Choosing An Affordable Whole House Water Filter


Recently I purchased a whole house water filter for my house. The product itself was only $200-300, and can be easily installed by a homeowner knowledgeable about plumbing.

Know what your goals are

First, you need to know what your goals are. For me, it was to remove chlorine and its byproducts. Many people are under the misconception that tap water is perfectly safe to shower and bathe in, when in reality there are tradeoffs that city water departments make with regard to your health. If you want to learn more I've written an introductory article about the potential dangers of chlorine and its byproducts.

There are three major types of filters:

  1. Countertop / point of use filters – These include pitcher or refrigerator filters, as well as point-of-use reverse osmosis.
  2. Whole house carbon – This includes compact filters, the type I chose.
  3. Whole house reverse osmosis – This filters the most but is also significanclt more expensive to purchase and use.

This was a frustrating process. Some plumbers attempted to sell me a Pelican filter off amazon with an upcharge. Others wanted to charge me $4000 for a "custom" carbon filter. Knowing what I wanted, a simple whole house chlorine filter, helped me navigate this process and avoid being overcharged.

If you're on city water you probably don't need anything complicated. Check your local water department to see what issues might affect you. A simple carbon or activated carbon filter will do, with a countertop reverse-osmosis unit if you want that option in your kitchen.

However, If you're on well water you will need to get the water tested and get a custom solution depending on what's found in it.

What I picked

I ended up picking a simple compact whole house water filter with two stages, one for sediment and one for carbon filtration. Sediment is usually low on city water but having this step in the process extends the life of the carbon filter which is doing the chlorine filtration.

Think of it as an oversized refrigerator filter for your house. It's the same concept, they have to be replaced once a year to continue their effectiveness. A package deal is available with everything you need for $293 at the time of writing.

  • Filter housing – Two Pentek #20 Big Blue filter housings. 23.5 x 7.25. 1" in/out port size.
  • Sediment filter – 5 Micron String Wound Sediment. Work on the water line on the street, other things can cause sediment into the house. Probably not needed for city water but may extend life of carbon filter.
  • Carbon filter – MatriKX CTO carbon filter. Rated for 34,000 gallons of chlorine reduction at 7 gallons per minute.. Part 32-425-125-2.
  • Filter housing bracket –  Two housing brackets for 20" Pentek Big Blue housings.
  • Filter wrench – This is the wrench used to unscrew the housing to replace the filters. A cheaper plastic option is also available