Ferrous-iron, ferric-iron, magnesium and sulfur are present in well water. Iron filters remove these contaminants from water leaving it clear and pure for use. Too much of iron in water causes odor & metallic taste in it. It also causes dirty stains in fixtures like bathtubs, sinks & washbasins. Iron water filter are the only effective way to get rid of iron and its effects on fixtures and appliances.
Here we have shortlisted the top five iron filters available in the market.
Main Comparison Table
#5. Durawater Air Injection Iron Eater Filter
|10 x 10 x 54 inches
The home water filtration system‘s performance is very effective. The flexible supply lines are less messy. Iron gets filtered from water leaving behind clean drinking water. There are no iron stains on or around fixtures and appliances. In previous models of iron filters, the color of the cartridges would turn orange or red. Whereas, in this iron filter the cartridge color has only turned a little dark
System installation is very simple and does not need any professional help. Also, the compact size of equipment makes it easy to install at any desired place. The iron from cold water gets filtered immediately. But it requires flushing several times for the hot water to filter completely.
Though sometimes they miss out on sending the instruction manual along with the package. You can simply follow this link. The video in this link provides complete guidance on how to install this unit. Also, there are a few factors that you may need to consider before you choose to buy this product. They are as follows:
- This unit would also work if there are bacteria present in the iron water. All you have to do is mix 1/4 cup of chlorine bleach in a 5-gallon bucket. Once mixed, pour it down the well at least twice a year.
- Its regen usage is 10 per regen. The water pressure in this situation does not go below 120 PSI.
- You may be able to change the medium after 7 years. Please follow this link for guidance from DuraWater in this regard.
For further clarity, please follow the link to amazon mentioned above. There, users have uploaded pictures of the water quality before and after the use of this product.
The overall rating of the equipment is 4.6.
#4. Fleck 5600SXT
|12 x 12 x 52 inches
This product is a combination of a water softener and an iron filter. It comes with pre-loaded media which makes its installation less messy. The iron and hardness of water get filtered and there are no scaling or rusty stains in the taps, shower, or sink. The product is very effective and is easy to install. All you have to do is follow the set of steps sent with the product.
The filtering capacity of this system is good enough for a big house with regular laundry. The meter heading settings are a bit tricky and demand some relevant skills to set up. But with some research and study, the meter may easily set up. The software control module allows set reverse capacity (RC). Reverse Capacity ensures that the water is always softened.
A few points to remember before you purchase this item are as follows:
- Since this is a water softener, it removes only low levels of iron in hard water. This softener consists of a fine mesh that softens resin and removes it even from hard water that has high levels of iron in it.
- This black model is relatively cheaper than the off-white model. This is because people buy black ones commonly so the suppliers buy them in bulk. Since this black model is bought in large quantities, the sale of this unit becomes cheaper than other models.
- This model contains about 64k grains of a fine mesh of resin.
- You can even use Morton pellets with this unit to filter iron.
For further details, please visit the amazon page through the link above. There, customers have posted pictures in relation to this unit for clarity.
The overall rating of the product is 4.4.
#3. AFWFilters AIS10-25SXT
|10 x 10 x 54 inches
This is a whole house system from Fleck for an average-sized house and comes with pre-loaded gravel and media. It is effective in filtering iron, sulfur & magnesium from water. It immediately removes the sulfur smell from water and there are no rust stains in the fixtures. But, the backwash uses approx. 60 gallons of water, so, if you have paid water supply then it’s going to cost you some bucks.
The equipment is reliable and has a long life span. It is easy to install and does not need any professional help. The sulfur issue gets completely resolved. But, it might not be effective in full coverage of iron filtration in areas with a high amount of iron in the water.
Few more factors to consider before you purchase this item are as follows:
- This item has a Digital 2510SXT Air Injection Control Head. This creates an air pocket right at the top of the tank. It helps to oxidize impurities so that their removal becomes easy.
- The digital display is also helpful for the observation and status of this system.
- The manufacturers of this item has 24/7 customer service. They would always be available to provide you with assistance on any relevant questions or confusion that you may have.
- This is a low-cost media. It provides sediment filtration. This will help eliminate almost 10 ppm of iron as well as 2 ppm of iron manganese.
- This item has a stainless steel bypass with a single connection. It can be easily connected to your plumbing system. This product will allow water to pass through without any interruptions. It will also not let the main water supply shut off for any reason.
You may follow the amazon link mentioned above to view pictures of this product that the users have uploaded for clarity.
