Updated: April 7, 2021 by Zac Harding
Water is extremely important if you want to live a happy and healthy life.
For some people, accessing water that is safe to drink is as simple as turning the tap on, but depending on where you live you might have to go through the tedious process of filtering water before you can drink it.
Drinking hard water can be extremely damaging to your health, so filtering this is essential.
Two of the most common water treatments that you might have heard of are whole house filters and reverse osmosis. But even though you might have heard of these, there is a good chance that you do not fully understand what they are.
In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at these two filtration systems to find out exactly what they are, and determine whether you need reverse osmosis if you have a whole house filter. So if you want to find out more about these methods of water purification then keep on reading.
What Is a Reverse Osmosis System?
First, let’s take a look at what a reverse osmosis system is. As you probably already know, a reverse osmosis system is a type of water treatment system that removes the nasty chemicals from water to make it safe for human consumption.
Reverse osmosis is a process that removes chlorine and other sediments from water using a prefilter. Once this is completed, the system then forces water through a semipermeable membrane to remove any solid particles from the water, so that you will not consume any of these chemicals. But this isn’t all that the reverse osmosis system does.
After these two steps have been completed, the water is finally passed through a post-filter to ensure that the water no longer contains any of these chemicals before it makes its way to the faucet ready for consumption.
Reverse osmosis systems work to treat the water in your home before you turn on the tap so that all you have to do is turn on the tap and the water that comes out will be safe to drink.
There is some debate about whether or not it is safe to consume water that has traveled through a reverse osmosis system, just like there is for all water treatment methods, but there is no scientific evidence that it is dangerous.
Whereas there is a lot of evidence that drinking hard water could be detrimental to your health, so it is clear that a reverse osmosis system is the safer option.
So now that you know what a reverse osmosis system is, let’s take a look at what a whole house filter is to determine whether you need both systems in your home.
What Is a Whole House Filter?
Next, let’s take a look at what a whole house filter is and what it does in your home. Just like a reverse osmosis system, a whole house filter is a type of filtration system that will improve the quality of the water that you get in your home.
Just like reverse osmosis systems, a whole house filter will be fitted directly to your home’s water system to filter the water before it comes out of your tap.
They target the water as soon as it enters your home’s plumbing system so that even the water that is traveling to your toilet’s flushing system will be filtered of all potential contaminants and chemicals.
Depending on the area that you live in, you may not necessarily need a whole house filter as the level of contamination might be small enough to treat with a cheaper option.
Generally, the people who tend to have whole house filtration systems fitted live in cities as city water tends to be a lot harder due to the demand for it.
The majority of inner-city homes tend to have carbon filtration systems as these systems can effectively remove all of the common contaminants from water making it safe to consume.
A lot of people confuse a whole house filter with a water softener system. But these two devices are very different. Water softener systems only work to soften hard water by removing the chemicals which make it ‘hard’ such as calcium and magnesium.
Whereas filter systems also work to remove contaminants from the water. So while a water softener will be able to treat cloudy hard water, it will not be able to treat discolored water, whereas a filter system could.
So now let’s take a look at whether you need a whole house filter and a reverse osmosis system, or whether simply having one of these systems is good enough.
Do I Need Both?
So now let’s answer the question that you’ve been asking, ‘do I need reverse osmosis if I have a whole house filter?’. If you want water that is completely filtered of any contaminants then the answer is yes.
As you can see, both reverse osmosis and whole house filtration systems do an excellent job at de-contaminating water, but no one system can remove all of the contaminants. This is the reason why some people opt to have multiple different systems as it increases the chances of you being able to filter all of the water completely.
Depending on the area that you live in, you might prefer to have more than one system installed. If your water is only slightly cloudy or off-color, then one system should be able to successfully clean your water so that it is safe for consumption.
But if your water is extremely hard and discolored then installing multiple systems will increase the chances of you being able to get water that is completely free of any contaminants.
So the answer is yes, and no. There is no legal obligation for you to have both reverse osmosis and a whole house filter, but if you want perfectly clean water to drink then it would be a good idea to get both fitted.
In short, no you do not need both reverse osmosis and a whole house filter.
But if the water in your home is particularly hard or discolored then investing in both systems is the best way to get clean water that is safe to drink.