Aquasana water filters systems for whole house
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The Aquasana AQ-4000W has a far more robust filtration system that effectively removes a wider range of contaminants than many other similar countertop water filters on the market. This is one of the reasons it’s our pick for the best countertop water filter. A lot of the users are really impressed with its performance and the results it achieves.
Based in Austin, Texas, Aquasana is a major player in the US water filter industry. It’s a brand that has built a reputation for providing good quality products and good customer support.
The company manufactures different types of water filtration products which include countertop, under-sink and whole-house water filter systems. This review outlines some of their best-known products and you can look at them below to learn more about what they offer.
1. Aquasana AQ-4000W Water Filter System
- Removes over 97% of chlorine and reduces 76 other contaminants - NSF certified to remove lead, pharmaceuticals and more
- No waste water or harmful contaminants added to your drinking water during the filtration process
- Retains the healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium for the healthiest water
- Removes over 95% of 77 different contaminants
- Retains the beneficial minerals
- Fairly long filter lifespan than other countertop water filters
- Decent water flow rate from the faucet
- Compact design that doesn’t take up much space
- Very simple to install and comes with a 1-year limited warranty
- Reports of leaking around the diverter valve
- The gaskets seem a bit thin to secure tight connections
- Replacing the white filter is quite difficult
- The screens where the filtered water exits clog often
- Not ideal for filtering well water
The design of the AQ-4000W isn’t particularly attractive despite being a countertop water filter meant to sit next to the kitchen sink throughout. However, it’s a compact unit (measures 12 x 7 x 4 inches) and has a slim profile – it sits unobtrusively next to the sink without taking up plenty of counter space or restricting access to the faucet.
The unit is also light in weight (3 pounds) and portable. It’s simple to remove and move to another location. You can’t use it outdoors though since it only hooks up to the faucet.
The quality seems okay but there were a few reports of slight leaking especially around the diverter valve with users mentioning that it doesn’t close properly.
The Aquasana AQ-4000W is certified to NSF/ANSI standards 401, 42, 53 and P473. These are far more certifications than any other countertop water filter and it’s mainly because the unit has an effective filtration system and relies on tap pressure instead of gravity.
It utilizes a two-stage filtration process known as Claryum®filtration technology which reduces up to 77 different contaminants using 4 separate filtration steps.
The 1st step features activated carbon which reduces organic chemicals including herbicides, pesticides, VOCs (99.4%) and MTBE (81.8%). It also reduces water turbidity (99%), particulate (99.9%) and pharmaceuticals such as ibuprofen and estrone.
The 2nd step is a catalytic carbon and this removes up to 97.4% of chlorine and chloramines in the water. The 3rd step features ion-exchange material which filters out heavy metals including lead (99.3%) and mercury (96.6%).
The 4th step is sub-micron mechanical filtration which clears out asbestos (99%) and 99.99% of chlorine-resistant cysts such as cryptosporidium and giardia.
However, total dissolved solids are not filtered out during the process, so the healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium are retained in the water.
Besides the robust filtration system, this Aquasana AQ-4000W model can deliver up to 450 gallons of filtered water before requiring replacement which is similar to about 6 months of daily use. It’s a high capacity/lifespan compared to most countertop and faucet water filters as they usually last 2 to 3 months.
The flow rate (0.4 GPM) is slower than that of tap water but it’s better than other similar units. It takes around 2 minutes to fill a large water glass/cup which is a pretty decent rate.
The unit also has a diverter valve which allows you to easily switch between the filtered and unfiltered water by pulling it out. There’s no water wastage either during the filtration process as is the case with RO filter systems.
Setup and Maintenance
It’s very simple to install the Aquasana AQ-4000W since there’s no permanent fixture needed. You just attach the filters and screw the adapter on the faucet. Moreover, there’s a full instruction manual to guide you and the ends of the hose are color coded – white to white and blue to blue hence no guessing like in the earlier version which had both white ends.
