Whole House Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
What's inside this article...
- Whole House Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
- Buying Bottled Water is Not the Right Alternative!
- Is There a Solution?
- Home Water Filter Systems – Which One Is Best For Your Family?
- Shower Filters
- The Truth About Water Filtration Systems
- 5 Important Things to Consider When You Compare Home Water Purifiers
- How To Find The Best Home Water Purifier
- Review of the Aquasana 5-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
- The Rhino’s 3 Stage Filtration Process:
If I already have a drinking water filter, what’s the need to get a whole house water filter? This is a question that a lot of people often ask. And I have to give it to them. For most people don’t understand what a whole house filter can do and how important it actually is.
So, let me explain the most important things you should know about the best whole house filters and why you should get one today.
Whole house water filters, as the name suggests, are meant to purify the water you use for your daily needs. And by daily needs, I don’t just mean drinking. Washing, showering, bathing, brushing your teeth, and many other things come under your daily water needs.
By installing a whole house filter, you can use purified water for all your needs.
But then, how important is it to use purified water to bathe, wash, or shower? Actually, it is quite important. Just look at some of the water softener reviews on the net and you’ll see just how important clean water is today, and how hard it is to find.
A lot of people have the misconception that they can get waterborne diseases only by drinking unsafe water. But it’s not true.
Even if you drink only purified water, you can still get a number of waterborne diseases by using unsafe water to bathe, shower, and brush your teeth.
Also, bathing and showering in contaminated water can make your skin and hair look dull. Above all, using purified water for your daily needs has a kick of its own. You need to use it to realize it.
When you take a purified water shower, you can almost feel the difference. The water feels different, it feels good. So, whole house water filters are a lot more useful than we give them credit for.
Installing a whole house filter is really simple. You need to connect it to the main water line that comes in to your house so that you get pure water everywhere – kitchen, bathroom, toilet, laundry, and faucets. Once you are done with the installation, you can get pure water any time you want for all your needs.
Among the different types of whole house water filters like reverse osmosis, point of use distillation, sediment filters, and active carbon filters, active carbon filters are considered the best by experts in the field of water purification.
Reverse osmosis is not capable of removing herbicide type contaminants from water, point of use distillation is not capable of removing organic contaminants, and sediment filters are not capable of removing anything other than visible contaminants present in water. Moreover, they all tend to destroy the essential minerals present in water and change its natural taste. As a result, the water you drink is not completely safe, unhealthy, and doesn’t taste good.
Active carbon filters, however, are different from the rest of the methods. They are very effective and they are capable of removing any type of contaminant present in water. Also, they retain the essential minerals present in water. So, active carbon whole house water filters are considered better than most other units by many.
When you are looking to buy a whole house filter, check out if it is certified by a recognized medical institute or not. Good quality whole house water filters always come with some sort of certification from recognized institutions and it reassures you that you are buying a reliable product.
A Glassful of Toxins, a Bottle of Carcinogens or a Home Water Purifier?
My Thoughts on Pure Water, Bottled Brands and Home Water Filters. The healthiest, most hydrating and most refreshing beverage in the world is clean pure water. But, sadly, because of industrial pollution, farm run-off and a growing population, it is becoming harder and harder to find.
In the past, the primary public health concern was drinking water contaminated with illness causing bacteria. Fatal outbreaks of waterborne illnesses in the United States and around the world led to major changes in public treatment processes and the widespread use of chemical disinfectants, primarily chlorine.
Many respected scientists and physicians feel that chlorination solved one health problem, but created another. They believe that the increased cancer rate over the last 50 years was caused primarily by chemical disinfectants and the byproducts they create. They may be right, but there are literally thousands of cancer-causing chemicals in our environment today and all of them eventually end up in the water.
Most people simply don’t like the way that tap water tastes. Chlorine tastes and smells bad. So, they buy a cheap one that only removes chlorine and are happier with the taste and smell.
