We’ve been testing and reviewing water treatment products for nearly a decade. Each year we update our list of the best whole house water filters for well water based on system performance, quality of construction, ease of use, customer satisfaction and of course, affordability.
SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System
SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System
Hey, well owner! Welcome to our best whole house water filter for well water guide.
If you’re keen to protect your family from dangerous well water contaminants, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested and reviewed dozens of the best well water filtration systems on our own well water supplies across the US.
You could spend a fortune on a whole house well water filter that doesn’t live up to expectations. However, we strongly recommend investing wisely in a system that’s used and loved by thousands of customers and industry experts alike.
#1 is our top choice, but #2 is best for water with a high iron content, and #5 is your best defense against bacteria and viruses.
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
Table of Contents
- 🥇 Best Well Water Filtration System
- 📊 Well Water Filtration System Comparison Chart
- ⭐Reviews – Best Whole House Well Water Filter 2022
- 🧾 Whole House Water Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide
- 🏠 What Is a Whole House Well Water Filtration System?
- 💸 How Much Does a Whole House Well Water Filter Cost?
- 🤔 Why Do I Need a Water Filter for Well Water?
- 📌 How to Choose the Best Filtration System for Your Home
- 🧪 Importance of Well Water Testing
- 🧫 Most Common Contaminants Found in Well Water
- ✔️ Types of Well Water Filters & Contaminants They Remove
- 🆚 Well Water Filters vs Water Softeners
- 🆚 Whole House Well Water Filtration Systems vs Regular Filters
- 💭 Key Considerations When Buying Whole House Filtration Systems
- 🛠 How to Install a Whole House Water Filter
- 🔧 Whole House Well Water Filter Maintenance
- ⚖️ Pros and Cons of Whole House Filters for Well Water
- 👁🗨 Popular Well Water Filter System Brands
- ❔ FAQs
🥇 Best Well Water Filtration System
- Best Overall: SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
- Great for High Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
- #1 for Sulfur: US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System
- Best for Manganese: Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo System
- Top UV System: Springwell Blackcomb UV Water Filter System
- Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master HMF3SdgFeC
- #1 Acid Neutralizer: Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer
- Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
📊 Well Water Filtration System Comparison Chart
|Product||SpringWell WS||SoftPro IronMaster||US Water Systems Matrixx||Pentair Iron & Manganese System||Springwell UV System||Home Master System||Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer||Express Water System|
|Oxidation (AIO/ chemical)||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Adsorption (carbon/ KDF)||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Flow Rate (GPM)||12 - 20||6 - 12||10 - 20||10 - 15||15||15||12||15|
|Capacity||n/a||n/a||500K gal.||600K gal.||~10,000 hours||100K gal.||varies||100K gal.|
|Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime, 7 years||Lifetime, 10 years, 5 years||1 Year||Lifetime||2 Years||Lifetime||1 Year|
|Money Back Guarantee||6 months||2 months||-||2 months||6 months||1 month||6 months||1 month|
⭐Reviews – Best Whole House Well Water Filter 2022
Best Overall: SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System
|Process||Air Injection Oxidation|
|Flow Rate||12 – 20 GPM|
Our readers get 5% off at springwellwater.com – 👉 Use Code GURU5
The SpringWell WS system is one of the most capable well water filtration systems we’ve tested, removing high quantities of iron, manganese and sulfur with an unbeatable flow rate.
- Uses air injection oxidation – This system uses air injection oxidation to produce filtered water in an economical, environmentally-friendly way.
- Available in two sizes – You can buy the SpringWell whole house filter in two sizes: WS1 (1-4 bathrooms) and the WS4 (4+ bathrooms).
- Targets iron, hydrogen sulfide, and manganese – The SpringWell WS is highly capable, removing up to 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, up to 7 PPM iron and 1 PPM manganese.
- Good flow rate – The system offers a great water flow rate of 12-20 GPM.