The unit as well comes with brass adapters for 15/16” and 13/16” faucets which should be able to fit most kitchen faucets. However, the gaskets where the two filters screw in seem a bit thin to secure tight connections – there were a few complaints that they wear out easily causing leaks around the connection points.
Many people complained too that replacing the filters was a pain especially the white one. It gets stuck such that it’s very difficult to unscrew plus the lid doesn’t open easily either.
The screens where the filtered water exits also require unclogging from time to time as they get clogged quickly by bits of debris thereby affecting the flow of water from the filter.
Should you buy the Aquasana AQ-4000W?
This is a great option to consider if you want a countertop water filter with a robust filtration system. It can effectively remove many different contaminants than other standard countertop water filters. However, it’s not a suitable option for filtering well water contaminants.
2. Aquasana AQ-5300+.56 Water Filter System
- Instantly Transform Ordinary Tap Water Into Clean, Extraordinary Water - Removes up to 99% of 77 contaminants while leaving healthy minerals so you can drink with confidence. This system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
- High Flow Rate - This system powers through a half-gallon of water every minute. No need to wait for clean water compared to traditional drip filters.
- Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - The most economical filter on the market at less than 10 cents per gallon filtered. Lasts for 6 months or 800 gallons before a replacement filter is needed.
Aquasana AQ-5300+.56 is our pick for the best under sink water filter because it has the same efficient filtration system as the AQ-4000W but offers higher flow rate and filter capacity. Besides that, it comes with an additional filtration stage and a performance indicating device that reminds you when it’s time to change the filters.
- Removes 77 different contaminants
- High filtration capacity ideal for large families
- Fairly fast water flow from the faucet
- Compact design that can fit in most cabinets under the sink
- Easy to install and comes with a 1-year warranty
- The plastic washer break easily
- Reports of leaking around the filters’ housings
- Replacing the filters takes some effort
- The Bluetooth filter indicator appears not to function properly
Measuring 12.8H x 12D x 4.2W inches, the AQ-5300+ is slightly larger than the AQ-4000W model but it does take up less room in an under-sink cabinet compared to an RO unit. It’s an ideal option for tight under-sink spaces although you’ll need around 15-inches of vertical clearance (measuring downward) to permit filter replacement.
It comes with a stylish metal faucet (100% lead-free) which is available in three finishes: chrome, brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze, so you can choose the one that suits your kitchen decor.
The faucet is tall enough to allow you to easily fill tall water bottles. However, the plastic washer at its base that’s supposed to help tighten it underneath your sink is a little flimsy. It doesn’t keep the faucet securely in place and there are reports that it also breaks easily.
Moreover, Aquasana provides secure compression fittings for this model to help prevent leaks but they seem not that effective as several users complained of leaking around the housings for the filters.
The AQ-5300+ utilizes the same Claryum® filtration technology as the AQ-4000W.
Thereby, it’s able to remove the same 77 contaminants which include chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, MTBE, PFOA, PFOS, asbestos, microscopic particles (bacteria and cysts) and heavy metals (lead and mercury).
Unlike the AQ-4000W though, it features an additional 20-micron sediment pre-filter that makes up the first stage. It clears out dust, rust, dirt and other particulate matter present in the water supply which helps prevent clogging of the Claryum filters in stage 2 and 3.
Total dissolved solids (TDS) are not removed hence the filtered water will still have the healthy minerals. Many attested that the water is crystal clear, tastes fresh and pure, and has no smell at all.
You get a large filtration capacity (800 gallons) with this AQ-5300+ model – it’s ideal for households that require a lot of filtered water. There’s no change in the lifespan of the filters though as they need replacement after every 6 months.
However, water flow is fast, at 0.72 gallons per minute. It can fill a half-gallon pitcher in under a minute which is convenient when you need to generate large amounts of filtered water fast and frequently. The system only works effectively at a minimum of 20 psi operating pressure and a maximum of 80 psi.
Setup and Maintenance
Setting up the unit was relatively simple for most users since it uses push-to-connect tube fittings and the manual is easy to understand. You will still need some plumbing skills to install it properly. The only challenge might be mounting the faucet since it needs a slightly larger hole than that of a standard tap faucet.
