With over 250 cancer-related toxins found in America’s water, every home’s challenges for clean water is different. So, the best option for water filtration is also unique to the home. There are many different whole house water systems to choose from. Some of the best options include catalytic conversion, ion-exchange, sediment filtration, oxidation-reduction, carbon absorption, and UV sterilization. In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how each of these methods for whole-home water filters works.
1. Catalytic Conversion Filters
Catalytic conversion water filtration systems are an environmentally friendly option for treating hard water without the use of salt. This new technology works by changing the properties of hard water minerals like magnesium and calcium instead of removing them as traditional systems do.
When water meets the catalytic filter, the calcium and magnesium in the water attach to the ceramic granules in the filter. The minerals are then converted into a new form, as scale resistant crystalline. This new form doesn’t attach to hard surfaces. This means the problems with hard water are neutralized.
Traditionally, with options like ion-exchange filters, there would be a need for sodium, electricity, and rinse water. Catalytic conversion offers a low-energy, and thus eco-friendly, alternative. And because there is no need for the addition of sodium, the water is also healthier.
On top of these benefits are the regular benefits of softening hard water, including softer skin and hair from the shower, cleaner clothing, and scale removal protection.
2. Ion-Exchange Water Filters
Another, more traditional, option for removing water hardness and for filtering water is an ion-exchange system. These filters are filled with resin beads that have been treated with solutions that make it possible for them to exchange positive and/or negatively charged ions. So when your water passes through the filter, a reaction happens where ions begin converting each other, exchanging charges. When minerals like calcium and magnesium pass through this system, they can be exchanged with sodium or potassium ions.
The result is softer water rich with sodium or potassium.
3. Sediment Filtration Systems
There are many benefits to having a well or a natural water source for your home’s water system. One possible downside is the accumulation of contaminants like dirt, silt, or other organic matter in your water system making your water cloudy. To take care of this, you need a whole house sediment filtration system.
The basic home model for sediment filtration uses filter cartridges made of polypropylene, string, paper, and cellulose. These filters trap the organic matter on the surface or inside the filter materials.
If the issue is more serious, there are also heavy-duty systems available. These models use a backwashing mineral tank. They will often use zeolite in the system. This natural blend of zeolite will treat the water using a mechanical straining filter, ion-exchange, and physical and electrostatic absorption techniques.
Other systems, like UV filtration and carbon systems, benefit from the water first traveling through a sediment filtration system.
4. Oxidation-Reduction Systems
Oxidation-reduction systems will often be referred to simply as redox. These water filtration systems remove contaminants from the water by using the principles of electrochemical oxidation, reduction, and absorption.
There are several different possible goals and uses of redox systems. Any system that works to change the oxidation state of atoms in the water through a chemical reaction is considered a redox water filtration system. A common example of this type of system are iron water filters. Through the oxidation process, the iron water filters will remove iron and manganese from the water. By using a whole house iron filtration system, homeowners can avoid rust and the sulphuric rotten-egg smell from their water caused by hydrogen sulfide.
Common Signs You Need a Water Softener:
- There is a scale buildup in your pipes or appliances.
- You have dry skin and hair, especially right after you shower.
- You’ve had a water test performed. There aren’t contaminants in your water, but there are high levels of mineral content in your water.
- It tastes funny or “hard”.
Common Signs You Need a Water Filter:
- You’ve read the water reports from your local government and it’s been confirmed there are high levels of chlorine or fluoride in your water system.
- Your water test says there aren’t high levels of minerals in your water, though it still tastes funny to you.
- You’ve performed a water test and found contaminants.
5. Carbon Absorption
These are the most common types of water filters. They are common enough that many people who have home filtration systems without understanding the many methods for filtration or what the systems do will most likely have a carbon absorption filter in their home.
Carbon water filters have millions of pores and crevices, so small you would need a microscope to see them all. These pores are able to trap both tiny particles and large matter as water passes through the filter. Contaminants are then absorbed or trapped inside the pores of the filter, removing them from the purified water.
Many different kinds of contaminants can be properly removed using a carbon absorption filter, including chlorine, gases, odors, and chemicals.
6. UV Sterilization Water Filtration
The last method for water purification focuses on the removal of viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms in the water. These filters focus on removing viral contaminants like e.coli, giardia, and many different types of bacteria. Through ultraviolet (UV) sterilization, microbial DNA can be attacked, which kills the bacteria’s ability to reproduce or function.
Ultraviolet sterilization uses UV light to do this. Water passes through a stainless steel system with a UV light inside. This type of system purifies the water, making it safe to drink, all without adding any chemicals to the water.
The Right Solution For You
As this article demonstrates, there are so many different methods for water filtration because every home has different needs. Some systems may only need one type of filter, while others may need multiple types to ensure the water quality meets the standards that will ensure your whole home’s water is safe. For more information on how our systems work specifically, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
Often, homeowners will purchase a whole house filtration solution to clean the water of sediment or treat hard water. Then, for drinking water, an undercounter reverse osmosis system is installed under their kitchen sink, so they have the purest and best tasting water for drinking.
You will need to consider the concerns of your water, and what makes you feel safest, to create the best solution for your home water filtration.