Whole House Reverse Osmosis System: All You Need To Know

whole house reverse osmosis system

If you are looking for the best way to provide your family with clean and safe drinking water, then a whole house reverse osmosis system is perfect. This system filters out harmful impurities like chlorine and heavy metals while removing organic contaminants like bacteria and viruses. It also helps to reduce unpleasant tastes and odors, making your water taste and smell better.

A whole house reverse osmosis system can provide your family up to 99% pure water. With a whole house reverse osmosis system, your family will not only have a healthier, purer water supply, but you can save money in the long run. This article will explore everything about the whole house reverse osmosis system.

Whole House Reverse Osmosis System: Introduction


A whole house RO is a water filter that processes all the water in your home. It is at the point where water enters your residence.

A reverse osmosis membrane purifies every amount of water that goes into your home’s plumbing system. It varies from the water you drink in the kitchen to the water you use for shaving, bathing, and flushing your toilets.

Reverse osmosis (RO) systems for the entire home protect hardness, salts, chemicals, and total dissolved solids (TDS). The semi-permeable membrane in the RO device contains small pores that remove almost 98% of organic & inorganic material from the water.

Reverse osmosis is famous for generating exceptionally high water quality. It is more economical for purification than deionization or distillation.

Reverse osmosis is a typical way to treat water for drinking at home. Still, those with tough water can get a whole house reverse osmosis system to ensure they have superb water quality all over their residence.

Reverse osmosis can remove many impurities, such as chromium, uranium, copper, mercury, arsenic, boron, silver, lead, sodium, and nitrates. These elements can be harmful if present in high amounts. Not many filtration systems can get rid of them in one go.

A RO system installed beneath a sink can be the optimal way to get clean water from one tap. Yet, water can sometimes cause issues that can impact your entire house. If there are hazardous levels of compounds & metals in the water supply, get rid of these pollutants from all the taps in your house.

Purify the water you use for brushing your teeth, bathing your children, preparing food, and cleaning with reverse osmosis.

Is Whole House Reverse Osmosis System Necessary?

Whole house reverse osmosis systems are only necessary when the water has severe contamination. There are only a few situations where this type of filtration addresses the water quality.

Reverse osmosis systems for entire homes are in rural areas where the groundwater pollutes. Water containing high levels of naturally occurring substances, such as arsenic & nitrates, can only be treated through reverse osmosis.

Houses near factories may experience an increase in microplastics, volatile organic compounds such as benzene, chemicals like PFAS, and high levels of dissolved salts. It is difficult for water filtration systems to address the issue of eliminating these pollutants from the water.

whole house reverse osmosis system

When a combination of pollutants appears in the water, it can be difficult to remove. Thus, reverse osmosis is often the best solution. Suppose you reside in an area with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) levels in the water. Install a whole house reverse osmosis system to protect your dwelling from these pollutants.

The water from a municipality is treated with chlorine to reduce any possible contaminants. It is highly improbable that the water would have a concentration of pollutants managed with reverse osmosis. Different kinds of contaminants in municipal water, such as water hardness, chlorine, chloramines, and lead, can be removed efficiently using whole house water filtration systems.

Even though many people rely on municipal water systems, some still favor using Reverse Osmosis (RO) water for their households. Additionally, more and more people are becoming aware of the existence of fluoride in municipal water. Fluoride in the water of urban areas decreases the possibility of cavities in young people.

It is tough to take out fluoride from water. The usual way of doing so is by utilizing a filter known as activated alumina.

In order to reduce the level of fluoride in the water, activated alumina necessitates a significant amount of contact time. The production rate of water is around 0.25 GPM. It is impossible to pipe a house with such limited water pressure. So, people who desire to remove fluoride from their residences typically use reverse osmosis.

Things To Consider Before Installing A Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

whole house reverse osmosis system

Setting up a whole house reverse osmosis system requires careful preparation and ongoing attention to achieve the desired outcome. Comparatively, a point-of-use RO system in the kitchen only requires a link to the plumbing, a specialized air gap tap, and one or two storage tanks.

When installing an entire house system, consider a few factors, such as what kind of pretreatment is necessary to safeguard the reverse osmosis membrane, daily use of the number of gallons of water by the household, and the required area to accommodate the system.

