Check out the 10 best whole house water filtration system reviews. Make sure you get the perfect whole house water filtration system for your home with our buyer’s guide and reviews.
In our opinion, these are the 10 best whole house water filtration systems available right now.
Each comes with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and amazing reviews on sites like Amazon.
Why is a whole house water filtration system so important? They are among the most popular water treatment systems used in the country. While they are not cheap, they provide users with clean drinking water free from harmful pollutants. Did you know that they are also more environmentally friendly than other water filtration methods?
In this article, we will explain how a house water filtration system works, why you should invest in one, their benefits, and the advantages and disadvantages that come along with their use. We also present the top water filter reviews and explain why each of them made it on our list.
Check out our whole house water filter comparison table to see how they compare in the key areas. There are more detailed reviews of each to follow.
There’s also an amazing buyer’s guide with all the essential information about getting your first whole-house home water filter system.
Use the links below to jump to the part that interests you most.
1. Top 10 Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews
2. Top 3 UV Water Filter Reviews
3. A Guide to Whole House Water Filters
4. Installation Guide
5. How You Can Get an Effective 3-Stage Whole House Filter for Less Than You Think
House Water Filtration System Cost and Installation
In this article, we are going to review some of the top home filtration systems on the market. We are also going to tackle some of the most common questions when it comes to the best whole house water filtration system. One of the most common questions is how much it costs.
A whole house water filtration system ranges from small, inexpensive tap units, to pricey whole house treatment systems. So, there are many possible answers to this question. You also have to take into consideration the recurring cost for maintenance as well as the installation fee.
When it comes to installation, you will most likely hire a plumber for the job. While it may sound intimidating, you can get the water filtration system up and running in just a few hours. With the right tools, time, patience, and know-how, you could even pull it off yourself.
What happens when you have to change the whole house filter? It doesn’t matter which whole house filtration system you choose. They will all eventually need to have the filter replaced. You may be wondering how to go about that. Cartridge replacements should always take first priority. This takes only a matter of minutes and you will not even need tools. How do you actually change the cartridge and how often do you need to do it? Well, that’s another matter.
How Does a Whole House Water Filtration System Work?
Point of entry (POE) filters employs several different methods to eliminate impurities in your drinking water. For example, multi-stage systems could combine a sediment pre-filter to remove larger particles with activated granular carbon filters for chlorine and chemicals. Depending on the quality of water in your area, this system is likely to be sufficient to provide you with clean, healthy drinking water throughout your home.
In addition, this type of setup also deals with mineral hardness. Throughout your lifespan, your household appliances and plumbing system will increase thanks to the prevention of build-up that causes clogging. Besides installing the whole house water filtration system, many users also turn to additional softening stages with a salt resin or other type of softener. Oversized filters are low in maintenance and increase the water’s flow rate. Since the filters pump out an average of fifteen gallons per minute, they need to be replaced somewhere between three to twelve months.
Do You Know What Type of Water Filter You Are Looking For?
There are many different types of water filtration systems that you can buy. The selection ranges from small, inexpensive water filter pitchers to pricey whole systems that treat all of the water that goes through your home. Not every model is capable of treating all of the potential contaminants lurking in your water supply.
Basic carbon filtration systems will remove chlorine content, while fluoride, lead, and chloramines require a sophisticated (and often multi-step approach). Think about conducting a water test before you invest in a home filtration system. There are several test kits you can purchase online or at your local home improvement stores. They do not cost much, often priced between $20 to $40. The types of filtration systems you can choose from are as follows:
Whole House Water Filtration Systems
Also known as point of entry (POE) systems, whole house water filters connect to the main line and treat all of the water entering your home. You can use filtered water in the shower, kitchen, and even when you wash your laundry. They are mainly used to remove chlorine and larger particles from your water supply. The result is increased longevity of your plumbing systems and appliances. If you are on a private well, you will need a whole house water filtration system.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
This is one of the most thorough filtration systems you could get for your house. Reverse osmosis systems easily remove 99.99% of contaminants, leaving you with clean, crisp drinking water and pure water for the rest of your home too. While the whole house reverse osmosis systems can get quite expensive, the health benefits are well worth the cash spend. Typically, they will require a large storage tank and a delivery pump.
Regular Under Sink Systems
These types of systems filter water on demand from your sink’s faucet. They provide water that is not only safe to drink but is great tasting too.
Countertop and Faucet Mounted Filters
Both of these systems can be attached to your kitchen faucet in just a matter of minutes. If you are seeking a convenient and affordable alternative to a whole house water filtration system, this is a great option. After all, access to clean drinking water is the primary reason that customers purchase water filtration systems. The treatment process lets you alternate between treated and untreated water. The main goal is to remove contaminants from drinking water and also to get water free from tastes and odors.
Water Filter Pitchers
These are probably the most popular type of water filters on the market. Why? They are affordable, easy to use, and convenient in every way. If you want to have access to clean drinking water but do not have a big budget to spend, this is the best possible solution for you.
Water filter pitchers are able to remove chemicals, bacteria, dirt, protozoa, and other pollutants from your drinking water supply. While these pitchers can only remove pollutants in small quantities of water at a time, they are surprisingly effective at doing so.
The only downside to using them is that the filtration speed can be slow and that the cartridges can be prone to clogging. Even so, you will have clean drinking water in just a few minutes time and you will only need to replace the cartridges after a few months to one year of use.
Refrigerator and Shower Filters
Refrigerator and shower filters are much rarer but we still decided to list them. Have you ever seen one of the water filters that allows you to pour yourself a refreshing glass straight from your fridge? These are the types of systems we are talking about. While they are a bit pricey, they are very convenient to use and do not take up valuable storage space inside of your home.
How Much Do Water Filtration Systems Cost? Pros and Cons:
In this section, we will give you a brief run-through of each of the types of water filtration systems, how much they cost (price range), and the pros and cons of use.