Best For: People whose main concerns are iron and hydrogen sulfide in their well water, and anyone who wants to treat these contaminants with the most capable, best-value water filtration system.
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- We love that no maintenance is needed after installing this system, as no filters are used – just air injection oxidation. You can simply set the system to run a backwash on a daily basis and change the sediment filter every 6 – 9 months.
- We found the user experience for this SpringWell product particularly good. The included app makes it easy to view and amend settings from your phone.
- It’s great that the SpringWell WS targets both iron and hydrogen sulfide almost equally in water – most systems can only target one or the other.
- There’s no denying that this whole house filtration system is expensive – even more so if you pay for a professional plumber to install the unit.
- The fittings are plastic. Metal fittings would be a more durable option.
Read our full review: Springwell WS well water filtration system review
Great for High Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
|Process||Air Injection Oxidation|
|Flow Rate||6 – 12 GPM|
|Warranty||Lifetime, 7 years|
Our top choice of the best iron filter systems on the market is the SoftPro IronMaster. This whole house water filtration system uses air injection to improve well water quality.
- Uses all-natural air injection – Assembled in the USA, the SoftPro IronMaster uses an all-natural air injection filtration process with a katalox media to remove common well water impurities.
- Impressive iron removal – This air injection system removes up to 30 PPM of iron: much more than you’ll have in your water table. The system also removes up to 5 PPM of hydrogen sulfide.
- Three sizes to choose from – This unit comes in three sizes: 1 cubic foot, 1.5 cubic foot, and 2.0 cubic foot.
Best for: The SoftPro IronMaster 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.
- We didn’t find any filter as capable of iron removal as the SoftPro IronMaster. If iron is a major problem in your home, this system is your go-to solution.
- We love the simplicity of installing and maintaining this system. DIY installation is possible and SoftPro offers install videos and guides for support. As for maintenance, the SoftPro IronMaster is designed to clean itself, and there are no filters that need replacing. The Catalox media lasts up to 10 years.
- This system is fully automated, so once you’ve installed it, that’s pretty much it. Simply set the programmable control valve and let the system do the rest.
- The IronMaster might be excellent at removing iron, but it isn’t ideal for a private well with a high sulfur or manganese content.
- If you have a larger home, you’ll need to pay for the biggest 12 GPM system to ensure your flow rate is adequate. This is $1,000 more than the smallest 6 GPM system.
#1 for Sulfur: US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion Iron and Sulfur Removal System
|Flow Rate||10 – 20 GPM|
|Warranty||Lifetime, 10 years, 5 years|
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 a staggering 30 PPM of hydrogen sulfide.
- Hydrogen peroxide injection – The Matrixx Infusion injects a measured dosage of hydrogen peroxide into water. This oxidizes minerals in water, which are then trapped in a coconut shell catalytic activated carbon media.
- Four system sizes – There are four flow rates to choose from: 10 GPM, 15 GPM, 20 GPM and 25 GPM.
- Impressive sulfur and iron removal – The Matrixx Infusion removes an incredible 30 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, as well as 20 PPM of iron and 1 PPM of manganese.
- Long-lasting filter media – This system self-cleans by backwashing the catalytic carbon media, increasing its lifespan. The carbon filter media will need replacing every 3-5 years.
Best For: If your biggest concern is sulfur in your well, 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.
- The Matrixx Infusion is one of the best filters we’ve ever tested for hydrogen sulfide removal – and its iron removal abilities are exceptional, too. Our water tasted much cleaner and fresher after installing this system.
- We found the system easy to use, and, for the most part, pretty hands-off. You can program the WaterLogix technology in a matter of 30 seconds and get the system up and running.
- The Matrixx Infusion uses electricity, but thanks to its 12-volt operation and efficient performance, it should add less than $2 per year to your energy bill.
- This system needs regular hydrogen peroxide topups, so it’s not as low-maintenance as air injection filtration systems.
