11 Best Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews

Why is a whole house water filter so important? The answer is simple. The best whole house water filters are some of 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?

Today, we will review and discuss the 10 best whole house water filtration systems on the market, and other water sanitizing systems, such as UV filters. Make sure you get the perfect whole house water filtration system for your home with our buyer’s guide and reviews.

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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.

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.

Quick Navigation
1. Top 9 Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews
2. Top 2 UV Water Filter Reviews
3. A Guide to Whole House Water Filters
4. Whole House Water Filters Installation Guide
5. How You Can Get an Effective 3-Stage Whole House Filter for Less Than You Think

9 Best Whole House Water Filtration System Reviews

ModelMax Flow RatePricePositivesNegatives
iSpring WGB22B15$$High water pressure, long life filters, effective city & well water filtration, 1-year satisfaction guarantee, NSF standard filtersFilters might clog faster than a 3-stage system
Home Master HMF2SDGC


20$$Long life filters, good water flow rate, 2 year warranty, effective filtration for city or well waterFilters aren’t as cheap as other brands
APEX MR-302010$$$$High fluoride removal, long life filters, good flow rate, NSF approved filterFluoride filters can be expensive
3M Aqua-Pure AP90320$$Really high water pressure, good value, simple to maintainOnly suitable for city water
DuPont WFPF13003B5$A fraction of the price of some other models, cheap filters tooOnly one filter stage (can combine multiple units though)
Watts WH-LD10$Really good value, cheap filtersOne filtration stage
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC15$$$$High water pressure, long life filters, improves water taste and odor, effective at removing ironFilters aren’t cheap
iSpring WGB3215$$$High water pressure, NSF standard filters, long life filters, perfect for city or well water, powerful protectionNeed upgraded version to combat heavy metals
Aquasana Rhino 10-Year Pro Kit7$$$$$Removes 97% of chlorine, long lasting filters, powerful filters, balances pH of waterUnit is expensive

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.

Learn more about these features and how to choose the best whole house water filter depending on your needs by reading our guide on how to size a water filter for your home!



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 house 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 contaminated 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
Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two Stage Filtration System Water...
Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Two Stage Filtration System Water…


  • 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).

Home Master 2-Stahe HMF2SDGC Whole House Water Filtration System

whole house water filters home master

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

Key Features

  • 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

Bottom Line

This range of water filters offers 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.

3 & 4. The iSpring Series WGB22B 2-Stage and WGB32 3-Stage – PERFECT FOR WELL or CITY WATER

best whole house water filters

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).

whole house water filters WGB22B 2-Stage

For the sake of this review, we will mostly focus on the iSpring whole house 3-stage water filter systems.

However, if the iSpring brand interests you, we recommend you also check out our iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage RO water filter system review. We will talk about reverse osmosis and RO water filters a bit later in this guide.

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.

iSpring WGB32B-PB 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20”...
iSpring WGB32B-PB 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20”…


  • Protect Your Family and Household Appliance from Lead and More: Our…
  • DIY Installation and Maintenance: Refer to our manual and our helpful…
  • Top-Notch Quality: The first stage high capacity polypropylene…


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. Most 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 (usually found in well water) and lead too.

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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 is 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 life cycle.

The WGB32 series come with iSpring’s incredible 1-year money-back guarantee. iSpring also offers some of the best US-based customer services in the business and provides lifetime support as standard with their products.

Key Features

  • 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

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.


best whole house water filters aquasana rhino

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 house 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.

Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System w/ Salt-Free Conditioner-...
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System w/ Salt-Free Conditioner-…


  • 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.

Moreover, this Aquasana whole house water filter also comes with a salt-free water conditioner, making it an excellent choice if you also need a water softener against the hard water in your home. Since traditional salt-based water softeners are currently under scrutiny, this salt-free water conditioning system solves the limescale issues in your house in an eco-friendly, sustainable manner.

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.

Key Features

  • 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

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.


best whole house water filters 3m aqua pure

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.

3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System...
3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System…


  • CLEARLY GREAT WATER: This whole house water filter reduces sediment as…
  • EASY TO REPLACE: Sanitary Quick Change (SQC) design allows for fast…
  • 100, 000 GALLON CAPACITY: Replacement cartridge has an activated…


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.