A whole house water filtration system typically costs between $300 to $1,000 +. The benefits offered include filtered water everywhere in your home and the increased lifespan of your plumbing system and appliances. However, every system also comes with some setbacks. A few of the cons of using a whole house water filtration system are that they likely need installation by a professional service provider or plumber (which is expensive) and they are unable to filter out the smaller particles within your water supply.
Getting a reverse osmosis filter system can cost you anywhere between $150 t0 $500. These types of systems provide drinking water that is safe for consumption in relatively large volumes. The cons of reverse osmosis systems are that they produce wastewater, strip away minerals, and may require professional installation.
Under the Sink
Ranging from $50 to $200 in price, under the sink water filters are not only cost effective but they also provide water safe for drinking. They may also require professional installation.
Why use a countertop filter? For only $50 to $120, you have access to clean drinking water on the daily. They are simple to use and clean and you won’t need permanent installation. Renters, we’re talking to you. You can attach a countertop filter within a matter of seconds. When it comes to the cons of using a countertop filter, they take up space and the flow rate can be slow.
If you are trying to save money, faucet-mounted filters are a great way to go. Ranging from $20 to $50 on average, they won’t break the bank and you can still get access to the clean drinking water that you need. Similarly to countertop attachments, they are also simple to use and clean. You do not need professional installation and the time to install it is a mere few seconds. The cons are that faucet mounted filters take up some space in your sink, they may not be compatible with your specific faucet (check this beforehand), they do not offer completely thorough filtration, and the filtering process can be slow.
There is no installation required here. Water filter pitchers offer the most convenient and affordable way to get clean, crisp drinking water daily. On average, they range between $20 to $50 in cost. Store them in your refrigerator; they’re easy to use and clean. The downsides of using a water filter pitcher are that they do not remove the majority of water contaminants, the filters need to be replaced every few months, they have a low flow rate, and limited storage capacity.
Water Filtration System Installation and Maintenance Cost
Did you just purchase a new water filter? Unless you bought a pitcher, you will need to install your water filtration system. That can be expensive. There is no definite answer as to how much it costs; it depends on how expensive the system is. The more complex the water system is, the more costly it is to install. You might even want to do the installation yourself (if you’re handy).
Basic labor means that you will mount the unit, install a shut-off valve, make the plumbing connections, and then make sure that everything works as intended. Additional installation tasks include preparation and cleanup procedures. You also have to factor in the added expenses of tubing, fittings, connectors, and more. If your home needs to be modified for plumbing, the total cost will increase by $1,000 to $2,000.
Most plumbers will also need to remove and dispose of old appliances and installation debris. Of course, this is optional. It will cost you somewhere between $50 to $150. Here’s a pro tip. If you are handy with tools, there is no reason why you should have to pay large fees to have a reverse osmosis or whole house water filter system installed.
For under sink units, this installation typically requires cutting into a drain line and drilling a hole in the countertop for the second faucet. Whole house filtration systems require plumbing at the primary water line. When it comes to maintenance, all the water systems require filter replacements every once and a while. Systems with filtration stages are more expensive in comparison to simple single stage filters.
How to Change a Whole House Water Filtration System
Almost every type of water filtration system on the market requires maintenance to perform its best. Cartridge replacements do the trick. You probably have a million questions – how often do you need to change out the filters? What happens if you forget and neglect your duties? Don’t sweat it. We have got you covered.
Whole House Water Filter Replacement
Replacing a whole house water filter only takes a few minutes if you have the right tools and accessories. For tools, you will need replacement cartridges, a housing wrench, bucket, soapy water, and household bleach. Here are the steps you need to go through for whole house water filter replacement.
- Step One: Turn off the water supply before you get started. To do this, close the valve at the main water line. The unit may also feature a built-in valve that you can close.
- Step Two: Open the faucets closest to the drain as much water as possible. Once you see a significant drop in water pressure and flow, most of the water will be out of your plumbing system.
- Step Three: Do you have an outlet valve? If so, now is the time to close it. This stops the water from draining back into your house.
- Step Four: Press and hold the relief button on the filter. Hold it for a couple of seconds to make sure you are not dealing with overpressure.
- Step Five: Unscrew the housing with a wrench. Make sure to have an empty bucket on hand in case it spills water out.
- Step Six: Remove the old cartridge from the housing. Throw it away (recycle if needed).
- Step Seven: This step is optional. Housings are a component you can add if you would like. Since it is likely that dirt and bacteria will accumulate here, clean the inside with soapy water, household bleach, and a brush. Rinse it out thoroughly afterward.
- Step Eight: Use food-safe silicone grease to lubricate the housings. Make sure they are seated in place properly. Replace the O-shaped ring if it is not in good condition.
- Step Nine: Place a new cartridge inside the housing and screw it back on. You should be able to tighten it by hand. Properly seating the O-shaped ring will prevent any leakages.
- Step Ten: Slowly turn the water supply back on. Open all of the upstream system valves.
- Step Eleven: Check for leaks, paying close attention to any of the housings that you removed.
- Step Twelve: If there are any leaks, quickly turn off the water supply. Carefully tighten any connections to stop the dripping.
- Step Thirteen: Carefully open up the water supply and all valves that lead away from the main unit.
- Step Fourteen: Open several faucets and flush the new cartridges for a couple of minutes. This will help to purge air from your plumbing system.
- Step Fifteen: Once the water pressure and flow rate are back to normal, close the faucets and you are finished.
What to Do If Your Water Filter Housing is Stuck
Okay, here is the worst case scenario. What do you do if your water filter housing is stuck? If you have already opened one or more faucets to release the pressure and used the pressure release button, do not despair. There are a few more things you can do if your water filter housing is stuck. Here are a couple of methods that may help:
- Tap on the filter head outside of the thread.
- Use a hair dryer to blow hot air on the top.
- Take a wrench and push it as far up into the housing as possible. Looking down at the filter, turn the wrench counterclockwise. If that does not help, use some additional leverage like a tube. If you are using a plastic wrench and it starts to bend, try using a metal one. Another helpful trick is to use two wrenches simultaneously.
