Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: June 22, 2021
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According to a recent News21 investigation, every fifth U.S. citizen does not have access to clean or safe drinking, cooking, and even showering water. If you are health conscious or you constantly feel the smell of chlorine in your home, then purchasing the best whole house water filter can be an excellent gift for you and your family. It is no secret that most of the dust, chemicals, and other types of sediments can be eliminated before water is circulated in the house.
So, the first and most important reason to purchase a good whole house water filter is to protect your family from sicknesses. It is a no-brainer that you are likely to get some diseases from using water with certain impurities such as chlorine or even dust. Clean water also makes your appliances such as washing machines and water heaters to last longer. In addition, a whole house water filter will help you purify water in your home at one point of entry as opposed to having them at the different faucets around the house. Lastly, the best whole house water filters last for a long time, and you may not have to worry about the cleanliness of your water for the next one to ten years.
There are a number of features that you should consider when purchasing a whole house water heater. The ability to reduce contaminants, capacity of the filter and how often it needs to be changed, the rate of flow and warranty terms are some examples of what you should keep in mind when shopping for a perfect whole house water filter. We spent 50 hours researching and reviewing each of the mentioned water filters below. You will find a table in the review, salient features and reviews of the water filters and a buying guide to help you get the best whole house water filter in the market.
The iSpring WGB32B proved to be an excellent whole house water. It is equipped with a three-stage filtration which will ensure that there is no rust, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, sediments and VOC’s among other pollutants.
In the first stage, the iSpring WGB32B uses its high capacity polypropylene sediment filter to achieve a filtration down 5 microns. The CTO carbon block filter embraces high-quality coconut shell carbon in the second and third stage to reach maximum filtration efficiency. Both of these filters can purify a capacity of 100,000 gallons of water, which can supply a family of four with one year of clean water.
The package of the filter includes everything you’ll need to set it up and use right from the box, i.e. a black metal bracket, three big blue housings with caps, three filter cartridges, and a 4.5-inch housing wrench.
A huge advantage to this filtration system is that you won’t notice any loss in water pressure even if you are a heavy user.
The filters were also tested to meet the NFS/ANSI standards.
What makes it special?
Equipped with a grade three stage filtration
Excellent water quality right after installation
Minimum loss of water pressure and small impact on water flow
The Express Water whole house water filter offers the perfect solution for all your water needs around the house. What sets this filter apart is that it has a pressure gauge and a pressure release button for easier use and monitoring.
The filter ensures comprehensive water filtration in three stages. In the first stage, unwanted sediment is eliminated from the water before it progresses to the second stage of purification where dirt, organic chemicals, and other suspended particles are also removed. In the final stage, chemicals such as VOCs and chlorine are further eliminated to ensure the output water is properly filtered. The whole house water filter also has a granular activated carbon filter that is often used for systems that perform reverse osmosis.
Another reason to purchase the Express Water system is that it is thoroughly tested by external laboratories, which makes it compliant with the ANSI 58 standard and the NSF standard.
The whole house water filter has a sediment filter that is fully integrated with a polypropylene microfibers. This filter can also be used with any standard reverse osmosis filtration unit. However, you can comfortably use it with any 20-inch cartridge housing. This filter has also complied with the NSF/ANSI 58 standards.
Why is it special?
Immediate increase in the quality of water
Easy to install
No change in water pressure
The gauges in the water filter to monitor and ensure the proper flow of water in the house
The Home Master HMF2SDGC was specifically designed to offer clean water to every faucet in your home without reducing the overall pressure that is necessary for a comfortable use. This water filter adopts the use of oversized filters and fittings to ensure that the pressure of water in your house is always high. Having a larger housing also means that there will be relatively large filters, which reduces the amount of service needed to operate the filter. Additionally, this will be a save in time, convenience and even money.
Since it is a 2-stage filter system, it offers five layers of filtration. This means that the water will be filtered at 25, 10, 5 and finally 1 micron to ensure you get purified water. And the last barrier – the coconut shell carbon filter – removes chlorine and other chemicals, as well as smell. The capacity of the carbon filter is rated at 95,000 gallons, which should be enough for a family of four for one year.
