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Does the water from your well taste like “blah”? Good News! You can once again enjoy fresh, pure, and clean water with the best iron filter for well water.
There’s no question that water from a private well beat tap water in every way. It’s cheap (as in free), reliable, and it’s healthier.
You don’t have to worry about broken water mains miles away from home or nasty chemicals getting in your water between home and the water treatment facility.
And, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), almost 15 percent of the American population drinks and uses water from a private well.
But while well water is naturally cleaner than tap, there are still things you must do to help maintain its purity. One of those things involves ensuring that you have the best iron filter for well water.
Why Is the Best Iron Filter for Well Water so Important?
Although well water has many advantages over tap water, there are still some inherent challenges involved in keeping it clean. Contamination hazards such as microorganisms, nitrate, nitrite, organic chemicals, radionuclides, and fluoride can affect water from your well.
However, heavy metal contamination, such as iron, polluting your supply is a common problem.
How iron affects the body
The relationship between iron and the human body is a bit more complicated than with other heavy metals. Iron is actually an essential trace element for all living organisms. This means that having iron present in drinking water isn’t necessarily bad for health. In fact, many folks may need more iron in their diet, and iron-deficiency is a common health concern.
That said, you really want to get iron in your diet through controlled sources such as supplements and nutrients — not your well water.
The environmental protection agency considers iron in well water to be a secondary contaminant, meaning it does not have a direct impact on a person’s health. The secondary maximum contaminant level set by the EPA is 0.3 milligrams per liter, but this is just a guideline, not a federal standard. For instance, Idaho’s well water usually contains 15 milligrams per liter, which is quite high but still not enough to cause direct physical harm.
But that isn’t to say that iron in your well water is entirely harmless either.
How iron in water can affect your skin
Water that contains exceptionally high levels of iron minerals can have damaging effects on your skin. For one thing, iron and water do not mix well with soap, which means that people who have dry skin may suffer as a result. Too much iron can also hurt the skin, which can lead to premature wrinkles. Iron can also clog pores, causing acne or eczema.
How iron in water can affect your hair
Too much iron in your water can make your hair frizzy, dry, and weak. In time this can cause you to lose hair. Not only does iron hurt your hair, your hair also suffers when there are high levels of other minerals in your water. For example, minerals such as copper, magnesium, and calcium can also make your water “hard,” which is bad news for hair.
How iron can be lethal
The Wolrd Health Organization (WHO) reports that doses of iron become lethal around 200 to 250 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and can cause hemorrhagic necrosis. This condition affects the stomach lining, but there were some reported deaths with iron doses as low as 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
People with the genetic condition, Hemochromatosis, which is an abnormal increase of iron absorption, are generally more affected by high iron levels. These people are at increased risk of liver, heart, and pancreas issues due to their higher-than-normal iron absorption.
If you are worried about how much iron is in your body, have your doctor do a simple blood test to check if your levels are healthy.
Other damage caused by iron
While the effects on your health caused by iron may mostly be cosmetic, there are other aspects of your life iron can damage. Issues such as stains, clogs, and taste are big problems.
Iron in well water can really have a detrimental effect on laundry, dishes, and water receptacles such as tubs and sinks. Too much iron can cause brown, yellow, or red stains that are difficult — if not impossible — to get rid of.
Whenever iron travels within the water, it can sometimes collect in the places it is not welcome. It’s like a very slow-moving or stopped vehicle on a busy interstate. Iron just sits there and accumulates clogging dishwashers, sprinklers, washing machines, wells, and water pumps as well as similar accessories and appliances. Iron clogs can cause extensive damage requiring, in many cases, some very costly repairs.
The deal-breaker for most people is how iron can affect both food and beverages. It gives water a terrible, metallic taste. You can really taste the difference in beverages such as tea, coffee as well as other beverages made with iron-loaded water. But aside from a terrible taste, this heavy metal also adds a rather nasty-looking inky appearance to many beverages. Food, vegetables, in particular, cooked in iron-laden well water turns dark and will absorb the taste of the iron water. If you thought you hated Brussel sprouts before, try eating some cooked in iron contaminated water.
