5 Safest Ultraviolet Home Water Filters – 2020 Reviews & Top Picks

A water filter is an excellent device to ensure that the water you're drinking from your faucet is free of life-threatening germs, clean and safe to drink.

But not all water filters are built the same. So, it can't guarantee that your water will be entirely free from harmful pathogenic microorganisms.

Here's the thing…

Your device must have specific features to effectively disinfect the water from all kinds of harmful micro-organic impurities like bacteria, viruses, etc.

So you want to get your hands on the best UV water filters but don't know where to start?

If that is so, this UV water filter review is written for you.

Here, you’ll discover the shortlist of 5 top residential UV water treatment systems, their relevant details about filtration process, and their performance.

You're also going to find out how the UV water filter works and what to look for when making a buying decision.

Having this extra bit of knowledge will make it easier for you to know exactly which model would be best for your needs.

Preview

Product Name

Filtration stage

Max. Flow Rate

Filtration Type

Price

APEC Top Tier ROES-PHUV75

APEC Top Tier ROES-PHUV75

75 Gallon per day

Ultraviolet Sterilizer,  Reverse Osmosis

Express Water ROUV10DCG

Express Water ROUV10DCG

100 Gallon per day

Ultraviolet Sterilizer,  Reverse Osmosis

Bluonics BBUV55W3

Bluonics BBUV55W3

24 Gallon per minute

Ultraviolet Disinfection

HQUA-TWS-12

HQUA-TWS-12

12 Gallon per minute

Ultraviolet Sterilizer

VIQUA Home S8Q-PA

VIQUA Home S8Q-PA

10 Gallon per minute

Ultraviolet Sterilizer

Best Rated UV Water Treatment Systems - Updated Reviews

Below, you'll find the 5 top choices for Ultraviolet light water filters you can buy today.

We hope you'll find the best one for your needs on this list.


APEC Top Tier Ultra Safe Water Systems ROES-PHUV75

Top Features

  • 7-stage filtration
  • FDA Certified JG food grade tubing and parts
  • High-capacity polypropylene sediment filter
  • Premium extruded carbon block
  • High rejection TFC reverse osmosis membrane
  • Advanced coconut shell refining carbon TCR
  • APEC's calcium mineral cartridge

If you want an ultraviolet water filter that deactivate bacteria and viruses and delivers superb taste drinking water, APEC ROES-PHUV75 is it. This model from Essence Series is useful for well water, tap water, or any other water sources known to be unsafe with microorganisms.

So why is APEC ROES-PHUV75 number #1 on our list?

Well, it uses 7-stage filtration including a UV lamp to sterilize and deactivate up to 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and cysts in the water. The result is excellent water purity and refreshing taste, which is more distinctive than any other product.

You'll also enjoy contaminant-free, safe water as a whole with these additional features:

In the first stage, the sediment filter traps large dust particles and allergens. It also protects the system and enhances the life of the membrane.

Another powerful feature of this unit is its dual and extremely large carbon blocks. This feature maximizes the surface area, which makes it more efficient than any standard flat filter.

At the second stage, these carbon blocks reduce odors, unpleasant chlorine tastes, VOCs, and other common chemicals from the water. (2nd & 3rd Stage)

TFC reverse osmosis membrane removes dissolved solids and lead, arsenic, viruses, bacteria, and much more. (4th stage)

Next, Ultra-violet (UV) light for viruses and bacterial killing in the water (5th stage). Additionally, the TCR filter eliminates any possible residual from the tank (6th stage).

Finally, PH+ alkaline re-mineralizing calcium filter effectively and safely raises pH in the water. Thus it provides ultra-pure, superb tasty drinking water with added calcium minerals. (7th stage)

But that are not even the best parts, guys!

This system comes equipped with a 100% lead-free designer faucet. The high caliber components, along with FDA Certified JG food grade tubing provides contamination-free, safe, and pure water.

So, what about the installation of this RO system?

You don't need to get worried about the installation.

It's Simple!

The quick-connect fittings make it easy to put together, and the instructions are simple to follow.

