Best Whole House Water Filters for Well Water of 2021

best whole house water filter for well water

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 now exceeds more than 130,000 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 Water Filters for Well Water

  • Best Overall: SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
  • Best for Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
  • Best for Hard Water: Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino
  • Best for Manganese: Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
  • Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
  • Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master 3 Stage Filteration System
  • Best Budget Option: iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System
Capacity: 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 9
Dimensions: 13 x 54 inches
UV filter: Optional
Contaminants Removed: Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese

☝️ Get 5% off - Use code GURU5

👉 Read the full review
SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System
Capacity: 5 years or 500,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 6
Dimensions: 10 x 54 inches
UV filter: Optional
Contaminants Removed: Iron, Hydrogen Sulfide & Manganese
Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino
Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino
Capacity: 5 years or 500,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 7
Dimensions: 57 x 10.5 x 15 inches
UV filter: Optional
Contaminants Removed: 99%+ of Viruses, Bacteria &Chlorine Resistant Cysts, Herbicides, Pesticides & Sediments

Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
Capacity: 5 years or 600,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 10
Dimensions: 62 x 37 x 23.5 inches
UV filter: No
Contaminants Removed: Iron, Manganese, Chlorine, Chloramines, Sediments & Particles Pathogens

Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter
Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 15
Dimensions: 23.5 x 8.5 x 29.25 inches
UV filter: No
Contaminants Removed: 25+

Home Master 3 Stage Filteration System
Home Master 3 Stage Filteration System
Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 15
Dimensions: 25 x 24 x 9 inches
UV filter: No
Contaminants Removed: VOCs, TOCs, Herbicides, Pesticides, Iron, Sediment & More

iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
iSpring  3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
Flow rate: (GPM): 15
Dimensions: 21 x 8 x 28 inches
UV filter: No
Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, Sediment, Rust, Pesticides, Herbicides, Industrial Solvents, VOCs & More

⭐Reviews – Best Whole House Well Water Filter 2021

Best Overall: SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System

SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System

This SpringWell water filter system is considered the best filter for well water by hundreds of customers, thanks to its innovative technology and the manufacturer’s decades of experience in the industry. It isn’t only designed to effectively disinfect and filter water from a private well – it has features that make it environmentally friendly and economical as well. 


  • Type: Backwash filter
  • Capacity: 10 years or 1,000,000 gallons
  • 9 GPM flow rate
  • Dimensions: 13 x 54 inches
  • Optional UV filter
  • Control settings with phone App
  • 6-month guarantee

The SpringWell water filter system filters water in 4 different stages

  1. First, water flows through an air pocket at the top of the system, which oxidizes the sulfur, iron and manganese. 
  2. In their new forms, it is now possible for these particles to be removed from water. The SpringWell water filter features a bed of green sand fusion, which traps the particles and prevents them from passing any further. 
  3. In the third stage of filtration, the system’s automatic backwash sends these particles out of the drain, and replaces the pocket of air with a fresh one. 
  4. The clean, fresh water that remains is then sent into your home’s water pipes for immediate use. 

If your water contains iron, manganese, sulfur, or a combination of the three, the SpringWell iron filter will transform it into something that tastes good, looks clean, and doesn’t stain or smell. The system removes up to 7 PPM of iron, 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, and 1 PPM of manganese.

One of the biggest plus points of this whole house filter is that it requires virtually no maintenance. This is because, unlike the majority of whole home systems, the SpringWell backwash system doesn’t actually use any filters. You can simply set the system to run a backwash on a daily basis, which will wash the contaminants away from the filter media and add fresh air to the system, removing the potential sulfur smell. 

A feature that sets the SpringWell filter apart from similar systems is its Bluetooth app, which lets you adjust your system’s settings from your phone without having to visit your system in person. With the SpringWell app, you can view and change your valve settings, start a backwash cycle, and view current and historical water usage data. 

👍 Pros:

  • No maintenance needed after installation; no filters used
  • App allows you to view and amend settings from your phone

👎 Cons:

  • Roughly double the price of an average whole house filter
  • May need to factor in additional costs for professional installation

👉 Read the full review here

Best for Iron: SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System

SoftPro IronMaster Water Filtration System

The SoftPro IronMaster is a high-quality iron filter for well water. This is also a filter that removes sulfur and manganese using air injection technology. Designed as an efficient, economical way to remove iron and other contaminants from water, the SoftPro system doesn’t use dangerous chemicals or expensive pumps to provide a means of getting the job done. It simply creates an air bubble for oxidation, before sending water through filter media. 


