you can’t directly sense, including heavy metals, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals that sometimes make their way into the drinking water supply. A water softener alone removes calcium and magnesium. Although these are healthy minerals they cause the scale to build up. That’s unsightly, and unseen inside appliances it reduces performance and appliance lifetime. “Hard” water can also interfere with cleaning. Did You Know? Although modern laundry detergents are formulated to work well with hard water, you can still get mineral deposits from the rinse cycle. Without those deposits, fabrics are softer and last longer. Hardness does reduce the effectiveness of most soaps and shampoos. The Water Quality Research Council claims that some households with hard water spend an extra $50 per month for these sorts of products.
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Do You Need A Whole House Water Conditioning System?
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At 15-20 grains per gallon of minerals, If you’ve noticed any of these signs you probably need a water softener or maintenance on an existing system. That will clear these symptoms and help water heaters, ice makers, coffee makers, dishwashers, and clothes washers last longer.
- Mineral buildup on shower heads and faucets, often reducing or even blocking flow
- Water stains on glassware and dishes
- Hard-to-clean deposits on glass shower doors
- Dry or itchy skin
- Dull hair
- A grayish tinge on clothes after washing
- Coffee, tea, and pasta taste better when you use bottled water
- Tap water smells strongly of chlorine or has other odors
- Tap water looks less than crystal clear
Did You Know? Heavy mineral deposits inside water heaters can increase their energy use by up to 25%.
Water Filtration Systems
Water purification systems remove additional contaminants. Some are designed to remove specific minerals and metals. Here are the main types to consider.
- Sedimentation filters remove suspended solids.
- Reverse Osmosis technologies use a special membrane that acts as a filter at the scale of molecules. This technology is mostly used in under-sink equipment for treatment of drinking and cooking water, with results as clean as any bottled product.
- Activated and Catalytic Carbon filters use specially prepared charcoal-like materials. Their huge surface area binds a wide range of compounds so that they remove chlorine, chloramines, VOCs (volatile organic compounds such as solvents), pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. Removing chlorine can be especially helpful in the greater Phoenix area where hot weather forces utilities to use higher levels of chlorine to assure killing off any bacteria.