The Best Iron Filter for Well Water Reviews in 2021 (+ Buyer’s Guide)

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2021/01/08 - Updated: 2021/02/17

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Iron in well water can cause several problems, such as:

  1. Clogging of pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances resulting in reduced water pressure and flow
  2. Ugly stains in showers, toilets, sinks, and bath tubs
  3. Metallic water taste and bad smell
  4. Dry, discolored hair and wrinkling of your skin
  5. Iron bacteria can even promote the growth of other, much more dangerous microorganisms

The good news is there are several iron water filters on the market that can solve almost any iron contamination problem. You just need the right one for your water conditions.

So, here is our collection of the 8 best iron filters for well water. Enjoy!

Contents

Best Iron Filters for Well Water – Top Picks

ProductsSpecs & FeaturesWhere to Buy
Best Overall
SpringWell WS Whole House Iron Water Filter SpringWell WS Whole House Iron Water Filter

SpringWell WS

★★★★★
  • Price: $$$
  • Iron Removal: 7 ppm of Iron (Ferric + Ferrous)
  • Flow Rate: 12-20 gpm
  • Service Life of Filter Media: 18-25 Years
  • Best For: Best For Moderate Amount of Iron

Or read our review

#1 for Very High Iron
SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System

SoftPro Iron Master AIO

★★★★

  • Price: $$
  • Iron Removal: 30 ppm of Iron (Ferric + Ferrous)
  • Flow Rate: 5-10 gpm
  • Service Life of Filter Media: 5-10 Years
  • Best For: Best For Very High Levels of Iron

Or read our review

#1 Cartridge-Based
Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Sediment, Iron & Carbon Filter Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Sediment, Iron & Carbon Filter

Home Master HMF3SdgFeC

★★★★

  • Price: $$
  • Iron Removal: 3 ppm of Iron (Ferric + Ferrous)
  • Flow Rate: 15 gpm
  • Filtration Capacity: 6-12 Months
  • Best For: Best For Low Levels of Iron

Or read our review

#1 Softener for Iron
SpringWell SS Salt Based Water Softener System SpringWell SS Salt Based Water Softener System

SpringWell SS

★★★★★
  • Price: $$$
  • Iron Removal: 3 ppm of Iron (Ferrous)
  • Flow Rate: 11-20 gpm
  • Grain Rating: 32,000-80,000
  • Best For: Best For Low Levels of Iron

Or read our review

Best Iron Filter for Well Water Reviews

The order of the following whole house iron filter reviews is deliberate. Our favorite products are at the top.

1. SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System

In our opinion, the best iron filter for well water in 2021 is the SpringWell WS. It uses air injection plus greensand media filtration to remove up to 7 parts per million of ferric and ferrous iron from your water. Other water contaminants that the system can remove include hydrogen sulfide (up to 8 ppm) and manganese (1 ppm).

Simply put, if you’re having trouble with iron staining, metallic taste, or rotten-egg smell, the SpringWell WS iron filter system makes a great choice.

SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at springwellwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Removes iron: 7 ppm of iron (ferric iron + ferrous iron)[1]
  • Service life: 18 to 25 years
  • Water flow rate depends on which filter size you choose
    • WS1 filter system: 12 gallons of water per minute (1-4 bathrooms)
    • WS4 filter system: 20 gallons per minute (large households with 4+ bathrooms)

Pros

  • Greensand is also effective against arsenic and radium.
  • The water filtration process is safe for your septic system.
  • The System can be programmed and monitored using the digital control unit or your mobile phone or tablet.
  • Do-it-yourselfer can do the installation themselves. Written and video instructions are provided by the manufacturer.
  • Daily air pocket resets and backwashing of the filter media are fully automated for maximum convenience.
  • According to SpringWell, the greensand has a service life of 18 to 25 years – maintenance free!
  • The package includes a 6-month money-back guarantee. During this period you can try the system and, if you are unhappy with its performance, send it back for a full refund.
  • A lifetime product warranty provides peace of mind.

Cons

  • The only small issue is the plastic fittings. Personally, we would have preferred metal.

