Whole House Water Filter Review (Do NOT Buy Before Reading)

Whole House Reverse Osmosis

Multi-stage whole house reverse osmosis filters remove contaminants including chlorine, heavy metals such as lead, PFOA, PFOS, and other harmful contaminants at the point of entry. Many are available with water softener and UV filter add-ons to purify difficult water sources including well water.

TL;DR Review Summary: The Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 is an excellent choice for homeowners looking for effective contaminant filtration and long filter life. Those with well water should consider the Aquasana EQ-WELL-UV. Its robust filtration led in our water quality testing for sulfur, iron, arsenic, and virus removal.

Are you looking for the best water filter? Many homes are located in areas with a contaminated water supply. Did you know that 900,000 people get sick in the US from contaminated drinking water? It’s not just public water supplies either. The water delivered to your home may have trace amounts of bacteria, lead, chlorine, arsenic, cysts, and other micro-contaminants that make your water unpleasant.

Imagine simply turning on any faucet in your home and enjoying clean, pure water? It even helps with your shower water and washing machines as many whole house water filters also eliminate hard water problems.

Benefits Of Whole House Water Filtration

There are a number of advantages to whole house filtration in comparison to individual filter systems like faucets and filtered water pitchers.

Here are the top benefits of whole house water filtration:
• Improves water taste and smell
• Less wastewater than individual filtered faucets or under-the-sink filters
• Cleans water at the point of entry
• Purifies all water in your home
• Typically removes 97 to 99% of all contaminants
• Longer filter lifetime
• Stronger filtration
• Better for whole house consumption

Whole House Water Filter Reviews

We reviewed some of the best whole house water filters, whittling down our top choices based on the system’s ability to filter out chemicals, minerals, bacteria, viruses, cysts, and other harmful contaminants. We also just their installation process, flow rate, filter quality, warranty, and customer satisfaction.

Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000

Aquasana is one of the most well-known whole house filtration systems, and their most popular product is the Rhino whole house filter. This system comes with add-ons, allowing you to create four different types of filtration.

The base model Rhino breaks down into the EQ-1000 and EQ-600, which comes with 3 stages of filtration. This includes a sediment pre-filter, copper-zinc and mineral stone filter, and activated carbon filter. We also checked out the add-ons, including the SteriLight UV filter.

We loved that the system comes with a long filter lifespan, which means low maintenance. It can handle residential and commercial usage with different flow rates. We found that the system was able to remove all contaminants to a 99% pure water result.

The UV filter attaches to the water chamber and effectively kills all the microorganisms. We found that this is the best way to get the purest water, which is necessary for well water systems.

What We Liked

Aquasana makes it easy to install their Rhino filtration system. You simply need to make changes to the piping and connect to the water filter system. The company provides a video on the installation as well as detailed instructions. We were able to install it easily within an hour.

The Aquasana is truly a complete filtration system even with the base Rhino model. It comes with several ways to customize your water filtration, including a UV filter and water softener. This can lead to a longer lifespan for your pipes and appliances.

The system also includes a 0.35 micron filter, which blocks out most of the micro-contaminants that can make it into your water supply.

What We Don’t Like

Do you have enough space for all of the add-ons? The tanks can be quite large, and you’ll need a power supply near the point of entry to install the SteriLight UV filter.

The systems can be difficult to distinguish, so pay attention to specifications and make sure that you know your home’s flow rate. You may need add-ons, which cost a bit more than the base system.

Whole House Water Filter for Well Water

Many homes in the US get their water from a private well on the property. One of the main concerns is whether the water is safe or not, especially when the well is older or when soil has been contaminated aboveground. There are naturally-occurring chemicals and minerals in wells, such as coper, calcium, arsenic, and radon. However, runoff into wells may cause pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals to get into your water supply.

Well water also isn’t treated like municipality water, which means that it doesn’t contain fluoride or sewer pollutants such as pharmaceuticals. It can harbor bacteria, parasites, viruses, and heavy metals though. This is why it’s necessary to have more filtration for well water.

Water filter systems for wells are different than those created for a supply line from a municipality. They are mostly different because of UV filtration, which requires the location to be near a power source.

Aquasana EQ-WELL-UV

Aquasana has developed multiple systems for well water homes. The Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System includes a UV purifier and salt-free descaler. It kills bacteria and viruses, but it also removes pesticides, radon, herbicides, rust, lead, and many other contaminants specifically found in wells.

With a 500,000-gallon rating, this system is best for small family homes. This is also a salt-free system that does not demineralize your waters. Instead, it softens the water with a natural conditioner. In addition to being healthier for most people, this system also prevents scale and corrosion on your pipes.

