Table of Contents
- 🥇 Best Well Water Filtration System
- ⭐Reviews – Best Whole House Well Water Filter 2022
- 📊 Well Water Filtration System Comparison Chart
- 🧾 Whole House Water Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide
- 🤔 Why Do I Need a Water Filter for Well Water?
- 🧪 Importance of Well Water Testing
- 🧫 Most Common Contaminants Found in Well Water
- ✔️ What Contaminants Does Each Type of Well Water Filtration System Remove?
- 🆚 Well Water Filters vs Water Softeners
- 💭 Key Considerations When Buying Whole House Filtration Systems
- 📌 How to Choose the Best Filtration System for Your Home
- 👁🗨 Popular Well Water Filter System Brands
- ❔ FAQs
If you’re one of the 43 million private well owners in the US, you’ll probably know more than most about water quality. It’s estimated that around 23 percent of private wells contain at least one contaminant at a concerning level – and many more contaminants in trace amounts.
Of course, you can still drink clean, healthy water from your well with a little help from a whole house well water filter. But when there’s so much choice out there, how do you settle for one?
That’s where this guide will help. I’ve narrowed down the best whole house filters for well water based on their quality of performance, value for money, and ease of use.
For the products that made it onto this list, I scoured the internet for information, reviews, FAQs, and in some cases, information directly from the manufacturer. I’m confident that these are the best well water filters on the market this year.
Why trust me? Because reviewing water filters is what I do for a living. For more than a decade, I’ve researched, tested and reviewed water treatment applications for my online audience, and WaterFilterGuru.com now exceeds more than 150,000 monthly readers.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Which 7 whole house water filters for well water are worth your money
- The 6 considerations you should make before buying a well water filter
- How to choose the right sized filter for your home
🥇 Best Well Water Filtration System
- Best Overall: SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
- Best for Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
- Best for Sulfur: US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System
- Best for Manganese: Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
- Best for Hard Water: Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino
- Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
- Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System
|SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System||Price: $$$|
Process: Air Induction Oxidation
Flow Rate (GPM): 12 - 20
Annual Cost: -
Contaminants Removed: Sediment, Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese
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Read Our Review
|SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System||Price: $|
Process: Air Induction Oxidation
Flow Rate (GPM): 6- 12
Annual Cost: -
Warranty: Lifetime, 7 years on circuit board
Contaminants Removed: Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese
|US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System||Price: $$$|
Process: Hydrogen Peroxide + Carbon
Flow Rate (GPM): 10 - 20
Annual Cost: $200 - $400
Warranty: Lifetime, 10 years, 5 years
Contaminants Removed: Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese, Chemicals, Microbes
|Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter||Price: $$$|
Process: Bleach Oxidation + Greensand + Carbon Filter
Flow Rate (GPM): 10
Annual Cost: $150 - $250
Warranty: 1 year
Contaminants Removed: Sediment, Iron, Manganese, Chemicals, Microbes
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⭐Reviews – Best Whole House Well Water Filter 2022
Best Overall: SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
Removing up to 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, up to 7 PPM iron and 1 PPM manganese, the SpringWell is a whole house filter for private wells.
This system uses air injection oxidation to produce filtered water in an economical, environmental way. You can buy the SpringWell whole house filter in two sizes: 1-4 bathrooms and 4+ bathrooms.
The SpringWell system is one of the most capable well water filtration systems, removing high quantities of iron, manganese and sulfur with an unbeatable flow rate. This system also has one of the best sediment filters for protecting the filter media and increasing its lifespan – all at a great price.
|Sediment||Down to 5 microns|
|Hydrogen Sulfide||8 PPM|
- Enjoy great-tasting water with no drop in water pressure.
- Set and forget the automatic backwash with the automatic electronic control valve.
- View the valve’s status and settings with the Bluetooth app.
- Purchase the free installation kit for simple installation.
- The SpringWell is highly capable, removing up to 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, up to 7 PPM iron and 1 PPM manganese.
- No maintenance is needed after installing this system, as no filters are used – just air injection oxidation.
- The included app allows you to view and amend settings from your phone.
- The SpringWell is one of the most economical and environmentally-friendly whole house filters
- The system offers a good water flow rate of 12 GPM.
- You may need to factor in additional costs for professional installation.
- You’ll need to find your own piping and fittings for installation.
- Fittings are plastic.
|Stage 1 Sediment Filter||Removes sand, silt and other larger particles in water.|
|Stage 2 Air Induction Oxidation||Water flows through an air pocket, which oxidizes the sulfur, iron and manganese.|
|Stage 3 Greensand Media||Traps the oxidized particles.|
|Stage 4 Automatic Backwash||The automatic backwash sends the oxidized particles out of the drain, and replaces the pocket of air with a fresh one.|
|Bathrooms||1 – 4||4+|
|Flow Rate||12 GPM||20 GPM|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 125||36 – 125|
|pH Range||6.5 – 10||6.5 – 10|
|Certifications||All components NSF certified, complete system is not||All components NSF certified, complete system is not|
Bypass valve and 1″ elbow fittings are included with the whole house filter. You’ll need your own fittings and piping to connect the system to your water line. Installation is moderately difficult and non-handy people should consider hiring a plumber.
