Are you looking for the best way to eradicate unwanted contaminants from your home water supply? If so, a UV water purifier could be the answer for you.
Even if you’re connected to the municipal water supply, there can still be a surprising number of pollutants and contaminants in the drinking water that comes out of your faucet.
Just because the water that gets poured into your glass smells and looks clear doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to make you ill.
A whole house UV water filter can safely disinfect the water which enters your property.
Whether you’re drinking it, cooking with it or showering in it, a UV water treatment system can destroy almost 100% of the microorganisms which are found in water and can cause sickness.
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Although all municipal water suppliers adhere to regional safety standards, once the water leaves the treatment plant and travels along old pipes it can quickly lose its purity.
Also, there are some microorganisms such as Giardia which can resist the chlorine treatment applied to municipal water supplies. Having a UV light disinfection system can remove these risks.
If your water is supplied by a well, having a UV light for well water is even more important. Well disinfection is the best way to ensure that this more contaminated source of water is safe for you and your family to use.
Since UV light disinfection is a chemical free, effective, affordable and reliable option, it’s rapidly becoming a popular choice among homeowners. Since they’re also low maintenance and environmentally friendly, there are lots of good reasons to invest in one.
However, which home UV water purifier should you buy? Our whole home UV water filter reviews will help to point you in the right direction so you can avoid making an expensive purchasing error.
The Best Ultraviolet Light Water Filters Compared
See how the leading UV filters compare in the table below.
There's a key following the table that explains all of the terminology.
Full reviews of each model follow that.
OUR TOP PICK
Pelican Water PUV-8
Water Flow Rate: 9 GPM
Warranty: 5 years
NSF/ANSI 55 certified
Water Flow Rate: 9 GPM
Warranty: 3 years
NSF/ANSI 55 certified
Water Flow Rate: 1 GPM
Warranty: 1 year
Water Flow Rate: The amount of filtered water the device can produce over a period of time. Measured in gallons per minute (GPM).
NSF/ANSI 55: Official certification by accredited institutions awarded after independent testing.
Our Whole House UV Water Filter Reviews
In this section we expand on the features listed in the table and get into detail about our recommended models.
Find out what sets them apart and what makes them stand out in a crowded market place.
Pelican Water PUV-8 * Our Top Pick *
The Pelican UV water disinfection system is fully certified to NSF/ANSI 55 which is great news for homeowners who are keen to minimize their exposure to any kind of contaminants or bacteria in their water.
This system reduces over 60 different contaminants including known pollutants like chloramine, chlorine, mercury, lead, VOCs and cysts.
NSF/ANSI certification is one of the highest accolades in water filtration (alongside the certification offered by the WQA). This certification shows that NSF International have put this system through thorough independent testing.
NSF/ANSI 55 deals specifically with ultraviolet treatment systems and this label proves that this system can be trusted to kill (or inactivate) viruses, bacteria and cysts in contaminated water just like Pelican Water say it does.
The UV light is capable of penetrating and permanently altering the DNA of microorganisms through a process called thymine dimerization. This inactivates them and renders them unable to infect or reproduce. It basically renders dangerous bacteria and viruses harmless.
This system comes complete with its manufacturer’s 5-year warranty against power supply defects, a 1-year warranty on its UV intensity monitors and lamps and a 10-year guarantee on its water chamber. This warranty is among the best you'll find for UV filtration devices like this.
Since this treatment system uses no harmful chemicals (unlike water chlorination), it doesn’t affect the color, odor or taste of the water negatively. It does, however, make the water much cleaner and purer to drink.
The system also features an indicator light which shows the system components’ status, with a warning light which appears whenever maintenance to the system is necessary.
Maintenance should be very minimal (an annual cleaning and bulb replacement) if the water is sourced from a city water supply. Hard water, turbid water (cloudy), or water that has a high iron content will require more frequent maintenance.
Hard water minerals and iron may accumulate in the chamber, while turbid water that is full of sediment can block the UV light. An answer to the turbidity problem is to run a sediment filter before the UV filter. You can also have your hard water treated.
For those with water high in iron and sulphur content it's highly recommended to have this water treated before it reaches the UV stage.
This system has a peak water flow of 9 GPM (gallons per minute) at the recommended level of UV transmittance. When choosing a whole house UV filtration device it's really important that you work out your household peak water flow rate. 9 GPM should suffice in all but the largest of homes that may have multiple bathrooms being used simultaneously. If 9 GPM doesn't cut it then check out the PUV-8's big brother.
UV filtration is a great final barrier of filtration to protect from harmful bacteria and viruses that other types of filtration might miss. Since it’s proven to be able to destroy 99.9% of microorganisms which could cause sickness including Giardia, Cryptosporidium and E.coli, it’s really worth considering in households that have small children or elderly residents.
This system from Pelican Water happens to be the best on the market right now. Presently, it's one of the very few with NSF/ANSI certification, and thats a big deal in the water filter world.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a low maintenance, reliable UV filter system for your home, this could be the idea model for you. With its long warranty, it gives you peace of mind in your purchase and since it’s NSF certified, you can be confident that your water will be completely free of microorganisms which could potentially harm you and your family.
