Why an Under-Sink Water Filter?
If you’re on a mission to find the best under sink water filter you’re in the right place! It’s true: There are several types of water filtration systems for the home, and many of them are perfectly adequate for your needs. Under-sink water filters, however, provide some specific benefits:
- The assurance of high quality, safe drinking water – straight from the tap.
- It only requires minor plumbing work to install – you won’t have to break open walls or change or reroute piping.
- It’s great for small spaces and homes with low counter space, as it is installed underneath the sink bowl and won’t be visible at eye level.
- The water quality is superior and virtually unbeatable – that is, if you choose the right under-sink filter!
Best Under Sink Water Filter; Our Shortlist
The best under-sink water filters, based on both customer reviews and measured improvements in water quality after installation are:
- APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
- iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
- Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
- Woder-10K-GenII Ultra High Capacity Direct Connect Water Filtration System
APEC manufactures residential water filtration systems, and is based in California. Any part this large company manufactures is also done in California. APEC has been active in this industry for almost two decades. The crowning feature of any APEC product is how consistent and quality their materials and manufacturing seems to be. APEC filters receive impressive reviews from shoppers, not only on Amazon, but also at Home Depot and other online stores. Because of this quality and customer satisfaction, their brand consistently stands out from the competition. The ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is APEC’s most popular product.
APEC ROES-50 Specifications
The APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System comes standard with a 3.2 gallon tank for collecting its filtered water. The APEC ROES-50 has a 5-stage filtration system. First, the input water goes through three unique stages of pre-filtering – first, a sediment removal filter, and then two carbon block filters. The system then enters the stage four, which is the reverse osmosis membrane. Filtered water from the membrane fills the reservoir tank, and the waste water is expelled through the drain line. Lastly, in the fifth stage, this filtered water stored in the reservoir tank passes through a final carbon block filter, then flows toward and through the dispensing faucet. Although most reverse osmosis systems work this way, the APEC ROES-50 works ahead of the curve.
Why APEC RO-90 Isn’t in the List?
APEC also manufactures a similar product, called the RO-90. While it’s also a fine product, we didn’t include it on our shortlist. First, the price differential doesn’t fairly take into account the comparable value. The ROES-90 is WQA Gold Seal Certified system, which makes it easy to charge more. The filtration systems and their mechanics for both of the two models is exactly the same. The ROES-90 is for heavy duty faucets, as it can filter up to 90 gallons per day. The APEC ROES-50 is much more standard in its filtration capacity of 50 gallons per day. Most kitchens and other faucets will never come close to needing 90 gallons of water per day of use. We are confident that these models are of comparable quality, and that the ROES-50 is a superior quality product for its price. If your kitchen is a standard faucet for a family and not an industrial kitchen, the ROES-50 is your best bet.
iSpring Water Systems is based in Alpharetta, GA. This niche company has been in the business since 2005, and their area of specialization is reverse osmosis water filtration systems. The iSpring RCC7 is another superior reverse osmosis water filter system that warranted inclusion on our shortlist. It is certainly among the top under-sink water filters you can find on the market today!
The iSpring RCC7 is a popular model from iSpring Water Systems, and can produce up to 75 gallons of filtered water per day. (This amount assumes the feed water pressure is 60 psi, and that the temperature is a room temperature 77°F). In contrast to most under-sink reverse osmosis water filters, which have only a 50 gallon per day capacity, the iSpring RCC7 boasts a quicker reservoir tank refill rate, due to its ability to filter more. In fact, iSpring RCC7’s nominal refill rate is 50% higher than the average reverse osmosis water filtration system. If you have a large household or require extra filtered water for projects or home systems like aquariums, the iSpring RCC7 might be the right system for you.
iSpring RCC7 Specifications
The iSpring RCC7 filtration system comes with a brass faucet with nickel finish. In addition to your sink, the output piece can also be connected to a refrigerator, ice maker, or even your coffee maker. Extra fittings are required, but these kits are available for purchase, as this is a common practice.
