Best Whole House Water Filter: 7 Reviews + Buyer’s Guide 2023

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2020/11/12 - Updated: 2023/01/05

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If you want clean water throughout your entire home, a whole house water filter is what you need. It treats the water at the point of entry so that you have access to filtered water at every tap, faucet, shower, and any other type of outlet.

This lowers your overall exposure to contaminants not only from the water you drink and cook with, but also from the water you use for washing yourself and your clothes. In other words, you’ll consume nothing but healthy and great-tasting water. Another benefit: Your home appliances will be protected from damage caused by sediments etc.

So, here is our collection of the 7 best whole house water filters. Enjoy!

Best Whole House Water Filters – Top Picks

ProductsSpecs & FeaturesWhere to Buy
#1 for Tap Water
SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter Systems SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter Systems

SpringWell CF

  • Price: $$
  • Filtration Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
  • Flow Rate: 9-17 Gallons Per Minute (All Home Sizes)
  • Best For: Tap Water w/ Chlorine or Chloramine

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

Or read our review

#1 for Well Water
SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System

SpringWell WS

  • Price: $$$
  • Filtration Capacity: 18-25 Years
  • Flow Rate: 12-20 Gallons Per Minute (All Home Sizes)
  • Best For: Well Water

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

Or read our review

Pelican PC600 and PC1000 Whole House Water Filtration Systems Pelican PC600 and PC1000 Whole House Water Filtration Systems

Pelican PC600/PC1000

  • Price: $$
  • Filtration Capacity: 600,000-1,000,000 Gallons
  • Flow Rate: 8-12 Gallons Per Minute (Up to 6 Bathrooms)
  • Best For: Tap Water w/ Chlorine (NSF-Certified)

Or read our review

#1 Cartridge-Based
Home Master HMF3SdgFeC Cartridge-Based Whole House Water Filter System for Well Water Home Master HMF3SdgFeC Cartridge-Based Whole House Water Filter System for Well Water

Home Master HMF3SdgFeC


  • Price: $
  • Filtration Capacity: Varies
  • Flow Rate: 15 gpm (All Home Sizes)
  • Best For: Well Water

Or read our review

Whole House Water Filter Reviews

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

1. Best for Tap Water: SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter Systems

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

For people on municipal water, the best whole house water filter in 2023 is the SpringWell CF. The system removes chlorine and chloramine, chemicals, and heavy metals among many other contaminants to provide filtered water that’s healthy for everyday home use and free from unpleasant tastes and odors.

SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter


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Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Filtration capacity: 1 million gallons of high quality water
  • Flow rate depends on which filter size you choose
    • CF1: 9 gallons per minute flow rate (1-3 bathrooms)
    • CF4: 12 gpm flow (4-6 bathrooms)
    • CF+: 17 gpm flow (7+ bathrooms)
  • Best for: The SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter System is best for the removal of chlorine and chloramine from tap water.

SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter Systems b SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter Systems a


  • Pre-filter rated at 5 microns removes sediments which prevents fouling of the rest of the whole house water filter system.
  • Catalytic activated carbon filters chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, and industrial solvents for improved water aesthetics.
  • KDF media, a copper-zinc alloy, removes even more chlorine as well as heavy metals. It also prevents bacteria and other microorganisms from accumulating.
  • The company guarantees the removal of chlorine/chloramine below the minimum detection level for 1,000,000 gallons or 6 years.
  • Whole house filter system comes in 3 sizes to match your water demand.
  • Easy to install yourself and save money if you have the necessary tools and know how to use them. Detailed step-by-step installation instructions are provided.
  • Bypass valve allows for comfortable maintenance. Speaking of, all you need to do is replace the pre-filter cartridge every 6 to 9 months. A two-pack comes in at around $40 which is really affordable.
  • You can test the filter system during the six-month money back guarantee. If you’re unhappy with its performance just send it back for a full refund before the end of the trial period.
  • You get a lifetime warranty.


  • The only negative thing we can say is that we would have liked metal instead of plastic fittings.

Or read our complete SpringWell CF review

2. Best for Well Water: SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System

Coupon Code (5% Off): Masterz5

For people on well water, the best whole house water filter in 2023 is the SpringWell WS. The filter was primarily designed to remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell). Our tip in case there’re also other heavy metals, chemicals, and organic contaminants present in your water: Pair the SpringWell WS with the CF from above. The combo is the best if you want clean, healthy, and great tasting well water.

