Home Water Filter Systems and Installation Costs

Average Cost: $1,765

Most homeowners pay $1,400 – $2,100 for their system installed by a pro. The cost of a whole house water filtration system ranges from about $100 for a basic DIY system to more than $3,500 for a professionally installed system with advanced filtration features.
Average DIY
$360
Average Pro
$1,765
Typical Range
$1,400 – $1,995
Low End
$100 (DIY)
High End
$3,500 and Up (Pro)
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

How Much Does it Cost to Install A Whole House Water Filter and Treatment System?

Low
$100 – $1,395
Average Cost
$1,400 – $1,995
High
$2,000 – $3,500+
Filter System Cost$100 – $1,200$1,400 – $1,800$1,700 – $3,000
InstallerDIY or ProDIY or ProPro
Number of FiltersSingleComboCombo
Filtration LevelLowLow to ModerateModerate to High
Water CapacityLow to MediumMedium to HighHigh
Testing IncludedNoYes or NoYes
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Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

whole house water filtered water in glass

Overview of Whole House Water Filtering Systems

Impurities in drinking water range from iron that stains fixtures and are little more than a nuisance to PFAS and PFOS that cause serious health issues. Increased awareness of unhealthy drinking water has made adding a whole house filtration system one of the more popular interior home improvement projects.

This whole house water filter system cost estimate includes cost factors, retail costs, installation charges and pricing estimates from other reliable cost sites. There’s a brief section explaining your options for the types of whole-house water filtration systems available.

Homeowner-submitted costs are included – and you’re invited to return to share your project cost too.

Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

House Water Filter Price Factors

Your whole house water filter system price will depend on the type you choose and other factors.

  • System Type – Sediment filters ($-$$) are the least expensive, but they’re not designed to remove tiny particles or serious contaminants like PFAS or arsenic. Reverse osmosis systems ($$-$$$) are typically recommended if serious contaminants have been found when water is tested for impurities. Activated carbon filters ($$-$$$) in combination with other filter types are best sellers and have the widest range of pricing based on their capacity and features. They remove a broad range pollutants. Systems with a salt-free water softening component ($$$-$$$$) cost most and provide the most treatment of the water.
  • How Effectively it Filters – Sediment (silt, dirt, rust, minerals) are rated the size of the particles in microns they remove. Chemical filters are rated in parts per million, ppm, they remove. The better the filtration, the higher the cost.
  • The Use of a Pre-filter – Many systems use paper filters that are often considered pre-filters when used in tandem with a carbon or reverse osmosis (RO) system.
  • System Capacity – Capacity is rated by the number of gallons that can be filtered before the filter needs changing, typically in the 50,000 to 150,000 range. They are also rated for the gallons per minute (GPM) that can be filtered. Residential water filter systems filter 8-15 GPM.
  • Number of Filters – Those with 3 filters are common. For example, many have a polypropylene filter to remove large sediment, an activated carbon filter for chlorine and other unwanted chemicals and a filter designed to remove heavy metals from the water. These systems, especially when filtration is high, cost the most.
  • Who Installs the System – Most homeowners leave this to a pro, but some can be DIY for those with basic plumbing skills. See our DIY or Not section below for details, or browse other plumbing repair project costs.
  • Where you Live – Installation labor costs are higher in large metro areas, especially on the Coasts, than they are in small towns and rural areas.
  • Whether Water Testing is Included – Testing ranges from $15 DIY kits to $200+ testing by a professional. Obviously, the more contaminants you test for, the higher the cost. But you’ll also get more information to use to choose the right filter for the pollutants in your water. Some local water departments offer free or reduced-cost testing. Many sellers of water filtration systems, such as Culligan and Kinetico, offer free testing. But expect the test results to come with a strong sales pitch for their pricey water filter system.

Note on Free Testing: Home Depot and other home improvement stores sometimes offer “Free” water test kits. You fill a small vile with your home’s water and send it to the lab, postage paid. These tests are usually only for hardness, not any contaminants – though the packaging may not state that. A few weeks after sending in the water sample, you’ll get a call from a local water filtration company seeking to sell you a system. If you want your water thoroughly tested, we suggest you skip this step and go straight to your water department or the local seller of your choice, not Home Depot’s choice.

