How To Pick The Best Under Sink Water Filters?
There are so many products on the market which claims they are the best in the market. Is it really the case?
The easiest way to determine which system suits you is to identify the problem that you intend to solve. Check your consumer confidence report in your city.
It isn’t that hard to pick a good drinking water filter for your home.
This buying guide will assist you in choosing a great water filter system with the following criteria below:
- How well in percentage does the filter remove contaminants?
- Does it specify which contaminants that it removed?
- What is the micron ratings that it can filter up to?
- If it is a reverse osmosis system, what is the TDS rating after filtration?
- How long does the filter life of each filtration cartridge?
- The longer the lifespan of filters means that the better technology that was used on the cartridge.
- What is the minimum water pressure for the under sink water filter to function normally?
- If the water pressure is not strong enough, permeate pump is needed with the water filter.
- Is this system within your budget?
- What is the annual maintenance cost of the system across 5 years?
Reviews Reviews Reviews:
- Lastly, looks for reviews from existing customer. They will give you an insight into how well the filter is able to perform. It will save your time for returning a product that isn’t solving your problem.
With these criteria above, you won’t get it wrong when buying a water filter.
Under Sink Water Filter Reviews
- Woder 10K Gen3 – Best Under Sink Water Filter
- CuZn UC-200 – Best Budget Under Sink Filter
- 3M Filtrete – High Flow Rate Under Sink Filter
- Epic Smart Shield – Certified Under Sink Water Filter
- Home Master TMHP – Under Sink Water Filter For Well Water
- Aquasana AQ-5300 – Multi-Stage Under Sink Water Filter
- APEC ROES-50 – Entry Model Reverse Osmosis System
- Home Master TMAFC – Best Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Filter
- APEC RO-PH90 – Best Alkaline Under Sink Filter
Woder 10K Gen3 – Best Under Sink Water Filter
Woder is a well-known water treatment brand for its durability and affordability. This is why we rank the 10K-Gen3 as the top rated under the counter system.
Suits City Water: Woder claims to have certified in removing 99% of chlorine and lead while reducing other contaminants such as heavy metals, VOC and etc.
Healthy Minerals Remain: Unlike reverse osmosis filter, it selectively removes contaminants and retained healthy minerals in the filtered water. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium will not be filtered.
Easy Installation: It comes with a 3/8” connector which is easily connected to the water valves of most of the US household. It should be installed in the cold water line.
If you are using a 1/2″ pipe, you will need an adapter to fit into the system.
The system is fully made in the US that comes with a “You’ll Love It” guarantee which allowed you to return if the product is not satisfactory.
Maintenance: Woder claims that a single filter can create up to 10,000 gallons of fresh drinking water. For a medium household of 4, you can probably install and forget about it for 3 years.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $33
Customer Rating – 4.5 | Our Rating – 4.8
To learn more, visit Woder 10K review page.
CuZn UC-200 – Best Budget Under Sink Filter
Although CuZn is a less known brand in the water treatment category, their system is one of the most affordable and effective as compared to others.
3 Stage Filtration: In one canister, it contains a patented 3 stage filtration system that includes micro sediment membrane, KDF-55 media and catalytic coconut shell carbon filter.
CuZn claims that it reduces a wide variety of contaminants such as chlorine, lead, mercury, sediments, algae and etc. However, there is no certification on how effective it reacts against contaminants.
Bacteriastatic Filter: Unlike other activated carbon filters, the KDF-55 prevents bacteria or molds growth in the filtration system.
Simple Installation: Like the Woder, the CuZn can directly connect to a 3/8″ pipe which is commonly use in cold water line under the sink in the US. Otherwise, an adapter is needed.
The UC-200 comes with a pro-rated 5 years warranty and a 90 days satisfactory guarantee.
Maintenance: The reason why it is affordable is due to the suggested lifespan is 50,000 gallons of water. It is suggested to change the entire filter after 5 years even though it hasn’t hit the maximum capacity.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $24
Customer Rating – 4.9 | Our Rating – 4.8
To learn more, visit CuZn UC-200 review page.
3M Filtrete – High Flow Rate Under Sink Filter
It’s very frustrating the flow of water reduce dramatically when a filter is installed. Don’t believe in companies that promise no reduction in water flow after the filter is installed. 3M Filtrete has one of the reasonable flow rate.