SpringWell WS Whole House Water Filter


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Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Filtration capacity: 18 to 25 years
  • Service flow depends on which system size you choose
    • WS1: 12 gpm (1-4 bathrooms)
    • WS4: 20 gpm (4+ bathrooms)
  • Water pH between 6.5 and 10 is needed for maximum filtration effectiveness
  • Best for: The SpringWell WS is best for treating well water.

SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System a SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System b


  • Air injection oxidation combined with greensand filter media remove up to 7 parts per million of iron (ferric and ferrous), up to 1 parts per million manganese, and up to 8 ppm hydrogen sulfide.
  • Eliminates iron staining and rotten egg smell, and greatly improves water taste.
  • Greensand also lowers radium and arsenic content.
  • Process is safe for septic system.
  • Water filter system resets and cleans itself automatically so you don’t have to worry about that.
  • Electronic valve can be programmed using the controls on the head unit or via mobile app.
  • Easy to install yourself if you have the right tools and know how to use them. Detailed step-by-step instructions are part of the package.
  • The greensand lasts up to 18-25 years with zero maintenance required from your end.
  • You can test the SpringWell WS during the 6-month money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied you can return it and get your money back.
  • Whole system is protected by a lifetime warranty.


  • Although the plastic ones work, metal fittings would have been nice.

Or read our complete SpringWell WS review

3. Best NSF-Certified: Pelican PC600 and PC1000 Whole House Water Filtration Systems

Slightly more expensive than the SpringWell’s CF, the Pelican PC600 and PC1000 are two more whole house water filters suited for thorough tap water filtration.

Pelican Whole House Water Filter


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Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Provided water flow and overall filtration capacity depend on which system size you choose
    • PC600 filter: 8 gpm (1-3 bathrooms), 600,000 gallons of filtered water
    • PC1000 filter: 12 gpm (4-6 bathrooms), filters up to 1,000,000 gallons
  • NSF/ANSI certifications: Standard 42
  • Best for: The Pelican PC600 and PC1000 Whole House Water Filtration Systems are best for NSF-certified chlorine removal.


  • Gives you access to clean, refreshing water throughout your entire home.
  • Pelican PC600 and PC1000 are NSF certified to reduce chlorine by roughly 97 percent. Chloramine is also taken care of and removed to below the minimum detection level, as guaranteed by Pentair.
  • Sediment pre-filter traps particles larger than 5 microns in size so that they cannot clog the main filter tank.
  • Coconut shell granular catalytic carbon is used for broad and effective contaminant removal: Harmful organics and inorganics and those causing bad taste and odor.
  • Bacteriostatic KDF-55 controls bacteria and algae growth inside the large tank. Plus, it targets chlorine, lead, mercury, chromium, and a bunch of other heavy metals.
  • Stainless steel tank is more durable than fiberglass.
  • The filter is shipped pre-assembled and pre-loaded. A bypass valve is included. All in all, perfect conditions for a DIY installation.
  • Maintenance comes down to replacing the sediment pre-filter once or twice a year at minimum cost.
  • 90-day satisfaction guarantee included.
  • Warranted for lifetime.


  • The carbon requires priming which a few people found rather complicated.
  • Some reviewers reported problems with leakages.

Or read our full Pelican PC1000 review

4. Best Cartridge-Based for Well Water: Home Master HMF3SdgFeC Whole House System

If you receive your water from a well and like cartridge-based water filter systems, check out the Home Master HMF3SdgFeC. It’s the best whole house water filtration system in its category and does three things:

  1. It filters sediments, bacteria, and cyst down to a size of 1 micron.
  2. It removes iron.
  3. It eliminates unpleasant tastes and odors, chemicals, volatile substances, and a few other water contaminants.

Home Master HMF3SdgFeC Cartridge-Based Whole House Water Filter System for Well Water


See more product images at

Main Specs

  • Three-stage whole house water filter (similar to Big Blue)
  • Price: $
  • Gallon capacity is different for each filter cartridge and depends on your water quality
  • Water flow rate: 15 gpm (enough water for 4+ bathrooms)
  • Optimal water pH is > 7
  • Best for: The Home Master HMF3SdgFeC is a cartridge-based whole house water filter best for treating well water.