Virtually no maintenance is required. There are no filters to change or chemicals to top up. You can simply set the system to run a backwash on a daily basis and change the sediment filter every 6 – 9 months.
Q: What flow rate does this well water filtration system have?
A: For the whole-house water filtration system with 1–4 bathrooms, the flow rate is 12 GPM (which is very good). The larger 4+ bathrooms system has a 20 GPM flow rate.
Q: Can the SpringWell be installed outside?
A: Yes, as long as you don’t live in areas that get sub-freezing winters, as this can damage the media inside the tank.
Q: What are the system’s sulfur and iron removal capabilities?
A: The SpringWell can remove up to 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide and up to 7 PPM of iron from your water supply, improving well water quality.
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Best for Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
One of the best iron filter systems on the market, the SoftPro IronMaster is a whole house water filtration system that uses air injection to improve well water quality.
This unit comes in three sizes: 1 cubic foot, 1.5 cubic foot, and 2.0 cubic foot. Assembled in the USA, the SoftPro uses an all-natural filtration process to remove common well water impurities.
The SoftPro is less effective as an all-around well water filtration system, but if you’re dealing with high iron levels and not much else, this system is exactly what you need. As an iron filter, it’s easy to use and a good value for money.
|Hydrogen Sulfide||5 PPM|
- Remove up to 30 PPM of iron – that’s much more than you’ll have in your water table.
- Choose between three sizes: 1 cubic foot, 1.5 cubic foot, and 2.0 cubic foot.
- Enjoy chemical-free operation and save money, with no filter changes required.
- Set the programmable control valve and let the system do the rest.
- The SoftPro Iron Master uses air induction technology with a Katalox media to remove iron, sulfur, and manganese.
- The system is simple to install.
- The control valve fully automates the system.
- The Catalox media lasts up to 10 years.
- You may need a professional to install the unit.
- If you have a larger home, the water flow rate may not be ideal for you.
- The Iron Master isn’t ideal for a private well with a high sulfur or manganese content.
|Stage 1 Air Induction Oxidation||Water flows through an air bubble, which oxidizes iron and other contaminants.|
|Stage 2 Chemical Free Katalox Media||The filter media removes oxidized minerals from the water supply.|
|Stage 3 Automatic Regeneration||The whole house filter system regenerates to replenish the oxygen bubble and remove iron from the media.|
|Bathrooms||4 – 6|
|Flow Rate||6 – 12 GPM|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 125|
|pH Range||5.8 – 10.8|
|Certifications||Uses certified components|
|Warranty||Lifetime, 7 years on circuit board|
DIY installation is possible and SoftPro offers install videos and guides for support. Quick connect hoses are available in 1 inch and 3/4 inch sizes at no extra cost. These simplify the installation process. Non-handy people should consider hiring a plumber.
The SoftPro IronMaster is designed to clean itself, and there are no filters that need replacing. The tank contains a horizontal piston, which prevents iron from building up in the valve. Maintenance is minimal.
Q: Should the SoftPro be installed by a professional?
A: Not necessarily. This well water filtration system can be installed by you, the homeowner, but you’ll need some basic DIY skills and your own toolkit to get the job done.
Q: When will I need to replace the filtration media?
A: You can get at least 5–10 years out of the media. The worse your water quality, the shorter the media’s lifespan.
Q: Can this filter remove sulfur?
A: Yes, it can remove hydrogen sulfide up to 5 PPM.
Best for Sulfur: US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System
The Matrixx Infusion is the best filter for well water that has a rotten egg smell and an unpleasant taste.
This system filters up to 30 ppm of hydrogen sulfide. There are four flow rates to choose from: 10 GPM, 15 GPM, 20 GPM and 25 GPM.
If your biggest concern is sulfur in your well or municipal water, the Matrixx Infusion is the obvious choice for you. The fact that this filter system can also remove iron and manganese is just an added bonus.
|Hydrogen Sulfide||30 PPM|
- Program the WaterLogix technology in a matter of 30 seconds and get the system up and running.
- Enjoy a long filter life thanks to the system’s superior backwashing function.
- Save money and use 30% less water per backwash with the whirling Vortex backwashing.
- Use less than $2 of electricity per year with the system’s 12-volt operation.
- The Matrixx Infusion is of the best whole house systems for removing sulfur.
- No replacement filters are needed for this unit.
- The filtration unit effectively tackles rotten egg smell.
- You can buy the Matrixx Infusion in four sizes.
- This unit requires more maintenance than air injector systems.
- The Matrixx Infusion uses chemicals, so iron removal isn’t a natural process.
