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Clean Water Hacks ® - Jun 28 - 9 min read

Best Iron Water Filters for Well Water [2021]:
Reviews & Buying Guide

Updated: Sep 3, 2021​

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In the US, several types of rock and soil contain minerals with high iron content. When rain or snowmelt seeps into this soil and rock, iron dissolves into the water. There are also some well water systems with iron casing or pipes which may eventually dissolve into the water. This can result in stained plumbing and appliances which in turn can result in foods and drinks with a metallic taste.

 

Luckily, it is not difficult to eliminate iron-related well water troubles. This review would be helpful for anyone searching for the best iron water filter. It would also be instrumental in making the right decision based on your personal iron removal requirements.

 

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97.2

out of 100
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πŸ₯‡ Springwell Whole House Well Water Filter System

  • 1,000,000 gallons per year

  • Removes iron, hydrogen sulfide, and manganese

  • Lifetime warranty

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94.5

out of 100

πŸ₯‰ Softpro Iron Master Water Filtration System

  • Next-Gen High-Efficiency design

  • Remove up to 30 PPM of iron

  • Chemical-free operation

91.2

out of 100
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πŸ₯‰ AquaOx FE Edition

  • 7-year warranty

  • Best in class against iron and manganese

  • 600,000 - 1,000,000 gallons/year

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πŸ₯‡ Springwell Well Water Filter & Salt-Based Water Softener

CWH Score ®

97.2

/  100

Highlights

  • 1,000,000 gallons per year

  • Removes iron, hydrogen sulfide, and manganese

  • Lifetime warranty

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Review

If you opt for the Springwell water filter, you will no doubt enjoy at least two benefits: Other than the removal of iron from well water, it would also soften water and prevent scale. You will find in it a filter and a softener, which remove hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese, as well as calcium and magnesium hard water minerals.

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The Springwell salt-based softener swaps hard water minerals for sodium minerals, turning hard water into soft water that won't leave scale deposits on your appliances. This process is known as ion exchange. With this iron filter, you can enjoy fixtures that are without scales and iron stains as it is designed in such a way that sulfur, manganese, and iron are cleared off your water. This would also remove the rotten egg smell that could be present in your water. This way, not only will your water be appealing to drink, it would serve other purposes satisfyingly.

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A major advantage of getting the Springwell water filter for well water is that it is easy to maintain. You wouldn't have to worry about spending so much money on its maintenance. You also wouldn't have to worry about replacing the filters as it makes use of an air injection oxidizing system that oxidizes the unwanted contaminants in an air pocket at the top of the tank. These oxidized contaminants are then removed from the tank, in a bid to filter them from the water.

You might not be able to manage the installation yourself. Hence, it is advisable to use the services of a plumber. With time, you should be able to do other setups yourself like adjusting and controlling the system's settings to your requirements. It gets even easier as Springwell comes with an app that makes it easy to control your system from your smartphone.

 

PROS:

· This water filter reduces up to 7 ppm of iron in the water

· It Softens water and removes iron from well water as well.

· It is environmentally friendly.

· It has a lifetime warranty.

· It is easy to set up and control a system

 

CONS:

· Its salt-based softener adds some salt to the water

· The backwash process is fairly loud

· It is quite expensive to purchase.

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Installation Video:

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πŸ₯ˆSoftpro Iron Master Water Filtration System

CWH Score ®

94.5

/  100

Highlights

  • Easy installation

  • 500,000 gallons/year

  • Up to 125 PSI water pressure

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Review

If you are looking to get a filter that works perfectly in removing iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide using AIO technology, then you might want to opt for the SoftPro IronMaster as it is one of the best in that regard.

 

Interestingly, this iron filter requires no maintenance throughout its lifespan despite its efficiency and high performance. It can remove up to 30 ppm of iron, and is certified for performance by IAPMO and NSF/ANSI.

With the help of an innovative Water Intelligence Engine™, this iron filter assesses your water with iron and recommends the best treatment for your situation. For a thorough removal of contaminants in water, this iron filter is undoubtedly one of the best as it is capable of removing large amounts of iron, up to 7 ppm of manganese, and up to 5 ppm of sulfur. There are not many iron filters that are capable of removing as much.

 

This water filter has a control valve that ensures that water is filtered in large amounts to meet up the water requirements of the home. It's a chemical-free filtration system and only needs water for cleaning out. This filter can work with virtually all kinds of water -hard and soft alike- without sustaining damage. Even when there is a power outage while it is in use, you would not have to reset it as it would continue with your previous inputted settings once you switch it back on.

