Best Whole House Water Filter System – Guide & Reviews
Single pitcher filtration and slow reverse osmosis not really what you are looking for to protect your family from harmful water contaminants? If you have hard water problems, do not trust the chemicals being added to our diets and water supplies or simply don’t like the taste or damage done to clothes and other household items; then, a whole house water filtration system is what you are looking for. Why only filter a gallon or two at a time or wait on the slow return for the reverse osmosis process? Doesn’t it just make more sense to take care of the water for the entire house and not have to worry about changing filters daily, weekly, monthly. With a whole house water filtration system you are not required to change the filters often. There are some that you don’t have to worry about for as long as 10 years.
Whole house water filtration far surpasses all the other types when it comes to ease of use, output limits when needed and protection values. There are whole house systems that use the reverse osmosis technology and some that do not. Whole house systems are added to your water supply system so work around the clock processing clean fresh de-mineralized and contaminant-free water for all your home uses. For drinking water, bathing, cooking, cleaning, washing clothes and so much more… the whole house water filtration systems save you time and money while offering the best protection for you and your family.
We all understand removing contaminants from our drinking water. We can’t walk through a grocery store without finding bottled water in one of the aisles. Brita and others make pitchers for simple jug at a time purification. On the tap systems filter more water faster but you still have to change filters often and everyone has more than one tap in the house. On the tap systems do nothing to protect your clothes from getting yellowed or pink from rust and other contaminants in the wash water.
A reverse osmosis type of whole house water filtration system is best because it not only removes sediments such as dirt, small insects and other contaminants; but, also removes chlorine, lead, soluble minerals and other organic pollutants.
How to Choose A Whole House Water Filtration System
How to choose an RO system that best suits your needs depends on multiple factors. Here are some of them that can help you to pick a good RO system.
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing the whole house water filtration system that is right for you. Once you make the decision that this is the water filtration system that is right for you, we can help you choose what brand, model and type will supply your needs.
What type of water do you have? That is probably the most overlooked question yet it is also the most common problem you need to address when seeking a filtration system for your home. Some systems only remove basic elements such as chlorine, rust and dirt. Others may remove all of those and trace minerals, harmful contaminant such as lead while others may help remove mercury, fluorides and much more.
Whether you have well water, city water or other type of water system, you want to be sure that all the pollutants that can be removed are missing from your water supply after filtration. Well water and some other water supplies such as cisterns and creek banked sump pumps often contain sediments such as dirt, small insects and leaf/grass particles. City water contains chlorine which is added due to government and environmental laws. All water supplies could contain lead, copper or other contaminants from old pipes and bacteria.
Understanding what types of water you have will help you to choose the system that will protect you and your family best. Most whole house water filtration systems include several stages for filtering your water. Each stage will remove specific types of contaminants and are equally important. How many stages you need will be dependent on what type of water you have. Water types vary from place to place and the water type you have may not be exactly like that of your neighbor.
To learn what kind of water is in your water supply, have it tested for a full list of contaminants or a simple test kit you do yourself will give you the basics. Even though millions get their water from the same source when they use city water, the pipes and other access points can often create variances in the contamination.
Simple stage whole water filtration systems are designed to remove the larger heavy sediments such as dirt, rust, leaves, algae and debris. Secondary stage sometimes called two stage are best suited to remove the heavy sediments and some specific chemicals such as chlorine. Triple stage systems remove all of the above but also remove other contaminants such as mercury, limes, some pesticides and lead. Larger multi-stage variables are available and can even remove some toxins and bacteria.
This is why knowing what type of water you have is so important. Unless you know, you will not fully comprehend which type of system you need to remove all of the harmful contaminants in your water.
From installation to replacement, there are factors you must consider when buying a whole house filtration system.
1. Size if the unit - will it fit in the space available?
2. How hard is it to install - can you do it yourself or do you need to call a plumber?
3. Will working parts need maintained or changed and how often?
4. Is this maintenance do-able by you or does it require professional maintenance?
5. What, if any, guarantees or warranties does the system have?
6. How often is the normal time for need of full-replacement?
Size of the Unit? Some units are quite small and consist of a single filter while those with multi-stages are larger and require more space.
