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Home » Water Education & Testing » Point of Entry Water Filters Guide

Point of Entry Water Filters Guide

By: Craig Smith
Last Updated:
Point of Entry Water Filters

If you’ve determined that adding one or more water filtration devices to your home is a good decision for you and your family, then you might be making the decision between installing multiple point of use filters or just one point of entry system.

This usually comes down to whether or not you will install water filtration devices at specific plumbing exit points or if you want to purify all of the water that comes into your home at the water point of entry.

The latter is done by placing one filtration system on your incoming plumbing line where your tap water first enters your home. These types of water filtration setups are often referred to as point of entry water filters (POE).

This article will specifically discuss what point of entry water filters are, the pros and cons that they offer, and when purchasing one is a wise decision for you.

In my many years of treating swimming pool water, I have worked around several different types of POE water filtration systems.

I will pass on some of that knowledge I have learned about them in this article and add some information from the extensive research that I have done on point of entry water filters for my own home.

Also Check Out: How to Choose the Perfect Whole House Filter For your Needs

What is a Point of Entry Water Filter?


As was mentioned above, point of entry water filtration devices are always placed very near where your municipal- or well-supplied water first enters your home.

That’s why you will also hear many people refer to POE water filters as whole house water filtrations systems.

Since they are placed near the source of your incoming water line, your tap water has contaminants reduced or removed from it ‘before’ it gets to faucets, showerheads, spigots, or any other water exit points in your plumbing.

That means any type of point of entry water filter will impact 100% of the water that comes into your home before it gets used.

It’s also important to know that there are many different types of point of entry water filtration systems and setups.

POE water filters can be stand-alone water purification devices such as whole home filters or water softeners that target more specific types of impurities.

They may also consist of several different types of water filtration devices working in combination with each other to reduce or eliminate a very wide range of tap water contaminants.

Some of the most popular point of entry water filter systems are even made up of multiple filter stages. This eliminates the need to purchase several different types of stand-alone POE water filters to target a big assortment of tap water impurities.

Point of entry water filters will most likely either be installed in your garage or your basement. This often depends on where your water line first comes into your home and where you have a location that offers enough room to install and perform maintenance on them.

Examples of whole house water filters include activated carbon filters, water softeners, water conditioners, iron filters, sediment water filters, and multi-stage water filtration setups.

What Are the Advantages of Point of Entry Filters?

Water Softeners

There is a reason why millions of whole house water filtration devices are sold across America and the rest of the world each year. That’s because they offer many advantages to those that have purchased and installed them.

This list includes:

1. They are made to significantly impact incoming water quality

Most stand-alone POE water filters are very good at eliminating or reducing the types of water impurities that they target. This is unlike most point-of-use water filters which mostly enhance but do not significantly eliminate or reduce tap water contaminants.

The significant way that these systems reduce or remove household water contaminants impacts everything from you and your family’s health to making cleaning bathrooms easier, getting clothes cleaner when washed, and keeping plumbing fixtures from getting clogged up or ruined.

POE filters will even improve the aesthetics of tap water such as looks, taste, & smell and can help prevent damage to water heating appliances.

2. POE water filters offer an excellent return on investment (and money savings)

Most POE water filtration devices are designed to last 5 to 7 years or even longer. If you look at this from an investment standpoint, that adds up to thousands of gallons of incoming water being treated for what is largely a one-time investment.

It does not take a math expert to see that in most cases it makes these systems very cost-effective. Over seven years it costs only pennies per gallon of water treated.

Also, think of all the money that you will save if you are currently a bottled water user. This savings can be substantial over time, to say the least.

3. These systems will help keep you and your family healthier

Because of the thorough way that these types of water filters remove impurities, they will offer some profound benefits for your family’s health.

No one will willingly take such substances as excessive hard metals, arsenic, pesticides, benzene, and other harmful contaminants into their body. Yet these are substances that are commonly found in well- and municipally-supplied water sources.

Certain point of entry filtration systems that contain a water softener will even eliminate the itchy and dry skin problems that are often associated with hard water conditions.

4. They require very little maintenance once they are in place

You can count on most types of point of entry water filters being as close to install them and then forget them filtration devices as you can get. This is especially true of multi-stage whole house water filters. They simply don’t require much maintenance once they have been installed.

Maintenance on POE water filters usually only consist of such steps as periodically cleaning sediment filters, adding salt pellets, or replacing filter cartridges (this often is done after a year or more)

What are the Disadvantages of Point of Entry Filters?

