Aquasana AQ-5300 Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

The Aquasana AQ-5300+ also known as 5300 Max Flow is much similar to the Aquasana AQ-5300 model but with a slightly larger capacity and faster flow rate.

However, the two models feature 3 filtration stages rather than the 2-stage process of the AQ-5200 model. In other words, the AQ-5300+ is a robust and super effective system as you are going to see below.

Filtration Performance

Like the AQ-5200 above, the Aquasana AQ-5300+ model utilizes Claryum filtration technology but with an additional stage to make it a 3-stage filtration system.

Stage 1 of the system is fitted with a 20-micron sediment pre-filter which traps silt, dirt, rust and other visible sediments to prevent the following stages from clogging too quickly.

It’s a feature that often misses in most under sink water filters yet it’s really essential particularly in areas where the sediment and silt levels in the water are higher than normal.

Stage 2 and 3 consist of Aquasana’s Claryum filtration technology which is made up of activated carbon filter, catalytic carbon filter, ion exchange, and sub-micron filter.

At first, the water flows through the granular activated carbon filter where a significant amount of both organic and inorganic chemical contaminants that include chlorine herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and VOCs are removed from it along with unpleasant tastes and odor caused by these chemicals.

From there, the water goes through the catalytic carbon filtration media which is a more powerful carbon filter that clears out 99% of the chlorine and remaining chemical contaminants in the water. It also totally reduces chloramine present in the water, something that most under sink water filters cannot.

After that, the water passes through an Ion exchange filter which features a series of resin beads with large surface area and they work effectively to extract heavy metals like mercury and lead plus other micropollutants that the carbon filters fail to catch.

At the last stage of the filtration process which is the 3rd stage, we have the sub-micron filter which clears out the remaining particles and contaminants from the water down to 0.35 microns. It will capture asbestos, chlorine-resistant cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia, and any other impurities that the earlier two stages couldn’t remove.

These three stages together will eliminate up to 99% of 77 different kinds of contaminants but leave behind healthy minerals to give you a clean, fresh and natural-tasting water.

They will also not remove other total dissolved solids (TDS) and the only microbes they can remove are cysts hence it’s not that effective for bacterial removal which simply means you should only use the unit to filter treated water that’s microbiologically safe. It’s certainly not recommended for use with well water which doesn’t contain chlorine for disinfection.

Capacity and Efficiency

While the AQ-5200 has a filtration capacity of 500 gallons and the AQ-5300 600 gallon, this AQ-5300+ model offers up to 800 gallons before a change of filters is needed. 

This slight improvement in the total amount of water it can process is mainly brought about by the larger cartridges it uses and it will allow you to utilize the unit for up to 6 to 8 months before replacing the filters.

The flow rate is equally a bit faster than that of the previous two models. They delivered not more than 0.5 gallons per minute yet the AQ-5300+ provides 0.72 GPM which is not much change but it’s significant enough to ensure you get slightly faster water flow from the faucet.

Installation and Maintenance

Hooking up this Aquasana unit should not pose a problem if you have some basic DIY skills. The installation manual explains the entire process step by step and all the necessary parts are included with the first set of filters already installed in the system.

It won’t take more than an hour to set it up but like the AQ-5200, it comes with its own dedicated faucet that you need to install, so some drilling might be involved.

No much maintenance is required other than occasionally changing the filters at least after every 6 months and cleaning the exterior of the unit.

Another good thing is that this system too comes with a battery-operated alarm/indicator which will beep an audible alert and flash red to remind you when filter replacement is needed.

You can even link the system to your phone via Bluetooth to receive the alerts on your phone. There’s an app from the manufacturer that you can download and install for free, and keep track of the number of gallons of water have been processed. 

Unfortunately, this app is only available for iOS devices. The indicator also uses a battery that will require changing with every filter replacement which translates to some additional costs although not very much to cause concern.

From all these wonderful features to the high filtration performance, it’s safe to say that the Aquasana AQ-5300+ is an under sink water filter that’s worth every penny.

For those that prefer Aquasana products and the AQ-5200 model didn’t win them over, this is an alternative you might want to check out.

