Whole house water filters are quickly becoming the most popular way to filter water in America. Homeowners love these systems because they can filter water without the inconvenience of refilling water pitchers.
The absolute best whole house water filters are the most environmentally friendly filtration option available on the market today.
In this guide our team of experts will take a look at the best home water filters of 2018. In addition to that, we will also explain what to look for when buying a whole house filter, the advantages and disadvantages, and a small guide on how to perform basic maintenance on a whole house water filter.
The 4 Best Whole House Water Filters
We could make a list of the top 10 whole house water filters. However, we like to keep things simple here at Water Purifcation Hub. The difference between 10 water filter systems is not that great. Therefore, we’ve compiled the 4 best whole house water filters for your convenience.
Full reviews of the water filters will be added to the website after a full analysis of each water filter has been conducted.
Reviews of the Best Home Water Filters
|Home Master HMF2SMGCC||3M Aqua-Pure Model AP903||iSpring WGB22B||Home Master HMF2SDGC|
|Flow Rate||10 GPM||20 GPM||15 GPM||15 GPM|
|Filter Life||95,000 gallons||100,000 gallons||100,000 gallons||100,000 gallons|
|Warranty||2 year limited||25 year (stainless steel head)||Lifetime Limited (read requirements)||2 year limited (parts)|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Home Master HMF2SMGCC Water Filtration System
The Home Master HMF2SMGCC water filter is our top choice for bringing fresh and filtered water to your home. This filter can remove chloramines, chlorine, chemicals, and other heavy metals such as lead and mercury. It will also remove that “tap water taste” often found in unfiltered tap water.
This is a two-stage system with a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute. The first stage of the filter will remove sediment from your water. It has 4 layers of filtration to remove sediment of any size. These layers are 25, 10, 5, and 1 microns thick. The second stage of the filter is a mixed media carbon filter that removes chemicals, lead, mercury, copper, any bad tastes, and any bad odors.
The filter housings on this system are fairly large at 1-inch wide, which increases the gallons per minute. This also increases the lifespan of the filter to approximately 95,000 gallons. 95,000 gallons will last a family of four about 12 months before needing to be replaced.
- Excellent two year warranty.
- 2-stage water filtration removes sediment, chemicals, odors, and heavy metals.
- High flow rate of 10 gallons per minute
- Large system at 38 pounds.
3M Aqua-Pure Model AP903
The 3M Aqua-Pure reduces sediment, dirt, rust, and chlorine from your house. With a 20 gallon per minute flow rate means that you will never have to worry about low water pressure when you turn on the faucet.
This system is among the easiest systems to install on our list due to its stainless steel design and relatively small size. However, we still recommend hiring a professional for installation as these systems can easily be damaged from an improper installation.
This filter is made of carbon media, which removes chlorine, dirt, and rust. The real gamechanger with this system is the twist off cartridges. No special tools are required to change the cartridges, simply twist and replace. No contact with the gross filter media is necessary either due to the cartridges. This makes things so much easier.
3M does recommend placing a prefilter system that removes sediment ahead of your filter. This will prevent clogging of the whole house filter with large sediment such as dirt and rust. This will greatly increase the life of the filter too.
- Fast flow rate of 20 gallons per minute.
- Cartridge filter makes changing the filter easy and clean.
- 1 year warranty.
- 3M is an established brand you can trust.
- Does not remove heavy metals.
iSpring WGB22B Whole Home Water Filter
The iSpring WGB22B is a 2-stage whole house water filter with an impressive 15 gallon per minute flow. Since this system uses two filters that allows it remove even more contaminants and extends the system life.
This system’s first filter, the sediment filter, will remove most of the sediment, which improves the filter life. The sediment filter will last twice as long as the standard sediment filter you will find on the market.
The second filter, an organic carbon block filter made with coconut carbon, will remove chemicals, chlorine, and dissolved heavy metals. This makes the water safer (remoes chemicals and heavy metals) and smell better (remoes chlorine).
Additionally, the newly implemented fabrication technology on this filter has created the most efficient and longest lasting filter by iSpring. So you don’t have to get on your back and change out filters every month like you would with some of the other competitors.
- Sediment filter removes down to 5 microns… this is very good.
- Can filter up to 15 gallonns per minute
- Removes 95% of sediment.
- Removes chlorine, rust, chemicals, and solvents.
- Not much pressure reduction.
- Awkward mount position because they go towards the wall and do not hang down.
Home Master HMF2SDGC
The Home Master HMF2SDGC Whole House water filtration system is another two-stage water filter. This filter has up to a 20 gallon per minute flow rate with the proper home water pressure, which makes it one of the faster models on our list. You probably won’t use all this extra speed unless you live in a large house with a large amount of piping. However, it is always better to have more GPM than less, so we can’t complain.
