If you have well water, your water could be significantly reducing the lifespan of your appliances such as your washer, dryer, and dishwasher. You might even get scaling and orange discoloration in your sinks as well as a rotten egg odor.
While the metals, specifically iron, that cause these issues usually occur naturally and are not harmful to you as a person, they can cost you a lot of money and frustration in replacing appliances and constantly trying to scrub the scall off of things.
While the problem might be frustrating, finding a solution shouldn’t have to be. There are many effective iron filters on the market. This article includes a list of the best iron filter for well water and a comprehensive buyer’s guide to answer all of your questions.
How Does Iron Get into Water?
One of the most common metals in the world is iron. It exists anywhere you check, especially in large bodies of fresh water. Lakes and rivers, for example, typically contain a lot of iron. But it is wells or underground water supplies where iron is more prevalent, as these places work as natural deposits for the metal.
Other iron sources include industrial waste, refining and mining, and metal corrosion. Because iron is so prevalent in water bodies, in many objects, and in all kinds of places, it is not a surprise it manages to get into the water.
Iron filter vs. Water Softener: What Is Better for Well Water with Iron?
When you start looking for a water filter to remove iron, you’ll find that they often work well alongside water softeners. In some cases, people recommend softeners instead of iron filters themselves.
But there’s a catch: softeners don’t work as efficiently and effectively as an iron filter does. Below, we explain a few factors that come into play.
When we talk about iron, we don’t only mean one type. There are actually several kinds to consider. The two most common are ferric and ferrous. The difference is that ferrous is a soluble state, meaning it is directly mixed with the water, making it easier to remove. Ferric, on the other hand, is a bit thicker and dense, a non-soluble kind.
The problem is that well water softeners will use the ion-exchange process to pass the ferrous iron through a resin. Here, the iron is then evacuated during the regeneration process. But some of this ferrous iron will become ferric, slowly eating down the resin and overflowing the tank.
In this ferric state, iron will stick to the resin. Over time, it will accumulate to the point where iron is not removed from the water at all. Instead, the softener may even increase the amount of water.
For that reason, an iron filter is always the best option. If paired with a softener, it can be useful. But a softener alone is not an ideal iron-filtering option.
Along with the accumulation that eventually delivers iron instead of cleaning it, you will also experience a slight water flow increase. While this may seem useful, it is not.
Water softeners require the water to slow down for softening. Otherwise, removing hard minerals and other sediments won’t happen as effectively.
If you want effective softening, you will use a softener for softening and not for iron removal. That’s where pairing up with an iron filter can be a practical choice.
Considering that iron will accumulate inside the tank of a water softener, it is also safe to say this will reduce the resin’s durability and filter itself. By promoting more frequent regeneration, the resin beads will eventually wear out faster.
An iron filter doesn’t wear out as fast. Using a unique iron-removal operation, the iron will be eliminated without causing any change in how long it lasts.
Last but not least, you can expect a water softener’s operational costs to increase if you make it filter too much iron. Because the resin beads will wear out faster, you’ll have to change them more consistently. Similarly, the effectiveness of the softening won’t be the same, which could cause health damage.
With an iron filter, you won’t have to worry about this. Alongside a water softener, you’ll be able to achieve both operations at once.
After considering all these aspects, it is safe to say an iron filter is the best choice for removing iron. If you have the chance to pair it up with a water softener, then it will be even better.
Best Iron Filter For Well Water – (Updated Review)
1.Fleck 5600SXT Whole House Water Softener Iron Filter
- A full home water softener.
- Simple installation process.
- Digital system with an LCD display.
- Salt will need to be added and maintained.
- 5-year manufacturer warranty on the control head, 10-year manufacturer warranty on the tank.
This is a whole-home water softener that is easy to install and maintain. It has a good warranty if anything were to go wrong.
As with most softeners, you do need to provide and maintain the salt in the tank. Additionally, this product does not come with a water filter.
This is a whole house water softener that is built to last. Many products from this company last up to 27 years. If anything does happen there is a 5-year manufacturer warranty on the control head and a 10-year manufacturer warranty on the tank.
The kit includes everything that is needed for it to run including a digital control head, brine tank, resin, and the tank along with all connections. The only thing you will need to add and maintain is the salt for the tank.
