Whole House Water Filtration Systems Are The Only Long-Term Option For Sediment

by admin on February 20, 2014

Filtering Sediment Out of Drinking WaterThere is no one way that sediment will appear in your water.  Depending on where you live, and what type of water quality you have, water sediment may be large or small, dirty or sandy, fine or gritty.

As there are so many unique ways that water sediment issues can rear there ugly head, where do you start to solve the issue?

Whole House Water Filtration Systems Are Only Optional To A Point
At the most basic level, if you have water sediment issues in your home, you will eventually need to invest in a whole house water filtration system in order to gain complete control over the issue.  Why whole house? Because sediment will leave an impact in every pipe and from every faucet, whether that means a sandy glass of drinking water or a corroded interior of a washing machine.  This is not too say that there are no point-of-use systems that will not act as perfectly fine short term solutions, including shower filters or even washing machine filters, only that a whole house system will be necessary if you are trying to solve this issue once and for all.

Selecting Your Filter Housing
There are five industry standard whole house water filter housings, based on cartridge size – 5″ x 2.5″, 10″ x 2.5″, 20″ x 2.5″, 10″ x 4.5″ and 20″ x 4.5″.  The system pictured below is a Pentek Big Blue system that uses a 20″ x 4.5″ cartridge.

Pentek Big Blue Whole House Water Filter HousingFar too many homeowners that install a whole house water filter err on the side of small, while for most, a larger housing will be a more ideal solution. Flow rates will be better, pressure loss will be less, time between cartridge changes will be longer and water filter cost will be lower per square inch of media.

I’m not trying to indicate that you will need the biggest filter housing available, only that when buying a whole house system, it’s sometimes better to err on the side of large rather than small.  If you are unsure at this point whether you need a smaller or larger housing, I invite you to call our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE (7873.)

Choosing Your Water Filter Cartridge Type
When choosing your whole house water filter cartridge, you’ll first want to determine whether your water is treated or untreated.  If you have untreated water you absolutely must avoid any cartridge made of cellulose media.

Cellulose is derived from plants and is therefore a feast of food for any microorganism lucky enough to find your filter, where he will live, grow, multiply and potentially cause serious threats to your health. Cellulose is most often found in pleated cartridges, but some manufacturers also produce pressed cellulose cartridges.

Untreated water requires the use of a bacteriostatic filter media. Bacteriostatic simply means that microorganisms will not live and grow on the filter.  The most common bacteriostatic media is polypropylene, though polyester is also bacteriostatic.

There are two common types of polypropylene water filters; string wound and spun. The string wound water filters look just like the name indicates; a spool of tightly wound string. The spun are made from the same polypropylene, but the poly is melted and blown out of a gun and spun onto a cartridge, sort of like cotton candy.

Hydronix Pleated Sediment Water FilterThey have nearly identical performance, and are perfect for sediment removal from untreated water. For better flow and lower pressure loss consider a pleated polyester sediment water filter, like the 20″ x 4.5″ Hydronix filter to the left. The pleats give the filter more surface area than a poly string wound or poly spun water filter.

For treated water you could use any of the filter types already mentioned, but there’s no reason to look any further than pleated cellulose. Pleats offer more surface area, thus better flow with lower pressure loss. Pleated cellulose water filters are almost always the best choice for treated water.

A final option open to you when selecting whole house water filter cartridge is brand specific.  RUSCO water filters are sediment filters designed for large particulate over 75 microns and are commonly used to filter irrigation water to protect the sprinkler heads from clogging.

The most popular aspect of the RUSCO filter line is their ability to be cleaned and reused, courtesy of a flush valve to purge out the collected sediment and rinse off the cartridge. No replacing cartridges, but they don’t work well with sediment smaller than 75 microns.

If you are considering a whole house water filtration system, or need help selecting a whole house water filter cartridge, I would encourage you to connect with our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE (7873.)  You may also leave a question via a comment below.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Rafael March 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Im debating getting a whole home water filter system. Wonder if it’s worth it. Let me know what you think of my guide and description of the different stages of water filtration here http://www.la-jolla-house.com/what-water-filter-is-best/


Mike Yanke March 27, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Hi Rafael,

Thanks for the question and for sharing the link to your article above.

Whether or not a whole house water filtration system is appropriate for your needs depends on the type of sediment, impurities or contaminants you are dealing with and at what levels.
If you are dealing only with chlorine taste and odor, one of the more common impurities in municipal water, you may be OK with just a refrigerator filter, inline water filter or water filter pitcher.

Just ensure you adhere to the filter replacement timelines for best results.

If you are dealing with heavy amounts of sediment or poor water quality issues, a whole house system will be something to consider.

In regards to recommendations, we would first suggest picking up a water test kit, which I’ve included a link to below:

If the test comes back with heavier levels of impurities, we’d suggest investing in 10 and 20 inch Big Blue filter housings and the corresponding filters linked to below. The housing pages will include links to the add-ons you will need for installation:



If you need any help, please feel free to call our customer service department at 1-888-801-PURE (7873.) Ask for Tammy or JoAnne and reference this conversation.

Thanks again!


John May 22, 2014 at 6:29 am

At what stage should I replace the filter? How brown should it get before I have to put in a new one?

Thanks for any views


Mike Yanke May 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Most whole house replacement filters have a lifespan of about six months, based on water quality and usage, though some may last for longer or shorter time periods – based on specs provided by the manufacturer.

In regards to the coloring of the filter, ‘browning’ is normal and will happen as the filter captures sediment and / or iron throughout its lifespan. If there is the possibility of heavy iron levels in your water, we would recommend purchasing a drinking water test kit, many of which may be purchased on our site at quite affordable prices – just to see what you are dealing with:

If it does turn out your iron levels are high, your may also see discoloration on the plumbing elements in your home and may benefit from some additional filtration.

In regards to changing the filter, we would recommend first and foremost that you adhere to the
manufacturer recommendations, or based on whether sediment is once again making it through your faucet, rather than on the coloring of the filter.

If you are seeking a more definitive and measurable way to know, you can install a pressure gauge ahead of and after the filter housing. When the pressure drops by 10 to 15 psi it is likely time to replace the filter. You can find pressure gauges offered on our site here:

Please feel free to connect back with us directly with any questions here or by calling our customer service team at 1-888-801-PURE(7873). If calling in, please reference this conversation and ask for Tammy or JoAnne.

Thanks again,


Brian Colinsworth October 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

I love our water softener. Our skin has been softer, and food and drink taste better too.


Bruce Denny July 19, 2016 at 9:58 am

Recently bought a home which is on well water, they have (2) Big Blue 20 filters running next to each other. I noticed the cartridge they use is a S1-20BB which I found is for chlorinated water use only. What cartridges should I be using? Of course we have some iron and sulfur and this system is quite elaborate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


wfnblog July 20, 2016 at 7:29 am

Dear Bruce,
Thank you for contacting WaterFilters.NET! Since you are on a well water, I would stay away from any Cellulose Media water filters, which can cause mold on your water. I see you have the 2 20″ Big Blue housings, for the first filter which is going to be a sediment I would use the Pentek DGD-5005-20 which is a 5 micron and that will help with the sand, sediment, silt etc. The second housing since you were talking about a little iron and sulfur, I would use the GAC-20BB which is a Granular Activated Carbon block filter which will work really well on a well water line. Otherwise please feel free to contact our customer support at 888-801-7873 and one of our customer service representatives would be more than happy to assist you. Thank you again for contacting WaterFilters.NET, have a good day.


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