- The filter media has a shorter lifespan than other media types
|Stage 1 Hydrogen Peroxide Injection||Hydrogen peroxide is injected into water, which releases dissolved iron.|
|Stage 2 Mineral Oxidation||Hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese are oxidized.|
|Stage 3 Coconut Shell Carbon Media||The oxidized minerals are trapped in a coconut shell catalytic activated carbon media.|
|Stage 4 Automatic Backwashing||Occurs with a whirling vortex to wash away the oxidized minerals.|
|Flow Rate||10 – 20 GPM|
|Operating Temp||50 – 80|
|Operating pH||6 – 9|
|Warranty||Lifetime, 10 years, 5 years|
|Annual Cost||$200 – $400|
The system is designed for DIY installation, and the instructions manual uses clear steps with images. The system comes with thread fittings to connect to your plumbing. Teflon tape and additional tools are required.
The biggest maintenance task is replenishing the hydrogen peroxide. You can buy two 2.5 gallon bottles for around $80. Additional maintenance is minimal because the system self-cleans with scheduled regeneration.
Q: What warranty does this filter system have?
A: The unit is backed by a full 7-year warranty.
Q: Will I need to buy replacement filters?
A: No. The catalytic carbon media will need replacing every 3-5 years.
Q: How will this system improve the quality of my water supply?
A: The biggest difference you’ll notice is an improved water taste.
Best for Manganese: Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
The Pelican Iron & Manganese system is a whole house water filter for well water. It uses a 4 stage system to filter out sediment and oxidize iron.
Coming complete and ready to install, the system removes up to 10 PPM of iron. You can buy the system in two sizes: for 1-3 bathrooms and for 4-6 bathrooms.
The Pelican system offers a different iron and manganese removal than most filters on this list, using chlorine disinfection. This system is one of my top picks for homes with bacteria issues, as chlorine will remove this, too. The carbon filter gets rid of chlorine taste and odor, leaving you with clean, great-tasting water.
|Sediment||Down to 5 microns|
- Reduce your maintenance tasks with the self-priming non-electric chemical pump.
- Benefit from up to 10 PPM of iron reduction from the most advanced non-electric dosing unit on the market.
- Get up to 10-15 years of high performance from the unit before it reaches the end of its lifespan.
- Enjoy peace of mind with a 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
- The Pelican is easy to set up and install.
- For your peace of mind that the system removes what it’s advertised to remove, the Pelican is NSF Certified to Standards 61 and 42.
- With a 5-year performance guarantee, the system is a no-risk purchase.
- You can program the system to regenerate at a time that suits you.
- Some customers have reported a loud noise from the chemical injector pump.
- The Pelican is one of the higher priced well water filtration solutions.
- The system uses chlorine to disinfect water, which may affect water taste.
|Stage 1 Sediment Filter||The 5-micron pre-filter removes sediment from water.|
|Stage 2 Chlorination System||Disinfects the water & oxidizes contaminants.|
|Stage 3 Iron Filter||Greensand media traps the iron from well water and flushes it out with a backwash system.|
|Stage 4 Carbon Filter||Removes chlorine, chloramines, sediment, and any particles that may affect aesthetic water quality.|
|Flow Rate||10 – 15 GPM|
|Capacity||5 years or 600,000 gallons|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 120|
|pH Range||7 – 11|
|Certifications||NSF 42, 61|
|Annual Cost||$150 – $250|
The system comes pre-assembled and ready to install. DIY installation is possible, but non-handy people should consider hiring a plumber. Additional fittings may be needed to connect the unit to your water line.
The Pelican uses chlorine to oxidize water, so chlorine will need to be topped up periodically. The manganese greensand filter media has a long lifespan of at least 6 years. More maintenance is required than a natural air injection system.
Q: Can you adjust how much chlorine the system uses?
A: Yes. When you add bleach to the chlorine solution, you can choose to add more or less to adjust the chlorine levels. To make sure you’re maintaining the minimum levels (but not exceeding the maximum levels), you can check your tap water with testing strips.
Q: How much maintenance does the Pelican require?
A: More than most filters on this list – but the work isn’t difficult. You’ll just need to keep the tank’s chlorine levels topped up, replace the sediment pre-filter, and replace the chlorine injector pump. The user manual provides all the instructions you need.
Q: When will the system regenerate?
A: The Pelican is pre-set to regenerate at 3 AM every day, but you can override this setting and choose what time suits you best.
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Best for Hard Water: Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino
The Aquasana Rhino is a well water filtration system with a unique dual tank design that increases the water contact time with the filter media, allowing for more thorough filtration.
You can use the Aquasana whole house filter for the neutralization of hard water minerals including calcium and magnesium, if you pay for the additional salt-free water softener.
The Aquasana Rhino is a good value whole house water filtering system with a host of impressive features. The pre-filter is one of the most sophisticated available for this type of system, and the additional UV light gives this system the edge, making it capable of killing harmful microorganisms that can sometimes make their way into well water.
|Pesticides & Herbicides|
- Enjoy up to 5 years of non-stop water treatment with a 500,000-gallon filter life.
- Avoid clogging or other media issues with the system’s unique upflow dual-tank design.
- Get added benefits from the included UV filter, giving you the ultimate peace of mind that your water is microorganism-free.
- Easily replace the filter media without the need for bulky or difficult filter changes.