High Production Rate: It is one of highest among all our best pick in under counter filter. It is rated at 2.25GPM.
City Water Contaminants: 3M claims to filter contaminants that are larger than 0.5 microns. It removes 97% chlorine taste & odor, 99% microbial cysts and sediment. However, it doesn’t remove fluoride.
Easy Installation: Installation is pretty simple. A quick connect adapter will be connected to the cold water pipe where the filter is screwed up to the adapter.
This filter comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
Maintenance: The worst part of it is the filter life. Each filter can only last for 6 months. Hence, it will increase the cost of replacement which made it unaffordable for some.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $65
Customer Rating – 4.3 | Our Rating – 4.5
Epic Smart Shield – Certified Under Sink Water Filter
Some people feel more secure to see the papers or certifications on how well the filter performs. If you are looking for an under sink water filtration systems that comes with certification, Epic Smart Shield is your choice.
Certified To Remove: The activated carbon block filter is certified to remove 99% of 70 contaminants such as lead, chlorine, VOC, bacteria and many more.
Well Water Compatibility: It is claimed by Epic that this system is capable of removing bacteria which is often seen in most well water source.
Certification: The Epic Smart Shield has certified against the NSF/ANSI 43, 52, and 401 by an independent laboratory.
All Epic system comes with a 100% lifetime warranty. The stand behind on the quality of their product.
Maintenance: Epic suggested to change the filter every 14-16 months for one person usage, 12 months for a couple usage and 9-12 months for a large family.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $130
Customer Rating – 4.7 | Our Rating – 4.5
To learn more, visit Epic Smart Shield Review page.
Home Master TMHP – Under Sink Water Filter For Well Water
When is on well water, it is usually highly contaminated water source. Normal under sink filters aren’t able to handle the job nicely and perfectly. This nasty job has to be finished by the Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection. It is also one of our recommended RO system.
Complete Coverage: It is a 9 stage under sink water filtration system which buckled with sediment filter, activated carbon filter, reverse osmosis membrane, remineralization and UV light sterilization.
The TMHP is capable of removing 99% of all contaminants including virus and bacteria while adding beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium. The UV light alters the cells of virus which is helpful in filtering well water.
Iron Removal: Well water contains a high amount of iron which TMHP has a dedicated filter to remove iron. The presence of iron alters the taste of your food and water.
Reduction in Waste Water: Waste water was produced for every gallon of filtered water. However, the Home Master TMHP has the lowest waste water with 1:1 ratio.
The system is made entirely in the US and it comes with a 5-year limited warranty.
Maintenance: The suggested lifespan of the filter varies from 1-3 years where the reverse osmosis membrane only needs to be replaced once every 3 years. The rest of it is 1 year.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $150
Customer Rating – 4.7 | Our Rating – 4.8
To learn more, visit Home Master TMHP Review page.
Aquasana AQ-5300 – Multi Stage Under Sink Water Filter
Aquasana under sink filters are known for their effectiveness in micron mechanical filtration, convenience, easy to install and maintain. This 3 stage under-sink water filtration system also comes with a 90-day refund guarantee.
Selective Filtration: The Aquasana filter is effective in eliminating up to 77 contaminants while maintaining the essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
Optimal Performance: This water filter is designed for efficiency in filtration and ease in filter replacement, cleaning, and maintenance.
Convenient and Value for Money: The unit filters up to 800 gallons of water in a span of 6 months before needing a filter cartridge. This means fewer filter replacements, thus saving you money.
Moreover, every set of Aquasana Claryum® saves you up to 8 bucks for every gallon you filter.
Smarter System: You will be alerted by the Aquasana AQ-5300+ when it’s time to replace your filters.
Maintenance: The Aquasana 3 stage filter is designed to filter up to 800 gallons of water for a maximum of 6 months before the replacement alert. The product also comes with a 1-year warranty plus a 90-day sure guarantee.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $130
Customer Rating – 4.1 | Our Rating – 4.3
To learn more, visit Aquasana AQ5300 review page.
APEC ROES-50 – Entry Model Reverse Osmosis System
Non-Leak Fittings: This filter has fittings made of stainless steel for a better grip. They also have a unique O-ring that seals the cover to prevent any leaking.
Efficient APEC Carbon Block Filters: The filtration blocks are fitted with double layers of activated carbon filters for up to 99% elimination of chlorine and chemicals. The carbon filter maximizes contact time for efficient contaminant removal while prolonging the filter and the membrane’s lifetime.