Or read our full SpringWell Water WS system review

2. SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System

For extremely high iron content in well water, we recommend the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System by Quality Water Treatment. It combines air injection oxidation with Katalox media to remove iron (up to 30 ppm), manganese (up to 7 ppm), and hydrogen sulfide (up to 5 ppm).

SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System

★★★★

See More Product Images at qualitywatertreatment.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Filters iron: Up to 30 ppm of iron (ferric + ferrous)
  • Katalox service life: 5 to 10 years
  • Water flow rate depends on which filter size you choose
    • 1.0 cu. ft. filter system: 5 gpm (1 bathroom)
    • 1.5 cu. ft. filter system: 7 gpm (1-2 bathrooms)
    • 2.0 cu. ft. filter system: 10 gpm (1-3 bathrooms)

Pros

  • In the top of the tank, Air Injection Oxidation (AIO) technology uses oxygen in our air to boost iron removal.
  • The SoftPro Elite control head is highly efficient to save water during backwash.
  • In vacation mode, the SoftPro Elite pauses backwashing. Only when no water has been used for 7 days will the system do a “quick refresh” to control germs.
  • Katalox usually lasts between 5 and 10 years, depending on your water quality and usage.
  • The only maintenance that may be required from your end is cleaning of the piston, seals, and spacers
  • System installation is easy. It makes a great DIY project and saves you money. What’s more, at the time of writing this review Quality Water Treatment offers useful quick connect hoses as a free bonus.
  • QWT offers a 100% no-risk satisfaction guarantee. It allows you to return the product within the first 60 days after purchase for a refund.
  • There is a limited lifetime warranty on the tank and control valve except wear parts. The circuit board is warranted for 7 years.

Cons

3. Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Sediment, Iron & Carbon Filter

If you prefer cartridge-based water filters for well water, you should check out the Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Sediment, Iron & Carbon Filter. As the name suggests, it filters sediments and iron from your water. In addition, the carbon filter removes bad taste and odor, chemicals, VOCs, and several other contaminants.

Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Sediment, Iron & Carbon Filter

★★★★

See More Product Images at theperfectwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Designed to remove: Up to 3 ppm of iron (ferric + ferrous)
  • Filter life: 6 to 12 months
  • Optimal well water pH: 7 or higher
  • Water flow rate: 15 gpm (enough water for 4+ bathrooms)

Pros

  • Filter stage one targets larger particulates such as sand and dust. The multi-gradient density filter cartridge (25-10-5-1 microns nominal) also traps bacteria and cyst down to a size of 1 micron.
  • The second filter stage of the Home Master HMF3SdgFeC whole house water filter system is the actual iron filter. It’s suited for moderate iron levels. Ideally, your water is free from sulfur and bacterial iron, and manganese content is below 1 ppm. Otherwise, the filter’s service life is shortened.
  • At stage 3, we have a granular activated carbon filter. It focuses on removing water disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides, and similar contaminants. Plus, it improves water aesthetics.
  • The guys at theperfectwater.com offer to check anyone’s well water report for free providing advice on the best ways of treatment.
  • The system is easy to install if you are handy with tools. An optional mounting bracket is included in the package.
  • For system maintenance you need to replace the different filter stages on a regular basis, about once or twice per year – piece of cake.
  • A two-year limited warranty covers the entire system.

Cons

  • Depending on your water quality and usage, the yearly expenses for replacement iron filters can really add up.
  • This well water iron filter does not feature a bypass valve.

4. Pelican WF Iron & Manganese Water Filter

In a nutshell, the Pelican WF Iron & Manganese Water Filter uses 4 stages of filtration to provide great-tasting and odorless water free from any type of iron and manganese.