Installation of most units, especially the single filter units, could be done by you if you are the handyman type. Most would opt for a plumber to do the install unless they have “a friend” who is handy and knows what they are doing. The actual install and initial checking should only take a few hours for a regular installation.
How often will it need maintenance and can you do it? Most will opt for a plumber just because they are not handy. The handy-dandy do-it-yourselves could do most common maintenance repairs. The most common maintenance being changing filters.
Warranties and guarantees? These will vary by brand, type and even by the plumber or person who does the installation. Some plumbers may actually offer more guarantees and/or warranties than are issued with the new system.
How long before I need to do a total replacement? This varies by brand and by type. Many last for years when properly maintained. Some could last more than ten years. The latter tend to be more expensive but in comparison to a system which is good only for a few years and very limited numbers of gallons filtered before replacements or wear out, in the long run… these are often the best deals.
he main features that you look for in an RO system will often reflect the effectiveness of the water filtration process and the ease of handling the system. There is no point in having a designer faucet if it does not provide water with a good flow rate.
Unlike on the tap filter systems, most often the whole house water filtration system will be attached the main water line into the home. Looks is not a priority and most systems are very similar while differences in the number of filtering stages may apply.
Most systems have auto shut-off and reset features built into the system. The auto shut-off features will warn when time to replace filters and possible leaks. Multi-stage systems often color code the filters and most will supply tool kits to make it easier to maintain your system.
A very few have an extra feature not common in the general groups. These have an extra “tube”, not really a filter which will re-add some beneficial chemicals “back into” the water.
If you are not on city water or have a chlorinating system already on your water supply, you may want the UV layer systems which help to kill microscopic organisms in your water.
Many whole house water filtration systems are adapted for connection to your ice-makers built into your refrigerators.
Unlike pitcher filters, performance is not based on how fast your whole home water filtration will filter a gallon of water but is based on how much water it will purify at a steady stream rate of flow (gallons per day). Along with the GPD rate, temperature is often a factor on the optimal operation of your system. You may need to add a pump or booster to your water intake “before” the system to help control the water pressure and temperature for your systems requirements.
Purity ratio is also a performance factor. The best systems are the ones that remove the most contaminants and are the higher percentages of purity. A system that performs a 95% purity is better than one that is 90%. 99% is difficult to achieve but some will claim this and higher.
Reverse osmosis systems may re-add basic minerals back to your water to raise the pH levels. Suggested levels are 6.9 to 7.5 pH.
The Cost Factor
The biggest constraint in choosing an RO system will be your budget. Even if you have a fairly high budget dedicated for an RO system, you will not prefer one which is not worth the money.
The first thing everyone looks at is the price. It makes sense to most that it is the most important factor. When you take into consideration the other factors, though, it is not the most important but is equally as important as the other factors. Some whole water filtration systems are a few hundred dollars while others are well over a thousand dollars in price. Immediately, most would say the best value would be the lowest price.
The problem with this type of thinking when it comes to your family’s health and your water supply needs, is that the cheapest may only be a single stage type which only removes sediments and must have filters changed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and full replacement every two or three years. While the more expensive units are meant to remove most known contaminants, re-add beneficial trace minerals and require filter changes once or twice a year and full replacement in 5 to as many as 10 years.
When you figure in the shipping and handling of the system, cost of plumbers to change filters, systems and the cost of the number of systems used in the longest amount of time, often the best deal is really a more expensive initial cost whole water filtration system. When you also factor in your time and the flow rates and even the percentage of purity, initial costs are often offset by the time, later costs for maintenance and the benefits to you and your family’s health and well-being.
That doesn’t mean you should automatically choose the most expensive and not try to save money. There are many good mid-priced systems that will give you great features, better price and most reliable long-lasting service.
Top Ten Best Whole House Water Filtration Systems
My recommendations of the top ten best whole house water filtration systems are listed below. These recommendations are based on features, cost, performance, efficiency and online reviews.