Replacing the filters also takes some effort due to their canister filter housing design which requires screwing off each housing first to change the filters and then screwing them back on again. Several users mentioned that it’s a little difficult to get the filters out of the housings.
Aquasana has equipped this model with a Bluetooth-enabled performance indicating device (PID) that tracks the water usage to help remind you when the filters need changing via a phone or laptop. It’s a handy feature but it appears not to be useful as there were a few reports that the app doesn’t work on iPhones that have the version 12 of Apple’s iOS operating system.
Should you buy the Aquasana AQ-5300+.56?
If you need a water filter unit for producing lots of filtered water and at a fast rate, then you can consider it. It’s a good option too if your water is sediment-rich or rusty.
3. Aquasana OptimH2O AQ-RO-3.56 RO Water Filter System
- Drink With Confidence Knowing Your Drinking Water Has Been Purified Through Both Reverse Osmosis & Aquasana's Claryum Filtration - to filter 95% of fluoride & 97% Of Chlorine, plus 99% of 86 other contaminants, including lead, mercury, asbestos, pharmaceuticals and more.
- One Of A Kind High Performance Filter - The first filter system to combine Reverse Osmosis, advanced Claryum filtration, and Remineralization technology.
- Removes 5x More Contaminants Than Other RO Systems - Tested & proven to provide you with cleaner drinking water than other reverse osmosis filters.
We settled on the Aquasana OptimH2O AQ-RO-3.56 as our pick for the best RO water filter system because of its respectable performance and compact design compared to the other Aquasana RO systems. It has a few setbacks as you’re going to see but overall, it’s a decent RO water filter system.
- Efficient filtration system – removes 88 different contaminants
- Remineralize the water giving it a better taste and balanced pH
- Fits well into most standard under-sink cabinets
- Suitable for small to medium-sized families
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Low water filtration capacity
- Water flows out of the faucet slowly
- Produces more wastewater
- Slightly challenging to set up
- Filters have a short lifespan
The OptimH2O AQ-RO-3.56 is a relatively small RO unit, measuring 12 x 4.5 x 12.5 inches. The tank and the filters don’t take up too much space – they would fit comfortably into most standard under-sink cabinets. If you have a small cabinet or lots of piping inside it, then they might not fit in.
You get three faucet designs to choose from with this model; chrome metal, oil-rubbed bronze and brushed nickel. They all look stylish and are 100% lead-free.
However, they are not sturdy and are made of a plastic material which users found to be of poor quality. The base of the faucets is equally just plastic and it has a little screw cover which doesn’t stay on – it keeps falling right out.
Several people also complained of faucet leaks around the connection point. The fittings are plastic too. You can’t overtighten them or else they’ll break easily. They also wear quickly over time which can lead to leaks.
The full system of the OptimH2O is certified to NSF standards 42, 53 and 58. It as well conforms to NSF standards 401 and P473. The system utilizes a 4-stage filtration process which combines RO filtration with Aquasana Claryum® filtration technology, and remineralization.
It’s a slight deviation from the usual 5-stage RO systems but it does a great job with regards to removing most of the common water contaminants.
The 1st stage is a basic activated carbon filter which reduces chlorine, taste, odor and large particles that may damage the RO membrane.
The 2nd stage is the reverse osmosis membrane which removes multiple contaminants including TDS (99%), fluoride (95%), chromium (96%), arsenic (97%), asbestos (99%), cysts, nitrites and radium.
Stage 3 is the Claryum filtration technology which is a mixture of activated and catalytic carbon, ion-exchange material and sub-micron mechanical filtration. This stage clears out chloramine (97%), residual chlorine (97%), herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals such lead (99%) and mercury (95%). It also eliminates PFOA, PFOS and MTBE.
Stage 4 is a remineralization filter which restores the essential minerals (calcium, potassium and magnesium) which were removed during the RO process. This balances the pH and also improves the taste of the water. Most users reported that the filtered water tastes great and is odorless.
