This list of the best whole house water filter systems will provide you with a range of affordable and efficient products that are able to bring you cleaner water from every faucet in your home.
We believe that the best whole house water filter designs are those that are effective, have a long life expectancy, are easy to install, and low maintenance. We will use these criteria to choose the best whole house water filter and bring you our pros and cons lists.
- Best Whole House Water Filter: Comparison Table
- Top 16 Best Whole House Water Filter: Reviews
- 16. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter
- 15. Apex 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter
- 14. Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty Water Filtration System
- 13. iFilters Whole House 2 Stage Sediment, Rust & CTO Filters
- 12. GE GXWH20S Standard Flow Whole Home Filtration System
- 11. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter
- 10. iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter
- 9. Home Master Whole House Filtration System
- 8. iSpring 3-Stage Filtration System With Carbon and Sediment Blockers
- 7. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
- 6. APEC 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter System
- 5. Home Master Dual Whole House Water Filtration System
- 4.iSpring WGB32B Filtration System
- 3.DuPont WFPF13003B Universal Whole House 15,000-Gallon Water Filtration System
- 2. Whirlpool WHELJ1 Central Water Filtration System
- 1. EcoPure EPWHE Whole House Filtration System
- What Is a Whole House Water Filter?
- Water Contaminants
- The EPA: Standards and Stringency
- Water Treatment Plants: What Bad Stuff Can Happen Between the Water Plant and Your Sink
- Fluoride in Water Supply: Does It Exceed Health Levels?
- Whole House Water Filters: Determining Effectiveness
- Whole House Water Filtration: Basic Methods Explained
- Whole House Total Solutions: Does It Meet NSF Standards?
- Selecting a Filter for Your Home: What to Look For?
- What Type of Whole House Water Filter Do I Need?
- Why a Whole House Water Filter Is Necessary?
- How to Install a Whole House Water Filter?
- How to Change a Whole House Filter?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Whole House Water Filter: Comparison Table
Before we begin our best whole house water filter reviews, let’s take a quick look at five whole house water filters that caught our attention due to their excellent tech specs and features!
Top 16 Best Whole House Water Filter: Reviews
16. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter
|Design:||Filtration tank with valves|
|Life Expectancy:||1 million gallons/10 years|
|Performance:||Three-stage system filters out over 96 percent of harmful chemicals|
Many users appreciate that this system is one of the best whole house water filter units you can buy if you want something that will last a long time and is also low-maintenance. We like that its three-stage system grabs several varieties of chemicals up to about 97 percent.
Similar to Hahn water filters, Aquasana filters appear to be of excellent quality, so you should notice a difference in the taste of your water almost immediately.
This cost-efficient and long-lasting whole house water filter is an excellent acquisition for a home with heavy consumption of water. Able to remove a wide variety of tap water contaminants, this system works well with a pre-filter and even with a water softener. However, poor customer service is what stops this product from becoming one of the best whole house water filters on the market today.
15. Apex 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter
|Design:||2-stage filtration system with wall-mount option|
|Life Expectancy:||20,000 gallons|
|Performance:||Removes 99% of water-soluble heavy metals, chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, bacteria, other contaminants|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
The mix of KDF85 media and organic coconut shell activated carbon makes this whole house water filter a good choice for city and well water. The system removes sediment, chlorine, iron, heavy metals, and other contaminants.
The filter comes with NSF certifications. The quick-change cartridge design is a plus. It has a low impact on your water pressure and you can use it not only in residential applications but also in commercial ones.
This product has great potential of being one of the best whole house water filters on the market. However, the high price point in conjunction with some design failures do not convince users to rate it higher than they already do. This is a good product, but make sure you install it correctly and keep a close look at its components so they don’t accumulate rust or break during functioning.
14. Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty Water Filtration System
|Design:||Stainless steel reinforced inlet/outlet connectors|
|Life Expectancy:||3 months|
|Performance:||Removes sediment, lead, rust, scale, dirt, coarse sand, sand, fine sand, silt, bad taste, odor, aesthetic chlorine taste and odor|
|Warranty:||2-year limited warranty|
Perfect for residential homes, the Culligan whole house water filter helps protect your appliances and plumbing from sediment and scale. It features a bypass shut off valve, an integrated bracket design, and a battery-operated filter change timer.
As safety standards go, this filter comes with WQA certification against NSF/ANSI 372 for low lead compliance, and NSF/ANSI 42 for material safety and structural integrity. In the package, you will find the WR-HD housing wrench, a mounting bracket, the filter life monitor, and the filter monitor battery. This whole house water filter reduces dirt, sand, and silt buildup in plumbing lines.