To sum up, this APEC reverse osmosis treatment system is reliable and long-lasting. It delivers exceptional contaminant rejection rates, which will save you time and money. It'll offer you excellent value for water filtration!

Pros

  • Perfect for tap water and well water
  • Designed, engineered and assembled in the USA
  • Highly efficient- removes up to 99% of contaminants
  • Intense UV protection against all microbial pathogens
  • Heavy-duty and long-lasting filters
  • Clog-free and trouble-free
  • Comes with all filters, parts, and tubing necessary for installation

Cons

  • No significant issues found.

Express Water Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, ROUV10DCG

Top Features

  • Polypropylene sediment filter
  • Granular carbon filter and CTO carbon filter
  • Semi-permeable RO membrane
  • Post activated carbon filter
  • Includes housing and pressure gauge
  • Emergency leak stop detector
  • Chrome faucet with brass waterway

 Are you looking for a UV under sink water filter? Then, Express Water ROUV10DCG home system is exactly what you need.

This under-the-counter RO system features a five-stage filtration. The combination of these stages ensures purer drinking water than bottled water.

Sediment filter works as the first line of defense against unhealthy water. It filters out all large particles such as sand, dust, dirt, and rust. (1st stage)

Granular carbon filter and CTO carbon filter flush out VOCs, chlorine, and odor-causing compounds from water. It also restores the natural taste and smell of water. (2nd and 3rd stage)

RO membrane at the 4th stage filters out 99% of most difficult contaminants like arsenic, lead, chromium, and others. This membrane is rated for more contaminant reduction than others.

The powerful UV light eliminates microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, coliform, E. Coli, and more from your water with a 4-gallon storage tank. Conveniently, the warning light of UV light will alert you when the power of the UV falls below the germicidal range.

Finally, water passes on an inline polishing carbon filter right before it comes out of the faucet. At this stage, all possible odor and taste are removed and stabilized the taste of natural water by adding health-friendly minerals.

What sets this Express Water filtration system apart from the rest of the crowd?

First of all, its each filter is double-sealed. That means it'll provide you the best value and filtration efficiency.

Secondly, it comes equipped with LEAK STOP VALVE that shuts off water flow if excess water is detected.

Thirdly, the adjustable pressure mechanism puts out healthy water at an outstanding rate of 0.8 GPM.

Finally, the system is checked for leaks by an air injection pressure test. Moreover, each component of this device undergoes intense high water pressure tests to ensure durability. So, Quality is proven!

You won't need any professional help for the Express water RO system installation. The installation and replacement process is simple for all non-professionals and DIYs.

The compact design of this unit makes installation and maintenance easy. It fits in all standard sized under counter kitchen cabinets.

Additionally, it includes standard quick connect fittings and brass feed adapter. It fits with 3/8-inch and ½-inch under sink connections. These make it easy to change or add your system to fit your needs.

Another convenient feature is the cap, and connectors are colored that indicates where to insert the hoses. Besides, all the filter housings are labeled with the corresponding filter number. 

To sum it all up, Express Water ROUV10DCG is a complete solution for your drinking water. It's specially designed for producing the safest and best tasting water you'll ever drink. It's one of the best five- stage RO and powerful UV Sterilization systems out there. 

Pros

  • Super-fast flow rate of water
  • Up to 99% contaminants removal rate
  • Performance tested and independently certified
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Compact and easy quick install design
  • Drop-&-Go Filter Change
  • Robust construction of the housing
  • Includes all filters needed for setup
  • 1-year warranty for peace of mind

Cons

  • Few users have complained that it started rusting on the fasteners.

Bluonics Ultraviolet Light Well Water Filter Purifier System

Top Features

  • 20-micron string wound sediment filter
  • 5-micron carbon block filter
  • 1 micron sediment filter
  • 24 GPM UV ultraviolet sterilizer
  • NPT 1" Ports included
  • 2 Ballast with LED Indicator Light
  • 9000 hours (about one year) UV Lamp Life

Next, on our elite list, we have one of the best whole house water filters for well water. Bluonics 110W is a powerful and complete UV water sterilization system, perfect for high flow applications of large house or commercial setup.

