Do I Need a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

Do I Need a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?

Wash dishes with whole home reverse osmosis filtered waterIf you like the water produced by your reverse osmosis drinking water system at your kitchen tap, wouldn’t it make sense to install a whole house RO system?

Maybe not! Here's why Whole House RO May not be the Right Choice:

Reverse Osmosis has its' place in the water filtration and purification realm. But when it comes to whole-house water filtration, RO systems typically aren’t the best solution when looking for a way to have better water in your home.

When Does Whole House Reverse Osmosis Make Sense?

Reverse osmosis filtration systems are great at removing many different contaminants from the water. A whole-house Reverse Osmosis system might be the right solution when you have a high level of a specific contaminant that is most economically removed by reverse osmosis. A water treatment professional may recommend whole house reverse osmosis as the best solution for that specific  contaminant. But it's important to understand the general drawbacks of reverse osmosis for a whole house setting. 

6 Reasons Why Whole House Reverse Osmosis Might Not Be the Right Option

Whole House Reverse Osmosis System Can Be Expensive: A whole house RO system is expensive (~$3K) and often requires pre-treatment of the water before the RO system (such as a water softener). A pH neutralizing system is commonly installed as post treatment to bring the pH level back to 7. This is followed by a 200-500 gallon storage tank to store the treated water in. Then a demand pump is needed to push the water from the storage tank into your home. This is typically followed by a whole-house UV system to disinfect the water after it’s been in the storage tank. Thus, a whole-house RO system, along with all the required pre and post treatment equipment, can be cost prohibitive. 
Whole House RO System Maintenance: Whole-house Reverse Osmosis systems, along with the other associated systems and equipment, require a knowledgeable and professional installer and service person to properly maintain the systems and replace the filters, RO membranes, and UV lamps.

Whole House RO Consumes a Lot of Water: Reverse Osmosis membranes work by flushing water over the membrane element. Some water is pushed through the element to filter water and the rest helps flush contaminants down the drain. Large RO systems use a lot of water. Because it takes about 2 gallons of water to create one gallon of filtered water, you can expect your water bill to double when a whole house reverse osmosis system is installed.

Flushing Filtered Water Down the Drain: Since most of the water used in the home is NOT consumed for drinking, but used for flushing toilets and bathing, it’s typically not necessary to have high-quality RO water for your whole house.

Pre and Post Treatment Needed: As mentioned, a whole-house RO systems can rarely be installed alone. Proper pre and post treatment may need to be installed for your system to function properly over time. If your water contains high levels of iron, sulfur, or is high in calcium (hard water), then those contaminants may need to be removed prior the reverse osmosis system. FYI--85% of homes in the US have hard water, so there's a good chance you'd need a water softener.

Required Space: Whole-house RO systems pre and post treatment require a large storage tank (usually 200-500 gallons) for the treated water. All of this equipment requires a lot of space in a garage or well house, that is often not available.

The Best Whole-House Water Filter Option?

When trying to determine how to achieve better water for your home and family, there’s no set answer.

There are a lot of factors in this decision, including the size of your house, number of people living in the home, pipe size, water source (well water or municipal water), and contaminants present in your water. 

For most homes on municipal water, we recommend a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, compact solution for whole house water filtration and purification. Typically, we recommend:
    1. Whole House Ultraviolet System: Disinfects your water from 99.99% of microorganisms including E. Coli, giardia, crypto, viruses, and bacteria. This ensures all the water entering your home is microbiologically safe for showering, drinking, and brushing teeth. A great compact combo system that integrates a sediment and carbon filter with the UV system, is the Viqua IHS22-D4 water filtration system.
    2. Under Counter Reverse Osmosis System at the Kitchen Sink: A reverse osmosis drinking water system installed at the kitchen sink can provide healthy, delicious water for drinking and cooking. It’s small size and low price point make can make it extremely economical for the quality of water produced. Our top-selling system is the Hydro Guard Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water system.

In addition to the above-mentioned recommendations, if you have high levels of water hardness, you may also need to install a water softener to remove calcium and magnesium that make water hard. Hard water can cause scale to buildup in your hot water heater, pipes, and water-using appliances. 

For questions about what system will provide the best water for your home, please call our team of water experts Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm CT, at (877)377-9876. They'll talk you through a variety of options to help you determine which systems best meet your needs.