The Viqua D4 UV water purification system is highly effective in combating waterborne pathogens like Cryptosporidium and E.coli quickly and efficiently. Using Ultraviolet sterilization, it deactivates the microorganisms’ DNA to prevent them from reproducing or infecting.
If you’re looking for an easy to install system, the Viqua UV system is perfect for you. It’s also simple to maintain and operate in the long term, with easy lamp replacements making this a suitable solution for even the least DIY-savvy homeowner.
The UV lamp bulb can last for as long as 12 months depending on how frequently it is used and the existing quality of the water, although the quartz sleeve requires cleaning on a 3-monthly basis.
This system also boasts an illuminated counter to indicate when maintenance and bulb replacement is required. It couldn’t be easier to tell at a glance if work is required on the system.
Another highlight here is the NSF/ANSI 55 certification. Just like the previously reviewed Pelican Water PUV-8 model, this device is certified to deliver a consistent level of UV light at the stated water flow. That means no more harmful bacteria or viruses in your water supply.
Bottom Line: When ease and convenience is paramount for you this Viqua UV water filtration system fits the bill. With its long-lasting UV lamp bulb and its low maintenance requirements, it’s an easy to use and simple to fit solution to obtaining clean and pure water for your home.
This model is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to effectively remove viruses, cysts and bacteria from their water. Whether you have a well or whether you’re attached to the municipal water supply, this model is a great choice and can even tackle water from problem sources with excessive microorganisms such as water from streams or lakes.
Capable of killing 99% of all viruses, protozoan cysts and bacteria, this model features a unique flow sensor which is capable of turning the UV unit off and on automatically whenever the water flows. This helps to save power and extend the UV lamp’s lifespan for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.
The 11 watt UV lamp comes in a durable stainless steel chamber. The lamp has an 8000 hour lifespan and the device gives an overall water flow rate of 1.0 GPM.
If you've read our previous ultraviolet light water filter reviews you'll be a bit dubious of this comparatively low flow rate. But there is a key difference in roles here.
While the previous 2 models are built for whole home water filtration, where large amounts of both drinking and bathing water must be filtered, this model is solely for filtering water at one point in the home. It's ideally installed under the kitchen sink and added to an existing filtration device like an RO system.
Recommended Reading: Don't miss our guide to the top performing whole home reverse osmosis systems.
This chemical-free way to clean water will also remove chloramine and chlorine from water and since the lamp is only replaced once per year, it’s a cost-effective solution for any home.
Bottom Line: If you want an add-on to your existing reverse osmosis water filtration system, this model will could be a great accompaniment.
UV Filter Buyer’s Guide
Are you considering buying a UV water filter for your home? If so, you need to know what to look out for when shopping to make sure that you avoid making an expensive purchasing error.
Not every UV system is suitable for use in every home, and therefore, knowing the features you want from your own system is vital to ensure your requirements are met.
Here, we help to point you in the right direction by telling you what you need to know about these eco-friendly yet effective systems for keeping your drinking water clear of bacteria.
How do UV Water Filters Work?
You may be wondering just how UV filters can remove potentially harmful bacteria from the water supply.
This is an especially pertinent question, since this form of water filtration can destroy the microorganisms with no need for any harsh chemicals and won’t even change the water the water tastes or smells.
Although it might sound impossible, in fact there is a strong scientific basis to prove why these systems work.
If you think about UV rays, the most obvious thing that comes to mind is the sun. We all know that UV rays cause our skin to burn and can also cause skin cancer because they harm the skin cells.
To combat this problem we wear sunscreens which have been developed especially to protect the skin from those harmful rays so we can stay safe. It is a similar technology which is in play when it comes to UV water filtration.
The special ultraviolet lamps which are included in these water filters work to harm the microorganisms.
These lamps are encased safely in a tube and alter the DNA of those viruses and bacteria. As a result they are rendered entirely harmless.
As for the water, it’s exposed to the UV light but it never comes into contact with the UV lightbulb.
What About the Rate of Flow?
Different UV filtration systems have a different flow rate. This is due to the fact that the tank size and the light itself have an effect on how rapidly the water is sterilized.
It’s important that you select a filtration system which has a flow rate to suit the needs of your household and your lifestyle.
We recommend estimating your peak household water usage and ensuring a UV filtration system exceeds this number in flow rate.
Choosing the Right UV System For You
As you can see from this guide, we think there are three units which rank among the best out there, however there isn’t a single unit which can claim to be the number one choice for every application since all households have very different requirements, needs and resources.
Therefore, it’s important to know before you go shopping for a filtration device which features you’re looking for so that you can be certain to choose a system that really meets your needs.
With this in mind, here are some questions to ask yourself so that you can make an informed choice and avoid making a potentially expensive purchasing error.
Point Of Use or Whole Home UV Filtration?