If your water filter housing is still stuck after trying out all of these methods, remove the entire unit from the water line. Then, carefully grip it. Open the housing with force. We understand that this is quite a process. So how do you prevent this hassle from happening to you again?
Make sure that the O-shaped ring is intact, free from dirt, and in overall good condition. If you find any cracks or defects in it, you will need to replace the ring. Lubricate the ring with food-safe silicone grease. Double check to see if the seat and contact surface in the head are clean.
What Happens If You Do Not Change Out Your Filter?
If you don’t change out your filter as needed, it will lose its efficiency. For example, a sediment filter that is intended to trap contaminants can become clogged or it could leak and pollutants you don’t want in your drinking water could pass through. In the worst case scenario, your appliances and plumbing could get messed up.
Most water experts recommend replacing cartridges once per year in order to prevent bacteria and mold from growing in it. This is something that you should avoid at all costs if you want to protect your health.
Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews
|Picture||Model||Max Flow Rate||Price||Positives||Negatives|
|iSpring WGB22B||15||$$||High water pressure, long life filters, effective city & well water filtration, 1-year satisfaction guarantee, NSF standard filters||Filters might clog faster than a 3-stage system|
|Home Master HMF2SDGC||20||$$||Long life filters, good water flow rate, 2 year warranty, effective filtration for city or well water||Filters aren’t as cheap as other brands|
|APEX MR-3020||10||$$$$||High fluoride removal, long life filters, good flow rate, NSF approved filter||Fluoride filters can be expensive|
|3M Aqua-Pure AP903||20||$$||Really high water pressure, good value, simple to maintain||Only suitable for city water|
|DuPont WFPF13003B||5||$||A fraction of the price of some other models, cheap filters too||Only one filter stage (can combine multiple units though)|
|Watts WH-LD||10||$||Really good value, cheap filters||One filtration stage|
|Home Master HMF3SDGFEC||15||$$$$||High water pressure, long life filters, improves water taste and odor, effective at removing iron||Filters aren’t cheap|
|iSpring WGB32||15||$$$||High water pressure, NSF standard filters, long life filters, perfect for city or well water, powerful protection||Need upgraded version to combat heavy metals|
|Aquasana 10-Year Pro Kit||7||$$$$$||Removes 97% of chlorine, long lasting filters, powerful filters, balances pH of water||Unit is expensive|
|Whirlpool WHEJL1||6||$$||Automated maintenance system, no filter changes, great value over 10 year life cycle||Not as powerful as some other filters, lower water flow rate|
The Max Flow Rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). This is a measure of how much water a water filter can produce. Larger homes will need a bigger GPM value or there might be a drop in water pressure.
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC OUR PICK FOR BEST WATER FILTER SYSTEM
A nice feature of these Home Master filter systems is that they come in a few different styles. There’s a 3-stage system that is a really effective all-around unit, and two 2-stage systems that can tackle both municipal, and well water, water treatment. Each model is very capable of protecting your home from harmful water contaminants. Home Master is well known for making some amazing RO water filters, and these whole home units are equally impressive.
As we mentioned, there is a choice of 2 or 3-stages of water filtration. The 3-stage stage system is more effective and more expensive (it has an extra filter). The two-stage models offer a slightly faster water flow rate and cheaper running costs. There is also a choice of two different 2-stage models. There’s the chlorine specialist model, that is perfect for city water, and the catalytic carbon model which is great for removing heavy metals like lead, mercury, iron, and copper.
Here’s a brief lowdown of the key features of each model:
- 3-Stage System
- The best whole house water filter for well water supplies
- Removes heavy metals like lead, mercury, copper, iron, manganese
- Also removes chlorine, sediment, dirt
- 15 gallons per minute (GPM) water flow rate
- 2-Stage Carbon System
- Perfect for city (municipal) water supplies
- Removes chlorine, sediment, dirt
- 20 GPM water flow rate
- 2-Stage Catalytic Carbon System
- Great for well water supplies
- Removes chloramines, iron, lead, mercury, copper, manganese
- Also removes chlorine, sediment, dirt
- 10 GPM water flow rate
- Massive filter housings with 1-inch ports for the strongest water…
- Four gradient density sediment filter produces finer filtration and…
- 95, 000-gallon capacity replaceable catalytic carbon filter provides a…
This series of water filter really stands out in 3 areas: they allow high water pressure, they’re really low maintenance, and they are very effective.
They use larger size filters which means more water can pass over them faster. This means effective filtration and fast water flow. In fact, if you combine this with the fact it uses 1-inch ports, you have among the strongest water flow rates available (up to 20 GPM with the 2-stage carbon version).
These jumbo filters also have the added benefit of not needing to be changed very often. In fact, changes might not need to be made for a whole year. These filters cost a little more, but also last longer than the average water filter.
Should you wish to change the filters to something cheaper, then that is possible too. They use the Big Blue size filter housings (20″ x 4.5″). This size of the filter is produced by a range of 3rd party manufacturers, so you have access to a huge range of filters, each with different price tags and abilities.
Let’s look more closely at the 3-stage system model. Each filtration stage performs a specific task.
- Stage 1: a sediment filter of multi-gradient density. This means it is less likely to get clogged and it produces finer filtration. By starting the filtration process at 20 microns and gradually scaling it down to 1 micron, this is one of the most effective sediment filters available.
- Stage 2: this carbon filter improves the taste and odor of the water, and is especially good at removing chlorine. It has a huge 100,000-gallon capacity which is capable of lasting a whole year for a household of 4 people.
- Stage 3: this filter targets heavy metals. It will remove up to 95% of iron, lead, manganese, and other heavy metals.
The Home Master is really effective and will filter down to 1 micron. This level of filtration is among the best we have seen for a whole home filtration system. It is only topped in our reviews by the more expensive Aquasana Rhino. It is especially effective at filtering iron and heavy metals from water, which makes it perfect for well water supplies. Though, the 2-stage carbon model is excellent for city water too.