The installation of the well water softener is fairly simple and can be done by someone with a basic understanding of tools and installation practices. The capacity of the softener is 48,000 grain and it comes with a high-efficiency valve and digital control head to save salt and waste.
A quality filter and water softener can’t miss a metered head valve. Alongside a paddlewheel meter and an automatic regeneration system, you can expect the 5600SXT from AFWFilters to clean everything thoroughly with no drawback.
This is a high-end well water softener, by the way. With a 48,000-grain capacity, it will remove every single sign of murkiness. Add the digital LCD screen for practical use and more adjustability.
Along with a high-quality water softener, the filter also accepts high-flow systems. The 26 GPM of total capacity will help you connect it to large large-house or industrial plumbing equipment. This makes it an almost perfect addition for places that require continuous and efficient water delivery.
2.Air Injection Silver AIS10-25SXT AFW Air Injection Iron Filter
- A whole house filtration system.
- Simple installation and maintenance.
- Will automatically backwash.
- Filter media comes with the kit and will last 5 years before needing to be changed.
- It does not come with a warranty.
This is a whole house water filter that does most of its own maintenance by backwashing itself. It can be installed quite easily and comes with everything that will be needed.
There does not appear to be a warranty. While installation instructions are included, an owner’s manual is not.
This is a whole house filter that will filter out iron, sulfur, and manganese. If you have a rotten egg smell from your water or orange stains in your toilet, sinks, or shower, this filter will remove that from the well water.
It uses air injection technology to efficiently remove the above contaminants. There is a filter media that is included in the kit that will last five years before needing to be replaced. It comes with a digital controller that will automatically backwash the filter media.
The kit comes with a tank, media, riser, air injection head, and a bypass valve. It is simple to install and should not need someone to do it professionally.
When it comes to efficiency, not many filters can match the AIS10-25SXT from AFWFilters. Thanks to a single-tank design and the air injection control head system, the ability to remove contaminants from well water is exceptionally efficient.
This matches well with a 2510SXT air injection control system. It helps improve the whole oxidation process, removing more contaminants than usual. What’s even better, it comes with a digital display you can use to adjust the system according to your needs.
Don’t forget it also comes with an automatic backwashing feature that cleans the tank when it’s time. This makes it last longer while also ensuring a more effective cleaning process.
3.Pelican WF4/WF8 Manganese And Iron Water Filter
- Removes all kinds of contaminants along with iron and manganese.
- Its 4-stage system requires no electricity to work.
- A unique self-priming chemical pump is super-efficient.
- Anyone can set it up.
- Requires little maintenance.
The ability to filter water out of iron, manganese and other contaminants is other-worldly, primarily because it uses no electricity.
It only offers 10 GPM of water flow, which could reduce overall delivery speed in household fixtures.
Using a unique non-electric self-priming pump, this next-level filter reduces the amount of iron exponentially. It is so effective that you can use it with water containing more than 10 PPM of iron.
But it does not only work to remove iron from well water but also to clean manganese and similar metals from the water. Even then, you can expect no chlorine or bacteria to stay in the water after the filtering happens.
This is only possible thanks to a 4-stage system. It includes a Pelican Sediment filter that removes contaminants of up to 5 microns. Then it goes through a chlorination process where the water receives deep filtration to remove chemicals and pathogens.
As the third stage, it comes with Greensand media, trapping the iron effectively and manganese. And with the fourth carbon stage, the system removes all chlorine and unwanted taste and smells from the well water, leaving it ready for any consumption type.
Boasting a unique self-priming operation, you won’t have to use any electricity to power it up. To make it even better, it comes with all the hardware for direct installation as soon as it gets home.
Don’t overlook the lifetime warranty, making it an ideal choice for quality seekers who want a more reliable product. The solid-state microprocessor only has 7 years of warranty.
4.Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Iron Water Filter
- Whole-house filtration system.
- It will remove nearly all major contaminants from your water.
- Replacing cartridges is simple.
- Includes a 1-year warranty.
- A three-stage system.
This three-stage whole-house filtration system will remove nearly all contaminants from the water. Additionally, it comes with a 1-year warranty.
You might need to purchase extra parts such as fittings and bypass valves. Depending on how handy you are, you might need to hire someone to install.
This water filter and water softener combination system has three stages: a carbon block, kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF), and sediment filtration. The sediment filter is clear so you can see the filter working in real-time. The stages are supported by a stainless steel frame.