This unit comes included with a Triple Heavy-duty Construction 20-inch housing with filters. It aims to produce ultra-safe water with 99.99% less microorganism and other contaminants.

In the 1st stage, the exclusive sediment filter removes dirt, sand, silt, and rust. By removing these large particles, this filter ensures better performance for the carbon filter.

This 20-micron string wound filter is more efficient than other sediment filters available. It offers a longer cartridge life and a lower pressure drop, higher flow rate, and greater dirt holding capacity.

Next, the carbon block filters hundreds of chemicals and contaminants, including chlorine and organic solvents that may be present in the water. It also reduces bad taste and odor of water. (2nd stage)

Then in the third stage, 1-micron sediment filter precisely filters out sand, silt, rust, and dirt, down to 1 micron.

Finally, the powerful UV lamp treats the most harmful microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, E.coli, algae.

Thus, it delivers great tasting, sparkling, clean, and safe water throughout the whole house. And it can serve healthy water for up to 24 gallons per minute with 9000 hours of UV lamp life.

This system requires very low maintenance. All it takes is to change the UV lamp once a year. Moreover, this unit is made with premium quality materials to serve you for a very long time.

It's worth noting that this unit is environment friendly and a great alternative to chlorine disinfection. As it doesn't use any chemicals, there is no possibility of any chemical taste or odor in the drinking water.

To sum up, for both residential and commercial uses, this Bluonics purifier system is perfect. For treating city/municipal or well water, you can confidently pick this whole house water filter with UV light.

Pros

  • Heavy Duty Stainless Steel UV System
  • Powerful and reliable
  • Extremely efficient
  • Triple Heavy-duty Construction
  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance required
  • One-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier Sterilizer Filter

Top Features

  • 304 stainless steel UV Reactor Chamber
  • Quartz sleeve for safe housing of the UV lamp
  • Electronic ballast with 3.2 ft. power cord and 3ft. lamp cord

Next, we have an excellent ultraviolet water purifier sterilizer filter from HQUA. HQUA-TWS-12 is a good option for homeowners who are keen to handle strong bacteria and microbe problems in their drinking water.

This model has made its place in our top list for its build-quality, effectiveness, company support, and widespread among households.

Is it that good?

When it comes to producing clean and safe water for your household needs, the TWS-12 certainly includes some impressive capabilities and specifications.

First and foremost, there's no need to add any chemical to the water supply to purify it. It's a green and safe sterilization treatment system that is 100% chemical-free. So, no secondary pollution and no change in the general chemistry of the water. Moreover, the taste of your drinking water won't be affected in any way as well.

This water treatment device can provide microbe-free water for an entire household. It also works fast and it’s powerful enough to eliminate bacteria and germs in only seconds of exposure.

It disinfects water contaminants at a rate of 12 gallons per minute. For most households, this rate is sufficient to supply water the entire home.

The UV lamp provides enough UV rays to destroy up to 99.99% bacteria and other microbes in the water. It has 9000 hours life of UV bulb.

In terms of build quality, this unit is built to last. The UV reactor chamber is made of 304 stainless steel, which makes it stable and durable. It features a protective quartz sleeve for housing the UV lamp. It also ensures high transmittance (90%) for the ultraviolet light.

There is an electronic ballast that connects the power and UV lamp and works as a controller in the system. It features 3.2 feet power cord and 3 feet lamp cord.

The HQUA UV water sterilizer comes disassembled. No worry! You won't have a hard time installing this wall-mounted UV filter as its parts are fairly easy to identify. The setup is relatively intuitive, and you won't require a lot of assistance from the HQUA-TWS-12 manual.

Any downside?

Let's be honest!

The fully assembled unit measures 37.2 inches. Your existing plumbing system may require some modification to install it. Besides, you have to place the unit relatively close to the outlet to plug in the ballast. Still, the design is simple to install it quickly without much of a headache.

So, what about its maintenance?

The unit requires some maintenance at regular intervals, but these are not all that tedious. First, the quartz sleeve requires to clean every 6 to 12 months. And it’s recommended to replace the quartz sleeve every 24 months.