What they don’t know is that many cancer-causing chemicals are odorless and tasteless. Without effective home water purifiers, they unknowingly get a glassful of carcinogens, including bug spray, weed killer, industrial solvents and rocket fuel every time they turn on the tap.
What’s in tap water? I thought that I would list everything here, just so you would know what you might be exposed to in the kitchen or bathroom. If you’d like, you can skip ahead to why buying bottled is not the right choice.
- Chlorine, a neurotoxin, originally developed for use as a chemical weapon. The amount allowed to be present in your drinking water is considered “unsafe” to swim in.
- THMs, byproducts of chlorination, cause an increased risk of bladder and Colorectal cancer. “Safe” levels of consumption were arrived at by extrapolating how much would be toxic to a 175 pound adult!
- Lead, a toxic heavy metal used to line pipes and weld joints together. Worn away by years of use and caustic chlorine, it is now present in tap water. No safe level for consumption.
- Benzene and TCE, cancer-causing industrial solvents.
- Lindane, Alachlor and Atrazine, cancer-causing pesticides and herbicides.
- VOCs, includes perchlorate which damages the thyroid gland and other toxic gases.
- Cysts, parasites in an early stage of development. EPA warnings indicate that they may be present at anytime and can cause illness or death. They are even found in bottled water.
Buying Bottled Water is Not the Right Alternative!
I cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. Water is one of our most precious natural resources. Our sources of freshwater are limited. We cannot continue to support the wasteful bottled water industry.
If you don’t care about the environmental impact of all of those plastic bottles or the impact that the growing industry is having on community water supplies, consider how much money you are spending per year. The average family of four spends well over $1200 per year on bottled water.
According to the FDA, bottled water is not safer than tap water. The industry has been ordered to refrain from making that statement. The allowable levels of bacteria are higher than those allowed by public treatment facilities.
Companies like Dasani, Aquafina and Nestle Pure Life are bottling YOUR tap water and reselling it to you. I’m not making this up. I have researched and confirmed all of these facts.
Dasani was recalled in the UK due to high levels of a cancer-causing chemical called bromate (a THM). The recall led to news stories about how Dasani caused cancer. The product has yet to be re-released in the country.
Perrier was recalled in the US for benzene contamination. See the list above for further info about benzene.
Poland Spring was sued for falsely advertising that there bottles contain spring water, when in fact they contain heavily treated groundwater.
I could go on, but let me wrap this up by informing you that the compounds used to make the plastic bottles leach in to the water stored within. Read the new reports about phthalates. You’ll learn about the health risks of consuming those chemicals.
Is There a Solution?
Yes, there is a very simple and affordable solution. You can save thousands of dollars of year and have pure water to drink, cook with and shower in. All that you have to do is by a “point-of-use” or home water filter that is truly effective.
Now, this is important, all of the drinking water filters on the market are not the same. I have evaluated the product performance data for all of the home water purifiers on the market. Some of them should not actually be called “home water purifiers”, because they don’t truly purify.
Here’s a brief overview…
- Reverse osmosis home water filters (brands include GE Smart Water and Ever-Pure) are expensive, unnecessary and ineffective. They do not remove chemical contaminants. They only “reduce” lead to the federal action level.
- Single stage granular carbon (brands include PUR and Brita drinking water filters) are cheap to purchase, but require replacement filters every thirty days, which increases their cost of use. They do not remove THMs or VOCs or many of the other chemical contaminants mentioned above.
- Don’t waste your money on off brands. Home water filters are not well regulated. They don’t have to prove their claims.
- Don’t buy the “maintenance-free” Clean & Pure. It’s not really a purifier. It only reduces chlorine and odor.
Here’s what you MUST have:
- Dual stage granular carbon and multi-media blocks to remove all chemical contaminants.
- Sub-micron filtration, certified to filter down to .5 microns, to remove cysts and sediments.
- Ion exchange to remove 99% or more of all traces of lead. This stage also improves taste, balances mineral content and pH level.