In addition to softening the water, the filter will remove lead, rust, iron, chlorine, mercury,dirt, pesticides, herbicides, fungi, insecticides, chloramine, sulfur, VOCs, copper, cadmium, odors, silt, turbidity, cloudiness, sand, viruses, copper hydrogen sulfate, and nickel.
Maintaining the system is simple because the filter cartridges just swap in and out. The filters will last for up to 100,000 gallons or six to twelve months of use. Everything you need for installation for a one-inch system is included.
When it comes to removing iron from well water effectively at high flow levels, no other model will meet your standards, like the Whole House filter from Express Water.
You’ll notice the ability to deliver 0.25 gallons of water per second. Along with the ability to tackle 40 to 80 PSI of total pressure, it will help you build the fastest water plumbing system.
One exciting feature this filter offers is the ability to change each stage by hand. It boasts a practical twist-off system in each case, letting you easily remove and place a new one as needed.
Don’t forget the high-quality steel construction. It will make the filter last decades with proper use.
5.ISpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Well Water Iron Filtration System
- Will not significantly impact water flow rate.
- Will remove up to 95% of major contaminants.
- Lasts for up to 100,000 gallons before the cartridge needs to be replaced.
- Includes a 1-year limited manufacturer guarantee.
- It has three filtration steps for the best quality water.
This is a highly effective water filter that does not significantly impact water pressure or flow rate in your home.
Depending on the quality of your well water, you will likely need to purchase and install a water softener in addition to the water filter.
This full house water filter will remove chlorine, cloudiness, VOC’s, chemicals, odor, sediment, dust, sand, rust, and tastes. It will also reduce iron, magnesium, and heavy metals from well water. Most contaminants will be removed by up to 95%.
It has a three-step filtration system that utilizes iron manganese, a carbon block, and PP sediment to most effectively and efficiently filter out harmful contaminants. The filter cartridges should be replaced approximately every 100,000 gallons.
The system will probably need to be installed by plumber or handy-man for the best results. It will clean water for your entire house including your dishwasher, showers, washing machine, and other appliances.
As iron filter for well water available, the WGB32BM will remove every single contaminant that causes unwanted odors, colors, and taste.
More importantly, it works like a charm alongside other filters. It enhances filtration capacity exponentially alongside a reverse osmosis system or any different filter by just softening water.
This gets better when you consider the practical pressure range of 15 PSI to 80 PSI, so you can make it work with or without pumps while not affecting pressure in the slightest.
What’s even more exciting, you can make it work with water pH ranges of 6 to 11, so it can handle highly alkaline water with no drawbacks.
6.Fleck IRONPRO2 Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter
- It is both a water filter and a water softener.
- It can be installed yourself.
- It has a 5-year warranty on the control head and a 10-year warranty on the tank.
- Prevents build-up and removes iron from water.
- Need to add salt to the softener as needed.
This is an entire system in one. It is both a water softener and a water filter so you only have to buy one product to get both benefits.
It does not remove other contaminants besides iron. And it is very heavy when trying to get it delivered and moving it into place.
This filter will soften your water and filter out iron in the same system. This is a great asset to those who have fairly clean well water but get rust and scaling. Having a softener and iron filter will minimize damage and extend the life on household appliances.
The only regular maintenance that needs to be done is to add salt to the water softener. The timing of this is dependent on how hard your water is and how much water you use on a regular basis. The system comes with a digital meter to simplify the maintenance process.
If you’re tired of red stains on your clothes after washing and on your body after taking a bath, then it’s time to get rid of them with the IRONPRO2.
As a combination filter with a softener, it eliminates even the harshest scale from the water. Along with a fine mesh resin, the process happens effectively, releasing harmful contaminants that cause the water to be murky.
Apart from all that, you can enjoy a 12 GPM flow system. It will help you set it up on most plumbing systems without making the water any slower to come out.
Last but not least, you get the 5600SXT controller that automatically cleans the softener. Alongside the iron filter for well water, this feature will ensure a more long-lasting practical experience.
7.Home Master Whole House Iron Water Filtration System
- A three-step filtration system for the entire house.
- The filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 100,000 gallons.
- Will remove up to 95% of contaminants.
- It offers great water pressure – up to 15 GPM.
- It can be installed fairly easily and has good installation instructions.
