There is no debating the fact that water is an essential element needed for sustaining life. Doctors recommend drinking at least eight liters of water daily to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ensure the proper flow of fluids through the human body. It is, therefore, equally important to ensure that the water we drink is clean and fit for consumption. Most people think the tap water they get through municipality is safe and healthy and doesn’t require any filtration.
However, no matter how clean that water may appear, it may be contaminated. It is a well-known fact that most common diseases are water-borne. The water you drink directly from the tap could contain dirt sediments, chemicals, minerals and other impurities like pesticides. Apart from these, it can contain disease-causing bacteria like E. Coli, Hepatitis A, Giardia, and Cryptosporidiosis. Unclean water is particularly harmful to infants, children, pregnant women and the elderly. Many skin infections and diseases are caused by unclean water.
There are several ways to clean water and make it fit for drinking such as boiling it, purifying it with iodine, distilling it, or consuming bottled water. These methods are not foolproof, however, and often are too complicated or too expensive. The best way to convert tap water into drinking water is by filtering it. Installing a water filtration system in your house will make the water healthier and safer for your family to drink.
There are many types of water filters available on the market, each with their own features and benefits. The most common and important benefits of installing a water filter are:
Clean water– A good water filtration system will remove contaminants from your water and make it fit for drinking and using around the house without stripping the water of beneficial minerals. The cleanliness of the water will depend on how effective the water filter is and that depends on the type of water filter you choose.
Easy to use– Water filters come in a variety of types, sizes, and shapes. From the ones that attach to your faucet to bigger ones installed at the main water supply of your house, there are water filters designed based on the ease of installation and use.
The quality of the water– Using a good water filter ensures the water is clean and good quality. The most trusted way to check the quality of water you are drinking is by obtaining your local water quality report.
Cost– A water filtration system may appear costlier than buying bottled water or using other methods of getting clean water. However, it is just a one-time installation cost, and the result is clean drinking water.
When choosing a water filter, there are numerous ways to figure out which one is the best fit for your needs and home. The water filtration systems purify water by removing impurities, thereby making it safer to consume. You may also notice an improvement in the taste of water after installing a water filtration system.
An Ideal Filtration System Should:
Remove sediments– Filters should remove sediments, i.e. larger debris from the water like dirt and clay particles. Though these sediments do not pose serious health risks, they can cause minor infections and sometimes change the taste of the water.
Reduce minerals– The human body needs a mineral rich diet through food and water to stay healthy. However, hard water or water that contains hardened minerals is not good since excess minerals may not be absorbed by the body. Also, hard water is not good for the plumbing and can cause damage like corrosion in the pipes.
Remove pathogens – One of the most important reasons for installing a water filter is to eliminate the harmful bacteria and parasites found in tap water. These can cause serious diseases, and some of them do not get removed by treating the water chemically through chlorine.
Reduce chlorine content– Tap water contains high amounts of chlorine, which water utility companies use as an inexpensive way to clean water. While chlorine does clean out some bacteria, viruses, and other impurities from the water, it may react with some elements in the water to form harmful compounds that can be risky for health. It is important to reduce the content of chlorine in water before drinking it.
Remove lead– Lead is one of the toxic substances that must be removed completely from water meant for consumption. Lead can seep into drinking water through plumbing equipment and pipes. It can be removed from drinking water using a good water filtration system.
Remove other chemicals– Most farms have switched to organic pesticides, and the use of pesticides containing hazardous chemicals is dropping. Pesticides can still seep into the tap water and even if they are organic in nature, they are not to be consumed. Water filters can easily remove these pesticides, clean the water and make it fit for consumption.
Before installing a water filtration system in your home, it is very important to understand your overall needs. The first step is to understand your family’s water consumption habits. It is also necessary to know what kind of water you get at home. To know this, you can get in touch with your water utility company and ask them for a water quality report. The next step is to recognize the contaminants you want to remove or reduce. Different water filters have different features, and not all can remove every type of contaminant.
Based on the water report you get, you can research the kind of water filter that will decontaminate your water by removing those specific contaminants. There are many solutions available regarding the water filtration systems from the whole-house systems to simple ones that get attached to a single faucet. Your water consumption and needs would determine what filter is best suited for you.