Key Features

  • Price: Very affordable
  • 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

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.


whole house water filter APEX MR-3020 Whole House GAC Water Filter System

This filter uses activated alumina, which means it specializes in the removal of fluoride in the water. 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.

APEX MR-3020 Whole House GAC Water Filter System with Activated...
APEX MR-3020 Whole House GAC Water Filter System with Activated…


  • 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…


Key Features

  • Price: $$$$
  • Effective 3-Stage Filtration
  • High Fluoride Removal
  • 10 Gallons per Minute Water Flow
  • NSF approved

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. However, there is more about this whole house water filter that meets the eye. One of its greatest features is the 20″ polypropylene sediment pre-filter that extracts suspended materials such as sediment, rust, insects, and other particles down to 5 microns. The multi-stage filter consists of a 1-micron filter pad, the Activated Alumina filter, another 1-micron pad, and a Granular Activated Carbon (GAC). In other words, this whole house water filter system effectively removes fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, heavy metals, and hundreds of other contaminants from your drinking water.


best whole house water filters dupont

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 whole house water filter may not be the most effective water filter on the market, but it will do a great job as 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.

Dupont, WFPF13003B, Filter System, 3/4 in NPT, 5 gpm
Dupont, WFPF13003B, Filter System, 3/4 in NPT, 5 gpm


  • 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.


Key Features

  • Price: $
  • Effective Filtration: Up to 15,000 gallons of filter life
  • Suitable for the home or the office
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Indoor use only
  • 2.1 pounds
  • Excellent users’ ratings

Bottom Line

As cheap as it gets, this whole house water filter offers amazing value. If one stage of filtration isn’t enough, you can just combine 2 or 3 units. By reducing the overall sediment levels and quantities in your water, this unit extends the life of all home appliances that process water. Moreover, as replacement filters go, you will be happy to hear that this whole house water filter works with almost all standard 10″ replacement cartridge. Also, if you use it with the correct pre-filter, this whole house unit will also remove lead from your water, which is, overall, one of the smartest things to do considering the current water contamination crisis in the United States.


best whole house water filters watts

This whole house water purification system is another one 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 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.

Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Water Filtration System
Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Water Filtration System


  • 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…


Key Features

  • Price: $
  • Comes with a built-in bypass valve for convenient access to the unit for filter changes
  • 50-microns sediment filter
  • Clear housing to see when it is time to change the filter
  • Operational temperature – maximum 100° (F) and minimum 40° (F)
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

Bottom Line

This unit is an effective sediment filter for household appliances. The Watts Premier whole house filter provides cleaner water into your home while protecting your water heater, washing machine, refrigerators, ice-makers, and other appliances from the harmful build-up of sediments, dirt, and rust. We cannot but recommend this product for its excellent price/value ratio and a wide range of uses in the home or the office.

Best Whole House Water Filters Comparison Table: The Top 5

iSpring WGB22BLead, chlorine, iron, manganese, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, sediment$$4.5
Home Master HMF3SDGFECLead, mercury, copper, iron, manganese, chlorine, sediment$$$4.2
Aqua-Pure AP903Chlorine, sediment, rust, dirt$$4.4
Watts WH-LDSediment, dirt, rust$4.4
Aqusana Rhino EQ-1000Chlorine, lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs$$$$$3.8

2 Best Whole House UV Water Filters Reviews

In this section, we recommend our two favorite UV water filters. In our opinion, these are the best UV whole house water filters because they are each very effective and efficient, but they also represent a range of budgets.

What Is Ultraviolet Filtration?

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.

How Do UV Water Filters Work?

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 of Whole House UV Water Filter do I Need?

Let’s see a quick roundup of the (UV) whole house water filter sizes depending on your house dimensions and the number of family members:

  • 1 Bathroom, Small Home, 1-2 Family Members = 5 GPM
  • 2 Bathrooms, Medium Home, 2-4 Family Members = 9-10 GPM
  • 3 Bathrooms, Large Home, More than 4 Family Members = 12+ GPM

Now, let’s discuss the best UV whole house water filters, check out the reviews, and help you make the best choices!

1. Viqua VH410 Home Stainless Steel Ultraviolet Water Disinfection System

best whole house UV water filter

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.