It comes with a two-year limited warranty and an impressive reputation on websites like Amazon. If you are in need of even more water pressure, then check out the two-stage version.
Bottom Line: This range of water filters offer an effective solution for both municipal and well water supplies. The 3-stage system is an extremely powerful filtration system, that can provide clean water for a large home, whereas the 2-stage carbon model is perfect for city water supplies and high water demands.
The 3-stage Home Master system is our pick of the bunch: it is dependable, robust, and effective. If you’re tired of buying bottled water and seek a whole house solution to water contamination, then you won’t do much better. In our opinion, this is also the best whole house water filter for wells.
- Price: $$ – $$$
- 3 Filtration Stages
- Up to 20 GPM Water Flow
- Jumbo Sized Filters
- 1″ Input & Output Ports
- 1 Micron Filtration
- Removes up to 95% of iron, manganese, sediment, chlorine, sulfur and other contaminants.
- Great for Well Water or City Water
- 2 Year Warranty
iSpring WGB32 3-Stage PERFECT FOR WELL or CITY WATER
The iSpring WGB32 series of whole house water filters provide a really effective solution to home water contamination. iSpring is well known for their commitment to their customers, and with the WGB32 series, they offer a range of water filters to fit a variety of common water problems.
The units are available with a choice of 2 or 3-stages of water filtration. The 3-stage units are the most effective and offer very strong filtration. However, the cheaper 2-stage units are also very capable water filters, and should offer ample protection in most cases. The 2-stage units are identical in every way to their big brothers, minus the second carbon block filter (more on that later). For the sake of this review, we will mostly focus on the 3-stage systems.
This recently upgraded iSpring range now includes 3 customized water filters to combat specific needs. Each water filter uses the same iSpring 3-stage hardware but uses a different combination of filters, to target specific water contaminants. They are all effective at reducing up to 95% of chlorine, chloramine, sediment, pesticides, herbicides, rust, industrial solvents, and VOCs, but each model also has a specific talent too.
Here’s what the 3 choices look like in more detail:
Filter Stage 1
Filter Stage 2
Filter Stage 3
Best Suited Water
5 Micron Sediment Filter
5 Micron Carbon Block
5 Micron Carbon Block
5 Micron Sediment Filter
5 Micron Carbon Block
Heavy Metal Filter
5 Micron Sediment Filter
5 Micron Carbon Block
Heavy Metal Filter
– Copper & more
- Protect your family from lead and more: Specially designed for…
- DIY installation and maintenance: Refer to our manual and YouTube…
- Top-notch quality: Our filters are tested by an independent…
The cheaper WGB32B model offers an effective solution to municipal water that is high in levels of chlorine. Its two carbon filters are perfect for removing the chlorine taste and odor. It is certified to reduce up to 95% of chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, and other contaminants.
The WGB32BM and WGB32B-PB specialize in the removal of heavy metals and are among the best well water filtration systems because of this. Well water supplies are more commonly affected by these hazardous heavy metals. The WGB32BM removes up to 95% of iron, manganese, and arsenic. While the WGB32B-PB raises the bar even further by removing up to 95% of iron and lead too.
As we mentioned before, the three models use the same hardware. In fact, they also use the same stage 1 & 2 filters. The big difference between the three is the choice of stage 3 filter. Filters that deal with heavy metals are more expensive, and this explains the difference in cost throughout the range.
The cheaper 2-stage model is available in 3 choices too. The only difference being that it lacks the 2nd carbon block filter that the stage-3 units have. The 2-stage model is still a very effective filter, and offers slightly better water flow rates, and cheaper running costs.
The iSpring WGB32 series use Big Blue (20″ x 4.5″) filter housings. These accommodate jumbo sized filters that last longer and allow faster water flow. Combined with the 1″ input and output ports, this water filter allows a really strong water flow rate of up to 15 gallons per minute.
Using the Big Blue filter housings has another benefit. This filter specification is universal throughout the big manufacturers, which means that you aren’t locked into a specific brand. In fact, you are free to completely customize your filter set-up to suit your specific water problem. If you decide that you want a more effective sediment filter then you are able to buy one from a third party manufacturer. Or, if you feel you are paying too much for your filters then you can simply try another brand. I love the options that this iSpring range gives. They’re adaptable and flexible to fit any situation or budget.
The iSpring brand filters that are supplied with the unit are said to last around a year at a time (but this really depends on how bad your water is and how much water you use). These filters meet NSF standards for the reduction of certain pollutants. This means they can be relied upon to give a high standard of performance throughout their lifecycle.
The WGB32 series come with iSpring’s incredible 1-year money back guarantee. iSpring also offers some of the best US based customer service in the business and provides lifetime support as standard with their products.
Bottom Line: We love this series of water filters. They are some of the most effective whole home water filters out there. Taking into consideration the effectiveness, cost, ease of maintenance, reputation, and customer care, it’s hard to deny that iSpring makes some of the best water filters around.
- Price: $$ – $$$
- 3 Filtration Stages
- Up to 15 GPM Water Flow
- Jumbo Sized Filters (longer lasting, fewer filter changes, better water pressure)
- Removes up to 95% of chlorine, chloramine, sediment, pesticides, herbicides, rust, industrial solvents, and VOCs as standard.
- WGB32BM also removes 95% of iron, manganese, and arsenic
- WGB32B-PB also removes 95% of lead, iron, manganese, arsenic, and other heavy metals
- 1″ Input & Output Ports
- Perfect for Well Water or City Water
- NSF Certified
- WQA Gold Seal
- 1 Year Money Back Guarantee
- Filters Water for the Entire Home
Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 MOST EFFECTIVE WATER FILTER FOR CITY WATER
The Aquasana Rhino provides a great level of protection against harmful contaminants, while not hurting the wallet as much as the initial cost might suggest. While the initial cost is more than the others, its running costs are competitive.
