Doulton Under Sink Water Filter
Doulton Under Sink Water Filter – EcoFast Ultracarb is a ceramic water filter like the rest of Doulton filters. It’s basically a sub-micron cartridge that utilizes natural ceramic and carbon.
Doulton is a reputable brand in the water filtration market and has been around for a long time. Based in Newcastle, Staffordshire, United Kingdom, the company has been manufacturing ceramic water filters for over 100 years with their products sold and used not just in the UK but also around the world.
The brand has several different types of water filters to choose from and in this review, we’re going to look at EcoFast Ultracarb ceramic under sink filter which is one of their best products.
It’s a submicron ceramic filter that utilizes a multistage filtration process that efficiently removes different kinds of harmful contaminants present in water including bacteria and cysts, trace organics, and inorganics. It’s a compact yet robust filter system that’s quite simple to maintain. Below is a more in-depth review of what you can expect from this Doulton EcoFast Filter.
EcoFast Ultracarb is a ceramic water filter like the rest of Doulton filters. It’s basically a sub-micron cartridge that utilizes natural ceramic and carbon. The cartridge filters water in four different stages making it capable of clearing out most of the contaminants in the water to make it safe and clean for drinking and cooking.
The first stage involves the 0.2-micron Doulton EcoFast ceramic outer shell which takes care of microbiological contaminants, particularly pathogenic bacteria and cysts. The tiny micron rating means that the pores in the ceramic outer shell are too small for bacteria and other pathogens to fit through them.
The shell creates a highly effective barrier that blocks pathogens and other particles from going through the pores thereby eliminating them from the water as it flows through the filter.
According to tests done by Spectrum Laboratories – MN- USA, up to 99.99% of bacteria like E. coli, Cholera, Klebsiella Terrigena, and Shigella Typhoid are removed during this stage. 99.99% (according to tests done by Arizona State University) of cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium are also removed. Water turbidity (up to 99.69%) is equally removed by the ceramic outer shell.
The second stage involves BioTech protection where Doulton has incorporated silver dust into the ceramics which is an anti-bacterial formulation that helps inhibit microbiological growth/development within the ceramic element itself.
It’s an essential step because the antibacterial properties of silver ensure that the blocked bacteria and other microorganisms on the surface of the filter die where they are trapped – they don’t linger within the ceramic element. However, the silver may not be effective against Legionella bacteria as it can slowly regrow downstream of the filter, hence you might have to disinfect the downstream of the filter in case Legionella is suspected.
In the 3rd stage, Doulton has incorporated a high-performance integrated carbon block core which removes most of the chlorine (up to 99.99% in the presence of around 150 ppb) and other organic compounds.
It takes out trace organics like insecticides (99.99% of lindane), herbicides (85% of atrazine in the presence of around 1.2 ppb), phenols (TCP), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and trihalomethanes (chloroform). It also takes out monochloramine and generally helps improve the odor and taste of the water.
The 4th stage is the zeolite metal ion reduction medium which is actually a special heavy metal removal media that effectively reduces up to 99.99% of the lead content in the drinking water. Lead is rarely found naturally in domestic/residential water supplies but it can be dissolved from lead pipes which might still be in use in some old water systems.
Apart from removing lead in the water, this Doulton Under Sink Water Filter is also capable of removing more than 99.99% of aluminum in particle form at 0.9 microns or over 99.99% in particle form, at 0.5 to 0.8 microns. The medium is, however, not able to remove dissolved aluminum or heavy metals like arsenic from the water.
Besides the four stages, the Ultracarb filter equally has an anti-limescale property. It acts as a slow-release scale inhibitor thereby reducing scale build-up within the plumbing system, fixtures, and home appliances.
It doesn’t remove nitrates or fluorides though. Even so, overall it’s still quite an effective filter for treating domestic water supply that’s relatively contaminated, especially with microorganisms and organic chemicals, or water that has high levels of chlorine and lead.
Most users reported noting a difference in the quality of their water immediately after use. They specifically mentioned noticing a significant improvement in the taste of their water – all the bad smells and tastes completely disappear, and the water is clear.
Moreover, when using the filter, it does increase the healthy mineral content in the water which leads to a slight increase in its PH level and also in the amount of total dissolved solids. This is what makes the water tastes much better unlike when using only carbon-based filters or RO systems which remove all the healthy minerals alongside other contaminants that make water unsafe and taste bad.
The Doulton EcoFast Ultracarb comes in a simple box that includes the EcoFast system, the Ultracarb ceramic filter element, and the installation instructions.
Installing the Doulton Under Sink Water Filter is pretty simple and you can do it all by yourself without requiring a plumber – there are no plumbing changes involved since the filter is designed to be installed under the sink. All the necessary mounting fixings are supplied and you can even access the installation videos on Doulton’s website to guide you through the entire process.
