16 Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews (Updated 2019)
Whole house water filters are the perfect solution to having just one single filter in your house that purifies all the water entering your house before it leaves through all the taps and faucets. However, there is more to water purifiers than just cleaning water, and one good example is maintaining the taste and smell of water rather than just purifying it. Apart from that, you also need to maintain the right minerals in the water and its hardness. To keep in mind all these, and bring the best water filters, we bring you some of the best whole house water filters in the market.
Whole House Water Filter Reviews – The Top 10
Flow Rate (GPM)
3 – 4.5
4.5 x 20 x 4.5
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC
24 x 9 x 25
Home Master HMF2SDGC
22.5 x 14.2 x 12.9
Aquasana Premium Rhino
9 x 46 x 44
Express Water Whole House Water Filter
7 - 15
23.5 x 8.5 x 29.5
6 x 6 x 27
3 - 8
7.5 x 8.3 x 16.3
30 x 24 x 12
13.7 x 5.6 x 5.4
Watts WH-LD Premier
7.5 x 5.5 x 14
Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews
Without further ado, here are the top 16 whole house water filter reviews of the year. The list includes leading brands like iSpring, Home Master and even Apex.
1. iSpring FCRC25B Lead & Iron Reducing Replacement Water Filter
ISpring is a family owned leading water filter company that has become a heavyweight in the whole house waters filters for more than a decade. The iSpring FCRC25B is an excellent whole house water filter that gives a great value for your money. However, with all the excellent features that the water filtration system packs, it still comes at a decent and affordable price.
- It effectively reduces lead level in water below 15ppb (this is the EPA standard for drinking water).
- It has an ultra high capacity up to 150,000 gallons of water.
- It has a filter life of 15,000 ppm for lead and 30,000 ppm for iron.
- It has a flow rate of 3 to 4.5 GPM.
- It has a psi drop of 5 at a flow rate of 4 GPM.
- The feed water temperature is around 40 – 120F.
- The feed water pressure is around 20 – 100 psi.
What We Like –
The product can be considered quite cheap and affordable given the water capacity, and filter life is that of a higher standard product. This is an R/O drinking water cartridge that is made from FDA certified materials. The FCRC25B is capable of removing lead and other heavy materials from water and can carry a capacity of 2500 ppm gallons, even in hard water.
The water filter can also remove iron with the help of an R/O prefilter that is capable for the material more than 5000 ppm gallons! Even more, the water filter is also capable of removing iron fouling and metallic tastes in drinking water by removing various materials like iron, copper, cesium and galvanized pipes.
What We Do Not Like –
There have been complaints about iron build ups in toilets about a month of use or two, but this is not the case always so. Even though the water capacity of the filter is quite high, it is evident that the product is not for very big houses. Also, you have to note that the reducing filter for iron is much lower than the capacity for lead and therefore, there is a chance that the filter may lose effectiveness before the life expectancy.
Given the price, the FCRC25B packs excellent features, and it will last longer than most whole house water filters in the market. This is most definitely a must have product if you live in a small to medium sized house.
2. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is an elite whole house water purification system that comes from a company that makes the top ten lists of best whole house water filters every year. Home Master water filtration systems deliver clean and clear water with pressure performance that you rarely get from other home water filtration systems.
- It has a 3-stage water filtration system.
- It has a flow rate of 15 gallons per minute!
- It houses multi gradient density replaceable sediment that makes for a finer filtration system and it also has a great dirt holding capacity.
- Filtration is down to 1 micron!
- It has a 100,000 gallon capacity coconut shell carbon filter that can provide your family a full year of crystal clear and tasteful water.
- It has an excellent purification system that can remove up to 95% of substances like iron, manganese, sediments, chemicals, and many other harmful substances. This also makes your water smell clean and removes foul tastes.
- The big size of the filters increase flow rate and decrease the maintenance frequency.
What We Like –
The most helpful feature of the water filter is that it has a 3-stage filtration system that can remove up to 95% of harmful substances from water. Besides that, the filter is also very powerful and can remove dirt and chemicals with ease and without losing any water pressure.
The oversized filters are a godsend since it increases flow rate tenfold than any other in-home water filters. This also helps the water filter to be less frequently checked for maintenance. Due to its capacity and excellent filtration system, the home water filter is usable in large housings.
What We Do Not Like –
It does not come as a surprise that this cost a lot since it has a lot of power and functions that you would not find in conventional home water filter systems. However, since this is made for bigger houses, the price is actually justified in a sense.