Pros

  • Highly effective filtration process for an under sink water filter
  • Removes 99% of chlorine and chloramines, and keeps essential minerals
  • Decent filtration capacity of up to 800 gallons
  • Fairly easy DIY installation and filter replacement
  • Monitors filter life and alert you when filter replacement is needed
  • Can be linked to a phone via Bluetooth for easy filter life monitoring
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty and 90-day satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Water flow rate is somewhat low at 0.72 GPM
  • Does not remove fluoride or treat bacterial contamination

Read moreAquasana AQ-5300 Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

Culligan US-EZ-4 EZ-Change Undersink Water Filter Reviews

The US-EZ-4 is one of the three models in Culligan’s US-EZ series with the others being the US-EZ-1 and US-EZ-3. Among the three, the Culligan US-EZ-4 stands out the most due to its high filtration performance. This and several other nice features you are going to see are what earns it a spot on our list of the best under sink water filters.

Filtration Performance

Although it’s just a single-stage filter system, this Culligan US-EZ-4 model is equipped with a super-effective filter cartridge which is more than capable of getting rid of most of the common contaminants and impurities found in water. It offers almost the same level of filtration ability as any other top 2-stage or 3-stage under sink water filter system.

The unit utilizes a 0.5-micron high-tech carbon block filter media which has been tested by NSF International and certified to NSF/ANSI standard 42 as well as standard 53.

These certifications first mean a significant reduction of chlorine from the water. It will clear out up to 97% of chlorine along with bad tastes, odor, and turbidity, and as well remove nominal particulate class 1 which includes all particles that are as small as 0.5 microns.

Unlike the US-EZ-3 and US-EZ-1, the US-EZ-4 will also eliminate chloramines from your water which is really commendable for a one-stage unit.

Most under sink water filter systems have standard carbon filters that only filter out chlorine but will not remove the very persistent chloramine disinfectant used by municipal water treatment plants.

Besides that, this filter will remove other harmful chemical contaminants like MTBE, dozens of VOCs and perfluorinated chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS.

The US-EZ-4 can as well remove cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium plus lead, mercury, and several other heavy metals. On average, it will reduce up to 99% of lead in the water.

As you can see, while it’s not a 3-stage system, it’s still a highly effective filter that can address many common contamination issues found in municipal water supplies.

Furthermore, it does leave behind some of the healthy, natural minerals in the water hence the water delivered to the faucet is clean and has good taste.

Capacity and Efficiency

When it comes to capacity, the US-EZ-4 falls on the lower end like the Aquasana AQ-5200 above. It can process up to 500 gallons of water which is just about average and means it will work for around 6 months depending on your usage. However, if you use not more than 2 gallons a day, it can go up to 8 months.

The flow rate is on the lower end too as it delivers 0.5 gallons per minute at 60 psi, but again if your daily water usage is not so high, then the 0.5 GPM should be good for you.

Installation and Maintenance

With a detailed DIY instruction manual and quick connect fittings, installing this unit will be somewhat easy and everything required for setup is provided.

The challenging part may be installing the dedicated chrome faucet it comes with if you don’t have a pre-drilled mounting hole as you will need to drill one.

Filter replacement is a hassle-free process since the filter head features the convenient twist on/off mechanism which allows you to change the filter cartridge within seconds without even turning off your feed water supply. This mechanism also prevents the mess that usually happens when changing out traditional filters. 

There’s an LED filter life indicator on the faucet that automatically monitors the filter life and produces an audible sound to notify you when it’s time for filter replacement which yet another convenient feature that simplifies the maintenance of the unit.

The connections are made of good quality plastic material and once tighten properly, they will not leak and can handle water pressures of up to 80 psi.

In general, the low filtration capacity and flow rate are the only things that may be of concern for some people, but in terms of performance and build quality, it doesn’t disappoint.

For an inexpensive and effective one-stage under sink water filter, this Culligan US-EZ-4 model is a superb deal especially if you are on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Effectively removes most common water contaminants
  • Healthy minerals are not filtered out from the water
  • Simple to set up and to replace the filter cartridge
  • LED filter life indicator ensures timely filter replacement
  • Backed by a 2-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Average filtration capacity rating at only 500 gallons
  • 0.5 GPM flow rate is a bit slower than other basic models

Read moreCulligan US-EZ-4 EZ-Change Undersink Water Filter Reviews

InSinkErator F-2000S Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

Up next we have the InSinkErator F-2000S water filtration system. This is a simple under sink water filter that offers a reasonably rigorous filtration process at a fairly low price tag and maintenance cost.

Filtration Performance

The filtration process of the InSinkErator F-2000S comprises only one stage which features an efficient filter cartridge that’s certified to both NSF standard 42 and 53.

The filter contains a carbon block media and an ion exchange resin which together do so quite well to eliminate a substantial amount of contaminants.