The Culligan WH-HD200-C water filtration system is the best money can buy if you worry about the state of your plumbing. It can remove some water contaminants, but make sure you test the water first to know whether you need a more advanced whole house water filter. According to users, this is a great product, which is rather hard to install. Nevertheless, with its great price and excellent tech specs, you should consider it for your city home!
13. iFilters Whole House 2 Stage Sediment, Rust & CTO Filters
|Design:||Dual-stage filtration system with clear housing and stainless steel mounting screws | Installation works for whole house, inline, or under sink|
|Life Expectancy:||6 months|
|Performance:||Removes sediment, dirt, sand, silt, rust, scale particles, chlorine taste & odor, VOC’s|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
Designed and assembled in California and built from NSF-approved components, this is yet another whole house water filter you should consider. It reduces sediment, dirt, sand, silt, rust, scale particles, chlorine taste & odor, and VOC’s, among others. It is a versatile system, as you can install it at the point of entry line to your home or at the point of use in connection to your washing machine or water heater.
You can also install it under your kitchen sink. It comes with one polypropylene sediment filter and two coconut shell granular activated carbon filters, able to remove contaminants of 5 microns. The filter features built-in pressure relief buttons and disposable filter cartridges for simplified maintenance.
If you don’t mind the drop in water pressure, then this system is exactly what you have been looking for in terms of water cleanness and improved water taste. Since it has a very low price point and it works in stages, you can use a handful of these filters for your water purification needs.
According to the enthusiast customers, this product is everything the manufacturer promised and then some. You can install it under the sink and make it work together with a water softener in case hard water is an issue.
12. GE GXWH20S Standard Flow Whole Home Filtration System
|Design:||Heavy-duty whole house filter for basement installation|
|Life Expectancy:||3 months|
|Performance:||Removes sediment, scale, dirt and rust|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
Certified to reduce sediment, scale, dirt, and rust in your water, appliances and plumbing fixtures, this General Electric whole-home filtration system is easy to install and maintain.
The package includes 3/4″ plumbing connection, pressure relief valve, bypass option, mounting bracket and remote filter reminder light for simple installation and filter change. You should change the filter every three months, but other than that, this is a good filter coming at a great price.
This is a great system for city water and users rank it high in comparison with other similar water filters on the market. According to customers, the installation, maintenance, and use of this filter is straightforward and stress-free.
The product comes with one of the lowest price points on the market. Despite the short lifespan of the filter, this is an excellent unit to use for your water filtration needs. It also works well together with water softeners.
11. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter
|Design:||Sanitary Quick Change (SQC) with stainless steel head|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons/1 year|
|Performance:||Removes sediment build-up, 85% chlorine taste and odor, and scale|
|Warranty:||25 year limited warranty for the stainless steel head|
This 3M Aqua Pure whole house water filter reduces sediment build-up, chlorine taste, odor as well as scale in certain amounts. It helps you drink and use clean and safe water.
It is also a good device to increase the life of hot water heaters and other appliances (dishwashers, clothes washers, etc.). Even if it features only one filtration stage, it is a great choice for larger homes. It is effective with both chlorinated (municipal) and non-chlorinated (well water) systems.
If clean, safe water is what you wish for, then this is one of those whole house water filters that fully deliver on their promise. Given its long filter life and other tech specs, this system is ideal for larger homes with multiple bathrooms. It can work together with a water softener and even a pre-filter in case you deal with highly contaminated water. The design is slim enough for you to install the system in narrow places.
10. iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter
|Design:||Point of entry 2 stage filtration system with stainless steel frame|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons/1 year|
|Performance:||Removes sediment, chlorine, chloramines, chemicals, heavy metals, and other contaminants, etc.|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
The iSpring WGB22B 2-stage water filter uses a high-capacity polypropylene sediment filter and a high-quality coconut shell carbon for optimal water purification. The system can remove up to 99% of chlorine.
It can also clean your water of up to 95% sediment, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, and numerous other contaminants. As installation goes, you should install it at the main water supply so it can treat all the water entering your home. The good part is that you do not need a plumber or special skills to install this whole house water filter.
This iSpring whole house water filter comes with enthusiast reviews, as it seems it does do a wonderful job of cleaning your water. With excellent results and an impressive customer care service, we can say that you cannot go wrong with iSpring if city water filtration is your main purpose. The easy installation and maintenance are also high selling points for this product.
9. Home Master Whole House Filtration System
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons|
|Performance:||Three stages of filtration with sediment filters take care of 95 percent of contaminants|
One of the recurring issues with even the best whole house water filter can be a reduction in water pressure. We find that this filtration system from Home Master takes care of that problem with large ports that can allow up to 15 gallons per minute to pass through your faucets.