And if you also purchase the Pelican RT-1248 retention tank you can even treat bacterial iron. Basically, the tank design allows for longer contact time between water and bleach added in the previous step. Apart from oxidizing clear-water iron, manganese, and sulfur, the chlorination system will also kill iron bacteria. Everything gets removed in the next filter stage. Any excess bleach will be removed by the large carbon filter.[2]

Pelican WF Iron & Manganese Water Filter

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at pelicanwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$$
  • Designed to remove: Up to 10 ppm of iron (ferric + ferrous)
  • Service life: 10 to 15 years
  • Water flow rate depends on which filter size you choose
    • WF4 filter: 10 gallons per minute (1-4 bathroom)
    • WF8 filter: 15 gallons per minute (4+ bathrooms)

Pros

  • The first filter stage removes sediments from your well water. The 5-micron poly-spun cartridge helps protect the rest of the system setup as well as your home appliances from the damaging effects of dirt and debris.
  • Next comes the chlorine injector. It pulls bleach out of the solution tank and injects it into the water for pre-oxidation of iron and other heavy metals.
  • Stage 3 is a large tank filled with Greensand Plus filter media. The granular bed traps all iron and manganese.
  • Lastly, the carbon filtration system reduces chlorine, chloramine, a bunch of chemicals, tastes, and odors.
  • According to Pentair Pelican, the entire water filtration process is safe for use with septic systems.
  • Maintaining the system is not as difficult as it may seem. All you need to do is replace the sediment pre-filter every 6 to 9 months and the injector pump O-rings and check valve every 6 to 12 months. The greensand tank flushes itself and the carbon tank is virtually maintenance-free.
  • A 90-day satisfaction guarantee, a 7-year limited warranty on the head unit of the whole house iron filter, and a limited lifetime warranty on all tanks and other parts provide peace of mind.

Cons

  • People complained about the injector pump being too loud.

5. Crystal Quest Iron Whole House Water Filter

Another top rated whole house water filter for high iron levels is the Crystal Quest. Apart from sulfur and manganese, it can handle iron concentrations in water of around 12 parts per million.

Crystal Quest Iron Whole House Water Filter

★★★★

See More Product Images at crystalquest.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Filter system removes: 12 ppm of iron (ferrous + ferric)
  • Iron filtration capacity and water flow rate depend on which system size you choose
    • 1.5 cubic feet filter: 750,000 gallons or 5-7 years, 9-11 gpm (1-3 bathrooms)
    • 2.0 cubic feet filter: 1,000,000 gallons or 6-8 years, 10-13 gpm (3-4 bathrooms)

Pros

  • A 5-micron pre-filter catches sand, silt, and other sediments to protect the following filter stages from clogging.
  • The large media tank filled with glauconite greensand filters iron through oxidation followed by mechanical filtration. Additional KDF media stops bacteria from fouling the tank.
  • At last, a coconut shell carbon block filter improves well water taste and smell by removing a wide range of organic compound and chemicals.
  • Both small and large tanks can be upgraded to stainless steel for longevity.
  • Thanks to backwashing technology the greensand lasts for several years, so the only maintenance required is changing the pre and post-filter cartridges on a yearly basis – at minimal cost.
  • System installation and programming can be done by do-it-yourselfers. Just make sure to follow to the provided instructions precisely.
  • Crystal Quest provides a performance guarantee. You’ll get your money back if this well water iron filter doesn’t work as advertised.
  • Filtration system is warranted for one year.

Cons

6. SpringWell SS Salt Based Water Softener System

Traditional ion exchange water softeners can be used for filtering iron from well water. The best system for this purpose is the SpringWell SS: It’s designed for removing up to 3 ppm ferrous iron, manganese (1 ppm), and a bit of hydrogen sulfide.

Naturally, using a water softener will also give you access to softened water free from hard minerals like calcium and magnesium. There are many benefits associated with soft water, but most importantly, preventing limescale build-up in your entire plumbing system including appliances leads to less maintenance and fewer repaired required long-term. Other positive side effects include healthier hair and skin, soft clothes, and no more hard water staining.

