Frequently Asked Questions About Whole Home Water Filters

Learn how a whole home water filter works, what it fixes and if it’s the right solution for your home’s water problems.

What’s in your household water? Find out with our free water test from your local Culligan water expert.
Culligan whole home water filters protect against a variety of water problems, including bad smells/tastes, iron staining, difficulty cleaning, corroded pipes and more. These powerful, high-quality filtration solutions can be customized to handle your specific water quality concerns.
In this article, we answer the following frequently asked questions about whole home water filters:
Let's dive in!

Whole Home Water Filter FAQs

What is a whole home water filter?

Whole home filtration solutions improve the water at the point it enters your home. They deliver cleaner, healthier water to every faucet for everyday use. This means you’re able to access filtered water throughout your house when you wash the dishes, make coffee, take a shower, do laundry and brush your teeth.
A Culligan whole home water filter gives you:
  • Cleaner water without the bad smells/tastes
  • Custom filtration specific to your home
  • Minimized rust stains and scale buildup
  • Seamless integration with your existing plumbing

How does a whole home water filter work?

Depending on which whole home filtration system you choose, your water will go through several stages of treatment to reduce as many contaminants as possible.*
In general, all whole home filters have a three-stage process.
  1. Pre-filtration: Reduces the largest water contaminants such as sediment and silt.
  2. Activated carbon filtration: Chlorine and chloramines are reduced in this stage.
  3. Post-filtration: Helps to reduce any leftover sediment and contaminants before the water reaches your tap.

How do you know when it’s time to install a whole home water filter?

Problem water can result in many different issues affecting your home. Signs that you may need a whole home water filter include:
  • A rotten egg smell
  • Streaks on your dishes
  • Deposits on plumbing fixtures
  • Dry hair or skin after showering
  • Bad flavors in your drinking water
  • Rust stains on your appliances
  • Difficulty cleaning
  • Corroded pipes
However, your water may also contain impurities that you can’t see, taste or smell. Ultimately, testing your water is the only way to know if and what contaminants are present.

What are some of the contaminants reduced by whole home water filtration systems?

Depending on the specific whole home filter you choose, these systems can reduce a wide variety of contaminants, including:
  • Calcium and magnesium (hard water)
  • Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Sulfur
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Total dissolved solids

How does a whole home water filter compare to reverse osmosis?

Whole home filtration systems work to filter specific contaminants from the entire home. Conversely, reverse osmosis systems specialize in reducing a broad range of contaminants from drinking water.
A whole home filter is usually installed at the point of entry (such as the main water line). And filters contaminants from your home's entire water supply, including showers, appliances, faucets and more. Meanwhile, a reverse osmosis system works at the point of use (like under your kitchen sink) to provide safer, fresh-tasting drinking water.
The key difference between whole home filtration and reverse osmosis is the presence of the high-quality reverse osmosis membrane. This membrane reduces a wider variety of contaminants when compared to whole home filters, including those smaller in size.

How do you choose the best water filter for your home?

Choosing the right whole home water filter will depend on the contaminants present in your water. Which is typically a result of where you live and where your water is sourced.
Therefore, discovering what’s in your water is the first step to finding the best solution for your home. Culligan water offers several testing options. In addition to the free water test, Culligan provides more advanced testing that can detect issues such as arsenic, lead, E. coli, nitrates, copper, radon, PFOA/PFOS, bacteria, manganese and dozens more.
Once you know the contaminants present in your water, your local Culligan water expert will work with you to find a custom solution. They will consider factors such as water quality, the size of your household and even your home's plumbing before recommending a filter that fits your home and budget.

What are some of the most popular Culligan whole home water filters?

Culligan water offers a wide range of whole home water filter systems with different types of filters. Some are designed to tackle the foul odors of chlorine, while others work to reduce sediment, iron, sulfur and arsenic in your water.
Below are three of the most popular Culligan whole home water filters.
Aquasential High-Efficiency Water Filter
Aquasential™ High-Efficiency Water Filter:
  • Four-in-one filter reduces dirt, clay and sentiment
  • Bypass valve lets you choose between filtered or unfiltered water
  • Neutralizes acid to reduce straining and prevent pipe damage
Aquasential Select Series and Select Plus Series Whole House Filters
Aquasential™ Select Series™ and Select Plus Series™ Whole House Filters:
  • Filtr-Cleer® filter reduces dirt, clay and sediment
  • Cullar® water filter reduces chlorine taste and odor in water
  • Neutralizes acid to reduce straining and prevent pipe damage
Viqua Ultraviolet Water (UV) Treatment System
Viqua Ultraviolet Water (UV) Treatment System:
  • Delivers safer water throughout your home without the use of chemicals
  • Uses powerful UV light to kill off harmful bacteria and viruses
  • Space-saving design is simple to maintain and service

Does a whole home water filter require maintenance?

Just like changing oil in your car, whole home water filtration products require maintenance so you can continue enjoying their full benefits.
Culligan recommends the following preventative measures to keep your whole home filtration system working properly:
  • Filter replacement: Filters should be replaced regularly, based on how long they’ve been in use or how many gallons of water they’ve treated. The specific time frame will depend on the filters your system uses, but generally each filter should be replaced within the year.
  • Cleaning and sanitizing the system: It’s always a good idea to do a full system sanitization when you do a filter change.
  • Look out for any issues: Changes in flow rate or lingering tastes and odors are two signs that your filtration system may not be operating efficiently. Parts may need to be replaced or your system may need some additional upkeep. It’s best to call your local Culligan water expert in these instances.
  • Conduct regular system checks: For the best results, schedule regular maintenance with your local Culligan dealer. Culligan’s service visits typically include:
    • Filter changes
    • System sanitization
    • Verification of TDS (total dissolved solids) reduction performance
    • Flow rate check
    • Drain tubing check for back-up
    • Fittings inspection for any wear or damage

Where should you install a whole home water filter?

The best place to install a whole home water filter is usually near your main water shut-off valve. Most often, this is located in a basement or on the perimeter of the house.
The filtration system should connect with the existing plumbing line in a horizontal run after the main water shut-off valve. But it must be attached before the plumbing line branches out to other parts of the house.
If an appropriate area can’t be located, your local Culligan water expert can “tee off” a small section of vertical pipe to create a horizontal section where your whole home water filter can be installed.

Getting Started

Get better water at every tap in your home.
When you choose Culligan water for your filtration needs, you’re choosing an industry leader with more than 85 years of experience, top-rated water treatment technology, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a team of local water experts committed to providing the best service available.
For more information about whole home filters or Culligan water products, contact your local Culligan water expert or schedule a free water test today!
*Contaminants may not be in your water.