Hard Knox Plumbing Blog

Water Filtration Systems: A Guide to Cleaner, Healthier Drinking Water

Have you ever noticed an unpleasant taste or odor emanating from your tap water? While we often take the convenience of clean, running water for granted, the reality is that municipal water supplies can sometimes contain impurities or byproducts from the treatment process. Here at Hard Knox Plumbing, we understand the desire for fresh, high-quality drinking water at home. This comprehensive guide explores the world of water filtration systems, empowering you to make informed decisions for a healthier and more enjoyable drinking experience.


Typical Contaminants Found in Tap Water

Before diving into filtration solutions, let’s shed light on some potential contaminants present in tap water:


  • Sediment: Sand, silt, and rust particles can be aesthetically unappealing and may affect the taste of your water.
  • Chlorine: Commonly used for disinfection, chlorine can leave a noticeable taste and odor. Some byproducts of chlorine disinfection may also raise health concerns.
  • Minerals: Depending on your location, your tap water may contain dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can contribute to hardness and leave scale buildup on appliances.
  • Trace Contaminants: In some cases, trace amounts of lead, arsenic, or other contaminants may be present due to aging infrastructure or local environmental factors.

It’s important to note that the specific contaminants in your water supply will vary depending on your location. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides resources to help you understand your local water quality report.


The Filtration Frontier: Exploring Different System Types

Now that we’ve identified some issues, let’s explore the filtration technologies available to combat them:


  • Mechanical Filtration: These systems act as a physical barrier, trapping sediment, rust, and other large particles. Pre-filters are commonly used in conjunction with other filtration methods, while some standalone mechanical filters can address specific concerns like sand or lead.
  • Absorption Filtration: Activated carbon is a workhorse in this category, effectively absorbing chlorine, taste, and odor from your water. These filters also have some capacity to reduce certain organic contaminants. Activated carbon filters are often found in pitcher filters, refrigerator filters, and some under-sink systems.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems: By  offering a multi-stage filtration process, RO systems remove many contaminants, including dissolved minerals, heavy metals, and some bacteria. They use a semi-permeable membrane that allows water molecules to pass through while rejecting larger contaminants. RO systems typically require a separate faucet for filtered water and may slightly reduce water pressure due to the filtration process.
  • Distillation: This traditional method involves boiling water to vapor, and then condensing the vapor back into pure liquid. While distillation removes nearly all impurities, it’s an energy-intensive process and isn’t commonly used in modern home filtration systems.


Why Choose a Water Filtration System?

The decision to invest in a water filtration system is a personal one, but the potential benefits are numerous:


  • Enhanced Taste and Odor: Eliminate unpleasant chlorine taste and odor, making your water more enjoyable to drink.
  • Reduced Contaminants: Depending on the system you choose, filtration can significantly reduce or eliminate various contaminants, potentially improving your water’s safety and health benefits.
  • Increased Water Consumption: With improved taste and reduced concerns about impurities, you and your family may be more likely to drink more water, promoting overall health and hydration.
  • Appliance Protection: By removing minerals that contribute to scale buildup, filtration systems can help protect your coffee makers, ice makers, and other appliances from damage.


Factors to Consider When Selecting a Filtration System

With a variety of water filtration systems available, selecting the right one for your needs requires careful consideration of several factors:


  • Water Quality Concerns: Understanding the specific contaminants present in your water supply is crucial. Local water quality reports or water testing by Hard Knox Plumbing can provide valuable insights.
  • Budget: Water filtration systems range in price depending on the type, capacity, and brand. Consider upfront costs and the need for replacement filters when making your decision.
  • Maintenance: Different systems require varying levels of maintenance. Some filters need regular replacement, while others may require minimal upkeep.
  • Installation: Certain systems, like countertop filters, are easy to install. More complex systems, like under-sink RO systems, may necessitate professional installation.
  • Space Considerations: Countertop filters require dedicated space, while under-sink systems offer a more discreet option. Consider your available space and desired aesthetics.


Countertop Contenders vs. Under-Sink Stealth: Exploring System Options


Countertop Contenders:
  • Convenience: Countertop filters are easily available, portable, and generally easy to install. They’re a good option for renters or those seeking a quick filtration solution.
  • Capacity: Capacity varies, but countertop filters typically hold a limited amount of water, requiring frequent refills.
  • Filtration Capabilities: Countertop filters primarily utilize activated carbon for taste, odor, and chlorine reduction. Some may offer additional filtration stages for specific contaminants.
  • Aesthetics: Countertop filters come in various designs, allowing you to choose one that complements your kitchen décor.
Under-Sink Filtration Systems:
  • Capacity: Under-sink systems offer significantly larger capacities, often connecting directly to your cold water line for continuous filtered water.
  • Filtration Options: Under-sink systems offer a wider range of filtration options, including activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and even combination systems for multi-stage filtration.
  • Space Considerations: Under-sink systems require space beneath your sink for installation. While some are DIY-friendly, complex RO systems may require professional installation.
  • Discretion: Under-sink systems offer a more discreet solution, with a dedicated faucet dispensing filtered water directly at your sink.

Ultimately, the choice between a countertop or under-sink system depends on your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors like space availability, desired filtration level, and budget when making your decision.


Unveiling the Extras: Additional Considerations for a Complete Filtration Experience

Beyond the core filtration system, there are a few additional factors to consider:


  • Water Testing: For a truly personalized approach, consider getting your water tested to identify specific contaminants and choose the filtration system that best addresses your concerns. Hard Knox Plumbing can help you understand your water quality report or recommend water testing services in your area.
  • Replacement Filters: Regular filter replacement is essential for optimal performance. Choose a system with readily available and affordable replacement filters that fit your budget.
  • Eco-Friendly Considerations: While filtration improves water quality, some systems may have a higher water usage footprint. Look for systems with efficient filtration processes and explore ways to minimize water waste during use. For example, you can collect the filtered water used for rinsing fruits and vegetables and use it to water plants.


Hard Knox Plumbing: Your Trusted Partner in Unveiling Clean Water Solutions

At Hard Knox Plumbing, we understand the importance of clean, healthy drinking water for your home. Our team of qualified plumbers can help you assess your water quality concerns and recommend the most suitable filtration system for your needs. We offer a variety of installation services and can ensure your system is functioning properly for optimal performance.

Contact Hard Knox Plumbing today for a free consultation! Let our experts guide you towards a refreshing and healthy water filtration solution for your home.