- The Aquasana Rhino doesn’t add chemicals or salt to water during filtration/softening, making this better for people looking for a natural filtration solution.
- This unit uses multiple means of filtration to eliminate a broad range of harmful contaminants.
- You get double the benefits from this unit, which both filters and softens water.
- The Aquasana Rhino is one of the few systems on this list to remove heavy metals.
- Not ideal for iron, manganese or sulfur
- Compared to some of the other systems on this list, the Aquasana Rhino has a lower flow rate.
- You will need to purchase additional fittings for installation.
- More maintenance is required for this unit – the sediment filters and post-filters need replacing frequently.
|Stage 1 Sediment Filter||Traps large particles of rust, silt and sediment.|
|Stage 2 Water Conditioner||Reduces scale-causing minerals, providing soft water to your entire home.|
|Stage 3 Copper-Zinc and Mineral Stone Filter||Reduces heavy metals and prevents algae growth.|
|Stage 4 Activated Carbon Filter||Reduces organic chemicals like herbicides and pesticides.|
|Stage 5 Post Filter||Eliminates any remaining sediment and organic contaminants.|
|Flow Rate||7 GPM|
|Capacity||5 years or 500,000 gallons|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 120|
|Certifications||NSF 42, 61|
Designed for DIY installation. I recommend paying the extra $80 or so for the pro-grade install kit, which includes everything you need for installation. Customers say this filter is easy to install, but if you’re not handy, you may need a plumber to help.
No back-flushing or drain lines required. Filter replacements are needed. Pre-filter should be replaced every two months, and post-filter should be replaced every six months. Salt-free water conditioner media needs replacing every six years, and filtration media in Rhino tank needs replacing every six years.
Q: Are there any other optional extras?
A: Yes. The filter also includes an optional UV purifier, which sterilizes bacteria, viruses and cysts by altering the DNA of these microorganisms, killing them and preventing them from being able to reproduce.
Q: How long is the filter expected to last?
A: The filter media has a 5-year lifespan.
Q: What warranty does the Aquasana Rhino have?
A: The system has a 5-year limited warranty. You’re also protected by a 90-day guarantee.
Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
This Express Water filter is designed for removing sediment, heavy metals, chlorine, iron, and more. With its engineered high flow rate filtration, the unit won’t cause a noticeable drop in water pressure.
Installed at your home’s point of entry, the Express Water protects your water supply from contaminants that cause rust or chemical damage. The system is available in a 0.25-gallon capacity.
The Express Water is an all-around water filtration solution that is particularly beneficial for lead removal. The cartridges are designed to have extended contact time with impurities, increasing their reduction capabilities. While the system isn’t cheap, its superior filtration makes it worth the money – but it isn’t much use for removing dissolved iron.
|Pesticides & Herbicides|
- Remove contaminants including iron, chlorine, pesticides, VOCs, and metals from well water supplies.
- Swap out filters quickly and easily when it’s time for replacements.
- Enjoy ease of use, with no control head to set and monitor, no backwashing to worry about, and no media to change.
- Rest easy with the manufacturer’s 1-year guarantee and free lifetime support.
- The Express Water Filter is simple enough to install yourself.
- This unit offers high flow rate filtration of 15 gallons per minute, so you won’t notice a drop in water pressure after installation.
- The unit removes heavy metals, which not all well water filters do.
- Three stages of filtration are involved in this unit, each removing its own set of contaminants.
- The system’s filters need changing every year or so, making this a higher-maintenance unit than other filtration solutions, like air injection.
- You may need additional fittings and connections for installation.
- The Express Water Filter isn’t capable of removing ferrous iron.
|Stage 1 Polyproplene microfiber 4-layer sediment filter||Removes sediment and large particles from water.|
|Stage 2 KDF Media||Made from catalytic carbon and ionically charged copper & zinc granules, removes dissolved minerals, heavy metals, and chlorine, helping to improve indoor air quality.|
|Stage 3 Carbon Block Filter||Captures organic chemicals, chlorine, pesticides, tastes and odors in water.|
|Flow Rate||15 GPM|
|Capacity||1 year or 100,000 gallons|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 120|
System comes ready to install and is supplied with 1-inch standard connections. Stainless steel frame allows for mounted or ground installation. Teflon tape is required to prevent leaking around the fittings. Installation is easy and DIY installation is possible. No installation kit is provided.
Regular maintenance required. System comes with three filters, which last for 6 months to a year. Filters must be changed to allow the system to continue providing filtered water. 3-stage replacement filter cartridge set costs around $100.
Q: As a cartridge filter, will the Express Water filter affect flow rate?
A: No. With a flow rate of 15 GPM, the Express Water filter shouldn’t have a noticeable effect on flow rate in your home.
Q: Is this filter suitable for iron removal?
A: No. While the sediment filter can remove ferric iron, which shows up as rust, it won’t remove dissolved ferrous iron.
Q: How often will I need to replace the filters?
A: You can replace the full set after 100,000 gallons, which equates to approximately 1 year of use.
Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System
The Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System is designed to remove up to 95% of chemicals, sediment, and different contaminants commonly found in well water.
This high-capacity filter boasts a flow rate of up to 15 gallons per minute and lasts for up to 1 year before filter changes are required.
The Home Master focuses on quality performance over flashy features. It doesn’t have a bypass valve or a filter change indicator, but it’s still one of the best filters for removing iron, and is particularly cost-effective. If you want to get rid of your iron problems without putting too much money into a treatment system, the Home Master is a great option to consider.
|Pesticides & Herbicides|
- Enjoy a consistently high water pressure thanks to the Home Master’s oversized fittings and filters.
- Get up to 12 months of use out of the system before the filters need changing.
- Remove a range of contaminants from water, including sediment, lead, and VOCs, at a fair price tag.
- Install the filter and let it work behind the scenes, with no control head to manage. Simply change the filters when needed.
- The Home Master is easy enough to install yourself.
- The system uses three unique filtration stages, which target contaminants including iron, sediment, VOCs, and herbicides.
- You can use the unit for up to 1 year before you need to replace the filters.
- Because it contains filters, this unit requires more maintenance than other systems.
- The Home Master doesn’t remove as much iron as other filters.
- You’ll need to buy a few of your own parts for installation.
|Stage 1 Sediment Filter||A multi-gradient depth sediment pre-filter has four layers of 25, 10, 5, and 1 micron in size, targeting particles of different sizes and trapping them in the filter media.|
|Stage 2 Radial Flow Iron Filter||Reduces up to 3 PPM of iron.|
|Stage 3 Radial Flow Activated Granular Carbon Filter||Removes chemicals like pesticides & herbicides from water.|
|Flow Rate||15 GPM|
|Capacity||1 year or 100,000 gallons|
|Operating Temp (F)||36 – 120|
System comes with sediment, iron and carbon filters, housing, o-rings, silicone grease, mounting bracket, filter housing wrench, and instructions booklet. Designed for easy, DIY installation. Parts required that aren’t included are pipe hangers, ground jumper cable, shut off valves, bypass valve, hex nipples or pipe nipples, and pressure regulator/gauge if needed.
As a system with cartridge filter stages, the Home Master requires filter changes. Filters need changing 8 months to 1 year, depending on your drinking water quality and household usage. Replacement filter stages are sold separately: the radial iron filter cartridge costs around $130; the granular activated carbon filter costs around $100; and the sediment filter costs around $40.
Q: When will I need to change the filters?
A: The carbon filters have a lifespan of around 95,000 gallons, while the sediment and iron filters should be replaced when they’re no longer capable of performing well – usually every 9–12 months.
Q: Can I use this filter with city water?
A: No, it isn’t recommended, as the system isn’t designed to process chlorine, and could end up being damaged by this chemical.
Q: Is the Home Master capable of softening water?
A: No. The system is a filter, not a softener. However, it is compatible with whole-home water softeners, if you want to soften your water, too.
📊 Well Water Filtration System Comparison Chart
|Product||Process||Contaminants Removed||Flow Rate (GPM)||Warranty||Price|
|SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System||AIO + Greensand||Iron|
|12 - 20||Lifetime||$$$|
|SoftPro IronMaster||Mechanical + AIO + Katalox||Sediments|
|6 - 12||Lifetime, 7 years||$$$|
|US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion System||Hydrogen Peroxide + Carbon||Iron|
Pesticides & Herbicides
|10 - 20||Lifetime, 10 years, 5 years||$$$|
|Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter||Mechanical + Bleach Oxidation + Greensand + Carbon||Sediments|
Pesticides & Herbicides
|10 - 15||1 Year||$$$|
|Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino||Mechanical + Copper + Zinc Redox + Carbon||Sediment |
Pesticides & Herbicides
|Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter||Mechanical + KDF + Carbon||Sediment |
Pesticides & Herbicides
|Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System||Mechanical + Redox + Carbon||Sediment |
Pesticides & Herbicides
🧾 Whole House Water Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide
It’s can be a big decision to select the right whole house filtration system for your needs. Having the appropriate knowledge to make your choice is essential.
I’ve put together the following buyer’s guide to help you learn everything there is to know about well water filter systems and maintaining your own water quality at home.
🤔 Why Do I Need a Water Filter for Well Water?
Well water isn’t tested by the EPA ( Environmental Protection Agency) in the US. This means that you have no third-party proof of your water quality and that it is safe to drink – and chances are, it isn’t.
If you drink water from a private well, you may be ingesting bacteria, parasites and other harmful microorganisms that could make you sick. The water most likely also contains minerals that have leached into the water from its surroundings, including sulfur, iron, manganese and heavy metals. These contaminants are dangerous to consume in large doses, and even in smaller amounts, they can affect taste, appearance, odor, and overall water quality.
The best whole house water filter system can trap these contaminants in your water, allowing you access to much cleaner, fresher drinking water for your whole home.
🧪 Importance of Well Water Testing
Well water is untreated. meaning that it may contain traces of harmful drinking water contaminants. If you don’t test your well water and treat it accordingly, you may end up drinking dangerously high levels of chemicals, heavy metals, or microbiological contaminants.
