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Pelican PC1000

Pelican PC1000 is our top choice for many reasons but mainly due to its durability. The strong metallic housing is more resistant …

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Aquasana 1.000.000 Gallons

The increased performance in improving the water quality makes this Aquasana filter a reliable choice. It can handle up to 1,000,000 gallons.

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CRYSTAL-QUEST-Whole-House-Water-Filters
Crystal Quest

Crystal Quest is the manufacturer of a wide range of water filters that remove up to 99% of the impurities lurking in the tap water.

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Top 3 Whole House Water
Filter Comparison

what's behind our
ratings

Filtering Technology

The type of technology used by a certain whole house filter says much about its performance. The finest units use several cartridges and incorporate innovative technologies that work together to make the water safer for drinking. The more cartridges included and the more advanced the technology used, the wider the range of pollutants eliminated from the water.

Contaminants Removal

Without a doubt, the amounts of contaminants a water filter can remove is essential when deciding on its efficiency and reliability. A good filter can handle bacteria and heavy metals with the same ease it handles large sediments and it can also remove the unpleasant chlorine odor that makes water hard to drink.

Flow Rate

The flow rate represents how much water runs at your tap in a certain amount of time and is measured in gallons per minute. Although some people are worried about the fact the water runs through a series of filters, you must know that the flow rate should not be altered by the water filter. A reliable unit maintains a high water flow regardless the filtering process.

Filter Capacity

It’s also useful to analyze how many gallons of water the filter can handle before requiring a cartridge replacement. Some filters have a capacity of 300,000 while others can reach an outstanding 1,000,000 gallons, meaning that the cartridge will not have to be replaced in as much as 10 years.

Accessories

Some whole house filtering systems include a UV light that can kill dangerous viruses in the water while others are paired with a water softener that can solve the hard water issue. These additional features extend the utility and convenience of the whole house filter and make it an even wiser improvement.

Ease of Installation

Given the fact that a whole house system is installed on the main water pipe, it’s important to find the model that doesn’t require too much plumbing. A unit that is easy to install will be ready to use faster and will eliminate the need to pay for a plumber.

The Filtering Systems Evaluation

1. Pelican PC1000 System

A high-capacity system that you can easily install on your own if you have the right skill set, the PC1000 is desirable for a wide array of reasons. It is virtually maintenance-free, which adds to its value as you won’t need to make expensive replacements or waste personal time on tedious tasks too often, but rather only once every 6 to 9 months. When it comes to the removal of chlorine, a common and harmful water pollutant, this is the system that best handles it. Of course, as it takes care of purifying the water before it reaches the taps and all water dispensing sources, it helps improve your health as you will hydrate properly, it will boost the taste of your meals as the water you use when cooking will actually be clean, and it will provide you with contaminant-free water to bathe/shower with, thus helping improve skin and hair health.

Filtration Technology

To provide these exceptional results, it passes the water which runs through your pipes through 4 different filtration stages before releasing it. During each of the 4 stages, certain issues of contaminants are handled for optimum results to be guaranteed.

  • Stage 1: During the first filtration stage, a 5-micron pre-filter system is employed. This system helps reduce sediment, debris, silt, and sand found in the supplied water down to 5 microns in size. To protect plumbing and the water-using appliances from excess sediment and to ensure a proper efficiency of the system as a whole, you should replace the filter once every 9 months at tops.
  • Stage 2: In the second stage, a catalytic granular activated carbon media is used. The role it plays is quite a crucial one as it tends to the removal of chlorine, pharmaceuticals, chloramines, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and hundreds of other health-threatening impurities.
  • Stage 3: Just like in the second stage, during the third filtration stage another catalytic granular activated carbon media is used to further remove any contaminants that have escaped the first GAC media.
  • Stage 4: In the last stage, a copper and zinc oxidation media also known as KDF-55 is utilized. It has the purpose to prevent and reduce the growth of algae and bacteria, thus ensuring a sanitary environment and a complete lack of health-damaging microorganisms in the water you use and consume.
Filtration Capacity