 

As long as your good pump flow rate is at least 5 GPM, this filter can be used in your home. Installation is also easy as everything you will need to get it fixed comes with the system.

The redox filter media can last up to ten years, depending on the iron, manganese, and sulfur content of your water. If your water contains extremely large amounts of iron, you may need to change the media even before the end of 5 years. Ideally, however, you should be able to use the filter for at least half a decade with occasional cleaning of the system.

 

PROS:

· Removes high levels of iron, manganese, and sulfur

· Prevents iron bacteria growth

· One of the best iron filters for efficiency

· It has high specifications yet it is not as costly as other high alternatives.

· It is maintenance-free.

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CONS:

· Some people may need a plumber for installation

· Water with high contaminant levels may require more frequent media replacement

· This system lacks settings for water hardness.

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Installation Video

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πŸ₯‰AquaOx FE Edition

CWH Score ®

91.2

/  100

Highlights

  • Ready to install with 1” inch standard connections 

  • Remove dangerous heavy metals from home 

  • KDF Filter

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Review

This is undoubtedly one of the best iron filters for a relatively affordable price. It is used to remove both ferrous iron and ferric iron from water (ferrous iron must undergo oxidization before its removal). The system works perfectly for high water iron, so if iron is a major well water issue for you, then you should consider getting AquaOx.

 

This water filter is not difficult to install. All you need do is connect your home's main water line to the system's inlet, then connect the line leading into your home to the outlet, and plug the system into a power outlet.

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Its installment is the major work there is to it. Once that has been achieved, others like its maintenance are easy as its filters do not need replacement.

This makes it a much lower lifetime cost compared to filter-based systems.

Although the warranty on the system is ten years, it could last for up to twenty years. Its filter does not result in a drop in water pressure, so the water gotten contains little amounts of iron even without an interruption on the flow rate. Using double vortex backwash technology, the AquaOx is more efficient than other similar systems on the market.

 

You can't tell how the system removes well water iron as this information isn't revealed by AquaOx. However, if it makes use of oxidation, then there's a high probability that it involves the use of a manganese greensand filter or a material that's similarly capable of oxidizing ferrous iron.

 

PROS:

· It is capable of removing both types of iron

· It is maintenance-free

· It can last for up to 20 years.

· It has a 10-year warranty

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CONS:

· There are no customers' reviews on it presently.

· It is unable to remove a range of contaminants as other filters do.

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Installation Video

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🧭 Whole House Water Filters for Well Water Buying Guide

Deciding on the most suitable iron filter for well water would not be difficult when you are knowledgeable about iron removal and the constituents of a good whole house water filter.

 

This guide will provide answers to your questions on iron in well water, the cause, its effects on your home and health, its removal, and how to identify a good iron filter for well water.

HOW DOES IRON GET INTO WATER?

The most common way for iron to get into well water is through the earth's soil. When it snows or rains heavily, the iron minerals present in the soil are dissolved and it seeps into underground well water systems.

 

Another way would be through rusty or corroded plumbing. You will find in some wells rusty or corroded plumbing. Once this comes in contact with the water, it contaminates it.

 

EFFECTS OF IRON IN WATER

Iron both ferrous and ferric can have several effects on your water, health, and home.

 

Iron & Your Health

The body needs small amounts of iron to remain healthy; however, its presence in the body in large amounts may lead to the following:

  • Iron bacteria may grow

  • When iron is present in large amounts in the body, it can become a host to harmful bacteria. This could result in illness.

  • Iron can cause skin conditions

  • When water that contains large amounts of iron is used on the body, it can cause acne breakouts and worsen other skin conditions.

  • Iron can damage your organs

  • Large amounts of iron in the body can damage organs in charge of storing iron, such as the heart and liver.

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Iron & Your Home

It is easier to detect the effect of iron in your home than it is to detect its effect on your health. Some of its effects on your home when it is present in large amounts are:

  • Iron can cause plumbing issues

  • Water with large amounts of iron would leave deposits in the form of brown slime in your plumbing, which can cause clogging in pipes and prevent the free flow of water.

  • Iron may stain your surfaces

  • One of the quickest ways to find out if your water has iron in large amounts is to check if there is a visible orange stain in your bathroom sink or tub. Iron is known for its characteristic orange stains on anything it makes contact with, especially toilet surfaces.