  • You can send in your well water report and the guys from will offer you their recommendations regarding how to treat your water best.
  • The first filter stage blocks large particles like sand, rust, cyst, and bacteria. The cartridge used is a long-lasting multi-gradient density filter. Nominal micron ratings of the different filter layers are 25, 10, 5, and 1.
  • Next comes an iron filter cartridge for the removal of up to 3 ppm ferrous and ferric – no more iron staining. Hydrogen sulfide and manganese can be reduced, too. However, ideally your water is free from sulfur and doesn’t contain manganese above 1 ppm. Otherwise, filter life can be shortened. The same goes for iron bacteria.
  • The last cartridge is a granular activated carbon filter. Activated carbon is great for removing contaminants such as water disinfectants and all kinds of chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. It also improves water aesthetics.
  • Optional pressure gauges
  • Easy to install if you are a skilled do-it-yourselfer. Mounting bracket is part of the package.
  • Maintaining the system means replacing the filter cartridges about once or twice a year – simple.
  • Home Master HMF3SdgFeC whole house water filter system is covered by a two-year limited warranty.


  • The costs for new replacement filters really add up after a while.
  • You have to manually install a loop if you want a bypass.

Or read our full Home Master HMF3SdgFeC whole house filter review

5. Best for Sediments: Fleck 5600 Ag ChemSorb Sediment Filter by QWT

QWT lists a whole house filter on their website that specializes in sediment filtration. The water clarifier uses the Fleck 5600 timer combined with a no-name tank filled with ChemSorb making it highly affordable yet effective.

Fleck 5600 Ag ChemSorb Sediment Filter by Quality Water Treatment


See more product images at

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Gallon capacity: ?
  • Water flow rate depends on which system size you go for
    • System with 1 cubic feet bed: Around 7 gpm (amount of water is perfect for 1-3 bathrooms)
    • System with 1.5 cubic feet bed: 10 gpm (amount of water is perfect for 4-5 bathrooms)
  • Best for: The Fleck 5600 Ag ChemSorb is ideal for tap and well water supplies that contain sediment.


  • This filter unit is much cheaper than most other comparable sediment filters on the market.
  • The filter uses ChemSorb (granular zeolite) to remove sediments and inorganic metallic contaminants down to 5 microns (nominal) in size.
  • ChemSorb only requires low backwash frequency which saves water.
  • The installation is straightforward.
  • Everything is automated – set and forget.
  • QWT “is committed to 100% customer satisfaction”. The company offers a 100% no-risk money back guarantee. Bottom line: If you are unsatisfied for any reason, you may return your purchase within 60 days of the ship date.
  • Warranty:
    • 10 years on the tank
    • Five years on the control valve
    • 1 year warranty on the distributor


  • There’s no warranty on the ChemSorb.

6. Best for Submicron Filtration: Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Systems

With the Aquasana Rhino, you can choose from the following versions:

  • Most popular is the Rhino EQ-1000. It’s the largest whole house water filter sold by Aquasana and designed for the treatment of chlorinated city water.
  • The Rhino EQ-600 is a bit smaller but meant for chlorinated city water, as well.
  • As the name suggests, the Rhino EQ-Well-UV is for well water filtration.

All 3 make a good choice if you’re mainly concerned about improving the taste of your water and don’t care so much about having specific contaminants filtered out.

Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter System


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Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Filtration capacity is different for each of the three Rhino versions
    • Rhino EQ-1000 filter: 1,000,000 gallons of municipal water
    • Rhino EQ-600 filter: 600,000 gallons of municipal water
    • Rhino EQ-Well-UV filter: 500,000 gallons of well water
  • Water flow rate: 7 gpm (enough water for 1-3 bathrooms)
  • NSF/ANSI certifications: Standard 42
  • Best for: Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Systems are best for sub-micron filtration.


