We understand how difficult it can be to find the right whole-home water filtration system and that’s why we carefully evaluated each filter based on its performance, ease of installation and maintenance, and affordability.
Our goals were to keep user experience in mind and would only consider systems we found in our research and testing that were both reliable and simple to operate. That’s why we’re confident that the filters we’ve chosen will provide you with the best bang for your buck.
We’re here to help you make the most of your water filtration system and to make sure you get the clean water you deserve.
#1 is my favorite, but #2 and #9 are best overall for the money…
Our Top Picks Overall:
- Best for City/Town Tap Water: SpringWell CF
- Runner-up: Aquasana EQ-1000
- Best for Well Water: SpringWell WS
- Runner-up: Home Master 3-Stage System
- Best Budget for Municipal Water: Pentair PC600
- Best Cartridge Filter: Evo-1000
#1. SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System – Best Buy In 2023
Are you tired of that disgusting chlorine smell? Or that gross after taste of chemically treated city water.
Let me tell you that you’re not alone and this whole house water filter system is what you need – it’s as close to spring water as it gets.
- Eliminates 99.6% of germs contained in tap water
- Targets: Chlorine, Chloramine, PFOA, PFAS PFOS and more
- Highest quality catalytic carbon and certified kdf filter media
- Backed by a 6-month money back guarantee
- Industry leading (GPM)
- Easy installation & low maintenance
Use Coupon Code: QWL5 to Save!
Best for: This system is for those looking for the best overall value in a whole home water filtration system that’s simple to use with the least amount of maintenance and annual costs.
Not best for: Homeowners that get their water from a well with high levels of Iron, Manganese and Sulfur – we would suggest Springwell’s WS system to handle those issues.
- In our testing, we found that you’re getting the best of the best whole house water filtration that’s easy to operate – No other filtration system comes close!
- There’s no changes in water-pressure, no residue on your faucet fixtures, low annual cost to operate, no itchy dry skin feeling after you take a shower, and best of all — fresh, crisp tasting water.
- Springwell also carries a 4.7+ positive rating with hundreds of positive reviews and I haven’t seen such quality priced this good.
- We really enjoy the simplicity of operating the Springwell CF1 and if you’re handy DIY’er – you can have the CF1 installed in less than 4 hours.
- SpringWell CF uses the highest grade certified filtration media available by using a catalytic carbon coconut shell + KDF to tackle contaminants such as PFOS, PFOA, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, chloramine, and chlorine.
- The CF utilizes 4-stages to filter your tap water: sediment filter, KDF, coconut shell carbon media and the last stage eliminates channeling allowing your water to have more contact with the filtration process.
- This system comes equipped with a 5-micron filter to handle the toughest of sediment.
- The SpringWell CF whole house water filter line comes in three sizes: 1-3 baths, 4-6 baths, and 7+ bathrooms allowing to save money by not overpaying for what you DON’T need.
- Low annual cost of $40 annually in replacement sediment filters.
- I wish the clack connectors were included for a faster DIY install.
What Others Have Said
SpringWell CF Product Updates:
- Springwell now offers “clack connectors” for an easy DIY installation without the use of additional pipe fittings and elbows.
Use Coupon Code: QWL5 to Save!
Read our Full Review: Springwell Whole House Filter Review
#2. EVO E-1000 Whole House Water Filter – Best Cartridge Filter
If the taste and smell of Chlorinated city/tap water has you feeling down and you’re looking for a low-cost city water filter system.
I have good news for you, the EVO-1000 whole house water filter will solve those problems.
- Catalytic carbon filter media
- Washable sediment Pre-filter
- No loss in water pressure
- 120-day money back guarantee
- High Gallons per Minute rating (GPM)
- Low cost filtration system
- No pre-soak required
Best for: If you’re looking for a low-cost whole house cartridge filtration system for your home that can hang with the big named brands like Ispring or home master.
Not best for: If you’re looking to remove Fluoride from your tap water, this system isn’t going to do it. A reverse osmosis system would be your best choice in this case.
- In our research, we’ve found that EVO, like Springwell will eliminate the awful smell of chlorine and remove nasty chemicals all while NOT affecting your water pressure one bit.
- We like that this whole house water filter system is affordable and that you can save money with their washable sediment pre-filters — a big money saver right there.
- Evo can easily be installed by a DIY’er and filter changes take less than 10 minutes.
- The EVO 1000 is great for reducing over 100 contaminants in your water supply.
- This 15 GPM system can handle up to 6 bathrooms without any loss in water pressure.
- The EVO-1000 can be installed outside or inside (36 – 120 temps)
- This system comes ready to install with everything you need. Filter housing, carbon & sediment filter, spanner wrench for quick filter changes and a wall mounting bracket with plumbing reducers.
- This is the best budget whole house water filter system on the market.
- There’s not a lot of information on their website in regards to how they test their filters.
- I would like to see at least 100,000 gallons filtered to reduce frequent filter changes.