Here’s a video explaining the effects of iron in your well water.
How iron gets into the water
Well, water can come from wells that are less than 100 feet deep or up to thousands of feet deep. According to the EPA, iron can contaminate well water through corrosion or seepage. The water that seeps into the ground is usually from rain or melting snow. However, other sources, such as rivers, lakes, creeks, can also contribute. Also, sometimes contaminated water travels into your well from industrial waste, refining of iron or and seepage from natural iron deposits.
This water usually dissolves minerals like manganese and iron, which are in the rocks and soil. However, depending on your geographical location and your well’s depth, you may have low or high iron content in your water.
Iron can also enter groundwater through corroded pipes. If the pipes and castings to your underground well are made from iron, they are likely to corrode over time. This corrosion will affect the water inside your well.
Setting expectations for the best iron filter for well water
Well, water is bound to have at least small trace amounts of iron. The most effective way to remove iron from water that you use and consume is by using a filtration system. While you cannot prevent iron from being in your well water, you can control how much of it comes into your home or is consumed.
Types of Iron Filtering Systems: Softeners vs. Air Injection vs. Whole House Filters — Which Is the Best?
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The three most common types of water filtering systems are softeners, air injection, and whole house filters — each system as their benefits and drawbacks. The best type of iron filtration system depends on your needs.
If your home has harder water, it can certainly benefit from having a softner, which can also reduce calcium buildup. Like iron, this type of accumulation also can affect water flow as well as the life of pipes and appliances. However, you should not rely on a softner alone to remove iron from your well water. While a softener can remove ferrous (clear water-soluble iron), it will likely become clogged with iron deposits over time (even if you have low levels of iron).
Softeners tend to work better when used in conjunction with other types of filters more suited for removing heavy metals.
Determining water hardness
Water hardness is the measure of how much magnesium and calcium dissolved in your water. You can measure water hardness in either milligrams-per-liter (mg/L) or grains per gallon (GPG). However, GPG is the industry standard way to discuss water hardness.
It’s imperative to determine the right water hardness before buying a water softening system. Guessing at this number will likely result in obtaining an improperly sized system. Plus, when programing your softener, it will ask you for the hardness value. You must adjust the hardness value if there’s iron present in the water. For every 1.0 parts per million (ppm) or mg/L of iron, you need to add 3 GPG of hardness to the total hardness value.
Whole house filters
Whole-house filtration systems are very popular options for homes that want to make sure each water source is filtered. These systems work best if you have low iron content and usually filters out ferrous and ferric (rust) iron, manganese, as well as other impurities. These filters can provide clear, clean, and good tasting water.
A whole-house system consists of three separate filters, each playing a specific role, such as filtering out iron or sediment. Most of these filtration systems do not incorporate a softner component, so you may need to purchase that separately.
Air injection converts ferrous iron into ferric (clear to rust), which makes the iron particles easier to filter out. This system is effective but is not guaranteed to reduce all the iron oxides, which means you may end up with a clogged filter and other components.
Things to Consider Before Investing in the Best Iron Filter for Well Water
Once you’ve determined that you need the best iron filter for well water, there are a few factors you need to look at before making your purchase.
It is essential to think about the size or capacity of your filter, especially if you have a household of more than two people.
Many of the best iron filter for well water systems are for households of four. So if you have a larger family, you may want to look into a higher capacity filter.
If you pick a filter that does not fit your capacity needs, be prepared to change the filter out more often. Some systems have filters that can last up to five or ten years, while others may only last a year. When it comes time to replace, it is crucial to make sure you keep your filters in a handy place.
Many of the best iron filter for well water systems are designed to allow homeowners to self-install. And most come with all the hardware you would need (as well as detailed step-by-step instructions).
However, some you may prefer to hire a professional to install your filtration system. If you choose this route, make sure to call around to ensure that service has worked with the iron filter system you wish to install.
Testing your water for iron
If you notice that your water has taken on a cloudy, reddish-brown, or yellow tint, you may want to check your iron levels.
