Best Whole House Water Filter for Well Water

Best Whole House Water Filter for Well Water
If you’re one of the over 43 million people in the US who gets their water from a private well, you’re responsible for the quality and safety of your water.

While it’s likely your water has some issues you need to treat, it is possible to enjoy clean, healthy water from every tap in your home with a whole house filtration system.

Whether you’re looking to get rid of an unpleasant smell, eliminate unhealthy contaminants, or protect your fixtures and appliances, the installation of the right filtration solution is a wise investment in your home and your health.

What is a Whole House Filter?

Whole house, or “point of entry”, filtration systems connect to your plumbing where the water supply enters your home. One system filters the water for everything from your water heater, to your laundry, to your sinks and showers.

In order to choose the best product for your home’s needs, it’s always a good idea to test your water before you invest in a solution.

How to test your water quality

Expert Water Analysis with Tier1 Rapid Water Lab Test Analysis

Your choice of solution should be guided by the verification of what exactly is lurking in your water. If you are dealing with multiple issues, you may need to install a series of solutions to effectively treat your water.

1. Turbidity and Particulates: Sediment Filtration


If your tap water is cloudy, or has particles that settle to the bottom of your glass, you may need to install a sediment pre-filter. Sediment filters trap suspended matter like sand, dirt, rust, loose scale, pipe corrosion, clay, and other organic materials.

Note: For untreated water (that is, not municipal water) you should use polypropylene filters. Do not use cellulose filters for well water as bacteria may treat them as a food source.

Pros:
  • Housings and filters are relatively inexpensive to purchase
  • Simple Installation
  • Simple filter changes
  • Little maintenance necessary

Cons:
  • Filters will need changing
  • May affect water flow depending on filter specifications and water pressure

Shop Sediment Cartridge Filters

Read more about Sediment Filtration

2. Iron and Manganese: Reduction Cartridge Filtration

If you are seeing yellow, red or brown staining on your fixtures you may have iron in your water. When caused by iron which is dissolved in the water, you need specialty filter cartridges to oxidize the iron in order to filter it out of your water. If you’ve tested your water and the iron is 3 parts per million (ppm) or below, you can use an iron cartridge whole house system.

Shop Iron and Manganese Cartridge System

Pros:
  • Housings and filters are relatively inexpensive to purchase
  • Simple Installation
  • Simple filter changes
  • Little maintenance necessary

Cons:
  • Specialty filters may be expensive
  • Filters will need changing
  • May affect water flow depending on filter specifications and water pressure


3. Hard Water: Everyday Series Softener

A softener reduces hardness minerals that cause scale buildup and damage plumbing and appliances. Softened water makes dishes cleaner, laundry brighter, and hair smoother.

The best-selling Tier1© Everyday Series Softener is a traditional downflow, salt-based system, featuring demand-initiated regeneration and an electronic control valve with manual bypass. Softener comes pre-filled with WQA (Water Quality Association) certified cation exchange resin, and includes an insulating black zippered neoprene tank cover to prevent condensation.

The digital meter control valve monitors water usage, and displays gallons remaining until regeneration. The factory presets work for most users, but you can change the time of regeneration or other critical system functions to meet your needs.The manual bypass allows you to divert water flow around the system during maintenance.

System includes ¾” water line connections and mechanical components necessary for standard installation to pre-installed water softener connections.

The Everyday Series softener has both installation and programming videos available online. As with all Tier1® products, US-based technical support is available by phone, chat, and email during regular business hours.

This system is offered in 3 sizes:
32,000 grain (1-2 bathrooms)
48,000 grain (3-4 bathrooms)
64,000 grain (5+ bathrooms)

Pros:
  • Reliable, precise, and easy to operate.
  • Demand-initiated regeneration saves on salt and water usage.
  • Requires minimal floor space.