What are its best features?
Massive filter housings for the strongest water pressure of 20 gpf
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is specifically created to purify well-water, which is often rich in iron.
For most wells, the concentration of iron is 0.5 to 10 milligrams per liter. Although iron is not an extreme risk, having lots of it creates some bacteria that can cause a lot of problems. For example, water that is loaded with iron has a metallic taste and smell. It will also leave rust residues and stains in the sink.
This whole house water filter comes with three stages of water purification. In the first stage, there are four layers of filtration which can filter out impurities as small as 1 micron. The second stage takes care of the iron in the water by cutting about 95% of it and reduces the total contaminant load to about 3ppm. In the 3rd stage filter, there is a radial flow granular coconut shell carbon filter which removes chemicals, odor and even the bad taste in water. Together, these stages make water healthier and are a perfect fit for well water.
The filtration system is easy to install, but if you have a larger family, you’ll probably have to change filters once every 6 months or so.
The iSpring WGB22B is an ideal point of entry filter that can purify water both at home and in a business. The water in your home will have to pass through the two stages of the filtration system.
Stage 1 housing is the first system of defense that includes a 5-micron capacity polypropylene filter. In the first stage, the filter eliminates dirt, rust, sediments and other large-sized particles.
In the second stage, there is a 5-micron coconut shell carbon filter with a higher density than other carbon filters which helps to purify water from other forms of contaminants. The carbon filter also removes bad taste and scents. It is very effective in eliminating organic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.
What makes it special?
Excellent water quality right after installation
Minimum loss of water pressure and small impact on water flow
Do you need clean and healthy water in your home? The Aquasana premium whole house filter will ensure that you have access to clean and good tasting water in your home. It will remove about 97% of the contaminants in your home for the next ten years or after using one million gallons of water. With its highly efficient water filters, it can be able to eliminate such impurities as pesticides, herbicides, sediments, rust, silt, industrial solvents, and water-soluble metals among others.
With the purchase, you will get a filtration tank, a 20-inch prefilter and postfilter, bend supports, brass fittings, and shut-off valves. You can also choose to add some of the optional upgrades such as a salt-free water softener, UV sterilight to kill 99.99% of viruses and bacteria, and a pro-grade installation kit.
Manu users noted better taste and general quality of water after they installed the filter, but some complained about reduced water pressure. This might be because the flow rate is somewhat low, and you’ll also need to check your filter for sediment build-up, as this affects water pressure as well.
What do we love it for?
Good water softening effect
Unique upward flow to increase purification and eliminate clogging
This whole house water filter protects your home from any impurities that may include dirt, sand, chlorine, silt, and any bad odors that may be present in your water. It has a flow and capture technology that aims to ensure that any water-using appliances and plumbing are free from any unwanted properties.
You are sure to get better testing and even cleaner water without feeling any significant drop in the flow of water.
The EcoPure was designed to purify water from the well apart from municipal water. With a micron rating of 5, you can rest assured that the EcoPure EPWHE will work to eliminate any contaminants in your home.
Changing of filters has also been made simpler by the pivotal design, which allows you to change filters in just a few minutes without using any tools. In addition, the encapsulated filter design not only captures a lot of dust but also removes the need to touch any used filters.
The EcoPure includes a mounting bracket, a 6-month filter, the system itself, a vent tube and installation instructions.
The iSpring WGB21B is a 50,000-gallon capacity water filter with a coconut shell carbon filter which can offer clean water to your family for about half a year. It has a multi-layer filtration to allow for minimum pressure loss and clogs.
It is an ideal point-of-entry filtration system for smaller homes. It eliminates about 98% of the impurities passing through it such as chlorine, sediments and other contaminants. With this filter, you can rest assured that all the odors, color, and even foul tastes will be eliminated.
The filtration system comes preassembled, so many users appreciated simple installation. And there is major improvement in the quality of water immediately after installation.