SpringWell SS Salt Based Water Softener System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at springwellwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Iron removal: 3 ppm of ferrous
  • Flow rate and softener grain rating depend on which size you choose
    • SS1 system: 11 gallons per minute (1-3 bathrooms), 32,000-grain capacity
    • SS4 system: 13 gpm water flow (4-6 bathrooms), 48,000-grain capacity
    • SS+ system: 20 gpm (7+ bathrooms), 80,000-grain capacity

Pros

  • SpringWell’s SS Salt Based Water Softener System is fully automated. The control head takes care of everything from monitoring water usage to regeneration of the softening resin.
  • Demand-initiated regeneration saves salt and water.
  • The resin tank comes with a Vortech plate for even higher backwashing efficiency.
  • Configuring the softener initially can be done via mobile phone or tablet, or directly at the system’s head unit.
  • The 10% crosslink resin is more resistant against chlorine than regular 8% resin –lasts up to twice as long.
  • A neoprene jacket protects the tank from damage.
  • Installation is easy. A full install kit with detailed written instructions and video content are provided.
  • You don’t need to worry about installing a bypass. The control head has one built in.
  • SpringWell offers a 6-month money-back guarantee. During that period you can test the water softener and, if you’re not satisfied for whatever reason, send it back for a full refund.
  • You also get a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Nothing so far.

7. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener with Fleck 5600SXT

Just like the SpringWell SS, the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener by AFWFilters eliminates hard water scaling and iron staining all at once. However, this time we have a special fine-mesh resin specifically designed for removing iron. Thus, higher ferrous iron concentrations of up to 7 ppm can be handled.

AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener with Fleck 5600SXT

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at amazon.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Filter iron: 7 ppm of iron (ferrous)
  • Flow rate: Up to 16 gpm
  • Grain rating: 64,000

Pros

  • This water softener is ideal for up to 70 grains per gallon water hardness, 7 ppm iron, and 6 ppm of manganese. Sediment particles will likewise be removed from your well water.
  • As usual, the regen process is metered to save resources.
  • The fine-mesh resin lasts longer with high levels of iron than regular resin.
  • The Iron Pro 2 comes with a complete installation kit including sanitizer and lubricant.
  • The Fleck 5600 SXT control valve is warranted for 5 years. You get 10 years on the resin and brine tank.

Cons

  • People complained about customer support.
  • Installation instructions could do with an upgrade.

8. Review: AFWFilters Air Injection Platinum 15 with Fleck 2510SXT

Another solid iron filter alternative is the Air Injection Platinum also by AFWFilters. It combines air injection oxidation with Filox media filtration to achieve “top of the line removal of iron, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and manganese”.

AFWFilters Air Injection Platinum 15 with Fleck 2510SXT

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at amazon.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Filter removes: 27 ppm of clear-water & red-water iron
  • Flow rate: 9 gpm (1-3 bathrooms)
  • Service life: ?

Pros

  • A pressurized air pocket at the top of the tank pre-oxidizes contaminants which then pass through manganese dioxide (Filox) where they get trapped. This allows for the removal of up to 27 ppm iron, up to 17 ppm hydrogen sulfide, and up to 11 ppm of manganese.
  • The Fleck 2510SXT digital air injection control valve takes care of everything, from filtering to backwashing.
  • The Vortech tank design improves backwash flow and increasing media life.

Cons

  • On the one hand, the package includes a bypass valve which makes installation a lot easier. However, a few reviewers said the ease of installation and utility of the instructions provided were far below expectations. “Tech support is a waste of time” and the entire system not worth the money.

Water Filters for Iron Comparison Chart

How do the best iron filters for well water perform when directly compared to each other?