VH410 VIQUA UltraViolet Water Disinfection System
VH410 VIQUA UltraViolet Water Disinfection System


  • Ships fast!
  • Low-pressure, high-output lamp
  • Ultraviolet light combats waterborne pathogens


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.

Key Features

  • Price: $$$
  • Flow rates of 34 GPM
  • 120 Volts
  • Compatible with POE and POU water filter systems
  • Features safety cap and lamp plug to prevent unsafe access to the UV lamp
  • Stainless steel finish

Bottom Line

This premium UV whole house water filter is ideal for larger homes with a strong water flow rate. This is the highest quality and most expensive unit on our UV water purifier reviews list.

2. Bluonics Ultraviolet Light Water Purifier

bluonics UV water filter bluonics

This is the budget option as it represents amazing value for money. For less money than you would pay for the previous model, 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 light bulbs will last for around a year at a time and draw very little power.

Bluonics Ultraviolet Light UV Water Sterilizer Purification for Whole...
Bluonics Ultraviolet Light UV Water Sterilizer Purification for Whole…


  • 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,…


Key Features

  • Price: $$
  • 55 Watts
  • 110 Volts
  • 12 GPM flow rate
  • Includes Mounting Clamps, Quartz Sleeves, UV Bulbs and Ballasts
  • LED light indicator for UV lamp functioning
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Bottom Line

Can’t be beaten on value! This home water filtration system reviews really well on other consumer sites too, and for all the right reasons. It is effective for both residential and commercial water purification systems. You can use it for the city/municipal or well water too. Moreover, the installation is easy and you don’t need any plumbing skills to make it work.

A Guide to Whole House Water Filters

As we promised in the beginning of this article, we will offer you now a short but comprehensive guide on whole house water filters and water filtration technologies in general. We will seize the opportunity here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding different types of filters, how water filters work, and what you should know about them before you buy one.

What Are Whole House Water Filtration Systems

Also known as Point of Entry (POE) systems, whole house water filters connect to the mainline 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 the increased longevity of your plumbing systems and appliances. If you are on a private well, you will need a whole house water filtration system.

What Are Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems?

A Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filter system 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.

What Are Regular Under Sink Systems?

These types of under-sink systems filter water on demand from your sink’s faucet. They provide water that is not only safe to drink, but it is great tasting too.

What Are 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, a countertop water filter system or a faucet water filter 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.

What are 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, check out the best water filter pitchers on the market, as they may be 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, and you will only need to replace the cartridges after a few months to one year of use.

What Are 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 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 water 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.

How Much Do Water Filtration Systems Cost?

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.

Before putting some of the best whole house water filters on your shortlist, we should answer one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to purchasing such units. The problem of costs is also important if you don’t have plumbing skills or when you need to pay for transportation as well.

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.

Whole House Water Filters

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.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

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-Sink Water Filters

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, mostly because almost all of them use RO technology combined with active carbon filtration and sediment screens. They may also require professional installation.

Countertop Water Filters

Why use a countertop water filter? For only $50 to $120, you have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. 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.

Faucet-Mounted Water Filters

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.

Water Filter Pitchers

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 Systems’ Installation and Maintenance Costs

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.

What Else Should You Know About Whole House Water Filtration System Costs and Installation?

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.

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 water 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.

Whole Hous Water Filters Installation and Maintenance Tips

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. Let’s start with the easy part!

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-by-Step Instructions

  • 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 waterline. 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.

How to 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 to Build This System

Pentek 150233, Big Blue, 1' In/Out, #20 Blue/Black, HFPP, w/ PR
Pentek 150233, Big Blue, 1″ In/Out, #20 Blue/Black, HFPP, w/ PR


  • 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.

You need 3 filters:

  • 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?

  1. It’s much cheaper than the leading brands.
  2. It uses jumbo sized filters (20″ x 4.5″).
    1. These last longer than regular filters and therefore need to be changed less frequently.
    2. They will save you money in the long term.
    3. Many manufacturers make filters in this size, which gives you lots of options.
    4. You can easily change the configuration of filters.
  3. It doesn’t throttle your water pressure.
  4. 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?

  1. 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 and FAQs

Before we wrap up this article, let’s see the best whole house water filters’ buying guide. We will also answer, as promised, the most frequently asked questions regarding these system and technologies! So let’s begin!

