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Water filter systems for the home, advice needed

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I just did a search of the Chowhound site to find out what's been said about water filters. It seems to be determined by individual preference. Some people are happy drinking straight from the tap, others are happy with a Brita filter, and still others like their whole-house system.

I have a reverse osmosis filter for my kitchen tap. It works, but I'm tired of changing the filters every 6 months. Also, I am thinking about getting a particular kind of dishwasher that needs soft water (otherwise, it will be ruined by the hard tap water.)

It looks like I'm headed toward a complete home water system at some point. Aqua Solutions seems to have good information on their website, and I would consider going with them, but I want independent verification before I commit.

Those of you who have a whole-house system, how much maintenace does it require? How big is the unit? Do you still need a reverse-osmosis somewhere for getting the salt out? Is it difficult to rinse soap off your hands?

Or, if you know any book or website where such systems have been rated (I'm not sure if Consumer Reports covers this kind of thing), I would be ever so grateful.

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