The filtration capacity of the OptimH2O is 360 gallons which is quite lower than that of the two models above. Its daily production rate is around 11-32 gallons which is equally lower than other RO systems.
However, it comes with a standard-sized tank that has 3.2 gallons storage space, so despite the low filtration capacity and production rate, it’s still sufficient for regular household use. It can serve small to medium-sized families provided the water usage is limited to drinking and cooking.
The system does take long though (about 3 hours) to fill up the tank. The low production rate also leads to a low flow rate. Many reported that the flow of water out of the faucet is way too slow – it can take up to 3 minutes just to fill one glass.
Wastewater generated is also slightly on the higher end. The unit wastes around 4 gallons of water for each gallon of filtered water it produces. It has a shut-off valve though in the manifold, so once the tank is filled up the waste line stops running to prevent water wastage.
The system makes some gurgling sound when the tank is filling which a few users found it to be a bit irritating since it lasts for a while.
Setup and Maintenance
Installing this unit was challenging for most but it might not be difficult if you have plumbing experience. You may need to get a professional to install it though because the provided installation instructions are rather vague – they are complicated and hard to understand.
Some of the components that are integral to a proper installation are not mentioned in the instructions like the large rubber gasket and the nut lock washer. Moreover, the remineralization filter is separate from the filter manifold – some drilling is needed to hang it separately to the side of the manifold.
Installing the outlet faucet is as well challenging because it needs a large diameter hole (1.5 to 1.625 inches). Not many DIY installers can be able to drill such a large hole through the counter without additional tools – most RO systems require only a ½ inch or ⅜ inch hole. The faucet has an air gap at the base which is also not obvious in the installation instructions.
Replacing the filters is a bit of a hassle too since you have to twist off the housings to access the replaceable filters and then screw them back on after putting in the new filters.
Furthermore, the filters have a shorter lifespan hence they need frequent replacement. Stage 1 and 3 filters need changing every 3-6 months and the remineralization filter every 12 months. The RO membrane lasts only 1 year which is shorter than the 2-3 years lifespan offered by other RO systems. The recommended operating pressure is 40 to 100 psi.
Should you buy the Aquasana OptimH2O AQ-RO-3.56?
If your water supply is from the well or if you are concerned that the amount of contaminants in your tap water is relatively high, then the Aquasana OptimH2O is a good fit for you. We did notice a lot of complaints on missing parts after receiving the unit which is something you might want to keep in mind when making your purchase because it can delay the installation process.
4. New Aquasana OptimH2O
- Premium water filtration system for the healthiest and best tasting water throughout your entire home - No draining, back flushing, or water waste.
- Removes 99% of lead, cysts, chlorine, chloramines and more - Ultra-dense carbon block filters offer superior filtration compared to granular media.
- System includes filtration tank, solid carbon filter, 20" pre-filter, Sterilight UV filter, brass fittings, bend supports and shut-off valves - Fittings designed for 0.75" pipe
The Aquasana OptimH2O has one of the most effective water filter systems on the market and this is why it’s our pick for the best whole house water filter. It clears out almost all the lead traces present in water as well as many other contaminants. The majority of users were very impressed with the quality of the filtered water it produces.
- Best filter for removing lead, cysts, PFOA, and PFOS
- Eliminates many other common contaminants
- Decent water flow rate
- Filters are easy to replace and don’t need back-flushing
- Option to add water softener and UV filtration stage
- 5-year warranty and 90-day moneyback guarantee
- Not as durable as Aquasana Rhino whole house systems
- Installation requires a professional or plumbing experience
The OptimH2O water filter is IAPMO tested and NSF/ANSI certified against standards 53 and P473. The system utilizes a multi-stage filtration process that includes a 20-inch sediment filter and a carbon block filter.
The sediment pre-filter makes up the first stage and it effectively captures rust, silt, dirt, and other particles that are bigger than 1 micron.