There also have been complaints that the filter is quite hard and expensive to set up. Due to missteps, there have been several cases where users get tainted water. Also, some people say that iron is not filtered correctly, resulting in yellow colored water.
If you are looking for the best water filter out there in the market, and you have quite a large house, then there is no doubt that this is the filter for you. The water filter capacity, 3-stage purification system, and the filter size make up for one heck of a water filter!
3. Home Master HMF2SDGC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter
Given the brand of the HMF2SDGC, it should not come as a surprise that you have two consecutive Home Master water filters on the list. This filter, in particular, is almost similar to the HMF3SDGFEC, and the main difference is that this one houses a 2-stage filtration process instead of three.
- Despite being a 2-stage water filter system, this product offers five layers of filtration.
- The taste and odor of chlorine and other chemicals are filtered out with the help of coconut shell carbon filter.
- The carbon capacity of the water filter is 95,000. The lifespan of the 2nd filter is based on the contamination of the water supply.
- Like the 3-stage sibling, this too can remove up to 95% of the contaminants in your water supply.
- You get a 2-year warranty with the house water filter.
- There is a 1-inch inlet/outlet set of ports with the filter.
What We Like –
Even though Home Master says that the maximum water pressure is at 15 gallons per minute, you can get 20 gallons at max. However, using the filter at this pressure level cannot be advised. The oversized filters are also helpful since it improves the flow rate and decreases the number of times you need to get this to the doctor!
The HMF2SDGCC can also be used with additional purification products that are made for home. All you have to do is connect the filter behind your water softener or a UV sanitizer to get the full system running smoothly.
What We Do Not Like –
Even though the filter is quite expensive, this is considered an entry-level limited filtration system. This works well with municipal water supplies but will suffer a little while working with wells.
Moreover, the filter is made to work as a sediment and chlorine remover, and thus, you cannot remove manganese, iron, and sulfur with this variant.
All in all, if you are looking for a reliable water filter for a moderately sized house in the suburbs or a municipal, then this is the perfect filter for you. Even though there are tolerance issues with this variant, there are solutions to them.
How to Choose the Right Whole House Water Filter Systems For Home
It is not easy to choose the correct whole house water filtration system and saltless water softener especially since there are many options to choose from and many water softener reviews to look at. However, our guide will give you a complete and clear guide as to which system might be the best one for your home.
What to Look for When Buying a Whole House Water Filter
There are many aspects to a water filter and you need to know exactly what it is that you are looking for.
- Types of Filter
There are different types of water filter in the market, and the most common one is that carbon block water filter. The not only does a fine job of holding back sediments but it also removes chlorine and other chemicals to make you water perfectly healthy to drink. It is very important to note that different filter blocks are made to filter different contaminants. You must first understand the quality of water you are supplied with. For example, if your water supply is high on heavy metal contaminations, then you need a copper-zinc filter to filter out those impurities. If you have a high amount of chlorine, bad odor, and chemicals, then you need a carbon filter to eliminate them (look at coconut shell carbon filter). Lastly, if your water supply is high on bacterial growth, then you need a UV filter.
- Water Flow
Water Flow is a big issue that you MUST look at when buying a water filter. This is because different water filters filter out different amounts of water per minute. This means that if you own a big home, then you need a water filtration system that filters more than 20 gallons per minute since this filtered water will then go to your appliances. If you own a smaller house, then you might want to buy a water filtration system that can filter at least 10 gallons per minute.
- Filter Lifespan
Each filter has a lifespan, and that is usually between 3 months to a year. However, the best water filters out there can serve you up to a million gallons of water until you need to change to a new one! Yet they are insanely pricy and therefore, you need to decide a budget before going to store. Normally people tend to buy filters in a pack which usually can last them a year or two at most. All in all, you have to look at water consumption in your house and your budget when buying a water filter.
- Micron Rating
Micron rating is also very important when dealing with water filters since this is what tells you how much power your system holds and how effectively your system will filter impurities. If you have the best possible filter in the market then it will block anything that is over 0.35 microns in size. A micron is a thousandth of a millimeter. Keep in mind the smaller the micron rating is, the more expensive your water filter will get. It is recommended that for average households, it is important to buy at least a 5 micron rated water filter. Although it is completely dependent on what type of water supply your house is connected to.
When and why is a Water Filtration System Necessary?
It is obvious that you need a water filtration system to improve the quality of your water supply. There are multiple reasons that you need a home water filtration system for and they can be –
- When your water is contaminated with chlorine and other chemicals.
- Your water has a high amount of bacterial growth.
- Your water has a bad odor and weird taste.