Product$$$Iron TypesFlow RateBest ForDetails
SpringWell WS Whole House Filter$$$Ferrous + Ferric Iron, 7 ppm12-20 gpmBest Water Filter For Well Water With Iron (Moderate)Water Filtration System Removes Iron, Manganese and Sulfur, Pre-Loaded
SoftPro Iron Master AIO Whole House Filter$$Ferrous + Ferric Iron, 30 ppm5-10 gpmBest For Very High Iron LevelsFiltration System Removes Iron, Sulfur and Manganese, Easy to Install, Pre-Loaded
Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3 Stage Filter$$Ferrous + Ferric Iron, 3 ppm15 gpmBest Cartridge-Style Unit3-Stage Filter, Filtration System For Iron and Manganese, Includes Sediment Filter, Easy to Install
Pelican WF Whole House Filter$$$$Ferrous + Ferric Iron, 10 ppm10-15 gpmIron and Manganese in Well Water SupplyFiltration System Removes Iron, Sulfur and Manganese, Uses Sediment Pre-Filter, Pre-Loaded
Crystal Quest Whole House Iron Filter$$$Ferrous + Ferric, 12 ppm9-13 gpmIron + ChemicalsFiltration System For Iron, Manganese and Sulfur, Uses Sediment Filter (Pre-Filter), May Achieve Drinking Water Quality, Pre-Loaded
SpringWell SS$$$Ferrous, 3 ppm11-20 gpmBest Rated Ion Exchange Softener for Iron in Well or Tap WaterFiltration System For Iron and Manganese, Easy to Install, Pre-Loaded
AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Whole House Filter$$Ferrous, 7 ppmUp to 16 gpmSoftener for High Amount of IronChemical-Free Filtration System For Iron, Manganese and Sulfur
AFWFilters Air Injection Platinum 15 Whole House Filter$$Ferric + Ferrous, 27 ppm9 gpmVery High Iron in Well WaterChemical-Free Filtration System For Iron and Manganese

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose an Iron Filter for Your Home

A whole house iron water filter has many benefits, IF you choose one that’s up to standards. To help you make the best buying decision, here is our iron filter for well water buyer’s guide.

Water Test

In order to find the best iron filter for well water you need to know your water conditions. Most importantly, you need to test the type or types of iron in your water. There is ferrous iron, ferric iron (rust), organic iron, and bacterial iron.

The next step is to have your water tested for manganese and hydrogen sulfide.

Lastly, check water pH, temperature, alkalinity, and oxygen content.

Tip: The Essential Well Water Test by Tap Score covers all of the above contaminants. Only bacterial iron needs separate testing.

Type of Iron Filter and Filtration Method

Depending on the water test results from above, you can now choose your ideal iron filter for well water.

Most common are system that reduce clear and red-water iron. Every couple of days, they use backwashing to clean their media bed from all accumulated iron and dirt.

In cases of severe contamination you may need additional pre-oxidation. You can choose from air or chlorine injection, and ozonation.

Shock chlorination is most common to get rid of iron bacteria. Organic iron removal requires a customized approach more often than not.

Filter Size (Water Flow and Pressure)

trickling faucet

Your new whole house iron water filter must be able to provide enough filtered water at any given time. Thus, estimate how much water your family uses at peak consumption.

A good scenario is in the morning of a regular weekday when your kids are getting ready for school and you and your spouse are preparing for work: Showers, faucets, and taps are running, you may decide to put another load into the washing machine, and your spouse starts the dishwasher.

Too small of a water filter will cause a drop in water pressure and flow, or will leak unfiltered well water.

We recommend: At least 8 gallons per minute.

Installation

Even the best whole house iron filter system is not exactly small. Make sure you have enough room to install one.

By the way, you can do the installation yourself to save money. But you should have some training as a do-it-yourselfer.

Calling a plumber is going to cost you at least a few hundred extra dollars.

Filter Replacements and other Maintenance Tasks

Replacing any filter cartridges on a regular basis is key in order to keep your new water filter in good shape.

Other maintenance tasks may include cleaning the air injection eductor from iron sludge.

How Does Iron Get into Well Water?

Iron is the second most abundant metal in the crust of our planet.[3] It naturally dissolves into water when the latter trickles through the soil. Other potential iron sources include the metal industry, industrial waste, and corroding pipes.

The iron level in groundwater can range between .5 and 50 parts per million. The median concentration in surface rivers is .7 parts per million. In drinking water, most people cannot sense the presence of iron if concentrations are below .3 ppm or mg/l.

With that in mind, the heavy metal usually exists in the form of ferrous iron or as rust.

The Issues with Iron in Your Home

Iron is known to cause 3 problems in residential homes:

  1. The first is clogging of pipes, plumbing fixtures, and appliances. As the iron build-up starts to grow you may notice a drop in water pressure. Eventually, replacement provides the only remedy.
  2. Iron in well water can cause staining even at relatively low levels. It’s more of an aesthetic factor but an annoyance nevertheless. The reddish or brownish stains in showers, toilets, sinks, and bath tubs can be difficult to remove.
  3. Iron bacteria feeds on iron. An infestation can cause severe clogging, staining, and unpleasant smell.

