Buying a water filtration system for your home is an investment that provides many benefits. Whole house water filters can cost well over $2,000. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Though you may not need to spend this much, there much cheaper options. This review will help you make the wise choice.
- 1SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System
- 2Aquasana Whole House Water Filter - 1,000,000 Gallon Capacity
- 3Springwell Whole House Water Filter System - 1,000,000 Gallons Capacity
- 4SoftPro Carbon Filter - Catalytic Carbon Electronic 1" Auto Backwash
- 5iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System - 100,000 Gallon Capacity
- 6Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage
- 7Pelican Water 10 GPM Whole House Carbon Water Filtration System
- 8Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter System
1. SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System - For Well Water
The SoftPro Iron Master is a high-tech water softener. It can be used as a compact stand-alone unit if you only need to condition hard water. It can also be incorporated as an additional stage to an existing RO water treatment system. Advanced air injection oxidizing, chemical-free, water softeners tend to be really expensive. This is what makes the SoftPro Iron Master such an attractive proposition. It’s not as expensive as most of the high-alternatives. Yet has some of the best specifications.
Apart from the very reasonable price, there two more reasons why this is one of the best value whole house water softeners. The SoftPro Iron Master is virtually maintenance-free, saving you money and hassle. It is also one of the best performers in removing high volumes of heavy metals from the water. This makes it an excellent choice for well water. Even a municipal supply with an inordinately high presence of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide. You can expect class leading removal rates:
Although this is not a complete water filtration system, it is one of the best water softeners, and is more affordable than others in this class of chemical-free models. It is super effective at removing hard metals, providing healthy alkaline water that won’t stain your plumbing fixtures and laundry, or block your water pipes. Thanks to the highly effective AIO technology, the filter
2. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter 1,000,000 Gallon Capacity
I’ve seen numerous reviews that rate the Aquasana as the best whole house water filter. I can see why so many feel this way. It is reasonably affordable and will probably work out cheaper than many that cost less, thanks to the incredibly long filter life. Is it the best? Opinions will vary but I can certainly say that this products is one of the best.
What really appeals to me about this is the extreme longevity of the filters and general durability of the high-quality components. With filters rated for a million gallons, you have ten-years (or more) of purified water without any real maintenance and low filter replacement costs. Aquasana provide a 10-year warranty on this system. Flow rate is pretty good, at 7 GPM.
The standard version comprises a three-stage filter system, with some optional extras:
In its basic form, the Aquasana Whole House Filter is an excellent high-volume system for a municipal water supply. It is great for removing chemicals, like chlorine, and unwanted sediments. However, if you want the whole hog, which includes descaling (water softener), extra sediment filtration, and anti-bacterial UV filtration, it becomes one of the more costly options. Of course, not having to replace filters, is going to make up for this price. The savings, over the 10-year filter life, should be quite immense. Though, it’s not entirely maintenance-free, the pre-filter needs replacing: every 1 – 3 months for a 10” pre-filter, or 2 – 3 months for the 20” pre-filter. The only disadvantage to having such a long filter life, is that it is quite large. You’ll need some extra space to accommodate it.
There’s a lot to be said for buying a high-quality filtration system for your home. It’s going to provide you with many years of service, so spending extra to avoid hassles and maintenance costs is a sound decision. Whether you choose only the basic sediment and carbon filter, or any of the great additional options, you are assured of a great product that will stand the test of time.
3. Springwell Whole House Water Filter System 1,000,000 GALLONS CAPACITY
The Springwell CF1 whole house water filter is an amazing product for several reasons. It is pretty cost effective and the excellent design makes this a very compact 3-stage system. It consists of a pre-filter and the second two stages in one tank. It also doesn’t require an electric supply and is not complicated to install. This unit has a flow rate of 9 GPM, recommended for 1 – 3 bathrooms. The other Springwell models (CF & CF+) have a higher flow rate, 12 and 17 GPM, respectively. These will cost a bit more.
Like the Express filter (reviewed above), this one utilizes the best filtration science (KDF). Though, the Springwell whole house filter includes even better technology by also including a catalytic carbon bed. The most effective way of removing most chemicals and organic contaminants. The catalytic carbon filter also lasts much longer, good for about a million gallons. This is how the stages work:
I believe the Springwell water system is probably the best whole house water filter in terms of great value, and I give it 5-stars for a wonderfully practical design. The sediment filter, like any other, needs replacing once or twice a year (depending on your consumption). For the rest, it should be maintenance-free for up to 10-years. At a very reasonable price you’re getting top filtration, with very little hassle.
