6 Best Whole House Water Filters
#1 – Express Water WH300SCKS Whole Water Filter System
For anyone specifically looking for a 3-stage filtration system, the Express Water WH300SCKS is a great alternative to the Aquasana EQ-1000 model. Like its competitor, it offers a comprehensive solution to water contamination in one single unit.
The system uses three different filters to target and remove specific contaminants from the water supply and to ensure a more complete purification process. The first stage consists of a sediment filter which eliminates coarse damaging contaminants such as dirt, rust, and sand.
The filter has 4 distinct layers capable of removing contaminants down to 5 microns with the outer layers catching the coarsest contaminants while inner layers deal with finer sediments and particles.
The second phase consists of a Kinetic Degradation Fluxion filter which further captures heavy metals contaminants as well as dirt and other suspended particles. It also removes chemical contaminants including VOCs.
The final stage completes the filtration process and it’s where all the chlorine, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and Total Organic Carbon (TOC) are removed using a granular activated carbon filter to ensure that the water tastes good and is drinkable.
Another thing that sets this unit apart is the pressure gauge and the pressure release button that it comes with. They make it easier to use and monitor the system so that you are aware of when the filters need replacement.
The whole system is a heavy-duty construction made from quality food-grade PCE and ABS plastic, so as far as durability is concerned, you are not going to worry that much. You will have no problem when it comes to installation and maintenance is also quite easy due to its user-friendly design.
#2 – iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter System
In the third position, we have the iSpring WGB21B and this is another effective solution for dealing with home water contamination. Like the Aquasana EQ-1000, this water filter model from iSpring utilizes more than one water filter to tackle a wide range of common water problems.
The unit has a very capable 2 stage system that offers a strong and effective filtration. In the first stage, the system filters out all the contaminants that are larger than 5 microns. Dirt, sediments and all other large-sized particles are completely removed from the water.
The system achieves its maximum filtration in the second stage where using the carbon block filter, the water is further filtered out to remove finer sediments, rust, pesticides, herbicides, other contaminants, and even chlorine.
The system may not be as effective as the three-stage system of the Aquasana EQ-1000 above in eliminating chlorine and killing some microorganisms, but you can remove up to 95% of water contaminants with it compared to other normal filters.
Even much better, it uses 1-inch input and output ports that allow as much as 15 gallons of water per minute to pass through the system. You won’t notice any drop in water pressure once you install it.
However, it doesn’t soften the water which means expect stains and salt build-ups in your utensils and internal pipes respectively. You can solve this though by installing a water softener first, then the filter system. You will achieve the best possible results.
#3 – 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 Whole House Water Filter
The 3M Aqua-Pure AP903 is a simple, compact whole house water filter that’s more than capable of clearing contaminants from the water and leaving it looking, smelling and tasting great. This is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a basic filtration unit that doesn’t have many frills but can get the job done very well.
Its simple design doesn’t really mean inferiority in function. It uses a carbon filter that will effectively remove any dirt, dust, and sediments that are as small as 5 microns.
As the water passes through the system, the carbon filter will also remove chlorine and any other funky materials. Therefore, it will provide adequate protection against most contaminants and as well get rid of the unpleasant tastes and odors from the water.
Huge flow rate is also one of the advantages you will enjoy when using this 3M Aqua-Pure system. It has 1-inch inlet and outlet ports which are capable of providing at most 20 gallons of water per minute.
You won’t experience a drop in the water pressure with such a huge flow rate even when using multiple faucets at the same time. It’s an ideal rate for larger homes. Plus the filter has a capacity of 100, 000 gallons which means it will take one whole year before you can replace it.
Considering that it only has a carbon filter, you will need to install a sediment filter to get rid of bigger sediments. This means additional costs but it goes a long way in protecting the mini pores of the carbon filter from clogging hence help prolong its life.
Replacing the filters is also a piece of cake thanks to its simple design and quick-change cartridges. All you need to do is to twist them off, get new ones and twist them in their place, it’s as simple as that. The whole process won’t take more than 5 minutes. No tools needed and it’s virtually spill-free.
You will, however, need some basic plumbing/DIY skills to install it, otherwise, you may have to seek the services of a professional to avoid damaging the unit and having to replace it completely.
#4 – Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House Water Filter
It’s an effective all-around unit and like its competitor, each stage of filtration performs a specific task. The first stage is made up of a multi-gradient depth sediment filter consisting of four layers of filtration.