Cons:
  • Water service to home is disrupted during regeneration. Regeneration time default is set at 2 a.m. to minimize disruptions.
  • Requires access to electricity and drain for wastewater.
  • Some areas do not allow use of traditional salt-based softeners.
  • Requires regular replenishment of salt for brine tank.


4. Hard Water: Advanced Series Softener

The Advanced Series Softener is a step up from the Everyday Series, featuring an automatic bypass which softens your water without any disruption to the water flow during regeneration. (The water available during regeneration will be unsoftened.)

This traditional downflow, salt-based softener also comes with a NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified control valve, NSF certified fiberglass mineral tank, WQA certified cation exchange resin, insulating black zippered neoprene tank cover, and a 3-year warranty. Metered water usage allows for demand-initiated regeneration.

The electronic control valve features a backlit LCD display. Display shows time of day, remaining gallons, and remaining days. Easy programming has intuitive setup with 48 hour backup assurance. Installation manual is also available online.

System includes both ¾” and 1” water line connections and mechanical components necessary for standard installation to pre-installed water softener connections.

This system is available in a 48,000 grain softener.

Pros
  • Demand-initiated regeneration saves on salt and water.
  • Automatic bypass allows water to flow to home during regeneration.
  • NSF certified control valve and mineral tank.
  • WQA Gold Seal Approved cation exchange resin.

Cons
  • Requires access to electricity and drain for wastewater.
  • Some areas do not allow use of traditional salt-based softeners.
  • Requires regular replenishment of salt for brine tank.


5. Hardness, Iron, Manganese: Elite Series Softener

Many homeowners with private well water discover that they need to treat not only hardness, but iron and manganese. The Elite Series Softener with Iron and Manganese Reduction provides all of the benefits of the Advanced Series to softener your water, but also reduces two of the most common well water contaminants, Iron and Manganese. 5-year warranty.

The mineral tank premium media blend filters up to 4 ppm of iron and 2 ppm of magnesium. This system also Includes ResCare feeder and 1 gallon bottle of ResCare to continually clean iron from your media.

Certified to NSF/ANSI 44 for hardness reduction and to NSF/ANSI 42 for Iron reduction.

System includes both ¾” and 1” water line connections and mechanical components necessary for standard installation to pre-installed water softener connections. Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in two sizes.
30,000 grains (1-2 bathrooms)
45,000 grain (3+ bathrooms)

Pros
  • Demand-initiated regeneration saves on salt and water.
  • Automatic bypass allows water to flow to home during regeneration.
  • NSF certified control valve and mineral tank.
  • Mineral tank pre-filled with cation exchange resin NSF certified for hardness and iron reduction

Cons
  • Requires access to electricity and drain for wastewater.
  • Some areas do not allow use of traditional salt-based softeners.
  • Requires regular replenishment of salt for brine tank.
  • Requires regular replenishment of ResCare for Recare Feeder to clean resin of iron


6. Iron, Manganese, Hydrogen Sulfide: AIO System

If your water test reveals you have iron above 4 ppm, manganese above 2 ppm, or you’re dealing with the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide, the Iron, Manganese, and Hydrogen Sulfide Air Induction Oxidation System is the best choice for you.

This system combines aeration with catalytic carbon technology to effectively reduce sulfur from water, and oxidizes iron for safe removal and filtration without the need of additional chemicals.

This system uses compressed air to add oxygen to incoming water and a carbon media bed to both add a physical barrier as well as a filtering layer to trap iron. When the air is used up, the regeneration cycle begins. During this phase, oxidized iron is carried out of the system by water flowing up through the media bed and out to the drain. Air is then recaptured and the process resumes.

System includes both ¾” and 1” water line connections and mechanical components necessary for standard installation. Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in one size.
Iron, Manganese and Hydrogen Sulfide Reduction System

Pros
  • Mineral tank comes pre-filled with catalytic carbon
  • Reduces Iron, Manganese, and Hydrogen Sulfide
  • Electronic control valve with back lit LCD display is easily programmable.

