Frequently asked question for Whole House Water Filtration Systems

Whole House System
Home Water Filters: What exactly is a whole house water filter?

Whole house water filters deliver purified water throughout the entire home to every faucet. These large, high-capacity systems are installed on the main water line before the water heater to provide purified water to both hot and cold water lines. In the water industry, whole house filters are also known as point-of-entry (POE) filters because they treat water at the entry point going into the home. Smaller drinking water filters are known as Point-of-use (POU) because they can typically only treat water at a single station where the water is being used, like a kitchen counter.

Water softeners are a popular type of whole house filter, but they are actually just one subcategory under the whole house filtration branch which includes many types of specialized systems. We offer a large selection of both POE and POU water filters to treat every water need & concern.

  Reverse Osmosis
Drinking Water Systems
Whole House
Water Conditioners & Filters
Filtration Type POU (Point-of-Use) POE (Point-of-Entry)
Output water to 1-2 dedicated RO faucets Every faucet in the house
Filtration level 0.001 micron, very fine filtration removes 90-99% of TDS, chemical & microbial contamination 10-30 micron, basic & specialized filtration including carbon, UV, scale & iron treatment
Water quality “Bottled water quality” drinking water Bathing & cleaning quality water only, not for drinking
Output capacity 45-90 gallons a day
(ideal for drinking, cooking only)
Unlimited amount
(for baths, toilets, dishes, etc…)

Compare with RO: How is a whole house filter different from a home RO system?

Whole house filters are large capacity systems that provide basic and specialized water purification used for showers, baths, laundry, dishes and general cleaning applications. Reverse osmosis systems use membrane filtration technology to produce ultra-pure bottled quality water that is 90-99% contaminant free for drinking & cooking. RO treated water is more refined and pure than whole house treated water, but it takes much longer to produce and the volume is much smaller, therefore it is not often used for whole house filtration.

For most households, the ideal setup would be to install both a RO system and a whole house carbon filter to treat their drinking, bathing & cleaning water. If water hardness is a problem, a water softener can be added. For people that have special water concerns or want more comprehensive water purification, they can consider one of our other whole house systems, our Total Solution filtration packages or even a whole house reverse osmosis system.

Water Concerns: Do I need a whole house water filter?

Yes! Whether you are on city or well water, you will benefit greatly from a whole house filter. Turn on any tap water faucet in America and you will certainly find some levels of unhealthy water contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, bacteria, fluoride, chemicals and pharmaceutical drug residues. Many of these substances can be absorbed, inhaled or ingested when people bathe, shower, wash dishes or cook dinner.

Water hardness, scale, iron and hydrogen sulfide are other water concerns that can cause homeowners many problems and money if they are not addressed in the long run. If you are unsure about what type of system you need, please contact one of our friendly APEC water specialists and they will be happy to assist you.

APEC Brand vs Others: How do APEC whole house systems compare with others in the market?

Our whole house systems are designed for high performance, durability and reliability. We are one of the only online systems providers who still insist on using NSF certified and premium components from top industry-leading manufacturers. Our long lasting tanks, valves and media are designed to perform well under extreme water conditions and pressure changes without the problematic leaks and performance degradation issues common with other lower end systems. Our systems are designed and assembled in the USA, and we are the only company to offer a 10 year limited warranty and lifetime service & support guarantee – unparalleled in the industry.


Treatment Options: What types of filter systems are available?

Whole house systems use a wide variety of water purification technologies to treat water contamination. Activated media beds are used to remove pollutants from the water through the process of adsorption, ion-exchange, catalytic conversion and oxidation. There are many types of media and their versatility allows them to treat everything from natural and man-made chemicals to heavy metals and water hardness. For microbial concerns, UV lamps are used to sterilize water by attacking the DNA of microbial contaminants with ultraviolet light which effectively destroys bacteria, viruses and cysts. Screen, sieve and membrane filtration can also be used to remove pollutants within a wide range of micron ratings.


Control Head valve: Why do some systems have a control head valve and others don't?

Most of our heavy-duty whole house systems use electronic control head valves. These programmable valves provide automatic backwashing for our media systems allowing them to periodically clean themselves for longer lasting more efficient filtration. Regular backwashing cycles remove dirt and sediment and redistributes media to reduce the effects of compacting and channeling. This process eliminates the need for pre-filtration and also protects the system from premature fouling and clogging. In water softening systems, the control valve also manages the salt regeneration and acts like a meter to effectively monitoring water and salt usage to reduce waste.

On some whole house models, we do not include the control valve because the need for backwashing is not as critical. These filters typically use lighter media which can be redistributed effectively just by the natural water flow. Without the need to backwash, these systems do not require electricity and are slightly more energy and water efficient.

Choosing a system: I'm not really sure what type of system I need?

We always ask our customers, "What are your biggest concerns with regards to your current water quality?" The most common issues that cause user dissatisfaction include water chlorination, bad odors, water hardness, scale buildup, chemical additives, microbial contamination, iron staining & fluoridation. Removing these unwanted contaminants will improve your health and quality of life and some systems also provide additional benefits such as protecting your home, pipes and appliances from rust, scale and water damage. Below is a table that lists the most common water concerns and their treatment solutions. If you are unsure about which system you need, please contact us for more information.

