Best Whole House Water Filter: Reviews & Buying Guide (2019)
If you draw your water from a well, a river or harvest rainwater, you most probably have to purify it first before hooking it up to your plumbing unless you only need it for irrigation purposes.
Sometimes, you might also need a final purifying touch on your municipality water supply especially if you feel your local authorities aren’t doing a great job at providing you with the cleanest water possible.
The easiest way to ensure that all the water flowing in your plumbing is acceptably clean is by using a whole house filtration system.
A whole house water filter is an advanced filtration system that can filter all the water before you get to use it in your house. You may call such systems POE (Point of Entry) systems since they work on your water before it reaches your water boilers, faucets or any part of your interior plumbing.
- Best Whole House Water Filter Review
- Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House Water Filter – Best Overall
- The Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter – Best for Removing Chlorine
- DuPont WFPF13003B Whole House Water Filter – Best Affordable
- iSpring WGB32B-PB Whole House Water Filter – Best for Well Water and Lead
- Watts WH-LD Whole House Water Filter – Best for Rust
- Apex MR-3020 Whole House Water Filter – Best For Hard Water
- What to Look for Before Choosing a Whole House Water Filter
- How a Whole House Water Filter Works
Best Whole House Water Filter Review
Here is a roundup of some of the best whole house filtration systems that will be the best value for your money. If you would like to know how we arrived at these filters, scroll to the very end of the list to check out the things we considered when compiling the list.
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House Water Filter – Best Overall
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is arguably the best whole house water filter system with its three-stage system that performs quite well on most fronts. Depending on your water pressure, the filtering capacity of this unit goes up to 15 gallons per minute. It also has the capacity to filter out particles that are at least one micron in size to give you clear and clean water. Before getting to your faucet for consumption, the water will have to pass through an activated carbon filter that cleans the water further and absorbs any odors present in your water.
Unlike many other whole house filter systems, the HMF3SDGFEC’s activated carbon filter will serve you for a relatively longer period without needing replacement. This filter’s capacity is about 100,000 gallons, which should last for between one-two years depending on how much water you use. The third stage in this system ensures as much as 95 percent of heavy metals do not reach you.
- A high water flow rate
- Long lasting carbon filter
- Keeps beneficial minerals
- A bit costly
The Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter – Best for Removing Chlorine
The Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 might initially seem like an expensive unit but it has attractive running costs. This unit is also effective when it comes to chlorine removal. It beats NSF standards by a long shot by having the capacity to remove up to 97 percent of chlorine for up to 1,000,000 gallons of water – an impressive lifespan too (10 years). Besides chlorine, the Aquasana Rhino also decontaminates your water by removing volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides, mercury, and lead.
Also, the Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 adjust the water pH level to improve its drinking quality – a rare feature in most whole house water filtration systems. It deals with any pH imbalances that may have arisen during the entire filtration process. This feature plays a major role in making the Aquasana Rhino one of the best rated whole house water filters since it known to be in reverse osmosis systems rather than whole home units. It also features an effective post-filter that has an impressive rating of 0.35 microns and a water rate of seven gallons per minute. The only downside of this unit is that it is not as effective when it comes to well water.
- Lengthy lifespan
- Balances water pH
- Effective chlorine removal
- Not ideal for well water
DuPont WFPF13003B Whole House Water Filter – Best Affordable
The DuPont WFPF13003B happens to be the best cheap whole house water filter on this list. It comes in at a fraction of the price that most of the models mentioned retail at. As much as it is a great unit, the low price does take away some features. For instance, it does not feature multiple filters like its pricier counterparts. Nevertheless, the DuPont WFPF13003B works just fine, especially for smaller households. You can get around this shortcoming by installing two or more units of this system for multi-stage protection.
Furthermore, the DuPont WFPF13003B’s design allows it to take most of the readily available 10-inch filters. Therefore, you can fix an activated carbon filter, or any other type of filter as long as it comes in that size. The filters for this unit are affordable meaning it would not be a hassle from an economic standpoint. I would not recommend going for this unit if are willing to fork out some extra bucks on the larger and more complete units – though it still delivers impressive results when it comes to filtering out dirt, iron, and other sediments. But if you are willing to go into DIY customization, it worth a try.
- You can combine several units for complete functionality
- Easily customizable
- Not effective as a single unit
iSpring WGB32B-PB Whole House Water Filter – Best for Well Water and Lead
The iSpring WGB32B-PB is arguably the best whole house water filter for well water and serves as an effective solution to water contamination. It comes in either as a two-stage or three-stage unit with the latter being more effective by offering a thorough filtration process. I will focus on the three-stage unit since it is the better deal of the two. The iSpring 3-stage Whole House Water Filter features three customized filters each with a specific purpose.