  • Each Rhino whole house filter features a polypropylene sediment filter to capture dirt down to a size of 5 microns. This protects subsequent stages of filtration from clogging.
  • Rhino EQ-1000 and EQ-600 use activated carbon to remove harmful chemicals and VOCs – think pesticides. This has earned both water systems an NSF certification against standard 42 for 96.9% chlorine reduction. Furthermore, they make use of KDF-55 plus mineral stones in order to reduce water-soluble heavy metals, most importantly lead, and enhance water pH. The mixture also controls scale, bacteria like E Coli, and algae growth.
  • The EQ-Well-UV on the other hand uses catalytic carbon to eliminate hydrogen sulfide gas in addition to chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like industrial solvents. And instead of KDF-55, the well water filter works with KDF-85. This helps with the removal of sulfur and also affects heavy metals. On top of that, there’s a 0.35-micron post-filter removing any remaining organic particles and sediment, and an UV filter which destroys 99.99% bacteria and viruses plus other microorganisms commonly found in wells.
  • Filter replacement is quick and easy. The sediment pre-filter lasts two to three months on average, the main tanks 5 to 10 years depending on which version you choose. With the post-filters, you should anticipate annual or biannual replacement. Also, annual replacement of the UV light bulb is a must, according to Aquasana.
  • A limited lifetime warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship in manufacturing.


  • Installing an Aquasana Rhino is in no way more complicated than installing a whole house water filter sold by the competitor. However, self-installation voids the product warranty – unless you’re a licensed plumber.
  • The plastic fittings are prone to leaking and best to be replaced with copper pieces.
  • Some people had difficulties claiming their warranty.

Or read our complete Aquasana Rhino review

7. Best for Low Budgets: 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 Whole Home Filter System

To homeowners on a tight budget we recommend the Aqua-Pure AP903 by 3M. Making use of a carbon block filter, the whole house unit will make your water crystal clear and taste and smell pristine.

AP903 3M Aqua-Pure Water Filtration System


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Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Filtration capacity: 100,000 gallons of water
  • Water flow rate: 20 gpm (up to 6 bathrooms)
  • Best for: The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 is best for everyone on a low budget.


  • Affordable to purchase and maintain.
  • Carbon block filter rated at 5-micron nominal and a sediment filter remove large solids, chlorine, and chemicals.
  • The relatively simple filtration process allows for exceptionally high flow rates, ideal for large households with multiple bathrooms.
  • The filter head is food-grade 304 stainless steel. It’s corrosion resistant for a long service life and won’t affect the taste of your water.
  • Easy installation. And thanks to the compact design you don’t have to worry about limited space.
  • Maintaining the system couldn’t be more comfortable. The filter cartridge can be removed with a quarter turn – without tools. To install a new cartridge, simply repeat the process but turn into the opposite direction. Expenses? $150 yearly.
  • The stainless steel head is warranted for 25 years.


  • This filter is best used with water that already has a decent quality as it won’t remove some of the harmful contaminants including heavy metals.
  • A few people complained about low water pressure a short time after installation so that they had to replace the carbon filter early. This adds to the cost and it might make sense to install extra pre-filtration to protect the carbon block from rapid clogging for a longer filter life and less maintenance.

Whole Home Water Filtration System Comparison Chart

How do the best whole house water filters perform when directly compared to each other?

Water Systems$$$Filtration CapacityFlow RateBest ForDetails
SpringWell Whole House CF (Top Pick)$$1 Million Gallons9-17 gpmBest Overall for Tap Water w/ Chlorine or ChloramineCoconut Shell Carbon Filter Bed, Low Maintenance
SpringWell Whole House WS (Top Pick)$$$18-25 Years Filter Life12-20 gpmBest Overall for Well WaterWater Filtration System Combines Air Injection and Greensand
Pelican PC600/PC1000 (Top Pick)$$600,000-1,000,000 Gallons8-12 gpmBest For NSF-Certified Chlorine RemovalCoconut Shell Carbon Filter Bed, Low Maintenance
Home Master’s HMF3SdgFeC (Top Pick)$Varies (Three-Stage Whole House Water Filter)15 gpmBest Cartridge-Style for Well WaterThree-Stage Water Filter: Multi-Gradient Density Sediment Filter, Iron Filter, Activated Carbon Filter
Fleck 5600$No Info Regarding Filter Life7-10 gpmBest for Tap/Well Water Containing SedimentChemSorb
Aquasana Rhino Filter$$500,000-1,000,000 Gallons7 gpmBest For Sub-Micron FiltrationActivated Carbon Filter Media, KDF-55 + Mineral Stones, Pre and Post-Filters as Optional Upgrades
3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter$100,000 Gallons20 gpmBest For Low BudgetsCoconut Shell Carbon Block Filter

Buyer’s Guide – How to Buy a Whole House Water Filter (+ How We Tested)

A whole house filtration system has many benefits, IF you choose one that’s up to standards. But what does that even mean? Well, here’s our buyer guide with everything you need to know about how to buy the best whole house filter.

