As a homeowner, you have many things to consider in terms of making your house a comfortable, healthy, and safe place to live. There are the small things, like cleaning and maintaining your home, and larger things like repairs and upgrades such as installing a whole house water filter. If you’re a homeowner, you learn not to take any of these things for granted. However, there is one issue that many homeowners do indeed take for granted: the cleanliness, safety, and quality of their water. That’s where a home UV water purifier can help.
It’s understandable that people become complacent about their tap water. After all, water comes from outside of your home, and as long as it’s there and looks and smells clear when you turn on the faucet, it seems just fine!
As it turns out, there are a lot of things that can be at issue when it comes to having safe, healthy water, and you can’t see or smell all of them. Unfortunately, the quality of your tap water is often a matter of chance. You don’t have control over where your water comes from or the purification processes it undergoes before it reaches your home.
What you can control is what happens to your water once it arrives at your home. There are numerous styles of filters made for faucets and pitchers, for example. These options can certainly improve the quality of your water, but they can’t guarantee that your water will be free of unhealthy germs and bacteria. A whole house ultraviolet water treatment system, however, can.
What is an Ultraviolet Water Filter?
An ultraviolet water filter is capable of purifying all of the water that comes into your home. These filters come in different sizes and with different complementary filtering technologies and features. There are numerous brands and even more different designs. What they do have in common is that whole house UV water filters utilize ultraviolet light to destroy up to 99.9% of the microorganisms found in your water, and they all offer significant advantages over non-UV treated water.
Advantages of Using a UV Filter
There are regional standards for safe water that municipal suppliers are supposed to uphold. However, sometimes the system just doesn’t work. Furthermore, there are certain microorganisms, like Giardia, which are resistant to chlorine treatments. An ultraviolet water filter can remove risks that your municipal treatment plant may be unable or unwilling to address. Residential ultraviolet water filters give you the peace of mind of knowing your water isn’t teeming with harmful microorganisms.
They’re an effective, chemical free, reliable, and affordable way to live a safer, healthier life. They’re even environmentally friendly! You’d imagine with all of these other advantages that they might require frequent upkeep, but that’s not typically the case, either, just an annual servicing.
How Does a UV Water Filter Work?
How exactly is it that UV water filtration can so effectively destroy microorganisms without chemicals, or changing the way your water smells and tastes? It sounds almost too good to be true, but it makes sense once you understand the technology.
You wear sunblock to protect yourself from certain types of UV rays. That’s because those rays can be harmful to the cells of your skin. In the same way, the specialized ultraviolet lamps included in water filters harm microorganisms. Safely encased inside of a tube, this light alters the DNA of bacteria and viruses, rendering them completely harmless. The water itself is only exposed to the light; it doesn’t come in contact with the bulb.
Different systems have different rates of flow (12 gallons per minute or 100 gallons per day, for example). That’s because the size of the tank and the light effect how quickly the water can be sterilized. The flow rate must be calculated to ensure that the water is completely purified. Don’t worry; your system will automatically do this for you. However, you will need to choose a system with a flow rate that’s compatible with your lifestyle and household size.
Top UV Water Filters
Here at iWaterPurification, we make it easy to understand your options and figure out which option is the best for your home. Here are our top seven choices for the bes ultraviolet water filters for your home:
- Best Ultraviolet Water Filter: Whole House Ultraviolet Water Filter by Fontis
- Advantages of Using a UV Filter
- Top UV Water Filters
- The Best Ultraviolet Water Filter Reviews
- #1 – Whole House Ultraviolet Water Sterilizer by Fontis
- #2 – Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter for Whole House by HQUA
- #3 – UltraViolet Water Disinfection System by Realgoal
- #4 – UV Disinfection Sterilizer Water Filter by iSpring
- #5 – UV Deluxe Under Sink 7 Stage Filtration System by iSpring
- #6 – UV Ultraviolet Alkaline Reverse Osmosis Home Drinking Water Filtration System by Express Water
- #7 – Top Tier 6 Stage UV Ultra Violet Sterilizer by APEC Water Systems
- Ultraviolet Water Filter System Buying Guide
The Best Ultraviolet Water Filter Reviews
Our comparison table makes it fast and easy to get an overview of our top choices. Now that you are more familiar with these products, it’s time to explore these products in depth. We’re here to present the top features that make these UV water filter products stand out.
