Unfiltered well water causes rust-colored stains in your bathtub, toilet, sinks, and even on your clothing. Not only are the stains unsightly but they are also difficult to clean. If you drink well water that is not filtered through an iron filter, you may notice an unpleasant taste in your drinking water and food.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), nearly 15 percent of the American population uses and drinks water from a private well. Installing an iron filter can improve the taste and quality of your water but finding the right iron filter can be difficult. Check out our top picks of the best iron filter for well water.
Editor’s Choice Iron Water Filter
Shopping around for an iron filter can be time-consuming and even a little confusing because they are all designed to filter iron out of well water. We’ve done the research for you, so choosing the right iron filter should be relatively easy. We’re confident that you will find at least one filter that will suit your needs.
Best Iron Filter For Well Water Reviews – Removal Systems
1. Fleck IRON PRO 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter :
Fleck Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener and Iron Filter removes iron, which causes the rust colored stains. The Fleck filter also removes the black build-up of manganese and the calcium build up (or “scale”) from the calcium in hard water.
The combo filter is easy to use, install, and it only regenerates when needed, so the filter lasts longer and more efficiently. Fleck Iron Pro 2 is available in five sizes and multiple colors (blue, almond, and black).
- 85 pounds
- 48 x 9 x 9 inches
- Treats up to 12 GPM (gallons per minute)
- Complete system
The Iron Fleck Pro 2 iron filter and water softener improves the taste and quality of your water while eliminating hard water deposits and rust-colored staining or black “slime” from iron and manganese. Not only are these types of stains unsightly and hard to clean, but over time they can damage your fixtures and appliances, giving them a shorter lifespan.
The complete filtration and softener system is easy to install and comes with step-by-step installation instructions and free customer support.
With the 5600SXT digital control head, you can easily control how much water you need filtered and softened. The meter-based regeneration only treats what you need, and with the ability to treat 12 GPM, you have quick and convenient access to safe and treated well water.
The 40,000-grain complete system is 53 pounds and 54 x 10 x 10 inches, the 48,000 grain system is 92 pounds and 54 x 10 x 10 inches, the 64,000 grains system is 95 pounds and 52 x 12 x 12 inches, and the 80,000 grains system is 110 pounds and 65 x 13 x 13 inches.
2. Aquasana Whole House Iron Filter For Water :
The Aquasana Water Whole House Filter is designed to filter out iron and other contaminants from your private well water. The complete filtration system also includes a salt-free softener. Unlike other complete filtration and softener systems, there is no need for electricity, softener salt, or a drain for your wastewater.
The Aquasana system is available as a five or ten-year system, and the specifications will vary based on the system. UV Sterilight Filtration is available for both systems.
5-year 500,000 Gallon System Specifications :
- 25 pounds
- 69 x 10.5 x 57 inches
- 7 GPM
- Complete system with hardware included
10-year 1,000,000 Gallon System Specifications :
- 7 pounds
- 9 x 46 x 69 inches
- 7 GPM
- Complete system with hardware included
The Aquasana Whole House system filters iron from your well water, as well as pesticides and herbicides, rust, and other contaminants. Aquasana’s filtration system is designed to prevent scale build-up (to help protect your pipes and appliances) but will not demineralize your drinking water.
Copper-Zinc and mineral, as well as activated carbon, play an essential role in filtering your water. The UV-Filtration component (which is sold separately) helps to eliminate bacteria and viruses from your water.
3. Air Injection Platinum 15 :
The Air Injection Platinum 15 iron filter is designed for larger families or homes with more than three bathrooms. The filter removes iron, sulfur, and manganese without chemicals and you never have to add any chemicals. The complete system is fully automatic.
- 12” x 52”
- 200 pounds when fully loaded
- Complete system
- 5-year filter
The Air Injection Platinum 15 filter removes up to 27 ppm of iron, 17 ppm of sulfur, and 11 ppm of manganese. The tank is filled with 3 bags of filox media traps the iron, sulfur, and manganese, which reduces stains and odor and improves the quality and taste of your well water.
The air injection design creates a pocket of air at the top of the tank and oxidizes the contaminants, so they are easy to filter. The filtration system is designed for all filtration to take place in one tank.
The full tank of filox media will last (with average use) for five years and is easy to change when your filter needs replacing. The complete system includes a large capacity tank, which is ideal for households with more than four people or three bathrooms, filox media, a rise with a distributor, a one-inch bypass valve, and 2510SXT Air Injection head.
4. iSpring 3-Stage Water Filtration System :
The iSpring 3-Stage Filtration System filters the iron and manganese from every water source from toilets to your washing machine. The filtration system reduces odor, stains and buildup without removing essential minerals from your water.
Depending on the quality of your water, there are other filters available for the iSpring filtration system including sediment and lead filters.
