Whole house reverse osmosis systems are among the most efficient water filtration systems in the market, and many satisfied users swear by them. But since they are relatively expensive (costing from $7,000-$20,000), many people are discouraged from getting one and opt for cheaper options.
You might be skeptical about getting a whole house reverse osmosis system yourself. Here, we will discuss how they work and look at their benefits and drawbacks. At the end of this post, you will be able to decide if getting a whole house RO system is worth it or not.
Whole House Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
A whole house reverse osmosis system filters water using one or more semi-permeable membranes put under high pressure. Each membrane is covered with microscopic pores that allow only water molecules to pass through it. Particles larger than water get stuck on the membrane’s surface and are flushed down the sink with wastewater.
Whole house reverse osmosis systems also include sediment and carbon pre-filters. They protect the membranes from large particles and chemicals.
Whole-home reverse osmosis systems are installed at the main water line (the point where water enters your home), and so they filter all the water heading for your taps, toilets and showers.
Pros of a Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems
With whole house reverse osmosis filters, TDS (total dissolved solids) levels in drinking water can be reduced by up to 99.99%. TDS are mostly inorganic salts. They include calcium, sodium, magnesium, bicarbonates, potassium, and some small amounts of organic materials. Whole house RO systems also eliminate fluoride, nitrates, arsenic, germs, and other health-harming pollutants.
An ordinary carbon water filter will only remove a fraction of the hundreds of potential trace pollutants in your drinking water. But with a whole house reverse osmosis system, you can be confident that whatever impurities you’re dealing with will be removed. This is one of the most significant benefits. You can find reviews on whole house reverse osmosis systems at best-osmosis-systems.com.
There are no whole house reverse osmosis systems that are 100% efficient. Different brands have different efficiency ratios. This means some brands require more gallons of wastewater to produce a single gallon of pure water than others.
Cons of Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems
Remove Healthy Minerals
Whole house reverse osmosis filters remove essential minerals from your drinking water, which can leave the water with a flat taste and an acidic pH. Water has a nice alkaline flavor because of minerals like calcium and magnesium which are removed by an RO system along with other pollutants.
Whole house RO systems produce a lot of wastewater. If your water is highly polluted, this becomes a problem because the membrane will have to work harder and will need more water to clean itself. The EPA has noted that reverse osmosis systems use approximately “three times as much water as they treat”, meaning to produce a gallon of purified water, you will need around 4 gallons of water total.
Reverse osmosis systems take a long time to purify water. Most times, the purified water does not flow freely because there are a lot of filters involved.
Pollutants can easily clog the small holes in a whole house RO membrane. If your household water has a lot of contaminants, the filter’s membrane will clog faster.
Clogging can reduce water pressure and flow. Less water flows through the system, and more water gets wasted. Clogging can also happen if you don’t change the filters on time.
Replacing the whole house reverse osmosis filters often requires technical-know how. You may need to call in a plumber, leading to additional costs.
When Is Whole House Reverse Osmosis Worth It?
A whole house RO system is only needed if your water has very specific problems. The system may not be required unless your water quality has severe issues like many difficult-to-remove contaminants and germs. Whole house RO systems are most popular in rural areas with severely contaminated wells. In such cases, only they can handle any water quality issue.
Carrying out a thorough water test is the only way to know if your water has to be treated with a whole house reverse osmosis system.