  • Iron leaves a metallic taste: If your water ever tastes like metal, then you know that it contains large amounts of iron. This taste could be so bad that you would be forced to opt for bottled water as an alternative.

 

METHODS FOR REMOVING IRON FROM WELL WATER

Water Softeners

One way you can remove iron from Well water is with the use of water softeners. You should know that not all water softener systems are designed to remove iron from water; hence this should be put into consideration if you're purchasing a water softener to remove iron.  Water softeners would only work function as iron removal when the iron is in low concentrations (ferrous iron). 

 

A water softener that removes iron would also remove calcium and magnesium, but no other contaminant unless it's combined with an additional filter. Some water softeners come with a sediment filter that would make it possible to remove larger contaminants like dirt particles, which are commonly found in well water.

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Whole House Filters

This is a more common way of removing iron from well water. Its installation is at your home's point of entry. These filters are not used for iron removal alone; hence, they can be used for the removal of chemicals like chlorine, pesticides, and herbicides; heavy metals like lead; sediment; VOCs, and many more.

 

However, one disadvantage to this kind of filter that is capable of removing diverse contaminants is that it is almost impossible for it to remove iron from Well water effectively. This is because a whole house filtration system is without an air injection process, which means that while it is capable of removing insoluble iron particles from water, it is impossible to remove soluble ferric iron from water.

 

Typically, it's the sediment filter of a whole house water filtration system that removes iron. These filters are usually capable of removing particles of 5 PPM or bigger, so flecks of iron and rust can be effectively filtered using this technique.

 

Air Injection

This is considered the most thorough and cost-effective iron removal solution. The installation of this kind of filter is usually between a well and your home's main water line. When water flows into an air injection iron water filter, it is made to pass through an area of compressed air, where oxygen is added. Water then moves through a bed of filter media, which contains a material that separates the oxidized iron from water.

 

These insoluble iron particles will now be visible as suspended particles in the water, and they become trapped in the filter bed. When the iron-free water passes out of the system and into your plumbing, the air injection filter system will begin the oxidization process again. In about three days, the filter will regenerate, washing away the insoluble iron and replacing the air bubble.

 

Air injection iron filter systems usually have a control head that you can use to select the regeneration time of your choice. These systems tend to be the most economical solution because they cost virtually nothing to maintain. Replacing the filter media is unnecessary as it doesn't become depleted during the iron removal process, and lasts as long as the system itself. Oxygen, which is a crucial component in the system, doesn't need to be replenished manually as it's freely available. And the regeneration process is mostly driven by your home's water pressure, so the system, though plugged into electricity, contributes very little to your energy bills each year.

 

Other than the removal of iron, the air injection can also remove iron and manganese. Some are also capable of removing hydrogen sulfide.

 

KEY CONSIDERATIONS WHEN PURCHASING AN IRON FILTER FOR WELL WATER

It's best to have an idea of what you need and what's on offer before you go ahead and purchase an iron filter. The best iron filter for well water for your neighbor might not be the ideal solution for you. Being aware of the following considerations will help you to make a smart water filter decision for your home:

 

Water Quality & Other Contaminants

Before you buy an iron filter for well water, you have to first of all test your water quality. Discovering the content of your water, the level of such content will guide you to make smart decisions when it comes to contaminant removal. For instance, you might want to remove the chlorine present in your water, thus, consider buying an iron filter and carbon filter in one. In the same vein, if your water is hard but your iron levels aren't too high, you may consider buying a water softener with iron removing capabilities, which can soften water and remove iron at the same time.

 

It is also important to find out how much iron is present in your water as some systems are designed to filter certain levels of PPM. If you have more than 0.3 PPM of iron in your water, it's more than enough to affect the quality of your drinking water. Remember that it is impossible to notice iron in water; ferrous iron is completely dissolved and even clear water may have high levels of this type of iron.

 

It's recommended that we have no more than 0.3 PPM of manganese in our water, and if your levels are on the higher end of this recommendation, you'll be best opting for an air injection filter (these can typically filter up to 10 ppm of manganese). Hydrogen sulfide, another common contaminant in water, is also removed by the air injection technique.

 

Filter Capacity

A filter's capacity determines how much-filtered water it's capable of producing on a minute-by-minute basis. You can expect that the majority of filter systems are suitable for households with up to 3 bedrooms, but some are also available for homes with up to 6 bedrooms.

