This Is How to Choose the Right Water Filtration System

Checking water quality in the laboratory - Mr. Plumber by Metzler & Hallam

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When it comes to a home water filtration system, Indianapolis area homeowners have many options to choose from. How do you know which option is best for your needs when there are so many products available?

This decision has to do with your home’s water quality and capacity needs. The plumbing pros of Mr. Plumber discuss the factors you need to take into account as you shop for a water filtration system for use in your Central Indiana home. If you need help determining your home’s water quality or evaluating your equipment options, we encourage you to give us a call – our experts are happy to assist you as you make improvements for better water quality at home.

Home Water Quality

When shopping for a water filtration system for your home, the first thing you need to know is what kind of water quality you are dealing with. 

Local Water Quality Report

Your water utility company should make available your area’s water quality report, so contact them to request a copy if it is not accessible online. The local water quality report tells you what sort of minerals and contaminants are common in the local water supply and their concentrations.

Home Water Quality Testing

In addition to your local report, it’s wise to have a home water quality test performed as you shop for a water filtration system. While the local report gives you a good idea of the sorts of particles that could potentially exist in your home’s water supply, a home water quality test gives you a more clear and accurate picture of the types of contaminants you are dealing with. Some contaminants listed on the local report may not be present in your home’s water supply, or the concentrations vary. These elements can affect your choice when selecting the best water filtration system for your needs.

Professional Water Quality Analysis

While there are home testing kits available, it’s a wise choice to work with a local water quality expert to have your home’s water supply tested. Home kits may not test for the full range of contaminants that professionals test for, or be as sensitive to concentration levels – therefore, you may not get as accurate results from a home test compared to a professional test.

Mr. Plumber performs professional water quality analysis to help you determine what is in your water, so improvements can be made with the right water filtration system. Our professional analysis identifies water quality issues including chlorine, hardness, and total dissolved solids. We also test for contaminants that exist in your home’s water supply, including the following:

  • Chloramine
  • Ferric and ferrous iron
  • Bacterial iron
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Manganese
  • Tannins
  • Turbidity
  • Ph

Using Water Quality Analysis Information

With the results of your home’s water quality analysis, you are able to see what quality issues your household faces when it comes to the well or municipal water you consume each day. Different water filtration systems address different issues – without a water quality analysis, you can’t be sure what issues need to be addressed with your new water filtration system, which makes selection difficult.

Point of Use vs. Point of Entry Water Filtration Systems

Indianapolis area homeowners have a multitude of options available when it comes to selecting a water filtration system for use at home. There are different types of products that fall into two categories: point of entry (whole house) and point of use.

Point of use systems address water quality at just one plumbing source in the home. These systems are commonly installed to operate with kitchen sink taps to address water quality issues for drinking water in the home. Or, the point of use system may be a filtered water pitcher, like the kind available at most grocery, home improvement, and department stores.

This type of water filtration system provides benefits to only one plumbing tap in your home. If you want to address water quality issues throughout the home, you need a point of entry water filtration system.

A point of entry water filtration system is also referred to as a whole house water filtration system. This type of water filtration system is installed along the main plumbing supply line to treat all incoming water that makes its way through your home’s plumbing system and out the various taps and appliances you use.

Choosing a Water Filtration System

Among point of use and point of entry water filtration systems, there are a number of different technologies available to treat a home’s specific water quality issues. When selecting a water filtration system for your Indianapolis home, you need to consider the types of contaminants you want to remove from your water supply. Each type of water filtration system is effective for the removal of different types of contaminants – you need to select one that is a match for the contaminants found in your water quality analysis.

Popular water filtration system technologies include:

  • Carbon filters
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Distillation
  • Ceramic filters

Carbon Filters

A carbon filter system utilizes activated carbon to remove waterborne contaminants through the process of chemical adsorption. Water passes through the activated carbon filter, removing chemicals including:

  • Chlorine
  • Benzene
  • Radon
  • Trihalomethane
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Other volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

However, carbon filter water filtration systems are not effective for the removal of inorganic compounds such as:

  • Arsenic
  • Chromium-6
  • Fluoride
  • Heavy metals
  • Minerals
  • Nitrates
  • Salts
  • Sulfates

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system uses a semipermeable membrane to filter inorganic solids from your home’s water supply. The home’s water pressure pushes water through the membrane, removing any particles larger than water molecules.

Reverse osmosis systems are effective for the removal of:

  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Lead
  • Chlorine & Chloramine
  • Nitrates
  • Sulfates
  • Pesticides
  • Detergents
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Protozoa

However, reverse osmosis systems are not effective for the removal of trihalomethanes. These systems are often combined with carbon filters for complete contaminant removal.

Reverse osmosis systems are used to deliver cleaner tasting and smelling drinking water in the home. They are easy to maintain and help homeowners eliminate the cost of expensive bottled water purchases. Point of entry and point of use reverse osmosis systems are available.

Distillation

Distillation water filtration systems boil water and collect steam. Contaminants are removed as water evaporates, which allows the system to eliminate many biological contaminants, including chlorine. However, some VOCs remain in the distillation process, as their boiling point is below that of water – distillation systems are often combined with another technology, such as carbon filters, to remove these leftover contaminants.

Ceramic Filters

Systems that use ceramic filters allow water to pass through while the filter blocks certain contaminant and dirt particles. Ceramic filter water filtration systems effectively remove bacteria and protozoa but are not able to remove viruses or chemicals from the home’s water supply. As long as they are not damaged, these filters offer a long service life, making them an economical choice for water filtration in some homes.

What to Look for in a Water Filtration System

Once you know your home’s water quality and have identified the right type of water filtration system to target your home’s water quality issues, it’s time to evaluate the different products that are available. As you review equipment, there are a few things to look for:

  • NSF Certification: The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is an independent and accredited organization that tests and certifies food, water, and consumer products to improve public health. As you shop for a water filtration system, look for the NSF International seal, which tells you the system has been tested to ensure it removes the waterborne contaminants it says it removes.
  • Filtration rate: The filtration rate shows the number of gallons of water the system is able to treat in a day’s time. Compare this number to your household’s estimated daily water consumption to determine if a particular system’s filtration rate is high enough to meet your needs without interruption.
  • Maintenance needs: These systems require some maintenance for upkeep. Investigate a particular system’s maintenance needs before you buy to determine if you are able to uphold the maintenance requirements. Filter changes need to be performed at specific intervals; for example, carbon filters may require replacement every six months to one year, while reverse osmosis membranes require replacement every two to five years. Ask your trusted plumbing professional if he or she provides the maintenance services your water filtration system needs to operate at its best throughout its years of service in your home.

Choose Mr. Plumber for Your Water Filtration Needs

Mr. Plumber offers high quality water filtration equipment for homeowners throughout the Central Indiana region. Our water quality experts perform home analysis to show you the issues you face in your home’s water supply, which guide you as you make a purchase decision for selecting a new water filtration system. We offer superior water filtration equipment paired with skilled installation to help you efficiently tackle water quality issues. 

For more information or to receive a free estimate, please contact us today.

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