Which Whole House Water Filter Do You Need? Have Your Water Tested!

You should start by testing your water conditions: Which contaminants are present in your water and at what concentrations, your water’s pH range, TDS (total dissolved solids), and maybe hardness level. Only by measuring these parameters can you buy a water filter capable of removing any undesirable substances.

Actually, you might not have to do your own testing. If you receive your water from a local treatment utility you can use their water quality reports for free. Just contact them directly and ask for the latest report or check their website. Your municipality may also be able to assist you in this matter.

Another alternative is to visit this page, enter your ZIP code, and choose your utility from the list. For each utility that is part of EWG’s Tap Water Database, the site lists the total number of contaminants detected in the water and how many of them exceeded EWG health guidelines. You’ll even find recommendations for what type of filter can reduce the contaminants in question.

Just so you know, the EWG feeds its database using the water quality reports provided by the thousands of water treatment utilities spread across the country. They don’t do their own testing. And speaking of testing, water utilities are only obligated to test for so many chemicals and heavy metals etc. They don’t have to try and find every single contaminant that may be present in their water. So hiring an independent lab to do your own testing – we like to rely on Tap Score – may provide you with a more complete picture of the situation.

Types of Whole House Water Filters

The majority of whole home water filters use activated or catalytic carbon[1] to remove chlorine and other water disinfectants, disinfection byproducts (for example THM and HAA), organic and inorganic chemicals like pesticides, a couple of heavy metals including toxic lead, and any bad odor and taste. The carbon is either in granular form or as a carbon block. What’s more, most of these systems feature pre-filtration to prevent sediment from entering.

Whole house filters specifically designed for well water treatment usually focus on filtering iron, manganese, and maybe hydrogen sulfide. They use different filtration technologies like aeration, chlorine injection, or ozonation for pre-oxidation combined with mechanical filtration or oxidation filter media.

Some manufacturers also mix their primary filter media with KDF, a copper-zinc alloy, to improve overall filtration effectiveness and control pathogen growth.

Micron Rating

In order to remove suspended solids from water, a water filter has to have a fine enough micron rating.

1 micron = 1/1000 of a millimeter

A lower micron rating means more and smaller-sized contaminants can be removed. However, a lower micron rating also reduces output water pressure. So if you go too small you might end up with no more than a trickle of water or the flow will stop entirely. Thus, you must find a good balance between filtration effectiveness and usability a.k.a. high flow.

The most common micron ratings are 50, 25, 10, 5, and 1. With whole house filters, submicron ratings are rare. From the list above, the only filter with a submicron rating is the Aquasana EQ-Well-UV.

Water Pressure & Flow Rate

trickling faucet

Have you ever thought about how much water you consume on any given day? It is estimated that the average American uses anywhere from 50 to 100 gallons – and that is only domestic water use. The average American household is estimated to use 110 to 138 gallons of water inside the house every single day, for:

  • Flushing the toilet: Old models can use up to 7 gallons per flush, while newer toilets use as little as 1.3 gallons.
  • Showering: Old shower heads used up to 7 gpm. Up-to-date low-flow models use no more than 1.5 gpm.
  • Faucets: The current federal standard for faucets is 2.2 gallons of water per minute. Using a highly efficient aerator you might be able to lower that number to .5 gpm for bathroom sinks.
  • Washer: Outdated top loaders may use 40 gallons or more. Front loaders can do with as little as 15 gallons per load.
  • Dishwasher: Energy Star certified dishwashers can use as little as 4 gallons per load. Models from back in the day used up to 15 gallons.[2]

The reason we mention this is because your potential new whole house water filter must be able to meet your needs in terms of daily water demand. And we’re not talking about overall use but acute demand at times of peak consumption, such as in the morning when your kids are showering to get ready for school, your spouse puts another load in the washer, and you’re doing the dishes.

