If your drinking water is murky, has an odor, tastes off, or even if you just want some peace of mind, you may want to consider a whole house water filter.
A whole house water filter can provide healthy, clean, and filtered water from every source in the house. It can remove chlorine and other chemicals to help prevent staining in your clean laundry, or reduce the amount of soap scum left on clean dishes.
For people who struggle with allergies or asthma, a whole house water filter can also help improve air quality by removing these chemicals from the water.
When choosing a whole house water filter, it can be confusing or overwhelming because there are so many different variations available on the market. This article will review some of the best whole house water filters and filtration systems on the market. Hopefully between our reviews and buying guide you will feel more confident in picking the right option for your home.
Top 13 Whole House Water Filters of 2017
Buying Guide – How To Choose Your Home Filtration System
Before a homeowner purchases a whole house water filter, he or she must consider particular items that may affect which filtration system is the appropriate one for his or her own.
What Needs to Be Removed from the Water?
The first item to consider when purchasing a whole house water filter is what is wrong with the water. Is it odor? Is it the taste? Does it look murky or bad? Identifying the issue with the water will help to determine the different pollutants in the water.
Some common contaminants are arsenic, lead, chlorine, and hardness. Each filtration system can handle a multitude of water issues, but it is important to purchase one that specializes in the homeowner’s particular problem. A water test may be needed if the matter with the water is unclear.
If the house has city or municipal water, these agencies publish reports about the condition of the water which also could help identify the exact issue.
Each model of whole house water filters has different recommended usages. A homeowner’s next step is to determine how much water is used by the entire household. One simple way to get this information is by looking at previous water bills.
Most cities and municipalities have the amount of gallons used located on the bill somewhere. If the house is on well water, a homeowner should use the best estimate number. The Internet has a variety of websites that will help an owner calculate this number without any major hassle.
Once the usage is known, a homeowner can verify the whole house water filter will keep up with that amount of usage.
The next item to consider is the installation process. Some whole house systems are easy to install, but others require an expert. If an expert is needed, a customer should consider the cost when comparing the different models.
A homeowner should also verify if the unit requires electricity or a drain. If the model demands either, an owner will install it in an area with access to these items. Another thing to consider about installation is the amount of space the unit needs to operate.
Some units are compact and can fit in tight spaces. Other units are big and bulky and need much more room.
Depending on the model, some whole house water filters require maintenance items frequently. These items may include adding salt or changing filters. Many filters only demand to be changed once a year, but this depends on the usage.
A variety of models says that they are set and forget models that will require little maintenance. Another issue with support is the cost associated with it. Every unit needs a change of filters regularly. A homeowner should price the extra filters. Sometimes a new screen can cost more than an entire system.
The price of whole house water filters is wide ranged. A homeowner should decide on a budget and then stick to that budget. Many of the lower cost units accomplish the same things as the higher price units.
A homeowner should not assume that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to water filters. Many of the filters use the same type of medias to filter the water, so it should be easy to purchase one and stay on a budget.
These statements are not meant to encourage a person to buy the cheapest unit because it could be a major mistake. Instead, these comments are intended to foster an informed decision not based entirely on the cost of a unit.
A warranty is critical if the unit should breakdown. This article does not discuss the warranties available for the individual filtration systems because warranties come with terms and conditions that must be considered. However, before a customer decides on a water filter system, he or she should investigate the model’s available warranty and compare.
Whole House Water Filter Reviews
This system was created to rid well water or tap water of a variety of contaminants which includes turbidity, iron, sulfur smell, sediment, etc. A unique feature of this model is the large filters, housings, and fittings. These larger items allow for continuous water pressure that will not fail.
The larger housings and larger filters also need less maintenance than smaller ones. The Home Master utilizes a three-stage filtration process. The first stage contains a five-micron layer, a ten-micron layer, and then a one-micron inner center. This step reduces chemical and bacterial levels in the water.
The second step reduces iron, manganese, and sulfur which helps protect water heaters and pipes. The second filter is a
radial flow reduction filter, but the third one is a GAC filter. During the third stage, the water stays in contact with the filter for a longer period of time to optimize the cleansing of the water.