What other buyers have said:
EVO Filter Product Updates
- For those with hard water issues, EVO now offers the EVO-3000 combo filtration system that’s also salt-free.
- Now offers “auto-ship” so you don’t need to worry about ordering replacement filters when changes are needed.
Read our full review: Evo-E 1000 Whole house water filter review
#3. Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Water Filter System – Best Overall
Typical water filters don’t remove hard minerals — that requires a water softener.
Aquasana’s EQ-1000 solves that problem with Simplysoft — a unique salt-free descaling system that filters and softens your water without removing beneficial minerals.
- Eliminates the need for a water softener in most cases
- Improved flow-rate
- Fresh tasting water
- Softer hair & Skin
- 90 days to test out
- NSF Certified
Use Coupon Code: AQQWL50 to Save!
Best for: This system is best for those looking for a 2-in1 solution for both water filtration and hard water. If you have heavy limescale, I would lean towards Aquasana to solve your needs.
Not best for: If you’re looking to filter out harmful PFOA and PFOS or lower total dissolved solids (TDS, this system won’t do it for you. I would recommend Springwell CF1 to tackle this for you.
- If you’re sick of dealing with dry skin and hair, or having to scrub limescale off of your appliances more often than not, this is what you need.
- We like the fact that this is a top rated all-in-one whole home system that just takes care of it all and last for 10 years without us having to think about swapping out the tanks.
- The EQ-1000 has over 800+ positive reviews and a 4.6 star rating.
- The Pre & Post filter give you ultimate protection from sediment and organic materials before you ever pour a glass of water.
- This 12 GPM system can handle up to 3 bathrooms
- Bacteriostatic media stops bacteria from growing inside of your tank
- NSF 42 tested to remove 97.1% of Chlorine.
- The upflow tank design elminates channeling and blockage.
- Increased water contact time to remove contaminants efficiently from the filter media
- This whole house water filter system is designed for quick tank changes.
- This is an overall low maintenance system that anyone can run with peace of mind.
- Limited one-year warranty for DIY installation
- Additional tubing must be purchased by the customer
- Higher than average filter replacement cost
What others have said:
Aquasana EQ Product Updates:
- Aquasana now offers a Pro-grade installation kit that comes with stronger fittings and piping.
- Optional UV (ultra-voilet light) addon that can neutralize nearly 100% of harmful viruses lurking in your water.
Read our Full Review: Aquasana EQ-1000 Review
#4 Pentair PC600 Whole House Water Filter
If your municipal water tastes like it came from a swimming pool, but you’ve given up on water filtration because it’s a hassle, you’re going to love the Pentair’s whole house water filter system.
- Removes 97-percent of chlorine
- NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 61 certified
- Steel-wrapped tank
- Won’t reduce water pressure
- 90-day satisfaction guarantee
- Fresh & odorless water
Best for: This system primary targets Chlorine and does so very well as well as other contaminants found in tap water — giving you fresh odorless drinking water
Not best for: If you have well water containing Iron, don’t waste your time on this system as it can’t remove Iron.
- Carbon block filters work well for a broad range of contaminants, but they’re small and need frequent changing.
- If you love your Brita pitcher or under-sink carbon block filter, think of the Pentair as the same thing with better performance and without the annoying maintenance.
- With its advanced granular activated carbon media it can filter 600,000 gallons of water.
- A 5-micron sediment filter removes suspended particles while bacteriostatic KFD 55 media prevents the growth of bacteria and algae, so you know what you’re drinking is pure.
- The 5-micron pre filter tackles fine to heavy sediment with ease.
- Coconut shell carbon filter eliminates common city water contaminants.
- Low annual cost system to run.
- On demand water regeneration process.
- Reduces odors and chlorine
- Multiple sizes for all types of home requirements
- Doesn’t require electricity to run
- Carbon media requires a 48-hour soak before use
Pentair PC600 Product Updates:
- Improved Bypass valve fittings
#5. iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
This iSpring 3-stage whole house filter is equipped with a three-stage gradient filtration system that maximizes filter life.
This system is great for tackling chlorine.
- 99% of Chlorine removed
- Minimal water pressure reduction
- Easy to install
- Fresh tasting water
- NSF certified parts
- 30-day satisfaction guarantee
Best for: Those looking to get rid of that look of brown water or that look of rust in your sinks, toilets and tubs. This is a low-cost solution.
- A fine sediment cartridge removes dirt, dust, silt and rust while two high-density coconut carbon filters reduce 95-percent of chlorine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemical contaminants.
- For treating city water, the iSpring’s advanced carbon block technology removes 95-percent of the contaminants I’m most worried about — especially lead — without the high cost of neutralizing pathogens.
- Healthy minerals are left in, and the water tastes fantastic.
- Other whole house water filter systems are a bit easier to maintain, and I’d feel better if the warranty was longer.
- We like the 100,000-gallon filter capacity and brisk water flow.
