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Clear water with proper taste should not be exclusive to the kitchen. Furthermore, if chlorine is bad at the pool, why should it be different in the shower? A whole house water filter will provide you with the water you and your family deserve, for many years, with little maintenance. As you will soon see, there’s no reason to settle for less!
See also: These are the best portable dishwashers for once you’re set up with some reliable and clean water!
What Kind of Whole House Water Filter is the Best?
What It Removes
Not all water systems are equal, and neither are all filters: your needs will vary depending where you source your water.
From the city: Even though most filtering systems of this type will be able to easily handle the sediment, minerals and chemicals commonly found in utility treated water, there is a key difference you might want to resolve: certain cities will use chlorine to purify the water, whereas others will use chloramines. As the latter is harder to remove, many manufacturers will have separate models for each case.
A call to your local utility office should reveal if all you need to remove is chlorine, or if you also need to think about chloramines.
From a private well: Sediment and minerals are most likely to be what you will be dealing with. However, it is imperative to conduct a water analysis before making a purchase, as the toxins present in any given well can range from harmless to hazardous; you don’t want to go blind into this.
Often, your local utility office can fulfill a request for a water analysis, or you can hire someone to do it. Based on the results, you can either pick the filter that you consider best for your particular water condition, or send the report to the manufacturer of your choice so they can tell you exactly which one of their models will perform adequately for you.
Also known as how much water is available for the sink, toilet, dishwasher, shower, and so on. The gallons per minute (gpm) required by one specific outlet are usually printed on it. Your toilet, for example, may need 5gpm; your dishwasher, 3 or 4. The total, depending on how big your house is and how numerous your family, may come to 20 or 40 gpm. Ideally, your filter of choice should be able to handle the pressure you need even at peak hours, so that there are no drops.
Size: The larger it is, the longer it stays in service and the better the water flow. A size 4.5” x 20” should work for an average home.
Life: This may vary wildly from one option to another but, on average, a carbon filter cartridge of medium size will filter between 100,000 and 150,000 gallons of municipal treated water; this may be reduced if sediment concentration in the water is higher. Filters that rely on carbon beds instead of carbon cartridges will last much longer, but only if they feature a backwashing valve and a back wash cycle is regularly performed.
Most often issued by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), or the Water Quality Association (WQA), a certification is a manner of being sure that a manufacturer’s claims have been independently —and rigorously— tested, which is certain to give you peace of mind.
It’s not the end-all-be-all, however, as such a certification is expensive. When attached to a product, it will also affect its price tag. When it’s not, it is quite possible that the company behind the item simply cannot afford it, which doesn’t mean the item is automatically low-quality. Often, a manufacturer will simply have an independent lab test its product against NSF standards, which is just about as good.
Picks Worth Keeping In Mind
This one is designed to rid your water of most common contaminants present in utility treated water, with a removal rate of 95%. Filtering process is 2-stage: stage 1 runs the water through 4 layers of progressively smaller pore size in microns, for maximum removal of bacteria, sediments and chemicals. The second stage involves contact with a catalytic carbon filter for further purification.
Port is a fairly functional 1”, with a flow rate of up to 10 gpm. It will treat 95,000 gallons before it has to be replaced, which amounts to about a year of use unless there is heavy presence of sediment in the water.
This one’s capable of removing both chlorine and chloramines.
- Filter is designed to maximize removal of potentially unwanted elements.
- Needs maintenance less frequently thanks to its oversized filters.
- Flow rate might be too low for a larger home.
Certified to NSF standard 42, not only will this one filter out sediment and chlorine to improve color, taste and odor, it will also descale your water through the application of polyphosphates. This way, minerals such as calcium and magnesium are bound and precipitated before latching onto your pipes and potentially reducing water pressure.
Inlet and outlet are 1”; maximum flow is a fairly decent 20 gpm, which should meet the needs of an average sized home quite adequately. Connections are stainless steel, for better corrosion resistance. Filter should be replaced every 100,000 gallons or 12 months; sooner, if water pressure were to noticeably drop.
- Flow rate is twice the average.
- Easy to change the filter.
- Softens the water.
- Might feel too expensive for its size.
This is a fairly small system, but still effective within its scope: WQA certified to meet NSF standard 42, the filter will clear 30,000 gallons of sediment and particles before needing replacement. Inlets and outlets are 1”, for a maximum flow of 10 gpm.
Installing it is not exactly simple: several reviews online point to it requiring basic plumbing knowledge. The only tool included is a tank wrench; according to the manufacturer, you will also need to procure a Phillips screwdriver, adjustable wrench and hacksaw.
- An affordable, reliable alternative to improve your water.
- Very narrow filtering range: only good for particles.
- Installation is more complicated than it should be.
Best Whole House Water Filter: 3M Aqua-Pure AP904
It is somewhat expensive, but it is still worth it: aside from backing up its performance claims with an NSF certification, its water flow is better than almost anything else out there; whereas the average filtering system in this category will go no further than 10 gpm, this one goes all the way to 20, which should be well enough to meet the needs for your home, even at peak hour. Once installed, a filter will be good for 12 months or 100,000 gallons, a fairly respectable period of activity. It doesn’t stop there: your water is descaled, meaning certain minerals that usually build up on your pipes and eventually reduce your water pressure, are safely kept away. Your appliances will thank you for it, as will your skin.
See also: For the tea lovers, this hot water tap dispenser will make good use of your new filtration unit!