If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best whole house water filter, I recommend the Culligan WH-HD200 filtration system as the best choice.
A whole house water filter removes sediments, metal particles, pollutants, and bacteria from your water as it enters your house. That type of filtration system is ideal if there are issues with high levels of chlorine in your drinking water, or if you want to protect your appliances and plumbing system from sediment buildups. Here are a few product recommendations to help you find the best whole house water filter for your needs.
How Do Whole House Water Filter Work?
A whole house or point of entry water filter will remove impurities from your water as it enters your home. You would typically install one of those filters in your basement, near the point where the main water line enters your home.
Image credit: MPJ Plumbing Group
Depending on the filtration system you choose, your whole house water filter would remove sediments, rust, metal particles, chlorine, pesticides, and other chemicals. Those filters can also remove microbial cysts responsible for water-borne illnesses.
What Are the Different Filtration Systems Available?
Most whole house water filters use two or three canisters to put water through several filtration stages. These filters typically have a mechanical stage such as a fine mesh or screen that removes large particles and prevents sediments from entering your plumbing system.
These filters typically use activated carbon or similar media. The porous surface of carbon removes chemicals like chlorine.
You should also consider getting a filter that uses a reverse osmosis membrane. According to the CDC, that technology is an effective way of eliminating bacteria from your water.
Reverse osmosis filters are more expensive and create some wastewater. They work by pushing water through a fine membrane that removes impurities. It’s the same technique as the one used to remove salt from salt water.
Is the Installation Process Easy?
I compared different filtration systems to find a way to get rid of the unpleasant taste and odor of my water and found that whole house filters required a more complex installation than other products.
It’s something you can do if you have some experience with DIY projects, but I would recommend looking for a licensed professional if you don’t have the right tool or don’t feel comfortable with cutting plumbing pipes.
You can watch this YouTube video to get an idea of what it takes to install a whole house filtration system:
Here are the steps you would typically take to install one of those filters in your basement:
- Use the water-supply shutoff valve to turn the water off.
- Locate the faucet at the lowest point in your home and turn it on to finish draining water out of your plumbing system.
- Determine where you want to install the filter. Most filters come with brackets so you can secure them on a wall underneath a plumbing line. Install your filter as close to the point of entry as possible to prevent sediments and impurities from entering your plumbing system.
- Check the clearance underneath the pipe and make sure you can access the filter easily to replace the cartridges.
- Measure the filter and cut the plumbing pipe with a pipe cutter.
- Use a reamer blade to soothe the edges of the cut.
- Install plumbing fittings over the opening you have created.
- Install the filter. Pay attention to the location of the in and out ports.
- Secure the filter to the plumbing fittings with the compression nuts or fittings that came with the filter.
- Tighten the fittings by hand before using a wrench. Make sure the filter is upright and level with the ground.
- Turn the water valve back on. Let the filter fill up and check the fittings for leaks.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Whole House Water Filter?
I compared whole house water filters to other filtration systems to determine which option was best for my home. I found that whole house filters are convenient because they filter all the water you use instead of providing you with clean water at a single point like a faucet filter.
It’s a convenient solution if you need to filter the water you use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and even cleaning.
One of the advantages of a whole house filtration system is that it prevents sediments and chemicals from entering your plumbing system and damaging your plumbing pipes. It also prevents sediment buildups in the appliances that use water like your dishwasher or washer.
It’s an efficient way of eliminating unpleasant smell and taste, and it also eliminates bacteria, sediments, chemicals, and other pollutants. It’s easier to find multi-stage filtration systems that tackle a wide range of issues when shopping for whole house systems.
There are a few downsides to consider:
- You need to cut through a plumbing pipe to install your whole house water filter.
- A whole house filtration system cleanses water as it enters your home. An old plumbing system could contaminate your water with rust or metal particles inside of your home.
- Most whole house filtration systems use carbon spun fiber. That technology can filter down to 25 microns. It’s great for catching sediments, metals, and some large particles, but other smaller particles can still get through.
Top Five Whole House Water Filters
We will be reviewing the following whole house water filters:
Here are five products to consider if you think that a whole house filtration system would be a good match for your needs.