- Ispring’s 3-stage multi filter reduces clogging that doesn’t compromise water pressure in doing so.
- Reduces odors, cloudiness and chlorine effectively
- Eliminates stains on appliances
- Literally no waste water
- Replacing water filters frequently can get costly
- Sediment filter has a 5 micron rating which is ideal for most sediment issues.
- Coconut shell-based carbon eliminates odors and chlorine.
- Easy replacement filter change out.
Ispring 3-stage Product Updates:
- Ispring now comes with CTO carbon block filters for enhanced water quality
Read our full review: Ispring 3-stage Review
#6. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC 3-Stage System – Whole House Water Filter for Well Water
If staining is a problem, this Home Master three-stage filtration system may be the solution. For use with non-chlorinated well water only.
It’s three sequential filters remove sediment and chemicals down to a single micron — plus minerals like iron and manganese that can stain your clothing, dishes and bathroom fixtures and cause costly damage to plumbing and water-using appliances.
- Quality construction
- Helps extends the life of appliances
- Odorless water
- Crystal clear water
- Eliminates brown/reddish stains
Best For: This whole house water filter system has a great price for its capability, and while the replacement filters appear to cost more than those for similar models, my research shows they last longer and do a better job.
Not best for: Anyone looking to eliminate harmful well bacteria and microbial cysts.
- Designed for easy DIY installation, the kit complete with everything you need including cartridge filters.
- Filter changes are also less frequent than previous models reviewed.
- Home Master’s 3-stage multi granulated activated carbon block filter reduces odors and reduces Iron at 3ppm.
- Sediment filter removes dirt, rust, VOC’s down to 1-micron
- Eliminates stains on tubs and sinks
- Improved water flow
- Higher-than-average replacement filter cost
- Not for use with municipal or chlorinated well water
Home Master 3-stage Product Updates:
- Extended filter life with Home Master’s updated GAC carbon water filter tech and improved kdf filtration media.
Read our full review: Home Master 3-stage Review
#7 SpringWell WS — Best Whole House Water Filtration System For Well Water
If your well water has been letting you down and you’re tired of scrubbing the reddish/brown stains from your sink or tub — then you’re in luck.
Let me introduce you to the Springwell WS whole house water filter system that’s beats the competition when it comes to removing Iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide up to 8PPM.
- User-friendly digital interface
- Control with a mobile app
- NSF Certified components
- 90- day Satisfaction guaranteed
- Lifetime warranty
Best for: Those looking for the best whole house water filter if you have a well water for a great price.
Not best for: If you’re on a budget, I would look to another system like Home-masters 3 stage system as it has similar features.
- Won’t reduce water pressure one bit – and no other whole house water filter system comes close!
- This system can be installed outside permitting your region doesn’t go below 36 degrees.
- We love the fact that this system doesn’t strip out the beneficial minerals that many well owners have come to love and rely on.
- We also love that this system is easy to use and operate from our mobile phones that we can just simply forget about it, until we get a notification on when to change filters.
- Springwell didn’t hold back when engineering this system for complete control and ease of use when they created a simple to use app to monitor your system on the go.
- Quickly glance at your systems performance with their digital system display.
- Enjoy seeing virtually no iron/reddish stains on your sink, toilet and tub!
- Easy replacement filter changes.
- Four-stage filtration system
- Automatic backwash tech
- Literally no maintenance – which is a bonus in my opinion.
- Higher-than-average initial cost
Use Coupon Code: QWL5 to save
SpringWell WS Product Updates:
- SpringWell now offer filtration for 4+ bathrooms
- Optional UV add-on that can eliminate nearly 100% of harmful viruses.
- Optional Reverse osmosis upgrade
Read our full review: Springwell WS1 Review
#8. Home Master HMF2SMGCC 2-Stage System – Best for Tap Water
If you use city water and want a water filter that’s a great value, Home Master’s two-stage system costs less than its three-stage cousin but has most of its capability.
- High-grade sediment filter for superior filtration
- Granular activated carbon to reduce chlorine, taste and odor
- KDF85 media to remove heavy metals
- Long-lasting filter cartridges up to 1 year
- Easy installation and maintenance, no waste water
Best for: This system is ideal for households with high levels of sediment, chlorine, taste and odor in their water for a great price.
Not best for: Those looking to remove fluoride, nitrates, or arsenic.
- It reduces the contaminants most likely to creep into municipal water supplies like lead and industrial chemicals.
- Superior catalytic carbon filters excel at removing chlorine and chloramines that make water taste like it comes from a swimming pool.
- With a 95,000-gallon capacity, this system delivers the freshest tasting water possible to every tap in your home for up to a year for a family of four between cartridge changes.
- Certified to remove up to 95% of sediment, chlorine, and other contaminants from your water.
- Includes a multi-gradient sediment filter and a granular activated carbon filter for superior filtration.
- Features a built-in shutoff valve to prevent water waste during filter changes.
- Easy installation with no electricity or drain required.