The second stage features the carbon block filter. It’s a dense carbon block media that’s made up of catalytic and activated carbon together which perform both sub-micron and ion-exchange filtration. This combination makes the OptimH2O carbon filter more effective than other standard carbon block filters from other brands.
It’s able to reduce up to 99.99% of lead which is higher than almost any other water filter can do. It’s an ideal choice if you particularly have issues with lead or metallic taste in your water. Besides lead, this filter removes 99% of cysts, 98% of PFOA and PFOS as well as 90% of chlorine and chloramines present in the water.
It equally clears out fluorides, pesticides, arsenic, traces of heavy metals, and several other contaminants. You’ll notice a difference in the taste of the filtered water compared to when you drink regular tap water. Users mentioned that it has a clean and fresh taste with no odor at all.
Like other Aquasana whole house filtration systems, this one has the option to customize it by including additional stages of filtration, mainly a salt-free water conditioner/descaler and a UV filter.
The salt-free water conditioner uses a scale control media that alters the structure of the hard minerals (magnesium and calcium) turning them into crystal structures that can’t bind and form scale buildup on plumbing fixtures and internal pipes. It’s an essential add-on especially if the water entering your home has low to medium hardness levels.
It’s, however, not as effective as a salt-based water softener because there were those that reported that scale deposits are still left on dishes, inside sinks, and on other appliances such as the dishwasher and washing machine.
With regards to the UV filtration stage, it’s another essential optional add-on that can help provide further protection against viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microbes that might be present in the water. It can kill 99% of all the microbes in the water including E.coli and cysts that are chlorine resistant like giardia and cryptosporidium.
These two upgrades can help ensure that your water is cleaner and has a slightly more refreshing taste than when using the OptimH2O base unit alone although it’s quite effective on its own.
You get a 100, 000-gallon filtration capacity with this model which is about 1-year filter life. It’s not the longest compared to Aquasana’s Rhino systems but it’s longer than filters from other brands – they usually have a 6-month lifespan.
The sediment pre-filter can last only for 3 to 6 months though, so you’ll be replacing it frequently. The water flow is relatively fast as the unit can filter around 8 gallons per minute which is enough to keep up with the water needs of most families.
It, however, drops significantly after using the unit for several months such that you can’t run multiple taps or plumbing fixtures simultaneously.
Set up and Maintenance
Aquasana has made this unit simple to install by including an installation kit and clear instructions, but if you don’t have experience installing a whole house water filtration system, you’ll need to hire a plumber to do it – it needs to be connected to the main water line of the house.
Replacing the filters is hassle-free. The carbon block filter features a snap ring technology that you just press to release and remove the filter without requiring any tools – it’s a quick and easy process that doesn’t need a plumber to do it. Furthermore, it has a built-in LED flow rate monitor which lets you know exactly when to replace the filter.
Should you buy the Aquasana OptimH20?
This is an ideal option if your municipal water supply has high lead content, cysts contamination, or chemical contaminants, especially PFOA and PFOS. It’s one of the few units that’s capable of removing all the lead content and cysts present in the water.
5. Aquasana Rhino EQ-WELL-UV
- Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine, 99. 9% of viruses and bacteria and reduces harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and more
- High-Performance Well Filter System - Carbon & KDF filtration media combined with UV purifier and Scale Control Media (SCM) salt-free technology engineered to maximize contaminant reduction while leaving healthy minerals in your water. This system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
- Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - Clean water for less than $0. 01 a gallon - Save twice as much compared to other brands on purified water for 500, 000 gallons or 5 years
Next up we have the Rhino EQ-WELL-UV model which is our pick for the best Aquasana whole house water filter for well water. This is a model that’s purposely designed to clean up well water or any untreated groundwater. It comes with a UV filter and other filtration stages that destroy all the pathogens in well water and get rid of many other contaminants present in it, more effectively than the other Aquasana Rhino models.