You’ll still get clean water that is free of over 95 percent of contaminants. However, being able to maintain steady, effective water pressure is a nice bonus.
One of the best whole house water filters for well water, the Home Master 3-stage filtration system is also one of the best money can buy. While it does not come cheap, it works incredibly well.
Offering a clean “flavor” to the water and even resolving the discolored water issues you may encounter in your community, this is a product that users swear by and encourage others to purchase. To quote one of the happy customers, “you get what you pay for, and it is worth it.”
8. iSpring 3-Stage Filtration System With Carbon and Sediment Blockers
|Design:||Large cylindrical design for maximum pressure|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons|
|Performance:||Can remove up to 95 percent of all chemicals|
|Warranty:||One-year limited upon request|
Most users call this product “a great investment in your home,” especially if you have family members with eczema.
The quality of the filtered water is exceptional. Overall, this is an excellent product – like many other iSpring filtration systems – with great customer care and fantastic reviews. The fact that the system does not interfere with your home water pressure is a plus.
7. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
|Design:||Point of entry filtration system with stainless steel frame|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons / 1 year|
|Performance:||Removes 95% dirt, sediment, chlorine, chloramines, chemicals, heavy metals, VOCs, bacteria, etc.|
|Warranty:||1 year | Free lifetime support|
Able to remove a handful of different water pollutants and contaminants, this whole house water filter features a clear first stage housing. It allows you to monitor your system easier to see when you need to replace the filters.
The specially engineered high flow filtration ensures you do not experience any drops in water pressure. This filtration system comes with food-grade ABS and PCE plastic components. Moreover, all the parts meet NSF / ANSI standards. The package includes three pressure gauges.
Coming with some of the highest users rankings of all whole house water filters on the market, the Express Water filtration systems for heavy metals improve the taste and quality of your water with no stress. It is a great device to use with both city and well water.
It is capable of removing a wide variety of different contaminants, from metals to VOCs and even bacteria and viruses. While pricey, it is worth every cent, as it has a long filter life and maintenance is a breeze.
6. APEC 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter System
|Design:||Point of entry combo system with polypropylene housing|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons / 1 year|
|Performance:||Removes chlorine, lead, iron, dirt, sand, silt, rust, odors, VOCs, hydrogen sulfides, etc.|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
The APEC 3-stage whole house water filter is a point-of-entry system designed for heavy metal removal. It delivers clean and healthy water for washing, bathing, and cooking. The first stage pleated sediment filter is washable. Therefore, you can reuse it for extended life service and exceptional dirt holding capacity.
The second stage KDF85 carbon 2-in-1 filters remove chlorine, and bad water taste and odors, together with other contaminants. Keep in mind it is a pre-assembled system. You can mount it directly from the box. Its applications include whole house filtration, light commercial use or industrial applications with a fast flow rate.
This whole house filtration system works well with both city water and well water, removing iron and sulfur smells from your water. It comes with stellar reviews from users and is one of the best American-made water filters on the market.
The filters’ change is easy and overall maintenance is stress-free. While expensive, keep in mind this is a product of excellent reputation, ecological impact, filter life, and usability.
5. Home Master Dual Whole House Water Filtration System
|Design:||Dual large-port filtration cylinders|
|Life Expectancy:||95,000 gallons|
|Performance:||May filter up to 95 percent of all contaminants|
Another product from Home Master gets the best whole house water filter award on our list. The two-stage model seems to be even more popular than its three-stage cousin, but either of these units will clean your water supply effectively.
Its overall capacity is slightly smaller than some other filtration systems, but the filters themselves take care of most contaminants that can ruin the taste and clarity of your drinking water.
Designed for purity with bacterial and chemical resistance, this Home Master whole house water filter works best with city water with chloramines or chlorine. It can reduce heavy metals and chemicals while improving the color, odor, and taste of your water.
Just as users say, this is a great product offering you the peace of mind you need when it comes to drinking and using safe city water. While it does require generous space for installation and comes with a significant price tag, this product is worth the trouble, as it helps you create a healthy home.
4.iSpring WGB32B Filtration System
|Design:||Point of entry, 3-stage filtration system|
|Life Expectancy:||100,000 gallons / 1 year|
|Performance:||Removes many contaminants, including herbicides and pesticides|
|Warranty:||Upon online request|
This unit is an ideal solution if you are looking for filtration of tiny particles. Once you install it at the main supply line, your household will have clean water for a whole year. Also, the system successfully removes most contaminants, including industrial solvents and VOCs.