- You have cloudy water.
These are some of the many reasons for you to buy a water filtration system for your home. The best thing you can do is buy a test kit for your water that will tell you if a water filtration system is necessary since buying and maintaining a system can prove to be costly especially if you have a big house where you do not need one. Some filters can cost more than 1,500 USD!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use a Whole Home Water Filter?
A home water filter is best used when you have a contaminated supply of water. This happens when your water supply is connected to the Municipal water supply or from a well. There are several ways for you to notice when you need a water filtration system, but the easiest way to recognize the need for one when your water is chlorinated. This is because chlorinated water gives off a distinct odor that is impossible to miss and certainly so when you try to drink it.
It is pretty common to have chlorinated water since chlorine is used in Water Treatment plants to disinfect water supplies before they are supplied to residents. Some people are even used to drinking chlorinated water; however, it can be very harmful to your health.
One of the most common effects of using chlorinated water is that it will leave your skin dry and your hair quite dull. After you install a water filter, you will see a noticeable change in your skin and hair.
A very important reason to buy a whole house water filter is that it is very environment-friendly. It does not produce any byproducts that later harm the environment. Some water filters do not even require you to connect it to an electrical outlet for power.
Think of what happens when you buy bottled water; you leave a massive amount of carbon footprints behind, and they come in plastic bottles, of which, not all are recycled and many discarded which do not decompose and leave the environment contaminated.
These are some of the many reasons why it is crucial to buy a whole house water supply. Even aside from chlorine contamination, you have rust, silt, sediment, and heavy metal contaminations all the time, and while some people are used to drinking chlorine water, it is certainly impossible to drink water that is filled with heavy metals, rusts, and sediments. A glass of water like this will not be drinkable at all.
How to Install and Change Whole House Water Filters?
Different water filtration system will require you to install them differently. However, there is a general why to do so, and if you do not want the help of a plumber to set up the filtration system, then you can follow these steps to do so.
- First turn off the main water supply and then drain the rest of the system.
- Choose where you want your system to be and mark it. Choose a place where it will be easy to get to since you need to change filters periodically.
- Cut up the pipe according to the length that you need.
- Install the compression nuts and fittings as it is told in the instruction manual that you get with the system since this is where different systems are required different approaches. Make sure you use Teflon tapes to eliminate the risk of leaks.
- Install the inlets and outlets by making sure that they are facing the right directions.
- Check for leaks after installing the system.
How to Change a Water filter?
It is very easy to change water filters, all you have to do is follow the few steps necessary –
- Turn off the inlet valve.
- You should have a provided wrench; use it to screw the filter off. (Keep a bucket at hand to collect droplets).
- It is advised that you clean the inside of the filter before installing a new one.
- Insert the new filter and make sure to wrench it tight.
- Turn on the valve slowly to let the water in without any air pockets to prevent lime-scaling.
- Be sure to keep the water running for at least 10 to 20 minutes before drinking water.
How to Build Your Own 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter?
- Installing a 3-Stage Water filter is pretty easy, in fact, it is almost as simple as installing one simple water filter. To do so, you need to follow a few steps while also keeping in mind some important notes.
- Some people try to bypass to filters when installing a water filtration system. Most people do that to get unfiltered water through some faucets. This is not recommended since you are open to the chance of accidentally open one and have all those unfiltered water rush into your house. In fact, you do not need to do that for a number of reasons. It takes only a matter of minutes to have filters in place. Otherwise, if you do want unfiltered water, all you have to do is tap off the faucet before it comes to the filter.
- Install a pressure gauge before and after your filter chain if you want to know exactly when you have to change your water filter. You just need to install one between each of the filters to know when a change is needed. Even if this might prove to be costly, it is one time only and will prove really helpful in the future.
- Make you that when you build the system, you test the screwing properly before everything is finalized. A fault in this will usually result in either accidental leaks, or it will make it a pain to get the filter hosing off.
- Make sure to install isolation valves before and after the chain so that you do not need to drain the entire system to change just one filter.
- There are red pressure release buttons on systems, if your one does not have it, install a sediment tap to relieve pressure. This will prove to be convenient in the future.
- Also, the flow rate specified is for one filter only, so when installing 3 in a row, the pressure will decrease.
What do whole house water filters remove?
It does not matter where your water comes from; you can be certain that wherever it comes from, your water can be much better if you install a home water filtration system.