- We found the Matrixx Infusion fairly difficult to install. If you’re not handy with tools, you’ll probably need to pay extra for professional installation.
Best for Manganese: Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo System
|Flow Rate||10 – 15 GPM|
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The Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo System is our top choice for manganese removal. This system combines a chlorination system with greensand iron reduction media to remove up to 10 PPM of iron and manganese.
- Thorough water treatment – The Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo System combines four stages of water treatment: a 5-micron sediment pre-filter, a chlorination system, greensand media, and a carbon filter.
- Broad contaminant removal – While this system’s main purpose is iron and manganese removal, it also targets sediment, chlorine, chloramines, pesticides, and any particles that affect aesthetic water quality.
- Two sizes available – You can buy the system in two sizes: for 1-3 bathrooms and for 4-6 bathrooms.
Best For: Anyone looking to spend more money on the most thorough multi-stage well-water filtration system that targets manganese, iron, aesthetic contaminants, and more.
- The Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo System is one of the most well-made well water filters we tried. You can get up to 10-15 years of high performance from the unit before it reaches the end of its lifespan.
- This Pentair system combines some of the most capable filter media to reduce manganese, iron, and more. Our water quality was greatly improved after installing this system.
- Even though this whole house filter system adds chlorine to water, it then removes the chlorine – and more – with an activated carbon filter. This extra filter stage is particularly useful for wells with pesticide problems.
- This whole house water filtration system requires more maintenance than an air-injection filter. You’ll need to keep the tank’s chlorine levels topped up, replace the sediment pre-filter, and replace the chlorine injector pump. The manganese greensand and carbon filter media will also need replacing every few years.
- There’s a lot going on in this system, so hardly surprisingly, it costs a lot of money. It may be too expensive for some people’s budgets.
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Top UV System: Springwell Blackcomb UV Water Filter System
|Flow Rate||15 GPM|
Our readers get 5% off at springwellwater.com – 👉 Use Code GURU5
Our top pick for the best UV system for well water is the Springwell Blackcomb UV Water Filter System. This highly capable system can be used alone to target microorganisms in water or paired with another whole house filter system to remove a broad range of impurities.
- Kills 99.9% of bacteria – The Springwell Blackcomb UV Water Filter System offers the best protection against bacteria, removing up to 99.9% of this pathogen. It also removes 99.9% of viruses and other common pathogens.
- Eliminates microbiological contaminants – This UV filter sends targeted ultraviolet light into water, destroying the DNA of pathogens and preventing them from reproducing.
- 12-month lifespan – The SpringWell UV lamp lasts for just over 12 years, so maintenance is minimal.
Best For: Anyone who has recurring issues with microbiological contamination, or anyone who just wants the reassurance of being protected against pathogens by a high-quality system.
- UV is one of the most effective treatments for microorganisms in water, and we felt reassured using the Springwell Blackcomb UV Water Filter System to make our water safe to drink
- We like the fact that this filter doesn’t use chemicals or filters to kill microorganisms. It’s natural and cost-effective.
- We appreciate the flexibility of being able to either use this system alone or combine it with another whole house filter system, depending on your needs.
- SpringWell recommends installing a sediment filter upstream of the UV filter, but this doesn’t come included – you’ll need to pay separately for a sediment filter.
- Considering it only targets a select range of contaminants, this SpringWell system is quite expensive.
Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System
|Process||Mechanical + Adsorption|
|Flow Rate||15 GPM|
The Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System isour top pick for the best whole house sediment filter for well water. This high-capacity filter system removes up to 95% of chemicals, sediment, and more, with a fast flow rate and long filter lifespans.
- Thorough contaminant removal – The Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System excels at sediment removal, with a large dedicated sediment filter cartridge with a multi-gradient density design that allows for finer filtration and greater dirt holding capacity. Alongside sediment, this system uses a radial flow iron filter and an activated carbon media to reduce iron, manganese, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, TOCs, and more.
