Do I Need a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System


Is Whole House Reverse Osmosis Necessary?

Wash dishes with whole home reverse osmosis filtered water

If 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 Reverse Osmosis 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.

In this post, we'll provide concise information about why we don't generally recommend whole house reverse osmosis and give alternative suggestions.

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.  

Consult with a local water treatment professional to determine if whole house reverse osmosis is the best solution to treat a specific contaminant. But it's important to understand the overall drawbacks of reverse osmosis for a whole house setting. 

What is Required to Install a Whole-House Reverse Osmosis Filtration System?

  • pre-treatment system, such as a water softener, before the RO system is installed
  • a pH neutralizing system is commonly installed as post treatment to bring the pH level back to 7
  • a 200-500 gallon tank to store the treated water.
  • a demand pump to push water from the storage tank into your home
  • a whole-house UV system to disinfect the water after it’s been in the storage tank

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

Cost of System: A whole house Reverse Osomosis system is expensive --typcially costing about $3000. That price does not include the required pre and post treatment equipment, storage tank and more. While the idea of reverse osmosis for the whole home RO system sounds good, it really can be cost prohibitive. 
Expensive Maintenance: Whole-house Reverse Osmosis systems require professional installation and ongoing maintainentance. Each year the system needs new filter replacements, whole-system sanitization, UV lamp changes, and more.

High Water Bills: Large RO systems use a LOT of water--roughly two gallons are needed to create one gallon of filtered water. So you can expect your water bill to double when a whole house reverse osmosis system is installed. 

Unnecessary Filtering: Since the majority of the water used in our homes is NOT consumed for drinking, but used for flushing toilets and bathing, it’s typically not necessary to have high-quality "RO filtered water" for your entire home.

More Equipment Needed: A whole-house RO system can rarely be installed alone. Proper pre and post treatment are often necessary for the delicate RO membranes to function properly. For example, 85% of homes in the U.S. have water that is high in calcium and water should be filtered before entering RO unit.

Space Requirements: Whole-house RO systems usually require a 200-500 gallon storage tank to hold treated water. And many times a pretreatment tank is needed, as well. Most homes don't have that much extra space in a garage or well house to hold these tanks.

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.