It meets and even exceeds NSF standards by removing up to 97% of chlorine for 1,000,000 gallons. It also removes contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs. Unlike other whole home filtration systems, it is also able to address the pH level of the water, to improve the taste and make it more alkaline and healthy. It improves the pH of the drinking water by redressing any imbalances that may have occurred during the filtration process. This is feature is more commonly seen in reverse osmosis systems and is rare for a whole home unit.
Though the initial price tag seems expensive, over the course of 10-year life it gives quite good value. The replacement filters are much cheaper than rival filters. With cheaper running costs, this model isn’t as expensive over a period of time as the initial price might suggest.
This is one of the best water filtration systems for homes due to the level of protection that it offers. A water filter’s effectiveness is judged on how refined its filters are. The better a filter, the lower the micron rating it has (a micron is a unit of length equal to one-millionth of a meter). For example, a 10-micron filter will only allow particles smaller than 10 microns to pass through. A 1-micron filter would be deemed more effective than this because it allows only particles smaller than 1 micron through.
- Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home – Removes 97%…
- High-Performance Filter System – Carbon & KDF filtration media…
- Cost Efficient & Long Lasting – Clean water for less than $0. 01 a…
The Aquasana Rhino really stands out in this area when compared to rival competitors. The main reason is the effectiveness of its post-filter. Rated at 0.35 microns, it offers excellent protection against contaminants with some of the smallest particle sizes. There aren’t many whole house filters that can compare with this level of protection. A further reason is its specialization in chlorine removal from the water supply. Chlorine is one of the most common contaminants in our water, and to be able to remove more than 97% is an impressive return.
Let me qualify my previous statement by saying that this water filter is one of the most effective whole-house filters for homes supplied by municipal water. It is perfect for getting rid of contaminants like chlorine, but it isn’t that well-suited to well water that is high in heavy metals. In this situation, go for the iSpring or Home Master.
We recommend the Pro Kit version which comes with all the necessary fixtures for installation. This includes the bypass valve, and the pre and post filters.
Bottom Line: This is the best home water filter for removing chlorine. It has the most refined filter we have seen, and it is a great fit for municipal water. There are plenty of installation options that include water softeners and UV filters too. The initial cost is significant, but the running costs are very reasonable.
- Price: $$$$$
- 3 Year Warranty
- 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee
- Improves pH
- Removes up to 97% of chlorine
- Also heavy metals like lead & mercury, VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides
- Great Tasting Water
- Lots of Installation Options
- Perfect for Municipal Water Supplies
Aqua-Pure AP903 BEST WATER PRESSURE
The Aqua-Pure AP903 removes sediment, chlorine, rust, and dirt. It’s a very popular whole-house water filter choice for homes served by municipal water supplies, due to its effectiveness in reducing chlorine levels. It will filter down to 5 microns in particle size, which is a good return for a whole home device.
A real bonus with this unit is that it requires only one filter change a year or every 100,000 gallons. The filter change is also very easily done, with just a flick of a switch and a twist. This makes the AP903 a very low maintenance solution to water contamination.
It doesn’t have a pre-filter, which means it isn’t best suited to water that has high levels of sediment or heavy metals (like well water). However, it works very well for homes served by municipal supplies. Taking into consideration the initial cost and the yearly filter change, this is one of the cheaper systems to run.
The AP903 allows the fastest water flow rate we have encountered for a whole house system. This figure of 20 GPM means you won’t notice any drop in pressure after installation. This is ideal for large homes with multiple bathrooms or high water demands. Its slim design makes it ideal for small spaces too.
Bottom Line: This is a really low maintenance whole-house water filter system that can be left to fend for itself for a whole year at a time. If the water pressure is important to you then the AP903 is worth serious consideration as it is the best home water filter for water pressure. It’s great for fixing a problem with chlorine too.
- Price: $$
- 5 Micron Filtration
- 20 Gallons per Minute Water Flow
- One Yearly Filter Change
- Really Low Maintenance
- Removes chlorine, sediment, rust, and dirt
- 1 Year Warranty
APEX MR-3020 with Activated Alumina BEST FOR FLUORIDE
This filter uses activated alumina, which means it specializes in the removal of fluoride. Not many whole house filters have this feature, so if fluoride is a problem then this is worth a look at. In fact, this is the only high-quality whole house filter we are aware of that targets this problem. Otherwise, reverse osmosis water filtration systems are a better option.
The system consists of three filtration stages:
Stage 1: a 5-micron sediment and rust filter.
Stage 2: a multi-stage layer that includes a 1-micron filter, a granular activated carbon system, and activated alumina. This stage removes fluoride, chlorine, arsenic and other heavy metals from the water.
Stage 3: an NSF approved coconut shell carbon filter. This absorbs chlorine, chloramine, THM, and TCE
The filters are jumbo size, and the household water pressure drop is minimal. It’s really easy to install too. A downside is the cost of the filter packs, which are more expensive than some competitors. With three filter stages though, it offers a really good level of protection down to 1 micron.
- 20″ polypropylene sediment pre-filter extracts suspended materials…
- Multi-stage 20″ filter that consists of 1 micron filter pad, Activated…
- NSF approved, acid washed, high performance coconut shell activated…
Bottom Line: This unit combats a really wide range of contaminants. If fluoride is a worry then this model deserves serious consideration. It’s one of the best water filters for a home that reduces fluoride.
- Price: $$$$
- Effective 3-Stage Filtration
- High Fluoride Removal
- 10 Gallons per Minute Water Flow
- NSF Approved
DuPont WFPF13003B THE CHEAPEST OPTION
This is the cheapest whole house water filter we have looked at by some margin. It retails at just a fraction of the cost of some other models. However, it does lack the features or multiple filter stages that they offer.
