FilterSmart Vs. Pelican Water Systems: A Detailed Comparison

Water filtration systems remove impurities from your home’s water supply before the water reaches your faucets and appliances. A whole house system filters all the water entering your home. The main benefits are:

  • Cleaner, better-tasting water – makes beverages like coffee and tea taste better
  • Removes sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, microorganisms, and other contaminants
  • Protects plumbing and extends appliance life
  • Often more economical than purchasing multiple point-of-use filters

Pelican Water Systems and FilterSmart are two reputable brands of whole house water filters. Both offer systems to address common water problems like hard water buildup, chlorine taste and odor, lead, cysts, and more.

In the comparison below, we’ll look in-depth at how these two filtration systems match up in terms of technology, contaminant removal, maintenance, warranties, and cost.

FeatureFilterSmartPelican Water Systems
Filtration TechnologyMulti-stage with sediment pre-filter, KDF media, activated carbon block filterMulti-stage with sediment pre-filter, KDF media, carbon block filter, and salt-free water softener
Contaminants RemovedSediment, chlorine, VOCs, heavy metals like lead and mercury, cysts, MTBE, asbestos fibersEverything FilterSmart removes plus hardness minerals, radium, tannins
MaintenanceReplace pre-filter and carbon block every 6-12 monthsBackwash salt-free softener monthly, replace pre-filter annually, replace carbon block every 1-3 years
WarrantyLifetime on tanks, 6 years on valves and electronicsLifetime on tanks, 10 years on electronics, 5 years on valve heads

Now let’s take a more detailed look at each system.

FilterSmart Whole House Water Filter Overview

FilterSmart systems use a multi-stage filtration process to remove a wide range of contaminants:

Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter
  • 5 Micron Sediment Pre-Filter: Removes dirt, sand, silt, rust particles. Helps extend life of additional filters.
  • KDF Media: Reduces chlorine, heavy metals like lead and mercury, and hydrogen sulfide. Makes water taste better.
  • Activated Carbon Block Filter: Removes VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, chloramines, MTBE, benzene, asbestos fibers. Also improves taste and odor.

The system is typically installed on the main water line entering your home right after the water meter.

Installation is straightforward – a plumber can usually install the system in 3-4 hours.

The FilterSmart filter housing is made from reinforced engineered plastic which is corrosion-proof. The filters themselves just twist on and off makes maintenance easy.

FilterSmart is made in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty on the filter tanks. The valves and electronics have a 6 year warranty.

FilterSmart Pros

  • Uses proven KDF and activated carbon filtration technology
  • Whole house system filters water for all your taps
  • Higher flow rate than Pelican – rated up to 15 gpm
  • Simple maintenance
  • Excellent contaminant removal
  • Durable, corrosion-proof housing
  • Lifetime warranty on tanks

FilterSmart Cons

  • Doesn’t soften hard water or remove radium like the Pelican system does
  • Shorter warranty period than Pelican
  • May need to add POE or under sink RO filters for specific filtration needs

Also Read: Comparison of Pelican And LifeSource Water Systems.

Pelican Water Systems Overview

The Pelican water filter also uses multi-stage filtration but adds in a salt-free water softener:

Pelican Water Softener
  • 5 Micron Polypropylene Sediment Prefilter: Removes sediment and dirt. Extends life of additional filters.
  • KDF-85 Media Filter: Reduces chlorine, lead, mercury, hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese.
  • Activated Carbon Block Filter: Removes over 70+ VOCs, MTBE, benzene, chloramines, asbestos, pesticides, herbicides. Improves taste and odor.
  • Catalytic Carbon Media: Provides final polishing, removes any residual contaminants and odors.
  • Salt-Free Water Softener: Reduces hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium that cause scale buildup. Uses template assisted crystallization (TAC) rather than salt/resin.

This multi-stage approach with the additional softener allows Pelican systems to remove more contaminants than basic carbon filters. And the salt-free softener provides all the benefits of soft water without the hassle, cost, and environmental impact of traditional salt-based softeners.

Pelican water filters are also made in the USA. The housings are reinforced polyglass which is corrosion proof and pressure rated up to 100 psi.

Pelican Pros

  • Broader contaminant removal including radium, heavy metals, microorganisms, hardness minerals
  • Softer water without salt or backwash discharge
  • Rated flow up to 20 gpm – higher than FilterSmart
  • Lower pressure drop – water flows faster
  • Longer 10 year warranty on electronics
  • American made

Pelican Cons

  • More expensive than FilterSmart systems
  • More stages means higher cost filters
  • Salt-free softener needs occasional maintenance to keep media cleaned

Also Read: Comparison of Clearly Filtered And Epic Water Systems.