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Here’s a useful article on How to Decide What Water Tests to Order.

Cost of Water Filter Installation Supplies

We’ve surveyed the water filtration system landscape for prices. The cost of installation is covered below.

Here are whole house water filter retail costs.

  • $50 – $115 | Paper or Polypropylene Filter (pre-filter) and Housing.
  • $350 – $2,500 | Single Carbon Filters or Combination Filters with a carbon main filter.
  • $400 – $850 | Carbon and Sediment Filters designed for metals including iron and manganese.
  • $800 – $1,200 | Reverse Osmosis Systems.
  • $20 – $100 | Replacement Filters or Filter Cartridges made from paper ($), polypropylene ($-$$) or carbon ($$)

Pro Tip: It’s wise to consider the cost of replacement filters when estimating the cost of a whole house water filter system. How often you change filters depends on the filter’s volume rating, how much water you use and contaminant levels in the water. It’s common to replace filters every month to once a year.

About Water Filter Systems

You have quite a few options. Most whole house water filtration systems have multiple filters.

Here are the most common types used in single-filter and combination systems:

  • Paper and Polypropylene Pre-filters ($) are used to remove large sediment, so that the sediment won’t block and shorten the life of more expensive filters. These filters can be installed separately and are also combined into multiple-filter systems.
  • Sediment Filters remove silt and small sediment ($-$$).
  • Carbon Filters use activated carbon granules and/or carbon block to remove chlorine common in municipal water supplies plus sediment, silt and contaminants such as VOCs and herbicides that cause odor and bad taste ($$-$$$$).
  • Ultra-violet Lights kill bacteria and disinfect water ($$-$$$).
  • Filtration plus Water Softening systems are ideal for hard water – water high in minerals ($$$-$$$$). These are combination systems.
  • Reverse Osmosis systems remove common contaminants like nitrate, iron and arsenic ($$-$$$). These systems typically do not use multiple filters.

In most cases, homeowners have their water tested first and then choose a filtration system designed to remove the contaminants and levels found in their water.

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Top Whole House Water Filter Brands

There are water filtration system manufacturers and then there are companies like Culligan and Kinetico that sell you the whole package with installation.

This list is of manufacturers. You buy the system and then DIY or call a pro for the install.

  • Apec Top Tier filtration systems are combination systems. The most advanced include a reverse osmosis membrane plus poly or paper pre-filters and carbon filters.
  • Aquasana has systems for city water and for well water. It’s filters can be combined. For example, if you start with a basic carbon filter, you can upgrade the system with a UV light or a salt-free softener.
  • Express Water competes in the combination filter market. Many of its filter systems include a KDF – kinetic degradation fluxion – filter made from copper/zinc alloys to remove heavy metal, microorganisms and scale.
  • iSpring sells combination filter systems usually consisting of a polypropylene 5-micron sediment filter and carbon block or granular carbon filters.
  • Pelican makes affordable combination systems and high-end, high-capacity residential water filtration systems designed for homes with severely polluted water.
  • Pentek is a leader in affordable, single paper and poly filters in plastic housings. They’re ideal for filtering minerals, but aren’t suitable for removing very small particles, chemicals and VOCs.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | A permit is not needed to install a whole house water filtration system.

Related Costs and Installation Time

  • 1.5 – 3 Hours | Whole House Water Filtration System Installation
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DIY or Hire a Pro?

steve-hansen

These filtration systems are designed to be easily installed by a professional in a few hours.

The biggest hurdle to DIY is soldering the fittings for a secure connection, as shown in a This Old House video.

Watch the video, and if you have the skills demonstrated or really want to pick them up, give it a shot. Otherwise, pro installation is an affordable option, and that’s our recommendation.

Is This a DIY Project? What do You Think?

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Installation Costs from Around the Web

Average
Cost Range
Costimates$1,765$300 – $3,500
Home Advisor$1,796$864 – $2,774
Homewyse$885$755 – $970
Perfect Plumbing$1,875$750 – $3,500+
Best RO System$995$450 – $1,500+
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Costs Submitted by Homeowners and Pro’s

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