POE Water Filter

Like with all products, for as much as people like to use them, POE water filters are not without their drawbacks.

Some of those are:

1. They can be expensive

If you are looking to make your tap water safer to drink, chances are that you will need to install a multi-stage whole house water filtration system or build a system that consists of several different types of whole-house water filtration devices.

As you can probably imagine, this will cost you much more than using several less expensive point-of-use water filtration products.

2. These systems take some room to set up

POE water filtration systems have been known to occupy some significant wall or floor space.

Take water softeners for example. If you choose a salt version with a tank, it takes two decent-sized tanks to make them work and they also need to be spliced into the incoming water line and have valves placed on them. When you factor in that a drain line needs to be added to them and you need an area for salt pellet storage, they will undoubtedly take up some space.

This holds for most multi-stage whole house water filtration systems and when two or more stand-alone POE water filters are working in combination.

3. Setup most likely needs to be professionally done

Let’s face it. The majority of us cannot do such things as splice a POE water filter into an incoming copper water line and then solder it into place.

The same goes for installing the electrical connections that are sometimes needed to operate these filtration devices and any associated plumbing that needs to be done to make them work.

That means that professional installation help will be needed a majority of the time with point of entry water filters as compared to smaller point of use models.

When Should I Use A Point of Entry Water Filter?

Here are some of the reasons that would compel you to purchase a point of entry whole-house water filtration system as opposed to just installing point of use water filters:

  • Testing has shown that your incoming water quality is very poor.
  • You are looking to make a big impact on your water quality instead of just enhancing it in some areas.
  • Your water filtration goal is to treat all of the water that enters your home.
  • When hard water conditions such as scale buildup around plumbing fixtures, the inability for soaps & shampoos to lather, and your clothes being stained when washing is starting to frustrate you.
  • You are looking to eliminate the expense and hassle that using bottled water is creating for you.
  • When you are looking for a way to compliment the effectiveness of the point of use water filtration devices that you already have in place.
  • You want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your plumbing pipes and appliances are better protected by having POE water filters in place.


Here are some of the most common questions that I get regarding point of entry water filters:

1. What are the differences between whole house point of entry filtered water treatment vs point of use filters?

There are many differences that you will find between point of use and point of entry water filters.

For instance, point-of-use water filters are inexpensive, generally target a lower number of specific impurities, and are only designed to treat small amounts of water. You can also add to this that they can usually be installed by just about anyone and in most cases are not that durable.

Whole-house water filters are almost the mirror opposite. That’s because they are more expensive, usually need professional installation, target high volumes of tap water, can eliminate or reduce a wide range of contaminates, and treat 100% of the water that comes into your home.

2. Are whole home point of entry filters a good investment?

It would be very hard to think of a situation where a whole house water filtration system would not be something worth buying. Just the health benefits alone will make it worth the expense for you and your family.

When you add in the other benefits such as softer water for washing & cleaning, their longevity versus their cost, and the relatively low maintenance of point of entry water systems, then I firmly believe they are always a justified purchase.

The only exception I can see where purchasing them will not benefit you, is if you have high-quality water coming into your house. That simply does not happen very often if ever.

Summing Up POE Water Filters

There really is not much debate here at all about how strongly I believe in people like you having point of entry water filtration systems installed in their homes. Quite simply put, if you can afford one then purchase it.

Even better yet, if you put a few different types of point of entry water filters in place working in combination or you buy a quality multi-stage whole house water filter this will take care of all your water needs.

The benefits of having one of these on your incoming water line will always far outweigh the cost.

This is especially true given all of the contaminants that are commonly found in household water supplies even after it has been treated by a municipal water facility or has gone through multiple soil, rock, and mineral layers before reaching your well water source.

If you don’t believe me, then you don’t have to look any further than the millions of people that invest in POE water filters each year because they realize the many benefits these have to offer their families and other household members.

I hope that you have enjoyed the information I presented in this point of entry water filters guide and it inspires you to purchase and install a POE water filtration system if you don’t already have one.

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Craig Smith
Craig got his start in water working in the swimming pool and spa industry. Water treatment would grow into his main career but he ended up working in the pool industry for over 26 years where much of his time was spent balancing the water in customer's swimming pools and installing water filtration equipment. Craig offers an abundance of water treatment knowledge after helping homeowners get pure water for 26 years.

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