The carbon block filtration media, in particular, reduces up to 97.5% of chlorine taste and odor in the water. It will also remove 99% of the normal particulates class 1 and cysts as well as turbidity.

The ion exchange resin in the filter takes care of heavy metals like lead and mercury. It’s capable of removing up to 99% of lead including other potentially harmful contaminants like asbestos, atrazine, benzene, Lindane, 2,4-D, carbon furan, and p-Dichlorobenzene.

To put it simply, this is a filter that will work best with treated water that’s not high on contaminants like fluoride and microorganisms. It’s ideal for light filtration purposes geared towards improving the quality of water rather than doing thorough filtration.

Filtration Capacity

The maximum filtration capacity of the InSinkErator F-2000S is 500 gallons, so it can last 6 months depending on the conditions of your feed water.

You will, however, enjoy an average water flow rate of around 0.75 gallons per minute at 60 psi pressure which is not high but it’s almost the same level of flow you would get from a regular tap.

Installation and Maintenance

The F-2000S system uses the twist and lock quick-connect filter head, and doesn’t need a separate dedicated faucet. Therefore, installation is a breeze and you get all the parts required to set it up.

You can connect it to your existing cold water line and standard kitchen faucet but the tube may be smaller but according to InSinkErator, they have designed this unit for exclusive use with their InSinkErator water dispensing systems hence If you already have one, then it will be compatible with it.

Filter replacement is straightforward too thanks to the twist and lock design of the filter head and it should be done every 6 months to ensure optimum performance.

The whole unit plus the fittings and connectors are solidly built and will withstand very high pressures of up to 120 psi. The lowest pressure it can operate with is 30 psi.

If you ask us, this InSinkErator F-2000S under sink water filter system won’t give you the largest capacity but one thing you will love about it is the good price-performance ratio.

It’s a suitable choice for those whose major concerns are getting rid of chlorine, lead and several other common contaminants that don’t necessarily need an RO filtration system to remove.

Pros

  • Decent filtration performance
  • Ideal for removing chlorine and heavy metals
  • Quick and easy to install and to change the filter cartridge
  • Solid and durable overall build quality
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Low filtration capacity at only 500 gallons
  • Does not remove microorganisms and fluoride
  • The 0.75 GPM water flow rate is a little slow

Read moreInSinkErator F-2000S Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

Filtrete 3US-MAX-S01 Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

In the 12th position is the Filtrete Maximum 3US-MAX-S01 model which is the most economical pick on this list and one of the few wonderful water filters on the market that’s priced $100.  

The unit is part of three models under Filtrete’s 3US series with the other two being the Standard (3US-AS01) and Advanced (3US-PF01) water filters. 

The major difference between these three models is their filtration capacity but the Filtrete 3US-MAX-S01 which we are going to look at below stands out in terms of getting rid of contaminants as it provides the highest rate of filtration. It’s cheaper and definitely more dependable than the other two models.

Filtration Performance

The Filtrete Maximum 3US-MAX-S01 is a simple 1-stage system featuring a high capacity filter media that has received both the NSF 42 and the much stringent NSF 53 certifications. This means it’s very capable of significantly enhancing the quality of your municipal water.

The system utilizes a 0.5-micron carbon block filtration medium which is way effective compared to basic carbon-based filters with the ability to remove 97% of chlorine taste and odor alongside other select chemicals like the pesticide toxaphene, herbicide atrazine, and select pharmaceuticals.

It has the additional capability of clearing out lead and microbial cysts (giardia and cryptosporidium) by over 90%. The filter is also able to trap sand, dirt, rust and other particulates present in your water down to 0.5 microns which is a huge plus because a lot of other carbon filters can only reduce particles that are as small as 5 microns.

The fact that it meets the NSF 53 certification means that it’s relatively sufficient to remove VOCs and other heavy metals although not to a large extent. 

From our own assessment, we would say that this is a system that’s more geared towards dealing with heavily chlorinated water and lead, and several common city water issues as well. It’s not a unit for use with well water.

Capacity and Efficiency

We mentioned earlier that filtration capacity is the major factor that differentiates the three models in Filtrete’s 3US series. Both Standard (3US-AS01) and Advanced (3US-PF01) water filters provide a maximum of 2,000 gallons filtration capacity.

As for this Filtrete Maximum 3US-MAX-S01 model, it’s rated to process up to 1,500 gallons of water before it requires to be changed.