- Comes with an extra set of filters for extended use.
- We find this system expensive compared to other water filtration systems with similar features
- Not suitable for well water
- Requires frequent filter changes
- Does not remove fluoride from the water
If your goal is to improve the taste of your water without removing beneficial minerals, this filter is an excellent choice. It’s easy to install and maintain, has an excellent reputation for meeting performance claims, and its capacity is enormous. If you use bottled water now, buy this system instead, and you’ll save a small fortune.
#9. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System
Like Aquasana’s EQ-1000, 3M’s Aqua-Pure AP904 also features a scale inhibition system that protects pipes and appliances.
Its carbon filter captures sediment down to five microns — smaller than a red blood cell, and it can capably reduce the taste of chlorine.
- Reduces sediment, chlorine taste and odor, rust, dirt and other contaminants from your home’s water supply.
- Easy to install and includes a bypass valve for easy maintenance without having to shut off the water supply.
- Compatible with most existing plumbing systems.
- Includes a pressure relief valve for added safety and protection.
- Designed for long-lasting performance and reliability.
- NSF certified.
Best for: For households that want to reduce basic tap water contaminants and improve the taste of their drinking water for a budget friendly price.
Not best for: This filter isn’t good for those on well water as it can’t handle heavy well sediment.
- Its capacity is 100,000-gallons — a tenth of the EQ-1000 — and it doesn’t remove heavy metal or chemical contaminants
- If you don’t need that capability, it’s among the most economical filters on the market.
- This filter is great for a family of four and should last you about a year before needing to replace the filter.
- If your sediment levels are very high, it may need to be changed sooner.
- Do-it-yourself installation is a cinch and won’t compromise the warranty.
- Maintenance is as simple as an annual cartridge change.
- Not suitable for areas with hard water.
- May not remove all contaminants from the water.
- Doesn’t work very well with well water due to sediment.
Simplicity defines this filter. Both installation and cartridge changes are a snap. Water flow is generous and with one annual filter change, you can set it and forget it. It works with city water and protects your plumbing, but it’s mostly just a high-quality filter with softening capability.
It doesn’t remove heavy metals, chemicals, and it won’t make water potable, but if you don’t need that, why pay for it? Sometimes, simple is best.
#10. iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage 20-Inch Big Blue Whole House – Best Value
Like Home Master’s HMF2SMGCC 2-Stage System, this water filter from iSpring protects your family from a range of possible water contaminants including agricultural and industrial solvents, chemicals and VOCs, and its carbon block technology effectively reduces the taste of chlorine.
- 2-stage filtration system for whole house water purification
- 20-inch filter housing with 1″ inlet/outlet ports
- Includes two filters one GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filter and one for sediment
- Removes dirt, rust, sand, silt, sediment and other impurities from your water
- Reduces chlorine taste and odor, as well as other contaminants
- Simple installation and easy filter replacement
- Durable construction for long-lasting performance
Best for: a family of four that needs a low-cost, NSF certified system that doesn’t impact flow-rates.
Not best for: anyone with heavy chlorinated tap water or has concerns of lead.
- It has a similar 100,000-gallon total capacity and an even higher 15 GPM flow rate.
- It doesn’t remove lead, so if that’s your goal, you’ll need the WGB22B-PB version of this system, but if it’s not an issue.
- This unit will meet your needs for about 30-percent less than the Home Master. It’s a top value.
- It’s designed to be DIY-friendly but basic plumbing skills help.
- We really like that both replacement filters can be replaced at the same time — about once a year.
- Doesn’t reduce lead
- Not ideal for heavily chlorinated water
This system doesn’t remove lead. That’s a significant drawback if you want a water filter for peace of mind but don’t know what’s in your water. If you’re confident your water is lead-free, the WGB22B is a superb value. Your water will taste great, and it’s an
#11. Express 3-Stage Home Water Filtration System
If you don’t like guesswork, you’re going to love this 3-stage filter from Express. Like similar filters from iSpring and Home Master, it uses a high-density polypropylene sediment filter to catch dirt and rust.
Plus it features two long-life carbon filters — one granular and one carbon block — to remove contaminants including chemicals, pharmaceuticals and chlorine.
- Integrated pressure gauges
- One-year warranty with free lifetime technical support
- Made with all food-grade materials
- Quick, clean filter changes
Best for: for a family of 5 looking for a great mid-range whole home filter system at a great price.
Not best for: Families looking to remove lead and heavy metals.
- It’s stress-free to install with a 100,000-gallon capacity and it’s even easier to maintain.
- What sets it apart is that each filter in the system has a pressure gauge.
- Simply the gauges to easily determine when filters need to be changed for guess-free maintenance.
- This filter system can be used with well water, but won’t make water potable or remove heavy metals.
- Compact design that fits easily in small spaces
- Affordable price point compared to similar systems
- Doesn’t remove heavy metals including lead.
- It’s on the pricey for filter replacements.
