Best Iron Filter for Well Water

Well water can be a life saving resource for homes in remote areas however drawing water straight from the ground can have its drawbacks.

Groundwater is prone to collecting particles as it travels through the bedrock, which are drawn up from the well when pumped and delivered into the property, meaning that they are delivered in your drinking water and to your household appliances.

Iron is a particularly common contaminant and water filters for wells are becoming increasingly popular with homeowners who want better tasting water that doesn’t stain or wreck appliances.

Here, we look at 6 of the top iron filters on the market to see which is the best iron filter for well water.

Iron Filters for Well Water Compared

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES  
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#1 SpringWell Whole House Iron Filter for Well Water
  • Flow Rate (GPM): Up to 20
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 7
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#2 Pelican WF8 Iron & Manganese Filter
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 10
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#3 Softpro Iron Master Filter
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 10
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 30
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#4 Air Injection Silver AIS10-25SXT
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 7-10
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 10
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#5 AFW Filters Iron Pro 2
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 2.4-4
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 4-7
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#6 Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): Not published
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#7 iSpring WGB22BM
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 3
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Top Iron Filters for Well Water

1. SpringWell Whole House Iron Filter For Well Water

This Springwell Whole House Iron Filter uses air injection to remove iron, manganese, and sulphides by oxidising and filtering them off within the air pocket in the main tank.

Available with flow rates of up to 20 GPM for very large homes operating multiple bathrooms together, this iron filter system is able to remove up to 7PPM iron and 1PPM manganese, along with 8PPM hydrogen sulfides making it perfect for sulfur rich areas.

This iron filter comes with an installation kit included, containing everything you need to fit. It also incorporates bluetooth technology for easy set up and monitoring of the system.

Overall, we are recommending this filter as our top pick because we have been very impressed by Springwells customer service, quality of filters, and this iron model for well water has a great flow rate and combination of effective filtering capacity for not just iron but other contaminants.

If you want the best filter produced by the best company then Springwell is the brand you need.

Pros:

  • High flow rate
  • Automatic control valve
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Removes Iron, Sulfur, and Manganese effectively

Cons:

  • Better at removing sulfur than iron
  • Electronic set up reported as complicated by some users

2. Pelican Iron and Manganese Filter System WF8

The Pelican WF8 is an all in one, whole house filter system for well water, designed to remove iron manganese sediments and even organic compounds from the water supply. Relatively few filter systems on the market are targeted specifically at high iron water supplies, so this model is a breath of fresh air.

The WF8 uses 4 stage filtration to purify the incoming well water using a sediment filter, chlorination, iron filter and finally an activated carbon filter. This truly is an out of the box iron filter solution.
The WF8 has been Gold Seal certified to remove up to 10PPM of iron from the incoming supply, and delivers an impressive flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, making it suitable to serve multiple bathrooms at the same time.

The Pelican WF8 is not the cheapest iron filter on the market, but despite this it has fantastic filtration performance. The WF8 has an answer to all of the main problems which can arise from well water supplies and its whole-house installation means that it can protect the plumbing systems throughout your property.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive 4 stage filtration
  • Can be adapted for different water characteristics by adding other filters
  • Protects the whole property
  • 7 years warranty on the electronic head, 1 year on the pump

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • More stages of filtration will mean more cleaning is required

3. Softpro Iron Master Filter System

Our #3 pick is the Softpro Iron Master Filter that is designed for well water.softpro iron master

This model could easily be included in the top 2 since it has the largest iron filtration capacity up to 30 ppm at a very affordable price.

The Ironmaster is an AIO chemical-free filter that is effective in removing high amounts of iron, sulfur, and manganese from the water without the use of messy chemicals, expensive pumps or external venturi systems. The AIO valve uses a unique process to create an air bubble in the top of the tank.

The system removes iron up to 30 ppm, manganese up to 7 ppm, and hydrogen sulfide up to 5 ppm. It also has the ability to remove arsenic up to 120 ppb with additional features.

