Choosing a water filtration system? Get started by learning about some common features and options.
Point of Use / Point of Entry
Point of Use or undersink filtration systems filter your water where you use it. These systems focus on reducing harmful contaminants for safer, cleaner and better tasting water. Different systems reduce different contaminants, so pick one that fits your particular needs. Point of entry systems filter your water as it enters your home and focus on reducing sediment and sand for cleaner and clearer water eliminating the particles you see in your toilet tank and bathtub as well as protecting your appliances. Some point of entry systems also reduce chlorine taste and odor for better tasting water throughout your home.
Water Filtration Systems may reduce a variety of contaminants such as chlorine taste and odor, metals, chemicals, industrial pollutants, cysts, VOCs, bacteria and viruses in your water. What is removed is dependent on the make-up of the filters, the design of the system, the water flowrate and the water source. Manufacturers often have their systems and filters certified by third parties such as NSF and Water Quality Association (WQA) to NSF/ANSI standards so you can be confident your system performs as stated. See a system’s Performance Data sheet to learn what it is certified to reduce.
Dedicated Filtered Water Faucet
An additional faucet is provided or may be added to many filtration systems as a designated source for filtered water for uses such as drinking and cooking. As water passes through the filtration system, the flow is slowed down to ensure enough contact time with the filter media for contaminant removal. This allows the main faucet to maintain a regular flow rate for other uses such as washing dishes while the dedicated faucet supplies filtered water at a slower flow rate. There are filtration systems designed specifically to work without an additional faucet if you do not want to add one. Be sure to understand your system’s specifications to make sure it fits your needs.
Types of Filters and Filter-less Systems
Water filtration systems either use replaceable filters to capture contaminants from your water or have a self-cleaning feature that flushes the contaminants (with some water) down a drain.
There are two main types of water filters – encapsulated and open sump. Encapsulated filters are encased in plastic and are typically unique to a system. They are designed for easy, no-mess filter changes by removing and installing with a simple twist. There is no need to turn off the water supply, drain your system or touch exposed dirty filter media.
Open sump filters are filter media with plastic caps at each end for handling. They typically are universal in size so fit into a variety of types and brands of open sump systems. Filters range in media type, micron rating, pleated or non-pleated, and the contaminants they remove. Which filter you choose depends on your water issues and safety concerns.
Self-cleaning systems can be programmed to cycle at a designated interval, require a power source and a drain nearby. These systems typically require a higher upfront investment but require little to no maintenance long-term.
Filter Change Indicator Light
Typically located on the dedicated filtered water faucet and battery-powered, the indicator light activates when it is time to replace your filters. Look for Whirlpool® Filtration Systems with the EZ-Change™ Indicator light for this feature. Replacement Filters for Whirlpool® systems include a replacement battery for your convenience.
Working with Water Softener Systems
All water filtration systems can be installed in addition to a water softener for a complete water treatment solution. If you have heavy sediment, installing a whole home filtration system before your water softener may be a good idea. Point of use filtration systems can be installed anywhere you want safer, better-tasting, drinking water – such as your kitchen and bathroom sinks, refrigerator or ice maker.