Express is a newcomer in the whole house water filter market, but this product is particularly well-built. It’s a few dollars more than it’s competitors, but it feels solid. You’ll want to be sure your water is lead-free before using this system, especially if you have kids, but it does what it says it’ll do, and it does it well.
The gauges help guide cartridge changes, and the system comes with lifetime technical support. I recommend it for nervous first-time filter buyers.
Comparison Table(Mobile users: Swipe to scroll)
|Compare Brands & Models||#1 SpringWell CF City Water||#2 SpringWell WS Well System||#3 Evo E-1000 Tap Water||#4 Aquasana’s EQ-1000||#7 Pentair P600 system||#8 Ispring 3-stage system||#9 Home Master 3-stage system|
|Filter Type||Catalytic carbon & kdf media + Sediment||Air Injection Oxidation + Sediment||Carbon + Sediment||Carbon + KDF + TAC+ Sediment||Activated Carbon + Sediment||Carbon + Sediment||Carbon + Sediment|
|Capacity||1M gal.||1M gal.||80K gal.||1M gal||600,000 gal.||100,000 gal.||100K gal.|
|Flow Rate||9 – 20 GPM||12 – 20 GPM||15 GPM||12 GPM||15 GPM||15 GPM||20 GPM|
|Annual Cost||~$40||~$40||$150 – $300||~$40||~$35||~$225||$235 – $400|
|Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime (limited)||5 years||5 years||1 year (limited)||2 year (limited)|
Didn’t find what you’re looking for? See our other whole house water filter reviews:
Buyer’s Guide: To Whole House Water Purification Systems
Investing in a whole house water filter doesn’t have to break the bank. You can evaluate your risks and find the best filtration system for your family without sacrificing other expenses.
Peace of mind against the unknown is important, but not all water supplies are prone to the same type of contamination. Make sure you get what you need without overspending.
Let’s look at the most important things to consider when making a purchase decisions.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How we chose these systems
- Key considerations
- Choosing the right system for your home
- How to test your water
- System size and footprint
- Frequently asked questions
How We Chose
We understand that it can be an overwhelming process if you’re new to whole home water filtration systems. So we wanted to set your mind at ease and share our selection process, and expertise, in what we feel are top considerations to make before any purchase.
In our selection process, we look at 7 key factors: certifications, contaminant removal, flow-rate, ease of use, maintenance requirements, warranties, and long-term ownership costs. We also take it a step further by speaking with the manufacturers of these brands for information we feel wasn’t covered well enough.
Before any system makes it on our list, we need to dig into online reviews and user feedback. In doing so, this process sometimes would reveal problems for a variety of reasons that our personal testing or research didn’t uncover.
- Contaminant removal: Pay close attention to the systems ability to remove contaminants from water, including the type of filter media, micron size, and the efficiency and rate of contaminant removal.
- Flow-rate: This is especially important to those who already have low water pressure, pay close attention to max flow rates as these differ wildly between systems — anything above 7GPM (gallons per minute) is good.
- Ease of use: most manufacturers have helpful tutorials showing you how to install the system, should you opt to go the DIY route. Having said that, the systems we have listed above are overall DIY if need be.
- Maintenance requirements: Keep in mind, some systems may require a post and pre-filter that will need to be changed in 6-12 month intervals and should be taken into consideration.
- Certifications: Be sure to look for NSF/ANSI standards logo as that means the system does exactly what the manufacturer describes it should do — it’s an added level of quality assurance and peace of mind.
- Warranties: Pay close attention to the manufacturer warranties to have a clear understanding of what they cover and length of protection.
- Long-term ownership costs: Estimate long-term costs associated with owning this model, including replacement parts or maintenance services fees, so you can make an informed choice about purchasing it.
Contaminant Reduction Capability
City and well water can both contain contaminants like lead from aging pipes, chemicals, pharmaceutical residue, and microbes. Fluoride and chloride are added to municipal supplies but can be harmful. Hard water with excessive minerals will damage pipes and appliances. To select the right whole house filter system, you need to know what’s in your water now and evaluate potential future risks.
The best way to select a whole water house filter system is to know exactly what’s in your water and the best possible water treatment plan to resolve those issues. Test kits are available at hardware stores that allow you to send a sample to an independent lab for accurate results. For city water, contact your water treatment authority for more information.
See our top recommended water test kits.
System Type and Footprint
Whole house water filters are just as effective as point-of-use systems, but they provide larger capacity and require installation near the water entry point.
Make sure to measure the area beforehand and compare filter dimensions before purchasing.
|Springwell||1,000,000 Gallons||Up-to 20 GPM|
|Aquasanna EQ||1,000,000 Gallons||7 GPM|
|Pentair P600||600,000 Gallons||10 GPM|
|Ispring WGB32B||100,000 gallons||7 GPM|
|3M Aqua-Pure||100,000 gallons||10 GPM|
Filter capacity determines how many gallons a filter can process before needing to be changed. Always check the system’s total filter capacity – some have multiple filters with different change intervals. The higher the capacity, the less maintenance is needed for your whole house water filter.
|Fixtures & Appliances||Flow-rate (GPM)|
|Washing Machine||3-5 GPM|
A higher flow rate means a filter can process water faster. The average combined water-using activities (like flushing a toilet and showering) use 6 GPM, making that the minimum required for such tasks.
