Whole House Reverse Osmosis

There are many ways products can be marketed using catchy phrases.  In the water treatment industry, we often are asked whole house reverse osmosis filtration systems.  It’s a valid topic especially if you like the water that your reverse osmosis drinking water system produces.  Is it economical and feasible?  A whole house reverse osmosis system is not the way to go to improve your home’s water.  There are other cost-effective means to provide safe, good quality water to your family.  Let us explain the reasons why a whole house reverse osmosis system is not feasible, nor cost effective for your wallet and the environment.

These types of systems are expensive.  A whole house system can cost in the thousands of dollars to start.  Consider the cost of the equipment (filtering system and regular filter changes, pumps, and storage tanks) and the space required inside your home.  If your home is plumbed in copper pipe, then it will all need to be re-piped with food-grade plastic tubing due to the purity of reverse osmosis water. The high quality of the water will, over time, erode copper piping causing leaks.

A whole house reverse osmosis filtration system requires using a lot of water.  A single point of use reverse osmosis system can use 2-4 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of reverse osmosis drinking water.  The 2-4 gallons of water used are flushed down the drain.  Also, think about the water used in a home.  Most water used in a home is used to bathe, shower, wash clothes, or clean dishes to name a few.  Is it necessary to have reverse osmosis water to shower?  A lot of water is consumed just to flush a toilet.

When considering this system, the space needed to house the equipment is usually too large.  There will need to be pumps, storage tanks, and the filter equipment itself.  Most homes have a utility room that is filled with other appliances and oftentimes there is no space for this system.  It can also be difficult to find a local professional who is knowledgeable and properly trained to maintain this system.

A whole house reverse osmosis system is rarely installed by itself because the quality of the water entering the system needs to be free of mineral.  Since 85% of the water in the US is hard water, a homeowner will need at minimum a water softener.  Other equipment may be needed if the water has high iron.

Reverse Osmosis is a point of use system that is great for drinking, cooking, washing vegetables or watering indoor plants.  If there is a specific contaminant in your water, it’s best to contact your local water professional to seek a solution that benefits everyone.  It seems logical to spend little money on a system that saves a precious resource, water.  When considering drinking water for your family, consider point of use reverse osmosis at your kitchen sink.