Rogelio Alvarez

By: Rogelio Alvarez on June 21st, 2023

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Pros and Cons of Sediment Filters

Water Filtration & Purification

Sediment filters are excellent at improving the overall quality of water. Without one of these filters, water may appear cloudy instead of clear. That’s just one of the advantages of sediment filters, but what other pros and cons are associated with this water filter?

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we understand that every home has different water filtration needs and have helped install sediment filters throughout Los Angeles since 2007. Over the last 15 years, we’ve helped homeowners understand the pros and cons of sediment filtration to ensure their homes provide them and their families with better quality water. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of sediment filters. 


  • Removes sediment
  • Protects plumbing and appliances
  • Compliments other water filtration systems
  • Cost-effective


  • Limited to sediment filtration only 
  • Routine filter replacement required 

By the end of the article, you will understand the pros and cons of sediment filters and weigh them side-by-side to see if this filter is a viable option for your home. Let’s jump right in. 


What Are the Pros of Sediment Filters?

The purpose of sediment filters is to help improve tap water quality by removing certain contaminants. Tap water in Los Angeles is tested annually for impurities and must meet strict Environmental Protection (EPA) to be safe to drink.

Yet, this doesn’t fully ensure that your home’s drinking water will be 100% free of contaminants. In fact, the water will contain very small amounts of impurities but are not enough to be considered a public health risk. 

Although your tap water may not get you sick, people have the option of better-filtered drinking water in their homes. Once a sediment filter is installed as a point-of-use (single-fixture only) or point-of-entry (whole-house filtration) system, you can take advantage of the following pros. 


Sediment Filtration Removes Physical Contaminants 

A sediment filter is similar to a strainer which allows water through but prevents the following contaminants from remaining in the liquid.

  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Dirt
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Rust
  • Other suspended physical contaminants

As water flows from different sources, such as mountains, rivers, and creeks, it naturally collects the sediments listed above. The water is then transported to cities where it is treated at water plants before it is available for homes. The plants use various filtration methods to capture a majority of the free-flowing contaminants. 

Some of these impurities are smaller than the thickness of a hair strand and aren’t always trapped by water plants. They’re so small that they’re not always visible to see. 

Sediment filters, in particular, have micron ratings designed for contaminants the size of micrometers. So a sediment filter with a rating of 5 microns will prevent anything larger than 5 micrometers from remaining in the water. 

By removing these tiny impurities, sediment filters can improve drinking water quality and provide protection for appliances and plumbing. 


Sediment Filters Protects Plumbing and Appliances

Sediment filters stop physical contaminants from building up in plumbing pipes and appliances that use water. A large buildup of sediment inside plumbing pipes can cause a clog or affect the water flow rate. 

Like plumbing pipes, appliances are also susceptible to clogging from sediment buildup. Appliances affected by sediment buildup can lose efficiency and is at higher risk of breaking down.

In addition to preventing clogs in appliances and plumbing, sediment filters are also used as a pre-filter in multi-filtration systems.


Sediment Filters Enhance Other Filtration Systems

When used as a pre-filter, sediment filters can improve the efficiency of water filtration systems. In multi-filtration systems, such as a reverse osmosis filter, sediment filters are the first water filtration stage. Sediment can build up and clog other types of filters, such as carbon filters too. 

Carbon filters and reverse osmosis systems may lose efficiency and require premature replacement without a sediment filter capturing physical contaminants. Constantly replacing filter cartridges due to sediment buildup can become costly. 

Filter replacements also apply to sediment filters, but are they overall cost-effective?


Sediment Filters Are Cost-Effective

Water filtration is an investment, and sediment filters are regarded as being cost-effective in terms of filter price, installation, and filter replacement. These filters are easy to find in stores, and plenty of plumbing companies offer them for installation. 

The price of the sediment filter depends on a few factors, such as filter capacity and size. Depending on the brand and store, sediment filter replacements can cost a couple of dollars for a single filter or over $20 for a pack of filters. A sediment-filtered water pitcher will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars less than a whole-house sediment filtration system.

As effective as sediment filters in removing unwanted physical particles, they also have a few downsides worth comparing against the benefits they provide. 


What Are the Cons of Sediment Filters?

The pros of sediment filters outweigh the cons, but it still helps to know these drawbacks. Understanding these downsides can help you decide whether this filtration type is for you. 

Let’s start by highlighting the limitations of what sediment filters can remove from water. 


Sediment Filtration Does Not Purify Water

Sediment filters are only designed to remove physical particles and cannot remove the following from water. 

  • Hard water minerals (calcium and magnesium)
  • Microorganisms such as bacteria
  • Chemicals such as chlorine and chloramines
  • Hyrodgen sulfide (rotten egg smell)
  • Any sediment smaller than the micron rating on the filter cartridge

Other types of water filters and purification systems can remove the impurities above. These filters and other water purifiers can be installed alongside a sediment filter for ultra-water filtration. 

Like most water filtration systems, sediment filters require routine maintenance to continue working efficiently. Sediment filtration systems are not maintenance-free. 


Sediment Filters Require Routine Maintenance 

Sediment filters should be replaced every three months, six months, or once a year, depending on the size and capacity of the filter. Some filter cartridges can be screwed off, and a new one can be screwed back on. Other sediment filters may require additional tools to complete the replacement. 

Filter replacement may require homeowners to shut off the water temporarily. Homeowners can contact a technician to assist them with replacing a sediment filter properly. 

Incorrectly replacing filters may result in a decrease in filtration effectiveness and can lead to a slow water rate too. A filter that hasn’t been replaced can cause sediment to clog and impede water flow, resulting in water coming out slowly.  


Are Sediment Filters Right for Me?

When it comes to water filtration, there are various options with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Sediment filters have very few cons but many pros regarding their ability to filter water. As you navigate through different water filtration systems, understanding the pros and cons of sediment filters will help you consider if they’re a good fit for your home. 

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, we understand that every home has different water filtration needs. After breaking down the pros and cons of sediment filters to homeowners all across Los Angeles County, we’ve laid out what we believe to be the most important factors to consider.

If you have any questions regarding sediment water filtration, contact us using one of the buttons below, or book an appointment using our water filtration scheduler