- 1-year filter lifespan – You can get up to 12 months of use out of the system before the filters need changing.
- 15 GPM flow rate – The Home Master’s oversized fittings and filters allow for a consistent flow of water through the system.
Best For: People with high-sediment well water who want a filtration system that specializes in sediment removal – but also reduces other common well water contaminants.
- The Home Master 3 Stage Filtration System is one of the best cartridge systems we’ve tested for removing sediment and other common well water impurities. The system uses three unique filtration stages, which target contaminants including iron, sediment, VOCs, and herbicides.
- Installing the system was easy, and we appreciated only having to change the filters once a year (some cartridge filters in competitors’ models need changing every 6 months).
- We were pleased with the fast flow rate of this system. Some cartridge filters slow down water flow, but we didn’t notice a dip in our water pressure after installing the unit.
- Because it contains filters, this unit requires more maintenance than other systems.
- This Home Master model doesn’t remove as much iron or manganese as dedicated filters, like air injection and chemical injection systems.
#1 Acid Neutralizer: Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer
|Flow Rate||12 GPM|
The best acid neutralizer for well water is the Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer. This durable system raises the pH of water in the 6 to 6.5 range, preventing problems associated with acidity.
- Raises pH to neutral – The Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer raises acidic water to a pH range of about 7.5, effectively neutralizing the water.
- Premium calcite – This state-of-the-art system uses premium calcite, which is slowly dissolved into water to gradually raise its pH.
- Good warranty and guarantee – This SpringWell system is backed by a limited lifetime warranty and comes with a 6-month money-back guarantee, so you can buy it and try it risk-free.
Best For: Anyone struggling with the effects of acidic well water, such as corrosion and metal leaching, who wants a reliable, great-value treatment solution.
- Of all the acid neutralizing systems we tried, the Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer produced the most obvious results. We noticed a reduction in copper staining from our pipes after installing this system, and our water tasted fresher and more alkaline.
- This system houses everything in a single tank, simplifying installation and maintenance. You’ll need to have some DIY knowledge to install the unit, but we found it easy enough to follow the instructions.
- The 12 GPM flow rate is good. We didn’t notice a dip in water pressure after installing this unit.
- The Springwell Calcite pH Neutralizer is only suitable for water with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5, so it’s not a good choice for very acidic water.
- The system needs to backwash from time to time, which wastes a small amount of water.
Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
|Process||Mechanical + Adsorption|
|Flow Rate||15 GPM|
The Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter is our top choice cartridge-based filter that’s particularly capable of removing heavy metals from well water. The system protects your water supply from contaminants that cause rust or chemical damage and is available in a 0.25-gallon capacity.
- 3-stage filter system – The Express Water Filter combines three stages of filtration: a polyproplene microfiber 4-layer sediment filter (removes sediment and large particles), a KDF media (removes dissolved minerals, heavy metals, and chlorine), and a carbon filter (captures organic chemicals, chlorine, pesticides, tastes and odors).
- Thorough filtration – The cartridges in this system are designed to have extended contact time with impurities, increasing their reduction capabilities.
- Good warranty and support – This Express Water system is backed by a 1-year guarantee and free lifetime support.
Best For: People who want to remove heavy metals from their well water without the hassle or expense of an injection system.
- As a cartridge filter system, we found the Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter easy to use, with no control head to set and monitor, no backwashing to worry about, and no media to replace (the filters need replacing, but this is quick and easy).
- We’re impressed with the types of contaminants that this cartridge filter unit can remove. It’s a fantastic alternative to air or chemical injection for wells with a low-to-moderate iron problem.
- We were pleased with the speed of filtration offered by this unit. The system has a high flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, so you won’t notice a drop in water pressure after installation.
- The system’s filters need changing every year or so, making it a higher-maintenance unit than air or chemical injection systems.
- This Express Water system isn’t capable of removing ferrous iron.
