There are several types of water systems that may be incorporated in a home. One or more may be utilized at any given time. The quality of water in any area and the type of water system can dictate if additional systems are needed in a home. Large systems carry water into and out of a house, while smaller systems make changes to the water once it has entered a home.
Main home water systems are used to carry the inflow of water into a house. The two most common types to supply water are city water and well water. City systems include a large tank from which the water is piped into a home, apartment, or building by traveling through a meter to gauge the amount of water used and charged to the customer. A water well system may be used as a personal well on a homeowner's property or can be used by a subdivision or community as a source of water to homes.
Water that comes from city systems sometimes has additives from water treatment systems. Common additives include fluoride and sterilization chemicals, such as chlorine, to ensure the water quality. These chemicals can affect the taste of the water. City water may also be treated to remove metals, which naturally occur in ground water.
When a home water well is installed on private property, owners may want to use a water filtration system to remove minerals, such as iron and calcium, from the water. There are several types of filtration systems that can be used between the water holding tank and the inflow into the house. Additionally, water filters can be used on the kitchen faucet or in the refrigerator so that the ice and water dispensed through the door is of premium quality.
Other types of water systems include treatment with a water softener. The water enters a tank and is filtered through salt to remove chemicals and minerals. Hard water contains calcium, which can eventually lead to leaky faucets, toilets, and hot water heaters. Extremely high levels of calcium in water can be seen as small white pieces of matter in the bottom of a glass of water. A water softener can also reduce the amount of soap and shampoo needed because a smaller amount can produce as much soapsuds when the water does not contain calcium.
Hot water systems use a water heater to warm water before it enters a home. A hot water heater uses one or more heating elements to warm the water before it is used. Hot water systems are most commonly either electric or gas, although there are also systems that use solar energy to heat water for a home.