All the three filters work in tandem to remove up to 95 percent of chlorine, sediments, herbicides, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, industrial sediments, chloramine, and rust. The iSpring WGB32B-PB rates highly when it comes to well water since it specializes in heavy metal removal. Well, water is known to be more susceptible to heavy metals, like lead when the contaminants leach through the soils and find their way into the water table. The iSpring unit has the capacity of removing an impressive 95 percent of lead and iron during the three-stage filtration process. It has NSF certification and facilitates up to 15 gallons per minutes regarding water flow, and comes with large filters built to last longer and enhance water pressure.
- Ideal for lead removal
- A high water flow rate
- Three filtration stages
- Joints susceptible to leakage if not reinforced using Teflon tape
Watts WH-LD Whole House Water Filter – Best for Rust
The Watts WH-LD Whole House Water Filter is one of the simplest filters in this list. It is designed in a way that you can change the filter without messing up your floor with its bypass switch though it would still be prudent to have a switch to shut it off before the filter. Like the DuPont filter above, this unit is also cheap and you may need more than one to get the most out of it. You can link up several of them to come up with a multi-stage filtration system and still spend less than its larger counterparts.
With a 50-micron filter, the Watts WH-LD as a single unit works well to remove rust, sediments, and dirt. If you enhance it with two other additional units you can come up with something that looks like this – a 50-micron stage, a 10-micron stage, and a 5-micron stage (carbon filter). The additional stages will allow you to remove additional water contaminants besides rust and sediment. You can try many other combinations of filters that fit your demands if you are willing to go through the additional installation steps. A 10-inch filter can fit onto this unit and will come in at a cheap price of a few dollars.
- Works with readily available filters
- Easy filter switching
- Not so effective as a single unit in removing other smaller materials from water
Apex MR-3020 Whole House Water Filter – Best For Hard Water
With activated alumina, the Apex MR-3020 sets itself apart from this list as the best whole house water filter system in removing fluoride. In other words, it is the best whole house water filter in softening hard water making it better for mainstream appliances or even finer units like your humidifiers. It is basically one of the few high standard water filters that specialize in this particular water problem. The Apex MR-3020 has three filtration stages. Stage one comprises a five-micron rust and sediment filter to remove the larger unwanted material.
Stage two features a multi-stage layer with activated alumina, a granular activated carbon unit, and a one-micron filter. At this stage, the Apex MR-3020 eliminates fluoride, arsenic, and chlorine among various heavy metals from the water. The last stage features a unique coconut shell carbon filter with NSF certification that removes trichloroethylene (TCE), trihalomethanes (THM), chloramine, and chlorine. The filters are large, and a drop in water pressure is not so much with this unit. The downside of this unit is its rather expensive filter packs. Generally, it is worth a try.
- Ideal for softening hard water
- Easy to install
- Three filtration stages
- Expensive filter packs
What to Look for Before Choosing a Whole House Water Filter
You should consider two aspects before going home with a whole house water filter. These are water flow and the available filters. For water flow, knowing the filter flow rates (measured in gallons per minute) is important. A water filter that allows water to pass at a rate of 10 gallons per minute should suffice for a small household but will not be enough for larger households. If you know that your home usually uses large water volumes at one particular time – it would be prudent to invest in a whole house water filter with a high flow rate. You should also understand that every filter in a filtration system deals with different contaminants. The contaminants available in your water after a water test should guide you on which filtration system you should get. The unit you settle on should have the capacity to work on each of the contaminants in your water. A copper-zinc filter should suffice heavy metal contamination, whereas UV filters are the best choice when it comes to handling bacterial contamination.
How a Whole House Water Filter Works
Even though various whole house water filters use varying mediums in the water filtration process – they employ a similar working principle. You need to attach the filter to the main water line and it should be at a point before the water gets into the water heater. This is to ensure that all the water that enters your home gets filtered. The first section of the filtration system features a sediment pre-filter tailored for removing large particles from the water if there is any present. These particles include debris, sand, silt, rust, or any other conspicuous sediments. The sediment filter also ensures the other filters do not get damaged.
Next, the water goes through an activated carbon filter, whose wide porous surface absorbs contaminants in the water. It removes contaminants, including remaining sediments, organic compounds, chlorine, and odor. We then have the copper-zinc and mineral filter, which also eliminates contaminants like heavy metals, scale, and other microorganisms. Some water filters do not have this step and have a descaler or water softener instead.
Finally, other steps that are not necessarily present in the house water filters are the post-filter and the UV filter. The post-filter keeps out tiny particles that may have escaped the earlier filtration stages. The UV filter kills any remaining microorganisms and viruses that may have gone through the other filters. This filter is ideal for water from sources with high bacteria contamination.
So, what is the best whole house water filter from the above list? My pick was the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC given its all-roundedness. However, each of the other alternatives each does bring something unique to the table that may make them a good choice for you – depending on your specific needs. The Apex MR-3020 Whole House Water filter stands out from the rest since it is the only one that specializes in removing fluoride or softening hard water. Each of the others is still great options, it all depends on your budget and most importantly your need for a whole house water filter. Also, do consider the information in the first section of this article before you purchase one of these units.