Iron and Manganese Filter Specifications :
- 45 pounds
- 8 x 28 x 21 inches
- 15 GPM
- 100,000-gallon capacity
The iSpring 3-Stage System is designed to remove iron, manganese, and other contaminants from your well water. The complete system is installed at your main water supply to ensure that each water source is adequately filtered. The three filter process results in clear, odor-free, and best tasting water.
The first stage of filtering includes a polypropylene sediment filter while the second stage uses a carbon filter. The last stage of filtering uses an iron and manganese removal filter. The filters have a capacity of 100,000 gallons of water, which is supplies one year of water for a household of four (on average). Filters are easy to switch out and customize for your filtration needs.
5. ABCwaters Iron Filter and Water Softener :
The ABCwaters iron filter is a complete system designed to remove hard water buildup, iron, and manganese from your well water. The filtration system is designed for households of up to five people and up to three bathrooms.
- 120 pounds
- 54 x 10 x 10 inches
- 48,000-grain capacity
- 5-year warranty
ABCwaters all-in-one filtration system is easy to use and set up. It comes with step-by-step instructions for installation and is an ideal option for moderately sized households.
The system has a Fleck 5600SXT control head, which has digital controls that are easy to read and use. The control head is metered and will show you how many gallons remain before the system regenerates (this can be helpful when doing laundry or bathing).
The system also comes with a tank, fine mesh resin that is designed for optimal iron removal, and a brine tank for softening your hard water. You will also receive an iron and hardness test kit. ABCwaters filters remove up to 8 ppm of iron, up to 6 ppm of manganese, as well as sediment, sand, and rust.
6. Home Master 3-Stage Filter :
The Home Master 3-Stage Filter reduces stains from iron, black “slime” from manganese, and odor from sulfur. The triple-action filtration system delivers high-quality water to every faucet and water source throughout your home without water pressure issues.
- 48 pounds
- 24 x 9 x 25 inches
- 15 GPM
- Filters up to 95,000 gallons
The Home Master 3-Stage filtration system is designed to remove up to 95 percent of contaminants, chemicals, and sediment that may be in your well water. The first step of the system uses a polypropylene sediment filter with four layers (25, 10, 5, and 1 micron). The second step of the system uses a filter that is designed to reduce iron up to 3 ppm.
The final step of the system uses a filter with granular activated coconut shell carbon to remove other chemicals. The triple-stage filtering system not only eliminates staining and odor but protects your fixtures and appliances.
The filtering system effectively cleans your water and removes iron without affecting your water pressure, so you can still use water while the system is filtering.
The system comes with filters, mounting brackets, a housing wrench, and instructions. The carbon filter (3rd stage filter), purifies up to 95,000 gallons of water, which lasts about a year for a household of four.
Now that we’ve reviewed some of our top recommendations for the best iron water filter for well water, let’s discuss some things to consider and the importance of filtering your well water.
As soon as you start to notice staining in your sinks, toilets and even on your clothes, you might be eager to run to your local home improvement store and buy the first iron filter you can find. While we have done a lot of the research for you and reviewed six great filtration options, there are still a few things you need to consider before buying an iron filter system.
1. Size :
The size or capacity of your filter is important to think about, particularly if you have a household of more than two people.
Many of the filtration systems we recommend are designed for a household of four, but if you have a larger family or use a more water than the average household you may want to consider a higher capacity filter.
2. Filter Replacements :
If you choose a filter that doesn’t fit your capacity needs, be prepared to change the filter out more frequently. Some systems have filters that will last up to five or ten years while others will only last about a year. It’s important to make sure that the filters are readily available when it’s time to replace.
3. Installation :
All of our top picks for the best iron filters are designed to be installed by homeowners and most come with all the hardware you need (as well as step-by-step instructions).
Some homeowners prefer to hire a professional to install a filtration system. If you prefer a professional install, call around to make sure that you can find someone to install an iron filter that you purchase.
4. Testing Your Water :
Before you purchase an iron filter, you should have your water tested. Even if you know that iron is present in your well water, testing your water can help you determine what type of iron you have (such as ferrous, ferric, or organic). A water test can also detect manganese, iron bacteria, and other things like pH and alkalinity.
If you can’t decide between a single iron filter or a triple-stage system, your water test results may help you make a final decision.
5. Water Softener :
Some iron filters are a complete system that includes a water softening system, while others require the separate purchase of a softener. Depending on your budget and space (or if you already have a water softener in your home), one iron filter may be a better option than others on our list.
How Does Iron Affect the Human Body?
Iron and other minerals are a natural part of well water, and while the staining and taste might be an inconvenience, you might wonder how important it is to filter your well water. Aside from a strong metallic taste, the good news is that the iron in your well water is safe for most people.
Iron is an essential mineral and depending on your age, sex, and other health factors, you may benefit from 10 to 50 mg/day. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that lethal doses of iron are 200 to 250 mg/kg of body weight and causes hemorrhagic necrosis and affects the stomach lining, but some deaths have occurred with iron doses as low as 40 mg/kg of body weight.
Individuals who have the genetic condition, hemochromatosis, which is an abnormal increase of iron absorption may be affected by high iron levels. People with hemochromatosis are at risk of heart, liver, and pancreas issues due to iron absorption.
The EPA notes that the iron levels in well water are usually less than 10 mg/liter. If you are concerned about the amount of iron your body, you can go to the doctor and receive a blood test to check if your iron levels are healthy.
It’s not uncommon for iron in your water to affect your hair and skin. Your hair may become dry and brittle due to iron, and it may also give your hair reddish “highlights.” Depending on how much iron is in your water it can also leave an unpleasant odor in your hair.
Iron may also affect your skin’s health by damaging skin cells or clogging pores due to soap scum residue (due to iron and magnesium). Some individuals experience severe acne or eczema because of the iron in their water.
Even though the iron levels in your well water may not affect your health negatively, nearly everyone with well water benefits from an iron filter. Not only will an iron filter improve the taste and smell of your water, but your fixtures and pipes will last longer.
An iron filter will also prevent staining, which can ruin your clothes and affect the aesthetics and function of your appliances.
How Does Iron Get into Water?
Well water can come from a well that is less than 100 feet deep or up to thousands of feet deep. According to the EPA, iron gets into our water through corrosion or seepage. The water that seeps into the ground is typically from rain or melting snow.
The water dissolves minerals, like iron and manganese, which are in the soil and rocks. Depending on your geological location and the depth of your well, you can have low or high iron content in your water.
Iron also enters the groundwater through pipes that are corroded. If the pipes and casings to and from your underground well are made of iron, they are likely to corrode over time, affecting the water inside of your well.
How To Remove Iron From Well Water
Since all well water has at least small traces of iron, the most effective way to remove iron from the water you consume, and use, is by using a filtration system. You cannot prevent iron from being in your well water, but you can control how much of the iron comes into your home or is consumed by members of your household.
After you test your water to see what type and how much iron you have in your water, choosing the right filtration system will help eliminate a significant amount of iron in your water (in some cases, up to 95%). Remember, even the best iron filters may not be able to rid your water of every trace of iron completely, but the filtration system will ensure that traces are safe and manageable.
After you install your filtration system, it’s always a good idea to retest your water to make sure that the system is working properly. Our filter recommendations require minimal maintenance, but you should stay on track with replacing your filters to experience optimal water quality.
Softeners vs. Whole House Filters vs. Air Injection – Which Method is BEST?
Households with hard water benefit from having a softener to reduce calcium buildup, which can affect water flow and the life of pipes and appliances. We don’t recommend relying on a softener alone to remove the iron from your well water. While a water softener can remove ferrous (clear water-soluble iron) it will likely become clogged with iron over time (even if you have low levels of iron).
If you don’t have a water softener in your home already, you may benefit from a complete system that includes a water softener and an iron filter like the Fleck PRO 2 we reviewed earlier. If you already have a water softener, you will want to purchase a separate iron filter to ensure your water is filtered efficiently and takes some of the strain off of your softener.
Whole house filtration systems are a popular option for households that want to make sure each water source in their home is filtered. Whole house systems work best when you have low iron content and typically filters out ferrous and ferric (rust) iron, manganese, and other impurities-the result is clear, clean, and good tasting water.
A whole house system has three separate filters that all play specific roles, such as filtering out sediment or iron. Most of these types of filtration systems do not have a softener component, so you may need to purchase a separate water softener.
Air injection works to convert ferrous iron into ferric (clear to rust), which makes the iron particles easier to filter out. Air injection filtering is effective, but there’s no guarantee that all the iron oxidizes so you may still end up with a filter and other components that become clogged.
The best method of iron filtration depends on your needs. A combination softener and iron filter are often the best choice as it treats hard water and removes most iron from your well water.
In this comprehensive guide, we want to provide you with as much information as possible about water filters for iron removal. Check out some frequently asked questions about water filters and iron.
1. Can Water Filters be Cleaned and Reused? :
Depending on the type of iron filter you purchase, the filter may last up to a few months or over a year. While it’s important to keep your filtration system clean (particularly filter pitchers) and check to make sure the system is working efficiently, filters themselves cannot be cleaned or reused.
2. Can Water Filters Get Moldy? :
If you take good care of your filtration system and replace them on a regular basis, you can reduce and prevent mold. Mold and algae is an issue when you keep your filtration system exposed to direct sunlight. If you notice that mold or algae has developed in your filter system (such as a pitcher), replace the filter and clean the system thoroughly.
3. Are Water Filters Really Necessary? :
We strongly recommend filtering your water, whether you have a well or tap into a public water supply. Depending on the quality of your water, filtering your water may not seem to be critical.
While iron in your water is relatively harmless to your health, iron can cause damage. In many cases, replacing appliances, fixtures, and other items damaged by iron is more expensive than investing in a water filtration system.
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