- Perfect for use on well water – removes 99.99% of pathogens
- It also gets rid of lots of other contaminants
- Long filter life of 5 years (or 500,000 gallons)
- A decent flow rate that remains steady for the most part
- Comes with a long 5-year warranty
- Pre-filter and post-filter require frequent changing
- The connectors tend to break easily and cause water to leak
- Installation requires a professional and there’s no filter life indicator
- Many complaints of poor customer service and missing parts
- UV filter requires electricity to operate
The EQ-WELL-UV is equipped with a far more robust filtration system than the other Aquasana water filters which is what makes it suitable for use on untreated well water and other groundwater sources.
The system is made of 5 filtration stages that include a sediment pre-filter, a copper-zinc mineral filter, an activated carbon filter, a sub-micron post-filter, and a Sterilight Ultraviolet filter.
The first stage is the 5-micron pre-filter which takes out most of the particles and sediments from the well water. It removes rust, silt, and dirt to protect the subsequent filtration stages against damage.
It’s followed by the copper-zinc mineral stone filter which is actually a KDF-85 media rather than KDF-55 that’s common in most systems. It’s a special KDF-filter that’s made up of a combination of zinc and high purity copper granules.
It has a higher copper content than KDF-55 making it very effective at removing hydrogen sulfide and iron which are usually present in groundwater at high levels.
It also helps reduce chlorine and remove over 96% of water-soluble heavy metals such as lead, mercury, chromium, and nickel. This media is bacteriostatic too hence it’s able to inhibit the buildup of algae, fungi, scale, and bacteria within the system.
The third stage features an activated carbon filter media and again here instead of the usual activated carbon, Aquasana has utilized catalytic carbon media which clears over 97% of the remaining chlorine (taste and odor) as well as several other types of chemical contaminants including herbicides, pesticides, VOCs and industrial solvents.
The catalytic carbon media also eliminates any remaining hydrogen sulfide in water, so all the unpleasant smell and taste in well water gets cleared out.
The fourth stage is a post-filter that’s rated at 0.35 microns and this one provides an extra safety measure by removing any sediment and organic particles left in the water.
The final stage of filtration is the Sterilight Ultraviolet filter which is unique to this system – it’s offered in the other Aquasana Rhino models as an extra add-on. This filter kills more than 99.99% of all the microorganisms lurking in the water including bacteria, viruses, and cysts such as E.coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium.
We found that this system does purify well water completely, eliminating all harmful pathogens, chemicals, and bad odors and taste. Almost everyone mentioned that the resulting water is very clear and clean, and has a refreshing taste with no foul odor whatsoever.
The only available upgrade for this model is the salt-free water conditioner which is good for preventing scale build-up caused by hardness minerals in the water. However, it seems to face the same problem as the OptimH20 because most complained that it works only for a while after which scales start to build up again on fixtures.
The filtration capacity of the EQ-WELL-UV is 500, 000 gallons. That translates to a filter life of 5 years, so it’s highly durable. The pre-filter and post-filter are rated to last up to 6 months but it’s not the case as they appear to last just 2 to 3 months hence they might need constant changing if your water is high on sediments.
The water flow rate is around 7GPM which is sufficient for medium-sized families of 4 or 5 and it does remain steady throughout the filter lifespan – there was no drop in pressure experienced by users.
Set up and Maintenance
Similar to the OptimH20 model above, you will need a professional plumber to set up this system especially because it comes with more different parts, and installing them on your well water source can be challenging without the right equipment and skills.
The connectors and threadings are all plastic, and there are many reports that they break easily which ends up causing water to leak out around the connection points of the filters. Moreover, we noted lots of complaints from customers that Aquasana customer service isn’t quite helpful or responsive when warranty claims are issued.
The other downside is that this unit doesn’t come with any filter life indicator, so you have to track the usage from the date of installation to ensure you change them at the right time.
Should you buy the Aquasana EQ-WELL-UV?
If you get your water supply from the well or any other groundwater source, then this would certainly be a suitable water filter for you. It offers the most effective filtration system that clears out almost all the contaminants that may be present in well water.
Its major drawbacks are the flimsy connectors and unreliable customer support. We also did note lots of reports about missing parts which is something you would want to keep in mind when making a purchase.