There are additional benefits to this system, as it does not require any electricity, backflushing, or drainage. It has a unique upflow design that increases the duration of time that the water spends in filtration, which results in ultra-pure and softened water for your whole house.

What We Liked

There are some definitive bonuses to this well water system from Aquasana. For one, it removes 99% of all contaminants, including dangerous bacteria and viruses that are often found in well systems.

With a six-stage system and a high-capacity tank, the system has every type of filtration, including a water softener. The filters include a sediment pre-filter, activated carbon filter, post-filter, copper-zinc and mineral stone filtration, UV filter, and salt-free water conditioner. Chlorine levels were reduced to an insignificant amount with this process.

What We Don’t Like

There are some considerations for homeowners with this system. For one, you need to calculate your flow rate and ensure that it matches the maximum 7 GPM flow rate included with this system.

In addition, we found the installation to be a bit difficult. You may need a professional plumber to properly fix this system to your pipes, unless you opt for the pro-grade installation kit.

Top Brands


Aquasana is at the top of our list when it comes to water filtration design. With systems for traditional municipal supply lines and well water homes, Aquasana ranks highly with all customers. Their systems combine multi-stage filtration with long-lasting filters and a 10-year warranty, so you don’t have to worry any defective parts or leaks. In addition, their systems include add-ons in case you want a salt-free softener or UV filtration.

Pelican Water

Established in 2007, the Pelican Water filtration brand offers water treatment solutions for hard water and high chlorine problems. Their filters are NSF-certificated and promise at least a 98.8% purity level. This company’s filters are easy to install and maintain thanks to the Pelican Water Shield Autoship Club. Their filtration systems are quite effective and produce extremely pure results.

Final Verdict

We Strongly Recommend the Aquasana EQ-1000

When it comes to finding the best whole house water filter system, we looked at every filter with a magnifying glass. In terms of purity and results, we found no other system compared to the efficiency and results as the Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filtration System, which included a well water design with SimplySoft and UV filtration. This system had a low impact on space, provided maximum water output, and resulted in 98% purity. You can expect your water to not only be filtered but also softened thanks to its unique multi-stage filtration design.

Cheat Sheet: Finding the Best Under Sink Water Filter for Your Household

Are you looking for a system that can do it all? For those who want the best whole house water filter, there are a few out there that have all the bells and whistles so that you never have to worry about contaminants. If you have noticed that the water in your home tastes funny out of the tap or has a funky odor, then you may want to look into a whole house filter system. Filtration improves the taste and smell of water, but it also makes it healthier to drink, cook, and bathe with your home’s water.

Unless you have worked with water filtration and installation in the past, it can be difficult to find the best water filter systems. There are hundreds to choose from, but there are only about 10 water filtration systems that actually work. The best whole house water filter is typically one that includes the features below.

To find the best whole house water filter, we’ve put together a list of features and phrases to help with your search:

NSF Certification: Removes Most Contaminants

The number one thing that a whole house filter should have is an NSF certification. This means that the filter meets high standards for contaminant removal. When looking at the specifications, you should also see a list of contaminants removed including:

• Lead and heavy metals
• Bacteria, viruses, and other diseases
• Chlorine, arsenic, and other chemicals
• Cysts

Overall, most filters need a multi-step filtration process to handle most of the contaminants in the water supply. It’s best to test your water first to see how strong of a filter you need. In addition, well water owners need to look at a UV light for well water and an iron filter for well water for another level of purification.

Multi-Step Filtration with Reverse Osmosis

Most whole house water filters have multiple stages or layers. The first filter is typically a sediment filter that removes all dirt and other micro particles. Chlorine and other chemical removal typically happens in the second stage, which is an activated charcoal or carbon filter is used. This is a must-have for the best whole house water filter systems.

Finally, filters should have a reverse osmosis stage also known as RO filtration, which is a membrane that filters out almost 99% of all other contaminants. It’s used by the best water filtration companies to create extremely purified water.

Flow Rate in GPM

Most houses require a 30 GPM or more flow rate. We’ll explain what this means.

Everyone has to calculate their flow rate according to their home’s needs. Your flow rate may be different from someone else depending on your showerhead, toilet, faucet types, washing machine, and dishwasher.

Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM), and it matters because your flow rate decides the amount of water that is available to run all the water-dependent appliances in your home.