This is a full-house water filter that will only need maintenance every 100,000 gallons or about one year for a family of four.
You will have to know your water well as this will not work with acidic water, water with iron bacteria, or chlorinated water of any kind.
This filter will remove up to 95% of iron, sediment, chemicals, rust, herbicides, and pesticides. It has three stages of filtration including a sediment filter, radial flow iron reduction filter, and activated coconut shell carbon filter.
The filters will need to be replaced about every 100,000 gallons. You can install it yourself though it will require a basic knowledge of plumbing and tools. This is not a water softener, just a filter so you may want to use it in conjunction with a softener as well.
Setting up a filtering system in a city home can be a massive problem if you don’t know what you’re filtering. Luckily, the 3-stage filter from Home Master will eliminate everything thanks to a sediment filter, a carbon filter, and, more importantly, an iron reduction system.
As for efficiency, these filters will impress you. An oversized design will remove more contaminants than the standard filter. And sure enough, this size also helps them process water super-fast, offering a total flow capacity of 15 GPM.
And if all that wasn’t enough, this filter still manages to remove all odors, colors and tastes from the well water. You’ll enjoy a cleaner, drinkable, and more usable water once it’s passed through this.
8. ABCwaters 48k-56sxt-FM Pro-Fine Mesh Fleck Iron Water Filter
- A two in one water softener and iron filter.
- Includes a digital valve.
- It comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Works for a full home.
- Includes a scan and service application by Pentair.
This is a two in one product that is both an iron filter and a water softener. Additionally, it comes with a 5-year warranty.
The installation instructions are hard to understand. You could learn from YouTube or other videos or might need to hire a plumber or handyman to install.
This water filter and water softener combination are perfect for a home with 2-5 people or 2-3 bathrooms. It has a 48,000-grain capacity and includes a 5-year warranty. If you are not a super handy individual, then you might want to hire someone to install this product for you.
Included with the system is the tank, a metered softener valve, fine mesh resin, a male threaded bypass, a meter, drain barb, safety float, and an overflow elbow.
It comes with a Pentair Scan and Service Application which means you can look up a detailed configuration, troubleshooting manual, what spare parts you might need, and technical documentation all from an app.
Ready to tackle even the densest iron quantities, the ABCwaters comes with a Fine Mesh resin that removes most of the manganese and iron on the well water. You’ll receive the cleanest and softest water in the fastest way possible.
Thanks to 12 GPM of total pressure. Ideal for a constant and more reliable water delivery system at home.
Then you can enjoy the 5600 SXT valve meter. Coming completely pre-programmed, this meter will help you adjust the system according to your needs. And it automates the generation process as well, making it even more efficient and easy to use.
9.Apex 3-Stage Whole House Hydrogen Sulfide And Iron Water Filter
- A whole house water filtration system.
- It has 3 stages.
- Cartridges need to be replaced every 20,000 gallons.
- Easy installation process.
- Great for eliminating odors, colors, and scaling.
This is a comprehensive whole-house water filter which removes all major contaminant and is fairly easy to install and maintain.
The filter cartridges need to be replaced every 20,000 gallons which can come up pretty quickly if there are multiple people living in the house.
This is a three-stage whole-house water filter that will remove a large number of contaminants including sediment, rust, chlorine, benzene, radon, chloramine, THM, TCE, VOC’s insecticides, pesticides, scale, heavy metals, and industrial solvents.
The water will first flow through a carbon block then through a multi-stage KDF filter and finally through a sediment filter. When combined such as in this system, these filter media are extremely effective.
The filters and everything needed for installation is included in the kit. Switching out the cartridges can be a bit of a hassle and they only last 20,000 gallons. For a family of four, this could mean replacing them every three to six months.
While not exactly designed for iron, the MR-3030 filter from Apex will remove most contaminants from the water. But what’s even better, it does the job at a wide pH range, increasing the oxidation process of iron and transforming more of the ferrous particles into ferric, helping you remove a lot more.
It works as a standard 3-stage filter, but it also provides a mild softening capacity. If the water is filled with murky contaminants, this filter will get rid of them.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you can still enjoy the high-flow system at 15 GPM. It will be enough to keep large households or even business with proper and constant water delivery.
10.Replacement For 3-Stage Whole House Iron Water System
- The filters work with any 20-inch by 4½-inch whole-house system.