4. SoftPro Carbon Filter - Catalytic Carbon Electronic 1" Auto Backwash -Ideal for Well Water
This is a hi-tech catalytic carbon filter at a reasonable price, especially when you consider the advanced technology. It is a fairly compact all-in-one unit which simplifies the installation.
If you have well water the Catalytic carbon filter is one of the best at removing those unwanted chemicals in your water, like chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, and industrial contaminants. It is rated for up 1-million gallons, so you can expect up to 10-years hassle-free use.
You can select one of four sizes, from the small 1 – 2 bathroom filter, up to 5 bathrooms. Smart electronic controls provide an auto backwash feature. Of course, a backwash filtration system uses more water than an up flow system. It will increase your water consumption, though the smart controls monitor water usage, and this minimizes the water loss. The benefit of the backwashing is that it improves filtration efficiency and prolongs filter life.
The SoftPro Carbon filter does pretty most of what a multi-stage RO filter does, in a more compact and easy to install format. Great technology and you don’t have to worry about replacement filters. Intuitive controls and an LCD display help you monitor and manage the system.
5. iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System 100,000 Gallon Capacity
Three-stage filters are probably the most commonly used. You’re getting the basic sediment filtration, with removal of most metals, chemicals, and harmful contaminants. The iSpring WGB32BM offers all of this:
The iSpring WGB32BM guarantees that the water in your home is free of harmful chemicals, metals, and VOCs, whilst smelling and tasting great. It won’t cost you much to buy this system. You can also save on professional installation as it’s so easy to do it yourself. Filters last much longer than most and are relatively cheap to replace. Definitely a top choice if you don’t want to spend too much and still have the benefit of a quality water filter system.
6. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
One can see, at first glance, that this is an extraordinary system. The durable stainless steel freestanding frame, industrial grade fittings, and pressure gauges for each stage of filtration are evidence of a higher standard. It’s easy to install and has one of the best flow rates – up to 0.25 gallons per second. The filter housings are made from top-quality food grade plastics and are designed for quick, easy filter changes. You can expect around 100,000 gallons of the purest water from the filter cartridges. That’s excellent value.
The filters are what makes the Express Water Heavy Metal unique, offering much more than regular 3-stage water filtration systems.
The KDF carbon filter is what makes this one of the best 3-stage filter systems. You really don’t need any additional stages to ensure that your water is free of metals and harmful contaminants. When you consider that this compact system does everything that high-end systems, with many more stages, it is quite remarkable. Superb quality and design make it a great investment.
7. Pelican Water 10 GPM Whole House Carbon Water Filtration System
The Pelican looks quite similar to the Springwell model reviewed above. It utilizes much of the same technology. The 10 GPH unit is larger and is suitable for 4 – 6 bathrooms. The cheaper model is closer to the Springwell CF1 in size and has pretty much the same capacity (1 – 3 bathrooms). Though all the Pelican models are more expensive than their Springwell counterparts. The only real advantage that I can see is the stainless steel tank. This not only looks great; it should be more durable. The filter media used by both brands seems to do basically the same job.
While Pelican call this a 4-stage system, I can’t tell the difference between this, and the Springwell 3-stage process. In fact, Pelican group stage 2 and 3 together. Probably just semantics. Calling it 4-stage filter system might make some believe it’s superior. I’m not convinced.
I really like the look of this product and it seems to be of the highest quality standard. The durable, rust-free tank is an absolute gem. Though, I’m not too sure I’d want to pay extra for this, when the Springwell whole house water filter seems to do exactly the same job and also appears to be a well-made durable product.
8. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter System
The Filtersmart whole house water filter is not at all smart. In fact, it’s really simple. That’s a good thing. This is a very uncomplicated filter, with no electrical requirements and easy water connections. While the technology may be basic, the filtration is excellent and it’s very reasonably priced.
This is another one of those all-in-one filter and salt-free water softeners. Without a bunch of different filters and stages, this little bomb does it all. High-quality, natural coconut hair is used for the most effective carbon filtration, removing chemicals and contaminants. Water is softened, whilst retaining the healthy minerals. The best of both worlds.
The Filtersmart whole house water filter is entirely maintenance free up to 1-million gallons. It is inexpensive to purchase and costs nothing in replacement filters for up to 10-years, and you’re guaranteed of undetectable chlorine levels for five years. Really simple to install, no salt, and no wasted backwash water. A real winner when it comes to convenience and economy.
Fix the Plumbing or Install a Whole House Water Filter?