Are Whole House Water Filters Worth It?

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. If you have to deal with heavily contaminated water or if you rely solely on well water, then a whole house water filter is worth the investment.

As you know, the E.P.A does not regulate private wells, so a big house and a large family may warrant the installation of a whole house water filter. More modern models also work well for city apartments, as they are compact and easy to install.

Here at Water Filter Answers, 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?

As we explained above, 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. What Should We Choose?

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 alternatives and water conditioning systems 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.

To answer the question, whole house water filters and water softeners work together and you should buy them together if you deal with both hard and contaminated water.

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 about this technology and the modern water filtration systems employing it.

Before You Buy the Best Whole House Water Filter: 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 water 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 system’s 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 maintenanceNot as effective as RO
High capacityMore expensive
High water pressure 
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 filters 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.


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.

Do You Know What Type of Water Filter You Are Looking For Now?

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.

Best Whole House Water Filters: Bottom Line

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.

To keep up to date with all the news concerning the newest and best water filter for well water or city water, and also stay informed about the latest news on pollution and the environment, then follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. There are links in the bar at the top of the page. We regularly post new whole house water filter reviews that you don’t want to miss out on!

Hi I'm Jamie, teacher and owner/chief contributor at waterfilteranswers.com. We strive to bring you the most informative water filter reviews in the most intuitive and user friendly way. Besides offering advice on the water filter to suit your needs, we also post topical articles on water pollution and the environment. Stay connected and follow us on, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more!

  1. Thank you for this thorough guide to whole house systems! It has helped me understand what seemed pretty baffling at first.

    I am leaning towards the diy method, with purchasing the 3 housings and selecting the best filters for my water. I had a question, though. You recommend the Pentek housings over the other brand because Pentek will allow you to use any standard size filter brand. But what about other similar housings? For example, KleenWater sells housings that also fit the industry standard filters. And their price on Amazon for their clear housing (which I definitely want, to help me with remembering to change the filters) is much lower than the price for the Pentek housing, and includes many of the needed parts that Pentek forces you to buy in addition. Likewise, US Water Systems (which has an INCREDIBLY helpful video on YouTube detailing every step of installing these housings, making this diy system just as easy as any boxed system) sells their own brand of plastic housings that appear to be better priced. I would not be surprised if further searching uncovered more generic offerings.

    Is there a reason to go with Pentek over these lower priced brands? I know there can be an issue of quality control, but there are plenty of comments in the Pentek Amazon reviews indicating that there can be duds amongst the Pentek housings as well.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for getting in contact.

    From our research, the Pentek model offers the best balance of value and features. It isn’t the cheapest filter housing, but it is very reasonably priced. Furthermore, we are unaware of any other filter housings at this price that offer the same features.

    The similarly priced KleenWater filter housing is similar in many ways, but only has ¾” input and output connections compared to the 1″ fittings on the Pentek.
    This makes the Pentek capable of higher water flow rates and less pressure drop.

    I’m not sure exactly which US Water Systems model you mean, but the one which we consider the equal to the Pentek model (Big Blue 4.5″ x 20″) is considerably more expensive ($50 compared to $80).
    If there’s something we’ve missed then we’d love to hear about it.

    Jamie @ Water Filter Answers

  3. Do they make a filter that reduces scale that will fit in the diy version you described

  4. Hi Donny,

    I’m not aware of any Big Blue scale filters that do that job. Something like the Eddy Electronic Scale Remover, or AquaPure System Protector would do this job though.

    Jamie @ Water Filter Answers

  5. I’m having a home built in Bend Oregon.
    I want a whole house system that is effective and has good water flow,removes contaminants and has low maintenance.
    I understand the initial cost can be higher.
    Would Pentek or Aquasana Rhino be the best choices or are there ones you would recommend above these.

  6. Hi Jodi,

    Is your home served by municipal or well water?

    For municipal water, the 2-stage Home Master Carbon System that we mention in the post allows a high water flow rate and deals pretty well with the chlorine etc.
    The lowest maintenance municipal water filter would be the Aqua-Pure AP903 that we discuss. It needs only one filter change each year.

    For well water, you need something that is more robust and handles heavy metals. The 3-stage iSpring WGB32B-PB is really good at this, and allows a pretty good water flow rate.