To calculate your flow rate, you need to look at the demand ratings labeled on all of your appliances, as well as the toilet and faucet. For example, showerheads typically have a 3 GPM flow rate, whereas a toilet may have a 5 GPM flow rate and a dishwasher has a 3 GPM. You are already at 11 GPM.

Houses typically have between 15 to 50 GPM needs, so if you spot a whole house filtration system with a low flow rate below 20 GPM, it’s probably not going to work for all your appliances.

Gallons Per Day = GPD Rating

You also want to know that your system can handle a ton of volume, especially if you have a larger home with many people who take showers, cook, and drink water. The GPD rating of the best whole house water filters is typically over 30 GPD and estimated around 50 GPD with reverse osmosis filters.

Water Filter Life: How Long Do Filters Last

Filter longevity and water filter life pertains to how many gallons the filter can purify before it starts to lose its strength. After that, your filter won’t work properly. You want a system that can last years without ever needing a filter change, but these are typically more expensive. Finding the right filter is a good balance between whether it works with your system and how much water you use.

You also want a system that can last without too much maintenance. This is why you should look at reviews for any filtration system, as you may purchase one thinking it’s a deal, but you have to buy carbon filters every 3 months. This could cost you an extra $200 to $500 per year depending on the filter types and filter load. The manufacturer should include what the filter load is and how often you need to change the filter.

There are also different sizes of filters. With larger filters, you typically don’t have to replace them as much. In addition, more water can flow through larger filters, so it’s important to pick a filter size that is 4.5” by 20,” but this is also particular to your home’s needs. Larger homes will benefit more from higher GPM systems and larger filters.

Water Softener and Filtration

Filtration removes contaminants, but the process also leads to other benefits such as water softening. However, filters and softeners are separate systems. Water softeners use chemicals or materials to remove minerals that cause hard water. However, filters remove chemicals and particles with a filter. Some systems can do both at the same time.


Basically, some water filtration systems are easy and come with instructions that make it simple to set up with any water supply lines. However, others have too many parts or have issues with missing components. It’s best to look at reviews to see how customers felt about installation. However, if you are not comfortable at all with plumbing, you may have to hire a professional to help you install the system.

Warranty and Protection

Anything that works well has a long-term warranty of five years of more. Some systems cover different parts of the system for different lengths of time. You should always read the fine print and look for a moneyback guarantee when buying a filtration system online.

Micron Rating

The best whole house water filters block everything over 0.35 microns. However, these are more expensive than filters that block at 1 micron only. If you consider that a single micron is a one-thousandth a millimeter, then you realize how small this is. However, it has to be to catch microbials and small, invisible particles. However, it’s overkill to have a 0.35 micron level if you don’t have a severely contaminated water supply, which is why you have to check your water first with a water testing kit.

Water Sources for Whole House Filters

Most whole house water filters are set up at the main water line to your home. However, you may have a well or a different setup. It’s important to check the system to know whether you need a well hookup or a municipal supply line hookup.

How Does A Whole House Water Filter Work?

There are actually several different types of systems when it comes to water filtration. Whole house water filters are only the beginning. The process may be different if water softeners, UV filtration, or well water hookups are included.

Whole House Water Filter

This is your typical whole house water filter system. These connect to the main water line of your home, usually right before it even goes to your water heater. Some whole house systems are also able to hook up to your outdoor water needs for sprinklers and irrigation.

What’s included with a typical whole house water filter?

There are a few components to look for in a good water softener, including:
• Carbon tank
• Multiple filters including sediment, carbon, and RO filters
• UV sterilizer (optional)
• Water softener
• Hookups for main water line or well water
• Separate under-the-sink tanks (optional)

The typical water treatment process works like this:

Connect the filter to the main water line.

The filtration must start as soon as the water enters the house. This means that you will hook up most water filtration systems outside at the point of entry, whether you have a municipal water supply or a well.

Water moves through pre-filter to remove sediment and other large particles.

This is the first layer against larger contaminants. At this stage, you may also have a UV filter that uses light to destroy bacteria and chlorine as well.

  1. The next layer of filtration includes crushed minerals like zinc and copper to filter out heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, and other chemicals.
  2. Carbon filter absorbs remaining contaminants.
  3. Water softening may take place at this level if you have a good combination water filtration and softener system.

This step is beneficial if you have hard water in your home. If you notice that your skin feels dry or your dishes have hard water spots or stains, then you likely need a system that also removes heavy minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Clean, purified water flows through your water heater, faucets, and other appliances.

The process is different depending on the types of filters in the system and how your come connects to a water supply. There are two systems that have significantly different processes than a traditional whole house water filter.