How Does Iron Filter Work?

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In developing countries such as India, groundwater is the most common source of freshwater or potable water. However, there is a chronic problem in the groundwater, which is the dissolved minerals and heavy metals that can cause serious health complications. Iron and manganese are two predominant components of groundwater, sometimes also present in an undissolved form such as Fe(OH) 3 or Mn(OH)4. The undissolved iron and manganese concentration also depends on oxygen concentration, pH value, redox potential and water temperature.

Is Iron in Water Dangerous?

If the concentration of iron and manganese is more than the safety limit, it can cause some serious health issues. The presence of iron in excessive quantities in water can damage your skin cells. Moreover, excessive iron and manganese in the water make beverages such as tea or coffee an unpleasant metallic taste.

  • The problem with iron and manganese is the rapid oxidation in the water to form hydroxide suspensions that cause turbidity and discolouration of water.
  • The iron ions can accelerate bacteria formation in the water, as a result of changes in water quality and harmful growth in the supply pipes.
  • Iron tends to leave reddish stains on bathroom fixtures, home equipment, pipes and other places.

Features of Iron Removal Filters

In the market, there are different types of iron removal filters available. Some advanced iron removal filters have special sensors to measure the concentration of iron and other metals in the water.

  • These filters contain high-quality gravel sand media and activated carbon to ensure odorless and fresh water.
  • Iron removal filters are used in residential buildings, helping in the prevention of scaling on kitchen and bathroom appliances.
  • An iron filter uses an effective electric process. It means there is no requirement for electricity to remove iron from the water.

Iron Filters and Benefits

Iron filters by definition remove iron ions from the water with minimum pressure drop. It primarily treats the hardness of water by removing iron as well as other minerals such as manganese to make it soft. If the water contains excessive iron, it emits a foul odor or leaves a reddish or slightly orange stain on the pipe and bathroom equipment.

The working principle of an iron filter is the oxidation of iron and converting it to a ferrous or ferric or undissolved form. This ferric ion then precipitates on the filter bed. Most of the iron filters use high-quality gravel sand media and iron elimination media for the conversion of ferrous ions to ferric ions. Sometimes activated carbon is also utilized in the filter as it increases the shelf-life of filters.

  • Iron filters not only remove iron but also eliminate sulfur, which is the primary reason for the foul smell in water.
  • Sediments are generally deposited at the bottom of a container if the water content has an excessive amount of iron and manganese. Most iron filters can eliminate sediments as small as 20-40 microns, resulting in clear and fresh water.

Do iron filters need maintenance?

Iron filters are low-maintenance machines and require minimum maintenance for proper functioning. Based on the volume of water flowing through the system or the duration of time they have been in operation, they have a controller that automatically commences a regeneration cycle. The trapped particles are flushed to the drain during cleaning. To achieve the best possible outcome, all you need to do is have them examined regularly—at least twice a year—while simultaneously changing the filters.

The majority of iron removal filters do not really purify water using chemicals. An iron water filter can eliminate iron particles from your drinking water in a variety of ways. By employing ozone instead of chemicals, iron filters are both ecologically friendly and chemical-free.

Methods of Iron and Manganese through Iron Filters

There are multiple techniques to eliminate metal ions from the water and some important factors before implementing techniques to remove ionic concentration from the water. The primary factor is to convert dissolved iron and manganese ions into undissolved compounds and then these undissolved compounds are separated through a single-stage or two-stage filtration process. Iron filters are the best tools to remove dissolved ionic concentration from the water.  There are also other methods such as:

  • Oxidation by aeration
  • Removal of iron and manganese ions by oxidizing agents
  • Alkalization of Fe and Mn ions
  • Contact filtration of iron and manganese ions
  • Ion exchange method for the removal of ions
  • Fe and Mn ions removal through biological filtration

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an iron filter effective against sulfur?

An iron filter is highly effective against sulfur concentration in the water. It effectively removes dissolved sulfur and manganese concentration from the water.

Do iron filters need maintenance?

Iron filters are low-maintenance iron, manganese and sulfur removal machine. It demands minimum maintenance when it comes to residential treatment systems. Some of the advanced iron filters come with automatic modules that check the flow rates, time and maintenance schedule. Generally, for residential purposes, it requires changing of filters and cleaning twice a year.

Can iron filters remove sediments?

Iron filters are quite effective to remove sediments as tiny as 20 microns to 40 microns.

What are the best iron filters?

The foremost thing one needs to check is the usage of any chemical or not. Most advanced iron filters do not use any chemicals such as potassium permanganate, chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. These filters use ozone as a removal agent and are therefore completely environment-friendly.


Iron and manganese are predominant components in the water that degrade the quality of water, and also damage home equipment, pipes, and kitchen and bathroom accessories. The presence of excessive iron in the water can pose serious health problems also. Iron filters are effective tools that effectively remove iron content from the water by oxidation of dissolved iron to undissolved iron ferric compounds. The first filter which is a sediment filter helps to eliminate the unwanted metal particles from the water. The second filter, the GAC filter helps to remove sulfur that causes a rotten smell. The GAC filter is adjoined with activated carbon of high iodine value. Some iron filters also contain a third filter that helps to remove manganese and heavy metals from the water.


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