  • Type: Air injection
  • 6 GPM flow rate
  • Dimensions: 10 x 54 inches
  • UV filter: Optional
  • 60-day guarantee

When incoming water passes into the IronMaster, the system adds oxygen by sending it through an air bubble at the top of the tank. When this happens, the iron, sulfur and manganese become oxidized. The water is then sent through a filter bed, which prevents the oxidized particles from being able to proceed any further. As soon as the oxygen in the air bubble is used up, the system runs a regeneration cycle, removing the iron from the media and introducing more oxygen into the tank. 

The SoftPro IronMaster removes an impressive 30 PPM of iron from water, along with 7 PPM of manganese and 5 PPM of hydrogen sulfide. It does all of this without using additional oxidizers or disinfectants like chlorine, which some whole home well filters use. 

You don’t need to carry out much maintenance on the SoftPro unit, as the system is designed to clean itself, and there are no filters that need replacing. The tank also contains a horizontal piston, which breaks down iron and prevents it from building up in the valve, reducing your need for professional maintenance. 

For viewing and amending the system’s settings, the Iron Master has a digital control screen with touchpad functionality. You can assess the system’s current settings on the screen, which is backlit, making it easy to read even in dark spaces. 

👍 Pros:

  • Uses no chemicals to remove common contaminants from water
  • Removes up to 30 PPM of iron
  • Good value for money

👎 Cons:

  • Installation may require a professional
  • Water flow rate may not be ideal for larger homes

Best for Hard Water: Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino

Aquasana 500,000 Gallon Well Water Rhino

The Aquasana Rhino is a well water filtration system that is designed for whole home use. With a unique dual tank design, the Aquasana Rhino increases the water contact time with the filter media, allowing for more thorough filtration


  • Type: Carbon Filter & salt free water softener combo
  • Capacity: 5 years or 500,000 gallons
  • 7 GPM flow rate
  • Dimensions: 57 x 10.5 x 15 inches
  • Optional UV filter
  • NSF certified
  • 90-day guarantee

You can use the Aquasana whole house filter for the removal of hard water contaminants including calcium and magnesium, which cause scale build-up in your home’s pipes. The system uses a salt-free means of providing soft water, known as scale control media (SCM) technology. It naturally alters the structure of hard water minerals, crystalizing them and preventing them from being able to bind to surfaces. 

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. 

Additionally, a sediment pre-filter traps large particles of rust, silt and sediment; a copper-zinc and mineral stone filter reduces heavy metals and prevents algae growth; an activated carbon filter reduces chemicals like herbicides and pesticides; and a post filter eliminates any remaining sediment. These filters combine to produce healthy water for drinking.

Because the Rhino system contains filters, you will need to factor in the cost of a filter change in the future. The filters have a 5-year capacity, so you won’t need to change them frequently to ensure that the system is working well. It’s important, however, that you don’t forget about filter changes, as the system won’t do its job once the filters have reached the end of their lifespans. 

👍 Pros:

  • Doesn’t add chemicals or salt to water during filtration/softening
  • Uses multiple means of filtration to eliminate a broad range of harmful contaminants
  • Both filters and softens water
  • Reduces heavy metals

👎 Cons:

  • Lower flow rate
  • You will need to purchase additional fittings for installation

Best for Manganese: Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter

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, which changes it to rust, and is then eliminated from the system. Coming complete and ready to install, the system removes up to 10 PPM of iron – drinking water should have a maximum of 0.3 PPM of dissolved iron. 


  • Type: Activated Carbon & Backwash combo
  • Capacity: 5 years or 600,000 gallons
  • 10 GPM flow rate
  • Dimensions: 62 x 37 x 23.5 inches
  • Chlorination filter
  • WQA Gold Seal Certification
  • NSF/ANSI 61 & 42 certified
  • 5-year guarantee

Each stage of the Pelican whole house filter has a different purpose: 

  1. The first stage, a 5-micron pre-filter, removes sediment from water; 
  2. The second, a chlorination system, disinfects the water; 
  3. The third, the iron removal filter, traps the iron from well water and flushes it out with a backwash system; 
  4. The fourth, the carbon filter, reduces chlorine, chloramines, sediment, and any particles that may affect the taste and odor of your water. 

The Pelican system essentially plays the role of a water treatment plant, but on a much smaller scale. It processes water using the same means of filtration and disinfection, providing a water quality guarantee that it will be safe to drink and pleasant in taste and smell after treatment. 