🧾 Whole House Water Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide
Selecting the right whole house filtration system for your needs is a big job. Having the appropriate knowledge to make your choice is essential.
We’ve put together the following buyer’s guide to share everything there is to know about well water filter systems and maintaining your own water quality at home.
🏠 What Is a Whole House Well Water Filtration System?
A whole house well water filtration system is a system designed to remove harmful contaminants that are commonly found in well water.
As the name suggests, whole house water filtration systems filter the water in your entire home. They’re installed at your waterline’s point of entry, upstream of your water heater.
Some whole house filters for well water have multiple filtration stages, while others use a dedicated treatment process, like air injection.
How a Whole House Water Filtration System for Well Water Works
Most whole house well water filters combine two or three processes:
- A sediment filter – which removes large particles and protects the media in the main treatment stage.
- A main treatment stage – such as KDF, activated alumina, and carbon filters, a second sediment filter, or pre-oxidation and greensand or birm media.
- A post filter (optional) – such as a UV filter, which removes microbiological contaminants that can’t be removed by most filters.
💸 How Much Does a Whole House Well Water Filter Cost?
The cost of a whole house well water filtration system varies widely. Expect to pay anywhere between $500 and $5,000 for this system, depending on the complexity of the filtration process, the number of filter stages, and the number of contaminants removes.
The annual cost of owning a whole house filtration system for well water is $50-$350, depending on how much, and what type of, maintenance is required.
🤔 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, your water may contain bacteria, parasites and other harmful microorganisms that could make you sick, as well as minerals that have leached into the water from its surroundings, including sulfur, iron, manganese and heavy metals.
The best whole house water filter system can trap these contaminants in your water, allowing you access to much cleaner, safer, fresher drinking water for your whole home.
📌 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.
Some systems may be out of your budget. Narrowing down your options will make it easier to choose a single filter that you can afford.
3) Determine the System Size
Once you know what system types are 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 are 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.
🧪 Importance of Well Water Testing
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:
- 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
|If this is present:||Then test for:|
|Nearby mining operations||Metals, pH, corrosion|
|Corroded plumbing||Corrosion, pH, lead|
|Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station or dry-cleaning operation nearby||Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals|
|Gas drilling operations nearby||Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium|
|Intensive agriculture nearby||Nitrate, nitrite, pesticides, coliform bacteria|
|Strange taste or smell||Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals|
|Odor of gasoline or fuel||Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)|
|Rapid wear & tear of water treatment equipment||pH, corrosion|
|Recurring gastro-intestinal (GI) illness||Coliform bacteria|
|Salty taste||Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium|
|Scaly residues, soap doesn't lather||Hardness|
|Stained plumbing fixtures, laundry||Iron, copper, manganese|
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. Oxidation systems oxidize ferrous iron into its ferric form, then filter it out using greensand or birm.
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.
The best coliform bacteria removal solutions kill the bacteria, rather than filter it out.
UV purification involves treating water with ultraviolet rays, which damage the DNA of bacteria and inactivate them, preventing them from reproducing.
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 causes 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.
Click here to read up on the best methods of arsenic removal.
✔️ Types of Well Water Filters & Contaminants They Remove
Oxidation filters use chemical injection or an oxygen bubble to oxidize dissolved impurities, then filter them out using a media. These filters can remove:
- Hydrogen sulfide
Mechanical Sediment Filters
Mechanical sediment filters are cartridge filters that physically block large 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 are tank-based systems that use ion exchange to replace hardness minerals with salt. A water softener can remove:
- Low levels of iron
Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems provide thorough multi-stage filtration, including a semi-permeable membrane, and 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.
🆚 Well Water Filters vs Water Softeners
Well filtration systems and water softeners are not the same. 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 cause scale in plumbing and appliances, affecting their quality and lifespans.
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.