The overall rating of the product is 4.4.
#2. ISpring WGB32BM 3-Stage
|21 x 8 x 8 inches
|ISpring Water Systems
Unlike an RO water filtration system, this system keeps good minerals in the water. It gets installed at the main water supply line and treats all the water required at home. This filter’s capacity is good enough to provide water for an average-sized family. It is easy to install and comes with an installation guide. It requires slight maintenance and does not have much impact on water flow.
The system is effective in removing iron and magnesium from water. The filters are a bit large in size and need some extra space than expected for mounting. Also, the plastic thread openings are slightly prone to leakage if not handled with care.
- This filter has 3 layers.
- The first layer reduces clogging issues. It also lessens the loss of pressure.
- The second layer has a carbon block filter, The manufacturers have used a high-quality coconut shell carbon that helps improve the efficiency of the filter.
This is a whole house water filter system. But, you would need a water softener if there is a high level of hardness in your water system. With the use of softeners this product can help remove up to 95% of the following contaminants, namely:
- Industrial solvents &
In addition to all this, the cartridges that come with this product have activated carbon. This active carbon helps if there is cotton in your water.
The overall rating of the product is 4.4.
#1. Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter
|17 x 7 x 21 inches
|Abundant Flow Water Systems
It is a high-flow system for the entire household. It is an all-rounder that softens water and filters the iron too. Its high iron removal capacity and long life make it very effective and efficient. It comes with a DIY manual which makes it easy to install and maintain. Some basic skills of plumbing are a must for first-timers.
Before this system, red stains of iron in fixtures were a sure shot. After cleaning those stains and using this equipment you will have stain-free fixtures. Also, scaling issues due to hard water are also resolved. Hence proving that this unit lives up to being an all-rounder.
This system removes around 2 PPM of sulfur. This in turn helps in reducing issues like unpleasant odor from your water. It is considered highly efficient in removing iron and softening your hard water. This product is very efficient in eliminating the following issues as well.
- Ferrous iron
- Water sports, and
- Soap scum
This unit has a digital control metered design. This design allows the user to make basic adjustments to capacity as well as control salt usage. The manufacturer of this product also provides a 24/7 customer support service.
The overall rating of the product is 4.5.
Types of Iron in Water
The orange stain that we usually see in storage tanks, sinks, and bathtubs, is due to the presence of iron in the water. Mostly, you may also have encountered magnesium and hydrogen sulfide gas odor.
These stains & smell is due to the presence of magnesium with iron in the water. This metallic taste and odor are due to the high concentration of iron in the water.
There are four forms of iron that can exist in water:
1. Ferrous Iron
It is invisible as it dissolves in water and is also referred to as clear water iron. It is either removed by a softener or by oxidation filtration.
2. Ferric Iron
The presence of this iron turns the color of the water to orange (rust). It is usually treated by employing an iron water filter as the iron is already oxidized in this form.
3. Organic Iron
In this type of iron water, the iron gets dissolved with the organic matter in water. It is sometimes known as the heme-iron or pink water iron. In a lower concentration of iron, the watercolor remains clear. But, when the concentration is high, the water gets colored. It is usually treated by pouring anion resin in the tank which lasts 1 “ 2 years and is costly.
4. Colloidal Iron
It is the type of iron that turns water red and is the most difficult to filter. The molecules formed in this water do not stick together. As a result, the iron molecules are not trapped in by the filter or settle in the container. This type of iron water is usually treated by flocculation or ultra-filtration.
How Does Iron Get Into Your Well Water?
The existence of iron in well water is natural. The rainwater, melting snow, and lake water seep through soil and rocks. This soil and rocks contain iron. This iron then gets dissolved in water by their contact. The other reason is due to the corrosion of water pipes.
Dangers of Iron Water
The iron in water will harm your hair, skin, dishes, appliances, food, and laundry. The effects might not show up immediately. But, the excess of iron in water will have adverse effects in the long run.
Harm to Household Items
The presence of iron in water will leave rust stains on dishes, sinks & bathtubs. These stains are almost impossible to remove. Also, the presence of iron in water will cause clogging in pipes.
The method of removal of iron from water depends on the type of iron present in the water. The methods usually employed are as follows:
1. Ion Exchange Method
One way to remove dissolved ferrous iron from water is by applying the ION exchange method. This process involves industrial water softeners. Later the deposited iron is further filtered through filtration. But, the filtering capacity keeps on decreasing as the iron sticks to the softener bed. This reduced capacity in turn creates issues for the user.