    The Aquasana doesn’t allow the strongest of water flow rates so maybe you should discount it.

    I’m not sure which Pentek model you mean? If it’s the setup we recommend then yes that can work in both situations (depending on which filters you choose), and it allows a good water flow rate.

    I hope that helps Jodi. If you have any more questions then we’d be happy to help.

    Jamie @ Water Filter Answers

  7. I regret not doing more research before installing a whole house filter. I let the plumber decide and he installed simple a one stage filter ( I don’t know the brand but it looks like the one Glacier Bay sells and is inexpensive) housing capable of accepting standard 10 inch filter elements. I have municipal water but I am running into an annoying issue. I use a Home Depot brand HDX standard 5 micron carbon filter. I have only two people in the household so not talking about heavy usage. I have to change out the filter every two weeks or else the upstairs shower slows to a trickle. The pressure is great once I by pass the filter so I know it is the filter clogging up. The pressure is a bit less with the filter than without but still acceptable. The label says they are supposed to last 3 to 6 months. I don’t know why they don’t last for me. Is this because my city water has lots of particles clogging things up or is this because the carbon element just clogs up more? Will going to a non carbon filter make things last a bit longer? Or should I go to a 10 micron filter. Any suggestions would be helpful.

  8. Hi Sam,

    You’re right to use a carbon filter for city water, as it is best at removing the chlorine.

    It’s very strange that your filter clogs so fast when using city water. Do you know what clogs it? Is it sediment? Do you have very hard water?

    Using a 10 micron filter should definitely prolong the filter lifespan. Other options would be to add a pre-filter to protect the carbon filter, or upgrading to the bigger 20″ filter systems.


  9. Hi Jamie,

    It looks like sediments, brown looking stuff when I rinse the used filter, but not excessively so. I guess my town must have “dirty water”. How can I tell if the water is “hard?” Does the hardness impact the carbon somehow? The difference between using the filter and not using the filter in water pressure is noticeable. If I add a pre-filter, would that cause an even bigger drop in pressure? Will a larger 20″ filter lessen the impact on water pressure?

    Thanks again for your advice


  10. Do your neighbors have the same problem? Having high levels of sediment from a city water supply is unusual, and it shouldn’t be the case. The water certainly isn’t leaving the water treatment plant with lots of sediment in it (or shouldn’t be). Maybe this is a problem that your local authorities should be looking at.

    I mentioned the water hardness as a possible cause, as I assumed it wouldn’t be caused by sediment. Very hard water builds scale in the pipes, which could affect the water pressure, but this isn’t likely to happen over such a short period of time.
    You can test the water yourself to measure the hardness. This post may be of help. I would recommend testing the water for contaminants too.

    A larger filter size should allow a faster water flow rate, and should last longer.


  11. Thank you for posting this guide as it definitely helped me decide where I wanted to go with my whole house filtration.

    I would like to provide you with the following information:
    According to KleenWater’s own website, their 4.5″ x 20″ filters come in 3/4′, 1″ or 1.5″ in/out fittings. When you order the 3/4″, they send the 1″ model with reducers to fit 3/4″ piping.
    In addition, the KleenWater filter head has fittings for a pressure gauge on both the inlet and outlet sides so you can monitor pressure drop on the individual filter instead of having to add them before and after the whole cluster of filters.

    However, the price is alot more than the Pentex. Over triple, in fact, even if you get just the filter from the KleenWater website.

    Just so there is no confusion, here is a KleenWater kit with 3 x 5 micron filters cartridges, 2 x pressure gauges, wrench, bracket and screws on Amazon.

    Would like to hear your input after researching for yourself on the above information.

    Thanks again for the detailed guide.

  12. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for pointing this out, it’s the first I’ve seen of this.

    It does seem expensive, but it does have a few things going for it over the Pentek.

    1) Installation will be easier as the pressure gauges are directly attached to the unit.

    2) It comes with 3 filters (plus wrenches, gauges etc.)

    3) It allows up to 1.5″ fittings.

    4) It has a clear filter housing, so you can easily monitor the state of the filter.

    Their all inclusive package is more convenient, and it’s a bit easier to install than the Pentek. But, it is much more expensive.

    Hope that helps some.


