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Hi fellow FWers,

I'm looking for recommendation for whole house water filtration system. This should include softener as well as filtration unit. Is this really beneficial? Any major improvements you noticed after you installed.

 

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rated:
That's really going to depend on your water, now. If it's good you probably won't see much difference. If it's like mine, you'll see a big difference. I went with a WaterBoss and have been very happy with it. That was several years ago so I can't really say what might be out there now.

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First thing you need to do is test your water. If you live in a rural or even suburban area you might have a cooperative extension or possible a university around that will test it pretty cheaply. Whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get a water company to test it. If you do, trust me, they will find everything under the sun and scare you into a $5-$10k water treatment system. If you have well water or a lot of particles or silt, you can get a whole house filter. I have a GE one that cost around $500. Kenmore makes a similar one. It removes only particles, but backflushes itself so you never have to change filters. If the water is really bad, you can add a whole-house filter before this filter that takes disposable filters. However, it's probably unnecessary in most cases. If the water is hard (the test will tell you) than you add a softener. Again, a basic one they sell at Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. will work fine and won't run you $7k like a Rainsoft one. In reality, there are only a couple manufacturers and they are all rebranded. Look for one that's automatic and only recharges when needed. That will save you a ton of money on salt compared to a timer based one. Avoid the green sand filter like the plague. They require regular media changes an maintenance and are a hassle. The only thing you should really have to do is add salt when the tank is empty. If you have iron in the water and get staining, you can use iron-out salt pellets. It remove the iron along with the other minerals and will solve staining issue most of the time. A complete system should only cost about $1000 or so, plus installation if you can't do it yourself. It's pretty easy if you have basic plumbing skills. The softeners are rated by "grain", which is basically how much minerals they can remove effectively. The more minerals are in the water, and the more water you use, the larger the system your'll need. Oversizing the system won't hurt, but the larger systems cost more money so you don't want to buy too large of a unit. The most important part is testing the water so you know what your dealing with and don't buy a system to solve a problem you don't have. Water quality can change dramatically from house to house if you're on a well.

Whole House Filter at Lowes

Example of a basic softener at Lowes

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