As aforementioned, the water pollutant against which the system fights the most is chlorine as it is ever-present in all American household, unfortunately. This contaminant is all the more dreadful as it alters the taste and smell of the water, thus making you less inclined to consume it and maintain a proper hydration. Of course, this isn’t where the list ends as there are other health-threatening contaminants the system helps remove or reduce. Some of the most important contaminants it fights against include chloramines, particulate matter, MTBEs, atrazine, xylene, VOCs, PAHs, THMs, heavy metals, sediment, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, and hundreds of other harmful contaminants and chemicals.

Mention Worthy Details
  • High filtration capacity of up to 1 million gallons of water.
  • Up flow design eliminates channeling, thus constant backwashing not being necessary.
  • High efficiency granted by the fact that it doesn’t waste water, and it doesn’t require electricity to run.
  • Comes with the necessary fittings and accessories, and ready-to-install so that you won’t have to pay a pro to do the procedure for you.
  • Peak flow rate of 15-16 gallons per minute makes it perfect for large households.
Warranty

As Pelican is a serious and respected company, the warranty provided for this system comes as no surprise. First off, you are offered a 90-day satisfaction guarantee so that if you are displeased with the system’s operation for any reason at all, you can return it and receive a full refund during this time span. Secondly, there is a 5-year performance guarantee provided by the company, thus showing that it fully trusts the system, not doubting that it might underperform. Lastly, a lifetime warranty it offered on the tanks and parts, which makes this product unbeatable in the warranty department.

PROS

CONS

Unmatchable efficiency rate – destroys up to 99.9% of contaminants in your potable water No downsides to this product
Removes chloramine from the water, a contaminant that not all systems are capable of handling  
Eco-friendly design ensured by the fact that it does not utilize electricity to run  
Prevents algae and bacteria growth in the water you use and consume with its bacteriostatic copper-zinc reduction oxidation media  
Low-maintenance design – requires major maintenance work done on it only once every 5 years  

VERDICT

Due to the system’s superior capability of reducing and even eliminating harmful water pollutants and contaminants, the PC1000 is widely regarded by many, including us, as being the best option in its niche. Not only does it boast a great proficiency, but it does not require much in the way of maintenance work, and it is actually one of the most budget-friendly options to go for.

2. Aquasana Rhino System

Another revolutionary system we had to include in our ranking is this Aquasana product. Manufactured by one of the biggest and most trustworthy water filter companies, it comes as no surprise that it exceeds expectations in terms of contaminant removal rate and lifespan. If you want clarification regarding our praise of its performance, know that it has a filtration capacity of up to 1 million gallons. This means that, depending on your water consumption rates and the size of your household, important replacements must be done only once every 10 years.

Filtration Technology

The system passes the water that runs through the pipes through 4 separate filtration stages, during which most contaminants, regardless of their nature, are eliminated. Some of the important impurities it helps remove include herbicides, pesticides, lead, VOCs, and mercury, and it has a 97% efficiency when it comes to chlorine content reduction. Furthermore, due to the presence of the UV SteriLight filtration technology, it kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria, as well as chlorine resistant cysts which are normally harder to get rid of. It features a 20-inch pre-filter and post-filter that tend to the removal of sediments, rust, and other small impurities. When it comes to its main filtration means, these include a copper-zinc and mineral media that reduces water-soluble heavy metals while inhibiting the growth of algae and bacteria, and an activated carbon media that reduces chemical compounds which cause a poor taste and smell of the water.

Filtration Capacity

A filter’s lifespan is best indicated by the capacity it provides, and the 1000000-gallon capacity of this Aquasana system ensures approximately 10 years of water purification up your alley if you install it. as its contaminant removal efficiency is approximately 97%, you are sure to wash with, cook with, and drink clean water, thus staying healthy as you won’t be ingesting impurities anymore.