It’s a relatively low maintenance system at an affordable price and Quality Water Treatment is a good company that just focuses on water filters and softeners.

Overall, this is another recommended top pick from us if you are looking for a more budget friendly option instead of Springwell or Pelican.

Pros:

  • Low maintenance
  • Up to 30 ppm iron removal
  • AIO chemical-free filter system

Cons:

  • Some issues with installation 
  • Smaller name manufacturer

4. Air Injection Silver AIS10-25SXT

The Silver AIS10-25SXT is an air injection filter system, uses an oxidation process to remove iron from the incoming water supply. With its single tank design and the fact that it uses no chemicals in the filtration process, this is a versatile unit which allows the user a great degree of flexibility on where to install the system.

The AIS10-25SXT can deliver a flow rate of up to 10 gallons per minute, and is capable of removing 10PPM of iron and 2PPM manganese. It also features an automatic backwash function which reduces the interaction needed with the filter.

Comprising only one tank, installation of this filter system is very straightforward and aside from some noise during the regeneration cycle, we found very few issues to report.

Pros:

  • Simple installation
  • 10PPM Iron removal and 2PPM manganese
  • Automatic regeneration cycle

Cons:

  • Loud regeneration cycle
  • Smaller name manufacturer doesn’t carry the weight of other brands

5. AFW Filters IRON PRO 2 Combination Water Softener

The AFW Iron Pro 2 is a purpose made water filter for wells supplying water with high iron levels.
Filtering well water can be tricky and often the water characteristics fluctuate meaning that some months iron levels may be very high, while in other months sediments could be the more pressing problem.

The Iron Pro 2 uses a fine mesh resin to remove ferrous iron particles and sediments from the supply and AFW have managed to incorporate both water softener and iron filter into one package.
The Iron Pro 2 can deliver up to 16 GPM and the commitment to product quality is shown with the specification of a Fleck control valve.

A 10 year warranty is offered on the tank and 7 years on the Fleck control valve, meaning that you have peace of mind in the quality of the kit.

The Iron Pro 2 is available in grain capacities of 32,000, 64,000 and 82,000 to suit your home’s needs, and is one of the best combined iron filter water softeners we have seen.

Pros:

  • Softener and iron filter in one package
  • Fleck control valve
  • Long-term warranty

Cons:

  • Will struggle to treat very high iron content

6. Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter

This 3 stage filter system from Express Water is a compact unit, ideal for installation in smaller households. With sediment, KDF and activated carbon filters neatly mounted on a single frame, this system can reliably remove organic compounds, rust and sediments, while the KDF filter is able to remove iron, lead, mercury and other heavy metals.

This filter has a novel 3-gauge design which displays the water pressure at each filter stage, with the gauges changing colour when the filter is due to be changed.

Delivering a respectable 15 gallons per minute, this filter is suitable for high use properties however the relatively short filter life doesn’t suit such usage over a sustained period.

While this is not the best iron filter in our review, it is a reliable water filter for well supplies and could be perfect for improving water quality in cabins or lake houses that are used infrequently.

Pros:

  • Neat appearance
  • Comprehensive filtration
  • High flow rate
  • Filter change signal from gauges

Cons:

  • Not the best iron filter
  • Low filter capacity

7. iSpring WGB22BM Iron Manganese 2-Stage Water Filter

This 2 stage iron manganese water filtration system is a revelation at its surprisingly low price. The WGB22BM is manufactured by iSpring, who need no introduction in the water filter market.

Designed with heavy metals in mind, the 2 stage filtration process uses an activated carbon filter to clean up the incoming water supply before passing it through a heavy metal filter.

The filter has a rated capacity of 50,000 gallons at 3PPM and while this is the filter’s limit for iron manganese removal, for the price we think this is an ideal iron filter for a small home.

The flow rate through the filter is up to 15 gallons per minute which is more than enough water to run two bathrooms at the same time, while the compact size of the filter means that it can be installed almost anywhere in the home without taking over the room.

