All of the concerns about contaminants in the water we drink and cook with prompted me to take a look at what’s available for homeowners and small offices. What I found was not only surprising, it was gratifying. I say gratifying because it’s nice to know there are some great Reverse Osmosis water filter products that can fit under the sink.
Some water filtration designs require installation somewhere other than under the sink, which adds significantly to the bother factor and the cost in many cases.
4 Best Under Sink Water Filters
|Top||Express Water 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System plus 4 Replacement Filters||Check Price|
|iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage High Capacity Premium Under Sink Water Filter System||Check Price|
|Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System||Check Price|
|Aquasana 2-Stage Under Sink Water Filter System with Faucet||Check Price|
To qualify for the list, I wanted to make sure the different filtration systems had some common denominators. Many buyers have never purchased an under sink water filter product before and I wanted to point out the main features to look for in any water filtration product. Those common features include:
- Sufficient storage capacity for a small family or office usage
- Easy to install under the sink
- Easy to change out filters
- Long-life filters
- Superior technology
- Improves taste with pH balancing and alkaline infusion
Reverse Osmosis Filters Work Best
As far as I am concerned, Reverse Osmosis water filters work best because they not only filter out all the undesirable elements, but they also add pH-balancing components and alkaline that help make the water taste better.
For many of my readers, the water they start with is from old municipal water lines or wells. In either case, enhancing the taste of the water while clearing out the contaminants is essential.
When contaminants aren’t a real problem, the straight filtration design that eliminates a water storage tank works for many consumers.
Express Water 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System plus 4 Replacement Filters
The reasons I put the Express Water RO5DX product number one on the list are simple. This is a system that is easy to install, has 5 filter stages, and the filters last a long time.
The folks at Express Water thought this one through completely. For a homeowner or a small office, this design works like much more expensive products with all the same features. One aspect of the design I appreciate is that the water storage tank can be positioned either standing or laying down. When it comes to mounting a product in the confined space under the sink, this feature can be a real life-saver.
Another feature I like about this filter is the high flow rate (.8 gallons per minute) and daily capacity (up to 50 gallons) is a good amount as well. The faucet included in the installation kit has chrome exterior and brass interior lines for good looks and long life.
iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage High Capacity Premium Under Sink Water Filter System
The iSpring CU-A4 made it onto my list because it’s as simple a design as there is. This is an under-sink system that will fit in 99% of all applications because there’s no water storage tank to contend with. That’s a cool thing because it means easy installation and more room left over under the sink for other important stuff.
This is not a Reverse Osmosis product, rather, water flows through the filters before exiting to the faucet. That means no post-filtration waste water like many other filtration products. For areas where water toxicity is not a problem, this is a great way to get purified water without having to wait for a storage tank to fill or refill.
One thing reviewers rave about this system is the ease with which the filters are switched out. Twist-on, twist-off filter packs with color-coded ports make this unit easy enough for a third-grader to install. I agree that when it comes to simple, effective water filtration, this is a great system for homes or small offices.
Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
The Home Master is on my list because it is a modular tool-free system. What this means is the filter element and housing are one piece. When you need to replace the filter you just push it out and snap in the new one. No wrenches or brute force is required unlike the other 3 filter systems on this list which use the conventional method of replacing filters.
I also like the non-electric permeate pump that removes water waste by up to 80% and increase water production by up to 50%. Plus, it provides slightly cleaner water by eliminating a condition known as ‘TDS creep.’
For many homeowners and office managers, time is at a premium. The beauty of this product is that it can be installed much quicker than the other well-known brands (it’s certified frustration-free for a reason). The same applies to the changing of the filters.
Aquasana 2-Stage Under Sink Water Filter System with Faucet
The Aquasana AQ-5200 is a great little filtration product using some terrific technology to get the job done. This is a smaller filtration system using only two filter packs. That is amazing by itself, but what really makes a difference is the advanced filtration technology AquaSana employs in its product. This is not a Reverse Osmosis product. It uses AquaSana’s patented ClaryumÂ® activated carbon design that eliminates up to 99% of 77 common contaminants.
What I like about this filtration product is that it removes the chemicals and contaminants that you don’t want in your water while leaving the minerals you do want. Many Reverse Osmosis systems filter out the good stuff along with the bad, but this system leaves the good stuff where it belongs. This little package packs quite a punch!
This is the smallest of all the filtration products I am recommending. The two-stage filter system has the smallest of any filtration product. If you’ve got a very limited amount of space under the sink, this is the product for you. Don’t let the small size fool you; this system can still filter 500 gallons of water before the filters have to be replaced. That’s a lot of pure water for very little cost – about 10 cents per gallon!
