Choosing the best UV filter for well water is somewhat tricky depending on what’s in your well water. A UV filter might be all you need to effectively destroy harmful microorganisms in your well water. On the flip side, a UV filter might only be part of a complete home filtration system for well water. Regardless, UV filtration is more important for people on well water than people on municipal water. Why? Well, municipal water is typically treated with chlorine or chloramines, which does most of the heavy lifting. The good news is UV filters are an excellent alternative to chlorine treatment for well water. You are now entering my guide to choosing the top UV filters.

In this guide, I share:

  • Top 5 UV Filters for Well Water
  • UV Filter Reviews
  • Tips on How to Choose the Right UV Filter for Your Home

Product Description
#1) Pelican Basic Ultra Violet (UV) Disinfection System

  • #1 Best UV Filter for Well Water
  • Max Flow Rate: 16 gpm
  • Maximum Hardness: 120 ppm (7 Grains Per Gallon)
  • Lamp Power: 25 watts
  • Lamp Life: 1 year
  • Dimensions: 17.8” L x 3.5” Diameter
  • Weight: 12 lbs (shipping weight)
  • Model: PUV-7
  • Warranty: 3-Year on Manufacturer’s Defects, 1-Year on Lamps & Sensors, 10-Year on UV Chamber
#2) HQUA Ultraviolet Water Purifier

  • #1 Best Budget UV Filter
  • Max Flow Rate: 12 gpm
  • Maximum Hardness: 120 ppm (7 Grains Per Gallon)
  • Lamp Power: 40 watts
  • Lamp Life: 1 year
  • Dimensions: 37.2” L x 2.5” Diameter
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs
  • Model: HQUA-OWS-12
  • Warranty: 1-Year on Electronic Ballast
#3) iSpring Whole House UV Water Purifier

  • Max Flow Rate: 12 gpm
  • Maximum Hardness: 120 ppm (7 Grains Per Gallon)
  • Lamp Power: 55 watts
  • Lamp Life: 9,000 hours (indicator light)
  • Dimensions: 37.2” L x 2.5” Diameter
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs
  • Model: UVF55
  • Warranty: 3-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
#4) Viqua UV Whole-House Water Sterilizer

  • Good for smaller households up to 2 bathrooms
  • Max Flow Rate: 6 gpm
  • Maximum Hardness: 120 ppm (7 Grains Per Gallon)
  • Lamp Power: 30 watts
  • Lamp Life: 9,000 hours (countdown timer w/ digital display)
  • Dimensions: 21” L x 2.5” Diameter
  • Weight: 5.85 lbs
  • Model: S5Q-PA
  • Warranty: 7-Year Warranty on Chamber, 5-Year Pro-Rated on Components not including Probe & Lamp
#5) Aqua Topone UV Whole House Water Sterilizer

  • #1 Best Cheap UV Filter
  • Max Flow Rate: 12 gpm
  • Maximum Hardness: 120 ppm (7 Grains Per Gallon)
  • Lamp Power: 55 watts
  • Lamp Life: 9,000 hours
  • Dimensions: 37.2” L x 2.5” Diameter
  • Weight: 7.75 lbs
  • Model: ATO SDE-55-X
  • Warranty: 1-Year (from date of shipment)

Best UV Water Purifier Reviews

In the UV water filter department, there are two main types of filters. The best UV filter brands are low-pressure, high-output. This type of lamp delivers a higher intensity of UV light, which allows for smaller, more effective systems. The Pelican UV filter is the perfect example of a low-pressure, high output lamp. Despite being significantly shorter in length and having a 46 Watt lamp compared to a 55 Watt lamp, the Pelican system can effectively treat up to 16 gallons per minute. Be sure to stick around after the reviews for more tips on how to choose the best UV filter for well water.

