whole house water filter with or without RO filter at kitche sink

jenny1963July 9, 2012

Hello to all who know more than I do about water filters and softeners (pretty much everyone) and sorry for the long post,

I impulsively purchased an Aquasana Rhino (whole home selective filtration water filter) for our Chicago home (city water) yesterday, and, then, after the fact, spent the the rest of the day reading your posts about carbon and RO filters, Kinetico, softeners, water quality, etc.

We are connected to the Chicago Department of Water Management water supply, where there are LOTS of pollutants and contaminants (14 exceeding health guidelines and 21 pollutants found), but with the lake being the main water supply; the hardness is supposedly 6-8 gpg (although I would've thought harder, with some build-up on shower nozzles, but not horrible nor rapid.) This is my water: http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/whatsinyourwater/IL/Chicago-Department-of-Water-Management-/0316000/

My family currently consists of 2 adults and one 7 year old who live in a large home with two home offices (approx. 3500-4000 SQF). We mostly use just 2 full baths and one 1/2 bath, although kids and clients use our basement full bath as a half bath, except when family comes to visit (about twice yearly and then they use the 3rd full bath as a full bath.) Please excuse all the detail; I'm including it in case it could be relevant.

We just moved in a year ago, and when we replaced the kitchen sink, I had to choose an over-mount sink, because we didn't have the money to redo our granite countertops. When I chose it, I chose a sink with one hole for the faucet, as there was only one hole in the granite, and I wasn't thinking about water filters, so that was that.

When I read about Chicago's miserable water later yesterday, I realized that an RO/carbon system might be a better way to go, particularly for the kitchen (and maybe just an RO filter if we stick with the Rhino whole house filter.) If we had a lot of money, I'd just return the Rhino and do a whole house RO/carbon system (do those even exist?), but even if they exist, I'd presume they'd be prohibitively expensive for us.

I may call the closest Kinetico dealer in Indiana to see if they have any rebuilt units, although those seem like they're also water softening units, which I don't think we need. I don't know if I think that RO for the whole house is overkill, though, plus, we cannot afford it, I don't think, unless there's a clever way to do so, like those nice guys in Texas that someone recommended.

Also, if I do go with RO in the kitchen; are there products I can purchase to add back the tasty and desired minerals back into the water? Sorry for all the idiotic questions.

If I do RO in the kitchen, is there a way I can not make a new hole in installed granite, or not purchase a new sink with two holes in it? I saw something somewhere about integrated faucets; I need to research those...or are there good quality countertop RO units (ugh!)?

Chicago Water from a Chicago Beer Brewing site (lol)

Dilution % 0

Ca 35

Mg 13

Na 8

Cl 13

SO4 29

CaCO3 99

RA 67

Chloride to Sulfate Ratio


many thanks!!--jenny

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I suppose I mis-titled this post, as I DO want to do RO in the kitchen, since I cannot afford the whole house RO system.

I'm also worried that the Aquansana flow rate will be too slow. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Well, I have now realized that I can put an RO system under my kitchen sink (with buying a new sink or cutting another hole in the granite,) by using a triflow faucet that has three levers.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:31PM
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As long as the tri-flow faucet is approved for RO (RO water is very aggressive) and code may require the faucet to have an air gap on the RO line.

I'd opt for another hole and simple ROfaucet rather than a more complicated faucet that you may not be able to get parts for down the line.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Shoot! But then i have to get a new sink, that can be over-mounted now and under-mounted when we have the money to replace our granite!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:57PM
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Any update on what you ended up doing? I installed a whole house softener for hard water issues, but I have odor issues (sulfur and chlorine mostly). I'm leaning toward adding a charcoal filter before the softener. We also have RO in the kitchen and wet bars.

Also, you could always just have another hole drilled for the RO faucet without replacing the granite slab. If you have an undermounted sink, the new hole is all you need. What did you end up doing?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 8:14PM
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