Unpleasant Taste and Odor

Iron is a so-called aesthetic water contaminant. Too much of it makes water taste metallic, especially when used for brewing tea or coffee.

Health: How Does Iron Affect Our Body?

Iron is essential for the human body. Negative health effects are highly unlikely and only occur in cases of extremely high ingestion – multiple times more than what your well water supply might contain.

The maximum tolerable daily intake is 0.8 mg per kilogram body weight. The lethal dosage is between 200 and 250 mg per kilogram body weight.[4] After ingesting high levels of iron, the metal is stored in the liver, heart, pancreas, and spleen where it may cause damage. Healthy people are generally not affected by an overdose, though.

Iron compounds and bacteria can have a more serious impact. Iron bacteria in particular creates an environment that favors the growth of other, disease-causing microorganisms.

Skin & Hair

Hair washed with iron-contaminated well water may become brittle, dry, and even darker. Blonde hair may take on a tint of orange.

The heavy metal can also enhance wrinkling of your skin.

What is an Iron Filter for Well Water and How Does It Work?

Best Iron Filter for Well Water Thumbnail

Most iron filters for well water can be used to remove two iron types from water: Ferrous and ferric.

They utilize different filtration methods and therefore filter media.

  • Backwashing filtration systems using greensand or similar media trap ferric iron and also oxidize and then trap ferrous iron. At some point all accumulated iron is rinsed out of the system. This restores adsorption capabilities and the flushing also prevents germs from growing inside the filter. Some filter media also need to restore their oxidation capacity.
  • At very high iron concentrations, additional pre-oxidation may be required. This can be achieved by using technologies such as air injection, chlorine injection, or ozonation. Air injection, or aeration, works by injected air into the water. The oxygen in the air oxidizes any clear-water iron. For chlorine injection, an injector pump is used. Ozonation means mixing the water with ozone.
  • Ferric iron a.k.a. rust can be removed by mechanical filtration. Examples for this are simple sediment filter systems and those using a media bed like greensand (coated with potassium permanganate).

The most commonly adapted method for treating iron bacteria is shock chlorination. Filtering iron compounds can be much more difficult and usually requires a customized approach. That’s because the compounds are highly stable and the iron is not free to react. Usually, the best treatment option is chemical oxidation followed by mechanical filtration.

How to Remove Iron from Well Water – The Different Types of Whole House Iron Filters

Types of Iron

There are four types of iron contamination that can be found in water:

  • Ferrous iron (Fe2+) – Clear-water iron is soluble and occurs in anaerobic groundwater. Because it’s soluble it doesn’t cause turbidity or discoloration. The water may even come out of your taps and faucets all nice and clear. Eventually, though, it turns red after due to oxygen exposure.
  • Ferric iron (Fe3+) – Insoluble red-water iron occurs in water sources rich in oxygen. The water already has a rusty color when it comes out of a tap. Ferric is gelatinous and therefore likely to cause clogging.
  • Organic iron – Organic iron only occurs in shallow wells and those affected by surface water. It’s a compound of iron and naturally occurring organic matter that causes severe staining.
  • Iron bacteria – These bacteria feed on iron and can lead to severe clogging, water staining, and unpleasant smell.

Iron Filters

Iron filters for well water can handle ferrous and ferric iron up to around 15 ppm, depending on the specific model.

They are widely used for their versatility of oxidizing filter media such as Katalox and Birm.

Depending on the water conditions and iron filter media used you may need pre-oxidation. The oxygen acts as a catalyst at oxidizing ferrous iron. Popular pre-oxidation methods include aeration, ozonation, and chlorine injection.

Inadequate backwashing flow rate and regeneration are the two most common reasons for iron filters to fail.

Oxidizing Agent + Iron Filter

If you are dealing with ferrous iron in concentrations of 10 ppm and more you should consider using a chemical agent for pre-oxidation followed by an iron water filter.

