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Point of Entry Filters (POE) vs. Point of Use Filters (POU)

In many commercial applications, several water filters, including those which are dedicated to specific pieces of machinery, are needed. In these cases, individual filters, known as “point of use” (POU) water filters are located inline just before the water is dispersed or enters the machinery for which the water is intended. As POU filters are usually application specific, they can be tailored to the needs of the user, and are often used in place of a generic reverse osmosis system. This fact makes a standard POU water filter easier to maintain, but usually more expensive. Because of this, it behooves the business owner to take measures against the premature degradation of the POU water filter. The easiest way to accomplish this is to install a “point of entry” (POE) water filter. POE water filters perform water filtration for the entire commercial water service. They are responsible for purifying the water supply to all faucets, pieces of machinery, and toilets. The advantage of this approach to water filtration is first that only one system must be purchased for an entire service, and second, that it greatly improves the life of any other filters present down-line. The most popular POE filters used are either sediment prefilters, or carbon filters.

  • Sediment filters are responsible for removing sediment that can clog softeners, prematurely foul carbon filters, or ruin the down-line plumbing. In addition, they reduce TDS (total dissolved solids) or many other harmful chemicals like nitrate, nitrites, etc.
  • Carbon filters are effective for certain trouble water conditions such as bad taste or odor.

Still other POE filters are designed as an entire system. These units typically employ a four-stage filtration process. The first stage of filtration removes sediment in the water that may clog the filter, reducing its effectiveness. The second stage uses a chemical process called water atomization to alter the molecular structure of chlorine and turn it into the harmless molecule, zinc chloride. The third and fourth stages of filtration involve activated carbon filters to filter pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. By removing chlorine and other harmful chemicals at the point-of-entry, the whole service is provided with cleaner, healthier water at a reduced cost to the business owner. Pre-filters are typically much less expensive than down-line, application specific filters, making their replacement cheaper than that of the filters the POE filter is saving.

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