Second, the UV lamp needs to be replaced once a year to ensure its best performance.

However, the replacement of the UV-light and quartz-sleeve is a breeze.

Overall, the HQUA-TWS-12 Ultraviolet Water Purifier is a quality device at the given price point. It's one of the best UV water filters for the whole house available.

Pros

  • 99.99% effective sterilization
  • Zero issues with leaking
  • Easy to install
  • Eco-friendly and safe to use
  • Fast, accommodating and helpful customer service

Cons

  • Need to be installed in the pipe system permanently.
  • The water entering the system needs to be pretreated if it comes from a natural source, which may be a little bit of hassle.

VIQUA Home S8Q-PA UltraViolet Water Disinfection System

Top Features

  • Stainless steel quartz sleeve
  • Stainless steel finish
  • Audible alarm for system failure
  • Visual indicator for lamp life

VIQUA S8Q-PA is a complete UV filter for well water. It's a great device to transform contaminated well water into safe drinking water.

It's suitable for whole-home water treatment in the average residence. And it works to deactivate the microorganisms in your water immediately.

When it comes to performance, this model is super powerful for complete disinfection of water. It can disinfect a variety of contaminants, viruses and bacteria, protozoan cysts without the use of chemicals.

The UV rays deactivate the DNA of microorganism to prevent their reproduction and further contamination. What's more, this process doesn't affect the color, odor, and taste of the water at all.

The recommended flow rate for this system is 10 gallons per minute (38 lpm). That means it can purify about 10 gallons of water per minute, which is more than sufficient.

This disinfection system requires low maintenance. It only requires two-periodic checks for maintenance. The quartz sleeve requires to be cleaned every three months. Of course, you don't need to replace it as long as you maintain regular cleaning.

The UV lamp is required to be changed once a year. However, this depends on your existing water quality and how often you use the purifier. Conveniently, you can replace the UV lamp without turning off the water supply.

When it comes to design and convenience, this unit is top on the list. It has a slim and sleek look, with the VIQUA logo printed on the side.

The entire unit comes fully assembled and ready to install. So, you won't need much assembly.

In essence, S8Q-PA VIQUA is a must-have for shallow well-owners, and we would strongly recommend it as a must-buy model if it meets your needs. This disinfection system is simple to maintain and incredibly convenient.

Pros

Cons

  • The UV lamps are somewhat expensive.

Advantages of having a UV Filter

Why do you need to invest in the best UV water filtration systems for a home?

UV water treatment systems offer significant advantages over non-UV treated water or traditional water purifiers.

First- it's the best way to ensure the water you use for cooking, drinking, washing is free of waterborne microbiological impurities and safe for you. This system destroys the microorganisms that other filtration methods miss.

There are certain microorganisms such as Giardia, protozoa that Chlorine treatments can’t effectively removes. An Ultraviolet light water filters can remove up to 99.99% of these culprits that chlorine treatment is unable to remove.

Second- The process is chemical-free, so it's safe and environment friendly. It doesn't have any detrimental effects on human health. As no bi-product is produced at this system, it's an eco-friendly alternative to chlorination. Moreover, the process produces no wastewater, so requires no water to drain out.

Third- UV filter is compatible with other types of filter systems. For example, you can use it in combination with reverse osmosis filter or simple odor and taste filter.

Fourth- It's reliable. Water treated with high doses of UV light exposure has no adverse health effects. It doesn't alter the chemical nature of water, so it doesn't affect the taste and odor of water.

Lastly- This system is affordable, and it requires low maintenance. All you have to do is replace the UV lamp at the end of its service life. And replacing the bulb is also a breeze. Of course, it requires very little energy to use.

How Does a UV Water Filter Work?

This type of unit uses germicidal ultraviolet light to inactivate (not kill) the waterborne microorganism present in micro-biologically unsafe water.

Are you interested to learn how a UV light filtration system can so effectively destroy microorganisms without using any chemicals?

Before explaining its working process, we would like to describe what's inside a UV water treatment system?

In this type of purification or filtration system, there is a chamber that encases the entire unit. The UV lamp is positioned in the glass quartz sleeve. The lamp emits a germicidal light of radiation (UV-C).

