Answered: Install Water Filter Before or After the Pressure Tank?

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2021/09/21 - Updated: 2021/10/18

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Some households struggle with multiple water-related issues, i.e., hard water, contaminated water, fluctuating water pressure. In this case, the order of installation of individual water appliances and equipment makes all the difference.

For one, many people are often clueless about which goes first: a whole house water filter or a pressure tank.

Don’t worry! This guide offers a comprehensive answer to the puzzle. You can, finally, have access to filtered water without damaging either component. Ready to find out?

So, here is our article answering the question, should you install a whole house water filter before or after the pressure tank?

Install Water Filter Before or After Pressure Tank?

Water Filter Before or After Pressure Tank Thumbnail

Homeowners are divided into two leagues over this predicament. Some think a pressure tank should go in line first, while others assume it should be the other way round.

We can’t dismiss either option right away since there are advantages to both procedures. But, the answer depends on what’s in your water.

You see, pressure pumps are often used along with well water systems. However, they can be a massive relief for houses on city water too. Since there are different problems associated with well water and municipal water, the logical course of action is contrastive in either application.

Let’s weigh the two options.

When a whole house water filter is installed first in line (before a pressure tank), it traps sediment and other invisible contaminants from entering the tank. This, in turn, prolongs the life of the pressure tank, especially the pressure switch.

Also, some whole house water filters have a noticeable impact on water pressure as the filtration media restricts water flow. Thankfully, the pressure tank takes care of the issue, and water pressure is restored.

Some people insist that a clogged water filter will seriously hamper water pressure and force the pressure tank to work overtime, i.e., the cycling will run endlessly.

Besides a rapid increase in your electricity bill, a constantly working pump will possibly burn up the pump motor. However, this problem can be resolved by a second cutout pressure switch.

Another school of thought dictates that a pressure tank is unaffected by sediment and build-up since it’s nothing but a tank to store water. Not so true, we believe. Sediment in water can lead to nasty wear and tear of the well pump.

In essence, installing a whole house water filter before a pressure tank seems a viable option. Let’s consider some specific scenarios to get a better understanding of the sticky situation.

How About Sediment Filters

A sediment filter should invariably be installed before the pressure tank. In fact, sediment filters should be installed before any other water treatment systems (softener, heaters, etc.).

This is because sedimented water can jam all kinds of things, like water lines, fixtures, a pressure switch… Moreover, sediment accumulation at the bottom of a pressure tank can lead to fouling[1], negating the entire purpose of the filter.

A piece of sane advice that we always offer is to install individual shut-off valves before each unit. It helps isolate them promptly in case of malfunction or maintenance.

Iron Filter

An iron filter should be installed after a pressure tank. This is because iron filters like many whole house water filters feature backwashing to clean their filter media. It’s important to note that an iron filter requires a high enough feed water pressure to backwash properly.

Unless the system receives proper feed water pressure, the effectiveness of your iron filter will drop considerably and fast.

Not to forget, if the iron filter is installed before the pressure tank, the water might flow back into the filter due to backpressure. Eventually, it will mess up the output valve of the filtration system.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the best way to arrange a water filter and a pressure tank depends on your water conditions and also the type of filter.

Both ways can come with a set of benefits and drawbacks.

A whole house filter to trap sediments should be installed before the pressure tank. It’ll remove larger particles and prevent the tank from being damaged.

An iron filter is better to be positioned after the pressure tank to ensure a high enough flow rate for backwashing.

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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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