  13. Great info! Thank you so much for posting! I have stressed myself out looking for the right system and wish I would have seen this site first. My husband is an engineer and very handy with plumbing so I’m confident he can build a system. Since we’ll be saving money that way, i’d like to maximize my filtration- chlorine, chlorimides, fluoride, Voc’s, etc. could you recommend which filters I should use, if different from the 3 links above? I’ve read about the coconut one that filters out something but I can’t remember what – I’ve read so much on this over the past couple of days that it all needs to be filtered from my head! I would imagine he could do a 4 stage filtration system if adding one more would result in cleaner water. Many thanks!

  14. Hi Beth,

    Chlorine and its by-products (VOCs & chloramine) are effectively removed by carbon based filters. The coconut shell filters are an example of these. The stage-3 filter that we recommend uses carbon media.

    Fluoride is a bit harder to remove and the filters tend to be quite expensive. Filters that contain activated alumina are best suited to removing fluoride from water. An activated alumina filter of 4.5″ x 20″ would be perfect for the Pentek filter housings.

    The only problem with adding extra filtration stages is that you might throttle the water pressure. I wouldn’t go higher than 3 stages.

    Hope this helps,


  15. Jaime,
    Thanks for all the help. Which whole house unit would you recommend in my situation?
    House about 2400 sq ft 2.5 bathrooms. Wife prefers a higher flow rate.
    Well water tested by water safe well-water test. 1. Bacteria- pending 2. copper 0-.25 3. Iron .2- .3 ppm 4. Nitrate 0 5. Ph 8.5 6. Hardness 425 ppm 7. chlorine 0 8. Lead 0 9. Pesticide neg.
    So far looking at ispring wgb32 b-pb and home master hmf3sdgfec
    Also taking into account maintenance and filter costs.
    Thanks for your thoughts.

  16. Hi Jeff,

    A whole house system that deals with heavy metals should be your priority. The level of iron is right on the limit of the drinking water standards, and there is also a significant presence of lead.
    The two systems that you mention are well equipped to deal with these types of contaminants.
    With regards to water flow, they should both be able to handle the water demands of your home.



  17. I noticed you reference the Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 (city water recommended) as not being effective for well water, but how about the Well Water Rhino, which is the system they recommend for well water from Aquasana? Is this system worth while?

  18. Hi Paul,

    The Aquasana Rhino for well water is a great system. I just feel there are other very good well water systems that aren’t as expensive.

    The Aquasana well water system wasn’t available at the time of writing, so our review doesn’t actually reference it. We’ll update that asap.

    It is a very convenient unit as you can have the filters, UV lamp, and even a water softener together in one unit. This makes installation much easier than piecing together separate units yourself. I’d highly recommend a UV lamp as it’s a great method of disinfecting the water to remove potentially harmful bacteria.

    With the Pro-Kit you also get a 0.35 micron post-filter. This level of filtration is the best I am aware of in whole house systems. They generally filter to about 1 micron.

    I’d highly recommend testing your water before making a decision on a system. We’ve got a resource for this here.

  19. Hi Jamie,

    Thanks agin for the excellent article. I have been searching for good buys on pieces that you recommend when i came across an Ispring WGB32B at a great price…($50 at a gargage sale!) I have municipal water and a water softner. Would the filter system go before or after the softner?


  20. Wow! That’s a great deal!

    Thanks for the kind words Mike, that’s nice to hear.

    The filtration system usually goes before the softener. The reason being that chlorine and sediment can affect the performance and lifespan of the softener.

    Good luck with the install!

  21. Need well water system, iron and calcium and lime to filter out. Happy to build one but not sure of filter components and UV solutions… and is a 4 estate appropriate? Do not want to lose pressure…

  22. I am considering getting a whole house system. I live in Clearwater Florida and we have fluoride, chloride and other contaminants in the city water. Which filter would be best suitable for this area?
    Thank you.

  23. My purication unit is a 6.8 liyte vessel with silver impregnated activated coconut carbon. What is the service life of the carbon in a 2 bartroom house with 3 people approximately.
    Tony riches

  24. Can anyone opine about the B-300 Chief Purification whole house system?

  25. And if you don’t need to the know-how to actually put that sink back together correctly, then you can end up with a much worse problem than you needed
    when it was just leaking or dripping. Noww today the recent
    trend is becoming a spaa bathtub in yyour case, the good way to pamper yourself with.
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    plumber is to ask friends and famkily whether they ccan recommend one to you.

