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Whole House vs. Under the Sink Reverse Osmosis (R/O) Water Filtration Systems

Nothing is better than great tasting water and crystal clear ice cubes directly from your own tap.
If members of your household are noticing odd flavors or something that doesn't taste quite right in your water, it might be time to have your water tested. Water softeners get rid of some heavy metals and water hardness, but it is reverse osmosis water filtration systems that remove organic and inorganic materials that contaminate your water and contribute to unhealthful, odd tasting water.

Coffee, tea, and lemonade taste great when made with water that has been purified by a filtration process. Reverse Osmosis (R/O) filtration is the same process used to filter some of the better bottled waters and is an excellent filter for purifying drinking water in kitchens and bathrooms.
Because only 1% of water used by homeowners is used for drinking, it is often beneficial to install a less comprehensive filtration system in other areas of the house where water is used to shower, clean clothes and wash dishes. Homeowners have the option of installing under the sink reverse osmosis or whole house filtration systems to improve their water quality. Combining both systems provides the most complete home filtration system.

Which Water Filtration System Should I Choose?

There are many factors to consider when assessing water quality issues in residential homes. Water filtration systems are a set of chemical and physical properties acting on sediments causing either retention or flow through. To ensure the proper filter is installed in the house, water treatment specialists need to know the source of the water and what contaminants are present. With this knowledge, they can recommend the best filtration system for a specific water treatment problem.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration

According to Water Purification Magazine, the reverse osmosis process uses a semi-permeable membrane to separate and remove dissolved solids, organics, pyrogens, sub-micron colloidal matter, viruses, and bacteria from water. Under pressure, the water is filtered to capture large particles, chlorine, and other substances that contaminate water. In addition, a membrane removes impurities and an activated carbon filter removes residual taste, odor and flavor contaminants. A storage tank holds the newly treated water for future use under the sink.

Particulates such as sand, rust, and silt contribute to gritty or metallic tasting water. While activated carbon is effective in removing various organic compounds such as benzene and other pesticides, reverse osmosis removes those compounds in addition to metals, salts, fluoride, barium, sediment, and other dissolved solids.

Reverse osmosis offers a complete filtration system for drinking water with a storage tank that has an activated carbon filter to ensure the quality and final taste of the water. Reverse osmosis systems are typically installed near the area of use, such as under the kitchen sink because they are great for treating cooking and drinking water, but aren't necessarily needed at every faucet in the house. Homeowners tend to install these systems in the most heavily used spots in the home like kitchens and bathrooms.

Whole House Filtration

Whole house sediment and tank filtration systems are installed to remove contaminants as they enter the home through the plumbing system. Through a mechanical process, these systems filter dirt and sediment from the water supply before it enters the home. The filtration system is usually connected to the main water line before it splits into the hot water heater.

They are not as comprehensive as the reverse osmosis filtration systems, but they provide healthful, clean water throughout the entire household.

These systems filter contaminants from municipal water or well water. They can also be combined with a water softener, so high-quality water is at your fingertips throughout the house for showering, washing clothes, and general use.


Just like any other kind of filter technology, R/O systems and whole house filtration systems require regular maintenance. That may include periodically replacing the unit's pre-filters, post filters, and membrane modules.

If you have questions about water quality or water filtration systems for your home, contact us at
Certain Services, Inc.

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