However, the more contaminants a filter removes, the lower its flow rate will be e.g. Aquasana EQ-1000 Whole House Filter System offers comprehensive filtration with a 7 GPM flow rate (lowest on our list), while Home Master’s HMF2SMGCC 2-Stage System has 15 GPM.
How to Calculate Your Water Flow Rate
You might not be aware of this important detail. However, it’s very important to know what your “effective flow-rate is” so that you can purchase the right size whole home filtration system for your needs so that you don’t buy an under-performing system.
1. Make sure all water faucets indoors is closed off and not running.
2. Grab a 5 gallon bucket and locate your water spigot.
3. Begin filling up your 5 gallon bucket and set a timer on how many seconds it takes to fill up.
4. For example: 5 GPM would be roughly 60 seconds to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. See our chart below.
|Seconds To Fill 5 Gallon Bucket||Water Flow Rate||Seconds To Fill 5 Gallon Bucket||Water Flow Rate|
|76-100||3 GPM||61-75||4 GPM|
|51-60||5 GPM||43-50||6 GPM|
|38-42||7 GPM||34-37||8 GPM|
|31-33||9 GPM||28-30||10 GPM|
|26-27||11 GPM||24-25||12 GPM|
|22-23||13 GPM||21||14 GPM|
|20||15 GPM||19||16 GPM|
|18||17 GPM||17||18 GPM|
|16||19 GPM||15||20 GPM|
|14||21 GPM||13||22 GPM|
|12||23 GPM||11||24 GPM|
When selecting the right filter for your home, it’s important to consider the micron rating of a whole house water filtration system. This measurement indicates the size of particles that can be filtered out by the system; typically ranging from 0.5-50 microns.
For maximum protection from small contaminants like bacteria or viruses, choose a filter with a low micron rating (0.5-10). If you’re mainly concerned about removing large particulates such as sand or silt, opt for one with a higher micron rating (20-50).
Keep in mind, that the lower you go on micron rating can cause water pressure issues and is the main reason why you don’t see to many whole house reverse osmosis systems on the market.
Does it meet NSF standards?
The federal government doesn’t test or regulate water filters. Instead, industry members of NSF International created voluntary, minimum performance and safety standards recognized by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.
- NSF 42 remove taste and odor impurities
- NSF 44 soften water by removing hard minerals via ion exchange
- NSF 53 reduce contaminants with known health effects
- NSF 55 kill bacteria, viruses and cysts with ultraviolet light
- NSF 58 reduce EPA-regulated contaminants via reverse osmosis
- NSF 401 reduce on of 15 emerging contaminants not yet regulated such as PFOA and pharmaceuticals
NSF/ANSI-certified whole house water filters are the gold standard for quality assurance. Companies willing to pay for independent testing and certification fees typically provide transparency about their filter’s performance. However, don’t focus solely on certifications; other factors like filter material quality should also be taken into account.
Certified filters offer an additional layer of confidence as they are regularly tested for quality control, so no one gets a “bad batch” of water filters. All things being equal, certifications are an added boost of assurance.
Read our guide on what NSF is Exactly.
How Long Is The Filter Life?
|Brand||Media Change/ Replacement:||Cost|
|Springwell CF1||10 years or 1,000,000 gallons||$335.00|
|Aquasanna EQ 1000||10 years or 1,000,000 gallons||$849.00|
|Pentair P600||5-years or 600,000 Gallons||$376.00|
|Ispring WGB32B||1-year or 100,000 gallons||149.99|
|3M Aqua-Pure||1 year or 100,000 gallons||$190.00|
Filters have a finite lifespan and must be replaced on time to ensure optimal water quality. Sediment and carbon filters typically last 3-9 months, however, extra capacity filters can last longer, with reverse osmosis membranes lasting 2-5 years.
When considering the cost of a whole home filtration system always factor in the price of replacement filters, as cheaper cartridges need to be changed more often. Invest in better filters for longer-lasting filtration and less maintenance.
The waters filters on our list vary in initial price, but it’s also essential to consider the long-term cost of ownership. The price of filter replacements and the frequency at which they need to be changed makes some systems less expensive to operate over the long haul. It’s worth taking a few minutes to crunch the numbers.
|System Type||Average Cost|
|Whole House Filtration System||750.00 to $3,500+|
|Well Water Filtration System||750.00 to $3,500+|
|Reverse Osmosis Systems||$500.00 to $8,000+|
|UV Disinfection System||$600.00 to $1200+|
Professional Installation Costs on Average
Labor costs will vary from region to region. However, many plumbers have a minimum 4 hour charge for any type of job weather it takes them one hour to install or just 4hrs, it’s a set rate. However, the rates in the table below should give you a rough idea of what it would cost to install a filtration system.
