Whirlpool WHELJ1 Water Filter Review

Written by: James Smith

Updated: March 16, 2023

So just how good is the Whirlpool WHELJ1? Find out all the details in our latest review. We decide if it’s worth the investment or not.

Whirlpool WHELJ1

When it comes to water filters, there are not many names that are bigger than Whirlpool. They’ve produced a good number of impressive filters over the years that have provided consistently clean and healthy water. However, if there’s one model that grabs more attention than the others, it would certainly have to be the Whirlpool WHELJ1 whole house water filter system.

Why is it rated it so highly? Simply because this is a whole-house filtration system that will last you a good ten years, does not need any maintenance work such as changing filters, self-cleans, and comes with a one-year warranty.

However, despite being pretty much maintenance free and very easy to look after, it’s not the perfect water filter system and we’ll address some of the issues that this system has too.

Take a quick read through our Whirlpool WHELJ1 review and you will quickly find out all of the information that you need to know before making a purchasing decision.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The 3 Biggest Benefits

All water filters would have the strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons, and this Whirlpool water filtration system certainly divides opinion.

But let’s start with the good. Here are three of the biggest advantages going for this water filter:

  • You Never Need to Change a Filter

If you have ever used any other type of water filtration system over the years, you will know how annoying and expensive it can be to have to keep changing the filter every month or two.

However, with this Whirlpool whole house water filter, you will never have to change a single filter in its lifetime. The system itself will last for ten years, and automatically self-cleans its own filter. This will save you the time, effort, and money that changing filters will usually bring.

Whirlpool WHELJ1 interface

Operating in this manner means that this has a 10 year or 1,000,000 gallon life cycle. Once this threshold is reached the system will need to be replaced in its entirety. This may sound expensive but as there are no replacement filters to be bought, this water filtration system offers really good value for money. What’s more, it’s very easy to look after too.

Recommended Next: Don’t miss our guide to Berkey water filters!

  • Self-Cleaning FilterSense Technology

The reason why this Whirlpool whole house filter does not require you to change the filter basically comes down to the excellent self-cleaning FilterSense technology that it uses. Every two weeks the system will clean itself, which allows you not to have to worry about any kind of maintenance at all. You can even adjust how regularly you wish it to clean itself too.

By default, the system automatically cleans the internal filter every 14 days but this can be adjusted according to your specific needs using the simple 4 button interface. Should you have particularly troublesome water, high in sediment and pollutants, then you may have to flush the system more frequently.

You could opt for once a week, once a month or any other time period of your choosing. This cleaning lasts about 3 minutes in total and will use about 10 gallons of water each time.

The wastewater produced in the flushing process is another drawback of the system that may put the more environmentally conscious off.

Whirlpool whelJ1 images

  • Reduces Chlorine, Sediment, and Odors from Your Water Supply

Being able to provide you with an average of 570,000 gallons of water on an annual basis, this whole house system will also ensure that this water is safe for you to consume. It will be able to reduce the chlorine odor and taste in your tap water as well as reduce sediments and other particles right down to a size of 40 microns.

It is important to note that this model will not reduce iron, hydrogen sulfide, fluoride, or any heavy metals. Essentially, it is best used in areas where water is not full of heavy contaminations.

Recommended Article: Check out some of the top water filters for removing chlorine.

Other Benefits of the Whirlpool Central Water Filtration System

While you will agree that the three main benefits above are fantastic, there are many others that can be attributed to this system from Whirlpool as well. This excellent water filtration system also offers you with the following:

  • One-Off Simple Installation

While the installation might not be as easy as some other filtration systems, you are still not going to have too much trouble setting this up for yourself. As long as you have some standard tools and follow the instruction manual to the letter, you will be able to have this setup and running quite quickly. But if you would rather not risk anything going wrong, a plumber can be called in to install it for you. The video below gives a great overview of the process.

  • Cheaper than Buying Bottled Water

Our desire for clean and drinkable water often leads us to buy plastic bottles of mineral water. Sure, these are filled with excellent quality water but the costs can really add up when you consider how much this system costs and how much water you get for that cost. Furthermore, plastic bottles are extremely bad for the environment, so by not buying them, you are actually doing your bit for the health of the planet as well as the health of your family.

  • Built by Whirlpool

As one of the world’s largest and most well-known manufacturers of home appliances, you already know that you are going to have a water filter that is made to an extremely high-quality. They are also known for being one of the eco-friendlier manufacturers and their products usually demonstrate this.

With more than a hundred years in business, it would be difficult to argue against them knowing how to deliver products of outstanding quality. So, when buying a water filter, the fact that this one is made by such a giant will surely have a big say in your considerations.

  • One Year Warranty

Not all water filters will come with a warranty, so finding one that does is always going to be a big bonus. Fortunately, Whirlpool does offer you a one-year warranty that will cover you if the unit is faulty, malfunctioning and simply needs replacing. Sure, this could have been a little longer but having read many reviews we have not read too many people that have suffered any issues with this water filter.

whelj1 dimensions


Recommended Article: Disinfect your water without harmful chlorine with a UV water filter. Find out which models are worth consideration in our guide.


The 3 Biggest Drawbacks

As we alluded to earlier, this filtration system has some neat features but it’s by no means perfect. There are some potential dealbreakers that you should be aware of.

