Do You Need an R.O System When You Have a Fridge Filter

Fresh drinking water is a convenience most of us enjoy in our homes. Yet, the water coming directly from the faucet may not meet your drinking water expectations or standards. Perhaps your tap water has a bad taste, or you have concerns about water contaminants, but buying bottled water can be both costly and impractical. Many homeowners appreciate this quandary and use water filtration to improve their drinking water quality. Two of the most common forms of domestic water treatment are Reverse Osmosis water systems and refrigerator water dispensers. So, do you need to have an RO system when you have a refrigerator filter? Do You Need an R.O System When You Have a Fridge Filter

The Differences

Before you can determine whether you need a Reverse Osmosis system in addition to your fridge filter, you need to understand the differences between these water treatment methods. Most refrigerator filters use carbon filtration. This is the most common method of filtration used in ice dispensers and most refrigerator models that have a built in water dispenser. As the name suggests carbon filtration involves the water being passed through carbon or activated charcoal. The filters use adsorption to trap ions, atoms or molecules of water contaminants to the surface of the filter media. There are tiny holes in the filter media that can trap certain things while they allow the H2O to pass. Carbon filtration units feature different sized holes to trap different contaminants or substances including chlorine. Chlorine is a common drinking water contaminant as it is often used as a disinfectant in municipal water supplies. Unfortunately, even minute amounts of chlorine can create a smell and taste of swimming pool water.

Carbon filtration does have limitations; it cannot remove all forms of water contamination. For example, carbon filters can remove some heavy metals, but not all of them. They can’t remove fluoride or dissolved solids. So, while it may improve the smell and taste of your drinking water, your fridge filter may not be up to the task of delivering great quality drinking water in your home.

The Effectiveness of Reverse Osmosis Systems

R.O systems are a far more advanced process of filtration. This type of system uses a number of carbon filters in addition to a semi permeable membrane. While the carbon filters can be used to remove particles that could damage the membrane, the membrane itself can remove a number of challenging contaminants including lead, nitrates, radium, fluoride, and cryptosporidium.

Reverse Osmosis systems can be installed as a point of use or whole house system. This means that you can not only improve your drinking water quality, but you can also protect the rest of your home from poor quality water.

If you’re still unsure about whether a fridge filter is sufficient to ensure that your family enjoys the best quality drinking water, you should speak to a water treatment professional. A fully WQA certified technician can assess your water quality and advise you on the systems and devices that are best suited to your unique requirements and meet or possibly exceed the industry standards.

By Mark Williams (NicMar President Mark Williams holds degrees in Applied Science and Industrial Thermodynamics, along with Agricultural Mechanization and Systems Engineering from Ohio State University.  He also holds the highest possible industry ranking, being WQA (Water Quality Association) LEVEL 6 Certified.)

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Nicmar Water
999 Baltimore Road York SpringsPA17372 USA 
 • 800-542-8649

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