These rates don’t include any additional cost such as, additional piping and the complexity of the job.
Further Reading: How Much Do Whole House Water Filter Systems Cost?
|System Type||Labor||Average Installation Cost|
|Whole House Filtration System||4 to 8 hours||$500 to $1200+|
|Well Filtration System||4 to 8 hours||$500 to $1200+|
|Reverse Osmosis System||4 to 8 hours||$500 to $1200+|
|UV Disinfection System||4 hours or less||$350 to $600|
|3M Aqua-Pure||4 hours or less||$350 to $600|
Getting The Best Value
What does it filter out?
The purpose of finding the best home water treatment system for the entire household is to remove unwanted contaminants, so it makes sense to know which pollutants are common problems.
If you have city water, it’s disinfected and safe to drink. But despite EPA regulations, it could contain unsafe levels of:
- Haloacetic acid
- Industrial solvents
- Volatile organic compounds
- Trace pharmaceuticals and more
Lead, bacteria and parasitic cysts can also enter water through deteriorating underground pipes after leaving the treatment plant.
If you have well water, added fluoride and disinfectants aren’t a risk. But an estimated 20-percent of wells in the US are contaminated and could harbor natural and human-made toxins, including:
- Hard minerals
- Agricultural chemicals
- Petroleum products
- Industrial chemicals
- Bacteria, parasites and more
Not all wells contain these substances. What’s in your water is determined by local geology and your watershed — the area around your home that feeds your water supply. If you live near a landfill, heavy metals and VOCs are a risk. If you live near a large farm, contamination with nitrate fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides is more common.
See our: Best well water filtration system guide
The best way to choose a whole house water filter is to know what’s in your water today. City water users can get a quality report from their treatment authority but should test their tap water for lead separately.
Well owners should do a comprehensive test — DIY or via a certified lab. Regardless of water source, you can then shop confidently for a filter that targets the greatest number of problem contaminants.
Choosing the wrong whole house water filtration system can be a costly mistake. Make sure to read the fine print and choose a company/brand that offers an iron-clad warranty and decent return policy – this way you’ll have peace of mind knowing your investment is protected!
|Filtration Brand||Warranty||Money Back Guarantee|
|Springwell||Lifetime||6-month money back guarantee|
|Aquasanna||6 years||90 days|
|Pentair||650,885 Gallons or 5 years||60 days|
|Ispring||1 year||30 days|
|3M Aqua-Pure||5 years||30 days|
Money-back Guarantees – What You Should Know
Trial periods are great, but make sure to read the terms & conditions. Avoid restocking fees and return shipping costs by opting for a 30/60/90-day trial period. But beware, size and weight can affect return shipping costs and that’s on you!
What does a “lifetime limited warranty” really mean?
Many consumers overlook the fine print when it comes to “lifetime” warranties. Be sure to read all of a company’s terms and conditions before buying so you know exactly what is covered. Often, only tanks are covered while fittings and valves may not be included.
This doesn’t mean the company is bad in any way, it comes down to how much the company is willing to cover.
Are you paying for more than what you really need?
Knowing what could be in your water is scary, but most homes only need selective filtration. Unless a water main breaks or there’s a disaster, you don’t need an expensive system for killing viruses. And if you don’t have hard water, skip the softening capability.
Invest in preparedness only if necessary and consider over-filtering if you can afford it.
Whole House Water Filtration Systems Vs. Reverse Osmosis
Whole house water filtration systems ensure your family always has safe water. Installed near the home’s inlet, it treats every drop used for drinking, bathing, and more. No need to worry about quality — it’s all safe!
Multi-stage systems using sediment, carbon, and KDF filters remove contaminants like dirt, rust, chemicals, and heavy metals. No drop in water pressure; just cleaner looking, smelling, and tasting water.
Reverse osmosis systems produce higher-quality water with an RO membrane to remove even the tiniest particles, but they’re slow and limited to gallons per day. Under-sink RO filters purify drinking/cooking water at the point of use and can remove toxins like fluoride that traditional filtration may miss. Cost-effective for heavily contaminated areas.
Since prices are similar, a whole house water filter may be a better value if it removes target contaminants and treats all incoming water.
Evaluating filter cartridges is difficult as performance ratings are based on average water conditions. Five filters may claim 95% lead reduction but actual performance can vary depending on water quality.
Additional media in a cartridge may improve results, and systems with sediment pre-filters remove large particles that could clog other filters, improving overall performance and longevity.
Similarly, when contaminants are removed “up to” a certain percentage, that could be anywhere between 0-percent and the highest claimed, depending on the total quality of your water. Specifications are helpful, but not ironclad.