The glass made quartz sleeve is transparent. So, it allows the UV wavelength to pass through the glass and disinfect the contaminant water.

Into the UV bulb, mercury vapor is loaded in the form of little beads, which you may see rolling around in the lamp. The mercury vapor works as fuel for the UV lamp.

It's worth noting that the quartz sleeve protects the UV bulb from water. There are one or two O-rings that seal the entire system together.

A UV filtration system is a rapid physical process. In this process, the UV rays at the 254-nm wavelength damage the nucleic acids of the living microorganism's DNA.

When the DNA of the germs is damaged, it loses its ability to function and reproduce. So, it can't cause any adverse effect on health.

When water runs through the chamber containing the UV bulb, the existing microbe in the water receives a sufficient dose of UV, and the water is purified.

UV filters are available both for whole house water filtration and point of installation.

Pre-filtration of water is compulsory for best out of any UV filter system.

What to Look for in the Best Ultraviolet Water Filter

So, you're planning to buy a UV water filtration system. Right?

Wait, Wait!

Our top picks reviewed above are the "best" options available. Every household has different water resources, different needs, and requirements. So, there is no single unit that will work best for every application or every home.

Therefore, considering some factors is vital to ensure your chosen unit is right for you to meet your requirements.

  • Source of Water/ Water Quality

The first thing you should take into consideration is what type of Impurities Present in your water source. The type of disinfection system you should choose depends on the cause of water and types of impurities found in water. You can check the TDS level of water by using a digital TDS meter. But you can't see with naked eyes or measure yourself the Biological impurities present in water.

So, how to know if there is biological contaminant in your household water?

You have to test the water in the water testing lab to find the microbes levels in your household water.

  • Flow Rate (Maximum and minimum)

This type of unit usually comes with a maximum and a minimum flowrate capacity. It's measured in Gallons per Minute (GPM). It indicates the rate at which unsafe water flows through the unit for purification.

Water with a very high flow rate will flow through the system without being appropriately treated to the UV rays. On the other hand, water with a very low flow rate results in overheating the UV bulb and damage it.

It's important to check to ensure the UV filter is compatible with the current filtration system and work best with constant flow recirculation systems.

A single person who lives in a small apartment will require less water than a large family. So, a unit with a low flow rate will be sufficient for a small family or single person to suit their requirements.

On the other hand, for a large family with a high demand for pure water for drinking, cooking, showering, whole house, UV water sterilizer is a must. It'll offer a higher flow rate and better suits to the needs to ensure that you have sufficient water to go around.

A UV filter with a 6 GPM flow rate is adequate for smaller households with up to two bathrooms. Larger homes with four or more bathrooms should go for a unit with a minimum flow rate of 12 GPM.

  • Whole-house filtration vs. point of use filtration

If you're obtaining water from a municipal source, which is already pretreated, an under-sink or point of use ultraviolet water treatment system may suffice.

On the other hand, if you're obtaining water from natural resources such as well, lake or river, you'll probably need the whole house UV water filter. A whole-house UV water filtration system will pretreat the water for sediment and chemical impurities before UV sterilization, which is essential for the effectiveness of UV filter.

  • Standalone UV Filter vs. Combined RO System

If you're worried about waterborne microorganisms in household water but no issue with chemical impurities or heavy metal, a standalone UV filter is right for you without the need for any additional filtration.

But, if there is a range of contaminants such as chlorine, lead, heavy metal, and TDS, including microbes, you'll need to install a combined filtration system- such as a reverse osmosis filtration system - together with a UV filter.

  • Certification

Check for the certification of the system. Although, UV filters don't necessarily have to undergo rigorous testing for certification, those with NSF/ANSI certifications are reliable. This certification will bring complete peace of mind that it's proven to be highly effective at removing microbes from water.

If you opt for an uncertified unit, make sure it has received positive reviews from the customers.

  • UV bulb lifespan and maintenance

How much maintenance the unit requires is also a factor that you should consider before you buy a unit.