  • The Water Flow Rate

With a water flow rate of 6 gallons per minute, it’s not ideally suited to larger households with multiple bathrooms. A flow rate of 6 GPM is firmly on the lower side of the scale with systems such as the Home Master 2-stage giving figures as large as 15 GPM.

A water flow rate like this is perfectly fine for the smaller of households with one or maybe two bathrooms but it simply can’t keep up with the water demands of larger households.

  • It’s Pretty “Lightweight”

An often cited complaint of this system is that it fails to deal with water that is high in sediment or heavy metals. This is a valid point but this model is simply not designed to treat water of this nature. The carbon filtration deals with chlorine very well and this system deals comfortably with chlorinated city water supplies.

Though Whirlpool state that it is designed to remove sediment, it simply doesn’t deal well with this. If you have water with higher than average levels of sediment or you get your water from a private well supply then give this system a miss.

If you seek a whole house water filter to remove nasty chlorine from your bathing and drinking water then this could be a good fit. If you’re worried about things like lead or fluoride for example then give this a miss.

One more thing to note is that this will NOT soften your water. This is a common misconception about this system that is probably caused by it resembling a water softener more than a water filter.

  • It Wastes Water

The drawback of the self-cleaning filter operation is that it wastes water. Around 10 gallons of water is used to flush the carbon filter media each time the system replenishes itself. In a world where fresh water is becoming increasingly precious and scarce, this is a significant drawback of this system.


The biggest thing going for this is the low maintenance operation. If you’re looking for a whole house water filtration system but are worried about the ongoing maintenance tasks involved then this model could be just what you’re looking for. The lack of replacement filters to buy also means that it offers really good value for money over the course of its 10-year lifespan.

However, there are some caveats. Namely, the water wasted when flushing the filter and the water flow rate.

So, who exactly is the Whirlpool WHELJ1 best suited to?

  1. Those with chlorinated city water that does not have high levels of sediment.
  2. Those unable/unwilling to perform maintenance tasks like changing filters.
  3. Those with small households (max 4 people) or low water usage demands.


Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our guide to refrigerator filters next!

Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to doing something about the quality of your tap water, you are eventually going to come across water filter systems. Now you can either get countertop filters which are the cheaper option or you could go one step further and get a whole house water filtration system that supplies filtered water throughout your home instead of just through one faucet.

This guide will take you through the latter of those, the whole house water filters that connect to your main water line in your home and will provide you with clean water whether you drink it, shower in it, water your garden with it or cook with it.

What is a Whole House Water Filter?

The easiest way to think of a whole house water filtration system is to basically think of a filter that is connected on the main line of water that is going into your home. That mainline water then passes through the filter before coming out of the faucets, toilets, showers, baths or into any home appliance that uses your home’s water directly. The water becomes cleaner, purer and safer to drink and will not have the same hardness or odor as standard mainline water.

What Type of Whole House Water Filter Should I Install?

There are a number of different types of whole house water filters that you can buy and the one you should be installing will come down to the contaminants that are found in your water that need to be removed. Different areas will have different types and levels of contaminants so it is important to find out what those are before making your decision.

The Types of Contaminants Commonly Found in Tap Water

  • Sediments

Sediments are physical particles that can be found within the water, some which can even be seen by the naked eye. These sediments can include dirt, dust, sand, and rust and removing them will require a filtration system that can reduce the levels of these sediments by using extremely fine filters.

  • Chemical Contaminants

These are the chemical-based contaminants that can be found in water such as chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, insecticides, hydrogen sulfide, PCB’s, pesticides, odors, and many other lesser-known chemicals. Most of these can be removed by water filtration systems that use a carbon filter as part of their filtration process.

  • Iron and Other Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are another type of contaminant that can infect our water supplies and these will all require different filtration processes to remove or reduce them. Sediment filters can get rid of some, oxidation filters can remove others and ion exchange filters can also remove many of them. This is why it is important to know exactly what is in your water before deciding on a filter system to use.

Considerations When Purchasing a Whole House Water Filter

As well as making sure you choose a filter that can remove the contaminants that you want, you will also have to think about some other considerations before making your final choice on the water filter to purchase. Some of these considerations include the following:

  • How Long a Filter Lasts

The Whirlpool WHELJ1 that we reviewed will last ten years before it will need to be replaced with the filter also lasting the same length of time. Other products, however, may require you to change the filter every month or so. It is important to understand how long the filter will last and how much it will cost you to replace it.

  • The Cost

Of course, as well as the cost of the filters, you will also have to consider the cost of the system as a whole before you decide. Some will be far cheaper but might not be as effective while the more expensive models will not always necessarily be the best. Look at their cost and determine from reviews whether the water filter represents good value for money.

  • Reputation

We have the internet right at our fingertips and a wealth of information comes with it. Use it to read reviews and feedback from other customers to determine whether a particular product has earned a good reputation or not. Word of mouth is usually the best form of marketing, so if many people are recommending a unit, it will mean a lot more than just being told how good it is by the manufacturer.

  • Effectiveness

Will the filter system reduces the levels of contamination in your water as effectively as others? Does it remove a wider range of contaminants than others? Does it require less maintenance and is it easy to set up? These are just some of the other questions that you will need answers to before you ultimately make up your mind on which filter system to go for.

We hope you found our review useful and that it’s allowed you to get a good general feel for this water filter.

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About the Author James Smith

James is the chief water geek here at His mission is to empower the consumer and allow people to take control of their health. His passion for water health is contagious, hopefully unlike your tap water!

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