Under-sink water filters are a popular type of filtration system, favored for their convenience and simplicity.
Something that isn’t always simple, however, is installing an under-sink water filter. And whether you choose to install your filtration system yourself or hire a handyman for the job, there are generally extra costs involved.
The average cost of an under-sink water filter installation is $100-$300, depending on the tools and equipment needed for installation, and whether or not you hire an expert for a job.
This guide will look in detail at the factors that affect under-sink water filtration system cost, and how to spend as little money as possible on installing an under-sink filter.
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📰 What Are the Cost Involved in Installing an Under-Sink Water Filter?
Installing an under-sink water filter is relatively easy for people with DIY knowledge, and usually involves:
- Hooking the system up to your cold water line
- Drilling a hole in your sink and installing a dedicated faucet
- Connecting the system to your drain line (reverse osmosis systems only)
Although the installation process is straightforward, there are several add-on costs to be aware of. Not all of these costs will apply to everyone – it depends on your unique situation.
Supplies for Installation
Manufacturers don’t usually supply all the equipment needed to install a water filtration system under your sink. Things like fittings, connectors, and tubing are usually items you need to buy separately.
Alternatively, the manufacturer might supply them, but you find they’re not very useful (for instance, the tubing isn’t long or flexible enough for your under-sink space, or the parts are made from plastic, and you want to use a more durable material).
In some cases, the manufacturer will supply an installation kit, which includes everything you need to install a water filtration system beneath your kitchen sink.
This kit usually costs an extra $50 to $80 on top of your original purchase, but it saves you having to source each separate installation supply yourself.
Cost of Labor
Some under-sink water filtration systems are designed for “easy DIY installation”. What this actually means is that installing the system is relatively straightforward if you’re a handy person. If you usually struggle with DIY, installing an under-sink water filter will be out of your depth.
It’s better to pay for a professional to install a tap water under-sink filter if the alternative is that you damage or break the filter in your own installation attempt. The cost of professional installation is $50 to $300, depending on whether your plumber or handyman charges a set price per project, or an hourly rate.
If you’re installing a system that requires additional plumbing, such as a reverse osmosis system, you should expect to pay more for installation supplies.
A reverse osmosis system requires a drain line, which needs to be hooked up to the drain beneath your kitchen sink. Some reverse osmosis systems are sold with everything needed for drainage, while others aren’t. Check with the manufacturer before you buy if you’re unsure.
📌 Factors That Affect the Cost of Professional Installation
Choosing to hire a professional to install your water filtration system is the sensible decision if you’re not confident in your ability to correctly install the filter yourself. A poorly-installed water filter might not work, or worse – it might end up leaking or flooding your under-sink space.
There’s no set price for a professional installation because there are certain factors that can make installation more expensive or more affordable:
Under-sink water filters are easier to install than whole-home water filtration systems, but some under-sink spaces are more difficult to access than others.
A professional charging per hour may take longer to install a water filtration in a tricky location, racking up the overall cost. A professional charging a fee for the entire project might increase their price accordingly after assessing the install location.
The Filter’s Design
Not all under-sink filtration systems are designed the same. While some systems consist of a single housing unit containing several filters, other systems consist of multiple separate filters, a water storage tank, a drain line, and lots of small, fiddly parts that need to be connected to one another.
Whether a professional is charging per hour or per job, they’ll likely charge more for a task that requires more brainpower and more time than a simpler install.
💲 The Cost of Under-Sink Water Filters
Now you know the cost of installing a water filtration system under your sink, it’s worth making a note of how much water filtration systems cost, depending on the type.
The most popular types of under-sink water filters, and their average costs, are:
- Single-filter systems – These systems consist of a single filter and cost around $50-$150
- Dual-stage filter systems – These systems use a series of multiple filters and cost between $150 and $450, depending on how many stages are involved
- Reverse osmosis under-sink filters – As the most advanced water purification systems, RO filters use several filter stages and a semi-permeable membrane, and cost $300-$600
🧰 Under Sink Water Filter Maintenance Cost
While the cost of installation is (hopefully) a one-time thing, you should still factor in the cost of maintenance for an under-sink water purification system.
The yearly spend on an under-sink filter depends on the types of filters included in the system, and the capacity of these filters.
Most under-sink systems have cartridge filters. This means that, when the filters reach the end of their lifespan, you simply remove the cartridges and replace them with new ones. The average carbon filter has a 3-6 month lifespan.
There are also more advanced filters on the market that use additional filtration stages, like an added UV disinfection system. Such a system would require its own maintenance, including polishing the UV casing and replacing the lamp every 12 months or so.
Reverse osmosis filters also use basic carbon filters and sediment filters, but these systems have a unique filtration stage: the semi-permeable membrane. You’ll need to replace this filter every 2 years, on average.
Depending on the system you own, how many filters need to be replaced, and how often you need to buy replacement filters, you can expect to pay around $50-$150 per year on system maintenance.
📇 Total First-Year Cost for an Under-Sink Filter
The total first-year cost for an under-sink filtered water system, depending on the filter type and whether professional installation is required, is outlined below:
|Filter Type||System Cost||DIY Installation||Professional Installation||Installation Time||Annual Cost||Total|
|Single-filter systems||$50-$100||$0-$150||$150-$300||~1 hour||$50-$75||$100-$500|
|Dual-stage filter systems||$150-$400||$0-$300||$150-$300||1-2 hours||$100-$200||$150-$1,000|
|RO under-sink filters||$150-$1,000||$0-$300||$150-$300||1-2 hours||$100-$250||$150-$1,300|
💰 Are Under-Sink Filters Worth the Cost?
Most people would say that an under-sink drinking water filter system is worth the cost.
If you currently drink a lot of bottled water, the actual costs of buying bottled water will likely be a lot higher annually than the costs of maintaining an under-sink filter system – which is more convenient and far less wasteful, too.
Considering the cost of a water filter system starts at $50 for a single-filter under-sink unit, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on this type of filter.
An under-sink filtration unit is more affordable than a whole house water filtration system. If you don’t want to spend too much money, choose an under-sink filter rather than a whole-house system. Most people only need to filter their drinking water, so a whole house filtration system typically isn’t worth the extra money.