The science behind water filtration can be a bit confusing to the average person. At Filter Butler, we believe that an educated consumer is a protected consumer and we want you to know what you are paying for and why.
Water filtration is not magic; it is a very scientific process that has been developed over the years as a means to protect families from the potential hazards of impure water. In this five-part series on the Whole House Water Filter, you will learn about the components of the system that eliminate unwanted sediments, reduce chlorine and other contaminants, and become educated about the standard and optional features that come with our system. Here are the five components of the Whole House Water Filter we will cover in this exhaustive guide:
1. Sediment Pre-Filter
2. Activated Carbon Filter and Copper-Zinc Mineral Stone Filter
3. Salt-Free Water Softener and Descaler*
4. UV Filter*
5. Sub-Micron Post-Filter*
As you may be aware, home owners have a lot of options when it comes to their water filtration needs. There are the ever-common plastic pitchers, built-in refrigerator filters, Under Sink water filters, and the most comprehensive filtration option, the Whole House Water Filter (also known as a whole home water filter).
Whole House Water Filters are the top choice in homes and restaurants because they provide clean, filtered water from every single water source in the home or building. These systems filter the water as soon as it enters the homeowner’s property line, ensuring contaminants like chlorine and lead are removed as soon as they enter a home’s plumbing system. This provides filtered water in drinking faucets as well as clean water for bathing and cooking as well.
Municipalities do a decent job of treating your water before it leaves the treatment facility but this doesn’t ensure that you and your family are completely protected from harmful contaminants. Water that leaves municipal treatment plants is considered to be “clean” but the presence of lead in water distribution pipes as well as recent findings on “superbugs” shows that these facilities can’t be the only source of prevention.
There are also facts about the method in which our water is treated that doesn’t sit well with many homeowners; in Canada and around the world, water is treated with chlorine to kill micro-organisms and aluminum is added to it to clump together particles. These heavy metals are filtered out but the water is treated again with chlorine, fluoride, and ammonia before being tested once again.
Chlorine and other additives (like ammonia) that are placed in water to disinfect it are carcinogens. While these additives are necessary evils to prevent water-borne illness – the consumption of this water is not good for us. Couple that with the possibility that there is an ever-growing list of contaminants that municipal plants don’t treat for and toxins – such as lead from pipe seepage – that may be present in water, and it is not surprising to see at-home water filtration popping up in more homes across the U.S. and Canada. The reality is Whole House Filters are the last line of defense from unsatisfactory treated water, breakdowns in municipal water treatment and sanitation systems, lead seepage, and are the most proactive measure a homeowner can take to protect the water coming into their home.
The Filter Butler Whole House Water Filter is great “right out of the box” but there are optional features that provide additional filtration should you need it or your personal water supply call for it. These optional features safeguard against additional undesirables – depending on what’s in your water, they may be worth the additional investment. We will explain these optional features and the standard ones more in detail below. Let’s dive right in!
The first step in the filtration process, the Sediment Pre-Filter reduces particulates such as rust, sediment and silt from entering your home’s water line. Reducing the amount of dirt and debris that enters your home helps to protect your plumbing and appliances and prevents wear and tear to things like shower heads, dishwashers, hot water heaters and faucet aerators. If you currently have water that is not filtered as it enters your home, you may have noticed unclear or turbid water from dirt, clay salts, silt or rust in your water. Other visible signs of these sediments may include brown-red stains on sinks, in the dishwasher, or on clothes. Awkward tastes and smells may also be present as a result of these sediments and should be an indication that a laboratory test of your water is in order to determine what is really in it.
While rust in the water is really just oxidized iron and is not really a health concern, sediments that cause turbidity should not be overlooked. Turbidity is the measure of clarity in your water, and it should go without saying that the clearer, the better. But turbidity is also an indication of water quality and the effectiveness of existing filtration. There are risks associated with the consumption of turbid water that stem from disease-causing microorganisms that may be present within it. Viruses, bacteria and even parasites are associated with higher turbidity levels and these organisms can cause health problems such as cramps, diarrhea, headaches and nausea.
The pre-filter is kind of like your home’s air conditioning filter in that it helps to prevent unwanted sediments from flowing into your home from municipal pipes. In Toronto specifically, aging pipes are a very public issue that have been linked to lead contamination throughout the city. In addition to lead seepage from these aging pipes, they leak water and also allow untreated water and debris to seep into the water supply. The Sediment Pre-Filter ensures the filtration of these unwanted particulates that can affect health, damage appliances, clog faucets, and alter the taste and color of your water.
Sediment Pre-Filters, like air conditioning filters, should be changed out every few months to remain as effective as possible. Filter Butler recommends changing these filters out every three to six months, or when the water color darkens or water flow is noticeably slower. Replacing these filters regularly will extend the life of your Whole House Water Filter as well as your home appliances. These are made specifically for the FB-300 Whole House Water Filter.
As you can see, a whole house water filter system is a thorough process that relies on multiple components, each with a different function. Sediment pre-filters are the first line of defense for keeping your pipes and appliances free from damage while also improving water taste and clarity, but this is just step one. The other components of the system make your water safer by reducing or eliminating chemicals, bacteria and viruses.
In Part 2 of this series, we will look at how activated carbon filters and copper-zinc mineral stone filters remove contaminants, heavy metals and impurities from your water. In the mean time shop our water filters online!