#1 – Whole House Ultraviolet Water Sterilizer by Fontis
Best Value for UV Standalone
With a capacity of twelve gallons per minute, this simple-to-install whole house UV water purification system is a straightforward and efficient solution to bacteria in your water. Rated at 99% effective, this convenient kit comes with two additional UV lamps for added value. Another nice added feature is its audio visual lamp failure alarm. You’ll be able to quickly determine whether or not your 48-watt UV purifying bulb is doing its job.
It comes disassembled, but installation is easy and requires only simple tools. Do bear in mind, however, that this is strictly a UV purification system. If your water is coming from a natural source, you may need additional filters for debris, etc.
The bottom line: This is the most affordable, well made UV water filter you can add to your current plumbing system. It’s affordable, high quality and easy to install.
Best Customer Service UV Standalone
The 55-watt UV bulb included in this 12 gallon per minute system has an incredible 9000 hour life and is able to eradicate bacteria in only seconds of exposure. Like other UV-only systems, the water entering the system must be pretreated if it comes from a natural source. Once it exits the system, however, it will be sterilized.
This is a DIY assembly, but it’s not difficult if you don’t mind most simple assembly projects. There are only four main components: the reactor chamber (simply a steel chamber through which the water flows while exposed to UV light), the UV lamp itself, a quartz sleeve that accompanies it, and the electronic ballast. The ballast is the power supply and controller, and it will beep if the system has failed. It also displays a green light when functioning properly and a red blinking light if there is an error.
As a manufacturer, HQUA is well known for its exemplary customer service. In fact, they boast they replace any broken part with two: one to fix the unit and one as a backup. The product also comes with an extensive informational booklet to ensure that you get the best performance from your UV filter.
The bottom line: This is an extremely powerful UV water filter that is a great fit for homeowners looking to improve the quality of their treated water.
#3 – UltraViolet Water Disinfection System by Realgoal
Best Penny Pinching Option
This is a somewhat smaller system, with a six gallon per minute rate and a 25-watt UV bulb. It’s an affordable choice, especially for a smaller family or household. It comes with one additional bulb.
This is a DIY build. While the instructions included in the kit are not as comprehensive as they could be, contacting customer service has had positive results for other reviewers. However, the overall installation is quite simple, as it’s a straightforward in-line filter consisting of lamp, quartz sleeve, steel reactor, and ballast.
The bottom line: If you want a basic, straightforward and affordable UV water filter, this is your top choice.
#4 – UV Disinfection Sterilizer Water Filter by iSpring
Best Option for Low Flow Applications
At one gallon per minute, this UV water filter is best for non-full-flow applications or for applications where water use is more limited. For example, it would work as an attachment to a separate purified drinking water tap, an under sink filter, or for a seasonal cottage for two.
Don’t let its small size trick you, however. It’s an amazing deal because of its premium features. It’s comes with convenient hose fittings for installation. It also has a “Smart Flow Sensor” switch, which automatically controls power to the light via water flow. This makes your light last longer and keeps cold water from coming through the tap warm at first.
Its 11-watt germicidal UV lamp is a high quality Phillips bulb, and the bulb and quartz sleeve are encased in a sturdy stainless steel housing. It also comes with convenient brackets for hanging the filter inside your cabinet or from a wall. It also has a six-foot cord to allow for flexibility in placement.
The bottom line: If you have a low flow plumbing system, this option can be a great money saver. This UV water filter proves size isn’t everything!
#5 – UV Deluxe Under Sink 7 Stage Filtration System by iSpring
Best 3-in-1 System Overall
This is a premium, three-in-one iSpring filtration offering that includes not only UV sterilization filtration, but also has a reverse osmosis filtration system and an alkaline filtration and remineralization system. It’s also WQA (Water Quality Association) certified and designed for under sink or point of sink use.
Water passing through this deluxe unit undergoes seven distinct stages of filtration and sterilization. As a result, 99% of over 1,000 common contaminants are removed from your water. These include:
- Lead (up to 98% removal)
- Microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, etc.
