How clean is the well water is your home? Odors, foul tastes and stains on laundry and bathroom fixtures are a dead giveaway you have a problem, but if you haven’t tested it recently, you may be surprised to learn that even the clearest water may harbor potentially harmful chemicals, disease-causing microorganisms and minerals that can do costly damage to pipes and appliances.
The good news is that a simple, affordable well filter system can make your water worry-free, but models made for wells are different than those designed to filter city water. To help you choose the best well water filter system for your needs, let’s compare three top models, review the basics of how water filters work and help you identify critical features to look for.
Table of Contents
- 1 See our 3 Best Well Water Filtration Systems:
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Well Water Filter Systems
See our 3 Best Well Water Filtration Systems:
#1. Aquasana 5-Year, 500,000 Gallon Well Water Whole House Filter with Salt-free Water Softener and UV Filtration
This premium Aquasana filter features top quality-media for filtration of most troublesome contaminants as well as a UV sterilizer to eliminate small biological particles like viruses.
The integrated salt-free water softener neutralizes hard water minerals that clog pipes and stain clothes, while leaving in the healthy minerals reverse osmosis systems remove. And with a 500,000 gallon lifetime filtering capacity — it can process enough clean water for a family of four for up to five years.
Q: Where is this system made?
A: Haltom City, Texas.
Q: Does this remove fluoride?
A: No, the system is designed for wells for which fluoride is not a problem.
Q: Can the salt-free softening system be used with galvanized plumbing?
This filter system tackles nearly everything with a series of filters that removes a broad range of dangerous microorganisms and environmental chemicals as well as 99 percent of heavy metals including lead. The integrated water softener addresses hard water problems, eliminating the need to install one separately, and the UV purification system makes this a true well water purifier.
A few users complained about vague installation instructions and customer service is spotty, but the majority of experiences are positive. If you just need the best sediment filter for well water, it’s overkill, but for peace-of-mind protection, it’s tough to beat.
#2. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
This well filter system by Home Master uses three high-quality filters to remove up to 95 percent of sediment, chemicals, and other contaminants that create unpleasant tastes and foul odors.
For families with high water usage, the extra-large fittings more than double the water flow while preserving valuable pressure, and oversized replaceable filters mean you’ll spend less time, effort and money maintaining your system.
Q: Does this remove arsenic?
A: No, that requires a reverse osmosis system.
Q: Can the filter cartridges be cleaned and reused?
A: No, cartridges much be replaced.
Q: Is this filter NFS-certified?
A: Yes, contact the manufacturer for testing results.
If a water test confirms that bacteria and metals aren’t a problem, the high flow rate on this unit virtually guarantees most households won’t notice a decrease in water pressure – even at peak use. The oversized filters need less frequent changing and can be replaced with money-saving generic alternatives. I like that, but if you need a true well water purifier to get rid of microorganisms or live in an area prone to heavy metal contamination, look at the Aquasana. If you just need the basics done right, this one is worth a second look.
3. iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
Made just for wells, this 3-stage filtration system by iSpring eliminates most common contaminants including pesticides, chemicals, VOCs, iron, lead, manganese and more while leaving the healthy minerals in.
The 15 GPM flow rate is generous enough for heavy peak use, and if cloudy water is a problem, it contains one the best sediment filters for well water among leading brands.
Q: How large is the water inlet?
A: One inch.
Q: Can this system be installed outdoors?
A: Yes, but it must be protected from freezing.
Q: Does this remove PFOA?
A: Yes, via the carbon filter.
There’s a lot to like about this well water filter system including an easy installation, high flow rate and independent laboratory verification that it does everything it says it will do. It’s comparable to the Home Master in price, but also removes lead — an important feature if you have old pipes. Unlike the Aquasana, however, it has no built-in softener or UV filtration, so it won’t make water safe against bacteria and parasites, but to iSpring’s credit, both can be purchased separately. Overall, it’s a sound system that will manage most of your needs.