We would recommend the iSpring WGB22BM iron manganese filter for anyone who is looking for a budget system to see if their home can benefit from having an iron filter fitted, without committing big bucks.

Pros:

  • Reputable manufacturer with reliable support
  • Cheap purchase price
  • Compact size
  • High flow rate
  • Designed for heavy metal filtration

Cons:

  • Low rate of iron removal @ 3PPM – not suitable for iron rich supplies

Iron Filter for Wells FAQ

What is the difference between a water softener and a filter?

A water softener treats the water that pases through to change its qualities.

Hard water usually contains calcium and magnesium which can wreak havoc on household appliances and both domestic and commercial plumbing systems.

By softening the water, these undesirable elements are removed using a chemical process, however these are the only particles removed.

A water filter removes other particles.

Sediments, rust, pesticides and herbicides, iron, dirt and organic compounds can all be removed from the incoming water supply by using a filter, which a water softener cannot do.

The decision as to which system, a water softener or a water filter, will be dictated by the qualities of the water in the area.

Filtration is usually used to improve the quality of water by removing undesirable compounds and particles.

Softening is more commonly deployed as a protective measure. Softened water helps appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers last longer and operate more efficiently, saving the owner money and inconvenience.

How often will I have to maintain my iron water filter?

This is a difficult question to answer as all manufacturers set different recommendations for maintenance.

It is generally advisable to set a routine for maintaining your water filter, to make sure the system doesn’t get forgotten.

The most common maintenance items are checking and cleaning the filters, and replacing them as required. This is usually a very simple task, and the sooner you can get into the habit of maintaining your system the less likely it is you will experience faults, or need expensive repairs.

Can I install the filter myself or do I need to hire someone?

Most water filters, even whole house filtration systems, are fairly simple to install as long as you have the confidence to work on plumbing systems.

Given the consequences of plumbing mistakes (which can be severe), many people prefer to leave this work to a plumber or general handyman. If you can follow instructions and are comfortable using a wrench, there is rarely anything difficult about installing your own water filter.

Given that installing a whole house filter requires you to switch off the water supply to your home entirely, the work should be planned in advance to make sure that you have all of the materials you need before you start.

It is also advisable to make sure there will be no inconvenience to other people by shutting off the water (ie everyone is showered, and the washing machine/dishwasher aren’t in use), and we would always recommend starting the job as early in the day as possible so if you do run into any snags (such as running out of plumbers tape, or breaking a fitting) you have plenty of time to set things right before stores close, or in a real emergency before plumbers stop taking calls!

Can Water Filters be Cleaned and Reused?

Aside from very basic strainer type fiters (which are sometimes used as the first prefilter), filter blocks and cartridges cannot be reused effectively.

Household filters such as pitcher types are designed to be disposable, often being made from recycled materials and intended to go in the bin/recycling when their effectiveness wanes.

Filter blocks and meshes as found in whole house systems will usually treat a greater volume of water than a smaller point of use filter, which means that they need to be replaced more frequently.

The frequency with which filters need relapsing is often reflected in their price. You will generally find that more expensive filters will last longer, and the size and capacity of the filtration system for which they are designed will also have a bearing on the filters specified.

My water is rusty looking out of the tap; do I still need a water test?

If you have any doubts over the quality of your water supply, we would always recommend that you have it professionally tested to confirm that it is safe to drink, and does not contain any harmful elements.

Although very often discoloration in your supply is harmless, the reality is that water is the most important substance for life… is it really worth risking your health, or that of your family by not making sure that what you are drinking is safe?

Can Water Filters Get Moldy?

Mold usually forms in damp environments but it cannot grow underwater. It also requires a source of nutrients, so even if your filter is exposed to the air, there would need to be some form of sustenance for the mold to survive. As such, it is very rare that water filters will become moldy.

In water filtration systems that are not regularly used or cleaned it is far more common for algae to grow, appearing as green slime on the filter.

Should you notice any mold or algae forming on your water filter, you should wash it up in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly afterwards before refitting however if possible we recommend replacing the filter with a new one.