It offers the same level of filtration as the other water filters, but what really separates this house water filter from the others is the steel mounting bracket. This makes installation super easy because you can mount it onto studs. The other units often use plastic mounting brackets that have the risk of cracking when attached to studs. Obviously, you aren’t going to crack a steel mounting bracket.
As for filtration, the HMF2SDGC is specifically designed for water that has been treated with chlorine removes almost all of the chlorine from water. As you probably know, many cities actually treat their water with chlorine and this can have some negative health effects. It also smells and tastes pretty bad.
- Steel mounting bracket.
- Removes chlorine, sediment, and other chemicals.
- 2 year limited parts warranty.
- Plastic, not metal, threads on the pipe.
What is a whole house filter?
Great question. You probably already know about a whole house filter if you ended up on this page. Now we can explain how they work.
As the name implies, this is a water filtration device that can filter the water for your entire house. Note, we said filter and not purify. These rely on activated carbon, which removes chlorine and some of the bad smell. This won’t remove bacteria or protozoa or anything like that.
Anyway, people usually purchase these because municipalities only have an obligation to make water safe, not to make it good. Oftentimes the water will smell pretty bad.
What Are The Benefits Of Using a Whole House Water Filtration System?
There are a few advantages to using one and not many disadvantages. Here is a small list of the advantages of using a whole house water filter.
Never worry about refilling a water pitcher.
Not having to constantly refill a water pitcher is one of the top reasons that people install a water filter in their home. You simply turn on the tap and nice filtered water flows out of it. No need to worry about refilling a water filter or any non-sense like that.
Your house will smell better.
Have you ever noticed a chlorine smell when you turn on the sink?
That is from the chlorine in your water. Yes, your municipality adds chlorine to the water to help kill bacteria, but it tastes bad, smells bad, and may negatively impact your health.
The only way to remove the chlorine, and the smell, is to filter the water. An easy way is with one of these whole house filters. Speaking of chlorine, this chlorine also has a nasty habit of getting on your skin and expediting the aging process. It’s best just to remove it from your home and be done with.
Less soap scum on your dishes.
Soap scum is caused by evaporated chlorine on your dishes. A whole house filter removes chlorine, which will prevent some soap scum from forming. If you truly want to remove soap scum, then you need to install a water softener.
Chlorine will no longer get into your clothing.
Chlorine gets stuck to your clothes if you do not filter it out. Now, if you’re looking to bleach your clothes, then this might be a good thing. However, most people want to choose when to bleach their clothes.
Fun fact: This is why your clothes fade over time. Part of it is just the dye fading, but the dye fades much faster because of the chlorine found in tap water. The more you know 🙂
A whole house water filter removes chlorine, which keeps your clothes looking nice and fresh.
Buyer’s Guide: Whole Home Water Filter
Every home is a little different and with therefore have different requirements. A lot of these requirements really come down to the type of water that your municipality delivers to your home. If you live in a state like Maine that has great tap water, then you might not even need a whole house filter. If you live in South Florida, then you will definitely want a filter unless you like the taste of chlorinated sulfur (it’s warm too).
Do I need one in my home?
There are a few different telltale signs that you need a whole house water filter. I mean, you don’t need it, but it’s highly recommended and it will make your quality of life much better. Who likes living miserably, right?
- Your water smells bad – Probably the most common reason. By “smells bad” we mean that your house smells bad whenever someone turns on the sink. This isn’t pleasant and you probably won’t get used to it. Avoid this issue and purchase a whole house water filter.
- Your water has bacteria or protozoa – First, if you live in the US and have this issue, then call your water municipality. Someone is doing something seriously wrong if you have this issue or you have an issue in your pipes. Next, purchase a whole house water filter while you investigate the problem.
- Your water is cloudy – This isn’t anything to worry about in the US. Some water is just cloudy, but it is perfectly safe to drink. However, who wants to drink cloudy water? It looks gross.
- Your water tastes like chlorine – Do I really need to explains this one?
What to look for before purchasing?
- Filters – This boils down to the contaminants found in your water. Different contaminants require different filters to remove. For instance, if you have bacteria or protozoa, then you will need an ultraviolet light filter at some point on your filtration device. If you have a large amount of iron, then you will need a filter that removes iron. Chlorine (most municipalities have a high amount of chlorine) requires activated carbon to remove. Anyway, you get the general idea. Don’t bother getting a seven filter system unless you need to remove all the different contaminants from your home. Otherwise it is just a waste of money.
- Gallons Per Minute – Otherwise known as the flow rate. This one is more important than people will give it credit for. A bigger house will require a bigger flow rate. Just adjust this to the amount of people in your home and how many people and appliances are simultaneously using water. Honestly, even big families tend to avoid using water at the same time because of the water flow issues.
