Published: April 1, 2020

    Reverse Osmosis and Whole House Water Filtration Compared

    Filtering the water in your house is extremely important. The better the quality of water means better health and wellness for everyone in your home. However, we know there’s a long list of filters to choose from. So, where do you begin?

    Two popular types of filtration systems include a Reverse Osmosis System and a Whole House Water Filter System. But, if they both provide clean water, how are they so different? To get you started on the path to better water, we’re breaking down the basics between a Reverse Osmosis System and a Whole House Water Filter System.

    What is Reverse Osmosis? 

    Reverse osmosis is an effective way to filter the tap water in your home. During this process, inorganic solids are reduced. The process reduces a large percentage of the contaminants in your drinking water by filtering the water through a semipermeable membrane – a barrier in which some particles may pass through, but others cannot. This type of filtration system is very popular among homeowners and business owners alike because of the significant number of contaminants that the process reduces. 

    Although this may sound confusing, it’s easier to understand once you know a bit more about osmosis. An essential part of nature, osmosis works to migrate weaker saline solutions with stronger saline solutions. In terms of water, this means migrating water with fewer impurities to water that has more particles or contaminants. This happens until the densities on either side of the semipermeable membrane are equal. 

    So, reverse osmosis is essentially the backward technique of osmosis. Solutions with a higher particle count get pushed through the semipermeable membrane to reduce those unwanted contaminants.

    What is Whole House Water Filtration?

    A Whole House Water Filter System works on a larger scale than reverse osmosis. It works to disinfect byproducts, reduce fecal matter, clear the system of hazardous fertilizer, and fight off waterborne bacteria such as legionella and norovirus. However, it also filters all the water rather than concentrating on just one area. The Pelican Carbon Series Whole House Water Filter is super low-maintenance and offers cleaner water to your shower, appliances, and every faucet in your home. It has a 600,000-gallon capacity so that it can serve your home better.

    What contaminants do these filters reduce? 

    Reverse osmosis works to reduce Arsenic V, Chromium 6, Chromium 3, Barium, Cadmium, Copper, Radium, Selenium, Turbidity, Cysts, Fluoride, Lead, and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). Reverse osmosis filters with Pelican Water Systems works to reduce fluoride at a rate of approximately 93.8%. The carbon filter in the 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System helps to reduce chlorine so you can drink water without the odor or taste. The reverse osmosis filters work to reduce many minerals, but the systems leave in beneficial minerals like magnesium and calcium. Unfortunately, the 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System does not reduce coliform bacteria. If you would like a system that does, feel free to add a disinfection system or a purification system to your filter. 

    Whole house filtration systems reduce chlorine, chloramines, sediment, significant contaminants, and other dangerous disinfectants as soon as they enter the plumbing systems. A whole-house system has a powerful, positive effect on your plumbing’s infrastructure. Whole house systems extend the life of water-using appliances such as hot water tanks, washing machines, dishwashers, and coffeepots since the water entering these will be contaminant-free. If you add UV protection to your whole house filter, you can appreciate additional benefits. These include killing bacteria, viruses, and pathogens so they won’t reproduce. The system also reduces up to 99.9% of harmful microorganisms, including E. coli, cryptosporidium, and giardia.  

    What are the key differences?

    Reverse osmosis systems treat drinking and cooking water and typically sit underneath the sink. A whole house water system is used to treat all of the water that flows through the house, so it’s located at the main water line. Reverse osmosis systems are very concentrated and operate slowly, whereas whole house water systems quickly filter water so that it can flow efficiently through the entire house. Whole house filters work to filter specific contaminants from the entire home, and reverse osmosis systems reduce a broad range of contaminants from drinking water

    How do I know which filter type is right for me? 

    Understanding the benefits of each system is important when choosing one that’s right for you. Reverse osmosis systems improve the health and taste of your water, they feature multiple-stage filtration, and heavy metal reduction. Reverse osmosis filters are convenient and useful for clearing out drinking water. If you’re looking to drink highly purified water, a reverse osmosis system will do the trick. 

    If you need a filtration system and don’t have any specific contamination issues, a whole house filter works great for general purpose use. This system will work to protect the water that flows through your showers, sink, and more. Reverse osmosis systems treat the problem down the line, but a whole house filter treats the problem at the point of entry. If you’re looking for this type of filter, then the decision is easy. And if you do have specific contaminants to attack, you can still get a whole house filtration system, and take action with additional filters later on. 

    When it comes time to place a filter in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us. We stock a wide variety of home water filtration systems for every budget, household, and water quality issue. We’ll be happy to connect you to cleaner, tastier water when you contact us at 877-207-7380.