There are numerous laboratories offer several convenient testing options to determine how much iron is in your water. Depending on the lab’s location, they may come to your home to test your water, or you may need to collect samples and mail them to the lab. Laboratory testing is a very convenient way to get the most accurate analysis of the exact amount of iron your water contains.
You can also easily self-test the iron levels in your water. To do so, purchase an iron test kit online or from your local hardware store.
General steps to perform self-testing:
- Remove the iron tablet from the packet and put it in the plastic test vial.
- Fill the vial to about a 1/4 inch from the top with water.
- Put the cap on the test vial, then shake it for about one minute, ensuring that the tablet completely dissolves.
- Take the test strip out of the packet.
- Then dip it in the sample water for about two seconds.
- Next, shake the strip one time then wait for about 60 seconds.
- Finally, put the strip on the color chart to see how much iron is in your sample.
Here’s a video showing how it is done.
After Installing Your System
These are a few things to look at after you’ve installed the best iron filter for well water system. If self-installing, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter and contact them if you have any questions. Never make assumptions or ignore concerns. Make sure all your fittings are adequately tightened and check for leaks.
Retest your water
You’ll need to retest your water to ensure that your iron removal system is working correctly. Insufficient removal could indicate a defect in the system, a mistake made during installation, or the wrong equipment altogether. While testing kits are relatively inexpensive, you may want to consider using a professional service for the most accurate results.
Maintain your system properly
The chances are that you’ll make a substantial investment into the best iron filter for well water. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations to ensure your system continues working smoothly.
How We Found the Best Iron Filter for Well Water
During our search for the best iron filter for well water, we examined many of the top filters recommended by professional reviews as well as homeowners. We measured such factors as ease of installation, warranty, price, and overall filtration performance. After comparing customer reviews, we found the six models that rate highest in customer satisfaction.
Here Are the Best Iron Filter for Well Water Models
These are six of the best iron filter for well water systems on the market. Most systems include warranties that cover different components, ranging from 1 to 10 years. And, some models also offer water softening features.
- Ships pre loaded water softener, iron filter, all in one! High flow...
- Fine mesh resin designed for high iron removal & long life -- ships...
- Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered valve for efficiency and ease of use, 5...
The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener and Iron Filter not only removes iron, but it also removes the black build-up of calcium and manganese (scale) in hard water.
Plus, the filter is easy to install, use, and only regenerates when needed, which means the filter lasts longer and works more efficiently. This model is available in multiple colors and five different sizes.
It has a 5600SXT digital control head which lets you control the amount of water you need softened and filtered. The meter-based regeneration system only treats what you need, and can handle 12 GPM, allowing quick and convenient access to safe treated water.
The 32,000-grain system weighs 85 pounds and measures 48 by 9 by 9 inches. The 40,000-grain system is 53 pounds, measuring 54 by 10 by 10 inches, the 48,000-grain system is 92 pounds and 54 by 10 by 10 inches. Then there’s the 64,000-grain system which weighs 95 pounds and measures 52 by 12 by 12 inches, while the 80,000-grain system is 110 pounds and 65 by 13 by 13 inches.
We should note that the system may not filter water as quickly or in the capacity that you need. Also, if the power goes out, your system may reset.
Reviews and warranty
The Iron Pro 2 system has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
One reviewer said that the system cleared up their calcium and iron problems quickly while another praised its hassle-free assembly.
This system comes with a 5-year warranty on the control head and a 10-year warranty on the tank.
Here is an installation video for this system.
- Easy installation
- Very effective at filtering iron out of water
- Excellent customer service response
- Some customers reported missing parts
- A few reports of leaking
- Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97%...
- High-Performance Well Filter System - Carbon & KDF filtration media...
- Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - Clean water for less than $0.01 a...
The Aquasana Water Whole House Filter System filters iron and other stuff from your water. It also comes with a salt-free softener. And unlike other complete filtration and softener systems, you don’t need softener salt, electricity or a drain for the dirty water with this system.
The Aquasana system is available in either a 5 or 10-year system. Remember, the exact specifications depend on which system you buy. Both systems have a UV Sterilight Filtration system available, also.