The pressure ranges from 20 to 90 PSI, and the temperature ranges from 40 to 100 degrees F. The water flow rate is 15 GPM.
This system is perfect for homes where the tap or well water tastes or smells bad. It is the perfect choice for someone who is on a budget but still wants quality water. The Home Master is available for use in a variety of homes and offices.
This system is the best value for a whole house water filter. This statement will be later explained in depth later in this review. When installing this unit, the homeowner needs to use caution or the unit can be damaged. Overall, this model is an A- unit with its performance guaranteed. It is user-friendly and will be a great addition to any home.
This model has a digital display with a backlight. This display makes it easy to use the controls. This system is a salt-based unit that requires regeneration to work properly. It has meter regeneration which will regenerate based on the amount of water used. The meter recovery will also reduce the costs associated with running this model.
With this automatic regeneration, this system will require minimal maintenance, unlike other salt-based systems. This model is one of the best for softening water because it is a salt-based, 48,000-grain capacity system.
It contains resin beads that work with salt pellets to create soft water. The regeneration talked about earlier is necessary to clean these resin beads. This system comes with a brine tank and softening system computer.
It will also require at least a 120-volt outlet and drain to operate effectively and efficiently. The Fleck 5600 is a larger unit than others on this list and will need at least three feet by eighteen inches of space.
This model is best suited for a family of six or less who has three or fewer bathrooms in the home. This unit is also ideal for those homeowners who want an easy to maintain system. It also is useful in areas where the water is moderate to very hard because salt is the best way to soften water.
This filtration system focuses on softening hard water while it does filter out contaminates; it was designed to be a water softener. It also has the added expense of salt pellets. The Fleck 5600 also requires a drain and electricity. If the house’s main issue is hard water, this system is one of the top performers in its field.
iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Big Blue Sediment and Carbon Block Filters (View on Amazon)
This filtration system has three stages of filtering. The first stage uses a technology that provides a continuous filtration of large particles. These particles include rust, dirt, sand, etc. This filter protects down to five microns.
The last two stages are carbon block filters. These filters remove pollutants such as chlorine and other organic chemicals from the water. The unique thing about these filters is their ability for customization. The iSpring WGB32B comes with one sediment filter and two carbon filters, but since the filters are the same size as other filters, a variety of combinations are available. For example, to balance the pH factor in the water, one of the carbon filters can be exchanged for a pH filter. This customization means it can be tailored to fit the issues with the water.
This system is efficient for well or city water. The three filtration stages use filters with a lifespan of six to twelve months. It also has a flow rate of 15 GPM.
The iSpring WGB32B is an excellent system for water with high levels of chlorine. With the customization of the two carbon filters, this system can be adapted to be used in a variety of homes large and small. It was designed as a whole house water filtration system, so it can also be used in light commercial areas.
This system protects against almost all water contaminants, but it is not as useful for well water sediment and heavy metals. Also, this model does not come with shut off or bypass valves. Soldering is also required for the installation process. This issues may make an expert a necessity.
iSpring WGB22BM 2-Stage Big Blue Whole House Water Filtration System with 20-Inch Carbon Block and Iron/Manganese Reducing Filter (View on Amazon)
The iSpring WGB22BM says that it will remove 95% of various contaminants such as VOCs, iron, rust, herbicides, and much more. The filters for this system are large to allow for optimal water pressure for the entire house.
The lives of the filters and filtration system have increased efficiency because of a high-quality coconut shell carbon. It can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water and only has to be serviced once a year.
This system also has a special filter to reduce iron and manganese up to 99%. The filter will also reduce the amount of Arsenic, but the amount will depend on the isotope. The system has a two-stage filtration that begins with a five-micron CTO coconut shell carbon block filter. The second stage has an iron and manganese reducing filter.
This filter is one of the best filtration systems for use with well water. If the house is on city or municipal water, this filter is not necessary because it focuses on the contaminants and heavy metals of well water. It would also be best in an area that has enough room to accommodate the size of the entire system.