The filter’s housing has a mounting bracket already incorporated into the head to simplify the installation process, so you don’t need to get a separate one.
The filter is also supplied with push-fit connections in the head and they are available in either ¼” or ⅜” size which is convenient as it allows for rapid connection to your faucet and water supply using either ¼” or ⅜” flexible, medium-density polyethylene tubing. It equally allows for convenient installation in coolers. The tubings are not provided with the filter hence you’ll have to get them separately from a reputable supplier.
An isolation valve, as well as a nonreturn valve, will have to be fitted to the filter as they are a requirement (by law) in the UK. The isolation valve is essential as it can be used to regulate the flow rate according to the requirement of the particular filter element used.
Once the appropriate fittings are selected, a user valve/faucet needs to be installed in a convenient position based on the manufacturer’s instructions and then from there connected downstream of the filter.
As we mentioned above, this filter is intended to be installed under the sink such that it’s away from direct sunlight. The whole unit itself is compact enough such that it can fit discreetly under any kitchen counter even if you have a tight space.
The operating conditions are similar to that of other under-sink water filters. The working pressure range is 20psi (1.4 bar) to 90psi (6 bar) while the working temperature range is 41°F to 86°F (5-30°C). The filter can support an unrestricted maximum flow rate of 275 liters per hour at a supply pressure of 60psi, and you can only connect it to the cold water supply because it’s not designed for the treatment/filtering of hot water.
In terms of build quality, the filter features solid housing and the fittings are also thick and durable – it’s made using BPA-free food-grade plastic. Nonetheless, you’ll need to be careful when installing it considering that some of the parts are plastic. They might easily break while installed.
Replacing the Doulton ceramic filter element is fast and simple. It has a quick-change design that requires just rotating the housing by hand to remove the old filter cartridge and then you insert the new cartridge and connect back the filter head. That’s it!
Moreover, the quarter-turn action to remove the filter housing automatically shuts off the water supply into the filter to prevent making a mess. You can also prevent further spillage by moving the body of the filter to a sink for emptying. The unit takes all standard BSP 10-inch ceramic water filter cartridges.
The lifespan is quite decent too just like any other standard under sink water filter. On average a family of 4 people uses around 8 liters of water in a day for drinking and cooking.
Therefore, if you put the approximate maximum consumption at 10 liters/day, then the filter will need changing after every 6 months of use in a home of 4 people and under typical operating conditions. However, the expected usable lifespan of the filter’s housing is 10 years, so you won’t be replacing it much often as the cartridge.
Due to the presence of particulate contaminants in the water which are filtered and trapped within the filter surfaces, the water flow rate out of your tap may drop over a period of time. However, you can restore it to normal speed by removing the filter and cleaning it with a stiff brush.
You can clean the filter as often as required without damaging the performance. Keeping it clean also extends its life and it’s really simple, especially the exterior. You don’t need any fancy cleaning liquid. Just wipe the housing’s external surface with a soft damp cloth dipped in some warm soapy water and you are good to go. Doing this at least once in a while helps ensure better hygiene.
You should note though that the filter housing seals and the seal faces have been lubricated with silicone grease to make sure that they always remain watertight. Therefore, you have to be careful when cleaning so that the silicon grease is not removed. For this reason, you want to avoid strong oxidizing agents like bleach or Milton solution, strongly alkaline materials, and all strongly acidic materials including certain descendants.
The Doulton Under Sink Water Filter EcoFast Ultracarb is an efficient water filter when it comes to removing contaminants that it’s specified to remove. It’s not an RO system but it’s quite a reliable under-sink filter that’s capable of eliminating bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms. It’s also a good option for tackling lead and organic chemicals like atrazine or for improving the taste and smell of your tap water.
Like all the other Doulton filters, this one too is tested and certified by independent laboratories (Lucideon Limited). It satisfies the NSF standards 42 and 53 test criteria, and Doulton itself is a UK ISO-accredited company.
What this simply means is that the EcoFast Ultracarb filters are manufactured to a consistent specification, plus its operating procedures and processes satisfy the requirements put in place by an internationally recognized Quality Management System, hence it’s a reliable filter that you can expect to do exactly what it’s specified to do.
Things we like
- Effectively removes bacteria and other pathogens
- Removes chlorine, organic chemicals, and lead
- Retains the essential minerals
- A cleanable ceramic surface for prolonged life
- Easy to install, clean, and maintain
- Compact and solidly build
- The housing can last 10 years and has a 12-months warranty
Things we don't like
- Some plastic parts may break if you’re not careful during installation
- Doesn’t remove fluoride and heavy metals like arsenic
- Water flow may reduce over time