Sizing The Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

When deciding on a whole-home reverse osmosis system, ensure it can handle your daily water consumption. Each family member will use 60 to 75 gallons of water daily.

The water consumption rate will likely be higher if a family has young members. On the other hand, a house with adults who work can have a lower usage rate. In any case, pick a system with a high enough output to meet each person’s water needs. Choose a tank that can store enough water to meet the requirements of each family member during the day.

For instance, a family of four should have access to a minimum of a 250-gallon tank for storing water. To guarantee that a whole house reverse osmosis system is effective, it is essential to have a system that produces enough output to keep the tank full.

Reverse osmosis progresses slowly, with most home under-sink systems only generating about 50 gallons daily. For a complete home, you need a system that constantly fills your storage tank and is always full of water. A 1,000 GPD reverse osmosis system could be the perfect fit for a four-person household using a 250-gallon storage tank.

Suppose the Reverse Osmosis system is producing insufficient output. A system with a 1,000 gallons per day production rate would require more than 6 hours to fill up a 250-gallon tank. It could generate between 41-42 gallons of water each hour. In that case, the tank will never reach its full capacity, and the RO apparatus will constantly operate to meet the home’s water requirements.

If you ever had visitors that stayed for a night or a large dinner party, the tank would deplete quickly. On the other hand, if you anticipate using a smaller quantity than 500 gallons daily, have a system that can produce 1,000 gallons daily.

If you want to install a reverse osmosis system for your house, contact a water specialist. The expert will determine the right size of the system and tank that would be sufficient to meet the needs of your household.

Space To Hold The Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

Installing a full-house reverse osmosis system requires a significant amount of space due to the necessity of pre-filtration and post-treatment of the water to guarantee the reverse osmosis membrane functions correctly.

To install a water softener, brine tank, mineral tank, and reverse osmosis system, you will need a room with plenty of space. Additionally, the water storage tank, which can store 250-500 gallons of water, needs to be at least 6 feet tall.

If you need to set up a reverse osmosis system, it must be indoors, in a space that is not prone to freezing temperatures. Putting a reverse osmosis system inside a place where the temperature won’t make the water or any apparatus freeze is essential. Therefore, you may need to remodel your basement or a free room in your home to fit all the equipment comfortably.

When deciding where to install your water main from the well, you must consider a room near the water source. As reverse osmosis systems and water softeners produce wastewater, select a location that can safely drain the wastewater without the risk of it flowing back.

A water booster pump must be built in a home to ensure enough pressure for the water to reach the faucet, fridge, bathtub, and toilet.

Grundfos pumps are efficient and powerful. They can increase the pressure of the water inside your tank. In addition, they are broadly utilized in commercial and residential settings, such as whole house reverse osmosis systems.

Consider the distance between the reservoir and the destination when determining which pump to pick. In cases where the water must travel a long way, it is more likely for the flow rate to become slower.

When installing a plumbing system in an upstairs bathroom, you must select a pump that can generate sufficient pressure to ensure the shower does not discharge water slowly.

It will be necessary to set the booster pump in the plumbing system after the reverse osmosis and post-treatment but before the water enters the house.

Pretreatment Of The Water

Few houses have a reverse osmosis system that operates in a vacuum. If the water from the well is not up to standard and requires a whole house system, other water treatment systems may be necessary to keep the RO system functioning correctly and make the most of it.

The reverse osmosis membrane can eliminate chemicals, salts, and other inorganic substances dissolved in water. To ensure the membrane lasts longer, it must get a shield from specific water pollutants. A comprehensive water test is essential since it allows you to understand the content of the water and, consequently, the most suitable way to pre-treat it.

If your water is highly concentrated with mineral deposits, the effects on the membrane will be devastating. Calcium and magnesium make water hard and are well-known for causing scale accumulation on machines and plumbing. Similarly, these compounds will cause severe damage to the RO membrane.

Minerals will accumulate inside the membrane, solidifying and forming a crusty obstruction. This results in a reduction in the membrane’s production and a decrease in its output quality.

The membrane is not going to last. The membrane will need replacement if hard water is treated more often than the product suggests. So, if you plan to install a whole-house RO system and have hard water, install a water softener before the system. Softening systems will remove the calcium and magnesium from the water, keeping the RO’s effectiveness and prolonging the life of the membrane.

