The Wonderful World of Whole-House Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems!
If you’re on a mission to find the best whole house RO water filter and softener system, you’re in the right place! Whilst human industry has grown and developed, one thing has remained a constant throughout history: our need for clean water. In fact, due to the rapid expansion of commerce and industry which has occurred over the last 150 years or so – not to mention the exploding population – it has become more and more difficult to keep our water pure. It is for this reason that choosing an effective and efficient RO water purification system is of paramount importance – now, more than ever. Water filters remove biological contaminants, undesirable chemicals, and suspended solids and gases, leaving your water fresh and fit for consumption.
Best Whole House Water Filter, Our Picks:
As you can see, the pros of Whole-House Water Filtration and Softener Systems far outweigh the cons… Now let’s have a look at some of the systems on the market:
The 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System ticks all the right boxes when it comes to performance, price and ease of installation. With most customers reporting an installation duration of around one or two hours, the 3M should be up and running in no time at all. Customers generally report far better smelling and tasting water which is, of course, the most important thing.
Additionally, changing cartridges is a quick and painless process thanks to 3M’s easy twist-off cartridges which require no tools or bespoke keys to replace. The manufacturer recommends changing the filter once a year which is probably your best bet, although, having said that, some users who live in smaller, lower usage homes reported getting over a year’s worth of use out of this model so you be the judge.
One notable downside of the 3M is the fact that it seems to be incapable of eradicating rust from your water supply so if this is a problem you’re facing you may want to consider other solutions. Also, if you’re experiencing severe water contamination – i.e. a strong unpleasant smell, a sharp taste or discoloration etc. – this model may not be effective enough to solve your problems and you may be better off spending a little bit more money on a heavier duty filter.
To summarize, the 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System is a great, affordable water filter which is sure to improve the quality of your water. Cartridges are easy to change and you should get about a year’s worth of use before you’ll have to think about changing. However, if you are experiencing severe water contamination issues, we’d advise spending a little more money for better results.
Our Top Pick for City Water
The Home Master 2-Stage Water Filter is by all accounts a fantastic filter. Our top pick for city dwellers, this system’s one inch ports make for the strongest possible water pressure – as much as a whopping 10 gallons per minute! You won’t have any trouble washing shampoo out your hair, that’s for sure.
On top of this, the four-gradient density sediment filter ensures a finer level of filtration, along with greater dirt holding capacity filtration; make no mistake, this is a heavy-duty machine. In terms of durability and endurance, the hefty 95,000-gallon capacity replaceable catalytic carbon filter provides a full year of clean water for a family of four which is impressive for a system as low-priced as this.
So – technical jargon aside – does the thing work? We’re happy to say that users report a huge difference in the quality of their water after having the Home Master 2-stage installed; indeed, the manufacturer claims the filter will happily remove up to 95 percent of sediment, chloramines, chlorine (not all of them can remove chlorine!), chemicals, heavy metals, and other contaminants and this seems to be consistent with customer experience.
Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter with Multi Gradient Sediment and KDF85/Catalytic Carbon is a great system with few drawbacks. It’s highly effective, particularly for city water, and the only real issue was the installation can be a bit of a pain, according to some customers. Apart from that, it’s an affordable solution to all your water filtration needs.
Our Top Pick for Well Water
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter with Fine Sediment, Iron, and Carbon is our top pick for those who use water from a well. Many country dwelling folks will know that taking a shower or having a bath isn’t always the pleasant and relaxing experience it should be when you live out in the sticks, thanks to the often yellowish, sulfur-smelling, high-iron water which spurts from the faucets.
Well, if this is the case, your fears are over. Home Master’s 3-Stage offering is a highly effective, highly affordable piece of kit which will improve the taste, smell and appearance of you water. As well as improving the quality, the 3-Stage’s massive one-inch filters ensure that users will experience the highest possible pressure of water. As well as achieving high water pressure, the oversized filters also ensure a better general flow which means less maintenance (and less money spent!).
Most customers (especially well water users) report massive overall improvements in the quality of their water supply: better smell, better taste and better appearance. One downside is the installation process can be a little tricky as the unit is quite bulky and weighs a fair bit. But nothing a few trips down to Home Depot can’t sort out and, if you are lacking time and energy – and don’t mind forking out a bit extra – you can always have a plumber come over and take care of it for you.
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter with Fine Sediment, Iron, and Carbon is a great, thorough water filter which won’t let you down on purity or pressure; it’s our top pick for water well users.
The Home Master HMF2SDGC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter with Fine Sediment and Carbon is another fine choice from the Home Master range. This one is a little cheaper than the other two Home Master systems and the reason for this is the fact that this 2-Stage has only a dual gradient filter rather than multi-gradients.
This by no means a show-stopper. If you happen to live in an area where the water isn’t too bad but you want to be extra cautious then the cheaper Home Master may be perfectly suited to your needs. And the dual-gradient has all the other features you’d expect from a Home Masters water filter – i.e., strong, clean flowing water thanks to the one-inch ports and 100,000-gallon replaceable coconut shell carbon water filter capable of providing a full year’s worth of water for a family of four.