This filter is the perfect filtration system for well water. The main issue is the instructions are not entirely clear. The installation process may require a professional for those who do not work consistently with home repairs and upgrades. Overall, any customer will be pleased with their purchase of this unit.
This system is an all-in-one that will condition and filter without using salt. Using a food grade additive as a replacement for salt, a customer would not have the added expense or labor associated with other types of filtration systems. This system will also not add extra salt to the water which makes it a healthier alternative to a salt filtration system.
The system does not require any electricity, magnets, or programming. This model is made from white UV resistant plastic and rated for 40,000 gallons of water. The flow rate is 12 GPM, and the pressure drop is 6 PSI.
This water softener and filtration system says that it will remove 99% of any chlorine taste or odor from the water with the filtration rating of 1 Micron. Along with removing chlorine, this system prevents minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium from collecting in the pipes which prevent scale from forming. This process prevents scale from damaging appliances.
The operating temperature ranges from 40 to 115 degrees F. Another key feature of this system is it provides a reduction in VOC. Finally, it is a complete system that includes the unit, bracket, and hardware for mounting, a cartridge, and a wrench.
If a house is small, this filter system is compact and will not waste space. It is also perfect for a small family home to reduce sediment and chlorine odor and taste. An older couple may appreciate not having to haul salt to this softener.
This filtration system is also perfect for a person who is not a handyman and does not want to hire an expert because it is easily installed with the simple to understand instructions.
If this filter is in a larger home, it may not perform correctly. The same applies to a home with especially hard water. However, this system can save a person time, space, and money because it can be the perfect solution for filtering and softening water.
The Aquansana removes 97% of chlorine taste and odor for up to 1,000,000 gallons of water. It uses a carbon filter to decrease the pesticides and herbicides that get into drinking water. It has three stages of filtration which includes a pre-filter stage which removes rust, silt, and sediment from the water.
The next stage removes chlorine odor and taste and other water soluble metals. This copper-zinc and mineral filter also helps stop algae and bacteria from growing in the water. The last stage involves activated carbon filter to reduce further and remove organic particles and tiny cysts still in the water.
The temperature range for the Aquasana is 40 to 90 degrees F. It also has a flow rate of 7 GPM. Finally, this kit includes all of the brass fittings needed for installation, a pre-filter, a sub-micron post-filter, and supports with a shut-off valve.
A homeowner who has city treated water should use this system. This model works best with water treated with chlorine and not chloramine. If the city uses chloramine, it is suggested to use a different filtration system. If the water is well water, this filtration system may be ineffective, also.
The homeowner can find the needed information by looking at the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) published by his or her utility company each year.
Many of the other systems are valid for both well and city water. This system fails in this department. The Aquasana will not fit in a small area, but a massive area is not needed. It is 9X46X44 inches and weighs 44 pounds.
The overall grade includes issues with the installation process. Many of the customers found that the fitting was poor quality but others said they worked fine.
This system is the only one on this list that uses siliphos which are a food grade polyphosphate additive. This additive helps reduce the minerals that cause scale to form. These minerals are dissolved at extremely high temperatures.
This process does not affect the healthy mineral levels in the water. This system has a 60,000-gallon capacity and is not a salt-based model. So, the only required maintenance is exchanging the cartridges every four to six months. This system is efficient for 22 GPG or 380 ppm water hardness.
Besides removing hard water minerals, the Aquios FS-234 also removes and filters bacteria and chlorine which reduces bad odor and taste in the water. The cartridges for this system are 4.5 inches which mean they need a larger diameter housing.
The filtration rating is five-micron. The flow rate is 15 to 18 GPM, and the maximum operating pressure is 100 psi. Finally, the operating temperature ranges from 40 to 115 degrees F.
The Aquios has a 60,000-gallon capacity which can be used for small commercial buildings and residential complexes. This system would be extremely effective in areas where the water hardness is less than 22 GPG.
The system was designed for larger building, but many of the customer reviews imply that the system could not keep up with the usage of a large family. Some of the reviewers felt that it would be better utilized as a supplemental water softener for a larger building or a large family.
The Crystal Quest Triple offers an eight stage filtration process which includes the following:
• Stage 1: Removes silt, sand, dirt, etc.
