How Much Does a Whole-Home Water Filter Cost: A Breakdown of Prices, Installation, and Maintenance

Photo of author

By Eric Phillips


A whole-home water filtration system is a valuable investment for your home. It purifies every drop of water entering your home. But the filter comes with a premium price tag.

The cost of a whole-house water filtration system can vary depending on the filter design and capacity. Additionally, there are installation and maintenance costs to consider.

To understand the cost of installing a whole-house water filter, it's important to consider the type of water source: municipal or private well. The cost will vary based on the source.

At A Glance:

  • A whole-house water filter can cost between $150 and $8000 or more.
  • The cost of the system largely depends on the type of system you choose.
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are the most expensive and can cost over $8000.
  • Cartridge-based sediment filters are the most affordable option and usually cost between $150 and $500.
  • Whole-house filter systems for well water can cost between $800 and $5000 or more.
  • Additional factors that can affect price include flow rate, capacity, installation costs, and annual maintenance.

How Much Does a Point-Of-Entry Water Filter Cost?

The cost of a point-of-entry water filter can vary greatly, with prices ranging from under $150 to over $8,000 depending on the model. To better understand the costs, it's helpful to consider the cost to purchase, install, and maintain the system in the first year.

System TypePurchaseInstallationAnnual MaintenanceTotal Cost
Cartridge Sediment Filter$50 – $100$70 – $300$30 – $100$150 – $500+
UV Water Purifier$200 – $1000+$200 – $500+$100+$500 – $1600+
Multi-Stage POE Water Filter$300 – $500+$200 – $500+$100 – $300+$600 – $1300+
Tank-Based Whole-Home Water Filter$300 – $2500+$200 – $500+$30 – $100+$500 – $3000+
Whole House Reverse Osmosis System$500 – $8000+$500+$300+$1300 – $9000+
Water Softeners$700 – $3000+$200+$60+$900 – $3200+
Whole-House Well Water Filter$700 – $4500$100+$30 – $300+$800 – $5000+

Cost of Whole House Filtration Systems

Let’s dive into the cost of whole-house water filters by the system. These systems target different contaminants with different filtration methods.

Carbon-based Filters

Carbon-based water filters typically cost between $150 and $1500. More expensive systems have a greater flow rate, a higher capacity, and may have additional stages of filtering.

Carbon-based water filters use activated carbon as a filter medium. Contaminants and odors are extracted as water passes through the filter. These filters come in two designs: tank-based and cartridge-based. Tank-based designs have a higher flow rate but are more expensive than cartridge-based systems.

Use a carbon-based whole-house water filter to remove:

  • Chlorine
  • Hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell)
  • Organic chemicals
  • Pesticides/herbicides

Note that activated carbon filters can't remove hard water minerals or total dissolved solids (TDS) and may not effectively remove heavy metals or fluoride.

Sediment Filters

A cartridge-based sediment filter typically costs between $50 and $100, however, the cartridges must be replaced regularly, incurring long-term maintenance costs.

Sediment filters target large particles, such as sand, dirt, and rust, in your water. They can be used alone if these are the main contaminants or as a pre-filter to protect other water filters from damage caused by sediment.

Note that sediment filters only remove suspended particles and don't reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) or remove harmful chemicals.

Chemical Injection Systems

Chemical injection systems have a high initial cost, typically between $2000 and $3000. Installation is relatively inexpensive, but running costs include the regular replacement of chemicals.

Chemical injection systems are sophisticated, whole-house water filter systems that add chemicals like peroxide or chlorine to neutralize contaminants.

Use a chemical injection system to remove:

  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Sulfur

UV Systems

UV systems can start at around $200 for basic models, but for systems with higher flow rates and additional filtering, the cost can be over $500.

UV water filter systems use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses in your water. These systems target organisms, leaving chemicals, sediment, lead, and chlorine in your water supply. These systems are effective at purifying your water, but they don't improve taste or odor.

Water Softeners

The cost of an ion exchange water softener typically ranges from $700 to $3000. Investing in a whole-house water softener can save you money in the long run by preventing costly damage to your pipes and appliances.

Water softeners remove hard water minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your water. They typically use an ion exchange system to replace these ions with sodium ions.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Whole-house RO systems are among the most expensive types of water filters. They typically cost between $500 and $8,000 for the system alone.

Reverse osmosis systems use pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane, removing a wide range of contaminants, including fluoride, lead, chlorine, pesticides, and total dissolved solids (TDS). They can also remove iron, but an excess of iron can damage the system and require more maintenance.

Well Water Filtration Systems Cost

Well water filter systems can cost between $700 and $4500, depending on the capacity and number of stages of filtration.

