Are you on the fence about investing in a Whole House Water Filter System for your home?
If you’ve ever asked yourself the following questions, you’ve come to the right place to get your questions answered!
- What is a Whole House Water Filter System?
- Why should I buy a Whole House Water Filter System?
- Do I really need a Whole House Water Filter System?
- How do I know if I need a Whole House Water Filter System?
- Which Whole House Water Filter System is right for me?
This blog post is jam-packed with information thanks to our resident Water Quality Expert, Arnold!
First, we need to establish what a Whole House Filter System is. Whole house filter systems remove contaminants from your water through a filter connected to your water line.
Whole House System Housings
There are several filter housings you can choose from.
Pro Tip: If you search “filter housing” on FiltersFast.com, you can use category filters to narrow your search even further. For example, you can boil down your search to “20-inch Standard Size Large Filter Housings” or “20-inch Standard Size Small Filter Housings”.
Housings normally have threaded connections for installation, but these connection sizes can vary. The most common connection sizes are ¾” and 1”. The connection size on the filter housing must be equal to or larger than the size of the main water line at the point of entry.
Here’s how you can figure out what size your main water line is:
The water line can have the size printed onto it, but it depends on the plumbing type. If it is not printed you will have to measure. Please note, plumbing size is normally a nominal measurement. This means it is not based specifically on the outside diameter, OD or on the inside diameter, ID. The nominal measurement is an average of the two.
Here’s an example of this.: One of the most popular home plumbing types is CPVC. For a ¾” pipe the OD is 0.875” and the ID is 0.715”
Still not sure? Here’s another example: PEX piping is growing in popularity. For a ¾” pipe the OD is 0.875” and the ID is 0.681″.
Housings come in a few different sizes. The most popular sizes are the 20” standard and the 20” big blue. The 20” standard uses a filter that is approximately 2-1/2” in diameter.
- A great example of this is the Pentek 150568 3/4″ Clear 20″ 3G Standard Housing
The 20” big blue uses a filter that is approximately 4-1/2” in diameter.
- A great example of this the Pentek 150234 1″ Big Blue 20″ Filter Housing
The big blue is preferable if you have the space for it.
Whole House Filter Housing and Accessories
Depending on which housing you choose, it may have accessories that are sold separately.
Here are a few accessories you will need to make sure you have when installing your Whole House Filter System.
You may need a model-specific filter bracket for installation. This normally installs on the top of the housing and is mounted to a wall or floor joist. This bracket supports the weight of the housing.
- A great example of this is the Pentek WB-SS Mounting Bracket Kit, 150061
To make changing your filter easier, you should use a model-specific housing wrench. The most common wrenches are normally made of plastic, but we offer metal alternatives for select applications on FiltersFast.com.
- A great example of this is the Pentek SW-4 Filter Wrench
When Selecting a Filter for Your Whole House Filter System
There are two main types of water filters:
- The most common is a sediment filter. Sediment is a broad term that refers to sand, silt, rust, and limescale. Sediment filtration is a precautionary measure. This helps protect the plumbing, appliances, and faucets downstream. This is recommended for general use.
- The second most common type is a carbon filter. As the name implies, the primary filtration media is carbon. This is used to improve water’s taste and odor. In addition to this, most carbon filters also remove sediment. This is used to improve the aesthetics of water where necessary.
There are two main types of sediment filters:
- The most common variety of sediment filters are spun-bound polypropylene which is more commonly known as poly-spun. These are usually white in color and have a smooth yet porous exterior. This is a great option for general use.
A great example of this is the FiltersFast.com FFDG-20BB-1 Replacement for Pentek DGD-2501-20
- The second most common variety is pleated polyester. This media is pleated to greatly increase the surface area. The result is an improved flow rate and capacity. This is a great option for well water systems and other applications where water pressure is at a premium.
A great example of this is the Watts WPC20FF20 Pleated Water Filter 20″ x 4.5″
There are two main types of carbon filters:
- The most common variety is the carbon block. This provides a block of carbon with varying densities. This design results in great taste and odor improvement and sediment reduction. These are generally more flow restrictive than sediment filters.
A great example of this is the FiltersFast.com FF20CB-10 Replacement for Pentek EPM-20BB
- The second most common variety is radial flow carbon, RFC. This design provides carbon filtration at an improved flow rate much more comparable to sediment filters. These have a lower level of sediment reduction than carbon blocks
A great example of this is the FF SDP-4520 20′ Radial Flow Carbon Filter RFC20-BB
How to Choose a Micron Level for Your Whole House Filter
The micron rating refers to the smallest particle size the filter can remove, so it’s important to know what your filter’s micron level is. Filters normally range from 0.5 to 100 microns. A lower micron filter has a finer level of filtration than a higher micron filter. Because of this, the lower micron filter will need to be replaced sooner.
A good micron rating for general use is 20 to 25 microns.
Installing a Whole House Water Filter System
While you will find a number of different how-tos online for how to install a Whole House Water Filter System, we recommend having a professional install your Whole House Filter System.
While deciding which Whole House Filter system, housing, and filter are right for your home is ultimately up to you, it’s important to get your water tested first.