- Filter Life – Another important factor. This is also one that is often overlooked. People will often go out and buy the filter with 7 different stages, but not realize that they have to change those filters out somewhat frequently. Just keep an eye out on the filter life if you do not want to be constantly replacing stuff.
- Size – You should first find a place to put your whole house filter BEFORE purchasing it. Don’t buy it and try to find a spot to it unless you know you have space. The canisters on these things take up a decent amount of space. Most people put these in their basement. If you live in a state where homes do not have basements (Florida), then you can put it in your garage. Just remember that space is tight in a garage.
How to Install a Whole House Water Filter
Installing a whole house water filter is not particularly difficult if you have some basic knowledge of plumbing. However, we always recommend having a professional install a system. You know, these things can be difficult for the average person to install. You may also have to solder. So if you don’t know how to solder, then avoid this doing this project.
- Shop rag of some sort to clean your pipe.
- Soldering iron and solder. Alternatively, you can use plumber’s tape and putty.
- 5 gallon Bucket
- Pen or marker
- Turn off your water supply to your whole house.
- Find an adequate location for your new filter and mark it with a pen. Make sure this is in a somewhat easily accesible spot because you will have to change the filters out on it.
- Clean the pipe at this location. This is very important.
- Use a pipe cutter to cut your water pipe. You can find these at Home Depo, Lowe’s, or Amazon.
- Install the nuts and fittings to the pipe. You might have to use a torque wrench to choose the exact amount of torque to apply. This just depends on the manufacturer recommendation. Always defer to the user manual.
- Solder the fittings. You can also use plumber’s tape, but soldering is better. If you aren’t comfortable soldering, then you should hire a professional.
- Make sure the arrows are pointing the right direction. This is important. You’ll break your filter if you install it the wrong way.
- Close the inlet valve and turn your water on. Look for leaks.
- Open the inlet valve. Look for leaks.
- Finished 🙂
Here’s a video of installing a whole house water filter. Remember, each model will be a little different. This is just a general concept type video.
How Do They Work?
A whole house filter works in a relatively simple way. Now, each one varies a little bit, but the general concept remains the same.
Typically, the filter is attached to the main water line before it connects to any appliances in the house. This ensures that every last drop of water is filtered before entering the house.
Once the water enters the filter it goes through a few different filtration stages. The first stage is a pre-filter, which is just a mesh filter. This removes some sediment and prevents the other, more important, filter stages from getting clogged. The pre-filter saves the filter life of the much more expensive filters as well.
After the pre-filter is the activated carbon filter. This removes chlorine, smaller sediment, and any weird taste or smell. It does this because the carbon has a rough surface (microscopically), which is basically a magnet for all that nasty stuff. Science.
If the activated carbon has silver, then it will kill some bacteria. Not sure on the exact science behind this, but it definitely works.
The next stage is a mineral filter. This removes the minerals from the water as the name implies. It also removes any of the chlorine that the activated carbon filter may have missed.
Finally, there is a post-filter. This is basically a really small mesh that filters out any small sediment that made it through the first stages.
There are a few other optional filtration steps in this whole process. You could have a UV light filter after the post-filter. This would kill off any bacteria in the water. Alternatively, you might have a water softener before the post-filter. Obviously, this makes the water softer.
All these options just depend on the type of filter you purchase. However, the underlying concept remains the same that these filters will remove contaminants from all water that enters your home. This concept makes it one of the more effective ways to guarantee that you always drink clean water.
How to Change the Filters
Changing the filters in a whole house water filter is not too difficult and you should be able to do it.
Note: This guide refers to the pre-filter. The canister is a much more difficult, but you only need to change this every 3-5 years or so.
Anyway, here are the exact steps.
- Turn off the water.
- Place a bucket underneath the filter housing to catch any water.
- Use the filter wrench to remove the filter housing. Twist this clockwise (lefty loosey).
- You might have to release some of the pressure. Just press down on the top to do this.
- Dump the water into the bucket and take out the filter. Don’t throw away the o-ring!
- Place the o-ring back on the housing, put a new filter in the housing, and reattach it to the pipe.
- Do not use the wrench to tighten it. You can break it or make it super difficult to remove.
- Turn on the water and watch for leaks.
- Finished 🙂
Here is a short video on changing a water filter:
Overall, a whole house filter is an excellent way to ensure that clean drinking water is always available in your household. The four systems listed on Amazon all provide an excellent starting point to the world of whole house water filters.
We recommend having professional install the filter to ensure no leaks or other problems. Changing the water filter is not too difficult and you can probably do that yourself with some basic plumbing skills.