But, multiple units can be combined to offer multi-stage protection. A nice feature is that it will take most 10-inch size filters. This means that you can add a carbon filter or any other filter of that size. The DuPont brand filters are cheap, and retail at just a few dollars each. This isn’t the most effective water filter on the market, but it will do a great job as a sediment, iron, and dirt filter. If you need something a bit more powerful then you can add extra units, and use filters with a better rating. The customization options are a great reason to go with this model.
- Filters Up To 15,000-Gallon For Home or Office
- Features Universal 500 Series Poly Block Cartridge
- Standard System has 3/4 in. inlets and outlets.
Bottom Line: As cheap as it gets, this gives amazing value. If one stage of filtration isn’t enough you can just combine 2 or 3 units.
Watts WH-LD BUDGET FILTER
This whole house water purification system is another that is relatively inexpensive. There is a trade-off though, and you only get one stage of filtration. This water filter will do a great job as a sediment, rust, and dirt filter. It would also work perfectly as a pre-filter to an existing unit, or offer good protection to a water softener.
Like the DuPont model we featured earlier, this unit can be combined with others to make a more effective filter. This unit will protect your home against larger contaminant particles like iron and sediment, but it won’t protect against chlorine.
- WHOLE HOUSE WATER FILTER: The Whole House Filter provides cleaner…
- WATER PURIFIER: This system is equipped with a built-in bypass valve…
- WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM: The ports on the system lid are ¾” to fit…
Bottom Line: An effective sediment filter for household appliances.
Whole House Water Filter Comparison Table: The Top 5
|iSpring WGB22B||Lead, chlorine, iron, manganese, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, sediment||$$||4.5|
|Home Master HMF3SDGFEC||Lead, mercury, copper, iron, manganese, chlorine, sediment||$$$||4.2|
|Aqua-Pure AP903||Chlorine, sediment, rust, dirt||$$||4.4|
|Watts WH-LD||Sediment, dirt, rust||$||4.4|
|Aqusana Rhino EQ-1000||Chlorine, lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs||$$$$$||3.8|
Whole House UV Water Filter Reviews
In this section, we recommend our three favorite UV water filters. In our opinion, these are the best UV water filters because they are each very effective and efficient, but they also represent a range of budgets.
Using ultraviolet light (UV) as a method of water purification is the most effective way to get rid of harmful bacteria. The powerful UV rays penetrate deep into the water and destroy sickness causing bugs such as Escherichia coli (E.coli), giardia, and cryptosporidium.
Ultraviolet light is the best disinfectant for water because it doesn’t use chemicals, it’s incredibly effective, and it doesn’t alter the taste of the water. The alternative method is to use disinfectant chemicals like chlorine. Chlorine may be effective at combating bacteria, but it doesn’t have much else going for it. Let’s compare the two methods to find out more…
Ultraviolet Light VS Chlorine
- Taste & Odor: Chlorine changes the taste and odor of water. The UV light doesn’t change a thing.
- Chemical Composition: Chlorine produces toxic by-products.
- Cost and Ease of Use: For well water owners, adding chemical disinfectants to the water is a difficult task. Using a UV water filter uses about the same amount of energy as a 60 Watt lightbulb, and only needs an annual bulb change.
The best filter for well water isn’t complete without a good whole house UV water filter. Well water supplies aren’t usually chlorinated and require a good disinfectant. If you suspect there are any viruses or bacteria in your water supply then a UV light water filter is exactly what you need.
Be aware that a UV filter water system should not be the sole filtration device in your home. It is incredibly effective at killing viruses and bacteria, but you need a physical filter to block contaminants like heavy metals and chlorine. A combination of the two methods is a great idea.
The most important consideration in buying a whole house UV water filter should be the size. The water flow rate that they offer is rated in gallons per minute (gpm). Make sure that you get a model that allows a strong enough water flow for the water demands of your home. The peak water demand of your home would be a measure of how much water flows through your main water line when the maximum number of appliances and outlets are running at once; a metric worth consideration when shopping for any house water filter system.
What size do I need?
- 1 Bathroom = 5 GPM
- 2 Bathrooms = 9 GPM
- 3 Bathrooms = 12 GPM
The Viqua VH410 is a premium UV filter. It is powerful yet extremely compact. It allows huge water flow rates of up to 16 gpm, which makes it perfectly suited to larger homes or even light commercial use.
It is a very efficient unit and despite being so powerful, it only uses 60 Watts of power.
It accepts 3/4″ – 1″ connections and can be installed without any serious plumbing skills. Check out our guide to installing whole-home systems a bit further down the page.
- ULTRAVIOLET DISINFECTION SYSTEM: The Viqua VH410 utlizes UltraViolet…
- WHOLE-HOME WATER TREATMENT: With flow rates of 34 GPM, the Viqua VH410…
- SAFETY STANDARD: Stainless Steel is proved to be reliable in different…
The VH410 is also available in an upgraded version. This version has an electronic monitor with a digital display that gives you continuous feedback about the unit’s performance.
Bottom Line: Ideal for larger homes with a strong water flow rate. This is the highest quality and most expensive of our UV water purifier reviews.
The iSpring UVF55 is very competitively priced and offers a really good water flow rate too.
Like the best UV water filters, it kills 99.9% of bacteria, cysts, and viruses. It does so using a 55 Watt bulb that will run continuously for 10,000 hours (or 416 days).
It allows a water flow rate of up to 12 gpm. This kind of figure means it can handle the water demands of 2-3 bathrooms.
It features 1″ inlet and outlets that will cause a minimal pressure drop.
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Bottom Line: This is a great value package that’s hard to top. Of our whole house UV water filter reviews, this one is the perfect option for those without the budget for the Viqua.
Ultraviolet Light Water Purifier
This is the budget option as it represents amazing value for money. For less money than both of the previous two models you get two extra UV lightbulbs too!
This system also allows a really good water flow rate of 12 gpm, but the inlet and outlet ports are only 3/4″.
The lightbulbs will last for around a year at a time and draw very little power.
