Do I Need a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?

Everyone has some of the other types of worries regarding the purity of water supplied in their houses. Some house owners are even looking for ways to make sure that the water coming from their faucet is safe to drink. So, which is the best water purification method for you?

First, you must determine whether you need or simply want a whole house reverse osmosis system.

If you are concerned about some contaminants like PCB, TCE, arsenic, nitrate then maybe you want a reverse osmosis system to get rid of it.

But, you absolutely need a whole house reverse osmosis system if your water has high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), arsenic, and nitrate.

What is a Reverse Osmosis Filtering System?

Reverse Osmosis Filtering System is a water purification technology that works to remove contaminants and sediments, along with microbial deposits present in the water. This system includes a semipermeable membrane that passes the water, eliminating even the smallest particles.

What is a Whole House Reverse Osmosis Filtering System?

Such a system filters every drop of your home’s water through a reverse osmosis membrane. A whole house reverse osmosis filtration system is installed at the entry point of the water in your home. It keeps your entire house free from water hardness, chemicals, TDS, and salts.

Do you need a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?

This system is necessary for specific water problems but there are very few water issues that only whole house reverse osmosis can solve. If your home is situated near some manufacturing plants, you may witness high levels of microplastic, volatile organic compounds such as benzene, chemicals like PFAS, or dissolved salts in the water.

Getting rid of all these contaminants is challenging and only a few purification systems are equipped to tackle it. They can cause more trouble when they emerge in unison. So, the reverse osmosis system is the most suitable way of eliminating all the contaminants from the water.

However, municipal water supplies do not contain many contaminants and don’t need reverse osmosis because they are already treated by chlorination. Other contaminants included in the water can easily be purified by regular water filtration systems. Some people prefer RO water and switch to reverse osmosis water systems for the entire house.

A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride is tough to remove from water. In city water supplies, it is added synthetically to avoid the risk of tooth decay in children. Using a standard method of activated alumina is impractical as it requires a lengthy contact time with water in order to reduce fluoride. Ultimately, people turn to reverse osmosis systems.

How does a Reverse Osmosis System Work?

Now that you know about this purification system, you might as well take a look into how it works. Mainly, there are five main filtration stages of any reverse osmosis system.

Step 1: Sediment Removal Stage

In this stage of the RO system, a 5-micron filter is used. The water passes through this filter which blocks all the larger contaminants such as stones, dust, and clay from water.

Step 2: First Carbon Filter Stage

The water passes through a carbon filter. This stage removes chlorine, iron, and other harmful chemicals.

Step 3: Second Carbon Filter

All the remaining particles that survived the first carbon filtration are removed with a second carbon filter. It is much denser and compact than the first carbon filter. It allows the filter to block all the remaining sediments.

Step 4: RO Filtration

It is the most important stage where the water passes through the osmosis membrane. This is a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane is responsible for removing even the smallest deposits from the water.

RO technology removes sediments on the basis of their ionic charge, weight, and size. It filters out all the dissolved particles larger than 0.001 microns and with a molecular weight of 200 to result in pure water output.

Step 5: Remineralization

The actual working mechanism ends above. But a few Reverse Osmosis system models add one more stage to the mechanism. The water is free from contaminants and sediments after the fourth stage and includes beneficial minerals as well.

In this added step, an alkaline re-mineralizer makes your water healthier and better-tasting with added beneficial minerals. Some manufacturers design a UV light bulb in their RO system. It operates to remove viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms from the water.


Any additional stage after the fifth one falls under a further division of the remineralization process. Advertisements promising a 10-step filtration in their RO system are only an extended version of the above mentioned five stages.

Cost of a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

A whole house reverse osmosis system can cost you anywhere around $12,000 to $20,000. Although, the price of a commercial-grade RO system ranges from $3,000 to $5,000. The pre-treatment process, pressure booster pumps, and total installation cost increases the price of your system.

Things to Consider for a Reverse Osmosis System

One of the best technologies that get rid of water contaminants in your house is a Reverse Osmosis system. Even if you switch to a whole house reverse osmosis system, here are a few major things you should know before buying a reverse osmosis system:


Generally, a reverse osmosis system is mounted in the cabinet under the sink. Besides the pre-filters, other RO components and the tank needs a large space. So, measure the space in your home to make sure the system fits comfortably, before purchasing an RO system.

Water Pressure

The Reverse Osmosis system requires a minimum water pressure of about 40 PSI to function properly. Some RO units are available with a booster pump used to increase the overall water pressure. The water pressure in your household must be enough to go up the pump for the system to work.

Water Usage

The major issue with a system like reverse osmosis is that it consumes a large amount of water. So, the amount of water that is filtered out from the system is less compared to the initial amount of water used for purification. Some people hesitate to install the system because they cannot afford to waste water. This is an important factor to consider before buying an RO system.


Some reverse osmosis systems may remove essential minerals from your water. This

is not good for your health. You should invest in an RO unit with an alkaline re-mineralizer. An alkaline re-mineralizer deposits the beneficial minerals back in the water.

Replacement Filters

These systems have more than one filter for removing the sediments from your water. You need to record the details of every replacement as some filters demand frequent replacements and maintenance.

Benefits of Using a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

  • Better tasting food
  • Healthier skin and hair
  • Improved indoor air quality

Final Words,

An RO system is a cost-effective method of purification in comparison to deionization or distillation. The contaminants in the water do not lead to any immediate health problems but can give you chronic health issues later. Commonly, a whole house reverse osmosis is found in rural homes on wells, because the groundwater is compromised to numerous difficult contaminants.