Installing a private well can be costly, it's important to understand the cost of a well water filtration system before starting the process.

Common contaminants found in well water include iron and sediment, which can affect the taste and color of your drinking water. It is also important to regularly test your well water for harmful contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, to ensure it is safe to drink.

Iron Filters

The cost for iron filters ranges from $1,200 to $2,500.

Iron filters are a common choice for well water. They remove iron by using a combination of oxidation and sub-micron sediment filtering. In addition to iron, oxidation systems can also remove manganese and sulfur, improving the taste and odor of your drinking water.

Other Well Water Filter Costs

Cartridge-based, tank-based and chemical injection filtering are commonly used to tackle additional contaminants in well water. You can use the same systems for municipal water supplies on private wells water supplies so the costs are the same as listed above.

Factors That Affect Whole House Water Filter Cost

The cost of a whole house water filter can vary greatly. To help you understand the factors that influence the price, we will examine the different elements that determine the cost of a point-of-entry water filter system.

Filtration Process

Water filtering can take many forms. To capture sediment of a certain size, you can pass water through a filtering gauze. To kill contaminants, you can chemically inject peroxide into the water. To bond with iron particles and create a precipitate that can be captured with a sub-micron filter, you can inject oxygen.

The complexity of the filter process affects price. Simple sediment filters are cheaper than complex processes like oxidation or reverse osmosis. Activated carbon filtering falls in between.

Flow Rate

Larger water filters are more expensive because their size correlates with flow rate, which is the speed at which the filter can filter water. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute (GPM).

If you have a busy household with multiple bathrooms and a frequently-used washing machine, you will need a high flow rate. A low flow rate can result in a lack of water pressure at the faucet while someone is taking a shower.

To determine the flow rate you need from a water filter, consider the water usage of appliances and activities. Average usage rates are:

  • Toilets: 2-3 GPM
  • Showers: 1.5-3.0 GPM
  • Faucets (bathroom or kitchen): 2-3 GPM
  • Dishwashers: 2-4 GPM
  • Washing machines: 3-5 GPM

Flow rate ranges from 5 GPM, which is sufficient for a one-person household, to 30 GPM or more. Be sure to choose a filter with a flow rate that can meet the needs of your household.

Size And Capacity

The capacity of a whole-house water filter determines how much water it can process before needing to be replaced. Choosing a smaller system may result in more frequent replacements.

The average American uses 300 gallons of water per day, or over 100,000 gallons per year. Whole-house water filter capacities can range from 10,000 to 1,000,000 gallons. Consider if you want to replace your filter media every month or every ten years. Keep in mind that smaller capacity may lead to higher maintenance costs in the long run.

Extras and Special Features

Some whole-house filter systems come with everything needed for installation, while others may require additional accessories. Consider the cost of installation kits, pressure valves, pumps, and storage tanks when comparing options. A more expensive system may actually save money in the long run.

Special features such as water softeners and iron filters may require backwashing to flush contaminants from the system. Automatic backwashing is a premium feature that can help maintain the filter's condition. This feature also increases the cost of the system.


Warranties provide peace of mind in case something goes wrong with your system. A standard warranty is one year, however, many manufacturers offer lifetime warranties for long-term security.


While Gucci don't currently produce whole-house water filters, purchasing a brand name can still result in a higher cost. Popular brands such as Springwell Water and Aquasana may come with a higher price tag, but it's often due to their use of high-quality materials and construction. It's important to note that purchasing a cheaper water filter from an untested brand may end up costing more in the long run.

Installation Costs for Whole House Water Filters

The cost of a whole house water filter primarily comes from the system itself. However, installation costs can also add up. For reverse osmosis systems and tank-based systems, installation can range from $500.

Professional Installation

The average labor cost for the installation of a whole-home water filter ranges from $200 to $500. The cost will vary depending on the specific system and the time required for installation.

Hiring a master plumber for the installation of a whole-house filter can cost between $75 and $125 per hour. Some contractors charge by the hour, while others offer a fixed price for the installation.

DIY Installation

You can install a whole-house water filter yourself if you have DIY and plumbing experience. Ensure you have all the necessary tools and accessories. Some brands offer installation kits for less than $100, making the process simple.

Costs For DIY Installation

DIY installation is the cheapest option if you have your own tools. To install a whole-house water filter, you will need:

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Adjustable wrench and pipe wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pipe cutter or hacksaw
  • Bucket
  • Plumber's Tape (around $5)
  • Optional: soldering kit

Additionally, you may need to purchase any additional bypass valves ($20) and pressure gauges ($50) not included with the whole-house water filter.