Testing your well water equips you with the knowledge you need to choose the best well water filtration system for your home. You can learn more about the importance of testing your well water here.
🧫 Most Common Contaminants Found in Well Water
The contaminants you’re most likely to come across in well water, and how they get into your water, are as follows:
- Arsenic – industrial and agricultural pollution, such as fertilizer run-off
- Fluoride – naturally occurring in rocks and sediments
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – industrial pollution
- Microbiological contaminants – poor well construction, leaking septic system
- Radionuclides – natural deposits in rock formations, industrial processes like mining
- Iron – seeps from the earth’s crust
- Nitrate – flooded sewers or septic systems, local geology
- Manganese – derived from sediments and minerals in the earth
- Radon – naturally occurring in rocks and soils
- Sulfur – oxidized sulfur ores in the ground
How To Remove Iron From Well Water
Iron in well water can present itself in ferrous (soluble) and ferric (insoluble) form. Because ferrous iron is completely dissolved in water, you won’t be able to see it or smell it, while ferric iron may show up in water as reddish-brown cloudiness, and will stain your faucets and fixtures when it comes into contact with air.
The easiest way to remove iron from your well water is to find a filter that will do it for you. The first stage is to use the oxidizing process, which oxidizes ferrous iron into its ferric form, converting it into a solid. This means that the iron can then be filtered using a variety of iron filters.
The best whole house water filter systems can remove up to 30 PPM of iron from contaminated water.
How to Remove Coliform Bacteria from Well Water
Coliform bacteria is found in human and animal feces, and can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and loss of appetite if consumed in drinking water.
Most water filters aren’t capable of removing coliform bacteria, given its microscopic size. The best coliform bacteria removal solutions are whole house water filtration systems that kill the bacteria, rather than filter it out.
UV purification is one of the most popular methods of removing coliform bacteria. This method involves treating water with ultraviolet rays, which damage the DNA of bacteria and inactivate them, preventing them from reproducing or causing illness.
Distillation and reverse osmosis can also be used to remove coliform bacteria, but these systems are less commonly used as whole-home applications. You can learn more about the best ways to remove coliform bacteria here.
How to Filter Arsenic from Well Water
Arsenic is a semi-metal element that naturally occurs in the earth’s crust. It can also leach into groundwater sources through industrial pollution, and can cause long-term health problems, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
A number of filter systems can be used to remove arsenic from well water, including reverse osmosis, ion exchange, distillation, and activated alumina systems. These treatment methods are slightly more specialist, and most standard whole home filters won’t offer guaranteed arsenic removal.
Click here to read up on the best methods of arsenic removal.
✔️ What Contaminants Does Each Type of Well Water Filtration System Remove?
Oxidation filters are designed to oxidize dissolved impurities, then filter them out using a media. These filters can remove:
- Hydrogen sulfide
Mechanical Sediment Filters
Mechanical sediment filters are capable of removing larger suspended solids that could damage your plumbing and delicate filtration stages. Targeted contaminants include:
Carbon filter cartridges use the process of adsorption to trap contaminants in their media. They can reduce or remove:
There is a range of KDF filters available, each offering its own unique performance. Depending on the KDF filter you opt for, it may be able to remove:
- Other water soluble heavy metals
Water softeners use the ion exchange process to replace hardness minerals with salt. A water softener can remove:
- Low levels of iron
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis filters provide a thorough multi-process filtration solution and can remove virtually everything from water, including:
- Heavy metals
- Nitrates and sulfates
- Hardness minerals
UV purification treats water with ultraviolet light. This process can remove:
There is no set list of contaminants that a whole house water filter must remove, which is why it’s important to get your water professionally tested to see which contaminants you most need a filter to target.
Check a product’s marketing information to see exactly which contaminants it can remove, and to what level of effectiveness.
🆚 Well Water Filters vs Water Softeners
Well filtration systems and water softeners are not the same. In some cases, the process of contaminant removal may look the same, especially in whole house filters that use an oxidation process and flush out iron particles. But both systems are designed with completely different purposes. You can’t use a water softener to make your well water clean and safe to drink.
A water softener produces soft water by removing hardness-causing minerals, like magnesium and calcium. These minerals can cause scale in plumbing and appliances. They can affect the lifespan of an appliance and prevent it from working efficiently.
A water softener uses the ion exchange process to replace these minerals with sodium. You’ll need to keep this type of whole house water softener well stocked with salt, and it requires backflushing to maintain consistently high performance.
There are also salt-free softeners that change the structure of the minerals, preventing them from sticking to surfaces. These don’t need salt to operate, and require less maintenance than an ion-exchange whole house water softener.
Unlike water filters, water softeners can’t remove any well water contaminants like viruses and bacteria, heavy metals, or manganese. Water softeners aren’t capable of killing harmful biological contaminants in tap water.
You may find that you need a water softener as well as a filtration system – but the two can’t be used interchangeably.