Remember, it’s not just about what you drink. It’s about what you cook with, wash vegetables with, brush your teeth with and shower in. All of those chemical contaminants become airborne in the shower. Many homes have measurable levels of chloroform gas (another THM) caused by showering in unfiltered water.
If you have chronic health problems, you will benefit greatly by drinking more pure water. If you are trying to lose weight, increasing your intake of pure water will make it easier for your liver to convert stored fat into energy.
Home Water Filter Systems – Which One Is Best For Your Family?
There is no doubt that the water that enters our home contains many different types of chemicals and impurities. While public water treatment plants do their best with water purification, to truly get the safest and highest quality water you will want to know about home water filter systems to ensure that your family health is not affected by these contaminants.
Home water purifiers for use in the home come in several different forms some more expensive and difficult to install than others. Deciding on which one is right for you and your family really depends on your budget, the complication of installation and most importantly, the effectiveness of the water purifier at eliminating any hidden dangers.
There are three main types of water purifiers for the home are:
- Carafe or jug water purifiers
- Under-sink water purification system
- Whole house water purification systems
- Shower filters
Each of these water purification systems deliver filtered water, but there are differences in the methods that are used in filtering and installation, and the volume of water produced after filtering.
Carafe or Jug Water Purifiers
With a carafe or jug water purifier, a carbon filter is placed in the top of the jug, and untreated water allowed to pass through the filter. The filtered water collects in the bottom of the jug ready for use. Although this method works well, only a couple of liters of water can be purified at a time, and the carbon filter will need changing regularly.
Under-Sink Water Purification System
These water purification systems attach to the faucet under your kitchen sink, and water passes through a carbon filter in the same method used by a jug filter.
The benefit of under-sink water purifiers however, is the volume of filtered water that is produced. Any water run through that faucet is clean and ready to drink, therefore the supply for drinking and cooking is limitless. As with the carafe system, the carbon filters will have to be replaced regularly to ensure the system runs to maximum filtering potential.
Whole House Water Purification Systems
These tend to be the most expensive and require installation of the reviewed types of water purification systems, although they provide the most assurance that you can get healthy water at any faucet and time in your home.
Water is filtered and purified at the point of entry into your home, which ensures that water from any faucet in the house is clean, filtered and ready for use.
This is the main benefit over the point-of-use under-sink system, as that only purifies water from one faucet. Another benefit being that the deposits that build up in pipes, boilers and kitchen appliances like washing machines and dishwashers is reduced. The agents that cause corrosion are largely removed before the water enters the pipes.
As you can see, there are several types of home water filter systems. The one you decide to purchase ultimately rests with you, but a little research for a quality home water system will help to ensure the continuing good health of your family.
Shower filters are just that, they filter only the water that is going to your shower head. Why would you want a shower filter?
For one reason maintaining a home wide filtration system isn’t cheap. Having something a little less powerful for a shower means it can take the strain off of the filtration system you are using for your drinking water. In addition, according to ShowerMeister, shower filters often filter different containment than other types of filters.
So your shower filter can concentrate on the containments that would cause skin irritations rather than everything.
The Truth About Water Filtration Systems
When it comes to an in-home, consumer advocates advise buyers to “beware”. Recently, there has been a huge increase in the demand for home water purifiers. This has caused an increase in the number of companies that sell the products. While the top water filtration system manufacturers are reputable and ethical, there are some companies that are simply capitalizing on our need for clean water.
Those unethical companies will take advantage of us, if we allow them to. There are several things that you can do to make sure that you are getting an effective water filtration system, instead of a worthless piece of plastic.
Review product performance data.
Reputable manufacturers are proud of the technology that goes into their products. They want you to know what their water filtration system can do for your family’s health. So, they proudly display their certifications. You may not be worried about chemicals or bacteria in your water, but some units that filter all of these things cost no more than inferior products. If they cost the same, why not get the better system.