Filter capacity is crucial because it affects the rate at which water flows in your home. For instance, a house with 5 bedrooms should have a bigger filter capacity than a house with 3 bedrooms as the former would have more water-based appliances than the latter.

 

Filter Type

You would most likely choose an iron filter based on your personal preferences (and the contaminants your water contains – see above). The level of maintenance varies with different filters. For instance, a salt-based water softener requires regular salt top-ups, while whole house filters tend to need maintenance on an annual or bi-annual basis.

 

Filter Longevity

How long your iron filter lasts is dependent on the type of filter and the quality of filter you opt for. Salt-based water softeners are known to have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years providing you keep up with the regular maintenance. A whole house filter system has a lifespan similar to this but you'll need to change the individual filters every 6 months or so, which can be very expensive. Air injection or greensand filters tend to last around 4 to 8 years before you'll need to replace the filter media.

 

Installation & Maintenance

Irrespective of the iron water filtration system you opt for, you will have to install it at your home's point of entry (POE) – the place where water comes into your home. Some could also be installed outside but it is advisable to confirm if outdoor installation is suitable for you.

 

The installation of a water filter does not take too long. Within an hour or two, you should be done. However, this is dependent on the person who does the installation. It sure would be faster if it is done by one with some experience in plumbing.

 

The maintenance varies from one system to another. Some iron water filters require some maintenance while some are maintenance-free. Whole-home iron water filters have several stages of filtration, and each of these water filters will need to be replaced at specific times. Failure to replace the filters when due makes the system useless. Generally, the filters should be replaced every 6 months to one year.

 

Iron water filters that make use of redox or oxidization media have a longer lifespan of up to ten years. Sometimes, this media can go beyond 10 years, but this is not a common thing. Depending on what system you opt for, your media may need replacing after less than 5 years if your water has a high content of iron, manganese, and other contaminants. However, this type of water filter is still a great low-maintenance option if you don't want the hassle of filter changes.

 

The maintenance procedure of water softener systems is completely different. The most important thing is to add salt to the water softener, which is the fuel that ensures it keeps running. Without salt, the ion exchange process would be impossible and water would not be softened. You should check your brine tank every month to be certain that your salt levels are three to four inches above the water. It is also important you clean out your softener once a year, and replace any worn parts, like O rings.

 

Warranty

Irrespective of the kind of iron filter you opt for, it should have a warranty. Warranties are designed to cover a filter for a certain number of years, and usually offer a replacement part/system if the filter has become damaged or broken in a way that meets the warranty's terms.

 

However, it would be impossible to receive a new filter if it incurs damage that doesn't indicate a manufacturing fault. But as long as the damage is a result of a manufacturing flaw that is beyond your control, you'll certainly be attended to.

 

Most warranties for a water filter for iron are split up on a part-by-part basis. The warranties on the tank would be different from those on the control valve. You will find a 10-year warranty on the tanks of a standard water softener and a 1 to 3-year warranty on all other parts. A whole-home water filter typically has a 10 to 12-year warranty for the system itself, not including the filter cartridges.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to buy an iron filter?

An iron filter might appear expensive and even put some people off. But in the long run, the benefits you would end up enjoying by using an iron filter would outweigh the cost. This is especially true if you buy the best types of iron filters that are designed to last for so long and those that do not require maintenance.

 

Wait – isn't iron good for you?

Iron is not completely bad for the body. However, it is a nutrient that is required in only small amounts. Iron is crucial for the transportation of oxygen around the body. If it gets into the body in large amounts, one is at risk of kidney and liver problems.

 

Should I call an expert to install my filter?

There is no "yes" or "no" answer to this. Installing a filter by yourself depends on what you are capable of handling. If you can, it would come easy to you. But if you cannot, you should let an expert handle it for you. It would be wrong for you to assume you can fix it because your neighbor got theirs fixed themselves when in fact you're clueless on how to go about it.

 

What should an iron filter remove?

An iron filter would help you get rid of iron, manganese, and sometimes sulfur. However, this depends mainly on what filter you opt for. Nevertheless, the best iron filter will remove both ferrous and ferric iron, but not all of them do this. This is why you have to be certain of the kind of water contaminants you're dealing with, so you can opt for the most suitable iron filter.

 

Why bother with a filter when water bottles are cheaper?

You might think opting for bottled water when you can get a filter installed is a better option. But is it? The amount you will have to spend on bottled water alone is many times more than what you would spend if you have a filter installed.

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