The Difference Between Point of Entry vs. Point of Use
If you have recently started researching how to ensure you’re getting the best water into your home with a treatment system, you likely have heard (or read about) “Point of Entry” (POE) and “Point of Use” (POU). These are relatively simple concepts presented on paper – but understanding the difference between POE and POU systems is important.
Location and Capacities of POE & POU Systems
The greatest difference between a POE system and a POU system is their location. A point of entry system (commonly called a “whole house system”) is located directly on the entry point where water enters your home. All water coming into your house first passes through the POE system.
Water softeners are an example of a POE system. Water softeners are most often installed to supply soft water to the entire home’s plumbing, so that all fixtures and appliances take advantage of the benefits that come along with soft water. Because water softeners have high capacity and can treat large numbers of gallons of water before requiring regeneration, they are suitable for POE. Softeners also do not significantly restrict flow rates or water pressure. Some other types of POE systems include: iron filtration units; acid neutralizers; and taste/odor filtration solutions.
A POU system is located further down into your home’s plumbing system, installed directly before a desired end-point, like an appliance or faucet. The point of use system is on-demand equipment, meaning that water only passes through it when that end-point is in use.
Because POU systems are intended to treat smaller quantities of water, they would not be typically used for utilitarian purposes like cleaning or bathing. A reverse osmosis (RO) unit is one of the most common types of POU systems. A RO system is often installed below a sink and takes time to create purified water through its complex system of stage filters and membrane. After the purification process is completed, the water is stored in a holding tank which is drawn from when needed. In most cases, a single RO system will only be hooked up to a faucet and/or a refrigerator ice maker.
How POE & POU Systems Can Together
When considering treating your home’s water, it is important to first determine what your ultimate goal is. Between municipal water supply, well water, and others, there are countless treatment options.
One example could be your home is supplied by well water with very high levels of iron and hardness. Your goal may be to stop the rust stains and buildup that comes with hard, iron-heavy water — and you simply want clear, great tasting water right from your faucet. The first thing you should do is to call a water treatment company to have your water tested. These test results would help determine the type of equipment needed to remove contaminants in your water. Most likely a POE iron filter would be installed at the water entry point. This unit filters out the iron particulates in the water coming into your home. Next, a POE water softener may be installed directly following that iron filter. This softener unit would reduce the remaining minerals that are the hard water problem.
While the water softener and iron filter combination provides your entire home with a higher quality of water (protecting your faucets, plumbing, and appliances), they will only reduce the specific minerals they are designed to target. There could be other things in your water that you’re not comfortable consuming.
The most common final step would be to have a POU reverse osmosis system installed to your kitchen and/or other sink. The RO’s filtration process removes more contaminants that are not caught by the previous products — including nitrates, arsenic, or lead. This combination of equipment is a full treatment system that works together to ensure you get the finest, purest water possible right out of your faucet.
Practical Water Treatment Solutions are Our Specialty
Do you want to improve the taste and/or smell of your tap water? Or do you want the peace of mind that you and your family are drinking the best water possible? Before looking into a treatment system, think about the goal you want for your water. Contact us so we can test your water and discuss a practical, custom water treatment solution. Futuramic’s employs the industry’s finest precision POE and POU water treatment products that work in conjunction to provide your home with clean, fresh water.