Which Water Filter Is The Best For You?
The decision about which water filtration system to buy depends on a few different key factors.
First of all, where you live and the kind of water you get will be a big part of the decision. Areas with toxic water will require sophisticated filtration processes to remove chemicals, minerals, and bacteria. Water wells have their issues as well as water from municipal systems that add chemicals like fluoride and chlorine.
Testing water before purchasing a water filtration product makes sense so that you know what you need to get rid of as well as determining how good the filtration system is once it has been installed.
If you’re not a dedicated DIY kind of homeowner, it’s a good idea to have a professional plumber install the filter.
Caution should be exercised before purchasing a filter product to eliminate problems with installation. Water storage tanks take up a lot of space and attention should be given to the inner dimensions of the sink cabinet. Some kitchen sinks are deeper than others and that affects the area available to install an under-sink filter system.
Water Pressure is also important for every system, so be sure to understand how much water pressure you’re working with before installing a product.
Don’t forget to measure distances to water taps, refrigerator receptacles, and ice-making machines. Time spent preparing for purchasing your water filter system will result in a much easier, less-antagonizing, and more successful installation.
How Do You Clean An Under Sink Water Filter?
The process of cleaning under counter water filters is simple and straightforward. The only real problem you might encounter is tight space. If it’s really crammed up, then it’s better to remove the entire thing and do the cleaning somewhere where you’ll feel more comfortable (like on a workbench).
It makes sense to clean the filter only when the performance drops (water pressure drops, discolored water, etc.). This is because the process is sometimes time-consuming given the small cabinet space most homes and offices have.
Before getting started, make sure you’re wearing gloves.
Let’s get started:
- Gather tools and other needed supplies: Prepare your filter housing wrench, towels, and a bucket to capture water dripping from the system. Speaking from experience, I also suggest having a flashlight, flathead screwdriver, a utility knife, and some spare O-rings. If you want to be even more pedantic, use a pressure gauge or a bike pump to check and adjust the tank pressure.
- Turn off the water line: Shut off all the valves and the inlet water hose. If you have an electric UV light or any other electrical wires connected to the filter, disconnect them as well.
- Drain the water from the filter: Open the faucet and let it run for about 10 minutes to drain the system in full. Doing this also releases the pressure.
- Open the housings: open them in an upright position as there can be some water remaining inside.
- Check and clean the cartridges: Check them thoroughly and clean them using dish soap, vinegar, or bleach and water (how to clean them in detail, read the instructions below). Once cleaned, dry them (preferably in the sun). Do the same thing for the O-rings.
- Reassemble: Once dry, place the cartridges and the O-rings back in their housings, tighten the housings, and reconnect all the hoses and wires.
- Test the system: Open the faucet for about 10 minutes to get rid of any air in the system and to flush out any particles that may have been knocked loose or that will come off the fresh filters. After that, check for leaks one more time.
Can You Clean A Water Filter With Vinegar?
If you don’t have chemical cleaners suggested by your manufacturer, you can use vinegar and water. It’s a very effective solution that can not only clean the filter but also removes limescale. Espresso lovers use them all the time to descale their espresso machine.
How to clean a filter depends on the type. Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have a different cleaning procedure than activated carbon/charcoal filters. The same goes for other types.
How to clean a reverse osmosis membrane and activated carbon/charcoal filter, click here. (NOTE: for RO in step 3, replace the cleaning solution with equal parts white distilled vinegar and warm water. For charcoal filter cleaning, add 4 cups of vinegar instead of acid).
Can Filters Be Cleaned And Reused?
In most cases, yes. If you don’t see mold forming or physical deformations (like tears for example), you can just clean the filter and reuse it.
The thing is replacement filters cost a lot, especially if you have to replace them often. On the one hand, water filter manufacturers want us to drink safe water but on the other hand, they want to sell us more stuff so they can profit more. Personally, I should replace my filters every year but instead, I clean them thoroughly every 6 months.
Get Clean, Get Healthy, And Get Happy!
All the talk about having a cleaner and healthier environment starts at home. Plastic water bottles fowl our streets, parks, offices, and lives. The world doesn’t need more garbage but it can certainly use more clean water.
Having a water filter at home or the office helps keep the environment cleaner as well as your body. Plastic bottles degrade over time and sometimes that degraded material ends up in the water they hold. Better tasting water and food along with clear ice and healthier plants are a few more benefits for getting rid of bottled water.
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What’s your take on reverse osmosis? I want your opinion in the comments below.