Mention Worthy Details
  • Maximum operating pressure is 100 PSI, more than what most other systems offer.
  • Operating water temperature ranges from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Utilizes kinetic degradation fluxion as its main filtration method.
  • Provides a sufficient water flow rate of 7 gallons per minute.
  • Allows you the possibility of adding a salt-free water softener if you have hard water issues.
Warranty

Any product can become faulty at one point, so it’s important for you to take into consideration the lengthy of the accompanying warranty as well. The Aquasana system is backed with a 10-year warranty for defects and workmanship, which is more than enough considering the low chances for it to actually have something happen to it. Another mention worthy perk is the fact that the manufacturing company offers a 90-day money back guarantee, thus enabling you to return it during this time span and receive a full refund in case you are not pleased with its performance for any reason.

PROS

CONS

Unmatchable efficiency rate – destroys up to 99.9% of contaminants in your potable water No downsides to this product
Removes chloramine from the water, a contaminant that not all systems are capable of handling  
Eco-friendly design ensured by the fact that it does not utilize electricity to run  
Prevents algae and bacteria growth in the water you use and consume with its bacteriostatic copper-zinc reduction oxidation media  
Low-maintenance design – requires major maintenance work done on it only once every 5 years  

VERDICT

Due to the system’s superior capability of reducing and even eliminating harmful water pollutants and contaminants, the PC1000 is widely regarded by many, including us, as being the best option in its niche. Not only does it boast a great proficiency, but it does not require much in the way of maintenance work, and it is actually one of the most budget-friendly options to go for.

3. Crystal Quest System

Available in two capacities and delivering an unparalleled performance provided by the 14 purification stages it passes the water through, the Crystal Quest is a system no modern household can go without. The installation process is as simple as they get, and it doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance work. It boasts a high efficiency rate of up to 99.99%, the fact that it can tackle contaminants as small as 0.2 microns contributing to this quality performance. Additionally, it is designed with the greater good of the environment and your wallet in mind as it discourages water waste.

Filtration Technology

As it passes the water through a total of 14 purification stages in order to remove any contaminants that are decaying its quality and threatening your health, you can confidently acquire and install it. The media it utilizes during these purification stages are what set it apart from competitors. It might not feature UV technology that would have increased its efficiency in fighting germs and bacteria, but its overall design ensures a high performance that is hard to beat.
Filtration media it utilizes:

  • Sediment filter – for the removal of silt, sand, and sediments;
  • Ion exchange resin – for the removal of heavy metals and water hardness reduction;
  • Activated carbon media – for the removal of odors and organic chemicals;
  • Calcium carbonate media – for restoring healthy minerals into the water and alkalization;
  • Gravel bed – for improved taste and help with the backwash process;
  • Two magnets – for increased absorption;
  • Solid carbon media – for the removal of volatile organic compounds, industrial solvents, pesticides, and insecticides;
  • 0.2-micron ultrafiltration membrane – for the removal of fine sediments and remaining contaminants.
Filtration Capacity

There are two models that you can pick between when it comes to this system, these two products differing when it comes to the capacity they boast. The smaller-sized model boasts a 750000-gallon capacity and provides 5 to 7 years of smooth operation, while the larger-sized ones delivers a 1000000-gallon capacity and can provide up to 10 years of top notch performance. Obviously, this difference in capacity results in a difference in pricing between the two, the smaller system being more accessible budget-wise than its larger counterpart.

Mention Worthy Details
  • You can add a salt-free softening system to it if you have hard water related issues.
  • Ensures water waste won’t occur to keep operational costs at a minimum.
  • Operating temperature range from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Can handle a top operating water pressure of 90 PSI.
  • Compact size – the 750000-gallon model measures 10 inches by 54 inches, while the 1000000-gallon model measures 12 inches by 52 inches.
Warranty

As it is produced by one of the leading brands on the market for water purification systems, more precisely Crystal Quest, it comes as no surprise that this system is backed by a hearty 7-year warranty on parts and labor. During this period of time, as long as a proper installation has been performed and it has not been subjected to abuse, the product will be repaired or replaced free of charge. Whatever operating issues you encounter down the road you can take up with customer support, a perk that really comes in handy for those who are using a water purification system for the first time.

