The Home Master HMF2SMGCC is a 2-stage whole-house water filter that consists of a sediment pre-filter and a catalytic carbon filter that can remove chlorine and chloramines.
It’s a great choice if you are looking for a mid-range whole-house filter that can clean up the chlorine, sediment, and chemicals in your city water.
With a 95,000-gallon capacity, it is perfect for most families. For an average family of 3-5, it will last roughly 1 year before you need to replace the filter.
Read on our in-depth Home Master water filter review to learn more.
If it’s not quite the right filter for your needs, then we invite you to read our in-depth whole-house filter buying guide for other top recommendations.
The Home Master HMF2SMGCC is one of the best whole house filters for city water.
It not only removes chlorine and sediment, but it also filters out harmful chemicals and heavy metals.
One reason it is so effective is the type and design of the filters it uses. Let’s look at each filter used in the two stages to understand how they stand out from other whole-house filters.
This filter has a layered design that is common in other Home Master systems. It consists of multiple layers of media each with a specific micron rating.
In this particular filter, there are four layers: 25 microns, 10 microns, 5 , and 1 micron.
This multi-gradient design offers the following two benefits:
The sediment filter uses antibacterial materials to discourage bacteria and other microbes from developing on the moist surface.
It is also resistant to mold.
Most water filters use activated carbon to filter out chlorine and a bunch of other chemicals.
The Home Master uses activated catalytic carbon. What’s the difference?
Catalytic carbon is activated carbon whose surface has been chemically modified to improve its filtration performance.
Catalytic carbon removes chemicals faster and filters out more of them.
It removes more chlorine, VOCs, hydrogen sulfide, herbicides, and other chemicals. It is also the best at removing chloramines, a more powerful disinfectant that some cities use in place of chlorine.
If your city water contains chloramine, most activated carbon filters won’t help. You need a filter like this one that can specifically target chloramines.
The use of catalytic carbon is not the only unique feature of this filter.
It also contains KDF 85, a type of filtration media that targets hydrogen sulfide and iron in the water.
KDF 85 removes the rotten egg smell and taste from your water and prevents reddish-brownish stains from forming on surfaces around the house.
It also keeps bacteria and mold from growing on the filter.
Overall, the Home Master HMF2SMGCC is one of the best whole-house filters you can buy (for city water).
It’s more efficient at removing a wide range of impurities and contaminants from water than most other filters in its price range.
Not only will it make your water safe for drinking and cooking, but it will also enhance the aesthetics (taste and smell) of your water.
One limitation I should mention regarding this filter is that it cannot effectively filter well water.
If you receive well water, look for a Home Master model that’s designed specifically to remove impurities found in well water.
This model is only for chlorinated city water.
Whole-house filter systems are surprisingly easy to install (at least most of them are, including this Home Master model).
Even if you’ve never done another plumbing project before, you can follow the instructions and install the system without having to pay extra for a plumber.
That said, I recommend hiring a plumber if you feel uncomfortable installing it yourself or don’t have the time.
Talking of time, the main downside with whole-house filters is that they take a lot of time to set up – at least an hour but more typically 2-3 hours.
Schedule the installation for when you are not in a hurry to make sure you do it right.
Below is how your system should look like when you are done:
The package doesn’t include all the parts you see in the image. Here’s what you get in the box:
The parts you’ll need to buy yourself include fittings, shut-off valves and pressure gauges (optional). Check the manual for a list of all the parts you’ll need.
The shut-off valves allow you to block water flow to the filters when you are repairing or replacing them. It makes maintenance easier and less messy.
The pressure gauges are handy for monitoring the health of the filters. If the outflow pressure drops significantly, it means the filters are clogged and need to be replaced.
You can also opt to install a bypass system to redirect the water away from the filters when you need to do some maintenance. If you install it, you’ll need extra fittings and a bypass shut-off valve.
The system should be installed on the mainline just after the meter.
Turn off the water supply and drain the pipes before you cut the main line. Also, don't forget to turn off the power to the electric water heater.
Now you are ready to install the filter.
When cutting the main line, make sure you account for everything you are going to install including the two filters, shut-off valves, by-pass (optional) and pressure gauges (optional).
Secure the valves on each of the cut ends. Mount the filter housings using the bracket (which is included) and then connect the filters to the shut-off valves.
Use plenty of Teflon tape or silicone grease on the threaded connectors to prevent leaks.
Once you’ve finished installing the filter, turn on the water and test for leaks.
Open a cold water tap and let it run for 10 minutes to remove all carbon fines.
Keep checking the system for leaks.
If you notice any, turn off the water or bypass it. Then remove the filters and repair the leaking connector with Teflon tape or grease.
When you notice your water pressure getting low (or your outflow pressure gauge drops significantly), it’s time to get new filters.
Filter replacement is easy though a bit messy since you have to remove the dirty cartridges inside the housings.
During the filter-replacement, it is also a great time to clean the housings. The manual has easy instructions on how to do the cleaning and replacement.
For most families, the filters will last about 1 year. If you are a large family or use more water, it will last between 6 and 12 months. If you live alone or have a few family members with you, then the filter might last more than a year.
For the price, I think the Home Master HMF2SMGCC whole-house filter delivers great value. There are pricier filter systems out there, but they don’t beat this one in terms of filtering performance.
The two-stage design makes a big difference. It filters out more impurities compared to a cheaper single-stage filter.
We especially love the special design of the individual filters: the multi-gradient design of the sediment filter and the catalytic carbon + KDF 85 combo of the second filter.
It greatly improves how well the system filters out contaminants.
Something else we love is how easy it is to maintain and replace the filters. It's a bit messy, but at least you don’t have to take down the whole system.
Just unscrew the housings using the wrench provided.
Our biggest complaint is how long it takes to install.
Unfortunately, there is nothing even the manufacturer can do about it. Whole-house filters take a lot of time to install.
But at least, it’s something you can do yourself. Just make sure you have a full afternoon free.
Another issue to watch out for is leaky O-rings. But this is usually a problem with the installation, not the parts themselves.
If you don’t apply enough silicone grease, the O-ring is going to fail and leak.The manual itself insists that you apply liberal amounts of grease when you install and after replacing the filters.
We can keep talking about all the great features of the Home Master whole-house filter.
The bottom line is that it’s the best choice for families that are looking for a good quality, affordable and reliable whole-house filter for city water.
It will remove chlorine, chloramines, chemicals, sediments and many other impurities to make your water safer and fresher.
Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built CleanerSofterWater.com to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.
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