Its top-quality design allows it to filter some of the tiniest particles. Besides, the system meets NSF/ANSI standards and requires almost no maintenance. Unlike many RO systems, this unit doesn’t reduce TDS, and instead, keeps all the healthy minerals.
Another nice thing about iSpring is the customer support team. In case of any problem, simply contact them, and they will help you out in no time. Also, they are very professional, and won’t leave any problem unsolved.
3.DuPont WFPF13003B Universal Whole House 15,000-Gallon Water Filtration System
|Design:||Standard, with single poly-block cartridge|
|Life Expectancy:||15,000 gallons|
|Performance:||Improves clarity and removes sediments|
DuPont WFPF13003B is an excellent unit for small offices. It can filter around 15,000 gallons of water, and also protect the kitchen tap. Also, the unit features the universal Poly Block Cartridge, which you can buy in almost any store.
This DuPont whole house water filtration system doesn’t provide an ultimate purification. It won’t remove the tiniest particles, or viruses and bacteria. However, it significantly improves water clarity and does a decent filtration. It’s an excellent choice for a relatively low price.
2. Whirlpool WHELJ1 Central Water Filtration System
|Design:||A specific, single-piece filtration system|
|Performance:||Removes chlorine, sediment, and various contaminants|
|Warranty:||1-year on parts, 3 years on electronics, and 5 years on the tank|
The Whirlpool WHELJ1 filtration system is, as you can see, truly unique. It requires literally no maintenance or filter replacement. Besides, the unit flushes itself every 2 weeks, which completely cleans the filter. Also, it reduces the contaminants of 40 microns, as well as chlorine heavy metals.
The system comes with a bypass valve, which maintains the optimal pressure all the time. However, you will need some extra parts when installing the unit, such as tubing and some connectors. Also, the company offers some pretty nice warranty options, which lets the customers feel safe when buying.
1. EcoPure EPWHE Whole House Filtration System
|Performance:||Removes particles down to 5 microns in size|
|Warranty:||Upon online request|
EcoPure EPWHE is a high-quality unit that provides excellent filtration. However, it’s also a bit costly, which you should consider when buying a new unit. Also, the unit comes with an automatic valve, so that you don’t need to shut off the water line when replacing filters.
The specific design of the system perfectly captures various contaminants, down to 5 microns in size. Also, it allows you to replace the filter without touching the dirty filter media. Like most units on the list, it’s NSF certified, which grants for its safety and water quality.
What Is a Whole House Water Filter?
First we must answer the question: what is a whole house water filter, and why do I need one? For starters, it is exactly what it sounds like, a filtration system for your entire house. The system filters water at the main entry point of your house so that you have clean water coming from every point in your home.
There are many different water filtration methods for better water quality. Reverse Osmosis systems, UV sterilization, carbon filters, and simple pitcher filters are very popular among consumers. However, whole house water filters are an entirely different type of filter on their own.
An entire house water filtration system ensures better water quality throughout the entire house by filtering out all major contaminants. Water intended for drinking should have its own filter.
Whether your water is coming from the city supply or your own private well, it is important to make sure that it is free of any contaminants before you consider it safe for daily use. Many judge the quality of water using their senses: taste, sight, smell, touch but there are a lot of contaminants not visible to the human eye. Water contamination is very tricky, and understanding it is the first step to choosing the right water filter for the whole house.
Types of Common Contaminants:
Physical contaminants in water are anything you can touch and see. These are more obvious and easy to spot and filter out. Common types of physical contaminants include sediment, algae, debris, and any other organic or inorganic materials that physically affect the quality of the water. Physical contaminants usually cause a change in color and/or consistency.
Almost any type of water filter has the ability to sort out physical contaminants from the water supply. Whole house water filters are no exception and will get the job done. Other methods for filtering physical contaminants include using an activated carbon filter, which can also be added to increase the efficiency of the system itself.
Chemical contaminants are inorganic materials such as chemicals that leak into the water supply. These contaminants are harder to filter out and are harder to spot because unlike physical contaminants, they are harder to extract. Common examples of chemical contaminants include lead, oil, iron and bleach. At most, a person can spot chemically contaminated water if the chemicals affect the color of the water. An example is when brown water comes from the tap.
Chemical contaminants are a lot harder to filter out but there are still many ways to do so. Keep in mind that the following methods may be more expensive. Reverse osmosis, UV filters, ionization, and water distilling are among the most popular ways to filter out chemical contaminants. Reverse osmosis filters and ionization methods can also be used as or with a whole house water filtration system.