Should you notice an ongoing problem with mold or algae forming in your filters, you should speak with an expert as there could be other factors causing the problem.

Won’t a reverse osmosis system remove iron from my water?

In short, yes it will however there is a downside..

While a reverse osmosis can filter iron and heavy metals from the water supply, you will also require pre filters to reduce the load on the membrane. The addition of these filters to the system increases the overall cost, and RO membranes can also be costly to replace.

For these reasons, if your water supply has high iron content we recommend installing a whole house filtration system that is specifically designed to remove iron from the water.

What to consider when buying a water filter for iron removal

Types Of Filters

Different filter types are commonly used to treat different impurities in the water supply. For this reason, we always recommend testing your supply to establish exactly what your water contains so you know how to treat it.

There are many different types of filters and we could discuss them all day, so we recommend you check out this article if you want to learn more about filter types.

Types Of Filter Media

Filter media is the material within a water treatment system that interacts with the water supply and removes contaminants.

This could be as simple as a fine mesh to remove dirt and sediments, or it could be KDF or activated carbon which are known to be effective at removing heavy metals and organic compounds respectively.

Other types of media include UV light (effective at killing bacteria and microorganisms) and the salt in water softeners.

Size

Both the physical size and the capacity of a filter for well water will be considerations when choosing which filter is best for your well water needs.

It tends to be the case that water filters with smaller capacity have lower flow rates, being designed to serve homes with less people. These filters will usually only be able to provide filtered water to a single bathroom, with the flow rate insufficient to service multiple showers or appliances at the same time.

Larger properties require a filtration system with a greater capacity, that is able to treat a larger volume of water in order to keep up with demand. This usually means that filters and tanks are larger,and often multiple stages of filtration are used to maintain the flow.

While a larger capacity water filtration system for well water is able to treat a greater volume of water faster, they are usually more expensive – both to purchase and maintain.

Smaller capacity well water filters are cheaper to purchase however if a smaller filter than is needed is fitted to a property the initial savings will be quickly swallowed up by frequent filter changes and maintenance costs.

Price

It may sound obvious, but the best iron filter for well water in your home must be one that you can afford to purchase and keep running.

All water filters have some costs that are recurrent for the life of the machine, which is why it always pays to research the cost of replacement filters, to make sure that you are prepared for the unit’s running costs.

It is also helpful to read up on other reviews written by filter owners when planning your purchase. These can give great insight into problems which might arise after the warranty period, as well as how easy a manufacturer’s customer service team is to deal with and how freely available spare parts are.

Filter Replacements

This is closely tied to the size of the filter as discussed earlier.

Depending on the water filter you choose, you can expect to change the filters anywhere between 3 monthly – 10 yearly. Generally you should expect correctly sized and properly fitted filters to have an average lifespan of 6-12 months.

Depending on the characteristics of the water at your property, iron filters can require more regular cleaning (especially where magnetic filters are used) than may be required on systems dealing with chemicals or organic compounds, but the filters can last longer.

Well water tends to be more prone to organic compounds and VOCs than other supplies, so the addition of a UV filtration unit or an activated carbon filter may be needed to improve the quality of the supply for drinking.

Testing Your Water

Before committing to purchase any type of filtration system, we always recommend testing your water to understand its characteristics and identify exactly what issues you need a water filter to treat.

Borehole and well water can be prone to high levels of iron and manganese, herbicides and pesticides.

Many municipal water supplies can be improved by the installation of a filtration system designed to treat VOCs, organic compounds and sediments.

Given that different types of filter media treat different containers with differing degrees of effectiveness, if you don’t know exactly what is in your water it is much harder to improve the quality with the addition of a filter.

The only way you can know for sure is testing.

Installation

Most filtration systems are simple enough nowadays that a competent homeowner can install their new filter themselves with minimal fuss, saving the cost of needing a professional to install the system.

Most manufacturers make their filter literature available on their websites, which means you can read up on how to install a filter before you buy, and even speak to their customer care teams if you have any questions.