This results in enormous purity due to the effectiveness of reverse osmosis and UV filtration combined. The reverse osmosis stages utilize polypropylene sediment and granular activated charcoal filters, known for their safety and incredible efficacy.
If you are concerned, however, about losing helpful and healthy minerals, don’t be. The alkaline remineralization filter restores those helpful minerals, giving your water a natural, fresh taste while being free of harmful contaminants. Experts also believe that alkaline (higher pH) water is healthier for the body than acidic (lower pH) water, so there’s yet another benefit!
This unit also has a “Smart Flow” sensor that controls whether or not the light is on via the water flow. This saves energy and extends the life of your bulb.
Don’t worry about how complex the system sounds. It’s very simple to install, and there’s a great deal of support available, including online video tutorials for installation and troubleshooting. If you prefer phone support, there’s also free tech support available Monday through Friday for the entire lifetime of the system.
The bottom line: This complete system will give you some of the cleanest, purest and best tasting water available without industrial equipment.
#6 – UV Ultraviolet Alkaline Reverse Osmosis Home Drinking Water Filtration System by Express Water
Best 3-in-1 Value
This is another three in one UV/alkaline/reverse osmosis system designed for point of use or under sink installation. It can process 100 gallons per day. All components are lead and BPA free.
It efficiently removes or destroys 99% of common contaminants, including:
- Heavy metals
Its filter process consists of:
Stage 1: Micron sediment filter (removes dirt, rust, sand, silt, etc.)
Stage 2: Granulated activated charcoal filter (removes chlorine, smaller particles, unnatural tastes, etc.)
Stage 3: Carbon block filter (removes even more chlorine, smaller particles, unnatural flavors, odors, etc.)
Stage 4: Reverse osmosis membrane (removes some bacteria, pesticides, Ai, Pb, Cd, and harmful dissolved solids, etc.)
Stage 5: Alkaline remineralization (returns helpful minerals like calcium, potassium, etc., to the water and provides water at a healthy pH to help balance your body)
Stage 6: UV light sterilization (eliminates cysts, viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae, etc.)
Its system outperforms ionizers, producing exquisitely clean, pure, healthy water at a higher alkaline pH for overall wellness. It even results in increased oxygen content in your water.
The UV component comes with a warning light so that you’ll know immediately if its power drops below the level necessary for sterilization. Each bulb has a 4,500 hour life. Each filter needs to be replaced once or twice a year, and swapping them out is very simple thanks to an intuitive design and informational labels. Each filter is also double sealed.
Other features include a leak stop valve, which automatically shuts the water off if excess water is detected. There’s a fabric water sensor you can place at the floor beside your system, and if it comes into contact with water (i.e., if the system leaks), the water shuts off. Conveniently, it also comes with a feed adapter and quick connect adapter, so it’s an easy plug-and-play with most under sink set ups.
Another advantage to the Express Water system is that most of their parts are upgradable and customizable. If you move or if your water situation changes for some other reason, like a natural disaster, you probably won’t need to replace the entire system. You can just opt for some à la carte upgrades. Each system is also subject to extensive quality control measures, including an air injection pressure test to look for leaks, water pressure tests to determine durability, and cycle resistance tests to be sure it can perform under heavy use.
Express Water also has an exceptional customer service/tech support team dedicated to making sure that each customer is happy and fully satisfied with the performance of their unit.
The bottom line: This system is going to deliver really high quality drinking water.
#7 – Top Tier 6 Stage UV Ultra Violet Sterilizer by APEC Water Systems
Best UV/RO System Overall
This is a 75 gallon per day WQA-certified system that combines powerful UV sterilization with a robust reverse osmosis system for ultra-purity. Its purification stages are as follows:
Stage 1: High capacity polypropylene filter removes sediment, dust, particles, rust, etc. Not only does this protect you from these additives, but by having it as the first stage, it prolongs the life of your other filters and the unit as a whole.
Stage 2 and 3: Carbon block filter removes chlorine, flavors, odors, and cloudiness in addition to VOCs and toxic chemicals.
