There are many different types of whole house water filtration systems. While the medium used in different systems for filtering out the contaminants in the water might be different but the basic principle is the same. Here is a quick guide on how your whole house water filter works.
This filter is usually connected to the main water line before it connects to the water heater to ensure that every single drop of water that enters your home is filtered.
The first filter encountered by the water is a sediment pre-filter. This particular filter is designed to get rid of the biggest contaminants in the water including sediment, rust, sand, silt, and debris among others. In addition to getting rid of the bigger contaminants, it also makes sure that the next filters in the filtration system remain functional much longer. If this filter is not present in the system, you will need to change other filters more frequently.
Once in a sediment pre-filter removes the larger particles, the water moves to the activated carbon filter. The activated carbon filter is one of the most important parts of the system as it helps in getting rid of a large number of particles. Activated carbon provides a lot of porous surfaces. This surface on this filter is full of grannies and notes.
The contaminants in the water flowing through this filter stick to these nooks and crannies through a natural process known as adsorption. It is a highly effective filter and gets rid of most of the chlorine in the water, remaining sediment, volatile organic compounds as well as foul smells and tastes. The activated carbon filter is sometimes treated with special substances in order to give it different properties. Some filters use a small amount of silver in this filter to add anti-bacterial capacity to the filter.
In the next step, the water goes through a copper-zinc and mineral filter. It is also an important filter in the process as it gets rid of the remaining contaminants in the water. This filter is added as it is highly effective in getting rid of the remaining chlorine, heavy metals as well as any bacteria and other harmful microorganisms typically found in the water. It is also highly effective at removing most of the scale in the water.
Some whole house water filtration systems also have an additional step in the form of a water softener or descaler. Keep in mind that not all the filtration systems have it. In some cases, ion-exchange technology is used to achieve descaling. Click here to check our buyer’s guide and reviews on the top-rated water ionizers.
When the filtered water enters the ion-exchange chamber, it passes over some resin beads. These beads are full of sodium ions. The calcium and magnesium particles present in the water replace the sodium ions. This process makes the water soft but also a bit salty. There are systems available in the market where a salt-free water softener is used for maintaining the neutral taste of water.
Some filtration systems also have a post-filter. It is optional but used more frequently as compared to the water softener. Its main use is to enhance the quality of water. The water entering the post-filter does not have any bigger particles as all those have already been filtered out and usually only very small particles remain. The role of this filter is to get rid of these small particles. The filters look like a mesh that is full of holes but the critical part is the size of these holes. Most of the post-filter holes measure around 1 micron though there are filters with holes measuring 0.35 microns.
A UV filter is an optional but highly efficient component of a water filtration system. This filter is capable of killing any remaining virus, bacteria or microorganisms. You should use a UV filter as part of the water filtration system if you suspect that there is high bacterial contamination in the water source.