  26. Hi Jamie,
    We have a 3000 gallon cistern buried in the ground. Our water is hauled by truck from our city water supply. We have come up with a showing of filamentous bacteria. What filter size and kind would we need to remove this? It is a feathery black growth. I’d also want to filter the chlorine. The problem with putting the filters at the point of entry is that the growth is probably in the pipes inside the house after the filter setup. I have read your whole article and find the info most useful.
    Our lab reports came back clean except for the filamentous problem and a 2000 count for magnesium. The lab said there was no EPA standard limit for that.
    Hoping you have some suggestions for me.

  27. Hi Jamie,
    We have a 3000 gallon cistern buried in the ground. Our water is hauled by truck from our city water supply. We have come up with a showing of filamentous bacteria. What filter size and kind would we need to remove this? It is a feathery black growth. I’d also want to filter the chlorine. The problem with putting the filters at the point of entry is that the growth is probably in the pipes inside the house after the filter setup. I have read your whole article and find the info most useful.
    Our lab reports came back clean except for the filamentous problem and a 2000 count for magnesium. The lab said there was no EPA standard limit for that.
    Hoping you have some suggestions for me.

  28. Hi Jamie,

    I would like to add a whole house filter system to eliminate small sand particles that come from our well. The water tastes great and tests good but there are sand particles that pass through the pump. The only good place to install the filter is in the pump house as we provide water to three separate homes on our farm. The pump house is a 8’X10′ wooden structure that doesn’t have a concern of freezing. The one caveat is that the supply pipe to the houses is 1″ and is 4 1/2″ inches above the cement floor. I am looking for a unit to capture sand particles that can handle a considerable volume of water and can be mounted either on its side or upside down.

    Thank you,

  29. Hello Admin,
    Thanks For important Article published.That’s a great post in the world.It is a very convenient unit as you can have the water filters,.Some questions for admin please answer?

  30. Thank you for publishing this guide because
    it definitely helped me decide where to go
    to filter my whole house.
    Good luck with the installation!

  31. Any experience with the Wayde king filtration system?

  32. Hello Jamie,

    I live in Central Florida and have municipal water. I want to know if I can install a whole house filter system outside? I have two reasons why I ask. First, my water softener is located outside and on the east side of my house. Second, I would have easy access to the pipes before they enter a concrete block wall. The filter would be exposed to direct sunlight for the early part of the day and I am not sure if that would effect the life or quality of the filter.


  33. Hello. I have a fairly new well, set in late 2016. Recently we have had issues with iron reducing bacteria that we cannot seem to clear. What whole house filter would you recommend for that? Thanks

  34. Hi jamie, would the rhino system with it 7gpm work for a house with 2 bath and 3 to 5 people leaving any giving time? I am afraid 7gpm is a little low but only this brand has built in water softener.

  35. I last corresponded with you in October and I finished installing my system in November. I have attached a picture of my system which includes the following filters:

    1) 1-PACK Of 1 Micron Big Blue 20″ x 4.5″ Pleated Washable Sediment Water Filter Cartridge by Aquaboon
    2) 4.5″ x 20″ Big Blue Refillable Inline Filter – Activated Alumina for Fluoride and Arsenic Removal

    3) Aquaboon C-20BB Big Blue Whole House Water Filter with Block Activated Carbon, 20-Inch

    I have not changed the filters since installation, because there has been no drop in pressure. (In fact, the pressure is 60 before the filters and over 70 after the filters; this sounds backwards to me. Any comments?)

    This past weekend, a friend lent me his Home Forest TDS, EC & Temp Meter. I was shocked (& horrified) to discover that my water filter system only removed 4 ppm (i.e.: 251 ppm unfiltered vs 247 ppm “filtered”). Ozarka 100% natural spring water registered only 23 ppm. Can you explain this to me?

    Thanks, in advance, for your time and consideration.

  36. Hey, thanks a lot for sharing this guide. Truly, water filters are a must as they help in ensuring that the water we are intaking is pure and toxic-free. I also have a water filter at home and I make sure that the filters are replaced every 6 months. I’m really happy with the product that I am owning at present. It’s of Aquaguard company and suits really best for me and my family.