PROS

CONS

High water flow rate makes it perfect for large-sized households Does not eliminate chloramine from the water
Passes the water through 14 different filtration stages to ensure it is free of harmful contaminants  
Ultrafiltration membrane eliminates impurities as small as 0.2 microns  
Granular activated carbon media tends to removing unpleasant taste and odor  
Long lifespan – 5 to 7 years for the 750 thousand model and 7 to 10 years for the 1 million gallon version  

VERDICT

Reasonably priced and hands-down one of the best products in its niche due to the 14-stage filtration it offers, the Eagle system from Crystal Quest is one of our top recommendations for people who truly care about water quality. Obviously, there are many strongpoints to this product as you have already figured out yourself after reading this review, so there are basically only upsides to purchasing it.

4. iSpring WGB32B

Filtering the water straight from the source, it ensures that every output in your home will supply clean, impurity-free water to consume, use for cooking purposes, and bathe with. It’s one of the more reasonably priced entries on the market, which means that there are higher chances for you to afford it without making financial sacrifices. Tested to meet NSF/ANSI standards and reliable in the long run, it’s an acquisition we strongly recommend to people who live in areas where the municipal water supply is dangerously contaminated.

Filtration Technology

As it employs an effective 3-stage filtration process to tackle the impurities encountered in the water that runs through the pipes, you can breathe easy knowing that you finally get to hydrate with clean, safe water. The efficiency it delivers in terms of removing chlorine, chloramines, sediment, chemicals, and other contaminants reaches 98%, as tests performed by third parties have shown.

Filtration stages:

  • Stage 1 – Holds a high-capacity 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter that removes dirt and other large sized impurities that could potentially clog the other filters used in the purification process;
  • Stage 2 – Uses a 5-micron CTO coconut shell carbon block filter that has a high density which makes it more effective in removing contaminants like VOCs, chlorine, industrial chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, and more, as well as knocking out bad odors and tastes;
  • Stage 3 – Just like the previous stage, in the final filtration stage a 5-micron CTO coconut shell carbon block filter is utilized.
Filtration Capacity

As opposed to the models we previously reviewed, the iSpring system doesn’t deliver as generous of a filtration capacity. The two media it uses during the second and third filtration stages have a short 100,000-gallon capacity, which implies that you will have to replace them once per year – this estimate is based on the average water consumption of a household where 4 people live. Replacement costs might not be high, but there’s still the inconvenience of having to do maintenance work more often than you’d like.

Mention Worthy Details
  • Water flow of up to 15 gallons per minute granted by the 1-inch inlet/outlet ports it features.
  • Does not reduce total dissolved solids, meaning that it preserves healthy minerals in the water for you to benefit from them through hydration.
  • Suitable for city or municipal treated waters that contain high levels of chlorine.
  • Feed water pressure ranges from 40 to 80 PSI, while the feed water temperature spans from 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • System measures 27 inches in height, 21 inches in width, and 8 inches in depth.
Warranty

Just like all other iSpring manufactured products, it is accompanied by a 30-day money back policy which states that, if you are displeased with the system for any reason during this time span, you will receive a full refund in case you return it. Of course, the policy remains valid as long as you haven’t damaged the product. When it comes to warranty, it is backed for parts and labor during the first year after you make the purchase, so you won’t have to pay for repairs or replacements as long as the agreement is available.