WQA Certified: This is America’s no.1 WQA certified under sink water filter systems with durable filters for purifying tap water with maximum efficiency.
Easy Installation: To install this compact system, you only need a small under the counter space. Furthermore, it can be installed anywhere with a continuous water supply line.
Installation can be quickly done by anyone with moderate DIY skills in about one hour. APEC has made the setup even more effortless by color-coding all the tubes. The package comes with a user manual that’s quite informative and easy to understand. There are also YouTube videos that give the step-by-step installation process.
Maintenance: This under sink water filter system purifies, on average, 50 gallons of water per day with a 3.2 gallon storage tank. It’s an economic unit that costs you <$50 annually to maintain.
Annual Maintenance: $40
Customer Rating: 4.7 | Our Review – 4.8
To learn more, visit APEC ROES-50 review page.
Home Master TMAFC – Best Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Filter
The TMAFC artesian under the counter water filter has undergone stringent tests to make sure the optimal purity of the water with added beneficial minerals.
7-Stage filtration: Impure water undergoes 7 filtration stages before its ready for drinking. All Home Master systems have activated carbon catalytic pre-filters where all persistent chemicals are actively filtered out.
Durable Filters: Replacement filters purify 2000 gallons of water; therefore, you will only need to change them annually. The reverse osmosis membrane needs to be replaced every 3 – 5 years.
Zero Faucet Strain: The filtered water has a high production rate at the separate faucet. You don’t need to force-push the faucet as the filter delivers purified water with the right water pressure from the tank.
Innovative filter design: Unlike traditional reverse osmosis filtration system that used canister filter housing, where only the filters were replaced, the TMAFC uses a modular design.
This means during replacement, the entire filter housing is removed, and this makes the maintenance process more efficient.
It also prevents sediment and micro-organism contaminants from accumulating in the housing, which later begins to leak or could compromise the water filtration process.
Maintenance: These under sink filters will purify 2000 gallons of water before they need replacement.
Annual changes are easier for Artesian full contact filters. They have a modular design with push-in fittings, making filter changes quick and easy.
The Home Master TMAFC comes with a 3.2 gallon storage tanks.
Annual Maintenance: $85
Customer Rating: 4.7 | Our Rating – 4.7
To learn more, visit Home Master TMAFC review page.
APEC RO-PH90 – Best Alkaline Under Sink Filter
APEC RO-PH90 products are long-lasting and 100% made in the US. It is known as the most experienced industry in water filtration in the USA with more than 20 years in the business.
Premium Water Filters: These high capacity filters are top-rated, delivering 2x the capacity and have the most extended service life compared to other brands.
Additionally, they have the highest resistance to damage and require minimal maintenance.
Peace of Mind: Through rigorous quality control processes, even the slimmest of imperfections have been eliminated, giving you the ultimate filtration experience. Its operation is noiseless, with no leaks and clogs.
Calcium Re-mineralization: For those people who like water with high pH, this filter has a high-purity efficient calcium carbonate filter that raises the water pH.
Maintenance: When you purchase the RO-PH90 filter, you will have an easy time maintaining it. The tubes are primarily colored to make the process as hassle-free as possible. It is equipped with the connection fittings so that the installation process is quick.
The filters are also made to last for 12 months, 2x more than the traditional RO-PH90 filters.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $85 Yearly
Customer Rating: 4.8 | Our Rating – 4.8
To learn more, visit APEC RO-PH90 review page.
What Are Under Sink Water Filters?
The term under sink water filters refer to water filters that are mounted below your kitchen sink, rather than on top of it. An under sink water filtration system can either be multistage or an inline type.
We also have reverse osmosis under sink filters, whose capability to remove dissolved contaminants is highly efficient. They use a partly permeable membrane to eliminate ions, larger particles, and unwanted molecules from drinking water.
The reverse osmosis filtration process involves applying water pressure through the semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants in the water. The pore size of the semi-permeable membrane is 0.0001 micron.
Next is that the solute (contaminants) are retained in the pressurized part of the membrane, while solvent molecules (purified water) pass freely to the opposite low osmotic pressure side and dispense through your sink faucet.
For inline drinking water filtration, no water pressure tank is needed. Water from the cold water pipe under your sink is delivered through a flexible pipe to the filters. After purification, it is directed out of the filter and into your kitchen faucet.