- These are replacement filters.
- There are three different filters and stages.
- It significantly reduces or removes most common contaminants.
- A simple replacement installation process.
If you already have a 3-stage whole-house system in place, these replacement filters will fit in all 20-inch by 4½-inch systems.
You have to have a specific style of water filter to use these replacement filters and they will only last about six months.
These filters are replacement filters for an already installed 3-stage whole-house system. They are compatible with any system that accepts 20-inch by 4½-inch filter cartridges. The three stages are a sediment filter, a KDF media filter, and a carbon block.
These cartridges are extremely efficient in removing VOCs, insecticides, pesticides, industrial solvents, bacteria, fungi, scale, iron, sulfide odor, chlorine, radon, benzene, THM, TCE, sand, rust, dirt, and silt.
The filters are rated for use for about 6 months before needing to be replaced again. Utilizing a system such as this can lengthen the life of appliances in your house.
Combining a polypropylene sediment pre-filter, a KFD85 multi-stage filter, and a solid carbon block make this 3-stage whole house iron filter for well water is a fantastic option not to dismiss.
Even if the water is heavily contaminated, you’ll be able to use it for almost anything after passing it through this system. It cleans up the water heavily, removing all kinds of unwanted contaminants so you can use the water for cleaning, cooking, or drinking directly with no problem.
One exciting part is the cartridge design. They work exceptionally well for small households and apartments where other large systems don’t fit.
11.Aquasana 5-Year, 500,000 Gallon Well Water Whole House Filter
- It will work for up to 500,000 gallons or approximately 5 years.
- A whole-house water filter.
- Uses UV Filtration and other filtration methods to most effectively filter the water.
- Do not need to add or maintain salt.
- Includes an installation kit.
This is a very effective and powerful whole-house filter that will last up to 5-years before needing to be replaced.
There are a pre-filter and a post-filter cartridge that will need to be replaced every few months. There does not appear to be a warranty.
This is a comprehensive water filter that utilizes UV Filtration to remove up to 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, e. Coli, chlorine-resistant cysts, cryptosporidium and giardia and up to 97% of chlorine. It comes with an extensive installation kit that does not include PEX tubing.
The installation kit comes with brass fittings, bypass valves, and bend supports. The system itself includes the filter tank, descaler tank, UV Filter and installation kit.
The pre-filter cartridge will need to be replaced about every 2 months and the post-filter cartridge will need to be replaced about every four months. The tank and UV filter are good for 500,000 gallons or 5 years. No salt is needed for this filter.
There is a filter media for every type of contaminant within this filter. This includes a sediment pre-filter that removes large particles, a salt-free water conditioner that makes water drinkable, an activated carbon filter for further contaminant removal, and a UV filter for disease-inducing bacteria reduction.
You can still enjoy the SimplySoft Scale Control Media technology that conditions the water, leaving minerals behind but cleaning away unwanted sediment. This not only makes the water drinkable but makes it taste a lot better.
Lastly, this is a low-maintenance system. It needs no draining or flushing, which can take a lot of time and effort later on.
12.American Water Solutions Air Injection Well Water Iron Filter
- An air-injection system removes iron and sulfur effectively.
- Demands little to no maintenance as it backwashes automatically.
- Added control valve ensures maximum results.
- A 10-year warranty makes it reliable.
- It makes the water more drinkable and tastier.
You can expect more than 5 years of total operation from the media filter. The warranty covers the replacement.
The media that initially comes with the filter will not remove odor from the water. You may need to buy new media separately.
Boasting an air injection control system, the American Water Solutions Air Plus filter will remove even the smallest particles of iron from the well water.
This one uses a single tank to oxidize the iron. This system is cost-effective and efficient without using any type of chemical, making the water a lot cleaner and safer later on.
It is essential to mention that the air-injection system also pushes oxygen into the water. Instead of just removing the iron, you’ll obtain a highly oxygenated liquid that’s ready for consumption.
More importantly, the system boasts a filter media bed that catches all the iron and sulfur. Even after a long day of filtering, this media will go through a backwashing process that removes all these remaining iron particles out from well water. Then a regeneration process brings an air pocket back to the system for renewed operation.
And if all that wasn’t enough, you can still enjoy a Fleck 2510 SXT control valve. It lets you operate the system however you prefer. Along with the bypass valve and extra hardware kit for the installation, setting up this system shouldn’t be much of a problem.