How high of a flow rate do you need? We recommend at least 8 to 10 gpm for the average-size household (family of four) and up to 15 or more for large homes.

By the way, what happens if your current water demand exceeds your filter’s peak flow rate? You might see a water pressure drop and unfiltered water could leak through.

Space Requirements

A whole house filter system is not exactly small which means you have to make sure there’s enough space available near your main water supply line for accommodating a unit.

Whole House Water Filter Cost

With any type of home water filter, there are the initial cost for purchase and possibly professional installation, and long-term expenses for operating the system. The latter is determined by how much you have to pay for replacement filters.

You might be surprised when you compare whole home systems featuring a large media tank that will last for years without any servicing requirements with some of the multi-stage water filter units working with cartridges that need annual or biannual replacement. The first option is usually much more expensive at first but tends to be more cost-effective in the long run.

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

best whole house water filters thumbnail large

As we said in the beginning, if you want access to filtered water in your home – your entire home – a whole house water filter is what you need. Whole house water filters connect to the main water supply line so that they can treat all water at the point of entry right before it divides to get on its way to the kitchen sink, bathrooms, laundry room and possibly other areas in your house.

Why is using a whole house water filter important at all? For one, because overall water quality has been deteriorating in many countries around the world, especially the United States. Using a water filter is one way you can protect yourself from harmful water contaminants – the best way in our opinion. Above that, clean water tastes and smells a lot better.

We can categorize whole house water filtration systems by their primary filtration mechanism such as carbon adsorption, size exclusion, and oxidation/reduction. But to work efficiently, a filter needs proper installation and maintenance.

Why Do You Need a Whole House Water Filter?

A look at the data makes clear why people need to install a whole house water filter in their home:

Between the years 2015 and 2017, arsenic, a potent carcinogen, was served to 108 million Americans – and that number doesn’t include people on private wells. And this is only one example. Chromium-6 is another carcinogen which was found in the water supplies of 247 million Americans between 2015 and 2017. 234 million people are affected by nitrate. Around 10 million are affected by PFOS and PFOA, a group of perfluorinated chemicals with serious health effects, including cancer, liver and immune system damage, and thyroid changes.[3]

So what if you stick to bottled drinking water? There are two problems with that approach:

  1. Many bottlers rely on plain tap water[4]. Some may apply additional filtration or purification, however, the drinking water standards for bottled water are even below those for tap water.
  2. A major part of your daily exposure to water contaminants comes from your shower water. And let’s not forget about the water you use to wash vegetables and cook soup or to wash your clothes.

Also, there’s another reason why you should invest in a whole house water filter: It protects your entire water system including home appliances, for example from sediments that may cause clogging or aggressive chemicals leading to corrosion.

How Do Whole House Water Filters Work?

Installed at the main water supply line, a whole house water filtration system treat all the water as it enters your home.

First, the water usually runs through a pre-filter stage. This is to trap any larger particles by size exclusion and prevent clogging of the rest of the system.

Most whole house filters designed for city water then adsorb the “common” contaminants – think chlorine – using some sort of carbon filter media. The granular bed is contained in a large tank which the water flows through from the bottom up. Once the water reaches the top of the tank it’s cleaned and ready to re-enter your home’s water system for distribution.

Whole house well water filters often apply oxidation plus mechanical filtration to get rid of manganese, sulfur, and the different forms of iron. Ways to induce oxidation include aeration, air injection, or by adding a chemical oxidizing agent to the water.

KDF is often added to both well and city water filters to aid contaminant removal and inhibit the growth of microorganisms which otherwise may eventually lead to fouling of the entire filter bed.

Few water filtration systems use more exotic filter media, for example bone char or activated alumina to remove contaminants like fluoride.

Whole House Water Filter Systems Installation & Maintenance

How to Install

The inexperienced might find installing a whole house water filter system too challenging, the skilled do-it-yourselfer not so much.

Our tip: Use flex tubing and shark bite fittings. This will save you from soldering and thus a lot of time. With the right tools and equipment you should be able to complete the whole process within a couple of hours.