Once the softener bed gets contaminated, you need to replace it with a new ION exchange softener.
2. Iron Filters
The iron filters have mild oxidizing property media beds. The iron in water is then converted to insoluble form when water runs through the bed and gets filtered. Any form of iron that is already deposited, gets removed by mechanical filtration. The deposited iron in it gets removed through scheduled back-washing. The oxidizing power of filter media restores through regeneration afterward.
3. Chemical Feed Pumps and Filter Combo
Sometimes, ION exchange or Iron Filters are not enough to remove the iron from your water supply. In these cases, the combination of chemical feed pumps and filters is more useful. This method requires the addition of the oxidizing agent solution through the pump. The oxidizing agents are usually sodium or calcium hypochlorite or potassium permanganate.
Soluble iron or any organic matter present in your water supply converts to insoluble particles. These particles are then filtered. This process requires extra tanks. It is due to the fact that organic matter requires more contact time with the oxidizing agent.
Iron Filtration Process
3 step process is explained below:
- Pre-Treatment (Oxidation): The contaminants of water iron deposit by employing an oxidant. The normally used oxidants are chlorine & hydrogen peroxide. The deposits of these contaminants are larger in size. They get removed through straining. If the oxidation is not completely done, then the iron does not eliminate by the filtration system.
- Filtration – After complete oxidation, water flows through the iron filter system. It passes at a very low speed. This ensures that the contaminants get discarded and do not pass through the filter.
- Backwash – After removing contaminants from your water supply, the filter needs a thorough cleaning. This gets done through a forceful flush called backwash. The backwash cleans the contaminant mud. Backwash ensures that the filter does not clog. The clogged filter will stop functioning and will affect the water filtration process. It is important to ensure that the backwash gets done in a proper manner.
Considerations When Buying
While buying an iron filter for your water systems, consider some critical features. The right system is definitely efficient, viable, and long-lasting. The right choice of iron water filtration system will save you money in the future as well. The features to consider while choosing an iron filter that serves your needs are as follows:
Flow Rate of Water
The right flow rate system is very critical. The time required to filter the water needs to meet your filter system requirements. The flow rate measurement is in gallons per minute (GPM). In simple words, it is the amount of water that can flow through your filter media pipe per minute.
The water usage for residential facilities ranges from 4 pm to 80 pm. It is directly proportional to the size of the house. It can exceed up to 100 GPM when it comes to commercial facilities.
Estimate Flow Rate
- Count the total number of fixtures that are of use at the same time.
- Check from the table below, the gallons per minute need of water by each fixture.
- To calculate the “Peak flow rate”, add up the devices that you have selected.
|Water Requirement Gallons per minute – GPM (approx)
|2.5 – 3.0
|2.2 – 5.0
|4.0 – 8.0
|2.5 – 5.0
|2.0 – 3.0
|4.0 – 5.0
It is important to buy an iron filter that is efficient and effective in meeting your daily water needs. Also, it will be an add-on if it’s not affected by the power outage. In general, a good filtration system will discard not only iron but all the contaminants of water.
This purifies it by cleaning and removing unwanted odors. The performance is usually relevant to the size of the filter. Hence, choosing the right sized filter is crucial.
Ease of Maintenance
Since iron filters are regularly used, they need daily maintenance. Considering the fact one must buy the filters which are easy to maintain and repair. It will also help in saving extra maintenance and repair costs. Filter cartridges are the most replaced part. The filters with cost-effective cartridges should be of preference. But, the efficiency of an iron filter must hold top priority.
Ease of Installation
It is important to buy an iron filter that is easy to install and does not need any professional help. Usually, the iron filters come with installation guides and customer support manuals. Some manufacturers also have a 24/7 active customer service and support line.
These filters work better when installed between the main water line. The installation location must be accessible and should not have extreme temperatures. It must have enough room so that maintenance and repair works are easy to do.
Also, it is important to clean any iron deposits in the bathtubs or sinks, by cleaning agents. Once the iron water filter is installed in the main water pipeline, it will start working. The fixtures are then checked for any water leakage.
Durability and Life Span
Since iron filters are of daily use, filter cartridges are prone to wear and tear. So, the models with long-lasting cartridges must be of preference. The warranty period of the iron filter would help you in getting an idea of its durability. But, the budget is also of vital importance. The iron filters with high durability may be costly. Hence, you need to choose the best filter that suits your budget.