PROS

CONS

Utilizes a 3-stage filtration process to tackle removing any impurities which reside in the water Not the easiest installation you will make
3 options to choose between when it comes to the contaminants it focuses on removing – fine sediment and carbon, iron and manganese, or lead and iron  
Removes up to 98% of impurities – heavy metals, chemicals, chlorine, chloramines, and so on  
5-micron polypropylene media removes dirt and other large-sized particles for the other filtration media to not clog  
Quite reasonably priced as opposed to other similar systems  

VERDICT

One of the more reasonably priced selections to go for, this iSpring system uses a 3-stage filtration process to deplete the water you use and consume of any and all impurities. It might not be as easy to install as you would have hoped, but this is not a flaw which affects its quality in any shape or form.

Home Master HMF2SMGCC Picture

5. Home Master HMF2SMGCC

One of the more affordable selections you can go for, this Home Master system is sure to cleanse the water you use and consume as it delivers an efficient filtration which has made it a household name in the U.S. What makes it so efficient in its operation are the oversized filters that ensure a good flow rate of 10 GPM, thus being perfect even for large households. Best of all, the large size of the filtration media it is composed of ensures a reduced maintenance frequency as well. Among the most important impurities and contaminants it aids eliminate are chlorine, chloramines, sediments, and so on. Furthermore, it helps improve the smell and taste of the liquid. The system uses a 2-stage filtration process to deliver these great results, during the first stage employing a multi-gradie4nt depth polypropylene sediment media that features 4 layers – a 25-micron outer layer, a 10-micron inner layer, a 5-micron inner layer, and a 1-micron inner core layer.

In the second purification stage, it employs a catalytic carbon media with KDF85, this being the part of the process where taste and odor receive the biggest improvement. Maintenance work is needed only once every 6 to 12 months with this system, so costs aren’t all that high when it comes to upkeep. We must mention the fact that the coconut shell carbon media it features is able to purify up to 95000 gallons of water before it needs replacement, which is good news for those who have large households. It measures 28 inches in height, 18 inches in width, and 9 inches in depth, and as it features 16-inch studs, you will be able to easily mount it when installing the system so that it doesn’t get in your way over time. When it comes to the security you feel as a result of installing it, know that the system is covered by a 2-year warranty, which means that you won’t have to pay for repairs during this quite lengthy period of time.

PROS

CONS

Coconut shell carbon media is able to purify up to 95000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced Not as efficient as more expensive systems when it comes to eliminating the impurities which lurk in the water – efficiency rate of 95%
Massive 1-inch port in the housing allows a strong water pressure of up to 10 gallons per minute  
Maintenance frequency is reduced due to the large size of the filtration media – replacement is needed only once every 6 to 12 months  
Manufacturing company covers the system with a lengthy 2-year warranty  
One of the more affordable selections you could go for  

VERDICT

In case you are on a rather limited budget, this is your best solution for purifying the water that runs through the pipes and you end up using and consuming. It is easy to install, it has a great filtration capacity even though it isn’t the most impressive system you will stumble upon, it improves the taste and odor of the water you consume, and it requires little in the way of maintenance.

Common Waterborne Contaminants Health Effects

By definition, the term contaminant refers to any radiological, biological, chemical, and physical substance or matter found in water. This broad definition basically includes all particles except for water molecules. While it is reasonable for small amounts of some contaminants to be present in drinking water, some particles present a direct health threat when present at certain levels in drinking water.

While a complete list of waterborne contaminants would be absurdly long to list, we have rounded up the most common water contaminants found in public as well as private drinking water supplies across the U.S. and Canada, highlighting their health effects so that you may better understand the importance of an appropriate filtration treatment for their removal.