Instead of giving the top ten in a simple list, I have chosen to give a short break-down for my reasons for choosing each system for the list. These are NOT listed in best to worst (or vice-versa) and are only simply the top choices I found in various pricing categories and for various needs with their benefits and non-benefits.
1. iSpring WGB22B 2-Stage 20-Inch Big Blue Whole House Water Filter 1-Inch NPT Carbon
The iSpring WGB22B system is one of the most efficient whole house water filtration systems. It has a 1” inlet/outlet port for fast flow and high quality casing. iSpring offers a 30-day money back guarantee with a one-year limited warranty. The filters are NSF Certified for highest removal percentages. The two-stage system is not a reverse osmosis system. The standard system carbon filter will remove bad odor, chlorine and organic chemicals and the sediment filter is a high-capacity 5 micron polypropylene for best debris, sand and rust particles.
The iSpring whole house water filtration system is recommended for use on well or city water supplies. The two-stage filtering comes standard with sediment and CTO carbon filters and top system capacity of 500 gallons per day.
2. iSpring WGB32B Three Stage 20-Inch Big Blue Whole House water filter
The iSpring three-stage system’s jumbo filters deliver faster flow rates and 95% purity tests while reducing the need for frequent filter changes. It works for city and well water with a peak capacity of 500 gallons per day.
The filters remove chlorine, heavy metal, sediment, rust, VOCs and more which cause bad odors and tastes. The coconut shell active carbon filter is good for one-year for up to four people households and has a 100,000 gallon capacity.
The system has 1 inch intake/output ports for higher flow rates and can produce up to 15 gallons per minute and iSpring offers a 30-day guarantee and 1-year limited warranty and customer service. The system comes with bracket, fittings and wrench for most maintenance and installations. The iSpring WGB32B three-stage is mid-range pricing while giving the most benefits for this type of whole house water filtration system. This makes the iSpring three-stage system affordable and a good investment for your clean water needs.
3. 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter with Professional Installation Kit
The Aquasana Rhino removes 97% of chlorine from up to 1 million gallons of water. No electricity, back flushing or drainage is required and does not create waste-water.
Three-stage system includes pre-filter, copper-zinc and carbon filters. All filters have standard fittings. The pre-filter is 5 micron and removes dirt, rust and microscopic particles. The second stage is a blend of copper-zinc oxidation material and crushed stone to reduce chlorine and balance the pH level. The third stage removes more chlorine and other contaminants with high-grade activated carbon and has a 7 gallon a minute flow rate.
Although it comes with a pro installation kit, the PEX tubing is not included. Although it is in the high-end price range, the 90-day guarantee and 10 year/1 million gallon warranty makes this system an almost no-brainer for your whole house water filtration system needs.
4. Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House water filter
The Home Master Whole House Two-Stage system removes 95% of contaminants and with the large 1-inch ports gives a 10 gallon per minute flow rate. Four layers in the filter produces a finer filtration and removes tinier particles to 1 micron.
The 95,000-gallon capacity catalytic carbon filter is replaceable and gives clean water to a family of four for a full year. The filters will remove chemicals, heavy metals, sediment, chlorine and other contaminants. Larger filters increase flow rate and reduce required maintenance.
The system is shipped fully assembled with mounting bolts and bracket, wrench and instructions.
There is a 2 year limited warranty against manufacturing defects but with a lower mid-range price tag this is still a system to consider.
5. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System
3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System system reduces chlorine taste and odor and is FDA CFR-21 compliant. It delivers a very high flow rate of 20 gallons (75.7 liters) per minute yet the cartridges are simple to replace with no tools and no need to touch the filter materials.
Mounting bracket is included. Should not be installed on hot water, so must be installed on water lines “before” any hot water tank or heating elements. This may also save maintenance on the hot water heater since the contaminants will not be reaching the tank and eventually settling and clogging the heater.
Easy to install and ease of replacing filters makes this a good choice with a mid-range price tag.