For those who want a reliable product, don’t forget this one comes with a 10-year warranty. After a few years of working life, this warranty will cover the media replacement so you can get another decade of use with no trouble.
How Does Iron Affect the Human Body?
In small quantities, iron is actually helpful. Our bodies need iron to transport oxygen, maintain healthy blood cell count, avoid lead toxicity, enhance skin’s semblance, and even keep nails and hair growth.
But once it starts to accumulate in large quantities, where water gets a yellowish color, changes the smell and even the taste, iron can get dangerous. Without the best whole house water filter for iron, you can suffer a wide array of health issues, including:
- Liver and kidney damage
- Blood vessel damage
- Skin damage
- Heart failure
As you can see, reducing the amount of iron in your water may not only help you change its taste and odor but also prevent potentially life-threatening health conditions.
Iron Filter For Well Water How Does It Work
While iron filters are uniquely effective at removing the mineral, the process is not necessarily the most complicated.
It all starts when the water flows up from the well. In this state, it will be clear water (in most cases). The iron particles on the water will be ferrous. Here, the filters transform the ferrous iron into rust (ferric iron) during oxidation.
The ferric particles will be trapped inside the filter. In the meanwhile, the water that contained all these iron particles will flow out.
In case the water has large quantities of both ferrous and ferric particles, the process will be the same. However, it will happen a lot slower (as rust is dense).
When the filter has captured enough particles, it will eventually go through a backwashing process. Here, the filter cleans itself away from all these particles to start catching them efficiently again.
Types of Iron Filters for Well Water
After reading our iron filter reviews, you may have noticed that most of them are different from the rest. This is because we included several types of filters. Here, we’re going to explain more about each:
Iron Oxidizing Filter
It is the standard type of iron filter you’ll find, using the same filtering process as explained above. In short, it catches the ferrous iron particles on the water and oxidizes them. Then these particles become denser non-soluble ferric particles helping the filter cleaning them out of the water.
This oxidation of the iron happens using chlorine, ozone, or potassium permanganate. Then, the particles are caught up on filter media. This media is typically made of solid manganese dioxide.
Air Injection Filter
This is another type of oxidizing filter, but instead of using materials, it uses air. Because of this, we had to put it separately.
The process is simple: it creates an air pocket on the tank that produces the perfect environment to oxidize the iron. Again, the ferrous iron becomes ferric, which stays on a filter media. Then the backwashing process takes it off the tank.
This filter is cleaner and more efficient than those using chemicals for the oxidation.
Lastly, you’ll find water softeners. Using the ion-exchange process, this filter catches all the ferrous particles on the water and pierces them through the brine or salt. Here, the ferrous particles become ferric.
Then the water can get out of the system cleaner. Of course, as explained before, this process is less efficient and eventually leaves a lot to be desired.
Cost of Iron Filter For Well Water
Whether you want an affordable model or the best water filter for iron money can buy, you will have to spend at least $150 for the piece. A high-end iron filter can cost over $1,000.
Of course, it also depends on the type. Air injection control head models are the same price as water softeners, typically below $1,000. But an actual iron and manganese filter can get over $2,000 quickly. These are obviously more effective, but their price makes them hard to acquire.
What to Consider When Buying an Iron Water Filter
When considering purchasing an iron water filter for your well water, it is important to find the best filter for your needs. From maintenance costs to the ease of installation, there is a wide range of considerations that can be taken during the decision making process.
This buying guide will give you additional details on the types of filters you can install, features to look for, maintenance considerations, and more. By the time you finish reading the buying guide, you should have a good understanding of iron water filters for your well water.
Types Of Filter Media
A water softener will use salt as its filter media. As described above, when water is run through the water softener, the cations of magnesium, calcium, and iron are quite literally traded with the sodium ions. In this way, the elements that make your water hard are removed from the water.
Water softeners are very efficient at removing the elements that make your water hard but won’t remove anything else. So if you have hard water with no other concerns, then a water softener is the perfect solution.
The 3-stage water filters usually use a combination of a sediment filter, a KDF media filter, and a carbon block. The sediment filter will reduce or remove any physical particles from the water such as sand dirt, dust, silt, rust, and scale.
