Do Water Filters Restrict Flow? (The Real Truth)

To improve tap water quality, an inexpensive, straight forward solution is to install a whole home filtration system. Many people have friends who comment about how water filters drastically reduce the water flow in the home.

There is a common misconception that water filtration systems reduce water pressure, but is it all that bad? Below, we are going to look at whether water filters restrict flow.

What Are The Effects Of A Filtration System On Flow Rates?

Water filters for the whole house are installed at the supply line, which shouldn’t affect water pressure too much.

Filters may slow down water flow as it passes through them, causing the water flow to be reduced by filter resistance. As a result, the filter can catch unwanted contaminants, which is why the flow rate should be slowed.

However, the slowed rate is only a few seconds more, waiting for the water to flow out of the faucet. Therefore, there shouldn’t be much effect if the filtration system has the correct setup for your home.

Water Pressure And Flow Rates: Understanding The Basics

Many people confuse flow rate with water pressure. In practical terms, they’re similar, but when you consider technical details, they’re not quite the same.

In a water filter, flow rate refers to the amount of water that moves through it per minute. Pressure is the rate at which water flows and its intensity.

These two factors are the most important factors that affect whole-house systems.

Flow And Pressure Of Water Are Influenced By Several Factors

To make a sound purchase of a whole-house water filter system, you should be aware of how it impacts the water pressure in your home. There are some factors you can control and others you cannot.

Water pressure can also be affected by several other factors, including:

The pipes are clogged. When sediment or hardness minerals build up in your pipes and water heater, water pressure will gradually decrease.  

Time of the day. You may notice lower water pressure in peak water usage periods since multiple appliances use water simultaneously.

Supply and demand. During the summer, water pressure tends to drop since people need more water to drink and to fill pools and water lawns.

The pipe size is incorrect. Your home’s pipes may be too small in comparison to the amount of water it uses, resulting in access to slower water flow rates.

To boost water flow around your home, you should install a pressure booster, resulting in more water flowing through your home.

Water needs to be available in the first place, and the pipes should be able to handle the increased flow. Ask your local plumber for advice if you’re not sure.

The Pressure Of Water In The Home

Water pressure affects filter efficiency in your home. Many factors affect the rate, from the climate to the distance your water must travel.

Your water supply will be lower in pressure the farther it is from your home, resulting in lower pressure. You may notice a drop if there is a drought. 

Each water filter requires a certain amount of incoming pressure. The performance of your system will be impaired if it is too low.

How Does Single-Tap Filtration Affect Flow? 

The flow rate of filtered water is slightly slower when drinking water is filtered than that of unfiltered water due to the restriction caused by the filter media.

It works the same way as a whole house water filtering system. Slower flow rates allow more time for water to pass through the filter, optimizing the water treatment process.

This allows it to pass through the carbon fibres and other contaminants, reducing additives further. As a result, consumers should drink and cook with filtered water.

Installing whole house water filter after pressure tank.

Improving The Flow Of Water When You Have A Filtration System

Your Pressure Tank Needs To Be Checked

When you use a well, you store the water in a pressure tank until you need to use it. Therefore, there is a possibility that the system will not perform optimally if the pressure switch settings are incorrect.

You should also ensure the shutoff valves that control your home’s water supply are fully open. Water filtration systems cannot be effective without adequate incoming pressure.

Water Filtration System Maintenance

Sediment cartridges usually last between three and six months. However, it depends on the size and type of carbon filter, whether it lasts six months or 12 months.

Clogged pores are expected to appear on reverse osmosis membranes in three to 10 years.

There is nothing worse than a clogged filter cartridge for reducing water pressure. However, a properly maintained filter shouldn’t greatly affect water pressure.

Limescale Treatment

Hard water can cause clogged pipes as limescale build up in the pipes. Water softeners for the whole house can prevent this.

You can choose salt-free conditioners or conventional softeners that stop limescale build up in its tracks. Even existing limescale can be removed by these devices.

Slow Filtration Benefits

For example, porous granular material such as sand or carbon is used in most water filters or micro-strainers incorporated into stainless steel filters.

These tiny millimetre-sized granules sieve and purify water as it passes through them. Toxins that are positively charged are also attracted and trapped by the negatively charged filter particles.

The following are some advantages of slow-flowing filters:

  1. By slowing down the flow rate, negative filter particles can interact with toxins with a positive charge. Toxins are captured and filtered out more effectively this way.
  2. Due to the slower flow, there is less agitation and formation of bacteria trapped in sand filters, resulting in the killing of other microorganisms.
  3. A lower flow rate demands finer granules in a filter than one with a higher flow rate. Filtering bacteria and chemicals with finer granules is more effective. Water filters for drinking are better than water filters for whole houses.


Unfortunately, water filters affect the water flow in a whole house and single water filtering systems. Although the flow rate shouldn’t worry you too much as it only slows it by a few seconds, it can be annoying.

Ensure you check the tips above to see if there are other things wrong that could be contributing to your lack of water flow. 

Talk to a professional to ensure you get the right system for your house so you are not having more water demand than what the filter can handle.

Don’t stress about the lower flow rate, as the benefits outweigh the wait times. Enjoy clean, fresh water and the benefits it can offer to your healthy body and even your hair!

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