The 5-year, 500,000-gallon system weighs 25 pounds, measures 69 by 10.5 by 57 inches, processes 7 gallons per minute and includes the complete system with hardware.
Meanwhile, the 10-year 1,000,000-gallon model weighs 7 pounds, measures 9 by 46 by 69 inches, processes 7 gallons per minute and also comes with the complete system including hardware.
This system filters not only filters iron from your well water, but it also filters pesticides, rust, herbicides, as well as other contaminants. This filtration system is also designed to prevent scale build-up but will not demineralize your drinking water.
It uses coper-zink and mineral, along with activated carbon to help filter your water. The UV-filtration unit (sold separately) helps eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria from your water.
This system may require some additional hardware. Plus, it treats fewer gallons per minute than some of the other systems. And the design may experiences leaks or clogs.
Reviews and warranty
Amazon reviewers rate this system 3.9 out of 5 stars, which is slightly below our usual 4-star standard. However, this system comes highly reviewed by such sites such as The Architect’s Guide and others.
Also, 3.9 isn’t terrible considering that it’s out of over 190 reviews, many models had far fewer reviews.
A customer mentioned how the system significantly improved the taste and overall quality of his well’s water. And another reviewer said the unit reduced residue on his clothes and dishes.
The warranties for the 500,000-gallon model is 5 years, and for the 1,000,000-gallon system, it is 10 years.
Here is an installation video for this system:
- Water tastes great
- Easy installation
- Removes smell
- Some problems with leaks
- Some users had problems with effectiveness
- High flow now with Vortech tank system for better backwash and higher...
- Highest removal of both iron and sulfur. No chemicals. Nothing to add,...
- Air injection creates pocket of air to super oxidize your water for...
The Air Injection Platinum 15 iron filter accommodates larger families or homes with more than three bathrooms. This filter removes sulfur, manganese, and iron without chemicals, and you’ll never need to add chemicals. Plus, the complete system is fully automatic.
This system weighs 200 pounds when fully loaded, measures 12c52 inches and includes a 5-year filter.
The filter removes up to 11 ppm of manganese, 17 ppm of sulfur, and 27 ppm of iron. The tank uses three bags containing filox media which traps sulfur, iron, and manganese, reducing stains and odor while improving the taste and quality of your water.
The air injection system makes a pocket of air located at the top of the tank, which oxidizes contaminants, making them easier to filter. Plus, the system’s design ensures that all the filtration takes place in one tank.
Also, a full tank containing filox media (based on average use) will last for up to 5 years. Plus it is simple to change when the filter when you need to replace it. The complete system comes with 1 large capacity tank, 1 rise with a distributor, a single 1-inch bypass valve, and 1, 2510SXT Air Injection head.
Installation for this system may take a longer than other systems. Also, some may find reloading the tank difficult.
Reviews and warranty
The Air Injection Platinum 15 received 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
One husband mentioned that he didn’t know how he and his wife ever lived without this system. They said it solved their nasty, iron saturated water issues like magic.
The system comes with a 5-year control head warranty and a 10-year-tank warranty.
Here is an installation video:
- Taste and smell improved
- Good quality
- No more staining from foul water
- Requires some strength to maintain
- Complaints about customer support
- Protect Your Family and Household Appliance from Iron, Manganese, and...
- DIY Installation and Maintenance: Refer to our manual and our helpful...
- Top-Notch Quality: The first stage high capacity polypropylene...
The iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Filtration System filters manganese and iron from every water source from your sink, to your toilet, tub, and washing machine. The filtration system reduces stains, odor, and buildup while leaving essential minerals in your well water.
Also, depending on the quality of your well water, you can purchase other filters for this system, including lead and sediment filters.
This system weighs 45 pounds, measures 8 by 25 by 21 inches, processes 15 GPM and has a 100,000-gallon capacity.
The system has a three-stage filtration process and installs at your main water supply to ensure each source gets filtered. Plus, the filters are easy to switch out and customize for your unique filtration needs.
The threading at the top of the filter can leak, and with this system, you’ll need a separate water softener system.