Pelican UV Water Filter (PUV-7)

Pelican Water Systems is one of the most reliable water filtration companies that’s most well-known for its line of whole house water filtration systems. Of all the companies manufacturing UV filters, Pelican UV filters incorporate the most efficient and cutting-edge technology. Another feature that sets Pelican apart from its competitors is the long warranty period. When you invest in a Pelican UV water filter, there’s no need to worry about money down the drain. Since UV filters aren’t cheap, a Pelican UV filter is a wise investment.

You already know that Pelican UV water filters are low-pressure, high-output, which is the reason why the Pelican chamber is smaller than most of the other units in my Top 5, outside of Viqua. The Chamber is made of 304 stainless steel and will stand the test of time. There are two models available for home use, the PUV-7 and PUV-14. The main difference between the two systems is the size.

The PUV-7 has a peak flow rate of 16 GPM, while the PUV-14 can handle up to 34 GPM. For most households, the PUV-7 is more than enough.

Below are other highlights of the Pelican PUV-7 to consider before you choose a UV filter to treat your well water:

  • Safety Cap & Lamp Plug
  • Maximum Operating Pressure: 125 psi
  • Lamp Replacement Reminder
  • Visual “Power On” Indicator
  • Lamp Timer Reset & Display
  • Voltage: 100-240V AC

HQUA UV Sterilizer (HQUA-OWS-12)

The greatest advantage of the HQUA filter over the Pelican filter is the significant decrease in price, however, that also means a dip in quality. The longer lamps with more watts are less efficient and do not fall into the low-pressure, high-output category. Having said that, the HQUA certainly gets the job done and has the capacity to purify water for households with up to four bathrooms. For most households, 12 GPM is sufficient to supply the entire home.

Like the Pelican filter, the HQUA chamber is made of 304 stainless steel. It features a quartz sleeve for housing the lamp and an electronic ballast with a 365-day countdown timer. Overall, the HQUA unit is the best UV filter for the money currently available. Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E. coli are just a handful of the primary contaminants this filter incinerates.

Below are the pros and cons I found in the HQUA reviews:

Pros
  • Superb quality for the price and excellent packing job by the company
  • Recommended by users on well water with a sulfur problem
  • Effective for eliminating coliform in well water
  • Cost-Effective
  • E. coli eliminated
  • Excellent customer service team
  • Significant savings compared to hiring professionals who charge big bucks for bacteria problems
Cons
  • Reports of failing ballasts
  • Instructions could be better
  • A handful of cracked tube reports

iSpring UV Filter (UVF55)

As you probably already noticed, the iSpring chamber is essentially identical to the HQUA purifier all the way down to the dimensions. The biggest difference here is the 55-watt lamp in the iSpring unit compared to the 40-watt lamp in the HQUA unit. Also, I trust iSpring before HQUA since HQUA is a relatively unknown company. On the other hand, iSpring is one of the most well-known and respected reverse osmosis system manufacturers. The company manufactures a wide range of water filtration products and is known for its superior customer service.

Depending on your budget, the iSpring UVF55 might be your best bet. At the time of this writing, it costs significantly less than the Pelican PUV-7 and not a whole lot more than the HQUA system. When you choose iSpring, you can be sure that the iSpring team walks you through the installation and answers any questions you might have along the way.

Below are the pros and cons I found in the iSpring UVF55 reviews:

Pros
  • Well water tested negative for harmful bacteria after installation
  • Easy to install and add to existing whole house water filtration systems and softeners
  • iSpring customer service is second to none
  • Fairly priced compared to competitors
  • Makes well water safe to drink again
  • Proven effective by lab test results
  • Eliminates coliform bacteria
Cons
  • Failed ballast reports
  • A leak report

Viqua Whole-House UV Water Sterilizer (S5Q-PA 6)

Similar to the Pelican PUV-7, the Viqua UV filter uses a low-pressure, high-output lamp for increased efficiency. For smaller households with up to two bathrooms, the S5Q-PA 6 is a worthy and more affordable alternative to the PUV-7 system. If 6 GPM max output is enough to supply your home, this is a high-quality UV unit that’ll save you some bucks.

