Last Updated on October 6, 2021
Chances are that you are reading this because you have been noticing a foul-smelling “rotten egg” like odor in your water. A quick Google search informs you that this is because of sulfur contamination so here you are looking for the best sulfur filter to treat this problem?
You are not alone.
Sulfides appearing in water, particularly hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an issue that affects millions of homes. Yes, it’s true that hydrogen sulfide is a poisonous gas but the type of sulfur that appears in water is more of a nuisance than a threat to your health.
This is why the smell is particularly pungent when you have a hot bath, boil your kettle, wash dishes or use it for cooking.
The good news is that effectively treating sulfur in water is relatively easy when you have the right equipment.
This article will provide you with a few of the most effective methods to treat and filter sulfur from water. To do this I will provide comprehensive reviews of 3 sulfur filter removal systems from Aquasana, SoftPro Iron Master and Pelican.
BEST SULFUR FILTER REMOVAL SYSTEMS COMPARISON TABLE
Best Sulfur Water Filter Reviews
I looked at several different whole house sulfur water filters systems and narrowed it down to the best I could find. The “best” in terms of overall effectiveness, ease of use, ease of installation, low on-going maintenance and value for money. Here is my list:
- Aquasana Rhino EQ-500 WELL Whole House Water Filter System.
- SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System (with Air Injection).
- Pentair Pelican Sulfur Filtration System.
1. Aquasana Rhino EQ-500 WELL Whole House Water Filter System
The Rhino® Well Water with UV is capable of treating several contaminants commonly found in well water. This includes bacteria, viruses, iron and of course sulfur.
Also Treats Hard Water WITHOUT Salt.
A salt free conditioner comes as standard with the EQ-500 (but this is an optional addon that you can remove if you wish). This will naturally and safely reduce scale build up on your plumbing and appliances without needing salt or any other chemicals. This salt free conditioner upgrade means that it can treat low amounts of hard water.
Hard water is what causes white limescale deposits on your sink, pipes, plumbing and is also what’s responsible for the white crystals at the bottom of your kettle. Getting a salt free conditioner means that you can get all the positive effects of a water softener without needing to constantly buy and use salt.
Getting this whole house device with the UV (ultra violet) filter option provides extra filtration and means your water is drinkable direct from the kitchen faucet.
Long Filter Life
The Rhino EQ-500 is capable of treating 500,000 gallons of water in your home or lasting up to 5 years (which ever comes first). The filter replacement process is extremely simple, mess free and only takes a few minutes.
A few basic plumbing skills means you can install this yourself without the extra cost of hiring a plumber. Simply add the “Pro-Grade Install Kit”, which will give you everything you will need for an easier self-installation as well as on-going maintenance. The installation kit includes bend supports, brass fittings and shut-off valves.
Aquasana EQ-400 Pros & Cons
- Treats sulfur and all the common contaminants that effect well water (including sulfur, iron and manganese).
- Comes with a salt free softener and UV filter for extra protection for hard water and other contaminants like bacteria and viruses.
- Easy to install especially when you get their professional installation kit.
- The conditioner doesn’t require salt to treat hard water unlike regular water softeners.
- Low on-going maintaintce.
- Filters last up to 5 years or 500,000 gallons before they need replacing.
- Can only cope with low to moderate hard water (up to 1.4 gpg). Get a Pelican salt free softener for a device that can treat hard water up to 75 gpg – without requiring salt.
2. SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System (with Air Injection)
This filter system specifically targets high levels of sulfur, iron and manganese, which makes it ideal for well water. Air injection is one of the most effective filtration methods for treating things like iron and sulfur.
It treats iron by 30ppm, hydrogen sulfide up to 5 ppm, manganese up to 7 ppm and arsenic up to 120 ppb.
The standard model is 1.0 cubic foot which is ideal for a small household however, you should get a bigger cubic foot for standard and larger sized households.
Setting up vacation mode via the smart control valve stops the softener from regenerating for the period of time that you specified.
This is not the smart bit though. The smart part is that it will periodically do a quick refresh to stop bacteria from growing in the machine while it’s on standby.
SoftPro Iron Master AIO Pros & Cons
- It can remove manganese up to 7 PPM, iron up to 30 PPM and hydrogen sulfide / sulfur up to 5 PPM and arsenic by up to 120 PPB.
- A low maintenance option.
- It filters down to 3 microns.
- Light weight build so it’s easy to carry and reposition.
- The filter cartridges last on average netween 8-10 years before they need replacing.
- Automatic backwash regeneration cycle.
- Comes with a neoprene protective jacket.
- Certified to NSF, ISO and IAMPO standards.
- Lifetime warranty on the filter housing.
- Digital control interface.
- It only filters the things mentioned (i.e. iron, sulfur etc.), you will need to add upgrade options like the softener, UV filter and reverse osmosis system to treat other issues in your water.
3. Pentair Pelican Sulfur Filtration System
The Pelican PC-CHLR20 is a dedicated sulfur filter. This is a great solution for anyone that suffers from sulfur in their water and very little else.
However, it uses other filter methods in its multi-stage filter process. This means that in addition to removing multiple contaminants and pollutants, you also have a system that eliminates potentially dangerous pathogens from your water. This means that it will also be able to treat:
- Chlorine and chloramines.
- Sediments down to 5 microns.
Sulfur Water Filter Buyer’s Guide FAQ’s
Buying a sulfur water filter is not cheap.
Not only is the machine expensive but installation and on-going maintanence costs can add up too. This is why selecting the right device for your needs is so important.
I have identified some of the most common questions about sulfur water treatment systems and filters to help you better understand the problem.
How did I get sulfur in my water?
There are 2 main ways that sulfur can get into your water.
- The first is when there is decay underground or any sort of similar event that includes lots of gases like hydrogen sulfide. Overtime this gas can dissolve and apear in your well water.
- The second way is if your well is drilled near coal deposits, oil fields or in places with high amounts of shale or sandstone components. The bacteria that comes out of this process can sometimes feed on organic matter while living in low-oxygen environments, which results in hydrogen sulfide.
Is Hydrogen Sulfide Harmful?
The first thing to say is that it’s not leathal.
Yes, a high concentration of hydrogen sulfide can be responsible for minor health issues. For instance, consuming sulfur in water can cause things like nausea, headaches, coughs, sore throat and even eye irritation. Higher levels of sulfur can also create digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
Aside from minor health issues, hydrogen sulfide can be harmful to your plumbing and appliances.
It makes your water smell very bad (like a rotten egg), taste bad and this will impact your food and hot beverages.
The bottom line is that it won’t kill you but it’s a great nuisance. It is something that you will want to get rid off once you realize it’s present in your water.
What are the different filter options?
There are currently hundreds of different filter products to select from and it can be difficult to know which one is right for your needs.
The table below is a good overview of what different types of filter methods are capable of treating:
E.g. Aquasama Rhino
|Carbon block filter
|Foul tasting water and odors, organic chemicals.|
E.g. Pelican UV
|Protozoa, viruses, bacteria.|
|Sediment filter||Dust, debris, rust, suspended particles.|
Do water filters remove sulfur?
Only water filters that are able to filter sulfur will be able to treat this issue. Any old water filter won’t do.
For instance, a basic filter pitcher won’t filter out hydrogen sulfide gases. You will need to seek out filters that mention sulfur as something that they can treat.
Why does my water smell like sulfur even after I filter it?
If you know that your water filter is capable of treating sulfur make sure you change it regularly. Check the filter indicator to be sure and also check to see if your filter has an expiration date. If it has an expiration date make sure you don’t use it after this date.
What kind of water filter removes sulfur?
The most effective filter method at treating sulfur in water is the air inject method. Here are some others
- Ozone injection.
- An air-charge catalytic carbon filter.
- A chlorinator to inject either hydrogen peroxide or chlorine into water.
- An aeration system.
- Multi-stage or combination filter systems.
The good news is that filter products will usually list the types of contaminants that they’re capable of treating upfront so no guess work is necessary.
Can you drink sulfur contaminanted water?
Generally speaking, yes you can because sulfur is not especially dangerous to health.
It’s just very unpleasant in terms of taste and smell.
However, in very large amounts it can create minor health upsets like nausea, eye and skin irritation and headaches.
However, the good news is that it is very difficult to accidentally drink sulfur contaminanted water because of the pungent smell and taste.
Can A basic Carbon Filter Remove The Smell of Sulfur?
Yes, but to a very limited extent.
Activated carbon is capable of filtering lots of different contaminants from water. Note that activated carbon is not optimised for removing sulfure itself but rather the sulfur *smell*.
If you have a higher concentration of hydrogen sulfide in your water you should consider getting catalytic carbon filters or one of the sulfur filters reviewed in this artucle.
Q: Where do I start?
A: Test Your Water For Sulfur Contamination
Sulfur is pretty easy to diagnose because of the smell and taste but there are some cases where it might be more subtle. Perhaps the sulfur contamination is at the very early stages and is only emitting a faint smell when you put your nose directly on the water.
You can get free and easy confirmation by contacting your local municipal water supplier and ask them for a free water analysis. This is of course only possible if your water is supplied by a local authority.
However, if you use well water then you will have to test the water yourself. There are plenty of cheap online water test kits but using a lab water test gives the most accurate and comprehensive results.
Lab water tests from places like TapScore have a very quick turnaround and all your results will be posted online once ready. They are slightly more expensive than at home water test kits but the detailed results are worth the extra cost. Also, knowing exactly what contaminates your water means you will be able to get the right water filter – the first time.