Has anyone installed a (whole house) water filter in their DC house?

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Topic: Has anyone installed a (whole house) water filter in their DC house?

Art October 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Has anyone installed a (whole house) water filter in their DC house?


Has anyone here had a whole house water filter installed in their house?
Did it remove chlorine and sediments from your line?
Did it require a lot of maintenance/cleaning, and/or did it affect your home’s water pressure?
Can you tell me if the water was good to drink afterwards, or if it’s good for showering?
Also, if possible, let me know the cost & brand if you like the (whole house) water filter you use.
I’ve been drinking bottled water until now, but during the plumbing stage of a total renovation of my house, I’m wondering if it’s worth it to get a whole house water filter?
Thanks POP community!

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My first question: Why a whole house system? Is there really a need to filter water for washing, flushing, etc? Totally your call but it will increase the operation and installation costs. We installed an under counter kitchen system for the fridge and a drinking water tap and have been very happy with it. Good tasting water. If you’re only looking drink, CR has a good writeup on filters. We installed a American Plumber WLCS-1000 (or the Pentek equivalent; US-1500). Less than $200 and you can probably DIY.
Answers: No chlorine, very convenient, no pressure problems.
Hints: 1. Electric flow monitor is nice — replace filters when needed instead of every 6 months. 2. Reverse osmosis isn’t a great value. Wastes water and not really any better or cheaper (except for things like MTBE). 3. The stuff they have at home depot isn’t as good as products from the same brands. Look at the actual filtration specs for things like lead removal. 4. In terms of performance (not convenience) the pitchers are actually a good value.

Glad it was helpful. Interesting thoughts. I haven’t researched the issues you raise in detail, so can’t be too authoritative. On sediments – yes, it would reduce incoming sediments in shower water. But I suspect that the primary source of any sediments (eg clogging the showerhead) would be deposits flaking off old pipes, which shouldn’t be an issue inside your house. In terms of the water getting to your house, I have no idea, but would note that the bigger pipes make this less of an issue (surface area to volume ratio). One indicator as to whether this is a problem might be whether your filters and aerators at faucets have clogs or buildup.
On bacteria,the chloramine / chlorine treatments used by DC water are pretty reliable. See, eg. http://www.dcwater.com/waterquality/coliform.cfm
Unless someone in your household is immune-compromised, I wouldn’t worry, but that’s just my opinion. I would note that if this is an issue for you, you probably want a whole house filterthat has a UV treatment system. Regular filters reduce bacteria counts, but will still let some live microbes through.
The copper pipe question is interesting, and I learned something new. A number of factors related to water quality and bacteria can contribute to errosion of copper pipes. See, eg.: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/38054/title/Science_%2B_the_Public__Holey_Copper_Pipes! [If link is broken, google “Holey Copper Pipes! ScienceNews”.]
Don’t know what aspects of a whole house filter would help or hurt here, but something new to worry about for me. 🙂
On the brushing of teeth … I do the same. If that’s really a concern and skipping the bacteria issue, maybe you should have your water tested? DC will do lead for free and you can do a mail-in kit from home depot pretty cheaply.
Good luck!

I researched this as well recently. I wanted filtration mainly for lead since I know that my home has a lead service line and thought I might get whole house filtration if it was feasible. Well, I discovered that whole house filtration is primarily for sediment reduction, water softening and aesthetics (taste/color) and I basically didn’t find any whole house system that filtered heavy metals.
From my research, I settled on a Multipure Aquaversa undersink filter in the kitchen. I may eventually add a filter in the bathroom as well, but I don’t usually use the bathroom sink for drinking water.
If heavy metals and volatile organic compounds are a concern, you should look for a filters that meet NSF/ANSI standard 53. Many of the popular water filters on the market (and most on the shelves in the stores I checked) only meet NSF/ANSI standard 42 – which is primarily for aesthetics (taste/color).
NSF/ANSI Standard 42: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Aesthetic Effects
Overview: This standard covers point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) systems designed to reduce specific aesthetic or non-health-related contaminants (chlorine, taste and odor, and particulates) that may be present in public or private drinking water.

NSF/ANSI Standard 53: Drinking Water Treatment Units – Health Effects
Overview: Standard 53 addresses point-of-use (POU) and point-of-entry (POE) systems designed to reduce specific health-related contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium,Giardia, lead, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), MTBE (methyl tertiary-butyl ether), that may be present in public or private drinking water.

There are different types of water filtration systems from on-the-tap faucet filtration systems dispensers and pitchers using carbon filters, to those using reverse osmosis technique.To know more visit the link.

For whole house water filtration, there are larger and more advanced systems available that require a professional installation. Because of their big price it is wise to go through water filters reviews before installing them .These systems purify every drop of water that comes into your house. And are helpful if your home is supplied by well water or if your area has hard water.

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