💭 Key Considerations When Buying Whole House Filtration Systems
Well water filtration systems can cost upwards of $2,000, so making sure you’re well informed before making a purchase is essential. It’s wise to consider the following when deciding on the filtered water system for you:
Contaminant Reduction Capability
The best whole house water filters for well water should be capable of removing the contaminants that are a problem in your own drinking water supply. You won’t know which well water filtration system best suits your needs until you know what your water contains.
Get your water tested to determine which contaminants you want to remove. You can then look for well water filtration systems that remove these contaminants, and compare them against one another. Generally, the more contaminants a filter can remove, the more money it will cost – but the better systems are worthy investments.
The type of system can affect size, performance, price, and maintenance requirements, so it’s an important factor to consider when you’re shopping around.
Most well water filtration systems are either tank or cartridge based. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Tank based systems tend to use a media that lasts longer than filter cartridges. However, they can be more expensive.
The type of system you opt for will largely depend on the contaminants you want to remove, as different system types are designed to remove different contaminants.
A filter’s capacity is the amount of water it can deliver to your home per day. It’s important to buy the right capacity system to ensure you get enough filtered water to meet your daily demands.
Flow rate and tank/filter size can all tie into capacity. The bigger the unit and the more water it can produce per minute, the bigger its capacity. You should look at how much water you use every month to determine the minimum capacity well water filtration system you need.
Most systems will tell you what sized home they’re suitable for (e.g. 1-3 bathrooms) in their product descriptions, but if you’re unsure, contact the manufacturer for guidance.
Water Pressure & Flow Rate
The water flow rate of a filter, measured in GPM, will help you to determine how quickly it will send water to all of your home’s appliances.
You need a filter that won’t cause a distinct drop in pressure, and has a high enough water flow rate to send water through your plumbing to meet your demands. Low pressure may affect the water-based appliances in your home. You may find that if you have multiple appliances operating at once, there isn’t a enough water to keep them all running properly.
Your home’s ingoing water pressure is something to consider, too. Most well water filtration systems can only work with a minimum pressure of 40 PSI and a maximum pressure of 100 PSI. A water pressure that’s too low may mean that water doesn’t have enough force to pass through the multiple filtration stages, including the pre- and post- filter, in a whole house water filter. A water pressure that’s too high may damage the filters.
You can measure your water pressure with a pressure gauge.
Sediment Pre-Filter Micron Rating
The micron rating of a sediment filter tells you what sized particles it can remove. The lower the micron rating, the smaller the particles the filter can remove. A sediment filter with a 5-micron rating or higher is best. Higher-micron filters don’t clog as easily as filters with lower micron ratings.
Space Available & System Footprint
Depending on size and design, some whole house filtration systems take up more space than others. Systems with multiple filters and add-ons, such as UV lights, will need plenty of room, especially if regular maintenance is required.
Measure your available space carefully before buying a unit that could potentially be too big. You’ll need to install your whole house water filter as close to your home’s point of entry as you can, whether that’s in your basement or elsewhere, so make sure you have the space you need before you buy. Some of the best whole house water filters can be installed outside. Double-check if you’re exclusively looking for a system that’s safe for outside installation.
Some of the best whole house filtration systems can be installed on a DIY basis, but many manufacturers recommend professional installation by a plumber. Installing a whole house water filter yourself means you won’t need to spend an extra few hundred dollars for a plumber to install it for you. However, if you’re not very handy, you might struggle with the job.
No matter what whole house water filter system for well water you opt for, installation will be relatively complex. You’ll need to cut through your main water line to install the system, and if you do it wrong, you’ll have to pay for the damage to be fixed.
The best way to determine the difficulty of installation is to read customer reviews. If the majority of customers have been able to install their system themselves, assume that you can, too. You might not be fussed at having to pay extra for professional installation, but if your budget is tight, it’s worth finding a whole house well water filtration system that you can install yourself.
Depending on the type of well water filter you go for, you will need to factor in different maintenance requirements. Any system that has a filter will require extra work in making filter replacements, usually after 8 to 12 months of use. New filters come at a cost, and you’ll need to remember to change the filters every few months if you want to keep your system operating properly.
Well water systems that don’t use filters tend to perform their own automated maintenance, like system flushes, and require less frequent maintenance in the long run. If they contain media, this media will need replacing eventually; usually after 8 years.
If your whole house water filter comes with a UV lamp, keep in mind that the lamp will need changing once a year, and you will need to clean the sleeve to keep it working well.
There are a number of different certifications that a whole house water filter can have, and this largely depends on the components in the system and the benefits that the system provides.
If a filter has been either third-party tested to meet NSF Standards, or certified by the NSF itself, it’s a promising sign that the system does what it claims to do.
Common certifications for whole house water filters for well water are:
- NSF/ANSI 61 – indicates that a system has been made from quality components
- NSF/ANSI 42 – for chlorine removal
- NSF/ANSI 53 – for the reduction of health-harmful contaminants, like lead
- NSF/ANSI 58 – for reverse osmosis filters that reduce total dissolved solids (TDS)
A number of whole house water filter manufacturers choose not to get an official NSF certification because of the costs involved. It’s usually cheaper for the manufacturer to have a third-party company test their whole house filtration system to check it meets NSF standards. Third-party testing is still a good sign, but it’s not quite as reassuring as being officially NSF certified.