🆚 Whole House Well Water Filtration Systems vs Regular Filters
The biggest difference between whole house well water filtration systems and regular filters is installation location.
A whole house well water filter is installed at the earliest possible point in your home’s plumbing, has large tanks, and often backwashes or requires electricity. This kind of system filters the water supply in your entire home.
A regular water filter is used to treat your drinking water. Regular filters are small, compact, and affordable, but they don’t offer the same level of protection as a whole house well water filter.
💭 Key Considerations When Buying Whole House Filtration Systems
Well water filtration systems can cost upwards of $2,000, so it’s essential to be well informed before making a purchase. When deciding on the filtered water system for you, consider:
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.
System & Technology Type
The type of system can affect its size, performance, price, and maintenance requirements.
Most well water filtration systems are either tank or cartridge based. There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Tank based systems use a media that lasts longer than filter cartridges. However, they can be more expensive.
The type of filtration system you opt for should depend on the contaminants you want to remove, and to what extent.
|Product||Mechanical||Oxidation||Adsorption||UV||Softening / Conditioning|
|US Water Systems Matrixx||✔️||✔️|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Express Water Filter||✔️||✔️|
|Home Master HMF3SdgFeC||✔️||✔️|
Capacity refers to the volume of water a filter can treat before it becomes saturated with contaminants. Typically, this is expressed in gallons, but some manufacturers provide a suggested timeframe as well.
Backwashing systems, like air injection oxidation filters, have high capacities as the media doesn’t adsorb the contaminants and is backwashed daily. In these cases, the media bed will need to be replaced every 5-10 years once it becomes worn out. Cartridge-based filters are much smaller and tend to have shorter lifespans due to their restricted capacities.
|US Water Systems Matrixx||500,000 gallons|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo||5 years or 600,000 gallons|
|Aquasana Rhino||5 years or 500,000 gallons|
|Express Water Filter||1 year or 100,000 gallons|
|Home Master HMF3SdgFeC||1 year or 100,000 gallons|
Water Pressure & Flow Rate
The water flow rate of a filter, measured in GPM, determines how quickly water can travel through the system.
|System||Flow Rate (GPM)|
|US Water Systems Matrixx||10-20|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo||10-15|
|Express Water Filter||15|
|Home Master HMF3SdgFeC||15|
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.
Here are the flow rates of common household appliances:
|Appliance/ Fixture||Flow Rate (GPM)|
Most well water filtration systems can only work with a minimum pressure of 40 PSI and a maximum pressure of 100 PSI. Make sure your home’s water pressure is within this range, and consider buying a booster pump if it isn’t.
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
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. You’ll need to install your whole house water filter as close to your home’s point of entry as you can, 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 DIY installed, but many manufacturers recommend professional installation by a plumber.
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.
Any system that has a filter will require this filter to be replaced, 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.
|Tank-Based Systems||Higher upfront cost||Higher Capacity||Limited maintenance involved|
|Cartridge-Based Systems||Lower upfront cost||Lower Capcity||Require frequent filter replacements|
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 filter lamp, the lamp will need changing once a year, and you will need to clean the sleeve to keep it working well.
|System Type||Annual Filter Replacement Cost|
|Cartridge-Based Systems||$100 - $500+|
|Tank-Based Systems||$25 - $100+|
|Well Water Systems||$25 - $100+|
|UV Disinfection Systems||$100 - $300|
|Reverse Osmosis Systems||$100 - $500+|
|Chemical Injector Systems||$50 - $500+|
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 or chloramine 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.
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 the system’s entire lifespan should anything go wrong.
