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Originally published Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM

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Whole-house or point-of-use water filter?

Ed the Plumber: A primer on water filters for the home

Scripps Howard News Service

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Dear Ed: I'm on city water and happy with our water. But, I also want to cut down on my bottled-water use and would like to install a water filter to fill my own bottles. I have been doing some research and found information on whole-house filters and point-of-use filters. I'm still a little confused. What's the difference in these filters?

— Sally, Ohio

Dear Sally: The main difference between a whole-house water filter and a point-of-use filter is, as they say, "location, location, location."

Whole-house filters are usually larger and installed right after the water meter or the well pump, and filter the whole house. Point-of-use filters are usually smaller and installed at the "point of use"in places like the kitchen sink, or in a refrigerator with an ice/water dispenser.

Often, a separate beverage faucet can be installed on a kitchen sink, with the filter mounted under the sink. This is considered a point-of-use filter.

The main advantage to whole-house filters is that along with filtered water for drinking, the water going to plumbing fixtures is also filtered. So, fewer repairs to faucets, valves and toilets are possible.

If you're still a little cloudy on this topic, you can install a whole-house filter for the entire home, then install a point-of-use beverage faucet on your kitchen sink for extra filtration when filling bottles.

I hope these filter tips have cleared up your confusion.

Master plumber Ed Del Grande is the author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call," the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com. Always consult local contractors and codes.

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