If you have been searching for a water filter for your home, you have probably come across what is known as point of use (POU) water filters.
That’s not surprising because there are many different choices of these in the marketplace.
You should take note that these are not the type of water filters that will meet everyone’s water purification needs and desires. With that being said, they do have some very specific uses when it comes to enhancing water quality.
That’s what I will go over in this article. I will cover what point of use water filters are, their pros & cons, and in what situations they are the right water filter choice for you.
I will use my many years working around water filtration systems in the pool and spa industry to try and simplify this information as much as possible for you.
That way, you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you feel a point of use water filter is the best option for your tap water filtration needs.
Table of Contents
What Is A Point of Use Water Filter?
There are two main categories of water filtration devices. Included in this list are point of entry and point of use water filters. As was mentioned, this article will only be concerned with POU water filters.
Point of Use filters are water filters that do such things as attach to showerheads, washer connections, faucets, and get installed under sinks and placed on countertops. They are placed at strategic exit points in plumbing in order to provide a more targeted water filtration purpose instead of at your home’s water point of entry.
Point of use water filters are popular because there are many choices of them and they are relatively inexpensive when compared to other types of whole house water purification devices.
Most also will install in less than 15 minutes and only require a few or no tools with which to do this.
If you are not familiar with what point of use water filters are, then take a look at the example in the above photo. This is the Hopopro High Output 18 Stage Shower Filter. It may not look like much because of its small size but what it will filter out of tap water will probably surprise you.
This includes the reduction or removal of chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, sediment, and a few other impurities. Best of all it sells for less than $20. This is the beauty of POU water filters because they pack a little bit of a punch when it comes to water filtration for their compact size and low price.
The only downside compared to point of entry water systems is that point of use filters like the above model only work at a specific faucet or water exit point instead of the whole house.
What are the Benefits of Point of Use Filters?
Here are some of the reasons why POU water filters are so popular:
- You get instantaneous results from them. Once water flows into them, they will immediately start filtering out contaminants. This is unlike water pitchers and most whole house water systems where there is a delay before they produce drinkable water.
- Even the most expensive of these types of water filters usually cost less than such water enhancement devices as reverse osmosis filters, water softeners, and combination water filtration systems. That means POU water filters offer almost everyone access to some level of water purification.
- Most do not require professional installation. That adds up to even more savings when you factor in the overall costs of having a water filter.
- The huge selection of them in the marketplace offers you a wide variety of contaminant reducing or removing choices. You can use them to do such things as target hard water in a bathroom, improve drinking water taste, and help keep your clothes from getting iron stains on them when they are washed.
- They will help lessen your carbon footprint on the world. POU filters do that by eliminating the need to buy bottles of water that are discarded after use. Count on them to also save hot water when showering because your soaps and shampoos work quicker and more effectively.
- POU water filters will also give you peace of mind. They do this because you know that when you use them you will rake your water purity up a notch which will also keep you healthier.
What are Disadvantages of POU Filters?
Here are some of the major drawbacks with point of use water filtration devices:
- They do not eliminate or reduce a broad range of water impurities. That makes them less than ideal for homes whose incoming water quality falls into the poor range.
- POU water filters are not very impactful, cost-effective, or practical when it comes to enhancing large amounts of tap water.
- Sometimes their low price point is also an indicator that they are not as durable as other types of water filtration products. Many point of use water filters are only made using thin, rigid plastic outer bodies.
- Your plumbing and appliances are still subject to hard water problems. This is because they are located on a plumbing exit point instead of being located somewhere on the incoming plumbing line. If you have hard water issues this can cause such problems as damaging water heater elements and clogging up piping.
- Although you might not believe it, there is some regular maintenance that needs to be done with them. The most common of which is filter cleaning and replacements.
When Should I use a POU filter?
Here are the main reasons you would choose a point of use water purification device compared to a whole home system:
1. The quality of your incoming tap water is decent
This means there is no reason to invest in a more expensive water filtration device. That makes a point of use water filter a solid choice for your water purification needs. This makes them especially useful for doing such water filtration tasks as removing chlorine, tastes, and smell from your tap water.
2. You are looking to target just a few specific tap water contaminants
Examples of this would be trying to soften your shower water by removing hard water-causing contaminants so you can lather up better when shampooing. They can also perform such water filtration tasks as eliminating high levels of iron from your tap water.
3. You are only looking to enhance small amounts of water and to do it quickly
POU water filters work really well when it comes to doing such tasks as rapidly improving the taste and smell of drinking water or your water that is used for cooking purposes. POU water filters can also instantly reduce hard water issues in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and with appliances such as dishwashers and water heaters.
4. You are looking for a budget-friendly water filtration device
Although most people would love to have a whole-house water filtration system, there is a reason many don’t own one. That’s because they will not fit in everyone’s budget. Most quality point of entry water filters will start in the $500 – $600 price range.
That is not the case at all with point of use water filtration devices. There are even some types of these filters that sell for under $20. POU water filters help make water filtration possible for many who could otherwise not afford it.
5. You only need water filtered in one specific location
Lastly, if you only need water filtered in one specific location like your kitchen sink or shower then installing a point of use filter at the specific spot would be a good option instead of installing a system that filters the water in your whole house.
You Can Never Be Too Safe When It Comes to the Water You Drink
Point of use water filters definitely have a role to play in the household water filtration process. That’s why millions of these simple but impactful water filtration products are sold each year.
Although they may not help improve poor-quality tap water, it will never hurt you to have one installed on your faucets, showerheads, countertops, under your sinks, or wherever else they can go. This is especially true given how reasonably priced most POU water filters are.
You just have to be sure to pay close attention to what water impurities the manufacturer intended them to reduce or remove. This is the key to being satisfied with any point of entry water filter.