Chlorination is an essential part of the water treatment process, and can kill disease-causing pathogens, like bacteria and viruses. The chlorination system operates without electricity, and adds the exact amount of chlorine needed for the volume of liquid entering the injector. 

The Pelican filtration system’s GreenSand Plus iron removal system complies with NSF/ANSI 61, meaning that it meets standards enforced by state and federal laws. The carbon filter complies with NSF/ANSI 42 for to certify that it meets the minimum requirements for removal of aesthetic contaminants including water taste and odor. 

It has a 5-year performance guarantee, so maintenance is much more manageable than for other whole home water filtration systems. 

👍 Pros:

  • Easy to set up and install
  • NSF Certified for Standards 61 and 42

👎 Cons:

  • Some customers have reported a loud noise from the chemical injector pump
  • One of the higher priced well water filtration solutions

Best Cartridge Filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter

Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter

This Express Water filter is designed for removing sediment, heavy metals, chlorine, iron, fungi, herbicides, and VOCs, making it ideal for treating water from a well. With its engineered high flow rate filtration, you can enjoy clean drinking water immediately, and the unit won’t cause a noticeable drop in water pressure. 


  • Type: Sediment & carbon filters
  • Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
  • 15 gallon flow rate
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 8.5 x 29.25 inches
  • UV filter: No
  • 1 year warranty

Intended for installation at water’s point of entry into your home, the Express Water water purification filter protects all of your plumbing and appliances from sediment and other contaminants that could cause rust or chemical damage. The system is made with 100% food grade materials, which is reassuring, as it means that materials like plastics won’t be able to leach into the water during filtration. 

Like the majority of whole home filters, this Express Water filter system combines three different filters that each have a different contaminant removal duty:

  1. The first stage filter, a sediment filter, is made from polypropylene microfiber, and has 4 distinct layers that can catch sediment like sand, rust and dirt down to 5 microns in size. 
  2. The system’s second filter is a KDF media, known otherwise as a kinetic degradation fluxion filter. Made with catalytic carbon and ionically charged copper & zinc granules, the filter ensures maximum filtration of the likes of iron, lead, sulfur, algae, arsenic, chlorine, fungi, and mercury. 
  3. The third filter, made from a carbon block material, captures chemicals in water, like chlorine, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that affect taste and odor. 

You receive three initial filters with your purchase, but you’ll need to be prepared to buy some more after 6 months to a year of use. The system won’t work once the filters have outlived their recommended filter life, so it’s important that you’re prepared to invest in a yearly or bi-yearly additional cost before you purchase.

👍 Pros:

  • Simple enough to install yourself
  • Offers high flow rate filtration
  • Removes heavy metals

👎 Cons:

  • Filters need changing frequently
  • You may need additional fittings and connections for installation

Best to Remove Sediment: Home Master 3 Stage Filteration System

Home Master 3 Stage Filteration System

The Home Master Hmf3Sdgfec system offers three stages of filtration and is ideal for using to treat water from a well. With large filter housings that allow for a flow rate of up to 15 gallons per minute, you won’t need to wait around for this system to produce clean, fresh drinking water for your home. The system is designed to remove up to 95% of chemicals, sediment, and different contaminants that affect the appearance, taste and odor of water in your home.


  • Type: Sediment filter & coconut shell carbon filter
  • Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
  • 15 gallons per minute flow rate
  • Dimensions: 25 x 24 x 9 inches
  • UV filter: No
  • 2-year warranty

There are three high-quality filters inside the Home Master unit, each of which is designed to target a particular contaminant in water. 

  1. The first stage 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.
  2. The second filter is a radial flow filter and reduces up to 3 PPM of iron
  3. The third, an activated carbon filter, removes chemicals like pesticides & herbicides from water. 

The oversized filters, including the sediment filter, don’t require as frequent maintenance as other systems, though of course, some units don’t use filters at all. In the case of the Home Master, you’ll need to carry out a filter change roughly every 8 months to 1 year, depending on your water quality and household usage. You can buy new filters from Home Master online, and replacing them is simple enough for everyone to do.

Being designed specifically for well water use, the manufacturer advises against using this system for chlorinated city water. They also recommend checking your installation area, conducting a water report, and having a free consultation with them before purchasing your system. These steps will help to ensure that you invest your money in the best filtration system based on your needs. 