• Stage 2: Gets rid of suspended particles
• Stage 3 and 4: Unique technology that removes chlorine iron, sulfide, and other heavy metals
• Stage 5: Continues to remove heavy metals and softens the water
• Stage 6: Uses GAC to rid the water of organic contaminants
• Stage 7: Extra 1 micron filter to further remove unwanted elements
• Stage 8: Removes VOCs and other solvents
The system is good up to 160,000 gallons of water. The flow rate is six to ten GPM with an operating pressure of 20 psi to 125 psi. The temperature range for the Crystal Quest Triple is 40 to 100 degrees F.
This system uses a unique KDF water treatment technology that uses the electrochemical and REDOX principles to immediately oxidize chlorine and other contaminated in the water.
With an eight stage filter process, this system can be used anywhere to improve water quality. It comes with wide cartridges that can handle enough water for an office building or apartments. In a larger home, this model can be effective.
With a limited amount of reviews, this grade was based on the few that were found. However, with eight stages of filtration, this system offers one of the most comprehensive filtration systems on this list. The company states that it is also designed for a minimal amount of needed maintenance. If these two statements are true, then this system is well worth the money.
The Crystal Quest Double has water traveling through seven stages of filtration. In the first cartridge, the first stage is a solid carbon cartridge that removes VOCs, pesticides, and other solvents produced by industry. The second cartridge contains the other six stages of filtration.
The second stage is a one-micron pad that removes sediment, silt, and other matter that is undissolved. Stage three involves a GAC filter. In stage four, the water goes through an ion exchange resin which reduces metals such as lead, copper, and aluminum.
During stages five and six, copper and zinc combine to create a special alloy blend. Finally, the water goes through stage seven which is another one-micron pad to get rid of any remaining particles. These steps provide 80,000 gallons of clear and clean water.
This system can be used for well or city-treated water. The GAC is an active adsorbent of chlorine, PCB’s, MTBE’s, and other organic contaminants which improve the quality of untreated well water significantly. The system is durable enough and broad enough to be used in a variety of homes, apartment buildings, and office suites.
This filtration system uses seven stages to ensure quality water. It works equally well for city water and well water. It also uses the best technology available to provide the best water. All of these things added to the overall score. The low flow rate and the lack of customer reviews prevented this system from scoring any higher.
Commercial Water Distributing CQE-WH-01148 Whole House Arsenic 2.0 Water Filter System (View on Amazon)
This system moves water through three stages of filtration designed for Arsenic removal. The first stage removes silt, sand, dirt, etc. which helps prevent blockage in the control valves or pumps. The next stage contains the Arsenic reducing media. This stage has a timer because the longer the water is in contact with the media, the more effective the system. The last stage contains a solid carbon cartridge to remove VOCs and other solvents. This Arsenic reducing media is in a Poly Glass mineral tank.
The WH-001148 has a flow rate of 11 GPM/1.5 cubic foot or 13 GPM/2.0 cubic foot. The riser style of this system has one internal flow distributor.
Finally, it has a LED display with a solid state microprocessor and an electronics control valve. The microprocessor control system is self-backwashing. This microprocessor is used during the second stage of filtering.
The best use for this system is for areas with high Arsenic content in the water. Arsenic does not produce color, odor, or taste which makes it hard to identify in drinking water. It is a byproduct of agriculture and mining. It can quickly enter the water from a variety of agricultural and industrial practices. So, if a home is in an area with a lot of these types of industry or agricultural, this filter is the one to use.
This filtration system specializes in the removal of Arsenic. If the issue is chlorine or hard water, this system may be ineffective. However, this system may be the most affordable one for efficient Arsenic removal. Without more cohesive customer reviews, it is hard to confirm this statement.
This system comes with a Pentair Fleck 5600 softener, a bypass valve system to make it easy to install, and all of the valves and fittings required for installation. The system also operates without the need of a drain because the LiquaGen uses a reverse osmosis process.
