Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 How Much Does Reverse Osmosis Installation Usually Cost in Charlotte?
- 2 What Are the Most Common Water Contaminants in Charlotte?
- 3 Can Residents in Charlotte Benefit From Reverse Osmosis Treatment?
- 4 How Often Should Residents in Charlotte Replace Reverse Osmosis Prefilters?
- 5 Do You Need a Water Softener With Your Reverse Osmosis System in Charlotte?
How Much Does Reverse Osmosis Installation Usually Cost in Charlotte?
The cost of a reverse osmosis system installation in Charlotte will vary between $500 and $3,000, depending on the type of system you choose. On average, though, homeowners in Charlotte will spend around $1,500 to have a system installed in their home. There are some additional maintenance costs after installation, including regular filter changes. Most families will find the system, even with ongoing maintenance, to be very affordable. That’s especially true when you compare it to the cost of drinking bottled water. Not only is there a cost to your bank account, but there is an environmental cost to consider as well.
When pricing a reverse osmosis system for your home, there are a few factors that will affect your final cost:
Whether You Want a Point-of-Entry or Point-of-Service System
Point-of-entry (POE), or whole house reverse osmosis systems, filter the water as it comes into your home and then sends the filtered water to every appliance, tap, or shower. Point-of-service systems are often called single tap systems. These systems usually sit under a kitchen or bathroom sink and clean only the water going to those taps. Whole-house systems are the more expensive option, but they’ll offer filtered water for your refrigerator, washing machine, showers, and any other source of water usage in your home. Most people put single-tap systems on their kitchen sinks since normally, the tap is used the most for drinking water and cooking. The whole house reverse osmosis system will cost between $1,000 and $3,000. A single tap system will cost you between $500 and $1500.
How Many Filtration Stages Your Water Needs
Reverse osmosis filtration systems typically have between three and five filtration stages. The more filtration stages you have, the more your system will cost. In Charlotte, most installers will recommend a four-stage filtration system. If you are one of the 3.3 million North Carolina residents who use well water, though, you might want to consider a five-stage system. These systems have an extra filtration stage that helps remove sediment from the water. That additional filtration stage can help extend the life of your reverse osmosis system. For homes using city water, though, a four-stage filtration system is usually sufficient. Make sure you factor in the cost of replacement pre- and post-filters into your operating costs.
How Much Labor Is Required for the Installation
Once you’ve picked out the right reverse osmosis system, you’ll need to have someone install it. Some installations are pretty straightforward, especially if it’s a single tap filtration system. The whole house system can be more complicated, especially if numerous water sources need filtration. Older homes, such as those in the historic Eastover neighborhood, may require additional plumbing work to get the filtration system in place and working correctly. Your Charlotte plumber will look at your home and give you an estimate on the timeframe for the installation. They’ll include the cost of their labor in their quote. Plumbers charge an average of around $60 an hour in Charlotte, sometimes more if they have specialized knowledge or a lot of experience.
What Are the Most Common Water Contaminants in Charlotte?
The City of Charlotte publishes a water quality report every year. In its most recent report, the city received no drinking water violations. All water quality tests were within the acceptable range as defined by the federal government. That’s good news, except you have to consider whether any amount of contamination in your water is acceptable. The EWG’s tap water database took a deep dive on the testing results and found that Charlotte’s water contained 16 different contaminants, including:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Dichloroacetic acid
And nearly a dozen others. The most common contaminants were trihalomethanes (THMs). These contaminants are a by-product of the chemical reaction of cleaning the water with chlorine. THMs appear in Charlotte’s water at a rate of 52.9 parts per billion (ppb). This isn’t far under the EPA’s guideline of 80 ppb, but an incredible 352 times what the EWG recommends. Scientific studies note that elevated levels of THMs have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. It might not help to avoid drinking water with high levels of THMs, either. Activities like showering can also increase the levels of THMs in your blood.
The EWG recommends reverse osmosis filtration for the removal of THMs from your water supply. The filtration system will also remove other contaminants found in Charlotte’s water supply, including hexavalent chromium, another contaminant linked to cancer.
Can Residents in Charlotte Benefit From Reverse Osmosis Treatment?
Absolutely. If Charlotte’s water quality concerns you, reverse osmosis can provide you with a lot of peace of mind. Reverse osmosis filtration can get rid of the most common contaminants found in Charlotte’s water supply, including:
- Haloacetic acids
All these chemicals have links to an increased risk of cancer.
That’s not all a reverse osmosis system will remove from your water, though. It will also remove other unwanted particles found in Charlotte’s water supply, including:
- Chloride, another by-product of cleaning the city water supply with chlorine. Charlotte’s water supply has chloride at a rate of 5.7 ppm. While it’s considered safe at lower levels, it can kill your plants at higher levels at higher levels, which may make you think twice about drinking it.
- Sodium. While some sodium naturally occurs in groundwater, sodium can also come from road salt, sewage, and fertilizers. Charlotte’s water has 3.2 ppm of sodium in it.
- Iron. Your body needs iron to do things like creating red blood cells. But there shouldn’t be too much iron in your drinking water. Elevated levels of iron can cause stomach issues and contain dangerous bacteria. It will also change the color of your water and could potentially stain the clothes in your washing machine. Charlotte’s water contains more than 20 ppb of iron.
- Fluoride. This is a controversial addition to water, intended to strengthen teeth. However, studies are linking increased levels of fluoride to the risk of developing certain types of cancers. Many families prefer to keep fluoride out of their drinking water, and reverse osmosis can reduce those levels.
How Often Should Residents in Charlotte Replace Reverse Osmosis Prefilters?
There are actually several filters and membranes that help your reverse osmosis system work. Changing them regularly will help your filtration system continue to efficiently provide fresh, clean, and safe water to your household. How often you change these filters and membranes will vary, depending on:
- The number of people in your household
- How contaminated your water is
- How much water your system filters daily
The more people, the more water, and the more contamination you have, the more often you’ll want to change your filters. However, as a general rule of thumb in Charlotte, you’ll want to change your:
- Pre-filters every six months
- Post-filters once a year
As for membranes, Charlotte residents using city water can change these every five to seven years. That’s because this water supply is soft, so there isn’t as much mineral build-up within the membranes. However, if you have hard water or use well water, then you’ll want to change your membranes every two to four years instead.
Filter costs will vary, depending on your system and needs. Most pre-filters are under $20, while complete filter sets run between $40 and $100. Replacement membranes will be between $20 and $50. Considering the cost savings, environmental benefits, and health benefits, these systems are very cheap to run in the average household.
Do You Need a Water Softener With Your Reverse Osmosis System in Charlotte?
You’d want to pair a water softener with your reverse osmosis system whenever there is hard water present. Water is considered hard if it has minerals at a rate of more than 125 parts per million (ppm). These minerals are typically a mixture of calcium carbonate and magnesium, which leach into the water as it passes over rocks underground. Charlotte’s water averages 30 ppm, which is considered soft according to the USGS water hardness scale. That means there are very few minerals in our city water supply. Because of this, it’s unlikely that you’d need to add a water softening system onto your reverse osmosis filter if your water comes from the city.
However, if you use well water, you may want to consider adding a water softener. Wells draws from groundwater, which is typically higher in mineral content than the surface water used as the city’s main water supply. You can test your well water for hardness, or look for signs of mineral build-up in your appliances or white water spots on your shower door. Those are sure signs of hard water. In this case, adding a water softener to your reverse osmosis system can give you even cleaner, purer water for use in your home. The two systems can work together very well to provide you with the cleanest, purest water possible.