Stage 4: Robust “high rejection” reverse osmosis membrane removes 99% of total dissolved solvents, as well as a plethora of other contaminants including chromium, some bacteria and viruses, radium, and more.
Stage 5: UV sterilization destroys up to 99.99% of cysts, viruses, and bacteria from your water.
Stage 6: Coconut shell refining carbon total contamination removal (TCR) filter ensures there are no residual tastes or odors.
It’s a quiet, easy to use, and ultra-convenient system that offers perks like double carbon blocks to maximize chemical removal, high-quality leak-free fittings that remove the need for a leak detector, and free lifetime tech support to make sure you are thrilled with your system’s performance. The one frustration noted by some reviewers was the lack of a flow switch for the UV sterilization process, which can sometimes result in warm water. A quick rerouting of the line can address this issue, but the instructions for doing so aren’t included with the machine. You’ll have to contact support for help if you run into it.
Also, while it’s not a perk of the system itself, APEC uses a portion of the proceeds from every system purchase to provide people around the world with fresh drinking water.
The bottom line: This is a powerful, adaptable and easy to use whole house water purification system.
Ultraviolet Water Filter System Buying Guide
You’ll notice that we chose seven “best” options. Why can’t we just tell you which single unit is the best? Because there’s no one unit that’s best for every single application, of course. Every household has different needs and requirements, and different resources. Here are some of the things you can consider while you decide which ultraviolet water filter is right for you.
- Do you need whole house filtration or point of use filtration?
If your water source is a well, lake, river, or other natural resource, you probably need whole house UV water filters in addition to pretreating water for sediment and chemical contaminants prior to UV sterilization.
If your water comes from a trusted municipal source and is already pretreated, you may be fine with simply using an under sink or point of use ultraviolet water treatment system. That way, you know that the water you use for drinking and cooking is free of bacteria and other microorganisms in addition to the treatment it’s already undergone.
- Do you need a standalone UV filter or one combined with reverse osmosis, alkaline remineralization, etc.?
This depends on the overall quality of your water and your own personal preferences. It’s always a good idea to have your water tested periodically to see what contaminants it may have and what its pH is. You can even test it yourself using simple kits you can find online. If you do test your water, you’ll have a better idea of what you need. Of course, for many people, the taste and health benefits of reverse osmosis and alkaline remineralization are a bonus regardless!
A bachelor in an apartment is going to use water at a much different rate than a family of seven in a house. If the filter is under sink and used strictly for drinking water, a lower flow rate may suit your needs just fine. Whole house residential ultraviolet water filters, on the other hand, should have a greater flow capacity to meet your needs comfortably.
Water filters don’t necessarily have to undergo a certification process, but you know that those which have are reliable and reputable. If you do opt for an uncertified system, do plenty of research to make sure that the company is legitimate and that the system is receiving positive reviews.
- Customer Support
With anything that becomes a part of your plumbing, it’s a good idea to make sure the company provides excellent customer service, especially some of these filters represent a significant financial investment. When you research reviews on these products, pay special attention to how the company addresses disputes and problems. Any individual product can have a defect or imperfection; how it’s handled by the company matters a great deal.
For most of us, cost is an issue. Our budgets only allow for so much. The least expensive option isn’t always the best deal, and the best option isn’t always the most expensive. Now that you know what you need to fit hour household’s requirements, you can eliminate overpriced options and focus on the pros and cons of the units in your budget.
The world of UV water filters may seem a little bit daunting at first. We hope that our buying guide has not only introduced you to a number of the very best quality ultraviolet water filter products available, but has also educated you so that you can make your own well-reasoned choice.
Now would be a good time to point out that we’ve created several other resource guides to help you find the best water filtration products for your home! You can learn about the best water dispensers that can help save your family money while adding convenience to your lifestyle. Water softeners can be particularly difficult to choose between, but with the help of our water softener reviews and buying guide, making the right decision doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
An ultraviolet water filter is an exceptional choice for your health and for the health of your family. It is a small investment, and simple systems can be very affordable. It’s good for the environment, good for your water, and good for your peace of mind. Think about how much better you’ll feel knowing that the glass of water from your sink is free of microorganisms that could harm you or those you love!