The water in my taps is an orangey red. In plain terms, it is the color of what is probably in the pipes: rust. I am grossed out to say the least. I rush to the store to buy more bottled drinking water. I don’t even want to wash dishes in this dark brew. There is no making it a pretty picture and giving the hue a picturesque name. Obviously I have a problem. I imagine myself drinking and bathing in corrosion. No matter what it costs, I am going to make a change. It is time to install a new whole house water filter and nip this problem in the bud. Although I have better things to do in my role as wife, career woman, and mother, I start reading the various online reviews. What the heck is a whole house unit anyway?

In the simplest terms, a whole house water filter system is intended to reduce contaminants. The purpose is to correct any impurities, improve taste, and eliminate lingering odors. There is a unit for every kind of home so you better call in the pros to help you decide what is best for your needs. There is much variety in installation options and overall cost. Take a look at the fine print that describes NSF certification. There are certain standards that every system must live up to in terms of chlorine taste, particulates, and odor.

Then ask details on ongoing maintenance expenses and read the testimonials of users who have something to say about manufacturers living up to their claims. If you read between the lines, you can learn whether people like the design of the system. For example, it seems to be optimal to combine multiple media into one tank. The result is called channeling, which means that water finds the path of least resistance. When it flows through this path, it minimizes contact time with media and effectiveness is reduced. The answer seems to be a multiple tank system. The best use an upflow design that reduces channeling, making the system efficient. Wow. I can’t believe how much I have learned. It pays to read the reviews.

Your installer where select a place where your water source enters your home. It can be inside or out as long as it is protected from extreme temperature changes. Direct sunlight is also its enemy. Whole house water filter systems are usually placed near the hot water heater, that is, the garage, basement, or attic. Let the pro select the form, shape and size and make sure that there is adequate drainage and an electrical connection. If the right options are chosen, the filtering process will service the entire home for many years to come, avoiding costly repair and replacement parts.

Find out about longevity and cost of repair at the time of installation. Learn how to service your tank by removing old, wet, and contaminated media (which starts to look like wet sand). You then have to refill the tank and flush it out. As about “back flushing.” You will then be as well informed as I am.

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