The term “water filters” loosely describes different devices that remove dissolved minerals, gasses and sediment from water. So here is a quick review of what you should know.
Whole House Filters – primarily meant to remove sediment such as sand, fine particles and some iron that is in a particle form. The inserts trap these particles. We recommend the filters be replaced every 3 months. You can use a carbon insert to remove some odors.
Water Softener – primarily used to remove hard water minerals, clear-water iron and manganese. It uses salt to remove the unwanted minerals and requires a yearly service.
Oxidation/Filtration – The Hellenbrand’s Iron Curtain and Iron Blasters, as well as Birm and Greensand systems, remove red-water iron, manganese and even sulfur. These systems force iron, manganese and sulfur into a particle form through oxidation, and then they filter the particles out of the water. They usually use air, ozone or potassium permanganate as a catalyst. They require a yearly service.
Neutralizers – treat acidic water. They dissolve calcium carbonate (limestone) into the water to raise low pH water to a neutral level. They require a yearly “fill” of limestone. Although they are not meant to “filter” water, they can also remove some sediment and iron as a secondary benefit.
Sulfur Curtain – removes sulfur gas using a special blend of media including catalytic carbon. Eventually the carbon blend becomes exhausted and will need to be replaced. Make sure the sulfur odor is from your well and NOT you hot water heater or from one sink only. If the odor is from your hot water only or from one sink only – chances are the well water is not the problem.
Your water treatment company can perform an in-home water analysis and review your options.