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Whole House Filter System FAQs and Facts

By February 19, 2020November 29th, 2020No Comments

There are a ton of facts and information surrounding whole water filtration systems, and we know it can be a bit overwhelming– so we’re here to help you gain a better understanding of them. 

We’ve written a number of blogs about whole house filtration, so if you’re new to whole house filtration, we recommend starting with these before reading this blog:

What is a whole house filtration system? Whole house water filters provide filtered water to every point of entry in your house. This means you will get filtered water to your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bathtub/shower, and water-using appliances. 

Where are whole house filter systems installed? Whole house water filter systems are installed where the main water line enters your home. 

What is a flow rate and why is it important? Flow rate is also known as Gallons Per Minute (GPM). To break it down even further, this means how many gallons can your water fill up in a minute. The restriction a filter creates is normally provided as Pounds Per Square Inch (PSI) at a given level of flow. For example, FF10MBS-5 shows 2GPM at 2PSI. This means that at a flow rate of 2GPM there will be a decrease in water pressure of 2PSI which is a negligible amount.

What kind of connection does a whole house filter system have? Normally housings have threaded connections, but connection sizes vary. The most common connection size is 3/4” or 1”. 

What connection size should I choose? The connection size for the filter housing should be equal to or larger than the main water line point of entry. 

What does a whole house filter look like?

A whole house filter has 3 main parts: 

    • Sump
    • O-ring
    • Lid

A filter wrench and mounting brackets are common accessories for whole house filter systems. 

What size filter housing should I choose? Several things can determine what kind of filter housing you will need. We recommend the largest housing you have room for. You’ll also need to think about what kind of contaminants you need to filter out. When it comes to certain contaminants, it can be difficult to achieve a noticeable or otherwise sustainable improvement with a drop-in cartridge system; for example iron, hard water, high TDS, high sodium and other more specialized applications. These normally need large tank-style systems. Even a more common contaminant like chlorine can be difficult to treat if you are limited to a smaller 10” system.

Make sure you test your water before investing in a whole house water filter system. Need to order a water test kit? Click here to shop our selection. 

What do you use to lubricate O-rings? Food grade silicone. Vaseline can make the O-ring dry out, crack, stretch or otherwise distort the shape of the O-ring.

What kind of filter does a whole house filter system use? 

There are two main types of water filters for whole house filter systems: 

  1. Sediment. This is the most common filter used for whole house filter systems and is recommended for general use. Reduces sediment in water.
  2. Carbon. This is the second most common filter type. Carbon improves water taste and odor and removes sediment as well. 

Which whole house filter type is right for me?

Here’s a quick reference for the different filter types we have at

  • What is a pleated water filter? This type of sediment filter removes large and fine sediment particles like sand, dirt, silt, and rust. This is a great option for improving the taste of your water. 
  • What is a poly spun water filter? This type of sediment filter is made of melted polypropylene that is spun into a cylinder. This filter’s main function is to filter out large and fine particles like sand, dirt, silt, and rust. 
  • What is a string wound water filter? This type of sediment filter not only catches dirt and sediment on the surface of the filter but through its core too. String wound filters do not remove chemicals and do not improve the taste of drinking water. 
  • What is a carbon block water filter? This type of carbon filter is held together with a bonding agent and is very porous. The carbon absorbs contaminants in the water which can restrict flow rate. Most carbon block filters are known best for removing chlorine and bad taste from drinking water. Carbon block filters, if certified, can also remove things like lead and bacteria. 
  • What is a granular activated carbon water filter? This type of carbon filter contains loose activated carbon. Regular GAC filters are normally more restrictive. They are designed this way on purpose to ensure there is enough contact time with the media to achieve chlorine reduction. This is usually not recommended for whole-house use. 

Quick note: There is a different type of filter known as RFC or radial flow carbon. This uses GAC in a way that it does not restrict water flow and is, therefore, suitable for whole-house use.

How do I choose the right micron level for my filter? The lower the micron number is the tighter the filter media is. Low micron level filters can clog more easily which will restrict flow rate and may require more frequent filter changes. When it comes to whole house filters, we recommend starting at 20-30 microns and moving down from there. It usually takes some trial and error to get it just right for its application.

washing vegetables with water


What filter size do you need? Filter size depends on your daily water usage. You’ll also want to make sure that the filter size you choose will fit your filter housing.

How long does a whole house filter last? The life of the filter will depend on use and water quality.  It is recommended that you change your whole house water filter every 6 months especially for carbon filters. Carbon filters can foster bacteria growth over time which is why most of those are recommended to be replaced at a maximum timeframe of 6 months.

As a rule of thumb: 

  • 10” standard filters last 1-3 months
  • 10” BB filters last 3-6 months
  • 20” standard filters last 3-6 months 
  • 20” BB filters last 6-12 months. 

*Of course, this depends on water quality and usage.

How do I know when I need to change my whole house filter? A decrease in water pressure is a good indicator that you will need to change your filter. A common misconception is that you need to change your filter when it “looks dirty;” however, your filter is supposed to look dirty. A dirty filter means it’s doing its job!

Do you have any questions about Whole House Filtration Systems that we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments and we’ll answer it! is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on  
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