As for criticisms, one would be the installation process. This can be quite tricky and time consuming and probably requires some prior knowledge of plumbing beyond basic DIY skills. Also, as stated above, if your water is already very contaminated, this system may not be enough to render it drinkable; this may require further filtration such as a reverse osmosis unit.
Home Master HMF2SDGC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter with Fine Sediment and Carbon is a perfectly adequate – not to mention affordable – system if either your water is already fairly free of contaminates and you just want to be extra careful or you plan on using the filter with another system, such as a point-of-use filter or a reverse osmosis unit.
The Aquasana Chloramines Whole House Water Filtration System is by far the most expensive system here and, as such, it has many great features; let’s start with these.
So, first of all, the Aquasana Rhino claims to exceed even NSF standards by removing up to 97% of chlorine for up to 1,000,000 gallons. That’s an impressive figure and many testers have reported that the Rhino is capable of delivering a very pure quality of water. This is, in part, thanks to the system’s clever ‘activated carbon filter’ which targets herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemical compounds which may be present. Additionally, the Rhino produces high-pressure water ease.
But – and it’s rather a big ‘but’ – there are several rather glaring issues. First of all, there’s the installation process; it is really not fair to say that this system can be fitted by way of DIY. Installation is very time consuming and, according to many testers, involves having to go to great lengths to fix leaks which shouldn’t be happening in the first place. Poor production value means that Teflon tape must be used to seal on the six cheap reducers and even this may not solve the problem completely. Admittedly, this can probably be resolved by having a good plumber take care of the installation but, when you’re paying top dollar, you really shouldn’t have to worry about stuff like this.
Aquasana Chloramines Whole House Water Filtration System has its strong points; once successfully set up, it’s a robust system capable of producing nice, clean high-pressure water and should last for some time. However, please be aware that the installation is no walk in the park and, as such, by the time you’re done you may have parted with far more cash than the asking price.
Choosing a Water Filtration System that’s right for you
Admittedly, choosing a water filtration system can be a tricky, time-consuming process; but it need not be. When you break the process down into simple, straightforward steps, it can be easy – enjoyable even – to pick out a filtration system which suits your specific needs perfectly. So, what sorts of things should you consider when choosing a water filter? A good place to start is to request a copy of your water quality report from your local council or utility provider; if this report is unavailable or you have a private well, you can always have your water independently tested. Once you know precisely what’s in your water, you’ll be in a better position to choose a system that’s certified to address your specific water quality concerns. Simple.
Different Types of Water Filters
First off, you’ll want to choose what type of water filtration system is best for you. So, what are the different available types of systems available? Well, there are essentially two different categories: ‘Point-of-Use Filters’ and ‘Whole House Filters’.
Point-of-use basically means the filtration process takes place at the (you guessed it!) point of use. So – with a faucet-mounted filter, for example – the filter connects directly to your faucet and, when you turn the tap on, the water flows directly through the filter, leaving you with freshly filtered water. These are fine if, say, you only have one tap from which you drink and, of course, if you’re only interested in purifying the water you drink. Point-of-use filters are a cheaper alternative to Whole-House and are better than nothing. However, ideally, we’d recommending shelling out for the Whole-House if you have the means.
Different types of Point-of-Use Filters:
- Personal water bottles
- Pitcher, dispenser or pour-through filters
- Faucet mount filters
- Under-the-sink or plumbed-in systems
- Under-the-sink systems piped to a separate faucet type
- Plumbed-in to separate faucet systems
- Refrigerator filters
Whole-House Filters are (as the name suggests) systems which filter all your water for the whole house. This obviously doesn’t take place at point of use; instead, it occurs usually in attics or cupboards and is happening constantly, meaning all the taps in the house can supply nice, clean water at any time: day or night. This also means that even your skin will be protected from impurities when bathing or showering – a notable advantage to Point-of-Use filters which don’t tend to feature in bathrooms (and obviously if you end up with more than two or three point-of-use filters it starts to become less economic than just biting the bullet and purchasing a Whole-House system!).
Different types of Whole-House Filters:
- UV microbiological treatment systems
- Water softeners
- Whole-house chlorine filters
If, at this point, this all seems a bit overwhelming – don’t panic! This guide will take you through the top options, step-by-step, helping you make an informed decision on which filter is best for your home. So, let’s begin by highlighting some of the pros and cons of Whole-House Filters.
Whole House Water Filters – Pros & Cons:
- Keep an entire home clean with just one system
- Softer water
- Improved smell and taste
- Ideal for homes with multiple showers and faucets
- Cancels out the need for multiple filters at every outlet in the house
- No hard water stains
- Laundry will feel better
- Convenience: one purchase, one installation and maintenance on a single device
- Large initial investment
- Finding a reputable company to sell and install your system can be tricky
- Many different types – can be confusing
Thanks for reading and we hope this short guide is useful in helping you to discover not only which type of water filter is right for you but also which model is best suited to serve you and your family. Just remember to have your water tested first because there’s no sense blowing hundreds of dollars on an expensive system with all the bells and whistles if you’re one of the lucky few who could manage with just a point-of-use. So, consider our ‘top picks’, check your water, think about your budget whilst factoring in installation and potential maintenance costs and make a decision that suits you needs. And remember, don’t be fooled by a slick-talking salesman – he (or she) probably doesn’t have you best interests at heart!