Information that you should see on a performance data sheet includes the following. Will the water filtration system remove chlorine, lead, cysts, THMs, VOCs, lindane, alachlor, atrazine, benzene, TCE and MTBE, and, if so, to what extent? The cost of replacement filters, as well as the estimated lifespan should also be included.
Avoid companies that make overly broad statements.
The latest advertising gimmick, it seems, is to use words like “pure”. Pure is a broad term that does not really mean anything. If a company claims to “provide pure water” or “remove contaminants”, they should provide certified test results and performance data that proves exactly what “contaminants” and exactly how “pure”.
More reputable water filtration system manufacturers use “specific”, not generalized wording. For example, “removes 99% of chlorine, lead, cysts, THMs and VOCs from tap water” is a specific claim and companies that make those statements must be able to provide proof or face legal charges. Making broad or generalized statements like the ones mentioned above is usually not enough to get the FTC involved.
Find out where the water filtration system is sold or manufactured.
In the states of California, Wisconsin and Massachusetts, companies must have their products certified by an independent laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratory or UL. All performance claims must be certified in order to sell a water filtration system in those states. Obviously, companies that are selling inferior products avoid them.
Look for a “California Department of Health Certificate”. In order to get one, the water filtration system must have been tested extensively and certified for each contaminant that it claims to remove. The certificate also means that the water filtration company’s web site and literature have been reviewed and that the material contains no false or exaggerated claims.
Avoid under priced or over priced products.
There are bad filters at both ends of the spectrum. An inexpensive water filtration system usually has a higher cost of use, because the filters are expensive and have a short life-span.
One company claims to sell a “maintenance free” water filtration system for about $40. The truth is that the entire unit has to be replaced. Consumer reviews indicate that it only lasts about thirty days. And, even though the name indicates otherwise, it does not purify water. It only removes chlorine and chlorine odor.
5 Important Things to Consider When You Compare Home Water Purifiers
The popularity of home purification has meant that better more effective systems have been designed, but there are pretenders among them that are not actually purifiers, at all. Here’s how to spot them.
Every company should provide product performance data, which includes certification by an independent laboratory, such as Underwriter’s. When you compare home water purifiers, you should only consider the products that provide this data, either on the company website or the outside of the box. The percentage of reduction, as well as the contaminant, should be listed.
For clean and safe home water, one of the things that you want to look at is lead reduction. Lead is a hazardous heavy metal that is naturally occurring in many sources, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe. There is no safe level for lead consumption. The best products include an ion exchange step for removal. Products that rely on reverse osmosis only reduce lead to the “federal action level”; not good enough.
When you compare home water purifiers, you will see that almost all of them (except the pitchers) remove cysts. Many people think that reverse osmosis is the only reliable method for cyst removal. Sub-micron filtration is just as good and costs a lot less. If you want safe home water that is also affordable, look for sub-micron filtration.
If you look for THM reduction, you will really reduce your choices. The department store models do not reduce THMs. So, they “really” do not provide safe home water.
There is a “cancer epidemic” in industrialized societies and researchers have been trying to find out why this is true. Turns out, THMs in the water are a big part of the problem. There are thousands of cancer-causing chemicals in publicly treated supplies. Many of them are in the environment and the foods that we eat. Sometimes, they are unavoidable, but, if you only compare home water purifiers that reduce THMs by 99% or better, then you can at least protect yourself from that carcinogen.
What’s the real cost of safe home water? If you only consider the cost of purchasing, then you would buy a PUR or Brita filter. PUR does make a model that provides effective THM reduction, but it is not the model that you commonly find in department stores. Most people don’t yet know about THMs. They think chlorine is the big problem. For people who do know, better models are available, but the price is higher and they have to be ordered on-line.
But, even if you buy the PUR or Brita model that does reduce THMs, your cost of use will be higher. What I mean is that those brands are only good for about 100 gallons, requiring replacement every month of two at a cost of $20 each. The better brands are good for 500 gallons, five times as long, with a cost of only $40. In other words, the cost per year is higher for the inexpensive brands. So, when you compare home water purifiers, look for one that’s good for 500 gallons. It just makes good “cents”.