DIY vs Professional Installation

DIY installation can save you money, but if you make a mistake it can cost you more in the long run. If you’re not comfortable with plumbing repairs, it’s best to hire a professional.

Additionally, keep in mind that professional installation may be required to maintain your manufacturer’s warranty. If something goes wrong and you installed it yourself, you may not be covered.

Permits and Inspection

Permits are generally not required for the installation of a whole-house water filter. However, it's important to check with local regulations. Contact your housing association or building department for more information.

In some cases, DIY installation may not be allowed or may only be permitted with a post-installation inspection.

Water Testing

DIY home water tests cost as little as $15, while a full-spectrum test by a local water quality expert costs around $200. You can find a list of licensed laboratories from local environmental departments.

When considering purchasing a whole-house water filter, it's important to know which contaminants you need to remove. While you may be able to identify hydrogen sulfide by its smell, and iron contamination by rust-red water, there are many harmful contaminants that aren't visible. A water test can help determine which contaminants are present in your water.

Total Installation Costs by System Type

System TypeInstallation Cost
Cartridge Sediment Filter$70 – $300
UV Water Purifier$200 – $500+
Multi-Stage POE Water Filter$200 – $500+
Tank-Based Whole House Water Filter$200 – $500+
Whole House Reverse Osmosis System$500+
Water Softeners$200+
Whole-House Well Water Filter$100+

Maintenance Costs for Whole House Water Filters

The annual maintenance cost for a whole-house filter ranges from $30 to $300. It's crucial to replace the filter media when it reaches the end of its lifespan to ensure the filter functions properly and to prevent harmful contaminants from entering your drinking water.

System TypeMaintenance Cost
Cartridge Sediment Filter$30 – $100
UV Water Purifier$100+
Multi-Stage POE Water Filter$100 – $300+
Tank-Based Whole House Water Filter$30 – $100+
Whole House Reverse Osmosis System$300+
Water Softeners$60+
Whole-House Well Water Filter$30 – $300+

Cartridge-based Filter Systems

Cartridge-based water filter systems are cheaper to purchase but more expensive to maintain. Regular replacement of filter cartridges is required, sometimes as frequently as every three months. This can cost several hundred dollars per year, especially for multi-stage filters. The cost of a replacement sediment filter is around $30 and a replacement carbon block filter is around $50.

Water Softeners

The maintenance cost of a salt-based water softener is approximately $5 to $30 per month, primarily due to the use of 40 lbs of sodium per month. These systems also require backwashing, which can lead to an increase in your water bill.

Chemical Injection Filters

Filters that use chlorine or peroxide for purification require regular chemical replacement. The cost depends on the frequency and amount of replacement. For example, hydrogen peroxide costs approximately $40 per gallon.

Tank-Based Water Filter Systems

Tank-based filter systems will simply require replacement media once the filter capacity has been reached. This will be between 10,000 and 1,000,000 gallons or up to ten years. Some systems will require individual filters to be replaced more frequently, every 2 – 3 years.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis water filters need replacement membranes every 3 to 5 years and the filter needs to be changed annually. The maintenance costs for this type of water filter is around $300 per year.

What Are The Benefits Of A Whole House Water Filter?

Better Tasting Water

POE water filters improve the taste and odor of your water by removing sediment, sulfur, and iron.

Safe Drinking Water

Whole-house water filters remove dangerous contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and heavy metals to ensure safe drinking water for your family.

Healthy Bathing

Purified water through a whole-house filter means healthier bathing by removing contaminants such as chlorine and minerals that can irritate skin and damage hair.

Less Damage To Pipes and Appliances

A whole-house water filter that removes compounds such as iron, sediment, and hard water minerals helps to prevent clogging and damage to plumbing and appliances.

No More Bottled Water

Installing a whole-house water filter is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to buying bottled water, which can cost over $700 a year.


Investing in a whole-house water filter can save you money in the long run. You'll no longer need to purchase bottled water as your faucet will provide purified water. Additionally, removing contaminants can prolong the lifespan of your pipes and appliances.

One way to reduce the cost is by opting for a DIY installation. Point-of-entry (POE) water filters require regular maintenance, so it's beneficial to learn how to maintain them yourself.

Not only will you have clean water for drinking, but also for washing.

Eric Phillips

Meet Eric, the Water Treatment Specialist and founder of Dripfina, where he shares his wealth of expertise. With notable features in Realtor, ApartmentTherapy, FamilyHandyMan, and more, Eric is a renowned expert in water treatment industry. Join Eric on Dripfina and benefit from #AskDripfina community to make informed decisions for clean, refreshing water.

Leave a Comment