Inline water filters are probably the most convenient water filtration system to use. Once you install the unit, which isn’t difficult, you do not have to worry about changing the filter or filling up a container with water.
This makes it a great choice to add before an ice maker. For example, if you have ice that tastes bad, then this will work well to make your ice taste better.
No one wants ice that tastes bad.
You can also use an inline water filter on an RV too. In fact, that is one of the most common uses for these systems. This is because they are relatively compact and an RV has an extremely simple water system.
This guide will review some of the best inline water filter of 2018. We will then go over a brief buying guide about the different factors to consider before purchase, explain how to install these systems, and discuss how exactly they work.
Our Top Picks
Watts Premier Inline Water Filter
First on our list is the Watts Premier Inline Water Filter. This unit makes our list for a couple different reasons.
First, it has an amazing filter capacity of 20,000 gallons, which makes it one the best in the category. A 20,000 gallon filter life should last about three years.
Yes, three years. That means you can basically install this filter and not have to worry about it for the next three years. That’s a pretty awesome deal if you ask me. It also has a WQA certification that proves it can still remove bacteria for three years.
Now, most of these filters are just normal activated carbon based water filters. The Watts Premier is a little different, which explains the extended life. This filter uses kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) media to extend the life of the filter. KDF process media is used in commercial applications, but not commonly seen in consumer products.
You also don’t have to worry about bacteria forming with this system because the KDF media does a great job of preventing its formation.
- KDF process media extends the life of the filter and prevents the growth of bacteria.
- 20,000 gallon (3 years) filter life.
- Easy to install.
- No maintenance required.
- Price a little higher than the competition.
Runner Up: DuPont WFPF13003B
DuPont makes the list as our runner up. This unit offers almost the exact same capabilities as the Watts Premier, but has a few key points that make it different.
For the benefits, you can’t go wrong with the DuPont. It has a 15,000 gallon filter life, which will last you a little under three years. This is great because it has a 3 year limited warranty.
The color on this unit is blue. Now, this isn’t too important, but I always like a blue color for my water stuff. In my opinion, it just looks better. [Editor: You make a great point here. I purchased this unit for my house because it is blue. –JW]
It is the standard system with the ¾ inch inlets and outlets, so nothing too out of the ordinary. The filter housing is the usual 10 inches, so it will fit most filters. Yes, even those from other brands as long as the size is the same.
Now, this is a universal whole house filter. This is not the small kind that can mount on the back of your refrigerator or ice machine. I repeat, this is not the small kind that mounts on the back of your ice machine. We put this on the list to offer you a little difference in the type of water filtration that you choose.
You can use this in any household that has under 100 PSI. However, most households deliver water at 75-85PSI. If your household receives water over 85 PSI, then you should install a pressure reducing valve. This will prevent your water appliances from getting damaged from the high water pressure.
In this video, it appears that the water pressure in his home is too high and it is causing a leak. Also, the video shows you the size of these units.
- 15,000 gallon filter life (3 years).
- 3 year limited warranty.
- Blue color looks good.
- Standard 10 inch filter housing.
- Can operate at 100 psi, but not recommended.
- Long filter life. Still lower than the Watts Premier.
Best Inline Filter for Icemakers: Culligan IC-EZ-1
The Culligan makes our list as the best inline filter for icemakers for good reason. This unit was specifically designed to work with an icemaker. In actuality, that means that this unit is much more compact than a regular unit. You know, there is limited space to place a water filter for your refrigerator behind it.
The Culigan IC-EZ-1 takes care of that. As for filtration, the Culligan does a good job with that too. The EZ-1 filter that this ships with is good enough. It removes the smell and odor of the water. Who likes smelly ice?
No one. Exactly.
However, if you want the best filtration you have better options. You can purchase the IC-EZ-4, which removes lead, chlorine, chloramine, mercury, and other nasty stuff. Very bad stuff. Stuff you do not want in you water.[youtube id=”xJkIiPirNqM”]
- Great for icemakers.
- Long filter life 12 months (3,000 gallons).
- No maintenance.
- Does not remove many contaminants.
Highest GPM Inline Water Filter: Woder 10K-JG-3/8
If you’re looking for an inline water with a high GPM, then the Woder 10K-JG-3/8 is for you. This filter boasts an astonishing 4 GPM flow rate. This is almost 8 times as high as the competing brands.
In fact, this unit is mostly sold to small businesses. However, you can easily purchase it on Amazon and use in your home. This makes it great if you want to use in your sink as the flow rate is so high.
Now, the filter can remove all sorts of contaminants from the water. Some contaminants include lead, heavy metals, chlorine, and mercury. Bad stuff. It also removes the bad odors and tastes that you sometimes find in water.
These results have all been confirmed by the NSF and tested by third party labs. In other words, you can trust these stats. Not to mention the hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon and customers sharing their very own DIY test results.
The filter will last three years or 10,000 gallons, whichever comes first. Do note that you should only use with cold water. Do not put softened, or any salty, water or well water through the filter. All of this will decrease the expected filter life.