Warranty & Money-Back Offers
The greatest peace of mind that a manufacturer can offer is a lifetime warranty. When you know that a system has a lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that you’re protected throughout your filter’s entire lifespan should anything go wrong. Not all manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty, though, and even a 5 or 10-year warranty is pretty good.
Aside from warranties, some filter manufacturers also offer a 6-month money-back guarantee, which entitles you to a full refund within 6 months if you’re not impressed with the quality of the filter. This is another great way for companies to reassure customers that their product will live up to expectations.
Ongoing Ownership Costs
The type of well water system you buy will determine your ongoing costs.
A cartridge system, such as a carbon filter system, will require regular filter replacements. This will increase your ongoing costs. Some filters last longer than others, so if you want to reduce your annual spend, look for a system with extra-capacity filters.
Whole house water filtration systems that use media tend to be cheaper to operate in the long-run as they require fewer maintenance duties. Rather than paying for new filter cartridges every few months, you will only need to pay for media replacements every 6 years or so.
📌 How to Choose the Best Filtration System for Your Home
There are four important stages to choosing a whole house water filtration system for well water:
1) Understand Your Well Water Quality
The first step is to find out what your water contains. Use a DIY testing kit, or, for more accurate results, get your water tested by a certified laboratory. Note down which contaminants are most predominant in your water, and which you’d like to remove.
2) Identify the Appropriate System Type
Next, look at the types of systems on offer, and decide which system type is best suited for your contaminant removal needs. You will need to rule out certain systems if they don’t remove your well water’s problem contaminants.
Some systems may also be out of your budget. Narrowing down your options will make it easier to choose the best whole house well water filtration system for your requirements.
3) Determine the System Size
Once you have an idea of the system types available, work out what sized system you need. To do this, you need to find out how much water you use every month. Look at your water bill to work out your average monthly water usage in gallons.
You can then look for systems that have high enough capacities to deliver the water you need every month. Some systems will have multiple size options, but most will be designed for the average family of 3-4 people.
4) Find a System That Fits Your Needs
By now, you should have narrowed down your choice of whole house filtration systems significantly. Of your available options, choose the filter that best suits your budget, installation and maintenance needs, and space available.
👁🗨 Popular Well Water Filter System Brands
Based in Florida, SpringWell has been providing quality water filtration systems for more than 20 years. SpringWell has become renown for its durable, top-of-the-line, competitively priced water treatment solutions. A big bonus of SpringWell is that it manufacturers its products in the US, rather than outsourcing to another country for cheaper labor – and potentially poorer-quality results.
SpringWell’s systems are all backed by a lifetime warranty, which is a good indication of just how confident SpringWell is of the quality of its products.
SoftPro is another big name in the water treatment industry, offering both residential and commercial softening and filtration systems. The manufacturer offers a number of specialised systems that are particularly well-suited to tackling common well water contaminants. For instance, the SoftPro Iron Master is one of the best well water filters for removing high iroquantities of iron.
Aquasana is another US-based water filtration company, with headquarters in Texas. This well-known brand has been producing great-value, reliable filters since it was established. Many of Aquasana’s filters are NSF certified, and Aquasana is one of the few manufacturers to have made a conscious effort to produce its systems in a more environmentally-friendly manner.
SpringWell’s biggest Florida-based competitor is Pelican. Established in 2007, Pelican delivers a variety of water treatment solutions, including water softeners and filtration systems. Pelican’s systems are particularly easy to install on a DIY basis. You can expect to pay a lot of money for a Pelican system, but quality and durability are guaranteed with this manufacturer.
Which is best: a system using filters or air injection technology?
It depends on what you’re personally looking for. Whole house water filters remove a broader range of contaminants, though some, like chlorine, aren’t much of a problem in well water. The best whole house air injection technology focuses more on iron, sulfur and manganese removal. An ait injection system will require little to no maintenance, while filters will need changing.
Can I install my well water filter outside?
Some filters are designed for outside installation, but others may not do well if they’re subjected to icy temperatures in the winter. The majority of whole house water filters are designed for installation at the water’s point of entry into your home. Be sure to check with a manufacturer before purchasing a system that you plan to install outside.
Should I use a softener system for well water?
Perhaps you’ve already established that you need a well water whole house filter, but how about a softener? If you’re dealing with hard water issues, such as problems with water flow and scale formation, test your water for hardness. High hardness levels usually can’t be treated with even the best well water filtration system, so you’ll need a separate well water whole house softener for the job.
Can I use a reverse osmosis filter for my well water?
Yes. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective well water whole house filter options. RO systems can’t deal with high levels of hardness, however, as calcium and magnesium will cause fast deterioration of the RO membrane. Iron bacteria will also damage the RO membrane. However, these systems can still filter and soften water with low hardness levels.