This is an excellent whole house water filter for those who are looking to balance between price and functionality. The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 filter has a flow rate of 20 gallons per minute as opposed to the regular 15 gallons per minute. Also, if you use the proper sediment filter, the 3M AquaPure filter can last up to 23 months for a family of four people.
The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 uses a stainless-steel top which not only makes installation easier but also ensures that the head is corrosion-resistant. The system also uses a carbon filter to eliminate impurities such as chlorine, sediment, rust and odor among others. The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 uses a new Sanitary Quick Change design to help you change the filter easily.
If you wish to find a whole house water filter that eliminates radon, then you should find an alternative as radon is a gas. The filter will, however, eliminate any particles that emit radon during the filtration process.
What do we love it for?
Will last a family of four for up to two years
Filters both chlorine and odor well-water
High flow rate and no pressure problems
What were we disappointed with?
The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903’s filter and cartridge are integrated
The overall water pressure in the house may weaken as time passes
This filter comes in a small size but it is highly effective in eliminating dust and sediments from water. Furthermore, the Culligan softener helps to remove any scale that may settle in water. And it’s even suitable for well water. To ensure that the filter is highly efficient, it contains a stainless-steel connection.
Other features of the Culligan WH-HD200-C include an integrated bypass and even shut off valve, a specially created pressure relief button to relieve the house water filter during times of high pressure, and a filter life indicator. All these features make maintaining much easier.
A little downside to this system is that the filter itself if not included in the purchase, so you’ll have to buy it separately. The filters are comparatively affordable, though, so the whole system with the filter and all accessories included will still cost you less than other filtration systems on our list.
The filter was certified against the NSF/ANSI 372 and NSF/ANSI 42 standards.
What are its best features?
Excellent for residential houses
Clear bowl to determine the state of the filter easily
No drop in water pressure
What could be improved?
Filters must be purchased separately, but they are pretty affordable
Some users reported that changing filters may get messy
Filters require more frequent replacement
Things to Consider
This review is geared to help homeowners who wish to have the water in the houses free from contamination. Regardless of the source of water in our homes, it is likely that the water will have some impurities and a whole house water filter is the best option to ensure clean flow of water. But what should you consider when purchasing your water filter? Here is a quick guide to help both experienced and first-time users.
When do you need a whole house water filtration system?
The overall quality of water in your house will eventually determine if you need a whole house water filter. You might think that municipal water is clean, but the water that reaches your faucet at home may get contaminated along the way.
You will need a whole house water filter if the water in your home is chlorinated. Although chlorine has for long been used to disinfect water, it has some adverse effects that make it an impurity. Some people are so used to consuming chlorinated water that they may not be comfortable with the absence of chlorine in their water.
Chlorine is a great disinfectant that will eliminate some contaminants from your water, but large quantities of this chemical may be harmful to your health.
You may need a whole house water filter when your skin becomes dry or your hair becomes dull from using chlorinated water. A great way to tell if you need a whole house water filter is to carry out tests on your water source. Also, if you notice any of the following, then it may be time to go for a whole house water filter:
High level of chlorine in your water
Weird taste or even smell in your water
Small particles of sediments or dust floating on the water
High level of bacterial contamination
A whole house water filter is more friendly to the environment as compared to the alternatives. Getting other kinds of filters or even using bottled water, for example, is not safe on the environment. Bottled water only increases your carbon footprint as the bottles are made from plastic and not all plastic is recycled. Also, unlike other types of filters, using whole house water filters will not lead to the production of wastewater and all the water that goes in the filter comes out on the other end.
What makes an ideal whole house water filter?
Different households require different types of water filters according to a number of factors. As much as almost all the types of water filters work in the same way, the presence or lack of any additional water filters will ultimately determine if all the contaminants will be eliminated. Regardless of the number of filters that a whole house water filter uses. Here are some things to consider.
Number of stages and filtration process
Almost all whole house water filters can remove the basic contaminants found in water. These include sediments, dust, rust, chlorine and a whole host of other chemicals that may be responsible for the unpleasant taste and smell in the water. There are also other types of water filters that are specialized to help treat manganese, iron, and other metallic contaminants that make their way to the water we consume. The iSpring WGB32B, for example, has three stages, which means that it can eliminate more impurities.
