Do Whole House Water Filters Remove Lead?

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Whole house water filters effectively remove everyday contaminants from water.

But does this also apply to lead? If you’ve discovered lead in your water supply, will a whole house water filter help you remove it?

In this article, we’ll fetch answers to your questions and provide tips on whole house filter system that can be used to eliminate lead!

Key Takeaways

  • Whole house water filters CAN remove lead but only if they feature filter media or a filtration method that supports lead removal.
  • In general, a whole house filter that uses KDF or activated carbon filtration, or reverse osmosis water purification will remove lead from water (in varying quantities).
  • The PIONEER whole house water filter system uses chemical binders to filter lead.

Do Whole House Water Filters Remove Lead?

When it comes to lead removal, it doesn’t matter if you’re using a whole house water filter or a point-of-use system. Instead, what matters is the type of filter media or filtration process your water filter uses.

So, whole house water filters can remove lead from water, but only if they feature filter media or a filtration method that supports lead removal.

Which Type of Whole House Water Filter Is Most Suited for Removing Lead?

A whole house filter that uses kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF), activated carbon filtration, or reverse osmosis will effectively remove lead from water.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters use a specific type of filter medium. It adsorbs lead and prevents it from slipping through the pores and entering your water.

Activated carbon filters work well for lead removal, but their performance isn’t long-lasting. After a few months, they lose their ability to filter lead and need to be replaced.

By the way, both granular activated carbon and carbon block filters can be used, although the latter usually offers the higher lead reduction rate.

Big Blue Whole House Water Filter

Reverse Osmosis Systems

Reverse osmosis systems are among the best for removing heavy metals and other toxic waste.

Not only do they use activated carbon for pre-filtration. Their semipermeable reverse osmosis membrane rejects up to 99% of all lead and other water contaminants, including salts, microorganisms, and heavy metals.

KDF-55 Filters

Over the past few years, the KDF-55 filter has become popular due to its ability to filter heavy metals out of water.

KDF-55 filters remove soluble metals like lead and also chlorine by first making them insoluble and then trapping them in their filter media.

In addition to removing lead, KDF-55 filters are also bacteriostatic.

Remember to Replace Old Filters

Lead water filters don’t work forever. All lead water filters can only filter a limited amount of water before their lead filtering abilities run out.

So, to keep your lead water filters functioning, you’ll have to replace them regularly. Most lead filters need to be replaced every 6-12 months, but to be safe, check the manufacturer’s instructions to know when yours needs replacing.

How Does Lead Get into Our Water Supplies?

Lead poisoning is widespread, and millions of people still drink lead-contaminated water even in some parts of the US.

Here’s how lead gets into their water supply:

Lead Service Lines

Lead service lines are the primary cause of lead poisoning in the US. This is because said lines were initially the primary way to connect millions of homes to the public main water supply.

But after the Flint Water Crisis, the government started to replace a lot of the lead pipes with safer alternatives. Unfortunately, some still remain underground, undiscovered, and are still in use.

Corrosion of Lead Plumbing

When lead pipes corrode, lead particles can come off and dissolve into water flowing through the pipes. You won’t see or smell the lead particles, but if you run a test, it’ll show that the water is lead-contaminated.

Lead pipes are not solely responsible for lead poisoning in water; copper pipes with lead solder, faucets containing lead, and galvanized pipes can all corrode and release lead into drinking water.

several old lead pipes in a wall

How to Test for Lead in Water

Since it’s impossible to tell if your water has lead by simply looking at, smelling, or tasting it, testing your water for lead is the only way to know whether it is lead-contaminated.

Not sure how to check? Here’s what you can do:

Ask for a Water Quality Report from Your Water Supplier

If your water is supplied locally by a public utility, you can request a water quality report called a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

You don’t need to pay for this report because the US Environmental Protection Agency has mandated all water service utilities to test their water annually and share the results with their users for free.

You can find these CCR reports online, so you don’t have to call anyone.

Get a Laboratory Test Done

Running laboratory tests on your water is another way to confirm the status of its quality. All you need to do is send a sample of your water to an EPA-certified laboratory and get your water scored. For more accurate results, it’s advisable to test for multiple contaminants.

Lab tests are reliable, but compared to other options, they’re the most expensive way to test your water. You may spend up to several hundreds of dollars.

Do a DIY Test

Another cheaper option is a DIY testing kit, and in this case, a water lead test kit. You can get it on Amazon for as little as $20-40.

These tests are straightforward, and you’ll usually get quite accurate results if you follow the guidelines. You’ll also need to use “first-draw” water as your testing sample. First-draw water is the first water you take out from a tap after at least 8 hours of being unopened. It’s best to take this water in the morning.

Get a Free Water Test from Water Treatment Companies

Usually, water treatment companies offer free water tests to potential customers. To get your water tested by them, go to the company’s website, schedule a date to have your water tested, and wait for their response.

These tests are very convenient because experts come to your home, do the necessary testing, and give you creditable results. The best part is it’s completely free. However, expect a sales pitch.

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About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Her writing interests have included many different topics, water treatment among them, which have encompassed varying writing styles.
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