  37. We receive our water from Lakeland Electric, Lakeland, FL. Are the whole house systems also be good for drinking water, or do you recommend a RO system at the kitchen sink? If a whole house system also provides good drinking water, is the Aquasana Rino EQ 1000 the best system? I cannot find a CCR report for our city, but I am sure it needs help.

  38. Hi Jamie,

    The plumber I am getting a bid from to install a system, recommends a manufacturer named Right-Water. Do you have any info on their products and how they compare to the ones in your post?


  39. Reply
    gizelda rothenberger August 4, 2018 at 5:21 am

    I live in Wilton Manors, Florida, Broward County…..the water is yellowish in color.
    Do not know what contaminants has……

  40. My very old system is set up outside. I’m in Florida so can you suggest a system that’s best for set up outside

  41. Just found your site and very impressed with all the information. We had a new well dug a few months ago and initially had no problems, but in the past month, we have had a decidedly increased rotten egg smell. We ran all the tests and everything came back within the published norms, so we are assuming it is just a hydrogen sulfide issue.

    It has gotten to the point that many of the plants in the yard that get hit with the sprinkler have been killed.

    I’m not concerned with the cost as much as I am with its overall effectiveness. I like the idea of multiple pressure gauges to know which filter needs to be changed and am very comfortable with creating my own whole house system rather than an assembled unit.

    What would you recommend for filters, etc.

    Thanks in advance

  42. We are building a 4,300 sq ft house with city water supply. I want to make sure we are filtering for fluoride. What filter would be best? I’m worried about water pressure being too low. Thanks!

  43. Can you provide some guidance on a whole house filter and softener? We are on city water but the water is very hard in South Orange County CA. We have a RO system at the kitchen sink for drinking but need something that will help for the whole house to prevent damage to our appliances and fixtures as well as better water for bathing. I am concerned about pressure drop and well as maintenance costs. Thank you!

  44. Thanks for the info. Is there a way to make the DYI remove copper? I need to get it out of my water as well.

  45. There is so much information here. It is great, but a little overwhelming. We recently purchased a home with well water and need some filtration/ph neutralizer/softener system. The lab test for our water indicates we have a ph of 6. There is high chloride, dissolved solids, and manganese, at the very least. What would you recommend as the best combination of systems? Is there something that filters and neutralizes ph and softens the water? If we are going to put the money into a system, we want to do it correct the first time. Thanks!

  46. Thank you SO much for all of the information, and for breaking down the DIY steps! Doesn’t sound so scary after all. Have been researching water filters for a tiny lake home renovation – I tore everything out and am putting in new everything, including plumbing, as if new construction… but I don’t know anything about plumbing. At the time of my research, it seems that whole house systems potentially suitable for lake water filtration range anywhere from $1300 to $5000. That’s a big range! Trying to figure out what I need has not been easy until I read your site. I appreciate it very much! I am going to go the DIY route so I can save $ and customize my filters based on my water test. Do you have any guidance on where to install the UV filter? (at which step in your instructions?) Thank you soooooo much!

  47. Hi Jamie..
    I appreciate your article and learned a lot. We are building in Leland,NC and have a water problem, which requires a whole house filtration system. Chemours Co. has been polluting the water supply and it will take several years before the county can install a water filtration system to resolve the issue. We need a system to remove GenX, PFAS and other industrial pollutants. I am trying to decide between an RO system and 3 – 7 stage filtration system. Could I use a Home Master HMF3SDGFEC, iSpring WGB32 3-Stage, Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000, or Build an Awesome 3-Stage to resolve this pollution issue or do I need the RO system? Thanks Jim

  48. This article is stellar. I have moved onto my grandmothers property and her, grandpa and their son put in their selves (cause 20 years ago they were licensed plumbers) They put together a well system that is driving me insane!!!! It has the well pump then it goes into a blue tank that then goes into a slow filtering sand filter with another pump then through a sanitizing type system. The sand and second pump are literally a constant up keep and money pit. I spend at least one to two full days messing with it every month and last year we spent over $1,000.
    We have a 4500 sq foot house and some property and an RV slab and wicked heavy iron.
    Also, will this type of system get rid of the sand and the second pump?

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