Buyer’s Guide to Well Water Filter Systems
Well water filter systems are fundamentally different than models made for treating municipal water. City water is treated at the source for bacteria and filtered for common contaminants, but often contains unwanted fluoride, disinfecting agents and pollutants from things that enter the sewer system.
Well water comes from underground and isn’t chemically disinfected. With rare exception, it contains no fluoride, sewer pollutants like pharmaceuticals, or harsh water treatment chemicals, but it can harbor bacteria, viruses, parasites, heavy metals, sediment and any number of agricultural or industrial chemicals that require a different system to remove. Here’s what you need to know.
How Does a Well Water Filtration System Work?
Point-of-entry well filtration systems use a series of different filters to remove the contaminants most likely to be found in wells. It treats water at the point where it enters your home, ensuring that both the water you drink and what circulates through your pipes, water heater and appliances is clean. This is a significant advantage over point-of-use systems that treat only a single faucet at a time. Not all systems, however, remove the same contaminants. To choose the best well water filtration system, test your water first using a home kit or send a sample to a lab, and then consider these important points when shopping around.
Well Water Filtration System Considerations
1. Power Consumption Rate
Water filtration system requires no electricity unless equipped with a UV purifier. These units need to be placed near a power source, but the expected energy use is no more than that of a regular light bulb.
2. Water Flow
For homes with standard faucets and bathroom fixtures, a minimum 7 gallon per minute rate is recommended, but large home may require double that. Since a decrease in water pressure is a common complaint with some filter systems, it’s important to buy one with features that preserve water pressure. The most important are the diameter of the pipe going to and from the unit and the presence of a sediment filter.
Inlet and outlet pipe should ideally have a one inch diameter. Smaller pipes can be adapted to allow more water flow, but could damage filters designed to accommodate less. If you need a higher flow, it’s best to choose a unit rated for it.
A large micron sediment filter also help improve water flow by removing large particles like sediment that can clog the smaller micron filters in the series and reduce water pressure.
3. Micron Filtration Rating
The micron filtration rating tells you the smallest particles a filter can remove. Whole home systems use a series of filters with different micron sizes to remove a range of particles from the largest to the smallest. A 5 micron filter, for example, effectively removes sediment like sand and rust, while you’ll need a 1 micron filter for bacteria and parasites. For better protection against microorganisms, consider a model with an ultraviolet sterilization unit.
4. Filter Size
Size is noted in the average number of gallons the filter can process before the non-replaceable media can no longer remove contaminants effectively. The larger the capacity, the longer the unit will last. An average family of four uses between 100,000 and 120,000 gallons annually.
5. Filter Longevity
Several factors affect filter longevity including how dirty your water is, but in general, systems with good sediment filters better preserve fine filter life, and the larger a filter is, the more surface area it has to trap contaminants and the more water it can treat between changes. Always change filters as recommended for optimal performance, but because they can be costly, consider their cost as well as the initial price of the filtration system when planning your budget. Refer to the gallon filtering capacity of the full unit to determine the service life of non-replaceable parts.
What does a filtration system remove from well water?
No single water filter can remove 100 percent of every possible contaminant, so you’ll want to focus on top water quality issues like taste, smell, and purity first. The best well water filter systems remove:
- Sediment like sand, silt and rust
- Bacteria including E. Coli and Salmonella
- Parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium
- Chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, PFOA, benzene and more
- Foul odors caused by bacteria, naturally-occurring organic compounds, and metals like barium and cadmium.
The water filters in this review are for a range of needs, so it’s critical to test your water first to know which features you need before paying too much for capability you don’t need — or worse, dropping cash on a model that doesn’t treat what you need it to. In most cases, it’s possible to add a water softener and even a reverse osmosis unit to some systems to broaden their capabilities. For some models, it’s as easy as upgrading to different cartridges. Check with the manufacturer.
Ultimately, whether you’re looking for complete peace of mind against the unexpected with the best whole house water filtration system overall, or just need the best sediment filter for well water, it pays to do your homework — like you’re doing right now — to find the solution that gives you and your family the clean, healthy water they deserve.