There is the 25-micron surface, a 10-micron layer, a 5-micron layer and finally a 1-micron inner core. In other words, chances of any filter getting clogged or damaged are very minimal because it will keep out sediments that are as small as 1 micron.
This means that not even bacteria will be able to pass through. It delivers a much finer filtration and it’s actually one the best sediment filters out there.
In the second stage, it’s an iron reduction filter which helps cut down the amount of iron, manganese, and sulfur in water to as much as 3 ppm combined. Therefore, it will greatly help reduce the chances of iron accumulation that might damage your internal pipes as well as appliances.
The activated coconut shell carbon filter in the third stage takes care of chlorine and other chemical contaminants present in the water. It will trap herbicides, pesticides and even heavy metals clearing any smell or weird taste in the water.
The only thing missing aside from all these is a UV light purifier and softener. But even without them, this is a great all-around unit and will catch all kinds of sediment and microorganisms.
What’s more, the system will remove the contaminants by drawing down water pressure. The massive filter housing has 1-inch ports which are meant to deliver up to 15 –gallons of water per minute. You will enjoy a strong water pressure throughout the operation of the filter.
In terms of capacity, it can support 100,000 gallons in its lifetime, which is fairly decent as it will last a whole year or even two for a household of 4 people. Installation, on the other hand, might be a little bit tricky since no tools are provided. You will probably have to hire a specialist to do it.
#5 – Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter & Conditioner System
Aquasana is a brand that’s very famous for its durable, complex systems that can be customized to address various water treatment needs. The EQ-1000-AST model stands out as one of the best water treatment systems from the company as well as on the market.
It’s an innovative whole-house unit that combines an effective water conditioner with an advanced water filter system to provide a comprehensive solution to a broad range of water quality issues.
This system is part of Aquasana’s EQ-1000 series which consists of two other models, the EQ-1000 and EQ-1000-AST-UV. In this review, we look at the EQ-1000-AST model which is our top pick on this list and you are going to see why we consider it as the best whole house water conditioner.
There are no serious drawbacks to worry about with this Aquasana system. You should, however, bear in mind that it will require professional installation so as to engage the maximum 10-years warranty which is the longest we’ve encountered in our reviews.
The other thing is that this system is not ideal for well water treatment due to high levels of iron and other contaminants that require specialized filters like an iron filtration tank and UV sterilization filter.
To sum it all, from our thorough assessment, the Aquasana EQ-1000-AST indeed has all it takes to stand out as the best whole house water conditioner in a crowded market. Its price may fall on the high end, but what you get is one of the most effective and long-lasting units that’s worth every penny.
#6 – Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Water Filter
Culligan is a well-known brand with a good reputation for manufacturing quality water purification systems. Their Culligan WH-HD200-C whole house water filtration system does not disappoint either.
It’s really well built and extremely versatile in its usage.
One of the main things to like about it is its versatile design that makes it highly effective in getting rid of sediments and other contaminants.
It supports up to five different Culligan’s filter cartridges which allow you to eliminate all types of sediments available in the water.
The unit default CP5-BBS filter is 5 microns in size and is quite efficient on its own. It effectively removes the sediments present in the water from dirt to course sand to regular sand too much finer sediments like fine sand and silt.
Aside from the sediments, the Culligan serves as a softener. It clears scale and other salt residues that settle in the water. This means no clogged or blocked internal pipes.
The unit is even compatible with the Culligan’s granular activated carbon cartridge. Therefore, it’s not just sediments and contaminants. You can as well get rid of chlorine and odor from the water.
Another cool thing about this unit is that you don’t have to turn off the water supply in the whole house to replace the filter. The built-in bypass makes this easy. All it takes is putting the valve in bypass position, then you push the pressure relief button and open the housing. It makes maintaining the unit much easier.
The setup operates on battery which is a big plus as it means it will continue to function properly even when there is no electricity.
Most models depend on electricity, so to have rechargeable batteries is a great advantage. You will have a continuous supply of pure water during power cuts and you can even use it areas where electricity isn’t available.
For your convenience, there’s a built-in timer within its setup to let you know how much power is remaining. So, no unwanted surprises plus the unit also has a filter life indicator to keep you aware of the state of the cartridge.
It makes timely replacements much easier.
The CP5-BBS filter has a capacity of 20,000 gallon which isn’t huge but is decent enough.
The setup consists of larger inlet and outlet connectors. The ports are 1-inch thick hence it will deliver plenty of water flow as is often required in larger homes.