It’s a little lower than its counterparts but still, it’s on the higher end when you put it side to side with the other contenders herein. Even so, Filtrete recommends a 6 months replacement cycle which makes it no different to the other picks with lower capacity.

Apart from the large capacity, this unit will deliver water at a rate of around 1.5 gallons per minute. That’s faster than what many competing sing-filter systems can offer. It’s more than adequate to cater for the needs of those with regular high water usage.

Installation and Maintenance

For installing the system, it’s an easy DIY process with only a single filter to mount inside your under sink cabinet where it will fit nicely without taking up so much space. It’s extremely compact and it works with any standard kitchen faucet, so drilling is needed.

Maintaining this system is easy too. You just have a single filter cartridge to replace which should be done twice a year.

One weak point we noted though is that the unit utilizes a simple push-in design to connect the tubing to the plumbing instead of a secure compression fitting.

Therefore, the connections may possibly not be that secure and can lead to leaks in case of very high pressure. The fittings plus the faucet are made from plastic hence are also not as sturdier as the other picks that use metal.

All in all, being a low-cost under sink water filter that pretty much does its job well, the Filtrete Maximum 3US-MAX-S01 is definitely a convenient option for those that don’t want to break the bank. It will save you money and provide the necessary filtration performance to keep your tap water clean and safe.

Pros

  • Effective at reducing chlorine, lead and other common contaminants
  • Large capacity at 1,500 gallons and faster water flow at 1.5 GPM
  • Simple DIY installation as well as filter cartridge replacement
  • Takes up little space and works with existing kitchen faucet
  • Highly affordable with multiple grades of replacement filter to choose from

Cons

  • Fittings and faucet are all plastic
  • Not rated for filtering well water

Read moreFiltrete 3US-MAX-S01 Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

GE GX1S50R Under Sink Water Filter Reviews

The GE GX1S50R is a small, simple under sink water filter but packs a commendable punch as far as removing contaminants in the water is concerned. It’s an excellent choice for reducing chlorine and undesirable particles from lowly-contaminated municipal water.

Filtration Performance

Water entering the GE GX1S50R water filter system from the cold water supply goes through a single-stage filtration process inside the filter cartridge where several different kinds of contaminants are extracted from it.

The system uses a high quality activated carbon filtration media which removes up to 97.6% of chlorine, and negative tastes and odors. This medium is also able to clear out 99% of lead and filterable cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium.

The other contaminants it will remove from your water include turbidity, asbestos, lindane, atrazine and heavy metals like mercury.

If your water often comes out with small particles suspended in it, then this General Electric filter will as well come in very handy.

Alongside removing most of the chemical contaminants, it’s capable of trapping nominal particulates down to 0.5 microns which clears out 98.8% of dirt, rust, sediment, sand, silt and any other particulate present in the water.

It’s basically a dependable and reliable single-stage filtration that can supply fresh, filtered water but only for use with already treated water like from city treatment plants. We wouldn’t recommend it at all for filtering well water.

Filter Capacity and Efficiency

The GE GX1S50R filter cartridge can process a maximum of 750 gallons of water before it can be replaced. It’s a low capacity unit but if you are processing 4 gallons of water a day, then it can work effectively for up to 6 months.

 Water comes out of the faucet at a maximum flow rate of 0.75 gallons per minute which again is not that high but will do fine for low-demand usage.

Installation and Maintenance

You can successfully install this unit with some basic DIY skills. It uses a separate dedicated chrome faucet which will require drilling a mounting hole into your countertop but once you are done with that, the rest is straightforward. The filtration system is a single filter unit with a small footprint, so it will fit anywhere, even in tight spaces.

The filter head features a twist and lock design that makes replacing the filter cartridge equally fast and easy.

You will have to change it at least twice a year and to save you from guesswork, General Motors has integrated a filter life indicator with a reminder light on its dedicated faucet. It will conveniently remind you when it’s time to replace the filter cartridge to maintain the best filtration results.

Overall, if you need a water filtration system purposely for filtering out chlorine, lead and unpleasant tastes and odor, then you may consider getting this GE GX1S50R under sink water filter.

Pros

  • Good for removing chlorine taste and odor
  • Can trap nominal particulates down to 0.5 microns
  • Average filtration capacity of 750 gallons
  • Easy to install and has low maintenance
  • Faucet features a filter life indicator
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Shorter filter life and low filtration rate
  • Not recommended for filtering well water

Read moreGE GX1S50R Under Sink Water Filter Reviews