If you are getting your water supplied by a municipal source, you may not need a whole house filtration system.
Municipal water supplies are already pre-treated (chlorinated), and although they may not be completely uncontaminated, they are safer for you to drink than water from sources such as rivers, lakes or wells.
For households which are obtaining their water supply from the municipal source, a point of use UV filter system may suffice. It all depends on your opinion on chlorinated water.
A system in your kitchen will make sure that every time you pour a glass of water from your faucet or cook with tap water it will be entirely free of microorganisms and bacteria.
On the other hand, when your water supply is coming from a natural resource such as a well, there’s a good chance that you could benefit from a whole house UV water filter which can be used in conjunction with a whole house system to remove chemical contaminants and sediment.
Since natural water resources are often more contaminated than municipal supplies, this helps to give you peace of mind that not only will your cooking and drinking water be safe for you and your family, but the water in your washing machine, shower, and bathtub will also be safe and clean of bacteria.
A Standalone Filter or a Combined RO System?
Some households are happy to simply invest in a standalone UV filtration system for their home water supply. If they are worried only about bacteria and microorganisms but have no issues with chemical contamination or heavy metals, a standalone UV filter will suffice without the need for any additional filtration.
However, if your water has been tested and found to be contaminated with a range of pollutants and contaminants such as lead, chlorine, heavy metals and TDSs, you may need a combined system such as a reverse osmosis filtration system - together with a UV filter so that the maximum number of contaminants can be removed from your drinking water. This will keep you and your family as safe as possible.
Every household’s needs are very different when it comes to their water supply. For example, a single person who lives in a small apartment will use a lot less water than a large family living in a large four-bedroomed house.
If you have limited needs for clean and pure water, an under-sink filter which is only used for your drinking water and which has a low flow rate may be absolutely fine to suit your requirements.
On the other hand, if you have a high demand for pure water, not only for drinking and cooking but also for showering and bathing, a whole house UV water filter will have a greater flow rate and will be much better suited to your needs to ensure that you have sufficient water to go around.
Not all water filters are certified, however if you do select a model which has been NSF/ANSI certified, you can be completely confident that you’re selecting a filter which has been proven to reputable and reliable.
Only water filters which have undergone rigorous testing and which have been proven to be highly effective at removing bacteria and microorganisms from the water are NSF/ANSI certified so you can have complete peace of mind when you buy such a system.
There is no requirement to purchase a certified system, and some non-certified systems are very good, however if you’re planning on purchasing a system without certification, it’s important to do extra research to make certain that the company is definitely reputable and the filtration system itself has received positive reviews.
NSF/ANSI 55 is the certification standard to look out for with ultraviolet light water filter devices.
Since your UV purifier will be part of your home’s plumbing, you need to make certain that the company which provides it can also supply you with impressive customer service, particularly in the case of whole house systems which can be very costly to buy and to install.
Make sure that you do your research well to check out the ability of the company to address any problems or disputes.
Unfortunately, for most homeowners, the cost of their ultraviolet light water filter will be an issue. It’s important to choose a unit which you can afford but which is also designed to accommodate the needs of your household.
Bear in mind that the cheapest unit doesn’t always represent the best value for money but also, conversely, the most costly filter isn’t always the best either.
It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of different units so that you can determine which unit will represent the best value for money for you.
All UV filter systems require some level of ongoing maintenance, but this is a factor which you should bear in mind before you buy.
Some units will need more cleaning and care than others, and if you’re keen to minimize the amount of effort that you’ll need to put into caring for your system, you’ll want to choose a model which will require as little maintenance as possible.
Although some UV bulbs can last a long time, they certainly won’t last forever. At some point you’re going to need to replace the bulb in your filter system, so it’s important to check out how often you’re going to need to do this and how much the replacement bulbs will cost.
You should factor this into the overall cost of buying the unit as well as the upfront costs. Some systems will need the bulb replacing every few months, while others can go for a year or more without needing to be replaced.
If you want minimal maintenance requirements and minimal expenditure on consumables, you should choose a unit which has a UV bulb with a long lifespan.
If you’ve never had a UV water filter in your home before, it isn’t surprising that you probably find the idea of buying one quite daunting.
They aren’t cheap and it can be hard to know exactly what you’re looking for the first time you go shopping for one of these systems.
However, we’ve brought you our expert advice and our recommendations for the best UV filter systems on the market today so that you can make a well-informed purchasing decision for your home.
Everyone has the well-being of their loved ones as their highest priority, and finding a way to keep their drinking water safe and free from any potential bacteria or microorganisms which could cause illnesses and diseases remains paramount.
A whole home UV water filter is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to do everything possible to protect their own health and that of their family.
Now that you know the various features and considerations to keep in mind when you make your choice, you’ll be well placed to select a unit which will give you as much clean and pure drinking water as you could possible need in your home.
If you've got any questions about anything we've covered then please leave us a comment down below or over on our contact page!
looking for uv filter system and was wondering if the light stays on all the time or only comes on when water is needed
The light only comes on when it’s needed.