Are You Ready to Buy a Water Filter for Your Home? How To Make The Right Choice – Part Three
This is the third and final part of our series on the different types of water filtering ideas for your home. We looked in the first two articles at lower cost options. Here we will investigate some of the more expensive types of filters. When you get to this level of filtration you are looking at whole house water filtration. We are going to help you by breaking down this discussion into 3 basic filter types.
- Filter Housings
- Media Tanks
- Reverse Osmosis Systems
1) Filter Housings – Filter housings are placed inline to your home’s main water feed. Typically a plumber or home builder will place a ‘loop’ in the garage or well-house where you can place one or several filter housings in a series to capture contaminants before water enters your home. The benefit to having these housings installed is that you can place any filter you need in them. There are many considerations when selecting a filter such as water flow and contaminant type. Filter housings are available for your home in 4 basic sizes. 2 1/2″ diameter in 10″ and 20″ lengths and 4 1/2″ in diameter in 10″ and 20″ lengths. The larger 4 1/2″ housings are typically known as ‘big blue’. The larger the housing diameter the higher the flow rate. If you have a larger home with two or more bathrooms, you will need larger filters to keep up with your water usage.
Any media filter can be installed in these cartridges. Usage for filter housings are as broad as your water problems. Sediment filters are probably the most popular capturing sand, silt and dirt. Second to sediment filters are GAC or Granular Activated Carbon. GAC filters remove chlorine from city water and smelly organics from well water homes. In general if your water smells or tastes funny a GAC filter will fix a large portion of the problems. After these two filters there are a strong dozen or so other varieties of miscellaneous media filters for your housings. The uses are only limited to the different types of water problems you may encounter.
2) Media Tanks – Media tanks operate on the same basis as the housings above, but on a much larger scale. These are the filters you will typically associate with water softeners. The tank, average build of 9″ diameter 48″ tall, filters water on a continuous basis until either a set time or a set water flow is achieved. Instead of having a filter to change the media tank will back flush to renew itself. This is of great benefit to people who do not wish to maintain the filter housings. The most common type of media tank you may have seen is the water softener. Water softener tanks are filled with resin beads which attract themselves to calcium particles in your pipes and do not let them pass into your home.
This removes the scale build up in your shower heads and appliances. Calcium buildup in your water is also responsible for extreme over usage of soap. The more calcium in your water, “hardness”, the more laundry soap, dish soap, shampoo, etc. it takes to do the job. Probably the brita vs berkey second most popular media is the carbon tank. This takes the place of the GAC housing. It performs the same task with none of the filter changing hassle. The cost is much higher than the housing filter, but the performance is worth the extra expense. After water softeners and carbon tanks the uses for media tanks are much like the housing filters. There are as many uses for these tanks as there are water problems. If you have the space, this is a very effective way of conquering even the worst water problems in your home.