👍 Pros:

  • Many people have found the system easy enough to install themselves
  • Multiple filtration stages target different contaminants

👎 Cons:

  • Requires more maintenance than other systems
  • Doesn’t remove as much iron as other filters

Best Budget Option: iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System

iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System

The iSpring wgb32b 3-stage water filter water filter system is a high-quality whole house filter including a sediment filter and two carbon filters. Removing up to 99% of chlorine from water, the water filtration system iSpring can be used for municipal water in addition to water from a well. It also removes 95% of sediment, including rust, as well as chemicals like herbicides & pesticides, VOCs, industrial solvents, and other contaminants. 


  • Type: Polypropylene & carbon filters
  • Capacity: 1 year or 100,000 gallons of water
  • 15 GPM flow rate
  • Dimensions: 21 x 8 x 28 inches
  • UV filter: No

There are three stages of filtration that all have slightly different purposes. 

  1. The first, a high capacity polypropylene sediment pre-filter, traps particles down to 5 microns in size, preventing them from advancing further with the water. 
  2. The second and third stage water filters use a coconut shell carbon media to remove chemicals that affect taste and odor of water. 

The two carbon block filters have been tested by a third party to meet NSF/ANSI Standards. This means that while the manufacturer hasn’t paid for the unit to be certified by NSF, testing indicates that the filters are compliant with the company’s standards. While certification would be better, iSpring is one of the most popular and trusted water filter manufacturers, so it’s unlikely that you’ll find that this filter doesn’t live up to your expectations. 

You can expect the system to provide you with clean water for up to a year, or roughly 100,000 gallons’ worth, before you’ll need to replace them with new ones. For the water filtration system, iSpring sells replacement filters in packs of 2 or 3 at prices varying from $30 to $80, depending on what you’re looking for. Changing the filter requires unclipping the old one and replacing it with the new, so it’s easy enough to do yourself. 

👍 Pros:

  • Many people find the unit easy to install themselves
  • Can be used on both well and city water

👎 Cons:

  • If you’re using with a well, the chlorine removal capability is virtually pointless
  • Filters need changing every year

🧾 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. To do so, having the appropriate knowledge to make your choice is super important.

That’s why we 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. Enjoy!

🤔 Why do I need a water filter for well water?

Well water isn’t tested by the EPA, or 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 doses, they can affect the 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. 

💡 How does a well filtration system work?

These filtration systems are usually recommended for installation at your home’s point of entry for water. When water flows through a pipe into your home, it will have to pass through the filtration system before it is used at any point.

Inside this system, one of several processes may be used to filter the water and make it cleaner.

Some whole house filters use a number of filters, which trap contaminants and prevent them from passing through with water. Filters each have different-sized pores, with some filters, such as a sediment pre-filter, having larger pores for trapping sediment like dust, sand and rust, and other filters, such as activated carbon filter cartridges, having smaller pores that can trap the likes of lead and chlorine.

Some systems use chlorination technology to disinfect the water, or a process called air injection to oxidize iron and manganese. In the air injection process, air is injected into the water, which then travels into a tank that removes iron, manganese and other contaminants. The system will periodically flush away the sediment collected in the tank, replenishing the media to ensure consistent efficiency.

You can also find whole house filters that include an ultraviolet lamp, which uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, some viruses, and other living organisms that are often found in well water. UV lamps are usually designed to act as add-ons to a whole house water filter system, as they’re not capable of eliminating any contaminants aside from pathogens.

If your well water contains microorganisms, even the best well water filtration system will struggle to remove them, as some pathogens are as small as 0.01 microns (to put this into perspective, most filters can only get down to 0.2 or 0.1 microns in size). A UV lamp won’t filter the microorganisms out, but will kill them, preventing them from reproducing or causing harm.

🧫 What contaminants does a whole house water filter 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. 

In every case, a well filtration system should be able to reduce iron. It’s also common for these systems to reduce heavy metals, manganese and sulfur, though different filters do this to a different level. Ideally, for the safety of you and your family, you should look for a water purification system that removes living microorganisms with a 1 micron filter, producing safe, clean water. 

Some systems can be used for city water too, and are designed to remove chlorine from water. As chlorine is added to water during the water treatment process, it’s likely that your chlorine content will be much higher if you have municipal water than if you have a well source. For that reason, chlorine removal is generally less important for well water. 

Check a product’s marketing information to see exactly which contaminants it can remove, and to what level of effectiveness. The best whole house water filters can remove up to 7-10 PPM of manganese and 5-8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide.

✅ 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.

Aside from looking unpleasant, iron is also considered a harmful contaminant when ingested in high doses, so you’d be wise to conduct a water test for iron in your water source and take action if you find a lot of it.