Cons
  • Requires access to electricity and drain for wastewater.
  • Requires annual maintenance and cleaning to ensure proper functioning


7. Hardness + Nitrates/Nitrites, Sulfates, Arsenic, Lead, Herbicides, Pesticides, VOCs: Softener with RO System


When you need to provide additional filtration for your drinking water, consider adding an undersink Reverse Osmosis (RO) system to your whole house treatment plan.

The Everyday Series Softener with RO System combines a traditional salt-softener with an under sink 5-stage RO system, including four glass water bottles for water on the go.

The 5-stage RO system can deliver up to 50 gallons of filtered water per day.

The system starts with sediment and carbon filters to reduce large particles and contaminants, then runs water through the RO membrane which separates and rejects more threatening contaminants like barium, cadmium, chromium (III and VI), copper, fluoride, lead, mercury, nitrates, nitrites, radium, selenium, and total dissolved solids (TDS), sending them down the wastewater drain. After this process, water is stored in the RO tank and fed through a carbon “polishing” filter one last time to remove taste and odors before finally reaching your glass

RO system includes the undersink system with filters, 4 glass water bottles, dedicated faucet, and everything needed to install. Installation manuals and videos are also available online.

Everyday Softener with RO system

Pros
  • Addition of undersink RO to home filtration system ensures drinking water is free of contaminants unable to be treated at the water source without compromising water flow.
  • RO system treats contaminants which originate in home plumbing, such as lead or corrosion.

Cons
  • RO system requires regular changing of filters and RO membrane.
  • RO system creates and drains wastewater.
  • Requires installation of dedicated faucet.


8. Heavy Metals, Herbicides, Pesticides, VOCs - Carbon and KDF System

If you have heavy metals like lead and mercury, or herbicides, pesticides, or volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) you could install a whole house carbon and KDF filtration system.

While the Eco Series Chlorine Reduction System is named for its chlorine reduction capacity, the prefilled mineral tank includes granular activated carbon mixed with KDF to reduce heavy metals and organic chemicals.

The simple upflow design means minimal maintenance, no electricity required and no electric valve, no backwashing or wastewater.

Eco Series Chlorine Reduction System comes complete with prefilled media tank, insulating black zippered neoprene tank cover, sediment filter with housing and bracket and both ¾” and 1” line connections. Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in two sizes:
1-3 baths
4-6 baths

Pros
  • Mineral tank pre-filled with NSF tested and certified carbon and KDF
  • Simple upflow design, no electricity or salt required.
  • Easy installation and maintenance - no valve programming or wastewater.
  • Install it and forget about it until it’s time to change the pre-filter.

Cons
  • Pre-filter will need replacement, typically every 6 months


9. Acidic (low pH) water: pH Neutralizing System

If you have corroded pipes, you may need to treat acidic water. You can raise your water’s pH level with a pH Neutralizing System. Proper pH levels reduce corrosives, which protects fixtures, pipes and appliances by reducing the potential of copper, lead and other metals leaching into drinking water.

Tier1 pH neutralizing systems utilize a mixture of calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide, two neutralizing agents that will raise the pH level of your water while not producing a solution that becomes predominantly basic.

System includes both ¾” and 1” water line connections and mechanical components necessary for standard installation. Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in two sizes:
1-3 bathrooms
4-6 bathrooms

Pros
  • Tank pre-filled with NSF certified media.
  • NSF certified valve and system.
  • Electronic control valve with back lit LCD display is easily programmable.
  • Provides up to 5 years of service.

Cons
  • Requires access to electricity and drain for wastewater.
  • Media is sacrificial - will need to be replaced after it is used up.


10. Bacteria or Viruses: UV Disinfection

If you are dealing with bacteria or viruses, you will want to treat your whole home with the Viqua Whole House Disinfection System.

Highly recommended for well water, ultraviolet (UV) light deactivates waterborne pathogens and bacteria, disinfecting your water. UV light treats contaminants such as bacteria, cryptosporidium, cysts, E. coli, giardia and viruses.

Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in two sizes:
1-3 bathrooms
4-6 bathrooms

Pros
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Install it and forget about it until it’s time to change the pre-filter or UV lamp.
Cons
  • UV system needs electrical connection and yearly lamp replacement.
  • Cost of system and replacement parts


11. Hard Water + Heavy Metals + Bacteria: Water Softener Alternative with Carbon/KDF and UV Disinfection

The Eco Series Water Softener Alternative plus Carbon and KDF and UV Disinfection System partners the carbon and KDF media blend tank, with a salt-free water softener alternative and a UV disinfection system to create a whole house solution to treat the entire spectrum of contaminants.

This system treats contaminants including heavy metals, sediments, herbicides, pesticides, inhibits the build up of scale, and disinfects waterborne bacteria and viruses.

Note: Usage of the salt-free conditioning system on private well water must meet the following requirements: A pre-treatment system for Iron, Manganese, Copper, and Sulfur must be installed prior to the salt-free conditioner unless a professional water analysis shows that the raw well water meets the following chemistry requirements: Iron less than 0.3 mg/L, Manganese less than 0.05 mg/L, copper less than 1.3 mg/L.

Highly recommended for well water, ultraviolet (UV) light deactivates waterborne pathogens and bacteria, disinfecting your water. UV light treats contaminants such as bacteria, cryptosporidium, cysts, E. coli, giardia and viruses.

Installation manual is also available online.

This system is available in two sizes:

1-3 bathrooms
4-6 bathrooms

Pros
  • Mineral tanks pre-filled with NSF tested and certified scale inhibiting media and NSF tested and certified carbon and KDF.
  • Simple upflow design, no electricity or salt required for carbon tank or softener alternative.
  • Easy installation and maintenance - no valve programming, brine tank, or wastewater.
  • Install it and forget about it until it’s time to change the pre-filter or UV lamp.
  • Does not release extra sodium into your water supply.

Cons
  • May not be as effective as traditional salt-based softener on very hard water.
  • Pre-filter will need replacement, typically every 6 months.
  • UV system needs electrical connection and yearly lamp replacement.
  • Well water usage may require additional pre-treatment for iron, manganese, copper.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much should a whole house water filtration system cost?

A water filtration system is an investment in both your home’s value and your health. You can expect to spend at least $600 on up for a whole home treatment system.


Do you need a professional to install a water filtration system?

Tier1® water softeners are designed for easy installation, complete with detailed product manuals available online before purchase. Some models also offer online videos with installation and programming instructions.

You can review the product installation and user manual for every Tier1® softener on its website product page under the “Instructions” tab.

For example, Tier1’s most popular softener, the 48,000 grain Everyday Softener, includes not only the installation and user manual, but also easy to follow videos for both installation and programming, so you can see for yourself what’s needed to complete an installation before you buy.

But of course if you’re most comfortable with a professional, you can hand off the installation guides to them, and hold onto your manual for your own future reference.

Either way, our Tier1® customer support team is available to chat and happy to help you ensure the success of your installation.


Where should a whole house water filter be installed?

Whole house, or “point of entry”, filtration systems are connected to your plumbing at the point where water enters your home. This often means installing the system in your basement, but depending on the layout of your home, you may need to have the system installed in a garage or outside. Note: Outside installation must meet system operating condition requirements including protection from the elements as noted in installation and user guide.

How long does a whole house water filter last?

A whole house water filtration system is an investment that should last years with proper maintenance. Each system discussed above lists suggested filter/system life in product specifications, dependent upon water conditions and usage.

Whole House Filtration Gives You Great Water at Every Tap

It’s possible to get clean, great-tasting water at every tap in your home. We’d recommend that you test your water before you invest in a solution.

Expert Water Analysis with Tier1 Rapid Water Lab Test Analysis

Whether you’re just starting to investigate, or you already think you know what you need, the Technical Support Team at Tier1water.com is available to help you figure out a personalized recommendation for your home.