Sediment Filter; What Are They And Why Should I Have One?

So what is a sediment filter?

Sediment filters are designed to do the light lifting of water treatment. As the name suggests, sediment is the primary thing we are trying to prevent getting into the home. A good reason to talk to a professional is to make sure the sediment filter isn’t being designed to deal with anything more than sediment. For example, a home with colored water and ferric iron with a sediment filter would likely result in the filter plugging much sooner than it should. A water source like this would be better dealt with using an automatic backwashing filter. 

Generally speaking, a home fed with well water should have a sediment filter installed at a bare minimum. 

Sediment FiltersDo sediment filters come in different sizes?

Sediment filters come in a variety of different sizes, materials, and micron ratings. The three most standard sizes are: 2.5? x 10?, 4.5? x 10?, and 4.5? x 20?. The first number refers to the actual diameter of the filter itself. The second number describes how “long” the filter is.  As you can imagine, a smaller sediment filter will provide lower flow and trap less material than a larger version. These are the types of questions we ask when determining what we want to use. It makes it a bit easier as the price difference between the 2.5? filter and the 4.5? filter is not that different, so bigger is better in this situation!  

So what does a larger sediment filter get me? 

Usually, a larger sediment filter will provide slightly better flow rates. I can also physically trap more material which makes changing them less often, but again…if it’s too often because the pressure drops, it’s probably not the right solution. 

Should I get a sediment filter that filters down to the smallest micron level?

Well…it depends. If you see aerators and showerheads glogged with “stuff,” that “stuff” is probably very course as it relates to the micron rating. Another reason to call FONTUS is to make sure this “stuff” isn’t hardness from the heating system.

To put some context into the ratings of filters, human hair has a diameter of around 50 microns. If you could cut a human hair into pieces the same length as thick, that’s 50 microns. The stuff you can quickly feel between your fingers is much more course, so a 1-micron filter for particles that are 100+ microns is overkill. Again, this is another example of when to call FONTUS in order to determine precisely what the problem is! 

Where is a sediment filter installed?

The sediment filter itself will be installed and sit in the “sump.” The sump is the plastic piece you usually have to unscrew to get to the filter inside. Often residential sumps are see-through, while some are opaque. FONTUS prefers opaque sump housings. The clear sump housing can mislead a customer – the actual color of the filter doesn’t give us any information as to how well the system is working. For example, I have town water in my home. The water produced from the local water treatment plant that feeds my house is some of the best in the Northeast. Yet my filter will be discolored after about a week even though the FUNCTION of the filter is intact.

How often should a sediment filter last?

When putting in a sediment filter, I want them to last a YEAR before needing changing. Yes, a year. Manufacturers often suggest much sooner, but we’re not in the business of selling you new sediment filters. We’re in the business of solving water problems. If the filter does get plugged up so quickly that you are constantly changing them, well, that isn’t the solution, and we would be discussing alternative treatment options. 


The FONTUS experts will provide a free immediate-response water test onsite for minerals. We can also correctly collect any state-certified samples needed for health-related contaminants. Then we send them to a state-certified Maine Lab for a TSFHA water test. The TSFHA Water Test will test for Coliform Bacteria & E. coli (pos/neg), Nitrate, Nitrite, Fluoride, Chloride, Hardness, Copper, Iron, pH, Manganese, Sodium, Uranium, Lead, Arsenic, and Magnesium in your water. This test is an additional charge determined by the lab and paid to the lab.

In short, taking control of your water supply is easy. Schedule your free immediate-response water test today. Call (207) 856-0066 or email to speak with the water treatment specialists at FONTUS Water Treatment.


An immediate-response water test is a test done onsite, getting your results immediately. This test allows us to determine if and what iron levels, manganese, hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), pH, and salinity are present in your water. By the end of our appointment, you’ll have all your questions answered. And, most importantly, you’ll have a plan in hand to make sure your water is clean and pure.

In short, taking control of your water supply is easy. Schedule your free immediate-response water test today. Call (207) 856-0066 or email to speak with the water treatment specialists at FONTUS Water Treatment.


At FONTUS, we’re passionate about water purity. We pride ourselves on being reliable, hassle-free, and always available. For example, as the environment and your water change, we’re here to help evaluate your water. Through testing, installation, and maintenance, you can trust FONTUS to ensure clean, pure water for your home or office.

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