A whole house iron water filter can improve the taste and quality of your water but finding the right iron filter can be difficult.
After evaluating numerous whole house iron filters on the market, we determined the best iron filter for well water to be the Springwell water system designed to remove iron in water. AquaOX, Pentair Pelican and Aquasana are trusted brands to consider.
See Also: Best Whole House Well Water Filters
Iron Water Filter Comparison Table
- Water Flow Rate: 12 gpm
- Tank Width: 10″
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Water Flow Rate: 1 gpm
- Tank Width: 12″
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Water Flow Rate: 20 gpm
- Tank Width: 10.5″
- Warranty: 5 Years
- Water Flow Rate: 10 gpm
- System Width: 37″
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Water Flow Rate: 5-10 gpm
- Tank Width: 10″
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Water Flow Rate: 20 gpm
- Tank Width: 10.5″
- Warranty: 5 Years
Criteria For Choosing An Iron Filter For 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 great filtration options, there are still a few things you need to consider before buying an iron filter system.
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.
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.
Best Iron Filter For Well Water Reviews – Removal Systems
Here are our top recommendations for best iron removal system for well water:
- Springwell Whole House Filter
- AquaOX FE Edition
- US Water Systems Matrixx Infusion
- Pentair Pelican Iron & Manganese System
- SoftPRO Elite Filter
- Aquasana Whole House Iron Filter
- Fleck Iron PRO 2
1. SpringWell Whole House Iron Filter For Well Water
If you have a well and are tired of the orange and black stains on your toilets and the rotten egg smell from the sulfur, check out the Springwell Whole House Well Filter, a top-selling water filter for well in the industry. Using the latest technologies in water filtration, the Springwell Whole House Well Filter will filter water from a private well that may contain iron, manganese, sulfur, or a combination of these contaminants. This system removes up to 8 PPM hydrogen sulfide, up to 7 PPM iron, and 1 PPM manganese and features 12 GPM for 1-4 bathroom or 20 GPM for more than four bathrooms.
The SpringWell Air Injection Oxidizing Filter System, a four-stage design, maintains an “air pocket” at the top of the tank while in use. The water passes through the air pocket, oxidizing and filtering the iron, sulfur, and manganese. Clean, fresh, and clear water is then distributed through your faucets. The electric control valve is automatic, so once you program it, it’s good to go.
This system is easy to set up through Bluetooth technology. You can adjust the system’s air draw, backwash cycles, and timing all through the connected app. This installation kit includes an electronic head, a 50’ drain line, a bypass valve, and a hose clamp.
With over 20 years of experience in improving water quality, SpringWell stands behind their conviction that every family deserves the purest water possible.
Learn more specifications: Springwell Well Filter Review
- Constructed with stainless steel and made to last for decades
- Utilizes the highest grade media for filtration
- Innovative technology makes this system extremely easy to use
- Comes with an installation kit, so you won’t need to order separate parts
- Includes a 6-month satisfaction guarantee
- The kit does not include a replacement filter
- If you have no plumbing knowledge, you may need to hire a plumber to install this system
2. AquaOX FE Edition Iron Filter
The AquaOX FE Edition uses a multi-step filtration process to remove unwanted contaminants from your water supply. Unlike other filters on the market, the AquaOX FE targets ferrous iron.
- 1 GPM water flow
- 15,000-gallon filter life
- 12” x 13”
- Operates at 41-100 ºF
The AquaOX FE is a whole house iron filtration system that provides clean drinking water to every faucet in your home. The standard size works with houses that have up to three and a half bathrooms in their floor plan.
A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter made of natural, high-quality coconut shell removes odors and impurities such as chlorine and sediment particles. A second filter oxidizes harmful ferrous iron ions to make them easier to remove from your drinking water.
Installation is quick and simple. The AquaOX connects directly to your main water line to filter everything coming out of your sink, shower, dishwasher, and more. All you need is access to your inlet and outlet plumbing as well as a power outlet.
With a 1 GPM flow rate, the AquaOX won’t affect water pressure in your home. You also don’t have to worry about changing filters to maintain an optimal flow rate. The AquaOX is maintenance-free, lowering operating costs throughout its lifetime.
Even with little to no maintenance, the AquaOX is designed to filter at least 15,000 gallons of water before it may need replacement. A properly fitted system can last for up to 20 years. Because they have confidence in their product, every purchase includes a 10-year warranty.
- The only system on the market to remove ferrous iron
- Multi-step filtration gets rid of most common contaminants
- Quick and easy installation
- Low maintenance option
- Includes 10-year warranty
- Pricier than other filter options
- Requires an outlet
- It does not remove fluoride
3. US Water System Matrixx Infusion Iron Removal System
The Matrixx Water system is another efficient filter to treat iron contaminated water. This system uses a continuous hydrogen peroxide injection to oxidize and remove iron, manganese and sulfur from water. The system also helps kill bacteria that may be causing some of the problems in the first place and helps clear up cloudy water.
You can remove up to 20 PPM of iron, 30 PPM of sulfide, and 1 PPM of magnesium with this system. It automatically backwashes every couple of days to help keep your filter clean so that you keep pulling out the maximum amount of impurity.
The Vortex backwash system uses 30% less water and helps increase the water flow so that your water doesn’t slow down, even when regular maintenance is occurring. This feature allows you to use your water without incident whenever you want.
When you attach the system to your water, you can program it in under 30 seconds. A battery backup allows you to keep your settings even after a power outage.
It then keeps track of water quality and water flow. You can access these readings on your connected WaterLogix app for Android and Apple that lets you stay on top of your water quality.
The whole system is NSF certified, so you know it is safe to use for your water removal needs. Hydrogen Peroxide is not an issue to use, especially in the ratios for the removal process. It can work for an extensive range of water Ph levels from 6 to 9, and it is faster than many other oxidizing agents.
The H2O2 doesn’t change the flavor of the water or add any harmful chemicals, which means you can enjoy fresh-tasting water that has fewer impurities. This system will also avoid the rotten egg smell from the sulfur.
You will have to replace the hydrogen peroxide and the catalytic carbon during the life of the system. If you don’t replace the components regularly, you will notice that the system doesn’t remove as many contaminants, and the smell can come back.
Installation of the system can be pretty difficult. It involves a lot of steps and requires some decent plumbing skills. Unless you have experience with plumbing, you may want to use a professional installer to make sure everything works without incident.
You don’t need a lot of energy to run the system, so the increase to your monthly bills will be negligible, coming in at less than $2 over a whole year.
4. Pentair Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter
A leader in the water filtration market, Pentair Pelican, features the Iron & Manganese Water Filter, which utilizes modern technology to provide you with iron-free water and no more red/orange staining on sinks and appliances with minimal maintenance.
Employing the innovative non-electric, self-priming chemical pump, this system will clear your water of iron, manganese up to 10 PPM while improving taste and eliminating odor. This system is NSF/ANSI certified to standard 42 and WQA/NSF standard 61, and the GreensandPlus Filter holds a WQA Gold Seal Certification.
The powerful efficiency of the Pelican Iron & Manganese filter occurs during the four stages of filtration. The 5-micron Sediment Filter removes dirt and debris build-up down to 20 times smaller than a human hair. The Chlorination System injects the required amount of concentrate into the water before the water pressure pushes the mixed solution downstream, with no electricity! The GreensandPlus Filter removes iron/manganese, and then the backwash system flushes it out, producing no water waste. The Carbon Filter reduces chlorine, chloramines, and any remaining sediment while purifying the water to ensure the best taste and no odors.
The Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter comes in two models: the WF4 is designed for homes with 1-3 bathrooms, and the WF8 is for 4-6 bathrooms. This all-in-one system features all the parts necessary for a complete installation and includes a limited lifetime warranty on the tank and parts, as well as a seven-year limited lifetime warranty on the solid-state microprocessor. This filter is designed to last for 10-15 years!
Learn more specifications: Pentair Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter Review
- Efficient filtering process to remove iron/manganese up to 10 PPM
- Tested and certified to NSF/ANSI standards/WQA Gold Seal Certified
- Non-electric chemical pump
- Minimal maintenance
- Limited lifetime warranties
- Some customers report a clicking noise from the injector
- Pricey (but the cost pays off in the future)
5. Quality Water Treatment SoftPro Chemical Free Filter – Best Budget
Quality Water Treatment (QWT) is a family-owned business with a rising, nationally known reputation, based out of California. They began in 1990 and have been providing water filtration and softening system since. Their SoftPro Chemical Free Iron, Manganese, and Sulfur Removal system utilizes Katalox, a revolutionary advanced filtration media, to remove iron, manganese, and sulfur down to 3 microns!
This filter is engineered with MnO coating on ZEOSORB®, which provides a higher filtration surface, more service life, and better performance than its competitors. It also comes with the digitally controlled SoftPro 1-inch valve, so you can customize your system using the Large Backlit LCD display. In addition, the SoftPro Iron Filter is certified for ANSI/NSF 61 for drinking water and has met the ANSI/NSF 372 lead-free compliance.
You can get one of three sizes in the SoftPro filter: 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 cubic feet. Each size requires a backwash rate ranging from 5 to 10. This is a cost-efficient filter, especially compared to its competitors. Customers say that it is relatively easy to install, although you will need some additional parts and tools, and some of the directions are vague. In addition, the SoftPro Iron Filter can be used for commercial, industrial, municipal, or residential customers.
Along with “lifetime customer support,” QWT offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, and a seven-year warranty. The media life of this filter averages 8-10 years before it needs to be replaced.
Learn more specifications: Quality Water Treatment SoftPro Filter Review
- Katalox filter filters iron, manganese, and sulfur down to 3 microns!
- ANSI/NSF 61/ANSI/NSF 372 certified
- Lifetime customer service
- 60-day money-back guarantee/seven-year warranty
- Installation directions may be vague
- Additional tools and parts needed for installation
6. 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
- No need to purchase salt for the softener
- Works without electricity
- Is designed to filter and soften large quantities
- UV filtration is optional
- Some additional hardware may be required
- Treats fewer gallons per minute that other systems
- Design may experience clogging or leaks
7. 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.
- Variety of sizes
- Complete system
- Easy to install and use
- May not filter quickly , as much water as you need
- A power outage may affect or reset the system
8. 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.
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.
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
- Easy to install
- Different filtration options
- A whole system
- May leak from the threading at the top of the filter
- Need a separate water softener
9. 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.
- Clean water with a great taste
- Doesn’t affect water pressure
- Removes sediment and contaminants
- Easy to use
- Adequate for a moderate-sized household
- Installation may be difficult
- Need a separate water softener
- You should test your water before using to make sure this is a good system for you
10. 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.
- Simple install
- Basic and easy to use design
- Odorless and iron-free water
- Prevents staining
- You may go through more salt that you prefer
- May require some extra hardware or plumbing
- May experience some installation difficulties
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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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