Finally, these filter is extremely simple to install. It should only take you anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to install.
- High flow rate of 4 gpm.
- Removes 99.9% of contaminants. Lead, heavy metal, mercury, chlorine, and more.
- Easy to install.
- Long lasting. 3 years or 10,000 gallons.
- More expensive than other options on the list.
Best Budget Choice: LASCO 10K-JG-3/8
Rounding out our list is the LASCO 37-1821. This is the best choice for those of you on a budget.
This filter only filters 2500 gallons, which should last your about 6 months. Now, when you do the math you realize that it costs less money to just buy the more high capacity filter instead of 6 of these filters. However, these filters still have a use for those just getting started with water filtration.
Other than that, everything is the same as the other filters. It has the usual 10 inch cartridge, so you can swap it out with a more powerful filter at a later date if you feel the need.
Bonus Pick: PureWater Filters Inline Water Filter
Finally, just one last bonus pick. This is a good pick for anyone in the market for an icemaker water filter. The reason we say it makes a great icemaker filter is that the service life of the filter is relatively low. This means that you will have to change it out a lot if you use it for drinking water. It also has a special mounting bracket that allows you to screw it directly onto an icemaker and 15 feet of water line.
This has the standard Chlorine Reduction Class I certification by NSF International. In other words, it will make your water taste and smell better. Not remove harmful contaminants or dissolved metals.
You do get a free lifetime warranty and phone support, which is nice. PureWater has a great customer service reputation. Nothing to worry about with that. The product has 4.7 stars (out of 5) on Amazon. Great product.
- Great water filter for an icemaker.
- Free lifetime warranty and support.
- Mounting bracket and water line included.
- Easy to follow installation instructions.
- Slightly more expensive.
Buying Considerations – Inline Water Filter
Understanding Your Needs
The first thing to consider before purchasing an in line water filter is understanding why you need the filter. Now, we don’t know your needs (feel free to leave a comment or send an email though), but we do know the value that an inline water filter can provide.
First of all, these filters attach to the water line. This means that any water that passes through that point in the pipe will get filtered. Some people set these up near the water main to filter all water entering the house. That is perfectly fine, but your needs will be different.
Other homeowners purchase an inline filter to add before an appliance, their drinking tap, or an icemaker. This means they will not have to use any type of water filtration device. Now, putting this before an appliance will remove the chlorine (depending on the unit), which works great for doing your laundry.
They won’t remove calcium or magnesium. You will need an inline water softener to remove that from your home’s water, which will prevent it from clogging your appliances.
Location, Location, Location
It’s important in real estate. And it’s important when deciding to purchase the best inline water filtration system for your home. Fortunately, fitting finding a location for these filters is a little (a lot) easier than finding the perfect home.
Just remember, these units are 10 inches long and weigh 1 or 2 pounds. They aren’t big. It is something to keep in mind though. Don’t be that person that buys one and then can’t find a place to put it. [Editor: I was that guy. Take Joe’s advice seriously and map out a place BEFORE buying a filter. -JW]
This is one that not everyone thinks about. You will eventually have to replace these filters. Now, if you have the Watts Premier, then you will not have to replace that often. Just every three years.
However, if you get any of the other filters, then you will be replacing these things. Sure, the replacement filters are not expensive. However, you will have to deal with replacing them 1 or two times a year. Easy… it takes time though.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Inline Water Filtration
- Will an inline water filter remove fluoride?
- What contaminants and chemicals does an inline water filter remove?
This depends on the filtration. The most basic type will remove the taste and odor that you find in water. The higher end filters (listed above) will remove lead, chlorine, mercury, dissolved metals, and all kinds of other nasty stuff. Higher end filters have a much lower lifespan though. Remember that before purchasing one.
- Can I use a [Watt, PureWater, Woder, etc.] replacement filter?
It depends on the filter. Generally, you can use them. You should consult your user manual and make sure the size matches up. You want to make sure the connector is the same size. 99% of inline water filters are 10 inches long, so that isn’t as big of a concern.
- How do you flush the filter?
Great question. It really is important to flush the filter or else the first few gallons of water will taste bad. Very bad.
First, connect the water filter to receive water. Do not connect the exit flow. Next, get a bucket (or connect a hose and run it outside or to your sink) and place it so it can collect water. Now, turn on the water in your home.
You should flush 2 gallons of water through the filter.
- What do I do with the used filters?
You should recycle them. Contact your local recycling department and see if they accept water filters. Most of them will take them.
Our Recommendation and Final Thoughts
All in all, an in inline water filter makes a great choice for your household. We’d wager that most households would be better with an inline water filter than without one. This is especially true if you have particularly smelly water. Or if you have an ice machine in your refrigerator.
Our recommendation is still the Watts Premier. It has an extended filter life, which means you do not have to change it for 3 years. You can literally set it up and forget about it. Yes, it really is that easy.
If you want further filtration, then we check out our list of the best reverse osmosis systems for your home.