How To Find The Best Home Water Purifier
Who needs the best home water purifier? Pregnant women, children, the elderly, those with immuno-deficiencies and anyone that wants to reduce their risk of cancer. How do you find the best home drinking water systems? You read.
You read product performance data. You read recent research results concerning the risks that exist in publicly treated supplies. You read about methods to remove these health threats and you start here with this article. There are so many different scientific studies coming out, right now, that it is hard to know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with birth defects.
Researchers in Australia report a “statistically significant” increase in birth defects in areas with high concentrations of THMs. THMs are byproducts of public disinfection methods. Only the best home water purifier will remove them.
THMs should be listed on product performance data. Home drinking water systems by Brita, PUR and Ever-pure do not remove them. GE only reduces them by 95%. The better home drinking water systems reduce them by more than 99%.
Researchers don’t always agree on the number of birth defects that are directly related to THM-exposure, but every study that I am aware of warns that there exposure does increase a person’s lifetime risk of cancer. Exposure occurs when drinking, through skin absorption when bathing and through inhalation when showering, cooking or doing dishes by hand.
So, not only do you need the best home water purifier in the kitchen, you have to also think about the bath and shower. It might be less expensive to invest in whole-house filtration, when you think about all of the different areas of exposure. But, at the very least, you need home drinking water systems and a showerhead system. If you have children, you want one with a removable wand for filling the tub.
Once you have the chemicals out of the way, you have to think about cysts, as they are called. They are actually protozoa in an early stage of development that are resistant to public disinfection methods. They are not tested for regularly, so they may be present at any time. They are particularly dangerous to the elderly, infants and those with immuno-deficiencies.
The best home water purifier removes cysts through a process called “submicron filtration”. That is also the most affordable method for cyst removal. The only way to kill them is by boiling and it isn’t feasible to boil everything that you drink, rinse vegetables with and brush your teeth with. Cysts have also been found in bottled water brands. So, don’t rely on the bottling companies to protect your health.
Multiple stages are necessary to clean up everything that is present in publicly treated supplies. Home drinking water systems should have four stages; granular carbon to reduce chlorine, a carbon and multi-media block to further reduce chlorine and to trap THMs and other cancer-causing chemicals, submicron filtration to remove cysts and ion exchange to remove any trace of lead.
There are many other ways that the best home water purifier can protect your health. But, in a nut shell, that’s how you find one.
Review of the Aquasana 5-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
Aquasana is one of the leading companies in the water filter industry. They are known for their top quality filters and have an especially positive reputation for their Rhino EQ-300 whole house filter. Aquasana really takes water filtration to the next level and they have gone the extra mile with the Rhino EQ 300 U.L. certified whole house unit.
This review will guide you through all of the Rhino EQ-300’s features and breakdown the mechanics of Aquasana’s flagship whole house filter. Before you make an investment in a whole house water filter, you want to be sure that it is going to provide your family with the pure water it promises. And the same goes for the Rhino EQ-300 even though it is backed by the trusted Aquasana name.
As an owner of the Aquasana Rhino EQ-300 for two years now, you can hear my first hand account by reading this review and also find out how you can save $200 on this filter with a special discount. It’s actually really simple, as a special bonus provided in this review you can use this link and save 20% on the Aquasana whole house rhino water filter.
Its that easy, you just go through the link and the 20% discount will be automatically applied.
Most people start to see the Rhino in a different light when the price drops from $1099 to $879.20, and it certainly did for me. Than when you breakdown the three year life of the filter you’re only paying $293.06 a year for the highest quality Aquasana filtered water.
Just think about the amount of money you could save on bottled water alone, without even mentioning the long list of health benefits you receive from having a whole house water filtration system installed in your home.