Detailed Comparison of FilterSmart And Pelican Water Systems

Now that we’ve looked at the features and benefits of FilterSmart and Pelican water filters individually, let’s directly compare them across several categories:

Filtration Performance

  • Winner: Pelican – With its additional salt-free softener, the Pelican system filters out more contaminants than FilterSmart, including radium and water hardness minerals. This can help reduce scale buildup and other issues caused by hard water.


  • Winner: FilterSmart – FilterSmart only requires replacing sediment and carbon filters every 6-12 months. Pelican needs carbon block filter changes every 1-3 years but also requires backwashing the softener monthly. The simplicity of FilterSmart maintenance is a nice plus.


  • Winner: Pelican – Pelican provides a lifetime warranty on tanks and a 10 year warranty on electronics. That beats out FilterSmart’s lifetime on tanks but only 6 years on valves/electronics. Longer coverage provides better consumer protection.

Filtration Capacity

Pelican Water System
  • Winner: Pelican – With a rated flow up to 20 gpm, the Pelican can handle the demands of larger households and properties. FilterSmart has a lower maximum flow of 15 gpm. Faster flow can help maintain water pressure.


  • Winner: FilterSmart – A basic FilterSmart system costs around $1000-1500 while Pelican starts around $2000. The additional filtration media required for Pelican’s more comprehensive filtration increases the costs substantially over FilterSmart.

Ease of Installation

  • Tie – Both FilterSmart and Pelican water filtration systems are designed for straightforward DIY installation. The process is very similar – shut off main water, cut in feed and return lines, connect to existing plumbing. A handy homeowner can usually install either system without needing a plumber.

Also Read: Comparison of Halo Water Systems And Water Softeners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happened to Pelican water systems?

Pelican Water Systems was bought out by Culligan in 2012 but continues to operate as a subsidiary producing their salt-free water softeners and multi-stage whole house filters. Pelican’s headquarters is still located in Deleon Springs, Florida and their systems are American made in the US.

Which water treatment system is the best?

There is no universally “best” water filter for all homes. The ideal system depends on your specific water chemistry and contamination issues. Key factors to consider are hardness level, iron content, pH, presence of sediment or chlorine, and types of filters needed to remove any problematic dissolved contaminants. A water test can help determine what issues need treatment.
Pelican and FilterSmart are both reputable whole house water filtration systems that can handle common problems like chlorine, particulates, heavy metals, and VOCs. Pelican offers broader filtration including water softening making it preferable for hard water issues. But FilterSmart costs significantly less. Your local water quality will help determine which represents the better value.

Is Pelican same as Pentair?

No, Pelican Water Systems and Pentair are completely different brands. Pelican makes salt-free water softeners and multi-stage filtration systems for residential use. Pentair focuses more on large scale commercial and industrial water treatment solutions including filters, softeners, membrane systems, and carbon adsorption. While both companies make water filtration products, they target different markets.

How long does a pelican water system last?

With proper maintenance, a Pelican water system will typically last 15-20 years or longer. The filter housings and tanks are very durable and corrosion resistant. The digital valve heads and electronic controls also last well over 10 years. Only the filter cartridges need regular replacement – sediment prefilters annually and carbon blocks every 1-3 years.
By periodically changing out the filter media, cleaning/backwashing the softener, and replacing any worn components, a Pelican water filtration system can provide decades of reliable use. The lifetime warranty on the polyethylene tanks and 10 year warranty on electronics provide added consumer protection.

Final Thoughts

Clean water is critical for health and home plumbing. Pelican and FilterSmart whole house systems both offer comprehensive filtration to remove various contaminants using multiple stages.

Key differences are:

  • Pelican filters out more – removes hardness minerals and radium
  • FilterSmart is simpler and cheaper to maintain
  • Pelican has higher flow rate and longer electronic warranty
  • FilterSmart costs significantly less upfront

If your water is very hard or contains radium, the extra filtration of a Pelican system can be worth the additional investment. For basic sediment, chlorine, and VOC removal, FilterSmart provides very effective filtration at a more budget-friendly price point.

Take time to understand your specific water quality issues, determine what types of contaminants you want to remove, and compare system capacities and warranties. This will lead you to the optimal whole house water filtration system for your household’s needs.

Clyde Mitchell

I run a hardware store nearby Court Anaheim, CA. Over the last 7 years, I have been blogging about home improvement and yes, I own From me and this website, you can expect some useful tips on great ideas for a modern bathroom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts