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Just Plumbing | The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home Water Filtration System

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Home Water Filtration System

The quality of the water you drink can affect your health. A recent NIH study found that hard water can harm your cardiovascular health. A home water filtration system can remove minerals that cause hard water. They can also remove chlorine and other particles that affect the taste. Some are also capable of removing pathogens.

There is a dizzying array of home filtration systems available. You can buy simple units that sit on your counter or complex whole-house systems that require a plumber to install. Continue reading to find out which system is right for you.

The Different Water Filtration Technologies

There are nearly a dozen common systems available to provide filtered water in your home. Each has advantages and disadvantages based on the various filtration system options used.

Some technologies only remove chemicals that improve your water’s taste. Others remove minerals and metals. More advanced technologies can remove harmful bacteria and viruses.

Activated Carbon

Contaminants get trapped on the surface of the carbon filter or within its pores. This method removes chlorine, fluorine, hydrogen sulfide, and radon from water. They are not effective for other contaminants. Another disadvantage is that these filters must be changed often.

Activated Alumina

A porous substance that traps unwanted particles, such as fluoride, arsenic, and selenium. The disadvantage of this filtration method is the limited number of particles it can remove.

Ion Exchange

Water percolates through ion-exchange resins. The idea behind these is to swap ions of substances to remove toxic metals like chromate, uranium, radium, and perchlorate. This method also “softens” water by removing calcium and magnesium.

This method cannot remove bacteria or viruses. It also wastes a lot of water during the filtration process.

Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF)

A copper-zinc-based filter. It removes iron, chlorine, mercury, lead, nickel, chrome, and hydrogen sulfide from your water. This technology works by swapping electronics with contaminants, rendering them harmless.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

A semi-permeable membrane traps harmful particles. It can filter out particles as small as .0001 microns. Carbon filters can only filter out particles as small as 1 micron.

RO removes protozoa, bacteria, and viruses from water. RO systems also remove harmful metals (fluoride, magnesium, and more)


A process that works by heating water and capturing only the water vapor produced. This leaves metals and other containments behind.

The disadvantage is the amount of energy and apparatus required. Other filter systems work as well without the hassle and expense.

Mechanical Filtration

Water is forced through a filter that traps suspended materials. They are effective at removing sand, silt, clays, and organic matter. They do not remove chemicals or pathogens.

These filters are used in front of other types of filters. They are best at keeping large particles from damaging more sensitive filters further along the filtration path.

UV Disinfection

Ultraviolet light kills protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. UV light does not remove chemicals or minerals. This technology is best used in conjunction with other filtration methods.

It is important to know what types of contaminants you need to remove from your water before choosing a filtration technology. The following section will describe different types of filtration systems you can deploy in your home.

Types of Home Water Filtration Systems

There are filtration system options for specific needs or the entire house. They also vary quite a bit in the complexity of their installation and use.

Gravity and Pitcher Filters

These either sit on your countertop or in your refrigerator. They consist of two parts, one atop the other. Gravity pulls untreated water through a membrane from an upper to a lower tank.

These systems typically use a filter made of silica sand, anthracite coal, greensand, or activated carbon. They are simple, inexpensive, and easy to use.

Refrigerator Filters

These filters typically use activated carbon and need to be replaced twice a year. They are effective at removing chlorine and particles that affect the taste of water, but little else.

Shower Filters

These filters remove irritants from water, such as chlorine and chloramines. They often use KDF filtration technology. These filters render the water safer and less damaging for your skin and hair.


These filters are more effective than gravity filters. They are easy to install and use. These filters offer the convenience of filtered water directly from the faucet.

They filter out contaminants that affect the taste of water. Most models also filter out harmful minerals and metals.

There are some cons to these filters. 1) They cut down the flow rate from your faucet. 2) They do not work on faucets with pull-out sprayers.


These are large, expensive units that employ a boiler. They are highly effective at purifying water but not practical for normal home use. Consider these for specialized tasks. The drinking water from such filters tends to be bland and flat.


These filters range from simple carbon filters to advanced reverse osmosis systems. A big advantage is that they are hidden and out of the way. The disadvantages are the difficulty of installation and the space they take up under your sink.

Whole House Filters and Softeners

These filters sit in line on your water lines before reaching faucets. Their advantage is that they treat all water coming into your house rather than specific faucets.

The better units do not lower your water pressure.

The major downsides are: 1) They are pricier than other solutions at $600 to $4,500. 2) They also require modifications to your plumbing.

Salt-Free Filtration Solutions

Salt-free water softeners use a method that attracts minerals and turns them into harmless crystals. Salt-free filters waste less water in their filtering process than salt-based systems. Salt-free systems cost less to operate, are simpler, and last longer.

The main disadvantage is that these systems often cost more upfront. They range from $500 to $3,000 as opposed to $100 to  $1,800 for salt-based systems.

Everyone Should Invest in Water Filtration

Home water filtration removes minerals that damage your plumbing and appliances. They remove chemicals that affect the taste of water. And many can remove bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that can damage your health.

Don’t wait; get your water filtration system now. Our experts at Just Plumbing will find a solution designed specifically for you. We supply water softeners, water filters, water heaters, and more.

If you live in the Phoenix/Tucson corridor, give us a call at 520-876-5878 or shop our products and services online.