Biological contaminants are living organisms in the water supply. For example, in stagnant water you can see larvae or worm-like creatures. Other biological contaminants are harder to spot and require a microscope to see them. Common biological contaminants include algae, viruses, and waterborne illnesses such as e coli.
The best way to filter out biological contaminants from your water supply is by using a UV light water filtration system. A UV light will kill any and all living organisms found in your water. Another great method is water distillation since distillers bring water to its boiling point, killing any living organism. These methods are great for additional purification
Radiological Contaminants are not as common as the three mentioned above, but they are far more toxic. The radiological contaminants include uranium, mercury, radon. These contaminants are naturally occurring and can make a person very ill.
Filtering out radiation takes more time and precision. Reverse Osmosis, Ion Exchange, and activated carbon are a few filtration methods for dealing with radiological contaminants. All three methods can be used with or as a water filter. There are some reverse osmosis filters that can perform ion exchange and include an additional carbon filter feature. Some RO filters can be large enough to be used as a filter for your entire home.
The EPA: Standards and Stringency
The Environmental Protection Agency is a government agency that regulates and monitors and protects human and environmental well being. One way they do this is by regulating the pollutants and contaminants in local city water supplies and putting required guidelines as to what extent cities should be treating their water supply.
So, what does the EPA have to do with home water filtration ? Since the EPA regulates all contaminants and pollutants this means that the water coming into your home has already been filtered to a certain extent- thanks to the EPA.
However, this does not mean that you do not need a water filter at all. In fact, there are controversies that EPA standards aren’t complete and not stringent. Moreover, there are also a number of pollutants that the EPA does not regulate.
What Does the EPA Regulate?
The EPA regulates water and pollutants through Water Enforcement Acts. Specifically, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. While the EPA cannot directly regulate the contaminants and pollutants in all water systems, there are basic guidelines and legislation put in place to regulate what they can.
The Clean Water Act
The CWA makes it unlawful for industrial bodies to dump pollutants such as oils into any water supply- whether this be to local sewage, or even the ocean. Pollutants must be disposed of properly in order to prevent leakage into water supply. This act prevents the use of secret pipes to dispose of waste, and the use of man-made ditches. Companies and residences are advised to use septic tanks to break down and dispose of their waste properly.
The CWA also enforces pre-treatment of all water supplies to break down pollutants such as oils or debris from rainwater.
The Safe Drinking Water Act
Similar to the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act also monitors and regulates bodies of waters used for drinking. This means that certain lakes, rivers, reservoirs are strictly off limits to dumping and are closely monitored and protected.
The SDWA also regulates public water systems and places guidelines on to what extent they should treat their water. This act also protects any underwater natural water sources from damage or destruction.
The EPA Doesn’t Regulate All Pollutants?
No. The EPA can only do so much when it comes to regulating the pollutants in our water supply. This is why there are many water enforcement acts put in place to regulate the most dangerous pollutants and contaminants. Other pollutants regulated by the EPA include the following:
- Oil- The EPA regulates oils and other hazardous wastes such as petroleum through a series of oil spill prevention programs and countermeasures. These measures are put in place to prevent oil spills and provide guidelines on how to handle them if one happens.
- Lead- The EPA does its best to regulate lead exposure by providing materials and resources for homeowners to manage their own lead levels. Additionally, most residences have strict guidelines prohibiting the use of lead pipes in home water systems.
- Animal Waste- The EPA regulates animal waste by placing strict points of compliance for animal feeding operations and other agricultural organizations of the same nature. In short, it prohibits the dumping of animal waste and manure into local water supplies and provides strict guidelines as to how to properly dispose of waste and waste particles.
The Water Department Isn’t Perfect
While the EPA and the Water Department both do their parts in making sure water is safe for the general public, it is important to keep in mind that these institutions are not perfect. Regulations set by the EPA and water treating requirements by the water department are the bare minimum. It is up to you as a homeowner to invest in the right type of water filtration systems in order to make sure that the water in your home is completely safe for general use and daily consumption.
Water Treatment Plants: What Bad Stuff Can Happen Between the Water Plant and Your Sink
As per EPA regulations, water must be treated first before it is made available to our local water supply. So where does the water get treated?
Generally, all waste water goes through a treatment at your local water plants. The water treating process is a series of filtration, passing through concrete tanks, pumping, and filtration again before chlorine is added to the water to kill the bacteria. Water is then
released, sometimes into the ocean so that it can then be used in your local water supply and filtered again.
With basic knowledge of the treatment process, it is safe to conclude that a lot can happen between the water plant and your sink. For starters, the first step of the treatment process is screening wherein debris is removed from the water supply. These are usually physical contaminants such as wood. Sometimes, dead animals are screened out.