Price level: $$
Technologies used: Carbon spun fiber
I like this Culligan whole house water filter because you can customize the filtration system. It works with five different cartridges from Culligan and a wide range of universal cartridges from other manufacturers. I recommend getting your water tested by a professional so you can figure out which cartridges would be best for your needs.
- The filter features a heavy-duty and durable design.
- It can withstand water pressure between 30 and 100 PSI.
- It comes with a mounting bracket and stainless steel connectors.
- It meets NSF/ANSI 42 standards for material and structural integrity.
- It meets NSF/ANSI 372 standards for reducing lead levels in your water.
- There are a bypass shutoff valve and a pressure relief valve for easy maintenance.
- You can customize your filtration system by choosing different cartridges from Culligan and other manufacturers.
- The filter features clear bowls so you can easily check the status of the cartridges.
- The filter will only fit 1” plumbing pipes.
- You need to purchase the cartridges separately if you want to customize your filtration system.
- Researching different filtration cartridges and technologies can feel overwhelming.
Price level: $$
Technologies used: Carbon spun fiber
I like this whole house filtration system because of its compact design. It fits any kind of plumbing system and meets NSF/ANSI standards.
- The heavy-duty housing of the filter makes the product durable.
- The horizontal pipe connection makes the filter easy to install.
- There is a clear bowl so you can check the status of the cartridge.
- The quick-connect system allows you to install the filter on 1” or ¾” plumbing pipes.
- You can use this filter with FXHTC or FXHSC cartridges from GE. The FXHTC cartridge is best for removing chlorine, while the FXHSC cartridge is a better choice if sediments are your primary concern.
- It works with a limited selection of cartridges.
- It’s a single-stage filtration system. You can find similar products that support two or three cartridges.
Price level: $$
Technologies used: two-stage filtration, polypropylene sediment filter, granular activated carbon
This two-stage filtration system removes sediments, rust, chemicals, and some bacteria thanks to its five-micron filter. It’s a versatile product that you can install near the point of entry of your main water line or under a sink.
- The components of this filter meet NSF standards.
- There are two clear bowls so you can check the status of the cartridges.
- There is some additional room around the cartridges, so sediments and other impurities can build up without clogging the cartridges.
- The five-micron filtration system is finer than most whole house products.
- The first cartridge is a mechanical sediment filter, and the second is a carbon fiber element that absorbs chemicals and other particles.
- It delivers a flow rate of 3 GPM.
- There are pressure relief buttons for easy maintenance.
- You will have to change the cartridges every six months or so.
- You lose the flexibility of choosing which cartridges you want to use.
- The filter will only work with ¾” plumbing pipes.
- The 3 GPM water flow and compact size of the filter might not be ideal for large families.
Price level: $$
Technology used: Siliphos
I think this product is the best whole house water filter if you know the exact level of filtration you need. There are different buying options, ranging from 1,000 to 50 microns.
- You can extend the lifespan of the filter by flushing and rinsing it.
- You should replace the filter every three to six months, or every 20,000 gallons. You can flush it regularly to preserve its efficiency.
- You can install this filtration system on 1” or ¾” plumbing pipes.
- The filter can withstand water pressure ranging from 20 to 100 psi.
- The sturdy construction makes this filtration system durable.
- The filter uses siliphos to cleanse your water. It’s a compound that binds with minerals and prevents them from forming deposits. It also creates a thin protective layer throughout your plumbing system that prevents corrosion.
- The finest filtration option you can get is 50 microns.
- It’s a one-stage filtration system.
- There are no official testing processes or standards for siliphos filters.
Price level: $$
Technologies used: Varies, depends on cartridge selected
I think this whole house water filter is a great choice if you want something that is flexible. It stands out thanks to its sturdy housing and the fact that you can use it with a wide range of universal cartridges.
- The polypropylene housing is sturdy and ideal for a high flow of water.
- You can use this filter with any 20×4.5” cartridge.
- The filter comes with screws, brackets, and O-rings.
- The compact design is ideal if you don’t have a lot of clearance under your plumbing pipes.
- You need to purchase a cartridge separately.
- It only works with 1” plumbing pipes.
The best whole house water filter is the Culligan WH-HD200 filtration system. I highly recommend this product because it meets official standards, and you can find testing data on the manufacturer’s website. You can use this system with different cartridges to customize it depending on the issue you want to address with your water, and it’s an affordable option.