Enter the whole house water filtration system and we have applause. These water filter systems connect to the main plumbing of your home and supply clean, pure water to the entire home. There’s an obvious benefit to having filtered water throughout your house and then there are some real benefits that you may not have thought of. We never see the inside of our pipes and water heaters, so we take no notice of the minerals that collect inside them.
Anyone who’s bought an old “fixer-upper” home knows what a hassle it is to replace old plumbing fixtures and pipes. This is a really expensive exercise and leaves your home in a mess for days – even weeks. Most the damage to our plumbing is caused by impurities in the water and every home will, at some point need repairs done to the plumbing as a result of this damage. With a whole house water filter system, it’s not just you and your family who are protected, it’s every part of your household plumbing that’s going to benefit.
With all this in mind, a whole house water filter system starts to look more attractive. These are by no means cheap and require some installation. As this is a major and permanent investment in your home, you want do your homework before embarking on the project.
Whole House Water Filter Buying Guide
Unlike a water pitcher, under counter, and above counter water filters, a whole house water filter connects to the main water supply. In other words, the water pipe entering your house. This makes it the most complicated water filtration system to install. If you’re not all that good at DIY and plumbing, you’ll probably want to get a plumber to install it for you. Though most are not all that complicated to install and come in a complete DIY installation kit.
The advantage to using a whole house water filter is that it supplies filtered water to all the water outlets in your home, faucets, showers, toilets, and appliances like washing machines, coffee makers, and dishwashers. Many of the best whole house water filters include a water softener and descaler, which protects the pipes in your home from the buildup of calcium and heavy metals.
Deciding What Type of Whole House Water Filter You Need
Whole house water filter will come in different sizes and provide different stages of filtration. Filter manufacturers may rate their water filter as 6-stage (even 9 or 10 stage). Though this can be misleading, as other manufacturers will consider some of these stages as being part of another.
Typically, three stages have been the norm for basic water filtration. The first stage is a sediment pre-filter. This is a membrane that prevents solid matter from flowing through it, down to a certain size, usually 5-micron or less. This removes mostly sediments, like dirt and rust.
The second stage of water filtration is usually an active carbon filter which removes chemicals and organic material that can be harmful to our health. Many will also remove heavy metals. By removing the chemicals from the water, foul odors are eliminated, and the water tastes better. Heavy metals produce what is known as hard water. This is acidic water. Some metals, like iron, stain bathtubs, sinks, and tiles. Minerals, including some metals, can also accumulate in the pies, causing a blockage. By removing these metals, water becomes softer (alkaline), which many believe to be healthier.
The third stage is generally a post filter that does much the same as the pre-filter, removing any additional particles from the water.
While there is no rule as to what each stage of a whole house water filter does. Or in what order the filtration stages may occur. The three stages mentioned above are the most common.
Other stages can include extra carbon filters. Not all carbon filters are the same. Some are better at removing chemicals, mostly chlorine, chlorimides, fluoride, as well industrial and agricultural contaminants. Others will be better at removing metals and controlling the growth of organic compounds.
I would recommend at least one stage of sediment filtration and a good active carbon filter. There are several additional stages depending on your individual preference and the water in your area.
Consider Your Specific Requirements
The best whole house water filters will provide much more than the three basic stages of water purification. One can always buy individual, specialized filters, like a water softener and add it to a more basic 3-stage filter system. Let’s take a look at what these are, and how you may benefit from the various types of water filtration.
Water conditioning is the adjustment of the PH. This can be controlled to ensure that water is more alkaline or acidic, depending on the user requirements. While advanced active carbon filters remove most heavy metals, reducing acidity, some prefer an additional stage that ionizes the water, or a salt filter, to ensure the best alkaline water.
A UV filter, usually one of the final stages, kills bacteria and viruses. Another final stage, which is not exactly filtration, can be water remineralization. This replaces essential, healthy minerals that may have been removed during the filtration process.
The best water filters will often include multiple active carbon filters (two or more). This will be more effective at removing high levels of chemicals, metals, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
You may not need all these stages. Often municipal water only requires a sediment filter to remove rust from old pipes, and other sediment that may have collected, and active carbon filters to remove chemicals, like chlorine. Well water could require more complex filtration. Though, well water can be the heathiest, without any type of filter.
Many areas in the US have naturally hard water, making water softeners popular throughout most of the country.
You may not know which is the best whole house water filter based only on the taste, smell, or look of the water. There are some common signs, like staining of bathtubs, toilets, and other fixtures. Sulphur is a common odor, leaving a smell much like rotten eggs. Chlorine is a recognizable odor and is particularly bad for your health. White residue is usually a sign that there are high levels of calcium in your water which will eventually block your pipes.
