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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Water Filter

Water Filter Cost


How Much Does a Water Filter Cost?

 
low costFaucet-Mounted Filter: $15-$50average costUnder-Sink Filter: $100-$600+high costWhole-House System: $500-$10,000+
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Household water filtration systems typically use a filtration process (the water passes through a barrier that traps larger undesirable particles) and/or reverse osmosis (pressurized water is squeezed through a special selective membrane). The Maine Department of Health and Human Services provides an overview.

Typical costs:

  • A household water filter varies from a simple 5-cup pitcher to a system that treats the entire household water supply. Consumer Reports describes the different types of water filters[1] .
  • A 5-10-cup pitcher holding or or an 18-23-cup dispenser with a spigot, both using a carbon filter to remove bad tastes and odors from a small quantity of water, can cost $7-$50 depending on capacity, style and features like a "replace filter" indicator. For example, the Clear2O Original Water Pitcher CWS 100A[2] holds nine cups of water, connects directly to a kitchen faucet for filling, fills/filters in 34 seconds and costs $10-$24; and the ZeroWater ZD-023 23-Cup Water Dispenser and Filtration System costs $38-$40.
  • A faucet-mounted water filter uses a filtration process and typically costs $15-$50 although some cost $100 or more, depending on brand and features like multiple filters (two-stage or three-stage) or infusing fruit flavors into the filtered water. The Pur FM-9400B 3-Stage Horizontal Mount Faucet Water Filter[3] with an electronic filter indicator costs $32-$40. Most faucet-mount filters are relatively simple to install on a standard kitchen faucet, although they may not fit all faucets.
  • A countertop model connects directly to a standard kitchen faucet, but the filtering unit sits on the counter. These typically cost $30-$300, depending on the number of filters and water capacity. For example, the Aquasana Countertop Water Filter AQ-4000[4] with dual filter cartridges filters up to 30 gallons an hour and costs $100.
  • Under-sink water filters can cost $100-$600 or more, depending on capacity, and how many and what type of contaminants they remove. With an under-sink model the filtration unit is hidden out of sight in the cabinet below the sink. They use a filtration or reverse osmosis treatment process, and installation typically requires cutting into the plumbing lines. The Aqua-Pure DWS100 Compact Undersink Drinking Water System[5] with dual-stage filtration and a filter indicator processes up to 30 gallons an hour and costs $290-$300. Professional installation can add $100-$300 to the total cost; some retailers include installation in their price or this can be a do-it-yourself project. ThisOldHouse.com explains how to install an under-sink water filter[6] , estimating this will take two to four hours and basic to moderate plumbing skills, including soldering pipe joints.
  • Also called a point-of-entry system, a whole-house water filtration system treats the water as it enters the house through the main supply pipe. These systems might include both filtration and reverse osmosis, a water softener, a tankless water heater and other water treatment or delivery devices, with costs varying from $400-$1,500 for a single unit to $10,000 or more for a complete system. If not included in the cost of the system, professional installation (plumbing and electrical) is typically required and can add $100-$500 or more, depending on what is needed. For example, water filter manufacturer Aquasana[7] estimates a typical installation of its EQ-300 by a plumber takes one to two hours and costs $120-$180 (and the warranty requires installation by a licensed plumber); while Remco Engineering[8] in California estimates that installing a complete household reverse osmosis system costs $300-$400 on average.
Related articles: Water Testing and Treatment, Water Softener, Plumber, Handyman

Additional costs:
  • To decide if the household water needs filtering, having a lab test water samples can cost a nominal fee at government or university labs, or $50-$500 or more at private labs, depending on the number and type of compounds tested.
  • The cost of replacement filters or cartridges varies significantly, starting at $3-$20 each for pitchers or faucet-mount models, to $100-$300 for whole-house systems.
Shopping for a water filter:
  • Charcoal filtration systems are the simplest method, but are not effective if the water contains inorganic compounds like arsenic or nitrates, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Reverse osmosis systems are considered effective at filtering out inorganic compounds and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[9] , are highly effective in removing protozoa like Giardia, bacteria like E. coli and viruses like Hepatitis A.
  • NSF International lists tips for selecting a household water treatment system[10] , and a Consumer Reports video describes the pros and cons[11] of different types of water filters.
  • Consumer Reports lists water filter brands[12] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-filters/buying-guide.htm?pn=1
  2.  www.clear2o.com/p-16-original-water-pitcher.aspx
  3.  www.purwater.com/water/pur-products/
  4.  www.aquasana.com/product_detail.php?product_id=11
  5.  www.aquapurefilters.com/store/product/200084.200073/ap-dws1000.html
  6.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,845083,00.html
  7.  www.aquasanastore.com/faq-wholehouse.html
  8.  remco.com/homero-cost.htm
  9.  www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/household_water_treatment.html
  10.  www.nsf.org/consumer/drinking_water/selecting_dwtu.asp?program=WaterTreatment
  11.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/home--garden/kitchen/getting-the-right-water-filt...
  12.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/water-filters/buying-guide.htm?pn=3
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