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. 

Manganese greensand, for example, uses an oxidizer called potassium permanganate. This traps the ferric iron particles, which are then flushed out with the system when it regenerates. The process is repeated as water travels through the system, oxidizing the iron and flushing it out at a constant rate. There are also iron removal filters, which use an oxidizing agent that converts iron to ferric, then catch the iron in the media. Often, this is made from carbon and KDF media, a material that is particularly effective at creating an oxidizing chemical reaction to convert the iron. 

The best whole house water filter systems can remove up to 50 PPM of iron in contaminated water, including dissolved iron, but if you’re looking for this level of effectiveness, you’ll need to find a system that is specifically designed for treating high levels of iron.

iron filter for well water

🆚 Well water filters vs water softeners

It’s important to be aware that 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, and you won’t be able to use a water softener to make your well water clean and safe to drink. 

The role of a water softener is to produce soft water by removing hardness causing minerals, like magnesium and calcium, from water. These minerals can cause scale in plumbing and appliances, and can affect the lifespan of an appliance and prevent it from working efficiently. 

A water softener usually 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, but their conditioning media will still need replacing after around 8 years.

Unlike water filters, water softeners can’t remove any well water contaminants like viruses and bacteria, heavy metals, or manganese. They especially aren’t capable of killing harmful biological contaminants in tap water – you’ll need a 1 micron filter for that. Both serve their purpose – and you may find that you need a water softener as well as a filtration system – but the two can’t be used interchangeably. 

Related: Best water softeners for well water (updated: 2021)

❗️ Key considerations when buying whole house filtration systems

These 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:

Your available space

There are a number of different types of whole house water filtration systems, and some 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.

Be sure to 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, but be sure to double-check if you’re exclusively looking for a system that’s safe for outside installation.

Maintenance requirements

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. This can hardly be classified as extensive maintenance, but new filters do come at a cost, and you’ll need to remember that filters should be changed 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, however, 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 every year, and you will need to clean the sleeve to keep it working at its best.


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 to you, the customer, that the system does what it claims to do. While a filter with no certifications may still work, you might choose to opt for a certified filter for peace of mind.

Common certifications for whole house water filters for well water are NSF/ANSI 61 and 42. NSF 42 is the standard for chlorine removal, while an NSF 61 certification indicates that a system has been made from components that won’t leach into your drinking water during the filtration process.

A quick word on NSF certification versus NSF third-party testing: a number of whole house water filter manufacturers choose not to get an official NSF certification because of the costs involved in doing so. 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. Though third-party testing is still a good sign, it’s not quite as reassuring as being officially NSF certified.

Your water pressure 

You need to understand how your own well water system works, and how this affects your water pressure, to ensure you buy the right whole house filter for your needs. Additionally, 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 at a fast enough rate. Low pressure may affect the water-based appliances in your home, and you may find that if you have multiple appliances operating at once, there isn’t a high enough amount of water to keep them all running properly.

Your ongoing water pressure is something to consider, too, as 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, on the other end, may damage the filters.

You can measure your water pressure with a pressure gauge – they’re widely available online if you don’t have one already.


Some of the best whole house filtration systems can be installed by the customer, while other manufacturers recommend professional installation by a plumber. Installing a whole house water filter yourself has obvious perks – you won’t need to shell out an extra few hundred dollars for a plumber to do it for you – but 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. It’s worth considering whether you’re up for the challenge or whether it’s best to just spend the extra money on a professional installation.

The best way to determine the difficulty of installation is to read customer reviews. If the overwhelming 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 one that you can manage yourself.

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.

🔍 How to choose the right size well water filtration system

The size of your water purification system depends predominantly on your family’s water needs. Generally, the larger the system, the higher the flow rate. A large capacity and a higher flow rate allows water to travel at a faster speed to all of your home’s appliances. 

If you have a larger home, with multiple bathrooms and three or more appliances running at once, you’d benefit from a bigger whole house well water filtration system. This will ensure that your water flow rate is high enough to allow your faucets and showers to perform at their best simultaneously.

A large filter capacity will also mean that a filter lasts longer. Some of the industry-leading filters have a capacity of 0ne million gallons or more, which will give you plenty of years of use.

A 4.5” by 20” filter is the most popular size for medium to large families. Systems can go larger than this, especially with add-ons like UV lamps. It’s wise to speak to an advisor about your needs if you’re uncertain. Many manufacturers are happy for their representatives to chat to you about their different products if it may end in a purchase. 