Usually, an injector pump is used to add the oxidizing agent into the incoming water. The mixture then needs to sit in a retention tank to allow the chemical reaction to happen. Any iron will precipitate out and can then be filtered using manganese greensand or something similar.[5]

What are good oxidizing agents? Examples are chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and hydrogen peroxide. What’s great about chlorine and hypochlorite is that they’ll also kill any iron bacteria. The disadvantage is that excess chlorine can cause unpleasant taste and odor.

Air Injector + Iron Filter

Another method to treat iron levels in well water of as much as 30 parts per million is air injection followed by a filtering stage. First, air is injected into the water to pre-oxidize as much ferrous iron as possible. The iron filter does the rest.

This is also the most cost-effective way to remove iron. Plus, it’s the most natural.

Can I Use a Water Softener to Remove Iron from Well Water?

Water softeners do remove iron from well water, however, only if it’s in its ferrous form. In fact, iron filtration using a water softener is quite common since it has shown to achieve solid results for concentrations of up to 3-5 ppm.

Just note that iron removal is not what water softeners were originally designed to do. Their actual purpose is to remove hard water minerals. Chances are that too much iron can foul the resin bed over time. Therefore, checking the condition of the bed on a regular basis is critical. If need be, use an iron remover every once in a while. And for the regular regeneration cycles, make sure to program longer backwashing phases and higher salt doses. Both help to delay fouling.

Water pH and When Not to Use a Water Softener

There are three scenarios when you should not use a water softener for removing iron:

  • The first is when ferrous iron concentrations exceed 5 ppm.
  • Another scenario is when water pH is too high which causes ferrous iron to quickly convert into ferric. Low water pH on the other hand can prolong the service life of the softening resin.
  • The last scenario is if your water also contains rust, organic iron, or bacterial iron. Some of the iron may simply pass through the softener totally unaffected. Other possible consequences include rapid clogging or fouling of the resin bed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Iron Filter for Your Well Water

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an iron filter for well water?

Clean Plumbing System

Your home’s entire plumbing system and all water-using appliances will be protected from the severe damage that iron contamination can cause. Less maintenance and fewer repairs can save you a lot of money long-term.

Peak Water Pressure

No iron buildup also means you’ll have optimal water pressure and flow.

No Staining

Let’s be honest: There is nothing more ugly than iron staining in toilets, sinks, showers, and bath tubs.

Great-Tasting, Odor-Free Water

Being an aesthetic contaminant, iron in water not only causes discoloration. Above 0.3 ppm it can be sensed with your mouth and nose. The water has a metallic taste to it and the smell is often unpleasant. By the way, this also applies to a few other heavy metals.

Other Contaminants

Most iron filters for well water also remove other contaminants like manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and sediments.

No Chemicals Added

Unless you are installing a chemical injector pump, removing iron does not rely on adding chemicals to your water which may affect your health.

Little to No Maintenance

For the most part, iron filters are easy to maintain or entirely maintenance-free.

Installation and Costs

Of course, adding a large whole house water filter for well water to your home is costly. You also have to take care of the installation unless you are willing to spend even more money hiring a professional installer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ thumbnail

How do you remove iron from water naturally?

It depends on what you mean by naturally. The best and most natural way is to use an iron filter for well water that doesn’t utilize a chemical agent.

Does boiling well water remove iron?

No, it does not.

Do I need an iron filter and a water softener?

Water softeners should only be used if iron in water is relatively low. If there are multiple forms of iron in your water or ferrous above 3 to 5 ppm (mg/l), then yes, you may need both a water softener and an iron filter for well water.

Does Brita filter out iron?

Not to our knowledge, no. Check our best iron filter for well water reviews to find a suitable filter system.

Conclusion

An iron filter for well water can make a great addition to your home. You just need to install one suited for your water conditions. Our first choice is the SpringWell WS. For extremely high iron content check out the SoftPro Iron Master AIO. The Home Master HMF3SdgFeC 3-Stage is a great cartridge-based filter system. For hard water with marginal iron levels the SpringWell SS water softener might do the trick.

If you have any questions about our iron filter reviews please leave a comment below!

Further Reading

Resources

Meet Jason Hollow

Jason Hollow Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.

His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.

Get in Touch with Jason

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