This goes to say that waste water really needs to be treated and filtered over and over again before it is safe for the sink. While water is treated between plants, and water safety regulations there is still no guarantee that water coming from your water district is entirely clean. It’s best to invest in your own water filtration system.
Fluoride in Water Supply: Does It Exceed Health Levels?
Another common additive to local water supplies is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that can be found in natural bodies of water and in the earth. But too much in our water supply does more harm than good. Many water districts insist on adding fluoride to their water supply as an added health benefit since it is known to prevent tooth decay. But when this amount is not monitored, it can lead to other health complications. Over exposure to fluoride can lead to fluoride poisoning, dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, thyroid, and other health related issues.
Chlorine in Water Supply
We often associate chlorine with the water in our pools. But chlorine is actually also used to treat our drinking and local water supplies.
Generally, this chemical does a good job of killing bacteria.
Debunking Chlorine Myths
Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence stating that chlorine is bad for you- especially in small amounts. When added to a water supply the chemical activates and kills any waterborne viruses, diseases, and pathogens. The more bacteria it kills, the more it loses its potency. As far as taste and smell, other chemicals can be mixed with the solution to neutralize. Carbon filters are also great for filtering out chlorinated water.
Whole House Water Filters: Determining Effectiveness
A whole house water filter is not a light purchase. Many can be very expensive to own and come with their own installation fees. Which is why it is important to make sure that your home filter is working properly. There are a few different ways to determine your water filter’s effectiveness. Here are a few:
Quality of Water: Taste, Color, Smell
The most obvious way to see if your filter is working properly is to assess the quality of water with your senses. You will want to look at the color and smell of your water before considering giving it a taste test. Other determinants would also be the presence of physical contaminants such as traces of sediment or debris.
Differences in water flow and water pressure are signs that something is not working properly. If you notice that your water pressure is lower than usual this may mean that your water filter is clogged or is not working properly. This can also be a problem with your supplier, when water does not come at the right pressure, the filter won’t be able to get to work.
If your water filter is connected to a power supply, an obvious way to check its effectiveness is to check if it is working. This can be as simple as checking if it is on, or making sure that all switches are on and functional.
Of course, you can also opt for a water assessment. You would have to call customer service or even a third party water company to come by and run tests on your water. After a few weeks, you will be given a detailed water report which will tell you the quality of your water. In turn, this lets you know just exactly how effective your home water filter is.
Whole House Water Filtration: Basic Methods Explained
There are six basic whole house water filtration methods. Each method filters water by targeting different areas and comes at a different price. Understanding each of these methods can help you make the choice of which home water filter is right for you and your lifestyle.
Carbon Adsorption Method
The carbon adsorption method is also known as activated carbon. This method is a very popular water filtration method and is generally very affordable in comparison to the alternatives. When water and water molecules come in contact with the carbon filter. The carbon expands to trap the contaminants in its pores. One example would be chlorine molecules. This method is easy and relatively inexpensive. But it requires more maintenance to change the carbon and the carbon filters.
As the name suggests, sediment filtration is specifically for removing physical contaminants such as sediment from water. There are two main types of sediment filters. There are bag filters and cartridge filters.
Bag filters are filters that use microfiltration by their semi-permeable pores. The bags themselves are placed in filter systems and as the water is poured in from the top, the sediment is collected at the bottom.
The water flows from one bag to another leaving all the contaminants behind.
Cartridge filters also use microfiltration to separate sediment from water. There are different types of cartridge filters designed to target different types of contaminants.
For filtering out sediments, there are pleated sediment filters and wounded sediment filters. They each work the same in that water passes through the cartridges and debris is caught in the filters. The difference is in the material of the filters. Nonetheless, both are great for filtering out sediment.
Ion exchange is a water filtration method as well as a water softening method. This method should be done after water has already passed through a filter for physical contaminants. Ion exchange is a process that neutralizes the ions and molecules in the contaminants of the water.
Water passes through a pressure chamber of hard resin beads. As the water travels over the beads, the molecules in elements such as calcium and magnesium are neutralized. An additional brine solution helps with the removal of other chemical contaminants.
Generally, this method is best for fresh water to separate it from its chemical contaminants. This is a popular method in agriculture. Keep in mind this method cannot soften water. Instead, it uses metal catalysts which shoot electrons into the water supply therefore neutralizing it.
Oxidation reduction is a method targeted at transforming elements such as chlorine. It uses zinc and copper granules. Water travels over the granules and starts a chemical reaction which changes the molecular composition of the molecules in the water. For example, chlorine becomes water soluble chlorine after passing through the granules. Not only does this method transform harmful elements but it also kills any microorganisms in the process. Oxidation reduction in water filtration is best when combined with activated carbon or reverse osmosis water filtration methods.