If the well water in your home has an excessive amount of iron, then you must use either an ion exchange water softener or an iron filter to get rid of the metal from the water. Iron can lead to the blocking of the RO membrane, preventing it from removing dissolved solids and reducing the quantity of pure water it can create in a single day.

The majority of reverse osmosis systems demand both sediment and carbon pre-filters. Sediment filters, trapping particles like sand and dirt from the water, act as a barrier. The membrane can remove the sediment by itself, yet excessive sediment can quickly block the membrane.

The membrane of the reverse osmosis unit can filter out any solid material in the water. Yet, the wastewater produced by it passes through a flow restrictor which is of small size. The flow restrictor would be rapidly blocked if dirt, scraps, and other rejected inorganic impurities were all sent through it together.

Maintaining the flow restrictor clean and free from sediment is essential because it increases the pressure on the reverse osmosis membrane and regulates the system’s efficiency.

Before the water gets to the membrane in a reverse osmosis system, carbon filters take out the chlorine. TFC and TFM membranes are susceptible to any amount of chlorine, so a carbon filter prevents the membranes from being exposed to chlorine.

Carbon removes chlorine from a solution through a process known as adsorption. During this process, chlorine and other organic compounds (such as VOCs) attach to the carbon’s large, spongy surface area.

Post-treatment Of The Water

Reverse osmosis systems for the entire home typically include a pH regulator (also referred to as an acid neutralizer). The water must be prepared before going through the membrane for the reverse osmosis system to operate as effectively as possible. Additionally, the water must be treated once more after the tank and before it reaches the house.

Typically, RO water has a pH level between 5 and 6, which is somewhat acidic. Because it can erode copper pipes and result in pinhole leaks, this acidic water may be dangerous.

Many reverse osmosis systems contain a remineralize cartridge that restores minerals to the water and aids in pH stabilization to combat this. On the other hand, a whole house RO system treats a significantly greater volume of water.

The pH is barely impacted, and the pressure is reduced by installing a small cartridge in the water supply line.

Water should run through calcite, a type of crushed marble with a high concentration of calcium and high alkalinity, to raise the pH level and protect the plumbing.

When you have a whole house reverse osmosis system installed, it is usually supplemented by a UV purification system. If you have well water that requires such a system, the water may probably contain hazardous bacteria or microbes.

The best way to get rid of living organisms and viruses is to use UV. Ultraviolet systems can eradicate the genetic material of possibly damaging microorganisms by bombarding them with antibacterial ultraviolet-C rays. Even though reverse osmosis is a proficient technique for taking out a selection of dissolved pollutants, it should never be used for disinfecting on a microbial level.

In addition, there is a chance that bacteria and viruses will grow in the membrane or the tank. To prevent this, it is advised to utilize ultraviolet purification as the final stage of a whole house filtration system. This will aid in the eradication of viruses and living things.


The reverse osmosis process produces wastewater as an outcome of the water purifying system. Technological advancements are continuously reducing the wastefulness of this system. Yet there is no way to produce RO water without a certain amount of water wastage.

The membrane divides the clean water (termed permeate) from the solution full of pollutants (known as the brine). The polluted brine is then disposed of down a specific drainage.

Commercial systems have successfully reduced the number of water rejections, but they also deal with far larger amounts of water. For instance, a 1,000 GPD reverse osmosis (RO) system and a 250-gallon tank work at 1:1 efficiency (for each gallon of clean water produced, one gallon of brine is discharged). Filling the tank with purified RO water will take 500 gallons of water.

If you have a system with a low-efficiency rate, it is conceivable that you could release up to thousands of gallons of water daily. Even with a high-efficiency system, the chemistry of your source water will determine how much waste recovery happens.

With the increasing water shortage in the central part of the United States, having a residence that relies on such an energy-intensive supply chain can be a source of worry.

Whole House Reverse Osmosis System: Cost

whole house reverse osmosis system

A whole house RO costs between $12,000 and $20,000. A commercial-grade reverse osmosis system costs around $3,000 to $5,000, including extra expenses of water pre-treatment, pressure booster pumps, and installation.