The KDF filter media is a very good media which is basically a catch-all at removing contaminants. Most KDF filters will remove up to 95% of the contaminant. It specifically removes heavy metals, radon, and chlorine.
The third stage is an activated carbon block. Some are made of coconut carbon and they are just as efficient as a normal carbon block would be. Carbon blocks will remove or reduce chlorine, benzene, radon, solvents, THM, and TCE.
One of the above filters uses a UV filter in conjunction with a water softener. The UV filter will remove living things from the water such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, including cryptosporidium and giardia. For more in-depth information on UV filters, check out this article.
Maintaining Your System
Maintaining your system is one of the biggest considerations that you will likely make when choosing your water filter, especially one that removes iron from well water. Unfortunately, the lifespan of the filter media is dependent on how hard or contaminated your water is and how much water you use.
A home with four people and very hard or contaminated water will go through salt or filter cartridges a lot faster than a couple who just wants to get rid of the iron in their water. Manufacturers will usually give a range for the lifespan of the filter cartridges so knowing approximately where you fall in that range is important.
A water softener will simply need salt added to it as needed. Most of the other filters will have cartridges that need to be replaced. You can usually by the cartridges either individually or as a set. Depending on the filter, some of the cartridges might age differently.
Maintaining your system is obviously an added cost, but one that will keep you and your appliances healthy. It is important to consider this cost when purchasing your iron filter so the maintenance does not fall to the wayside.
Whether it is the initial cost of the filter or the cost to maintain it, the price of purchasing and maintaining a system such as the ones above can be pretty steep.
While it is important to do a cost analysis or at least consider what the total cost of powering and maintaining an iron filter will be for a year or set timespan, it is also important to remember the savings it could have for your home.
Iron can significantly reduce the lifespan of washers, dishwashers, and water heaters. Having a heavy iron present in the water can also ruin your clothes and dishes or leave them with an odor.
In most cases, extending the life of clothes, appliances, and anything else the water comes in contact with can save more money and frustration than the cost of the unit and maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answered
What is the difference between a water softener and a filter?
A water softener will reduce or remove calcium, magnesium, and iron, but not much else. It is very effective for hard water but if your water is also contaminated, a filter might be a better choice.
How often will I have to maintain my iron water filter?
It depends on the company, the design of the filter, your water consumption, and how hard or contaminated your water is. Some filter cartridges might only last a few months while other could work for up to five years.
Can I install the filter myself or do I need to hire someone?
If you have a basic understanding of tools and are good with YouTube, you should be able to install all of these filters yourself. If home maintenance is not your thing, then hiring a handyman or plumber could save you a lot of frustration.
Is it safe to drink well water with iron?
Yes. Iron is an essential mineral that prevents anemia, fatigue, and some infections. But if you drink water with unhealthy amounts of iron, you may start to suffer adverse effects, as explained above. Generally, though, it is safe.
Will boiling water remove iron?
No. Boiling water is an excellent purification method against some pathogens and other living organisms and some types of organic materials. Sadly, heavy metals like iron are not removed with boiling.
How long does an iron filter last?
It depends on the quality of the product, but generally, they last 15 to 20 years. Whether an iron filtration system or water softener, this is the standard lifespan you may experience.
How do you remove heavy iron from well water?
In a standard iron filter, the process consists of oxidizing the iron until it gets trapped in the media. For water softeners, the process consists of separating the iron particles from the water using the resin.
Some reverse osmosis systems are also said to remove iron, but they’re not recommended as they will work deficiently.
How often should my iron filter regenerate?
Typically, iron filters generate every day at a specific time (when it’s not being used). But in high-flow environments like business or large households, the filters may go through multiple regeneration processes. This also depends on the amount of iron and other contaminants in the water. The more there are, the more times the filter will regenerate.
If you have well water bringing an iron filter into your home can have a huge impact on your lifestyle. It will reduce rust and scale in your tubs, toilets, and sinks, and extend the life of your major appliances such as your washer, water heater, and dishwasher.
The best pick is the Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment for its ease of installation and simple maintenance. It also very effectively removes or reduces not only iron but all major contaminants.
It is important to find the best iron filter for well water that best fits the needs of your house and your water. A filter like this can make your life so much easier and finding the right one might be the best purchase you make for your house.
You can use our buying guide and list of top iron water filters to narrow down your selection or even compare and contrast. The most important thing is that you find the perfect iron water filter for your home.
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