Ultraviolet sterilization is a water filtration method that uses UV rays to kill any living bacteria. This method is best after a physical filter such as activated carbon or sediment. Generally, UV filters include a micron filter. After the water passes through the micron filter, the water enters a chamber wherein the UV light is activated. This light kills any pathogens, bacteria, and waterborne diseases.
Whole House Total Solutions: Does It Meet NSF Standards?
The NSF also has its own standards for regulating the quality of water. Water filters must meet the standards of the NSF to be certified and approved. There are different standards among the five different water filtration methods.
Per each filtration method, the NSF establishes a minimum standard in order to be considered safe and sanitary. For example, for standard carbon or cartridge filters, there is a minimum standard on how much chlorine the filter is able to filter out. The NSF also requires that the materials used in the filters have already been proven safe to use. In terms of the contaminants, they require that the filter can filter out a maximum of up to 15 different contaminants.
In terms of whole house solutions, the NSF also regulates water softeners, reverse osmosis systems, distillation, and even shower filters. Whether or not your system meets NSF standards depends on the system itself. General standards include the filter’s ability to filter out chlorine, contaminants, and the materials they are made from.
Selecting a Filter for Your Home: What to Look For?
In terms of features, there are a number of factors to consider when buying a whole house filter. Things you will want to consider include flow rate, filter size, filter life, and port size.
Water Flow Rate
Water flow is the volume of water that comes out of a fixture at any given time. This is an important aspect to consider as both water flow and water pressure affects the effectiveness of a water filter. If the water flow of your home is not compatible with the flow capability of your filter, you may experience problems in receiving a continuous water supply.
The size of your filter determines how much clean water will be available to you at any given time. A general rule of thumb is that bigger filters will allow you access to more, for longer periods of time. Take into consideration the size of your home and your household water footprint. Ask yourself how much water your household uses and how many high demand activities require you to need water at a high water pressure. These factors will help you choose the right filter based on its size.
Filter life refers to how long you can use a filter before you have to change it, repair it, or otherwise maintain it. The filter life depends solely on the type of filter you select. If you do not mind having to purchase and change filters frequently, then activated carbon will do. However, if you do not want the hassle of maintaining your filter you can look into reverse osmosis or uv filtration systems that require less maintenance.
Port size refers to the point of installation for your filter. This is where your filter is attached to the main water source of your home. Generally, most houses have a 1” port. However, this is not always the case. Most filters have different variations to accommodate for different port sizes. You will just want to make sure that the filter you purchase carries the correct size compatible for your home.
What Type of Whole House Water Filter Do I Need?
Above, we have listed the features to consider in selecting the right filter for your home. However, aside from features you will also want to consider performance. Here are some other key factors to consider:
You will want to consider longevity in terms of how long you intend to use your whole house water filter. Not only that, but consider how much time and money you are willing to spend in maintaining your filter. Activated carbon and changeable filters can add up in costs over the years and might not be suitable. Consider how much time you have to actually clean your filter. Whether you have time, or would rather opt for a self cleaning filter. Remember that at some point your filter will need to be cleaned regardless of which you choose.
You will want to consider consumption in terms of water waste. What many tend to forget is that some filters simply dispose of waste water and others transform it. If you are looking to save money on your bill, or simply want to conserve , then this is an important factor to consider. You will want to choose a system that uses ion exchange or other methods that transform and neutralize water . Filtering methods such as distillation or separation methods use and waste more water. You can always keep a tank for wastewater and re-filter.
- We recommend the APEC 3-Stage whole house water filter for long filter life and excellent efficiency.
Microns refer to particle size. In terms of water filters, this refers to the pore like features that determine its ability to filter out contaminants. Sediments have larger microns and require filters ranging from 30-50 microns. Smaller sediments require microns at 10 and below. For chemical contaminants and bacterias, you will want a smaller micron filter size such as one between 0.2-and 4 microns. If you are looking for a prefilter for sediments, opt for bigger micron filter sizes and work your way down.
Municipal Water vs. Well Water
City tap water is different from well water and you should look for specific whole house water filters. Well water tends to feature higher levels and varieties of contaminants, so you should choose accordingly.
Why a Whole House Water Filter Is Necessary?
Many homeowners are under the impression that having a whole house water filter in their home is a luxury. For one, they can get expensive and for another, there are cheaper alternatives just for drinking water. But after the information presented above, we are here to tell you that they are completely necessary.
