A common misconception is that water filters reduce water pressure. The thinking goes like this: if a water filter is trapping all the contaminants in your water, then it must be restricting the flow of water and reduce the pressure. However, this simply isn’t true. In fact, properly installed and maintained water filters can actually improve your water pressure.

One of the reasons that people think water filters reduce pressure is that they don’t understand how filtration works.

Filters work by allowing water to pass through tiny pores in the filter media. The size of the pores determines what kind of contaminants the filter can remove from your water. For example, a 0.35-micron filter can remove bacteria and cysts, while a 0.20-micron filter can remove viruses.

So, how does this affect the flow rate? The smaller the pores in the filter media, the more contaminants it can remove from your water. However, this also means that the water has to pass through a smaller opening, which can reduce the flow rate. But, here’s the thing: most water filters have a much higher flow rate than the average home water supply.

So, even though the filter may be restricting the flow of water, you probably won’t notice any difference in your water pressure.

One additional thing to keep in mind is that water filters don’t just remove contaminants from your water, they also remove minerals. These minerals, like calcium and magnesium, can actually help to improve the flow of water through your pipes. So, in some cases, a water filter can actually improve your water pressure.

Will a water filter reduce water pressure?

If your water filter isn’t working properly, then it can reduce water pressure. This is because the contaminants and minerals that the filter is supposed to remove from your water can build up on the filter media and restrict the flow of water.

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To avoid this, it’s important to regularly clean or replace your water filter. Doing this will help to ensure that your water filter is working properly and won’t reduce water pressure.

The vast majority of point-of-use (POU) filters use what’s called “absolute filtration.” This means that the pores in the filter media are small enough to trap contaminants but large enough to allow water molecules to pass through unimpeded.

So, contaminants are trapped in the filter while water flows freely through – no restriction whatsoever. As a result, POU filters will not reduce water pressure.

The bottom line is that properly installed and maintained water filters will not reduce water pressure. In fact, they can actually improve your water pressure by removing minerals that can build up in your pipes and restrict the flow of water.

If your filter isn’t reducing your water pressure, what might be the problem? Here are a few possibilities:

1. Clogged pre-filter: Most POU filters have a pre-filter that catches larger contaminants before they can reach the main filter media. If this pre-filter becomes clogged, it can restrict flow and reduce water pressure. Fortunately, this is an easy fix – simply replace the pre-filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions and your pressure should return to normal.

2. Fouled main filter: Like the pre-filter, the main filter element will eventually become clogged with contaminants. When this happens, it can cause a drop in pressure. The solution here is also straightforward—just remove and replace the fouled filter element with a new one.

3. Incorrectly installed bypass valve: Every POU filter comes with a bypass valve that allows you to bypass the filter entirely if necessary (for example, when you’re replacing a filter element). If this valve is not installed correctly, it can cause decreased flow and reduced pressure. The solution is to check that the valve is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and make any necessary adjustments.

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Resolving Problems with Water Pressure

With these potential problems out of the way, let’s take a look at what you can do to ensure that your POU filter isn’t reducing your home’s water pressure:

Install a Pressure Relief Valve

A pressure relief valve (PRV) protects your plumbing system from excessive pressures by automatically releasing any excess pressure build-up.

PRVs are available in both domestic (DWV) and clean drinking water (CWDW) versions; make sure you get the right one for your needs. Most PRVs screw onto threaded ports on your incoming main line; however, some require soldering or clamping onto copper or plastic pipes.

You’ll need basic plumbing skills to install a PRV; if you’re not confident in your abilities, hire a professional plumber to do it for you. Once installed, PRVs typically last for years without requiring any maintenance or adjustment – set it and forget it.

Check Your Main Shutoff Valve

All houses have an emergency shutoff valve situated along their primary water line, usually near where the pipe enters your home from outside.

This valve blocks all incoming water to your home, so it’s useful if you need to do any repairs or replacements on your main line. However, over time the main shutoff valves can become stuck in the “OFF” position because of corrosion or sediment build-up inside the valve body.

When this happens, it prevents water from flowing into your home at full force, resulting in lower than normal pressures throughout your entire house. To fix a stuck main shutoff valve, simply turn it back on using an adjustable wrench.

Be sure to turn it slowly at first so you don’t damage the valve; once it starts moving more easily, you can turn it on all the way. If you can’t get it unstuck, hire a professional plumber as there may be bigger problems with your incoming main line.

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Install a Whole House Pressure Regulator

If your water pressure is consistently too high, you may need to install a whole house pressure regulator (WPR). WPRs are installed on your main water line and act as a valve to regulate incoming water pressure, preventing it from getting too high.

Like PRVs, WPRs come in both DWV and CWDW versions. They’re usually installed on the incoming main line near your water meter, but can be installed anywhere along the line.

The installation process is simple – just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once installed, a WPR will regulate your water pressure to a safe level and prevent any future damage to your plumbing system.

Final Thoughts

There’s no need to worry about whether or not installing a water filter will reduce your home’s water pressure – it won’t! However, there are several things that could be causing reduced pressures throughout your house, including clogged pre – filters , fouled main filter elements , and incorrectly installed bypass valves .

Luckily, there are easy solutions to each of these problems. To stop low pressure from continuing to be an issue, install a pressure relief valve on your incoming main line. You should also check your main shutoff valve every so often to ensure that it isn’t stuck in the “OFF” position.

If you have high water pressure, on the other hand, install a whole house pressure regulator to keep things under control. By following these simple tips , you can ensure that your home’s water pressure stays at a safe and consistent level.

If you do these things, you will have years of flowing drinking water.

About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.