Welcome to our 2019 guide to choosing the best shower filter for well water. Since well water is more likely to be hard with a higher TDS than municipally-treated water, it’s important to reach for a filter that does a better job of preventing hard water stains. You also want a shower filter with more filtration surface area to increase the contact time between your water and the filter.
In this guide and review, we share our top 5 best shower filters for well water, installation & maintenance tips, and answer frequently asked questions to help you decide which filter is best for your home.
I’m confident that by the end of our guide, you’ll have chosen a shower filter and a have a complete understanding of how we arrived at our top 5 picks.
Let’s start with our Top 5 Chart.
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Well Water Shower Filter Buyer’s Guide
In this section, we’ll go over several frequently asked questions and explain how we arrived at the filters in our Top 5.
Iron Bacteria in Well Water
The primary cause behind reddish and orangish well water deposits in your shower is iron bacteria. These bacteria feed on iron and are what cause the unpleasant odor and staining effect.
It’s important to note that no shower filter on the market is the best option to reduce/remove iron bacteria from well water. The filters in our Top 5 are excellent choices for halting the unpleasant sulfur and iron odors while you consider a better option for your home such as a water softener.
If you’re a renter, a shower filter is your best bet to avoid the unpleasant odor and staining effect of iron bacteria in water. While iron bacteria isn’t pleasant by any means, it does not pose any serious threat to your health.
We recommend a Pelican whole house water filter w/ water softener combo for iron removal and well water:
What Is KDF-55?
KDF-55 is the most common filter media type used in shower filters. KDF-55 is made of copper and zinc, and it’s advantageous for long-life filters because of its bacteriostatic or antibacterial properties that inhibit bacterial and mold growth.
KDF-55 is excellent for shower filters because it remains effective in hot water. The KDF media removes/reduces chlorine and water-soluble heavy metals, which makes it ideal for well water systems to control hard water/iron stains.
Replacement Filter Cost Comparison
One of the key considerations to make before you buy is the annual replacement filter cost. Since your well water is most likely harder than municipally-treated water, expect reduced filter life. For this reason, we can’t stress the importance of backwashing enough to extend filter life.
We ordered the replacement filters from the highest to lowest cost (1 = highest) below:
#2 Aquasana AQ-4100
#3 Pelican PSF-1
Why did we choose the Berkey as the top shower filter for well water?
Of all the shower filters we’ve reviewed, we’re most impressed by the Berkey for use with hard and/or iron-rich well water for several reasons:
- The Berkey filter contains the highest ratio of copper & zinc (KDF) for effective heavy metal removal
- Included backflush attachment for effective and easy backwashing
- The long filter life and lifetime warranty
- Berkey is one of the top water filtration brands that we trust to manufacture a quality shower filter
How to Backwash a Shower Filter
Since well water typically has more sediment and higher mineral content, it’s critical to remember to backwash your shower filter. Backwashing your shower filter ensures that your filter won’t clog and operates at full capacity.
Shower filter owners often forget to backwash their filters and end up being amazed by the gunk that comes out during the first backwash.
By backwashing the filter, you prolong the life of the filter and make sure it’s trapping as much iron, sediment, sulfur, and other gunk as possible before the water touches your skin.
The video below demonstrates how to backwash a shower filter:
How to Install a Shower Filter
We previously reviewed the Aqua Earth shower filter and found their installation video quite helpful. The video below demonstrates how to install a shower filter using Teflon tape to prevent leaks:
It’s important to use the tape and not to overtighten because overtightening can strip the threads. The key is to create a leakproof seal rather than overtightening the filter.
Most installations require no tools beyond a wrench if necessary.
How often should I change my shower filter?
If you have hard well water, you’ll most likely need to shave a couple of months off the stated filter life. To ensure you get the most out of your filter, remember to backwash it.
One of the drawbacks of Aquasana, Jonathan, and Pelican filters is no backwash option. While these filters will work with well water, Aquabliss and Berkey filters allow you to easily backwash the filter.
Aquabliss replacement shower filters are the most affordable, and you may find that Aquabliss is your best option if you prefer to change your filters often.
Remember, no shower filter will do a 100% effective job of filtering well water. Replacing filters more often is the price well water users have to pay to keep their filtered shower water fresh.
What does a shower filter remove?
Below is a list of common water contaminants that shower filters remove/inhibit:
- Heavy Metals
- Hydrogen Sulfide
Is well water bad for your hair?
Hard well water with high mineral content is notorious for drying out hair and damaging it. One of the primary reasons people invest in a quality shower filter is to avoid this problem and get softer, shinier hair without investing in expensive hair products.
Women who wash their hair with hard well water often experience color fading, frizzy hair, and hair strands that break more easily. All of the filters in our Top 5 will boost your hair health starting from the day you begin using one. We recommend keeping your filters fresh for a sustained positive effect.
Now you know how to choose the best shower filter for well water and the top 5 choices currently on the market. You also know how to install your shower filter and care for it after installation.
While we do recommend all of these filters for well water, we want you to remember that a shower filter alone is not a miracle worker. If you’re a homeowner, consider investing in a quality filter/water softener combination system to save your pipes and your appliances.
It’s a worthy investment that’ll save you big bucks in the long run. Plus, there’s no reason to install a shower filter with a whole house filter/softener combo since all the water supplied to your showers will have already been thoroughly treated.
If you’re a renter, a shower filter is undoubtedly your best option. Buy a filter from our Top 5 with the confidence that’ll it get the job done!