- POWERFUL & RELIABLE: 55W 110V Whole House Water Filter System. Large…
- STRONG: Stainless Steel Unit 55 watt, a Large 12 GPM Flow Rate…
- SAFE: This purifier system is good to treat harmful Bacteria, E.Coli,…
Bottom Line: Can’t be beaten on value! This home water filtration system reviews really well on other consumer sites too.
Build an Awesome 3-Stage Whole House System for Less Than You Think
We promised an alternative solution to installing a highly effective whole house water filtration system in your home (without relying on bottled water) and here it is. There’s no secret here, it’s just not everyone is aware of this, or they don’t have the necessary DIY skills to install it.
Having a three-stage filter system can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With our proposal, you can save yourself a lot of money, but you will need some basic DIY skills.
Our solution has all the necessary components of the best home water filters but costs about 1/2 the price of the market leader.
It includes a robust sediment filter to remove the larger particles and protect and prolong the life of the other filters. This is followed by 2 carbon block filters that excel in removing chlorine & VOCs (and numerous other contaminants) while improving the water taste and odor.
In our opinion, the filter configuration that we have included offers a really good level of protection for chlorinated water supplies. But, it is easily changed too. Filters that specialize in the removal of fluoride and arsenic are also available in this size (20″ x 4.5″).
Anyway, our suggestion is simple. Buy three separate filter housings and combine them to make a 3-stage system. You have the same protection that an expensive three-stage system offers but at a much-reduced price. The only problem is that the installation takes more time and is a little harder. Check out our guide to installation below to see how to do it yourself.
What you need:
- Large filter housing for high-flow and heavy sediment applications
- Reinforced polypropylene sump for strength and chemical resistance
- Use with a 20” x 4-1/2” filter cartridge (sold separately)
Pentek 150233 Filter Housings[/easyazon_link] + 3 housing brackets, O-rings (you’ll need the correct size rubber O-ring gaskets for each seal), and a filter wrench.
3 x Filters:
Stage 2: Activated Carbon filter
Stage 3: Same as stage 2
Another option is to add water pressure meters before and after each filter. This will identify any loss in pressure, and also help to notify you of when it is time to change filters. If there is a significant drop in pressure, then it is time to change the filter.
There is actually an even cheaper alternative. Instead of using the Pentek filter housings, you can use the Dupont brand. These filters are not as big, and therefore not as long-lasting. These means they will not allow as high water pressure as the Pentek solution does, but the initial cost will be really cheap.
So, what are the advantages of the Pentek solution?
- It’s much cheaper than the leading brands.
- It uses jumbo sized filters (20″ x 4.5″).
- These last longer than regular filters and therefore need to be changed less frequently.
- They will save you money in the long term.
- Many manufacturers make filters in this size, which gives you lots of options.
- You can easily change the configuration of filters.
- It doesn’t throttle your water pressure.
- You can monitor the water pressure after each filter. By adding water pressure meters after each filter, you can accurately tell when it is time to change filters (when the pressure drops).
What about the drawbacks?
- You need to assemble it yourself (or with the help of a professional).
Bottom Line: This 3-stage whole house system offers all the perks of a system twice as expensive. It’s customizable to your specific water problem and offers a range of installation options. It takes a bit more work to install, but it brings big savings with it. This competes with the best home water filtration systems on the market.
Whole House Water Filtration System Buyer’s Guide
A whole house water filter system is typically defined as a point of entry (POE) system. A POE system is commonly installed at the front of the water heater, and cleanses both the hot and cold water. This means that purified water is delivered to every faucet in the home. Doing so ensures that every device in your home that needs water is supplied with clean, decontaminated water. Showers, baths, sinks, washing machines, refrigerators, and toilets can all work unimpeded by any pollutants, and more importantly, be safer and healthier to use.
There are many reasons why a whole home unit might be the best home water filtration system for your home. But, here at waterfilteranswers.com we pride ourselves on providing balanced articles and information, so we’ll make sure to tell you why it might not be the right system for you too. Let’s start with the reasons supporting a whole house system.
What is a Whole House Filter?
A Whole House Water Filter is a filtration system designed to remove impurities and pollutants from the interior water system of an entire dwelling. This is often accomplished by means of a single point-of-entry system that funnels all water entering the house through a single filtration gateway. Other types of filtration may rely on multiple redundant filters that overlap one another to create reinforcing levels of protection at various points in the house water system, filtering water at various inputs (pipe junctions) and outputs (faucet-mounted filters).
Water Softeners VS Water Filters?
A Water Softening system is intended to add or subtract certain mineral elements from a water system. The natural qualities of water can vary greater from locale to locale, and in some cases it becomes necessary to alter the chemical make up of one’s water supply to account for mineral deficiencies or excesses (“soft water” or “hard water”). A salt-free water softener or other home water softener can adjust the mineral level of filtered water and tap water to a much more comfortable and palatable level. In some cases, the water supply in either a hard water house or soft water house can require a whole house water softener solution.
A Whole House Water Filtration system removes impurities and particulates from the water supply (often including gaseous pollutants such as hydrogen sulfide) by straining it through a filter or series of filters; it rarely adds anything to the water itself. The presence of large amounts of hydrogen sulfide can be confirmed through testing, though the gas is readily detectable when one’s tap water smells musty or like rotten eggs.
Why Choose a Whole House Water Filter?
As alluded to earlier, a POE system will provide purified water at every output point in the home. We know the dangers of drinking contaminated water, but why purify the water that you wash with?
Well, the main reason is chlorine. Chlorine is a chemical added to our water supply to kill bacteria, but in large quantities it can be very dangerous to our health. It also has the effect of damaging, and excessively drying our skin. We can be exposed to chlorine in many ways, mainly through drinking and eating, breathing in fumes, and absorbing it through the skin from water and air.
These causes of chlorine exposure can be dramatically reduced by installing a whole house water filter. By filtering the water that we wash and bathe with we can reduce the amount of chlorine that we absorb through water. This type of water treatment means healthier, more moisturized skin and hair. This also means cleaner and healthier air too, as contaminated water can have an effect on air quality at home. Chlorine and volatile organic chemicals can evaporate in bath and shower steam, polluting the air that you breathe in your own home. A POE unit is the best home water filter system for this problem.