Maintaining Your System

Although maintenance of a water filter system is fairly straightforward, no two filters are alike and so they all have varying maintenance requirements.

Routine maintenance is especially important when dealing with an iron filter. Fine mesh is often used as a prefilter, and although very effective when you need to remove particles from the flow of water through the unit, these are prone to blocking if they are changed regularly.

The lifespan of the filter (or filter cartridges) is usually written on the packaging and can vary greatly according to the filter capacity and the water use of the household.

When it comes to a water softener it can be harder to accurately predict ahead of time how often the pre filters will need changing or how regularly you will need to top up the salt. The best advice for this is to do your research and select a softener that fits your home;s needs, and then monitor your salt consumption over a few weeks or a month. This will allow you to gauge how quickly you are consuming salt and get into a routine of filling up when needed.

It is important to maintain your system as the manufacturer recommends to ensure that the warranty remains valid and to stave off repairs caused through poor user process.

What’s The Deal With Iron?

How Does Iron Affect the Human Body?

Iron, along with calcium, magnesium, manganese and other naturally occurring minerals are a perfectly normal feature within drinking water, and have been for thousands of years.

While these cause no harm and can even be beneficial to health in small quantities, excessive levels of iron can cause health issues in addition to the inconvenience of staining fittings in the home and the metallic taste associated with high levels of iron in drinking water.

Certain medical conditions such as haemochromatosis, which causes the body to increase absorption of iron can lead to complications with the heart, liver and pancreas if iron consumption is not limited.
Certain skin conditions, for example Eczema, can also be aggravated by high iron levels causing extreme reactions in some cases.

The most noticeable reports from many reviews we’ve seen in that the addition of an iron filter for well water are simply that water tastes better and is more enjoyable to drink.

How Does Iron Get into Water?

Once rainwater falls to the ground, it runs through layers of rock below the ground. As it passes through these layers, it dissolves the rocks and carries small particles that made up the rock along with it.

Iron and manganese are commonly found in bedrock layers, which the rainwater washes through.
Wells (and boreholes) can be drilled hundreds of feet deep, often so deep that the rainwater which feeds the below-ground water reserves has passed through iron and manganese rich rocks on its way.

When the well is pumped these elements suspended within the water are drawn up as well and if not filtered or treated, will be delivered through the outlets in a property within the water supply.

This can cause staining to sinks and sanitaryware, blocking of pipes and shorten the life of appliances within the home.

How Iron is removed From Well Water

Almost all water drawn from a well will contain at least traces of iron, if not more significant amounts.

Iron is usually picked up, along with manganese, as the water runs through the bedrock and is suspended in the supply when the well water is pumped from the ground to your home.

You cannot stop iron and manganese from entering the water, but you can limit how much of the iron in the water supply comes into your home, and how much you and your family consume.

Before you decide on an iron filter for well water, you should have the iron levels in the water tested to confirm the concentration that you need a water filtration system to deal with.

An iron filter for well water should be suited to the characteristics of the water at the site.

Once you have identified and installed a suitable water filter for well water containing iron, you should flush all pipework in the property with water from the filtered system and test iron levels again to make sure that the filter is correctly installed and doing its job.

Lastly, you should take the time to read through the owner’s manual to ensure that you are aware of the routine maintenance needed to keep your iron filter working at the top of its game.

Conclusion

Having looked at all 7 filters, we can’t get away from the Springwell Whole House Iron Filter as the best filter for a well-fed water supply.

Gold Seal certified to remove up to 7-10PPM iron, it has a good rate of iron removal as well as manganese & sulfur, and it comes from Springwell – a market-leading brand in the filtration industry.

If your home suffers from high iron levels in the water supply, you won’t go wrong with Springwell’s iron filter.

A special mention also goes to the Softpro Iron Master, which has the largest iron filtration capacity at a very affordable price.

Overall, we recommend Springwell first and then Softpro or Pelican’s system for the best iron specific filter. You can also see the best overall whole house water filters for well water here. 

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