The filters and membranes of the RO unit must be changed periodically. Softeners necessitate the use of resin beads and the replenishment of salt in the brine tank regularly.

Annually, the UV lamps should be swapped out, and the quartz sleeves should be replaced every 2 years. Carbon & sediment filters needs change every half year, and the acid neutralizer will gradually consume its calcite media.

The expense of a full-house reverse osmosis system is largely contingent upon its size and output. The more gallons of water the system generates daily, the higher the initial cost.

If you opt for a more powerful system, you will need to purchase a bigger storage tank, which will add to the total cost. Even though you could install the system yourself, it would be wise to get advice from a certified plumbing technician or water treatment specialist.

Installing a whole house RO system is complex, and each component needs the correct setup. If this step is not done correctly, you may experience lower water pressure, flow rates, and system performance.

Investing in a whole house reverse osmosis is costly and requires continuous costs and upkeep. However, it can be a blessing when confronted with the reality of having no other option to make water safe to drink.

How Do I Know If I Need The Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?

The only reliable way is to take a comprehensive water analysis. The water from your well may appear murky and have an unpleasant metallic flavor and a strong smell. However, you can use a straightforward filtration system to fix most of these issues.

A thorough water testing set will uncover your water’s organic, chemical, and metallic makeup. It will determine the concentrations of everything from insecticides and ammonia to arsenic and cyanide.

It is only possible to determine the most effective way to reduce pollutants by understanding what is in the water. A water test will provide information about the necessary steps for pretreatment. A water analysis makes it possible to determine the performance of your entire residence’s reverse osmosis system.

If you want safe, good-tasting water, install a reverse osmosis system beneath your sink. Suppose the results show that nitrates, nitrites, arsenic, chromium, or total dissolved solids level in your well are much higher than what the EPA has set as the acceptable limit. In that case, you will need to speak to an expert in water systems.

Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

Crystal Quest Thunder

There are nine different size options available to meet your hydration needs. I estimate that the Crystal Quest Thunder is the most excellent entire home reverse osmosis arrangement in 2023. It is made in the USA and is of high quality.

Overall, if the system is managed correctly, your whole house has clean water for a long time. It is easy and laborious.

Please Note: I believe the Thunder model is the optimal reverse osmosis system for intensive operations!

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

1. Is a whole house reverse osmosis worth it?

Reverse osmosis filtration systems are highly effective at eliminating various pollutants from water. Installing a whole-house Reverse Osmosis system could be the most economical way to deal with high concentrations of a particular contaminant.

2. How much is a whole home reverse osmosis system?

The cost of a whole-house reverse osmosis system typically falls between twelve and eighteen thousand dollars to install. The biggest is the quantity of water expected to produce daily. Furthermore, it contributes to pre-filtration components and presents the overall cost.

3. What is the disadvantage of reverse osmosis water?

A primary issue with RO systems for residential use is that most of the minerals are filtered out of the water, resulting in a low pH level. Furthermore, to generate one gallon of purified water, up to 20 gallons of water is wasted in the purification process.

4. Why would a house have a reverse osmosis system?

Reverse osmosis systems that cover an entire house are at the beginning of the water supply. The membranes can filter out any element that goes through them. These systems eliminate harsh ingredients such as uranium, mercury, arsenic, chromium, boron, lead, and nitrates.

Conclusion: Whole House Reverse Osmosis System

whole house reverse osmosis system

The best thing about reverse osmosis systems is that they are incredibly efficient at purifying water. In addition, they provide an excellent drinking water source.

If you use a reverse osmosis system, you will never have to worry about drinking contaminated water again. With a whole house reverse osmosis system, all the water leaving the house and going inside is filtered in one step to ensure it is entirely safe.

If you have children, you can rest assured knowing their water will be safe to drink.

The best feature of whole house reverse osmosis systems is their ability to produce pure water from contaminated sources. Reverse osmosis can remove chemicals from water, including chlorine, lead, nitrates, and other impurities.

Reverse osmosis is a powerful filtration system. Another fantastic thing about reverse osmosis systems is that they are incredibly efficient. Reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing up to 99% of the pollutants that are present in contaminated water. However, if you do not have a lot of space, you will need to install a larger system.

I hope this article on the whole house reverse osmosis system sounds helpful!

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