First off the Rhino offers 3 stage filtration that provides “better than bottled water quality” throughout your entire house.The great thing about having a whole house water filter is not only do you benefit from drinking the water but also from your many other uses. With the Rhino EQ-300 you can drink, shower, bathe & live in clean healthy water everyday. The additional benefits of having an Aquasana whole house water filter system will be explained later in this review, for now we’ll stick to the technical side of things.
Is a 5 micron sediment prefilter for the removal of rust, dirt and microscopic particles that cause cloudiness and scaling from tap water.
Is a blend of KDF-55, a copper-zinc oxidation media for the removal of chlorine, and a crushed mineral filter stone. By removing the chlorine and preconditioning the pH, this stage allows maximum performance for the final and most important stage.
Uses high grade activated carbon for final reduction of chlorine and other chemicals common in tap water.
This three stage process not only produces some of the most delicious water on earth but allows the Rhino filter to last for three years. Unlike most whole house water filters, the Rhino EQ-300 has a prefilter stage that filters your water down to 5 microns before it even hits the actual main filtration stages. The benefit here is that the main filters won’t get clogged with sediment and other crap which would otherwise reduce the useful life of your filter. And I know from experience that the useful life is a big concern for anyone deciding to invest in a whole house water filter.
If flow rate is a concern for you than you need not worry with the Rhino EQ-300. The filter has actually been benchmarked at a whopping 7 gallons
per minute flow rate.
The goal here is to allow more than one person to use water simultaneously without compromising the flow rate. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking a shower and having your water flow cut down to a trickle because someone turned on a faucet.
Luckily with the Rhino EQ-300 this isn’t a big concern and you will be very impressed with the overall water pressure the filter delivers.
Some people with larger homes decide to go with 2 rhino filters and run them side by side.
Unfortunately this can become a much more substantial investment than just purchasing one filter. With my set up I have 2.5 baths and I’ve never had any problems with the flow rate of my Rhino. If you have a big home than I recommend finding out the required flow rate for your home before you install a filtration system.
Don’t forget to use the special link in this review that provides a 20% discount on the entire Aquasana site. Once you click through the link it will instantly apply the exclusive 20% off Aquasana discount and give you the savings on all products.
Aquasana’s 100% Money Back Satisfaction Guarantee
Its really assuring to have a money back guarantee when making an investment in a whole house water filter system. For me seeing the 100% money back guarantee gave me much more confidence in the quality of the Rhino EQ-300.
The warranty lasts for 90 days so you have plenty of time to make a decision on whether the Rhino is right for you. For more information the Aquasana 90 day warranty Call 866-NO-BOTTLE and they will fill you in on the details.You can also visit the Aquasana home page and find out more details on their warranty.
Installing the Aquasana 5-Stage
This process is relatively painless. The Rhino can actually be installed with ease by any certified plumber. This is one small additional expense that you must incur when you buy the Rhino whole house filter unless you happen to be a certified plumber.
Since the Rhino comes complete with main filter unit, pre-filter, installation kit, shut-off valve and required hardware installation is a breeze. Typical installation takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours by a licensed plumber, at a cost of $175 to $250, and it is usually done in your basement, garage, or water closet.
If you are the do it yourselfer type than you can attempt to install the Aquasana Rhino yourself but I wouldn’t recommend it. the install process is relatively simple but you should have sufficient experience with plumbing fittings and sweating pipes together.
When I picked up my Rhino 300 I just installed it myself but I have been in the home improvement industry for about 10 years. So if your not exactly the most handy person than you should just shell out the extra $200 to a plumber and get the job done right. Fortunately you can use the Aquasana discount provided in this review and save $200 on your purchase of the Rhino EQ-300 to offset the cost of paying a plumber.
If you are worried about the cost of installation, you can offset this cost by using an Aquasana Coupon before checking out. The coupon should provide you with a larger enough discount to cover the cost of installation. You really don’t want to risk messing up the installation process, especially when the quality of your water is in the balance.