For more info, here are some general instructions. Just keep in mind that the individual steps may differ for your specific setup:

  1. It might be necessary to prime any filter bed before you start with the actual installation procedure. For this, follow the instructions as outlined by the system manufacturer. You may need to soak the filter media for up to 48 hours. Required tool: Garden hose.
  2. Start the installation by closing the water supply valve. Drain the remaining water by opening the nearest outlets.
  3. Next, you need to remove a piece of your home’s main water line. Take measure before proceeding and choose a section where you have enough room for system maintenance. Required tool: Pipe cutter or hacksaw.
  4. Consider installing a shut-off valve on their side of the water filter. This could come in handy if you have to remove the system temporarily later on. Also think about creating a bypass even if your system comes with one built-in.
  5. Put the whole house filter in place. Make sure it stands on level ground and faces the right direction. Connect the system’s inlet port to the incoming end of the main line. Connect the outlet port to the outgoing end of the main line. Unless instructed otherwise, use plumber’s tape on all threaded ends for sealing.
  6. If possible, put the filter valve in bypass position and slowly open the water supply. Check for leaks.
  7. Now slowly open the bypass valve to allow water to run into the system. Flush out any air and installation debris for a couple of minutes while checking for leaks.
  8. Your whole house water filter is now ready for use.

How to Maintain

The good news: Except for units that work with filter cartridges, whole house filter systems are usually completely maintenance-free throughout their entire service life. Only the pre-filters that many setups use to trap sediments require your attention every once in a while. Don’t worry; you need to change them no more than once or twice a year at most.

  1. It’s best if you start the filter change process by shutting off the water supply to the system and drain the remaining water by opening the nearest outlets.
  2. Open the filter housing with the help of a filter strap or wrench. Be careful, there might be water left in the housing.
  3. Remove the old filter cartridge.
  4. Clean the filter housing with dishwater if need be. In case you suspect fouling, use bleach for sanitizing.
  5. Check the condition of any O-rings. Lubricate or replace if need be.
  6. Insert a new filter cartridge into the filter housing and screw it back on.
  7. Slowly open the water supply to the system checking for leaks.
  8. You may need to flush the new filter cartridge for a couple of minutes. Check the manufacturer instructions for more info.

You own a cartridge-based whole house system? In this case, make sure to replace each water filter stage in a timely manner for optimal performance. The system manual tells you how long each individual filter stage lasts.

When it’s time for a filter replacement, follow the process as outlined above.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ thumbnail

Are whole house water filters worth it?

Considering the current state of ground and surface waters in our country we are 100 percent convinced that using a whole house water filter is worth it if you pick the right one. A high quality unit provides clean, filtered water for your entire home.

Does a whole house filtration system reduce water pressure?

It depends on the individual filter. If a model applies very thorough filtration you might see a water pressure drop. Another reason for reduced flow is installing too small of a filter that cannot meet your water demand.

How do I choose a whole house water filter?

Start by finding out more about your water source. Once you know what you’re dealing with you can choose a whole house water filter accordingly to provide you with contaminant-free water.

How long does a whole house water filtration system last?

Well, there are many different filters and different types of filters on the market. A standard cartridge-type filter might last between 6 and 12 months. A large filter bed that’s frequently backwashed can last for a long time (20+ years).

How much does whole house water filter cost?

The price ranges from less than $100 USD for a simple sediment filter to more than $3,000 USD for a multi-stage whole house water filtration system setup removing a wide range of harmful impurities.

Do I need a whole house sediment filter?

If your water contains too many sediments, including sand, rust, and other dirt, and you want clear water, then yes you do need a water filter that removes sediment.

Should a whole house water filter be installed before or after the pressure tank?

You should install your whole house filter after the pressure tank. This allows for automatic backwashing.

What do whole house water filters remove?

It depends on what filtration method is applied. Sediment filters remove, well, sediment. A coconut shell carbon filter removes chloramine, chlorine, heavy metals, and all kinds of chemicals. Oxidation is great for iron reduction and also takes care of manganese.

Does a whole house water filter remove calcium?

No. If you want to remove calcium and other minerals you’re trying to conquer hard water which is best achieved using a water softener.


A whole house water filter can make a great addition to your home. You just need to install a filter that’s suited for your water quality. Our first choice for tap water is the SpringWell CF. For well water we recommend you go with the SpringWell WS. One of the best filters based on cartridges is the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house system.

If you have any questions about these or any other whole house filtration system please leave a comment below!

Further Reading on Water Treatment Systems

More Whole House Water Filters Reviewed


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.

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