With the help of the connectors and some DIY skills, assembling this system won’t give you any trouble. It’s pretty easy, you won’t need a plumber.
The only setback is that the bypass valve might be a little hard to turn and you easily shred the seal should you use a housing wrench for leverage.
How To Find Your Best Whole House Water Filter
Before you proceed to purchase a whole house water filtration system, there are certain things that you need to take under consideration to ensure that you pick the right system for your particular household as well as needs. These factors include.
Consider the Type of Filter
Different filters block different contaminants. Therefore, you need to pick a unit with a filter or filters that will be effective in removing the specific contaminants present in your water. A water test should tell the kind of contaminants that are already present in the water.
There are basically two major category of filters when it comes to whole house filtration systems. We have the standard filters also known as the cartridge type filters and heavy duty filters which are often equipped with a carbon tank and referred to as carbon tank models.
A typical example of the heavy duty filters is the Aquasana Rhine EQ-1000 above. Systems consisting of these filters are designed to last for a really long period of time and a good example is the Aquasana model which is designed to filter as much as 1 million gallons of water or last for at least 10 years before you can think of doing a replacement.
The standard filters on other hand are replaced frequently as most of them tend to last for around 5 to 12 months. They are replaceable cartridge type filters used most often in single stage, double stage as well as three stage whose house filtration systems. They offer an opportunity to customize the system based on the type of contaminants you want to eliminate.
Aside from these two, there are systems that may feature some special filters like a UV filter to help to reduce bacterial contamination. In other words, you choice of filter system will solely depend on the type of contaminants you are dealing with.
For example, if your water has a lot of heavy metal contaminants, then you can just go for a standard copper-zinc mineral filter.
Filter Micron Size
The micron ratings of a filter is the next important thing you want to look at before buying a filtration system. Here, your choice again will depend on you water test results. For example, a filter with a micron rating of 50 is basically ideal for removing sand, silt and rust.
In other words, it will trap all dissolved particles in the water that have a maximum size of 50 microns. While you will find systems with filters that have ratings of 25 to 10 microns, generally the rating of the filters of most standard and heavy units tend to range between 1 to 5 microns.
Some systems even have filters that are capable of block anything that’s bigger than 0.35microns. These are amongst the best options you can find in the market since they are able to deal a highly contaminated source. Basically, the lower the micron rating, the cleaner the water would be. Note that, the flow rate will also be affected.
Lifespan of the Filter
You need to get a filter that can last for a long period of time. Most filter systems need to be maintained well and a majority of them often require very little maintenance. So it would be much better and convenient for you to get a filter with a longer lifespan. One that will not require you to change it more frequently.
The most common options you will find on the market are filters with a lifespan ranging from 6 to 12 months which are fairly decent as a majority of them will go for a year before you can change them again.
On the other hand, you can opt for a unit that offers great longevity like the Aquasana EQ-1000 which has a capacity of 1 million gallons hence can go for more than 10 years without you replacing the filter. Your choice here will mainly rely on your budget and needs but the longer the lifespan, the better.
Note the Flow Rate
The flow rate of the unit will largely determine the amount of water pressure delivered by al the faucets in the house. You need a system that will deliver a fast and steady flow of water in all areas of your house.
Typically, most systems would have a flow rate that ranges between 10 to 20 gallons per minute. If your household is small, then you might only need a unit that can deliver around 10 to 15 gallons of water each minute. That’s a great option since a higher flow rate would be too much.
For larger households, you should get a unit that can produce more than 15 gallons per minute. This will be able to keep up with the high water demands of everyone at home. In fact, the higher the flow rate, the higher the chances of getting a steady water pressure all over the house.
Finally you want to make sure that you pick a unit that’s easy to install. If you are hands on person with some good plumbing or DIY skill, then you won’t have much problem setting it up a majority of units. Look for models that come with the tools and clear instructions to make the whole process much easier.
You should first consider the space available for setting up the unit in your home so that you can pick something that will fit properly. The space should be fairly large on all sides.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the best whole house water filter system is not about which system has highest number of filters or the highest flow rate. Each filter is designed to handle certain contaminants and might be less effective at removing others.
Therefore, you need to determine what contaminants are present in your water so that you can select the right model which will better suit all your needs. Our top six list above contains units that are ideal for different kind of households. They are well made and very effective when it comes to performance.
They are not the only options out there though. There are plenty of other great models available in the market that you can evaluate and see whether you can find one that will address all your exact needs. Otherwise, you can consider out top options above and pick the one that you feel has got all that you want.