While these water filters can eliminate a significant percent of contaminants from water, only reverse osmosis systems can remove 100% of the harmful elements in water. The overall quality of water or a test from the lab will determine if you need to add such a system to your home.
However, reverse osmosis can be extremely expensive, and you may have to opt for other whole house water filters with two or three stages in the filtration process.
Alternatively, you can also place a point of use unit in one of the faucets at home such as the kitchen sink. In this case, to ensure you get clean water for drinking and cooking, opt for an under sink water filter or a countertop water filter with a faucet.
Contaminant reduction and certification
It is critical to pay attention to the type of certification that a whole house water filter has before choosing to purchase one. If a filter is certified, the manufacturer of the equipment will have to make public some of the performance data sheets to ensure that the water filter works as advertised. If a water filter is not certified, then you can be sure to guess that it will not eliminate some contaminants. There are a number of standards of which the water filters will be categorized by NSF International and American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI). The four residential standards include
NSF/ANSI 42 – These filters reduce only the non-health related type of contaminants such as the odor, particulates and even the chlorine taste of water.
NSF/ANSI 53 – Such filters use carbon to eliminate some specific health-related contaminants that may include heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, giardia among others.
NSF/ANSI 401 – This is a new certification that was developed as a response to finding pharmaceutical products in water. Such filters eliminate prescription drugs, chemicals, end even herbicides/pesticides.
NSF/ANSI 58 – specifically created for reverse osmosis products, which are able to remove fluoride, radium, heavy metals, perchlorate, nitrate and nitrite among others.
A key consideration is also the lifespan of the system or even the filters. Most whole house water filters need little maintenance except maybe changing the filter regularly. It is, however, worth noting that not all filters have the same replacement interval and this will depend on the type of system that you purchase. A person who opts for a 100,000-gallon system and that who opts for a 1,000,000-gallon system will definitely have to replace the filters at different times. Depending on your needs and budget, you should choose a filter that works for you. The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 has a quick change cartridge system that allows for the easy change of cartridges when replacing filters.
It is a no-brainer that the heavy duty systems are much more likely to last as compared to the replaceable cartridge models. If you purchase the replaceable model, you should watch out for the replacement interval indicated in your product, as failure to follow this may ultimately lead to a poor working of the filter. A significant number of filters have a lifespan of about six to even twelve months, and if you get a longer lifespan, the better it is for you.
This does not denote the physical size of the whole house water filter but rather the capacity that the filter puts out in gallons. Some models filter out a million gallons of water while others filter 100,000 gallons as denoted above. For example, the Aquasana EQ-1000 is one of the high-capacity water filters. You should, however, note that most water filters with a big capacity are also large in size.
It is prudent to remember that the flow rate will play a significant role in the final decision that you choose. The filter should be able to supply sufficient water to your kitchen, bathroom, washing appliances, and every place in the house where water is necessary. Therefore, it is crucial for the water filter that you choose to have a good flow rate if you do not wish to see a drop in pressure when you open several faucets around the house.
For most houses, a pressure of 10 to 15 gallons per minute is sufficient, but if your filter has a lower rate than this, then you might experience some problems especially if it is a large house.
Having a good warranty for your equipment may not seem to be a necessary feature until you experience problems with your whole house water filter. Some users have reported getting damaged parts upon delivery of equipment while others encountered a complete failure of the water filter. It is only through having a proper warranty that you are likely to evade such problems.
The above list of features is not exhaustive, and there are other things that you will have to consider before making that purchase.
Ease of installation – there are a lot of whole house water filters that one can easily install without the need of a professional, and there are those that require assistance. If you are a resourceful person, you should be able to find something that you can understand and easily install. Another thing to look out for is if there are some tools to help you install the water filter when buying it.
Cost – the cost of the water filter will also be a big consideration. You should look for a water filter that will both suit your needs and fit your budget. You are likely to find costly water filters with numerous features and budget-friendly filters that still get the job done.
