Point-of-Entry Systems, the Whole-Home Solution

Tanks without valves - minimized background with logo 2A whole-home water filtration system applies one or more filters where the water enters the home or place of business. Whole-home systems are available in a variety of configurations. Some systems require periodic backflushing, reversing the flow of water to refresh the filtration media, but others do not; backflushing requires connection to a drain. Water4’s backflush-requiring systems come in single tank and dual tank configurations. Other systems, generally not as common, require no backflushing or drain connection and, by comparison, waste little or no water.

Whole-home systems traditionally were limited to traditional salt-based water softeners. Traditional water softeners include a brine tank, which is used to re-charge the resin beads of the softener itself, infused with sodium. As water passes through the resin, the resin exchanges the calcium and magnesium ions associated with hard water with sodium ions, hence the name ion exchange. The capacity of the resin to exchange sodium for the hardness elements needs periodic regeneration. Water softeners regenerate every three to seven days, requiring at least 25 gallons of water per cycle. The regeneration frequency depends on the hardness of the water, the volume of water used, and the rated capacity of the system.

One grain of hardness is the equivalent of approximately 68 milligrams of calcium or magnesium, Hardness is measured in grains or milligrams per gallon or parts per million. Water with less than one grain per gallon is considered soft. Water with more than 1 grain and less than 3.5 grains is slightly hard. Water with 3.5 to 7.0 grains is moderately hard, 7.0 to 10.5 grains is hard, and more than 10.5 grains is very hard. Water in some parts of Southern California and other traditionally hard water areas often measures at more than 17 grains, with 25-30 grains getting more common as the current drought continues.

Each household member uses approximately 75 gallons of water daily. Landscaping, of course, will change the average water usage per person, that will be reflected in your water bill, but most people will not use filtered water for irrigation. A typical one-tank whole-home system holds 7 to 14 gallons of water, twice that for a two-tank system. Regeneration requires a volume of water approximately four times the capacity of the system. A 10-gallon system, roughly 1.5 cubic feet, requiring weekly regeneration will use 2,000 gallons of water.

In the early 2000s, scientists developed a technology that does not use salt for exchanging calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions. This media does not remove the calcium and magnesium from the water, which the human body actually needs. Instead, it causes the calcium and magnesium to have a preference for binding to other calcium and magnesium ions rather than the pipes, the fixtures, and the surfaces in your home or commercial establishment. You will see less spotting on glass and less of that annoying crust on your faucets and showerheads.

In 2014, a system combining carbon filtration and a salt-free water conditioner that required no backflushing was first available to consumer. This system helps to mitigate, if not remove, the chlorine and chlorine by-products that most municipalities use to sanitize the water flowing to your tap. It is good until it enters your home, but reportedly not good for the human body.