The simple fact of the matter is that even though the water district and EPA regulates our water supply, it is simply not enough. The basic guidelines and regulations in place by our federal and local government organizations are exactly that: guidelines. These standards ensure that the water we are getting in our homes is safe- but that does not mean that it is clean. A whole house water filter system gives you authority and peace of mind over your own water supply.
How to Install a Whole House Water Filter?
Depending on the manufacturer of your filter of choice, many companies offer in home installation with the purchase of their filter.
There are also many third party companies and contractors who can do this for you. But if you would prefer to do it on your own, here’s how to do it:
Things You Will Need
- The water filter itself
- A towel and buckets
- A power drill and corresponding drill bits
- A wrench
- A hand saw for cutting through pipes
- Extra piping and fittings
The steps for installing a whole house water filter may vary depending on the specific type of filter you have. For standard whole house filters here are the 6 basic steps to follow:
Step 1: Location and Preparation
Locate your home’s main water access point. Once you have done this you will want to shut down your entire line and lay down your buckets and towels in preparation for the following steps.
Step 2: Cut the Type
You will then want to locate where you will cut the pipe. This is where you will eventually install the actual filter. Use a hand saw to make incisions before cutting the pipe. Once you have cut through the pipe and removed a section of it you will want to file down the leftovers for smooth installation.
Step 3: Position the Fittings
After you have cut and filed the pipe, position the fittings on either side of the pipes to fit where the filter should be. This will secure the pipes and prepare you for the next step.
Step 4: Install the Filter
On either side of the pipes and fittings you will want to tighten and adjust so that your filter will stay in place.
Step 5: Test Run
The final step is to run a test run to make sure that there is no leakage. Once you have identified points of leakage, you can make piping adjustments.
How to Change a Whole House Filter?
The steps above can also be followed when changing your whole house filter:
- In case your filter is smaller or bigger than the old one, then you will have to adjust accordingly.
- If the new filter is bigger than the old one, then you will have to cut the surrounding pipes to fit.
- In case the new filter is smaller, then you will have to adjust by assembling new pipes and fittings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most frequently asked questions are regarding the difference between a whole house water filter and its popular alternatives such as home softeners and reverse osmosis systems. Here we will be giving a basic breakdown of the different systems, what they are, and how they work.
What Happens If You Do Not Change Out Your Filter?
Filter replacing is crucial. If you don’t replace your filters as needed, they clog with sediment and impurities, lose efficiency, leak, contaminate your water, and even lead to appliances’ malfunctions. Change the filters according to the manufacturers’ instructions and even sooner if you deal with highly contaminated water!
Whole House vs. Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems
For starters, systems can be used for an entire household. But the two systems are very different in terms of their pricing, how they work, and purpose.
- Price: Generally, reverse osmosis systems are more expensive than whole house filters. Especially larger RO systems.
- Function: Whole house filters are meant to provide safe water to the entire home for general use. Reverse Osmosis systems take it a step further by purifying to the point that it can even be safe to drink.
- Water waste: Reverse osmosis systems dispose of the brine that has been left behind after the RO process. Whole house filters simply allow water to pass through the filters and collect any contaminants before being released into the point of access.
- Water health: While reverse osmosis systems offer a deeper purification method, that does not mean that the water is healthy. In fact, RO systems can even over purify water in the way that they strip away natural elements and nutrients.
Water Softening vs. Water Filtration
The main takeaway between the two is that softening is a form of filtering, but not the other way around
Generally, water softeners are used in combination with a water filter. Softened water has been filtered from hard elements such as calcium and magnesium. Water softeners filter out hard elements, but that’s it. Whereas water filters target a wider range of contaminants such as bacterias, sediment, pathogens, etc.
- Cost: Generally, water softeners cost less than whole house filters because they are only made to target certain water issues.
- Water quality: Water that has been filtered but not softened is clean but harsh on the skin. But water that has been softened but not filtered will not be clean and does not allow softened water to give its full benefits.
- Water waste: Water softeners often dispose of the hard water.
If you have to choose between the two, a water filter is good to stand alone without a water softener. A water softener is useless if the water it is softening is not clean.
All in all, buying a whole house water filter is the best decision any homeowner can make for their homes. Not only should we be monitoring the quality of the water we drink, but we should also be mindful of the water we use on a daily basis. After all, cleaning your home with dirty water defeats the entire purpose.
Understanding the basics of water filters such as what they are and the different types is a great way to help you make your decision as to what water filter is right for you. We at Water Filters Advisor have provided you with everything you need to know about whole house water filters, how to install them, and have even given a basic background and understanding of EPA regulations to help you make the best choice.
With all the information above, you are one step closer to clean, safe and high quality water for your entire home.