Of the purifiers in my Top 5, Viqua and Pelican are backed by the longest warranties. It’s also important to note that unlike Pelican, Viqua specializes in UV filtration and has been in the UV filtration business for close to four decades. When you buy a Viqua UV purifier, you’re buying from one of the most reliable and knowledgeable companies in the world.

Below are the pros and cons I found reported by owners in the Viqua reviews:

Pros
  • Eliminated E. coli in well water according to lab test results
  • A great way to transform questionable well water into safe drinking water
  • Simple installation
  • Completely eliminated coliform in one well water sample
  • Pairs well with all sediment filters and whole house carbon filtration systems
  • Reliable operation
  • Excellent packing
  • The best UV filter on the market
Cons
  • A failed controller report (though Viqua replaced it)

Agua Topone UV Sterilizer (ATO SDE-55-X)

The Agua Topone unit is the best cheap UV filter on the market with enough positive reviews to back up its effectiveness. Make no mistake, this unit is made in China, and it’s the cheapest for a reason. Having said that, I’m impressed by the number of positive reports by current owners for a UV filter in this price range.

The ATO SDE-55-X is the same design as the iSpring filter for a significantly reduced cost, though counting on Agua Topone to provide the same level of customer service/support as iSpring probably isn’t the wisest idea.

Below are the pros and cons I found reported by users in the Agua Topone reviews:

Pros
  • The customer service team did promptly replace a failed unit
  • Tested to eliminate E. Coli and Coliform from well water
  • Quite easy to install and gets the job done
  • No noticeable drop in water pressure after installation
  • Turned water that failed lab tests into safe drinking water
  • High-quality materials for the price
  • Versatile, installs both vertically and horizontally
Cons
  • Problems with the included o-ring blocking water from entering the lamp housing
  • Broken parts upon arrival reported

Tips on How to Choose the Best UV Filter for Well Water

Below is a list of considerations to make before you invest in a UV water purifier for your home:

  • UV filters are not meant for iron bacteria problems – If you have well water with iron bacteria, it’s necessary to install a whole house well water filter before the UV filter. Whole house systems with multiple stages including KDF-85 media do an excellent job of removing hydrogen sulfide and iron.
  • The importance of UVT (Ultra Violet Transmittance) – UVT is a measure of how well your water transmits UV light. Municipal water typically has a UVT of 95%, while well water hovers around 85% UVT (*). For this reason, municipal water is easier to treat and requires less pre-filtration than most well water. One of the reasons I chose Pelican as my top pick is that their UV filters are effective down to 75% UVT and provide the required 30 m/J UV dose for reliable disinfection.
  • Max Service Flow Rate – The max flow rate is important to check to ensure the UV filter is compatible with your current water filtration system and has the capacity to serve your entire home. UV filters with a max flow rate of 6 GPM are typically adequate for smaller households with up to two bathrooms. Larger households with four or more bathrooms should aim for a max flow rate of 12 GPM at a minimum.
  • Warranty – A quality UV filter comes backed by a long warranty. One of the reasons I like Pelican systems for home use is the top-notch stainless steel chambers and canisters the company manufactures for its systems. Of the filters in my Top 5, the Pelican unit will last the longest followed by the Viqua unit. Once you enter the budget realm, there’s a higher chance of issues occurring once you’re outside of the warranty period.

Those are the most important factors to consider when choosing a UV filter. Remember, the lamp wattage is not a measure of effectiveness. Low-pressure, high-output lamps are currently the best on the market. Both Pelican and Viqua UV filters feature low-pressure, high-output lamps.

Bottom Line

UV filters for well water are an effective alternative to chlorine for eliminating harmful bacteria in private wells. The most important thing to keep in mind is that UV filters are not made to be standalone. If you have hard well water or iron-rich well water, it must be treated before it enters the UV chamber for the UV light to do its job effectively.

A good sediment pre-filter and multi-stage whole house filtration system are required for most well water applications. Most people on well water also need to consider installing a water softener before the UV filter. UV filters are for eliminating bacteria, not removing contaminants.

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