  • Arsenic: Maximum acceptable level is 0.010 mg/L, higher levels being toxic for the nervous system and causing skin irritations.
  • Chlorine: Maximum acceptable level is 4 mg/L, higher levels causing the appearance of cancer.
  • E. coli: A bacteria that is woefully present in worryingly numerous water sources worldwide, it should not exist in drinking water at all as it causes severe gastrointestinal disorders.
  • Fluoride: Acceptable in levels up to 4 mg/L, fluoride is beneficial to the health of our teeth when there are normal levels of it in drinking water. However, high levels lead to skeletal and dental fluorosis.
  • Iron: Acceptable in levels up to 0.3 mg/L, it can cause the staining of plumbing, laundry, and appliances.
  • Lead: Acceptable up to 0.015 mg/L, lead leads to a series of health issues which include nervous system disorders, organ damage or failure, kidney damage, and high blood pressure.
  • Mercury: Maximum acceptable level is 0.002 mg/L, and it causes kidney damage and nervous system disorders.
  • Sulfate: Acceptable up to 500 mg/L, this contaminant has a laxative effect, causing gastrointestinal irritation, being especially dangerous for infants.
  • VOCs: More than 700 synthetic organic compounds exist in various drinking water supplies across the U.S., and their presence in drinking water produces various health complications, the most serious of them all being cancer.
  • Total dissolved solids: Acceptable in levels up to 500 mg/L, they cause gastrointestinal irritation in predisposed individuals.
  • Asbestos: Acceptable in levels up to 7 million fibers per liter, it causes the appearance of cancer.
  • Cadmium: Maximum acceptable level is 0.005 mg/L, and it causes kidney disorders.
  • Chromium-6: Acceptable in levels up to 0.1 mg/L, it leads to liver disorders, circulatory disorders, and kidney disorders.
  • Chlordane: Maximum acceptable level is 0.002 mg/L, presence in a higher dosage leading to the appearance of cancer.
  • Nitrite/Nitrate: Acceptable in levels up to 10 mg/L, if found in higher levels leading to Methemoglobulinemia in babies.
  • Toxaphene: A pesticide that is highly toxic to humans, levels higher than 0.03 mg/L predispose you to the appearance of cancer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How effective are these systems in terms of contaminant removal?

All systems do a more than an astounding job when it comes to contaminant removal, especially for chlorine contamination. However, there are major differences between the capabilities they boast as these products use different filtration media and have unique features, thus some systems being more prolific than others. High-end systems generally remove the following water contaminants – chlorine, chloramine, VOC’s, pesticides, herbicides, lead, and mercury.

2. What maintenance work is required to preserve performance quality?

As the system utilizes filtration media to remove the unwanted contaminants present in potable water, the main maintenance task which must be regularly performed is to replace the media. Pre-filters and filter cartridges have different necessities in terms of replacement, so you should check the user manual to see what is the lifespan of each and all filters used by the system you own. Pre-filters generally require being replaced 1-2 times per year, while filter cartridges, depending on their capacity, requires less maintenance work. For example, a filter cartridge with a 1-million gallon capacity could require replacement once every 5 or 10 years.

3. What is the role fulfilled by UV filtration technology?

The UV technology takes water purification to a whole new level as it endorses the destruction of microorganisms, more precisely up to 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and germs. Chemical-free and cost-effective, it is an appealing feature of water cleaning systems as it greatly heightens contaminant removal efficiency, leaving behind clean and safe water for consumption and use.

4. Does the number of filtration stages used by the system affect its performance?

The number of filtration stages used indicates how many separate filtration processes the water will be passed through, so it can be considered an influential spec in terms of performance quality. However, the types of media utilized by the product have a greater effect than the number of media it features as certain filter cartridges are more effective in contaminant removal than others or they cover a wider range of impurities. Thus, it is best to look at both aspects when deciding what is the right system to go for.

5. Does the water cleaning system impact flow rate and water pressure in any manner?

Yes, the system does affect flow rate and water pressure, so special caution is due when purchasing and installing it. The whole house system produces a sort of choke point when its filtration media gets clogged or if it is picked wrongfully to start with. Before you settle for a specific product, calculate the water demand of your home to know what is the system type you need. If you cannot do the calculation on your own, call in a professional plumber to make sure you get the right stats.