It would be a good idea to have your water tested. This way you know exactly what your filtration requirements are. Municipal water is tested, but the criteria is not always the best. Many water treatment facilities add chlorine to disinfect the water. Well water should, as a rule, be tested as there is no form of regulated testing conducted and you will not know which contaminants are in your drinking water without laboratory testing.
Only once you know exactly what your water filtration requirements are, will you be able to decide which will be the best whole house water filter your home.
Whole house water filters tend to be quite bulky and need quite a bit of space. The more filters, or stages to a system, the more space will be required. You need to know where you want to install your filter and whether you have sufficient space to accommodate it. The garage is usually the best place to install these systems.
Flow rate indicates how much water the filter can supply at any given time. Gallons per Minute (GPM) is how much water you can use without a significant pressure loss. A manufacture will often specify the number of bathrooms. For Example, 7 GPM is usually recommended for 1 to 2 bathrooms. Though it is actually about how much water you use in your home. Basically, more people in the home are more likely to be using more water. Buy a filtration system based on the size of your family. Not necessarily how many bathrooms you have.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of using a whole house water filter systems?
In the review, we discussed many benefits for whole house water filters. It will depend on the filter you’re using, which of the following benefits will apply:
Are whole house filter systems worth it?
Answers to this question may vary. Though I think most will agree that these systems are definitely worth the investment. You have safe, healthy drinking water and many other benefits, as listed above
Some whole house water filtration systems are relatively easy to install and someone with basic DIY skills could install it themselves. You will only have to pay for the filter and materials, anything from $300 to $4,000, based on the system you choose. Depending on the size of the system, materials needed, and the type of filter, a plumber could charge around $1,000 or less. Through, high-end installations can cost over $4,000. Filter installation costs will also be relative to local pricing standards.
A water filter will last as long as it’s rated capacity, usually from a 100,000 to 1,000,000 gallons. The filter lifespan will depend on the type of filter and how much water you use. Typically, a pre-filter lasts 3 – 6 months, up to a year in some cases. Carbon filters, and post filters, should last up to 1-year.
A filter with no electrical requirements can be installed outdoors. Though it is best to protect the system from direct sunlight and extreme cold. The best place to install a whole house water filter is in a garage or shed. Since they are not aesthetically pleasing, and too big to fit under a counter, inside the home is not really an option.
There are many types of filters, and they work in different ways. Most filters use a polymer membrane that traps solid matter, preventing it from flowing into the water pipes. Various types of media, like active carbon, are used to remove contaminants. Some filtration systems will backwash, flushing out contaminants into the drain.
Used as part of a whole house water treatment system, carbon filters usually last about a year.
Sediment filter cartridges are easy to replace. The plastic filter housing is designed for easy removal, you can usually loosen it by hand. Tools are available that fit around the filter housing, making it easier to loosen. Turn the filter housing counter-clockwise until it is free. Remove the used cartridge and insert the new one. Ensure that the filter is properly seated in the housing and that the O-ring (which seals the housing) is not damaged or twisted. Using grease or petroleum jelly will protect the O-ring. With new filter secured, tighten the housing can be placed into position and tightened by turning it clockwise.
No, boiling water will kill bacteria but will not remove chemicals, metals, and sediment.
Not all whole house water filters include a water softener. Though most active carbon filters will remove hard metals, thereby softening the water.
Since the best water filters use active carbon to remove hard metals, an additional water softener may not always be necessary. However, in areas with particularly hard water, or for controlled alkaline drinking water, a water softener can be an advantage.
It is best to install the carbon filter before the water softener, as active carbon removes chlorine and many other contaminants, thereby increasing the lifespan of the water softener.
Reverse Osmosis systems (RO) are good for removing most metals, chemicals, VOCs, salts, and bacteria. Though active carbon tends to be more effective for removing organic material and chemicals. RO systems will waste some water.
If you notice that the water is no longer clear (it may become cloudy), or you notice odors, the filters probably need to be replaced. Clogged filters will usually cause a decrease in water pressure. Slow running faucets or low water pressure at your appliances, will be an obvious sign of this. Clogged filters need to be replaced.
If you don’t change a water filter when it has expired, it will not function. This means that contaminants and harmful minerals will flow to your faucets and appliances.
Water filters are sized according to their flow rate. A home with many occupants will require a filter with a higher flow. The GPM rating indicates what the maximum flow rate is for a particular water filter.