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Whole House Filter Before or After Pressure Tank

By: Craig Smith
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Whole House Filter Before or After Pressure Tank

As you look to find the best whole house filter for your needs, you must consider the plumbing environment in your home where it’s being placed.

One of the biggest concerns here is if you have low water pressure coming into your home that’s boosted by means of a pressure tank (typically found in home’s supplied by well water).

Not locating your new whole home filtration system properly could cause your pressure tank to be unable to function as it should.

Does a whole house filter go before or after the pressure tank? I will answer that question and a few concerning specific filter type locations.

Whole House Filter Before or After the Pressure Tank?


Most professional plumbers will know where to place your new whole house filter (also called whole home and point of entry filters) regarding whether they should place it before or after your pressure tank.

But you must know the answer to this if you are doing a DIY installation.


I will start by saying that there are several differing opinions on this.

Those in favor of installing your point of entry (POE) filter before your pressure tank will point out that this only allows clean water to get into the tank. That means no sediment to potentially clog it up.

There are even those that say it does not matter because a pressure tank can be drained and cleaned if it gets too much sediment inside of it.

What’s my opinion on all of this? 

I think there are more advantages to installing your whole home filter before the pressure tank.


This is especially true if you have a cartridge-style POE filter (see above) which can easily be cleaned to prevent clogging and pressure loss in the system.

Where Should an Iron Filter be Placed?


If you have well water coming into your home, having iron in that water can cause many problems for you.

This includes hard to clean reddish stains on your kitchen and bathroom fixtures and similar colored stains on clothing that’s been washed.  

If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should have your water tested for iron content.

When the numbers from that test reveal a high iron content in your water, then you will probably need to add an iron filter onto your incoming plumbing line.

Once again, you will have to be aware of where your new iron filter needs to be placed in respect to your water pressure tank.

Here there is only one correct answer in most people’s opinion including mine. You need to place your iron filter after your pressure tank.

What’s the reason for this? Iron filters that work well tend to start to get clogged up very quickly. That’s why they need to be periodically cleaned by what’s known as backwashing.

It takes a lot of water pressure to backwash an iron filter successfully. That’s why you want to place it after the pressure tank to take advantage of the water pressure boost that it provides.

Sediment Filters

Here is another type of filter that people have varying opinions about as to where it should be placed on your incoming water line.     

Most like to place it before any other types of filtration devices or water pressure tanks. That’s because of how rough sediment can be on other devices that are connected to your plumbing system.

Sand, silt, rust from plumbing lines, dirt, and more can quickly clog filters, ruin water aesthetics, and cause a whole host of other problems.

Although some manufacturers do place sediment filters after whole house filters (it’s very rare), you definitely want to place them before your water pressure tank.

This will help avoid you having to constantly drain and clean your pressure tank because of the sediment that accumulates in the bottom of it.

Too much sediment can also significantly impact your pressure tank’s performance.

Proper Filter Positioning is the Key to System Efficiency

The proper positioning of filters is critical when you have a tank on your plumbing system that is designed to boost your water pressure.

Otherwise, you can run into some problems that can negate the benefits of the filters that you install in your home or render your pressure tank ineffective.

If you have any questions at all as to where you should place your filters in regard to your pressure tank, I highly recommend that you call a local plumber or the filter’s manufacturer to get their opinion on this matter.

It’s just so important to get this right when you are installing a whole home or other filter on a water line where there is also a pressure tank connected to it.   

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Craig Smith
Craig got his start in water working in the swimming pool and spa industry. Water treatment would grow into his main career but he ended up working in the pool industry for over 26 years where much of his time was spent balancing the water in customer's swimming pools and installing water filtration equipment. Craig offers an abundance of water treatment knowledge after helping homeowners get pure water for 26 years.

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