Reviews and warranty
Customer on Amazon gave this filtration system has 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
A reviewer raved on how easy the system was to install and how it easily filtered well water for their five-bathroom home. And another customer said that there was a very noticeable positive difference in water quality after installing this system.
iSpring includes a limited lifetime warranty on parts.
Here’s an installation video that can get you started:
- Improved smell and taste
- Considered a good value
- Easy installation
- Reports of leaking
- Frequent filter changes needed
- Water pressure problems
- Water softener, iron filter, all in one
- 48, 000 Grain Capacity, fine mesh resin designed for high iron removal...
- Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered valve for efficiency and ease of use, 5...
The Durawater Fleck 5600 SXT Iron Pro 48,000 Grain Water Softener removes hard water buildup, manganese, and iron from your well water. The filtration system works for households of up to five people and three bathrooms.
The system weighs 120 pounds, measures 54 by 10 by 10 inches, and has a 48,000-grain capacity.
This all-in-one filtration system is simple to set up and use. And it even has a step-by-step installation guide.
The system features a Fleck 5600SXT control head that has digital controls that which are very easy to use and read. The control head is also metered and shows you the number gallons remaining before the system has to regenerate (this is very helpful when bathing or doing laundry).
The system also includes a fine mesh resin for maximum iron removal, a tank, as well as a brine tank that softens hard water. You also get a complimentary hardness and iron test kit. These filters can remove up to 6 ppm of manganese, 8 ppm of iron, plus sediment, and rust.
The system can use a lot more salt than other systems, and installation may require a professional plumber.
Reviews and warranty
Reviews on Amazon rate this filtration system 4.5 out of 5 stars.
One reviewer said that the system drastically reduced the iron in their water, making their well water much cleaner. They did note that the installation wasn’t terribly difficult, but did require a bit of plumbing knowledge.
This system comes with a standard 5-year valve warranty and 10-year tank warranty.
Here is an installation video.
- Effectively reduces iron levels
- Installation with YouTube video easy
- Excellent customer service
- Some customers reported failure in O rings
- Complaints about durability
- Great for well water; for city water, consider model #HMF2SmgCC
- Massive filter housings with 1-inch ports for the strongest water...
- Multi gradient density replaceable sediment filter produces finer...
The Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System can reduce stains from iron, odor from sulfur, and black slime caused by manganese. The triple-action filtration system gives you clean water to every water source inside your home with no water pressure problems.
The system removes close to 95 percent of water chemicals, contaminants, and sediment, which can lurk in well water. The system’s first step uses a polypropylene sediment filter that has four layers (1, 5, 10 and 25 micron). The second stage has a filter that reduces iron close to 3 ppm.
The last step involves a filter that uses a granular activated coconut shell carbon, which eliminates other chemicals. And the triple-stage system not only destroys odor and staining but also protects your appliances and fixtures.
The system includes filters, a housing wrench, mounting brackets, and instructions. Also, its carbon filter purifies a total of 95,000 gallons of water. This volume means it can last for about a year in a household with four people.
Installation may be a bit tricky for some, and this system may require a separate water softener.
Reviews and warranty
Amazon reviewers rate this filtration system 4.2 out of 5 stars.
One homeowner said that he connected this system to his main, which uses a community well, and saw immediate results. He also mentioned that installation was reasonably straightforward but did require some know-how.
This system comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Water tastes and smells clean
- Well built
- Quick set up
- Pricey filters
- Buyers who didn’t test water prior to installation still had discolored water
- Unit sometimes leaks
The Best Iron Filter for Well Water: Seeing and Tasting the Difference
To find the best iron water filter well systems, you’ll need to test your water thoroughly to find out the different levels of contaminants present in your well water. We highly recommend using a professional service. However, if you choose to use home tests, please be sure to follow the instructions carefully and consider getting two different kits to compare results. Understanding the composition of your water will help you determine the best system to buy and ensure that you get the most out of it.
We certainly wish you the best of luck finding the right system for your home. And if you have any comments or suggestions concerning any of the systems we reviewed, please be sure to let us know in the comments section.