After a thorough inspection of the water quality, customers and experts have noted the drastic improvements made by the iSpring RCC7. For example, according to one review, the iSpring RCC7 system decreased the number of total dissolved solids in the greater Las Vegas municipal water supply from 506 ppm (parts per million) to 25 ppm. This is a drastic improvement on the safety and quality of drinking water.
Although the iSpring RCC7 is sold for a premium price, we’ve included it here on the shortlist because it’s worth the pretty penny. The filtration capacity is second to none, and it is WQA certified, Also, the RCC7 routinely performs above its average daily filtration capacity. If you’ve got large water consumption needs, this is your best bet.
Home Master TMAFC Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
Home Master Water Filters are manufactured by Perfect Water Technologies, Inc. Also an American company, they are based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Founded in 2002, Perfect Water Technologies began with its line of reverse osmosis water filters, After 12 years of success, the company rebranded to Home Master. This line is known for their quality, special patents, and excellent results.
Home Master TMAFC Specifications
This water filtration system comes with a 3.2 gallon tank, chrome faucet, feed and water adapters. Home Master TMAFC is capable of purifying feed water with up to 2000 ppm of contaminants. Many customers and Amazon reviewers have confirmed significant improvements that this system has made to their water quality. Boasting crystal clear water with sediments and chemicals removed, this water filtration system was sure to make our shortlist.
Unlike the competition, Home Master TMAFC has a major advantage: Its patented re-mineralization system. No other water filtration system on our shortlist has this feature, and other systems that do are not as efficient or high quality at the Home Master TMAFC. The filtration system adds small amounts of calcium and magnesium (30-60 mg/l combined) to the water during its processes. This balances any acidity water may have after sitting in the storage tank for a long time. This is a feature that is unique to Home Master TMAFC, and makes it sail beyond most of the competition. As with all filters on our shortlist, we highly recommend trying this one out.
Unlike the other under-sink water filtration systems we’ve selected here, the Woder 10K-GenII is a direct connect filtration system. This differs from a reverse osmosis system, which is the most standard. Reverse osmosis systems require varying filters for each of its multiple purifying stages, a storage tank or reservoir, and their own faucet. Direct connect, or inline filters, are a much different type of filter. With these models, the water feed enters the filter and the output connects directly to the faucet. You simply screw the filter onto the faucet. If you’re not handy and prefer not to have a complicated install, don’t have the room under your sink, or are exceedingly cost conscious, direct connect water filtration systems might be the best purchase for you. If you rent your home and do not own it, you might not have liberty of making the changes that a reverse osmosis system install would require. In this case, a direct connect or in-line filter is made for you!
Woder 10K-GenII Direct Connect Specifications
Woder 10K-GenII has a carbon block filter, which claims to remove chlorine, bad tastes, odors, leads and other heavy metals. The manufacturer advises on best practices of using this filter in conjunction with municipally treated drinking water or water that has been properly disinfected prior to use. The installation is straightforward, and the Woder 10K-GenII arrives assembled. All you’ll need to do is connect the inlet tube to the water feed and output to the faucet.
Woder 10K-GenII’s direct connect filter will last up to 10,000 gallons, which is about three years of regular residential water use. Once time comes for the replacement, you only need to replace the filter.
While this filtration system may not be as comprehensive as the under-sink water filters, the Woder 10K-GenII is fantastic for those on a budget or who prefer a user-friendly, efficient installation. The only cause for concern is that several reviewers who were otherwise happy customers have reported a decrease in the flow rate after installing the Woder 10K-GenII. As long as the flow rate reduction doesn’t exceed approximately 30%, this can be considered a normal occurrence of use.
Filter Replacement Costs
It can be pricey to maintain some water filtration system units, while others won’t cost an arm and a leg to keep in pristine condition. The direct connect or inline filtration systems will have the cheapest – and usually the easiest – filters to replace. These updated filters typically retail for only a few dollars. Charcoal filters will be the cheapest.
Under-sink water filtration systems will have several replaceable filters that will need tune-ups and maintenance periodically. Filter costs can range from $10 to $75, but beware that you may have to buy several different types for the various filtering phases. Monitor the life and efficacy of your filter by checking the purity of the water periodically with testing strips. These are available from hardware and home improvement stores and many online retailers.
Why do you need an under sink water filter?
More and more, we learn about harmful chemicals that seep into our public water supply. While tap water is provided by a public water system, the water you drink should be better than what comes out of your sink – especially if you live in an urban area. Public water supplies constantly monitor what comes out of our tap, so harmful chemicals should not exceed the certain ranges. Water should meet certain rigorous criteria, and for the most part it does. But when it comes to the quality of the water you and your family will be drinking, “for the most part” just doesn’t cut it! There are many pertinent reason you need an under-sink water filter. Here are a detailed few:
Reason # 1. Aging Water Distribution Infrastructure
Outdated water distribution systems, along with human or equipment errors, may cause catastrophes in public water supplies that cause irreversible damage. The severely devastating water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a prime example of how a century-old municipal water distribution system has caused a serious public health threat. And it’s not just in Flint. There are active municipal plumbing infrastructures throughout the country with cast iron pipes built over 120 years ago that have outlived their safe life expectancy. As time goes by, this threat will only worsen if not dealt with firsthand.
Reason # 2. Public Water Is Skating By the Standards
The public water supply is designed to deliver massive quantities of acceptable water to municipalities. At its best, a public water system only treats its water to pass the minimum of the EPA’s standards. Your tap water will almost certainly not be of good quality, although it will likely pass certain safety benchmarks. The Environmental Working Group produced one of the most important studies on tap water quality throughout the United States, shedding a much needed light on the most pressing issues concerning the management of drinking water quality in the U.S.
This is one of their findings:
“The EPA regulates just nine pollutants generated by chlorine or chloramine– four trihalomethanes and five haloacetic acids (EPA 2012a). These nine regulated chemicals represent less than 2 percent of the more than 600 unwanted chemicals created by the interaction of water treatment disinfectants and pollutants in source water (Barlow 2004).” EPA, Water Treatment Contaminants: Forgotten Toxics in American Water
Reason # 3. The Need for Purified Water
The most succinct reasoning for needing an under-sink water filter is the need for pure water – for drinking, cooking, and gardening. If you’re starting to home brew your own beer or plant grapes on your land for wine production, you will definitely require purified water. Many gardeners prefer purified water so they can control somewhat the chemicals their organic plants are exposed to.
If you live in an area with no water supply network – for example, a rural area that pumps well water through your pipes – you will need a water filter to sift out sediment and otherwise create safe drinking water. Additionally, municipal water quality standards may differ based on your location – and, even then, they don’t always meet those standards. It’s in your best safety interest to have a water filtration system in place. You do not have to subject yourself to harmful chemical additives, and an under-sink water filter can help.
Selection Criteria: Our Product Research Method
As water filtration experts with objective opinions, we conducted research on several different types and brands of under-sink water filters. We tried to get inside the mind of a typical Amazon customer, and of the consumers that will benefit most from an under-sick water filtration system. We scoured the site and used other research methods, as well. We picked not only the highest ranking water filtration systems, but what we believe are the best ones.
Our guiding selection criteria throughout our search? Water quality improvements.
We paid specific attention to the water quality improvements that each of these filters produce when in use, and we based much of our feedback on the customer reviews found on Amazon and other online stores. Luckily, many Amazon reviewers had measured the quality of their water before and after using under-sink water filters. These observations and measurements helped contribute to the formation of our shortlist. At every turn, we were careful to base our recommendations on practical information, rather than simply relying on numbers provided by manufacturers. It’s also a more representative sample as online buyers are spread out all over the country and therefore the water quality improvement results are not limited to only a few instances.
There are many choices in the under-sink and direct connect water filtration system landscape, but we hope you’ve learned more about our top choices. From economical to re-mineralization, we’ve listened to your preferences and scoured specifications and reviews to bring you a versatile set of water filtration system recommendations. It’s always smart to test your water for elements unknown, both before and after filtration.