Some units require more maintenance and cleaning than other models. It's also essential to check how often it needs to replace the UV bulb. Some UV lamps last a long time, but they won't certainly last forever. Also, check out the replacing cost of the bulb as it affects the overall cost of buying the system.

So, if you like to minimize the effort for maintaining the system, don't opt for a maintenance intensive unit. Also, choose a model that has a UV bulb with a long lifespan.

  • Price of the UV system and your budget

The cost of such a unit is an issue when it comes to buying an ultraviolet light water purifier. It's essential to buy a unit that accommodates your household needs and is affordable for you.

The inexpensive options do not always represent the best value for money. Conversely, the most costly one isn't always the best, either.

Hence, first, focus on your household needs, and the pros - cons of the system to buy the best one within your budget.

  • Customer Support

Buying a UV purification system is a significant investment. Moreover, most of the cases, installing such type of system becomes a part of your plumbing. So, it's a wise idea to make sure the company has a reputation for customer services.

We recommend you to pay attention to the customer service of the company- how responsive they are and how they address disputes and problems.

How the company handles any imperfection or defect is a matter of a great deal.

UV Water Filter Maintenance Tips

Maintaining a UV purification system is easy and straightforward. You can do the maintenance by yourself.

  1. You should monitor the unit's performance regularly to ensure it is functioning effectively. Replace the UV lamp once a year
  2. UV bulb may lose its intensity with time, which will decrease the required UV dosage to deactivate microorganisms effectively. To prevent this problem, you should replace the UV bulb annually.
  3. If you use a whole house UV filtration system, pre- and post-filters are used with the UV filter. Carbon block and sediment filters have a service life of 6 to 12 months. So, based on the type of other filters/ cartridges used with UV filter in the whole house filtration system, you may need to replace them.
  4. Accumulations of dirt and minerals on the surface of the quartz sleeve may reduce or stop the UV wavelength penetration through the sleeve and into the water. So, to ensure the system's performance, you'll need to clean the quartz sleeve regularly.
  5. While replacing and cleaning the unit, you should handle the quartz sleeve, and UV bulb with care as these can easily chip or break. Never touch the glass part of the UV bulb as it may leave the grease mark on the bulb, which may block the UV wavelength to pass through the glass.

Common Questions about UV Water Filtration Systems


1. Are there any disadvantages to a UV water filter?

Yes, this type of system/ filter has some disadvantages. First, UV light doesn't remove the microorganism. It only deactivates the living life-threatening microbes. So, you need to pre-filter the water for UV filter's effectiveness and long service life. Second, UV lights heat the water up when the flow rate is below the recommended rating. Third, a UV system requires electricity to run, so it doesn't work during a power outage.

2. Is UV light disinfection process safe?

Yes, it's safe. A UV treatment system uses UV-C light to disinfect the water. It can only be harmful to humans if you look at or touch the bulb while it's on. But there is no worry about the radiation from UV lamp. In this type of system, the UV-C bulb is kept out of reach and out of sight by housing the lamp inside the housing.  

3. How much is the UV water treatment system useful?

UV disinfection system can quickly and effectively deactivate living microbes in water up to 99.99%. What's more, these systems are engineered to run continuously to ensure the water you use is always safe. These are no debris or wastewater left behind to cleanout.

4. How can I monitor the system's UV dosage?

You can use a UV light intensity meter to measure and monitor the penetration of UV wavelength through the quartz sleeve and the water.

5. Does a high UV dosage have any negative impact on the purity of the water?

No. Overdosage of UV lights have no negative impact on water purity. But a low UV dosage won't adequately disinfect the water.

Conclusion

Waterborne diseases will no longer be a threat with any of the above-reviewed UV filter.

Hopefully, our top 5 recommendations and related information help you to make a well-informed purchasing decision of the best UV water filters.

A UV water treatment system is good for your water, good for the environment, and good for your peace of mind. So, pick the right one that will best meet your needs.

Brien N. Gidlow
 

Chief Engineer and co-founder of a company specializing in contract operations of water and wastewater facilities. 15 Years experienced as a consulting engineer specializing in water, wastewater and water reuse treatment and much more. His primary area of expertise is water treatment & sanitation.