The most common thing that water filters eliminate is chlorine and other harmful chemicals. Chlorine is most common since all water treatment plants use it to disinfect water from bacteria and other harmful contaminants. Water filters use a carbon block filter to remove chlorine and other chemicals. These filters also remove bad taste and odor from water supplies when necessary. IcePure has a great taste filter that is particularly designed for this purpose and can do a better job than most other filters that are built to do just that.
Beside chlorine removal, water filters can also remove different types of sediments like dirt, sand, rust, and dust. If your water supply has a high amount of sediments, then you should consider buying a multi-stage filtration system which makes the water finer with each stage. This is where the use of reusable filters comes in; in case you have a water supply with fewer sediments, use disposable finer filters.
Iron is another major issue for drinking water, and there are two types of it – ferric (rust or red water iron) and ferrous (dissolved and clean water iron). In case of red water iron, you need a sediment filter since the sediments are not actually dissolved, but in case of clear water iron, oxidation or ion exchange filters are needed.
These are more or less what you expect a water filtration system would remove from your water supply.
Where are Whole House Water Filters Installed?
It is advised that you install the water filtration system as close to the entry point as possible, and most of the time, this is where your water heater is located at. If possible installing the water filter even before the water heater is beneficial since there is a chance that the unfiltered water may cause lime-scaling on the walls of your water heater if your water supply is high on hard water.
However, this is not always so since you must first figure out where you are getting the water from since acquiring it from a municipal source and a well will affect the order your system is arranged in. Scale prevention is the primary problem of why you must install a water filter before all other appliances.
If your water comes from a well then the first thing you have is the well pump to pull up water, then the next thing you set up is the pressure tank. Since there is no chlorine is well water, you really do not need to read water softener reviews to understand how that would work.
If your water comes from a municipal water supply then you need to do the exact opposite. You need to install the water filter first so it protects other appliances from scaling. This will prolong the life of all of your appliances at home.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using UV Water Filters
You need UV filters mostly when there is a high amount of bacterial growth inside your home or if your water supply has a high amount of bacteria, like in wells. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using UV water filters –
- The taste and odor of water is unaffected since it does not use any kinds of chemical to filter water.
- You have to invest very little when installing a UV filter since there is almost no cost of investment and maintenance. All you need to do is change the filter once a year and you are good to go for another long year.
- Even though chlorine is used to eliminate microorganisms, there are some out there that are resistant to chlorine; however, with the use of UV filters, you can eliminate even them. UV filters are able to eliminate chlorine resistant bacteria such as Giardia, E-coil, and many more.
- This is an eco-friendly process since it does not involve any kind of chemical, and neither does it add anything to the water. This is a completely physical process – the UV rays eliminate the genetic structure of the microorganism in question, making them ineffective.
- It is true that UV filters almost completely eliminates all kinds of microorganisms in your water, but that is as far as you can go with that. UV water filters will not eliminate chemical, heavy metals, sediments, volatile contaminants, and hard water. This means you must set up a multi-stage water filtration system with other filters of another type to have safe water to drink.
- Installing a multi-stage filter is very costly since these systems are expensive. Add that with buying two or more filters together and you have a big purchase in the future.
Which Whole House Water Filtration System is the Best?
This question does not actually have one answer; in fact, there is no best water filter at all. What is the answer however is the fact that through close analysis of your water supply and household need, you can find the water supply that is best for you and you only!
There are different kinds of water supply out in the market. First of let’s consider the expensive ones out there. We can look at Aquasana’s EQ-1000 which costs well over one thousand dollars. It is very versatile and can do a lot of stuff while lasting up to 1 million gallons of use! However, can you really call it the best for you if you have a small house and are willing with 2 to 3 persons, or if you are living alone?
The 3M Aqua-Pure is another good water filter out there you can get but only at a fraction of the price of the exalted EQ-1000. This filter will perfectly do all the jobs for you but for a small home. However, it does tend to have expensive filters and will clog up from time to time. But, if you are in no place to spend over a thousand dollars on water filtration systems, then this is the stuff for you.
The DuPont WFHD13001B is another good example of a good water filter that is way cheaper than the ones mentioned above, coming at only 30 bucks. This does the job of filtration perfectly, but for a small house of 1 to 4 people. It also has cheap filters that you can buy anytime without trouble and is very easy to install.
This means that the best water filter is what you need for your house and yours alone. Explore these water filters on the water filter reviews above and you will certainly find the best one that suits your needs.
How Much Does a Whole House Water Filter Cost?
The cost of a water filter will depend upon what type and what filter you are buying. If you are looking at water filtration systems alone, then the most expensive ones will cost you around 1,500 USD while cheaper ones are valued at as low as 30 USD! However, do not mistake that these cheaper ones are bad. They just do their tasks on a smaller scale than the more expensive ones.