Maintaining Your Iron Water Filter
The care and routine checks of the iron water filter are of great importance. Below are the steps to ensure the cleanliness, durability, and effectiveness of a pre-installed iron filter.
While cleaning the iron filter, avoid using products with acids, vinegar, or oxidizers. To clean the outer part of the filter, the usage of mild detergent and warm water is usually recommended.
The system needs a proper place so that nothing gets stacked over it. In particular, the control valve and brine tank.
The control valve cover must be periodically cleaned using a brush. The dirt and debris deposit at the control valve causes mechanical issues.
It is important to prevent the water from reaching freezing temperatures. The controller, brine, and media tank always have water. So, the freezing of water will harm the system.
The brine tank needs a periodic cleaning. Doing so ensures that the system continues to work at peak efficiency. Appropriate tools and steps are available for the cleaning of the brine tank.
If the iron water filter also softens the water then salt values need checking every 4 “ 6 weeks in the brine tank.
The use of the right kind of salt is very important as the system usually needs the designated salt.
The equipment needs inspection every 3 to 4 months for the bridging. The bridging is a solid buildup of salt in the brine tank. The bridging usually creates a hurdle in salt making contact with the water.
The bridges should be in broken form in the brine tank. This is usually done using a broom handle.
The brine tank needs cleaning every six to twelve months. The cleaning steps are usually mentioned in the owner’s manual.
Pre-filter is normally added to prevent the wear and tear of the system. The seals, gaskets, and small ports of the system get damaged from the sediments and sludge in the water. The addition of a pre-filter helps in increasing the water flow of the iron water filter.
Water Pressure Drop
Water needs to pass through the filter for cleaning and purification. This often leads to a slight drop in water pressure. But, this drop is far more little than the drop that usually occurs when iron clogs the pipes, taps & showers. So it would be right to say that in the long run, iron water filters result in better water pressure.
If the filter cartridge gets clogged then there could be a drop in water pressure. But, you can avoid this by regular maintenance and replacement of the cartridge. Apart from the clogging of cartridges, a wrong-sized filter can also lead to pressure drops. That is if the flow rate (GPM) is not correctly calculated before system selection.
Alternatives Ways to Remove Iron
1. Aeration of Water
In this method, the oxygen adds into the water using air injectors to oxidize the iron. It’s a non-chemical treatment and does not ensure the complete oxidation of iron. This results in incomplete purification of water. Also, the iron deposits lead to clogging in pipes and taps.
2. Chemical Oxidation
In this method, chlorine or potassium permanganate gets added to water for oxidizing. But, if the concentration of iron in water is high then it would not be much effective. Later on, the water needs filtration to remove added chemicals for oxidation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Sanitize My Well?
Every year during the spring season you need to check the water for taste, color & odor. In case you come across any abnormality in your well-water, you need to have it sanitized.
Does Boiling Remove Iron From Water?
Boiling the water cannot remove iron from it. Iron is not a living organism. S o, high temperatures do not help in the removal of iron from your water systems like bacteria.
How Do You Remove Iron From Water Naturally?
There is no natural way of removing the iron completely from the water. Filters are a must to remove iron in your water.
Will Chlorine Remove Iron From Water?
The addition of chlorine in the water will only oxidize the iron. However, the deposited material needs filtration for removal.
As Water Filters Advisor mentioned above, the details of every reviewed iron water filter may cause some confusion. You may refer to the charts below before you make a choice on which product you wish to purchase.
The customers have rated all of these products out of 5. You can see the comparison of the rating in the percentage of all of them in the chart above. If you observe the chart, it shows that Durawater Air Injection Iron Filter (Black Series) is in the lead. When it comes to price, you may view that table below and follow the same color scheme as above. This way you will be able to see that Durawater Air Injection Iron Filter (Black Series) is a mid-range product.
In the durability percentage chart, the three items with the same score are as follows:
- ISpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Iron Water Filter.
- AFW Filters AIS10 – 25SXT
- AFW Filters Iron Pro 2
Though these three products may be on the same level on the basis of scores they have different prices. The most expensive product is the AFW Iron Pro 2. This product is not strongly recommended due to its high price. If you wish to go for a low-range product then you must choose ISpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Iron Water Filter. It is the cheapest out of the lot and moderately reliable.
If you have a slightly flexible budget then you must choose Durawater Air Injection Iron Filter (Black Series). It is considered the best out of the lot and has proven its worth. Customers have high regard for this product. It is a reliable, durable, and affordable iron water filter. It effectively meets your specific needs.