Water Pollution Health Effects Contaminants Treated Benefits Enjoyed Recommended Solution
Chlorine, Chemical Odors, Rotten Egg Smell Dry flaky skin, weak brittle hair, asthma, allergies, eczema. Contact w/ carcinogens Chlorine, Chloramines, Hydrogen Sulfide, Pesticides, VOCs, THMs Softer skin & hair, healthier lungs; spa quality water for baths General Whole House Filtration
Mild Scale Buildup, & Hard Water Mineral Deposits Salt-free treated water is safe for people with high blood pressure & heart health concerns Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Limescale Salt-free healthy soft water; reduced scale, eco-friendly, maintenance-free, zero wasted water Salt-Free Water Softeners
Heavy Scale Buildup & Hard Water Mineral Deposits Salt treated water may negatively affect high blood pressure & heart health concerns Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium, Limescale Uses less soaps, improves laundry & removes scale to protect pipes & appliances Salt-Based Water Softeners
Bacteria, Viruses & Microbes Gastrointestinal illnesses, abdominal pain, fever, infections E.coli, Giardia, Cysts, Coliform Bacteria, Cryptosporidium Better health with less gas, cramps, diarrhea & illness Whole House UV Sterilizers
Iron Red Stains, Rust Particles, Rotten Egg Odors N/A Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide, Manganese No more red iron stains on sinks, tubs & toilets; clean & odor-free Iron & Hydrogen Sulfide Removal Systems
Fluoridation in Public & Natural Water Supplies Dental fluorosis, neurotoxicity & cancer risk Fluoride Protection from toxic fluoride ingestion, absorption & inhalation Whole House Fluoride Removal Systems
Sediment & Turbidity causing Cloudy, Impure Water Gastrointestinal diseases Fine Particles, Sand, Silt, Clay, Rust, Sediment Clean, clear sparkling water at every faucet Sediment & Turbidity Removal Systems

Sizing a system: I'm not sure what size system I need for my home?

APEC offers a wide variety of whole house systems to suit every type of home and budget. Systems come in a variety of sizes from basic 10" & 20" polypropylene housings to very large heavy-duty 60" tall mineral tank systems.

APEC's heavy-duty systems are rated by size and flow-capacity and they can offer peak flow rates from 8-20 GPM to treat homes with 2-6 bathrooms. These high-capacity tank systems are built to last, typically treating between 600,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of water with media lasting between 6-8 years before replacement is required. With such a long service life between filter changes, these maintenance-free systems are ideal for people who don't want to be bothered with frequent monthly or yearly filter replacements.

Our basic 10" & 20" polypropylene units offer exceptional affordability and versatility in a compact space-saving design. These filters treat water by using specialty cartridges which can treat between 10,000 to 80,000 gallons of water, lasting 1-8 months and are recommended for smaller 1-2 bathroom homes, labs or light commercial applications.


Total Solution Systems: What are the benefits & advantages of a Total Solution System?

Our Total Solution product lines offer the highest quality, most complete water purification solutions available anywhere online. These comprehensive whole house water purification packages were specifically designed to provide targeted smart-filtration based on your specific household needs - it delivers ultra-pure drinking water to your kitchen, chemical & odor free water to your showers, reduced-scale softer water to your pipes, and cleaner water throughout your entire home. Total Solution systems can be easily installed onto any standard home plumbing system and is fully automated requiring very minimal maintenance to provide many decades of quality water for your home.

Additionally, a premium reverse osmosis drinking water filter is included with every Total Solution system making it quite simply one of the best investments you can make towards improving your health and quality of life.

Material Safety: Are whole house systems safe to use? Will they add anything undesirable to the water?

Our whole house systems are constructed of components that are 100% FREE of lead, BPA (Bisphenol A) and phthalates. From the control valves, to the mineral tank, down to the fittings, every part in our systems has been tested and certified for materials safety and will not leach anything harmful into the water. We carefully select our media from NSF/WQA certified and/or trusted top industry manufacturers to ensure that raw materials sourcing and manufacturing process guidelines are being strictly followed and are traceable and accountable. This is what allows us to deliver exceptional products of the highest safety and quality standards.

Installation: Where should the system be installed? Can I install it myself?

Whole house systems are installed at the main water line as it enters the home. Typically these units are installed in the garage or basement in close proximity to the water heater. Outdoor installations are possible but some form of enclosure should be used to protect the unit from the elements. Whole house filters should be installed ahead of the water heater to ensure that both hot and cold water lines are treated.

Since whole house filters are installed on the main water line, some pipe cutting will be required. Unless you are comfortable doing this yourself, we recommend most people to hire a professional plumbing service to install a whole house system.

Shipping Schedule: If I order the system today, when do you ship?

We carry most items in stock and can ship within 24-72 hours. Please contact us in advance for any special time and delivery requirements.


APEC's heavy-duty mineral tank whole house systems come with a 10 year limited warranty and 90 days return policy. Our compact 10" & 20" polypropylene whole house filters come with a 1 year limited warranty and 30 days return policy. All APEC systems offer lifetime technical support and service for the life of the system.