You also need to think about what and how many filters you need with your system. Some systems support multiple filters, and some systems will support only one.
Filters like the Home Master HMF3SDGC support up to 3 filters but is quite costly, especially when you compare it to the DuPont WFHD13001B. Besides that, each of the filters must be changed when its lifetime is up, and that means the more filter you have, the more your system will cost when going for maintenance.
Furthermore, buying the home water filter is not the only cost you will face if you do not know how to set it up, and that means you have to hire a plumber to complete the installation. Usually, plumbers can charge you as high as 100 USD depending on the workload!
How often should I change my water filter or how long does a water filter last?
The estimated lifespan of a water filter is usually written on the box it comes in. However, you will find that most of the time, these water filters will not work as long as what is projected and this is because of your water supply. If it is full of bacteria and heavy metals and sediments, you can be certain your filter will not last as long it is projected unless you have a costly one, like the Aquasana’s Premium Rhino.
Cheaper water filters usually have a lifespan of 3 to 6 months. Regarding water capacity, these can last up to 15,000 to 30,000 gallons of use. However, EQ-1000’s filter can last of 1 million gallons of use! That can last you more than five years even if you are living in a large house with lots of people living together.
An average water filter like the 3M has a capacity of 300,000 gallons and can last you around three years, and this altogether increases the lifespan of all other appliances in your house that uses water.
Replacing these filters are the main cost of maintenance since there is little that you do after buying the water filtration system itself. To replace the filters promptly, mark your calendar, or install pressure gauges between each filter. If you suffer frequent pressure drops, then it is time to change your filter.
What happens if water filter is not changed and is it not dangerous to change water filter?
If you look at other appliances, you will notice that each that something has a lifespan and should not be used beyond that. Consider carbon or charcoal filters; they are very dense pieces of carbon that act as a sponge for contaminants; they have a threshold that you should not cross, which would otherwise result in very unclean water.
Other than that, filters have a lifespan up to which it can filter out contaminants. If you go beyond that, the filters will not properly anymore.
If you do not change your water filter, then multiple things can happen. The first thing that can happen is that your water can go through the filter completely unfiltered; this will not only be a real issue to your health, and it will also further shorten the lifespan of other appliances since there is nothing that will stop hard water from scaling your system.
It is true that first world countries usually do not have many pathogens in tap water, however, even after that, you should have a filter in space that will eliminate other culprits in the water. No matter where you live, there will always be contaminants in water if you do not have a water filter in place.
Moreover, if you do not change your filters in time, there will be a gradual buildup of minerals that will turn into kidney stones. Now, these stones are not harmful more or else; however, these are very hard to get rid of and are very costly. This is because kidney stones are removed using ultrasound technology.
Moreover, the impurities that will build up will in pipes and faucets will not be filtered if you do not change filters. Lastly, the most annoying thing about clogging is the reduction of water pressure. This will significantly affect all your appliances at home since the water filter is the entry point of all the water coming to your home.
Do unused water filters expire?
If unused water filters are left dry and in cold temperatures, it can last forever, and you can easily stock up on some of them that can last you a few years. However, the most important thing to remember is that if you get it wet, even if you do not install it in, the thing changes. This is where your filter will start to be vulnerable to bacterial growths.
This is because water filters are made of carbon and no chemicals. Therefore, if you use the filter in small volumes and leave it untouched for a few days, it will serve you well beyond the expected time of death.
How often do you change Aquasana’s filters?
Aquasana’s filters are almost legendary since the EQ-1000 has a 1,000,000 gallons lifespan. Most normal filters only have a capacity of 15,000 to 30,000 gallons while moderately priced filters are rated at 300,000 gallons which are not even half of that of an Aquasana filter.
However, normal high-rated Aquasana filters can last up to 6 months of constant use, and these must be bought separately. Moreover, Aquasana’s cartridges mostly come in packs of 2 that can last you a year, and since you can stock them up without having to worry about expiry date, you can stock them up for years to come.
Usually, if continuously used, people tend to change filters after six months of use.
If you read out guide, you can rest assured that you can find exactly which whole house water filter you need for your home. Our whole house water filter reviews are continuously updated to complement the ever-changing market of today.
You have to note that the best whole house water filter does not necessarily equate to being the most expensive one on the market; instead, it is the one that gives you the most exceptional value for your money.
Therefore, hope this guide has helped you decide which water filter best suits your needs and happy buying!
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