Micron size – the overall micron size of the water filter should also play a significant role in the type of filter that you select. Most filters will have a micron size of less than 5 microns and the less the micron size, the cleaner your water will be after filtration. While most standard and heavy house filters can filter water to a micron size of 0.35 to 1 micron, reverse osmosis filters can do so to a micron size of up to 0.0001 microns.
How to install a whole house water filter?
This might not be a job for any novice, but just having a little knowledge can help you complete the job without any problems. Although the installation procedure may differ for each whole house water filter, the basic principles are the same.
Slip joint push fitting
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you out:
The first step is to turn off the main water supply to the house by locating the shut-off valve and closing it.
Drain out the water. You should then drain all the water that is still running in the house. You can do it by opening several faucets to ensure that most of the water that is in circulation is drained.
Choose a suitable location. Your next step should be to choose a suitable place to place the filter itself. Remember to select a place that should be near the main source of water and where the children cannot access it.
Cut the pipe. Use your pipe cutter to cut off the pipe but don’t forget to have a bucket to collect any water that may run off from the pipe.
Install the shut-off valves. The shut-off valves will be useful when changing filters as they help to control the water and you should thus place them at the end of each pipe on your main water pipe.
Mount the whole house water filter. You can choose to use mounting brackets or mount the filter on a plywood panel if possible. Remember that the first stage filter comes first then the other filters as specified in your instructions manual.
Attach the filtration unit the system pipes. Using a compression nut or even push fittings, attach the pipes of the system to the pipes that were initially cut off. Be sure to attach the input and output of the filter to the push fittings and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
Not all whole house water filters will soften hard water that has calcium and magnesium minerals and it may be necessary to purchase a water softener if possible. Water filters systems that purify water through reverse osmosis such as the iSpring RCC7AK 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter can, eliminate such impurities.
In choosing a water softener, you can decide between a salt-based water softener and a water conditioner that softens water through the use of electro-magnetic waves. The former works better than the latter as it ensures the complete elimination of both calcium and magnesium before water gets into the housing system.
It is not necessary to get the services of a professional to help you install the water filter, but it is prudent to have some basic skills beforehand. It may generally take you about half a day to hook the filter if you are not a plumber. You are, however, advised to create a filter bypass with shut-off valves and union joints on inlet and outlet pipes to make servicing easier. There are some easy-to-install filters which may not be as difficult and will take less time as long as you follow the instructions.
Yes, you can install the filter all by yourself but this will depend on how handy you are. You will obviously purchase the filter with some tools pre-packaged and all you have to do is follow the instruction manual. You are likely to take a lot of time due to the many fittings and the 1-inch threads.
A desirable flow rate will ultimately depend on a number of factors. These include the size of the home, the size of your family and the demand requirements of your home appliances. You will need a good flow rate to run your shower, dishwasher, cooking appliances among others. A desirable flow rate will range from 5 to 40 gallons per minute depending on the above factors.
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is best designed to purify well-water that is often rich in iron. For most wells, the level of iron concentration is often 0.5 to 10 milligrams per liter. The filter has three stages, and the second stage is responsible for cutting about 95% of iron in the water to a load of 3ppm.
You can still decide to place your whole house water filter outside the house, but it is important to consider the temperatures outside and if they will interfere with the workings of the filter. Also, ensure that the filter is close to the main source of water in your home.
The iSpring WGB32B is our best water filter overall due to the number of features it has. With three stages of filtration, a filter capacity of 100,000 gallons and a 15 gallons per minute flow rate, this is an ideal water filter for any family. The Express Water 3-Stage Home Water Filtration System is also an excellent choice as it supplies water at a flow rate sufficient for an average family and features handy gauges to monitor performance. The third choice for the best whole house water filter is the Home Master HMF2SDGC, which is ideal for a larger home, as it delivers water at a higher flow rate of 20 GPM and filters out sediment and carbon perfectly.
We hope that with this review, you can now make an informed choice depending on your needs and with your budget in mind.