With this type of operation, no water is wasted, and no electricity is used. This system also has a pre-filter stage and then five other stages of filtration to ensure quality water. The pre-stage filter blocks sediment such as dust and rust by using a filter with a five-micron rating.
The next stage removes the chemicals that create bad odors, taste, and colors. These compounds include hydrogen sulfide and chlorine.
Next, there is a coconut carbon block that removes VOCs and other chemicals that are common in water. After the coconut carbon block filter is the reverse osmosis membrane that removes 99% of all TDS (total dissolved solids).
From here, the water enters an antioxidant inline filter that restores essential minerals after the reverse osmosis filtration process. Finally, the last stage removes any taste accrued from the tank. This five stages of filtration is one of the best on the market today.
This kit’s style can be used for a home with up to five to seven bathrooms making it the perfect system for a large home, apartment building, or office building. It is a water softener and filter so another use could be for a home with hard water. With its five stages of filtration, this system would be ideal if the customer needed a variety of issues with the water to be removed.
This system uses reverse osmosis which has a membrane that rejects a variety of materials which include Aluminum, Arsenic, Cyanide, Iron, Lead, etc. These rejections protect a person up to 99% from these harmful chemicals and contaminates.
This fact makes this system the best overall choice for a whole house water filter system. This statement will be explained in depth later in this review.
One of the unique features associated with the VIQUA is the audible reminder to replace the UV lamp. It also has a timer with a display that is digital, and a reminder will sound an alarm to provide notification of failure.
The filter is mounted on a bracket that is made from heavy duty steel. The bracket ensures a convenient and straightforward installation process. The system also keeps the water pressure consistent by using high flow filters. The flow rate with the VIQUA is 12 GPM, and the maximum operating pressure is 125 psi. The water temperature ranges from 36 to 104 degrees F.
Even with a smaller footprint, the UV lamp still has the same UV dose as a longer chamber. The system has a sediment filter and carbon block filter that eliminates the need for a pre-treatment system. The pre-filter solution also includes a 10” and a 20” housing that has a five-micron sediment and odor cartridge.
Finally, the UV lamp has been tested for over 900 hours of consistent use which makes replacement every one to two years.
The VIQUA IHS12-D4 system is flawless for a variety of entire house, point-of-entry water solutions. It can be used in a cottage or home with practical results in creating clear, clean water. This filtration system can also be a solution for OEM applications. The entire system uses the space efficiently so it would also work well in smaller areas where space is limited.
This system requires a source of power which means it must be placed close to an outlet or wires must be run to connect. This requirement can limit where the unit is located in the home and may increase electric bills.
The filter on this system is good for up to 100,000 gallons of water or one year. It has a carbon block filtration system also that includes a non-woven pleat media. It also includes a scale reduction media in the filters. The contaminants that are removed or reduced are chlorine odor and taste, particulate, and scale with a five-micron filter.
The 3M Aqua-Pure has a flow rate of 20 GPM and a pressure range of 25 to 125 psi. The filtration system was designed to allow the cartridges to be changed without the need of any tools. The kit comes with a magnet for the front of the refrigerator. This electronic countdown timer helps provide a reminder when the cartridges need to be replaced.
The temperature range for this system is from 40 to 100 degrees F. Finally, this model offers a stainless steel head that will not rust or deteriorate over time.
The 3M AP904 can be used in larger homes. It can even be used for light commercial applications. It is beneficial for homes that need chlorine, rust, particulate, and scale reduction. This system can also be used for well or city treated water especially those with scale issues to prevent damage to major appliances. Finally, it would be flawless in a home where the homeowner does not have a lot of time to maintain the filtration system.
Overall, customers seem to agree the system works great with chlorine odor and taste, but it is ineffective for other minerals and chemicals. It is a system with a high flow rate, so should be an ideal system for a shower. For the grade, it is affordable but does not match the quality of the other systems.
After a lengthy research process for the above reviews, it was concluded that the LiquaGen Complete A-Z Home Filtration Kit is the best overall whole house water filter. The Home Master Whole House 3-stage Water Filter with Fine Sediment, Iron, and Carbon was chosen as the best value whole house water filter. These two water filters were selected for a variety of reasons that will be explained here.