How Much Does a Water Heater Filter Cost?

by Rowan Guthrie
Hot water tank with pump and filter

If you've ever experienced a sudden drop in water pressure or noticed strange odors or tastes in your hot water, it’s time to wonder if the water in your home is healthy. Water heaters are an essential part of most people's homes, so they need to be maintained.

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However, over time, water heaters can suffer from sediment buildup and other contaminants that affect water quality and the heater’s efficiency. A crucial tool in the fight against poor water quality is the filter.

What Is a Water Heater Filter?

A water heater filter is a device designed to remove sediment, minerals and other impurities from the water supply before they enters your water heater. It’s primarily thanks to the filter that you can enjoy fresh water for showers and washing dishes. These filters help prevent scale buildup, improve water quality and prolong the life span of your heater. They typically come in the form of cartridges or filter systems installed on your heater’s incoming water line.

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Water Heater Filter?

Water heater filters typically need to be replaced every six to 12 months to maintain optimal performance. However, this timeframe can vary depending on factors such as water quality, usage and the type of filter installed. Regular replacement helps ensure efficient filtration, preventing sediment buildup and maintaining your water’s quality. Some high-capacity filters may last longer before needing replacement, but you should still monitor their condition regularly as there’s no guarantee of longevity. Keeping up with scheduled replacements ensures your water heater continues to deliver clean, high-quality hot water while prolonging its life span.

How Much Does a Water Heater Filter Cost?

The cost of a whole-house water heater filter can vary depending on factors such as the brand, type and features. Not including labor, you can expect to pay between $15 and $250 (CAD 21 and CAD 339), according to data from HomeGuide. This is an annual figure, as ideally, you should replace your filter every year to ensure optimum efficiency.

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Are There Different Kinds of Water Heater Filters?

Yes, there are several types of water heater filters available, each with its own set of features and benefits. Let’s look at the most common types, what makes them unique and their price ranges:

Sediment Filters

Sediment filters address a broad spectrum of impurities found in water, including sand, dirt and rust, effectively safeguarding your water heater from these damaging particles. With prices typically ranging from $15 to $65 (CAD 21 to CAD 88) for one to three units, sediment filters offer an affordable yet effective solution for improving water quality and protecting your water heating system.

Carbon Filters

Carbon filters have an exceptional ability to target specific contaminants, particularly chlorine, odors and organic compounds. Unlike sediment filters, which trap particles, carbon filters chemically absorb and neutralize impurities in the water. This unique filtration process not only enhances water clarity but also improves its taste and odor, resulting in a more enjoyable hot water experience. As with sediment filters, prices for one to three units typically range between $15 and $65 (CAD 21 and CAD 88).

Scale Inhibitors

Scale inhibitors, also known as phosphate filters, focus on preventing the accumulation of scale within the system. They target the mineral deposits responsible for scale buildup. The inhibitors utilize advanced technologies, such as polyphosphate treatment or reverse osmosis, to alter the chemistry of the water. This process effectively inhibits the formation of scale on heating elements and internal surfaces. Prices for scale inhibitors can vary considerably, but you should expect to pay in the region of $117 (CAD 159) for a system and around $73 (CAD 99) every time you need to replace the cartridge. Although costly, scale inhibitors can be invaluable over time, as they can prolong your water heater’s life span and its optimal performance.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.