🛠 Installation and Maintenance of a well water filtering system

It’s possible to install most well water filtration systems yourself, which will save you the cost of hiring a professional. We’ll keep things generic with this step-by-step installation example. You’ll need to read your own system’s instructions carefully before getting started. 

  1. Choose your filter location – You need to install your filter as close to your water’s point of entry into your home as possible. This is so that all your appliances and plumbing can benefit from filtered water. Be sure to choose a location where there is enough space for maintenance. 
  2. Cut your water pipe – Turn off your water supply, then mark your pipe, checking your filtration system’s instructions for guidance. Cut the pipe to make room for the filter and its fittings. Catch any remaining water with a bucket placed underneath the pipe.
  3. Assemble and install your filter – At each end of the water line, install a shut-off valve. Then connect your assembled system using the fittings provided. Some well filters don’t provide all the fittings you’ll need, so be sure you’ve made the necessary purchases before getting started. 
  4. Turn your water supply back on – When everything has been fitted correctly, you can turn your water supply back on and check for leaks. If there are leaks, use plumbers tape to better secure the fittings. It’s important not to over-tighten the fittings. 

Not all well water filtration systems require maintenance. Here’s the work you can expect to do for each of the most popular systems:

well water filter system

Systems with a filter

For whole house water filter systems with one or several filters, you will need to change these filters according to your manufacturer’s guidelines. This is usually between 8 and 12 months. Filter changes don’t need to be done by a plumber; you just twist or click the old one to take it off, and add the new one in its place. 

While filter changes are something of an annoyance, it’s important to keep up with them if you want your whole house water filtration system to work consistently and thoroughly to remove impurities from your water. Your filters will eventually reach a point where they’re so clogged that they can’t effectively filter water, and the flow rate of water in your whole house may also be affected.

Systems with a UV filter

If you buy a system with an added UV filter, the lamp will need changing after approximately a year. Again, this is very simple, and you’ll be able to find plenty of video material online if you’re unsure. You’ll also need to clean the UV lamp’s housing every couple of months.

On the subject of UV lamps, you should never switch off the lamp in your whole house water filter if you’re going on vacation or just taking a break from your well water use. UV lamps can become damaged if they’re frequently switched on and off, but there’s also the risk of bacterial accumulation beneath the lamp while it’s switched off. When you switch the lamp back on, water containing bacteria, including E. Coli and other harmful pathogens, will pass out of the system without being treated.

Systems that use air injection technology

In the majority of cases, systems that use air injection or oxidize iron in your water will automatically backwash their insides, cleaning themselves. You will also need to make sure that the system regenerates frequently, which it should do automatically. Some whole house water filtration systems allow you to schedule your own regenerations, and if you choose to do that, don’t leave it too long between regenerations.

You will also need to replace the air injection media after around 6 to 8 years. Check the user manual that comes with your well water filtration system to be certain of when the media needs changing, and make sure you buy the right media to suit your system. Your manufacturer should sell the exact media replacement that you need.

In general, you should conduct a water test on your well water source once or twice a year to check that there are no new contaminants that you need to remove. 

❔ FAQs

How do I know what my well water contains?

Simple: get your water professionally tested. Many businesses can provide you with an extensive report of the contaminant levels in your well water. You can use this report for reference when deciding on what you’re looking for in a water purification system. 

For an even quicker and easier option, you can test your own water source with a testing kit. You can buy different kits online that may test for chlorine, lead, and other harmful chemicals, as well as hard water and pathogens like bacteria and protozoa. The only setback of a testing kit is that it won’t give you the broadest idea of the contaminants in your well water, as most can only test for a select group of contaminants.

According to testing, my well water contains bacteria. Will a filter remove this?

In most cases, no. The majority of well water filters are designed to remove iron, sulfur, manganese, and chemicals like herbicides & pesticides. You should add a UV lamp to your filtered water system if you want to rid your water of bacteria. UV light alters the DNA of bacteria and prevents it from causing harm or spreading. 

It’s important to remove bacteria with a suitable whole house filtration UV system, as bacteria like E. Coli can reproduce quickly in your body and produce toxins that make you sick.

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. It has the added benefit of requiring 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. A reverse osmosis system typically consists of a sediment pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, a reverse osmosis membrane and a post-filter, and can produce the highest quality of filtered, clean water. RO systems can’t deal with high levels of hardness, even with a sediment filter in place, as calcium and magnesium will cause fast deterioration of the RO membrane. However, these systems can still soften water with low hardness levels as well as filter it thanks to the efficiency of their filtering process.