6. Whole House 3-Stage Water Filtration System
Whole House 3-Stage Water Filtration System features 5 micron filtering in the first stage to remove rust, scale, sand, and dirt. The second stage is a 10-inch GAC (granular activated carbon) filter to remove radon, VOCs (volatile organic compounds, chlorine and other chemicals which can cause the water to appear cloudy or have bad odors and tastes. The 3rd stage is a CTO Carbon Block filter to remove more of the above compounds but also removes industrial contaminants, pesticides and insecticides.
The system comes with an extra set of filters and a recommendation to change filters every 3 months. The frequency of filter replacement might make this a bad choice but the low-end price tag allows for the need to change filters often.
7. Express Water RO5DX 5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System
The Express Water RO5DX 5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System removes large and fine particles of sand, silt, rust and dirt. GAC activated carbon filters: remove chlorine and bad odors and tastes caused by organic compounds. Micron coconut shell carbon block filters remove chlorine, odors and tastes, VOCs and other chemicals. The thin film membrane reduces bacteria and chemicals up to 99% and the Inline granular carbon filter stabilizes the pH and removes any remaining odors and bad tastes.
Only available through Express Water but does have a 1-year limited warranty and professional tech support. Definitely one of the best systems to protect the health of you and your family with a upper low-range price tag and comes with extra set of 4 water filters. Recommended time limit for changing filters is 6 months.
8. vitapur Ultraviolet Whole Home Water Disinfection and Filtration System
The Vitapur Ultraviolet Whole Home Water Disinfection and Filtration System is the elite of the elite. With easy to change filters, pressure relief valves and large inlet/output ports the Vitapur system make it easy to maintain while delivering high flow rates.
The UV lamp has a 1-year lamp life and deactivates/kills many types of viruses and bacteria including salmonella, e-coli and salmonellae. The sediment and carbon filters have a 6-month replacement life. Both the carbon filter and the sediment filter remove particles and contaminants as small as 5 microns in size.
Vitapur system comes with a new reversible mounting bracket for easy of installation. The UV feature makes this the top of the line in removal of contaminants. This added feature also makes this one of the products with a high-end price tag.
9. General Electric GXWH04F Standard Flow Whole House Filtration System
The General Electric filtration system reduces sediment, rust, dirt and scale in you water. The system gives high flow rates and is low cost. It is a good purchase if you are only in need of removing sediments as it does not remove chlorine and other chemicals. The filters should be replaced every three months which accounts for much of the low-end price tag. Easy installation, mounting bracket, sump wrench and a reminder light make it easy to replace the filters when necessary.
10. Whole House Hard Water Filtration System for Municipal/City/Well/Hard Water
The Whole House Water Filtration System is a composite model of a three-stage system and comes in many sizes dependent on need and use. The system removes chlorine, hard water due to chemicals, sediment, dirt, particulates, bad odors, bad taste and bacteria. It includes a heavy duty bracket, ball valves, o-rings and wrench.
System sizes are determined by filter replacement changes and gallons filtered per day. Filter cartridges come in a variety of types and even sizes. Filter size refers to the size of the smallest particulates the filter will remove.
Which Type Of Whole House Water Filtration System Is the Best?
There are many types of whole house water filtration systems. Choosing the best is based on the water you have and how much you can afford. Because of this, I have chosen some of each type and given the best choices in my opinion of each of them. Buy the correct filter system for your needs.
When it comes to city water, most would be fine purchasing the small single or two-stage systems. If you have a well or other hard water source such as a cistern where the water may remain in a semi-stagnant or highly metallic containment, then you may want a combination of sedimentary filters and carbon filters in multi-stages. Water with heavy mineral content might require two sediment filters where a high chemical content water would require two or more carbon filters. If you are concerned about pesticides and other residual toxins then a system that offers the CTO carbon block or the thin membrane filtering system to stop bacteria and other contaminants. A UV lamp system that kills salmonella, e-coli and more would be necessary for those who are pumping their water from ponds and riverbanks as is often the case in the farmlands and out of town areas. The final verdict is actually simple. Test your water and determine what you need then compare the types for the best features and benefits for your water supply and then compare pricing. Remember even your neighbor’s water supply may test differently than yours.