Aside from warranties, some filter manufacturers also offer a shorter money-back guarantee, which entitles you to a full refund within so many weeks or months if you’re not impressed with the quality of the filter.
|System||Warranty||Money Back Guarantee|
|SpringWell WS||Lifetime||6 months|
|SoftPro IronMaster||Lifetime on tank, 7 years on control valve||2 months|
|US Water Systems Matrixx||Lifetime on tank, 10 years on valves, 5 years on controller||-|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo||5 years||2 months|
|Aquasana Rhino||5 years||3 months|
|Express Water Filter||1 year||1 month|
|Home Master HMF3SdgFeC||2 years||1 month|
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 tank-based media are cheaper to operate in the long-run as they require fewer maintenance duties.
|System||Costs Involved||Average Yearly Cost|
|SpringWell WS||Sediment pre-filter||<$150|
|SoftPro IronMaster||Sediment pre-filter||<$150|
|US Water Systems Matrixx||Hydrogen peroxide||$250-$600|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Filter Combo||Chlorine, sediment pre-filter||$200-$400|
|Aquasana Rhino||Sediment pre-filter, UV lamp, post-filter||$180-$250|
|Express Water Filter||Cartridge replacements||$170-$340|
|Home Master HMF3SdgFeC||Cartridge replacements||$260-$520|
🛠 How to Install a Whole House Water Filter
Here, we’ve outlined the general process of installing a well water filtration system at your point of entry. Check your user manual to learn exactly how to install your filtration system.
- Check if you need to perform any tasks prior to installation, such as priming the media (this can take up to 24 hours).
- Shut off your water supply and open your faucets to drain the water from the pipes.
- Use a hacksaw or a pipe cutter to remove a piece of your main water line. Install bypass and shut-off valves upstream and downstream of the filter.
- Connect the whole house system, ensuring that the inlet and outlet ports are in the right positions. Use Teflon tape to seal the threaded ends.
- Gradually open your water supply and check for leaks. Tighten or add more tape if necessary
- Allow the filter to flush for several minutes – then it’s ready for use.
🔧 Whole House Well Water Filter Maintenance
Your maintenance duties are determined by the type of whole house water filter you buy. For instance, for tank-based systems containing media, you’ll need to replace the media every 6 years or so. For chemical injection systems, you’ll need to top up the chemicals every few weeks.
For standard cartridge-based systems, you’ll need to replace the filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Here’s a step-by-step on how to change a filter:
- Shut off the water supply and drain the water by opening your faucets.
- Use a filter wrench to open the filter housing and remove the old filter.
- Insert a new filter and lubricate or replace the O-rings if necessary.
- Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
- Flush the cartridge if necessary.
⚖️ Pros and Cons of Whole House Filters for Well Water
What are the advantages and setbacks of using a whole house well water filtration system?
- They protect your entire home, so your drinking water, shower water, and the water in your appliances will all be filtered.
- By removing dangerous contaminants, they make your water safe and enjoyable to drink, improve your indoor air quality, and prevent aesthetic damage to your home.
- Once they’re installed, they’re easy to maintain.
- They’re more expensive than POU drinking water filters.
- They may cause your water pressure to drop slightly.
- They don’t remove everything. For instance, if you have hard water and high sediment, you’ll need a water softener and a sediment filter.
👁🗨 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. The company manufacturers its products in the US, and all of SpringWell’s systems are backed by a lifetime warranty.
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. 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 DIY install, and quality and durability are guaranteed with this manufacturer.
Can I install a well water filter outside?
Some filters are designed for outside installation, but others may not do well if they’re subjected to icy temperatures, sun, and rain. The majority of whole house water filters are designed for installation at the water’s point of entry into your home.
Should I use a water softener system for well water?
If you’re dealing with hard water issues, such as problems with water flow and scale formation, then yes, you should consider using a water softener alongside a whole house filter for well water. High hardness levels can’t be treated with even the best well water filtration system, so you’ll need a separate well water whole house water softener for the job.
Can I use a reverse osmosis filter for my well water?
Sometimes. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective well water whole house filter options. However, well water is often acidic, with high iron, sediment, and hardness levels, which can damage the RO membrane. You’ll need to install a suitable pre-treatment filter for an RO system to treat your well water supply.