The Whole-house Water Filtration System
Whole-house water filters are installed at the main water line. Since these are fitted at the main line, all your water supply is filtered and becomes decontaminated. This option means that all the water in your house is filtered, from the water you drink to the water you bathe in, and nothing is harmful to you and your health. The whole-house water filters do not need to be changed regularly since they last for up to seven years and do not need constant attention. Regular upkeep, as directed by your filter’s company, is enough to ensure it continues to work smoothly. When looking for a home water filtration system, there are certain things to keep in mind.
Flow rate – The flow rate determines the amount of water your house appliances and fixtures need. The flow rate for your appliances and your fixtures is usually mentioned in the literature received with them. The flow rate of your home water filtration system should be equal to or more than that needed by your home fittings. For example, a flow rate of less than 10 GPM (gallon per minute) is far too low and would lead to interrupted water flow.
The size of the filter – There are two parts to determining the ideal size for your filter. The first one depends on your water consumption habits, i.e. how much water your family drinks and uses. The second is the larger the filter, the more water will flow through it, and the service interval will be longer.
NSF Certification – One of the most important factors to look for whenever choosing a water filter is NSF certification. An NSF seal means the filter has been tested and is guaranteed to remove the contamination from the water and makes it fit for consumption.
Life of the filter– Filter life varies depending on the type of water you get. It is, therefore, important to know what type of water and the level of contamination in that water your home gets. A regular filtration system for the whole house lasts about 100,000 gallons of normal water. You may need to regularly change the filters or do the maintenance per the manufacturer’s suggestions.
Here’s a Detailed Step-by-Step Guide for Installing your Home Water Filtration System
Drain the water system
Turn the main water supply off. Next, find the lowest point in your home and open a faucet that is fixed at that point to release all the pressure or whatever water remains within the system.
Cut open the pipe
Select the location where you want to fit your water filter. Selecting the location where the water filter would also be fixed depends on how accessible it is. Keep in mind you might need to change the cartridge or open the filter for its periodic maintenance so choose a location that will allow easy access. Also, every water filter comes with an installation kit from the manufacturer outlining its exact placement. Use that to mark where on the pipe it needs to be placed and make two cuts to remove a section of the pipe. It is a good idea to keep a bucket ready in case there is water left in the pipe, and it comes rushing through the cut.
Begin attaching the fittings
Place a compression nut on one of the ends of the cut pipe and slide in the ferrule. Repeat for the other side. Thread the brass fitting into the in and out ports of the filter. Install and fix them per the manufacturer’s guide. Seal the fitting and the port with waterproof tape. Make sure the fittings are tightened into the filter to avoid any leaks.
Place the filter
Keep in mind the water should flow in through the “in” port and exit through the “out” port. If not installed in this manner, the filter may not function or malfunction. Place the filter between the two ferrules and tighten the compression nuts into the fittings.
All filters come with a handle that is used to turn the inlet valve to different settings. Once the filter has been secured into its position properly, turn the valve to “off” position. Turn the main water supply on. Do a safety check to ensure there are no leaks in the filter. Now turn the valve from “off” to “filter” position. Inspect the filter again, checking for leaks. Once the water starts flowing through the filter, it means the filter has been installed and is working properly.
Checks and maintenance
No matter what kind or what manufacturer’s filter you have installed, it is very important to perform regular maintenance checks as advised by the manufacturer. Whenever you need to uninstall the filter, make sure to turn the valve from “filter” to “off” position. Discard the water in the tank and throw away the old cartridge. Clean the inside of the tank thoroughly, insert a new cartridge and turn the valve back to “filter.”
Your new home water filtration system has been installed.
Filtered water is the right choice for your family’s health and well-being. Installing a water filter will ensure your family gets clean water and not water that is contaminated with chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful products. Choosing a water filter to clean your home’s water is a cost-effective and smart decision. Choose a water filter that is NSF certified, so you know your water filter removes all the sediments and dirt that it promises. Remember, it is also important to keep in mind the water quality you get before purchasing a water filter, so you can choose exactly the right filter for your specific needs.
Ensure you purchase your water filter from a trusted manufacturer. Get your water utility’s quality report regularly to check the water you are getting in your home to make sure your filter stays relevant.
No matter what kind of filter you decide to buy, make sure you pay attention to its upkeep, upgrade, and maintenance. Contaminated water is harmful, and a poorly maintained filtration system will not clean the water effectively.