Aside from the health benefits, there are other reasons to choose a whole house filter over say a point of use (POU) reverse osmosis system (a point of use system is usually installed under the sink). A whole house system offers really high capacity and water production rates. A reverse osmosis system might produce around 50 gallons of clean water per day, but a whole house water filter can exceed rates of 20 gallons per minute! This high capacity and volume make POE systems very durable and relatively maintenance free. A unit might require filter changes just once every 7 years. On the other hand, a reverse osmosis filter would need filter changes every 6-12 months.
What Filter Works Best for Well Water?
Carbon-based filtration systems are more stable and long lasting between filter changes, but they are less reliable when handling water with a large amount of sediment or organic particulates. Well water typically has a fairly large percentage of these impurities, so it is usually best for well-owners to use cartridge type filter systems that need to be changed every 6-12 months. These systems also allow you to choose customized filters (and even special filtration options, such as a sediment pre-filter) that are best-suited to your particular well and water type.
Check out our recommended cartridge type well water filtration systems (the Home Master and iSpring models) further up the page.
Why Might a Whole House System Not Be Right For Me?
In the interests of balance, it’s important that we give every side to the argument. While there are many good reasons to get a whole house filter system, there are also a few reasons why it might not be a good fit for your home. The first would be the cost. These systems can be expensive when compared to other processes of water filtration. That being said, a POE system like this provides other dimensions to its protection (it filters bathing water too).
A second reason for not getting one of these systems is that they just aren’t as effective as reverse osmosis systems. A reverse osmosis membrane typically provides filtration up to 0.0001 microns. This means that particles bigger than this will not pass through. A whole house water filter typically has a less effective filter of 1-10 microns, meaning that it is not as effective at removing pollutants. Only reverse osmosis technology (RO) removes up to 99% of contaminants. Some water is just not in need of such stringent filtration, and that makes it important that you know the quality of your initial water and specifically what pollutants you need to remove.
Check out our RO water purifier reviews to find out more.
Before You Buy: Checklist
As previously discussed, the two systems (whole house and RO) differ in that one filters all of the water for a home, and one filters at just a single point. If you have no specific issues or special contamination worries, then a whole house filter is a good fit. It provides a solid multi-purpose filter for the whole house. It is a good all-rounder, trouble-free, and easy to look after. By treating contaminants at the point of entry, it is especially good at removing orange or brown staining, due to iron in the water supply. This also does the job of protecting pipes and appliances in the home.
Once making the decision to purchase a whole house water filter, you should concentrate on the following areas:
1. The type of system – it should be noted that there are two different types of the whole house water filter. There are the carbon tank models (see Aquasana Rhino and Aqua-Pure AP903) and the replaceable cartridge type (see iSpring WGB32 and Home Master)
The carbon tank systems are really long lasting and low maintenance. They might only need to be replaced every 5 years (see Aquasana Rhino). They tend to be best suited to city water supplies and target chlorine very effectively.
The cartridge type filters need to be changed every 6-12 months. These systems have the benefit of customizable filter options. This means a combination of filter types can be arranged to target a specific problem with the water. This arrangement is ideal should you be worried about a particular pollutant in your water. These systems tend to be better suited to well water supplies and water containing sediment.
Check out our recommended well water filtration systems reviews of the Home Master and iSpring models further up the page.
2. Micron rating – the effectiveness of the pre-filter in a whole house filtration unit is measured by the size in microns of its filter pores. A micron is a unit of measurement which is equal to one-thousandth of a millimeter or one 25th of a thousandth of an inch. A model that has a filter rating of 1 micron will, therefore, stop any particle of a size bigger than this from traveling any further.
The best whole house water filter system rating we have seen for one of these water filters is 0.35 microns (Aquasana Rhino), but it is generally between 1-5 microns. Reverse osmosis systems offer even more filtering power but are generally used at one faucet point. Due to its effectiveness at filtering, reverse osmosis is the best water filtration system. This is is because it can filter down to 0.0001 microns.
Note – the micron rating only applies to the sediment filter that blocks the larger particles like dust, dirt, and sediment. Carbon filtration works using absorption and adsorption and therefore doesn’t have a micron rating.
3. Water flow rate – this is the value given to the amount of water a system can produce in a given time. It is measured in gallons per minute (GPM) and can range from around 5-25 GPM. If you own a big house, full of lots of people then make sure you get a system that is capable of keeping up with the water demands. If the GPM value isn’t large enough then you run the risk of the water pressure dropping.
4. Filter cost and lifespan – the initial cost of the system should not be your only consideration when calculating a systems true cost. Over time you will probably buy a lot of replacement water filters too. Make sure you have an idea of how much they cost, and how often you will need to replace them. A system with a cheaper initial cost may use filters that don’t last long. This will cost you more in the long term.
Pros and Cons of Whole House Water Filtration Systems
|Low maintenance||Not as effective as RO|
|High capacity||More expensive|
|High water pressre|
|Cleanses all household water|
The most important thing to take away from this article is that you should be aware of the quality of your water supply before purchasing a whole house water filter system. Contact your local water supplier or test for yourself to make sure you know specifically what the problem is.
Different types of water filter fit different situations and scenarios, and it’s important that you make the right choice. Large particle contaminants are best treated with a whole house system, while reverse osmosis is better for smaller particles like pesticides. A good midway point is a countertop system.
Update: Consumer Confidence Reports (CRC) are now available on the EPA website. These are annual drinking water quality reports from your local supplier. If you are unsure about which contaminants you should be worried about, then this is a good starting place. Those with private water supplies will have to get their water tested independently.
If you have any questions about whole house water filters or then please don’t hesitate to get in contact at the bottom of the page. We’ll get back to you promptly and do our best to help.
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