AO Smith Whole House Water Filter Tool Reviews by Tool

AO Smith Whole House Water Filter

AO Smith Whole House Water Filter Kills Chlorine Odor and Taste

It’s amazing to me the number of times a relaxing Saturday or Sunday takes a turn with yet another water filter salesman. What’s more amazing are the blank stares I get back when I ask about volatile organics, trihalomethanes, and other fun chemicals. One didn’t even recognize the state commission that regulates water testing in Florida. I say that to make the point that I prefer to handle my own water treatment and the AO Smith Whole House Water Filter makes a compelling case as the core of your system.

10-Second Summary

  • Whole house system easy enough for DIY install
  • Activated carbon system
  • Removes up to 97% of chlorine, taste, and odor plus a reduction in pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and more
  • Treats up to 6 years or 600,000 gallons
  • $329.00 at Amazon or $299 at Lowes
  • Other pieces available to customize your system to the type of water you have


Talk Nerdy to Me

AO Smith Whole House Water FilterThe key to getting the right water filtration system is knowing what it does and doesn’t do. The AO Smith Whole House Water Filter works as your central point of contact where water enters your home.

The filter medium is activated carbon and it’s a common filter type. Its biggest benefit is chlorine reduction, removing up to 97% of the chlorine, taste, and odor present in your system. The carbon also works to reduce herbicides, pesticides, VOCs (volatile organics).

It works by trapping those particles in the carbon pores in a process called adsorption. In addition to water filtering, activated carbon is effective for air filtration as well.

Your state regulatory body sets the maximum amount of chlorine in your water (4.0 ppm for Florida), meaning the city isn’t dumping a gallon of Chlorox in the system 3 houses up the line from you.

Great! So…

There are two practical advantages to installing an AO Smith Whole House Water Filter. The first is you’re reducing some of the chemicals coming into your home. Again, your state regulatory body limits what can be in your water, so there’s no need to panic. However, most of us sleep better at night by reducing our intake as much as possible.

Beyond that, the odor and taste of your water will improve. It will taste cleaner and your laundry will smell fresher. Since chlorine leaves water as a gas (it’s why a chlorine pool smells like it does), homes that have chlorine concentrations high enough to smell will enjoy a reduction there as well.

AO Smith Whole House Water Filter Installation

AO Smith Whole House Water FilterIf you’re already used to DIY home projects, you likely have enough know-how to install this on your own. The two big things to remember are to shut off your water main first and install the system before your water heater.

The rest is a matter of Tetris-ing the pipes to connect each component in its proper order (depending on how many elements of the AO Smith system you’re using). You can use PVC, CPVC, copper, steel, PEX (remember PEX is UV sensitive).

Life Expectancy

One of the great things about the AO Smith Whole House Water Filter is that it’s good for up to 6 years or 600,000 gallons, depending on the water coming in. That’s a long time to not worry about changing it out and AO Smith warranties the unit itself for the full 6 years as well.

It’s pretty maintenance-friendly, too. No backflushing, no draining, no wastewater to direct. Just install it and let it work.

For a one-time cost of $299 at Lowe’s, you’re spending just $50 a year for this component. Try getting that from the sales guy knocking on your door!


Good on its Own, Great with Friends

The AO Smith Whole House Water Filter is a great first step, but it’s not an all-in-one solution on its own. Here’s a breakdown of what your pre-water heater system can look like:

  • Sediment Pre-Filter: Reduces chlorine, taste, odor, dirt, and sediment ahead of the central filter
    • Useful for all water sources
    • Out of stock
    • Filters good for 3 months ($8.56 filter 2-pack)
  • Central Water Filter (Whole House Filter): Reduces chlorine, taste, and odor
    • Useful for all water sources
    • $329.00
    • Filter 6 years or 600,000 gallons
  • Water Softener: Reduces scale buildup, spots, and stains in hard water
    • Useful for city or well hard water
    • $397–$797
    • Salt-based softener stores up to 200 pounds of salt
  • Post-Filter: Removes remaining sediment 5 microns or larger
    • Useful for all water sources
    • Out of stock
    • Filters good for 6 months ($14.98 filter 2-pack)
  • UV Filter: Kills more than 99% of any bacteria or viruses in your water
    • Useful for well water (chlorine in city water sterilizes)
    • Out of stock
    • UV lamp good for up to 1 year ($129.99 replacement)
    • Quartz sleeve good for up to 2 years ($79.99 replacement)

AO Smith Whole House Water Filter

AO Smith Whole House Water Filter Specifications

  • Model: AO Smith AO-WH-FILTER
  • Diameter: 8″
  • Recommended Use: Soft water
  • Filtration Method: GAC
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 7
  • Number of Filters: 1
  • Min Feed Water Temperature (Fahrenheit): 40
  • Max Feed Water Temperature (Fahrenheit): 90
  • Filter Life (Months): 72
  • Height: 26.5″
  • Width: 8.5″
  • Length: 8.5″
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Stage: Single-stage
  • Warranty: 6-year limited
  • Price: $329.00

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SurvivalSpecJC ClarkMario Araujo Recent comment authors
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Great article, love PTR! chlorine is odorless but combined chlorine (chloramines) gives off a sharp smell just lets you know that the chlorine is working

JC Clark
JC Clark

The chlorine smell from pools and hot tubs is not from chlorine but from urine in the pool. A great video to watch talks about urine in pools and the engineer did a test to verify that urine does cause the smell. Check out

Mario Araujo