Systems like the Express Water Whole House Water Filter and the iSpring WGB32B and WKB32B have sediment pre-filters that remove large particles that could clog other filters in the system — improving their performance and longevity.
|Springwell||5 Micron filter||~$40.00|
|Aquasanna EQ||Pre Filter & Post Filter||$120.00|
|Pentair P600||5 Micron filter||$70.00|
|Ispring WGB32B||filter cartridges||$75.00|
|3M Aqua-Pure||Filter Cartridge||$127.00|
Learn more about filtration cartridge types and sizes.
No filter on our list is an actual water softener, but two have some softening capability that protects appliances. The Aquasana EQ-1000, the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC 3-Stage System have some variation on technology that doesn’t remove minerals, but it prevents them from building up on pipe walls.
It won’t alleviate the other effects of hard water, but in place of adding a separate water softener, it’s a plus.
Pros & Cons to Consider
- Enjoy clean, safe purified drinking water throughout your entire home with a whole house water filtration system.
- These systems are designed to remove chlorine and other chemicals used in municipal treatment plants from all the water entering your home.
- Plus, they can reduce sediment buildup in pipes and fixtures that could lead to clogs or reduced flow rates over time.
- Installing a whole house system is often more cost-effective than buying bottled water or individual filters for each faucet in the home.
- Whole home water filtration systems require regular maintenance and filter changes to ensure optimal performance at all times.
- The initial installation costs may be higher than those of individual filters due to their larger size and complexity of installation requirements.
- They may not be able to remove all contaminants from the water, so it’s important to research which system best fits your needs before purchase for maximum safety benefits!
Installation & Maintenance
This is a basic overview on how to install a whole house water filter. Keep in mind, the systems we review have video tutorials on their website, and on YouTube.
- Shut off the main water supply to your home and locate a spot for installation of the filter system, such as near the main line entering or in an area with easy access for maintenance and replacement.
- Install shut-off valves on both sides of where you will be installing the filter system so that it can be isolated from other plumbing when necessary.
- Connect flexible tubing to each side of the shut-off valve, ensuring all connections are secure and leak free before proceeding further.
- Attach one end of another length of tubing to the outlet port on your whole house water filter system and connect it to one side of a T-fitting using appropriate connectors; attach another length back into your main water line using more suitable connectors as needed (this is how filtered water enters).
- Connect yet another length from this same T-fitting onto an additional shut-off valve which should then be connected directly to a drain pipe or other drainage point (this is how unfiltered/dirty water exits).
- Insert filter cartridges into housing, making sure they are securely in place and all connections are leak free before continuing onward.
- Turn on main water supply, check for leaks or issues, and test water pressure and flow rate to ensure it is within acceptable limits.
- Once everything is working properly, turn on the shut-off valves connected to the filter system and enjoy purified filtered water throughout your home!
The beauty of owning a tank-based unit is that there’s hardly any maintanance at all, except for changing out your pre/post sediement filters as needed. On the flip side, cartridge based filters require filters to be changed per manufacturers recommendations.
Use our helpful guide to give you a quick run-down:
- Change your filter every 3-6 months: Check the manufacturer’s instructions for specific recommendations based on your water quality.
- Clean the housing unit regularly: Unscrew and remove it from its mounting bracket, then rinse with warm water to remove dirt or debris that may have accumulated over time.
- Inspect all parts of the system: Ensure connections are secure and there is no corrosion or damage to any components of your whole house water filter system.
- Test incoming water pressure annually: Use a pressure gauge to make sure it is within normal operating range (typically between 40-60 psi). If not, contact a professional plumber for assistance in adjusting it accordingly.
- Flush out sediment buildup periodically: Over time, sediment can build up inside pipes which can reduce flow rate and cause clogs; use an appropriate flushing device such as a garden hose or backwashing valve every 6 months to flush out this buildup.
- Check for leaks frequently: Visually inspect all fittings and connections around your whole house water filter system for any signs of leaking or dripping; if you find any, contact a professional plumber for assistance in repairing them immediately.
- Monitor water quality consistently: Test your water regularly to ensure it is free from contaminants and meets all safety standards; if not, contact a professional plumber for assistance in adjusting the filter accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
A whole house water filter is only necessary when the water is not safe to drink. However, many non-harmful impurities make the water unpleasant to taste or cook with; thus people often opt for filters to improve its flavor rather than safety.
Yes, they are! Invest in a whole home water filter if your kids don’t enjoy drinking tap water. Hydration is important and filters are usually cheaper than bottled water and healthier than sugary soft drinks.
A whole house Reverse Osmosis filtration system is costly but would remove the most organic molecules, viruses, and particles as small as 0.0001 microns. Traditional under sink reverse osmosis filtration tank media is more suitable for residential use.
Depending on your filtration type, a sediment pre-filter should be changed every 3 to 6 months. A Carbon filter every 12 Months and a post-filter every 12 months.
This entirely depends on the water filtration system you choose. Tank-based filtration media can last up to 10 years or 1 million gallons. Whereas, cartridge based systems can last up to 12 months.