Although multistage and inline under sink filters use the same mechanism, they differ in a number of ways.
Multistage filters require an additional countertop faucet. The inlet valve is connected to the cold water supply. Only some of the water from the kitchen inlet undergoes filtration. After filtration, the water is then directed to your kitchen counter where its dispensed through its own faucet. This filter is mostly used for drinking and cooking water only.
In inline filtration, the all the water coming into your kitchen sink goes through the filter. Its then dispensed via your regular sink faucet.
Countertop VS Under-Sink Water Filters
The two main types of water filters in the market are countertop and under-sink water filters. However, there have been questions as to which is filter options are better in terms of filtration and convenience.
It all depends on the functionality of the filter. These two have more minor differences. Let’s take a look at them.
Countertop Water Filter Features
They are chosen primarily by college students, small flat owners, and individuals living in rental houses and are installed on your kitchen counter. Their features are as follows.
- Plumbing is not necessary. They are attached directly to the existing faucet
- No extra tap is needed
- They are portable, and you can carry it when moving out
- Highly affordable and cheap maintenance
- There are also portable and stand-alone models, e.g., gravity water filters that don’t need a connection to a water supply.
Under-Sink Water Filter Features
These type of filters are tucked under your kitchen and are more preferred due to the reasons below:
- Multiple filtration stages with fine micron ratings
- High capability in contaminant removal
- Water output filtered is higher
- They incorporate different types of filters within one system.
- Non-visible in your kitchen, so it’s tidier and cleaner
In conclusion, under-sink water filters are higher ranked in filtration efficiency, while counter-top water filters are better at portability. Anyway, both types of water filtrations systems produce great drinking water.
Benefits Of Using Under Sink Water Filters
There are so many types of water filter system in the market such as countertop, whole house, faucet, ionizer and water pitcher. Why should we choose a bulky water filter?
If you are talking about drinking water filter system, in most cases, under counter water filter tends to be the cleanest machine you will ever get in the market. Here is why I say so.
Awesome Filtration Capability: For other drinking water filtration system like countertop, faucet and water pitcher, their capabilities have been a trade-off with size and portability.
Those systems are easy to install as they were designed to plug and use in every single home.
Anyone that purchases the under sink systems is not much concern about the space and portability. They just need their water to be free from contaminants.
Expensive Investment, Cheap Running Cost: Traditionally, under the counter systems are much expensive than other types of water filter system. It terrifies most of them and went to search for alternatives.
What you didn’t know is the type of filters are cheaper in the yearly maintenance cost as compared to the water pitcher.
This is due to the filter replacement happens once a year while water pitcher requires replacement every 1-2 months.
Hide From Public View: You won’t be seeing tubing or canister sticking out from your kitchen.
As a homeowner myself, I would like to make sure that all the tubings and pipes to be hidden from public view.
Other the other hand, you will have more rooms around the sink to do your kitchen chore.
Drawbacks Of Using Under Sink Water Filters
One Point of Inlet: Under-sink water filtration systems, unlike whole house filters, only filter water from the inlet where they are installed. If you need to a filter for your shower, a separate water filter is needed. It’s not the most effective solution if you want to filter all the water flowing into your home.
Additional Tap Outlet: You will always need a 3-way tap or a standard filter tap for your new under-sink water filter unless you purchase the inline water filter type, which is connected directly to your cold water inlet pipe.
Who Should Buy Under-Sink Water Filter?
Under-sink water filters come with a number of benefits atop countertop filters. Here are factors that spell out you need an under sink water filtration system in your home.
- If your tap water has odor or unpleasant taste– Tap water has certain chemicals and contaminants such as chlorine and fluorine which mess its taste. Odor or taste in drinking water is a huge turn off for most people. An effective under-sink water filter system has the ability to remove all these chemicals giving your drinking water great taste and no odor.
- For home owners – home owners normally have the luxury to perform drilling and heavy installation in the house. In the long run, this type of water filter saves on maintenance cost and hide from public view.
- For people with limited kitchen spaces – People without enough kitchen counter space opt for under-sink water filtration systems. They take unused space under your sink which is more preferable and convenient.
- If you are on budget – Under-sink water filters are remarkably cost efficient compared to other types of filters. They are cheap to maintain and are more efficient compared to faucet filter or water pithcer.
- For people that are sick from water bottles– Water bottles are pretty expensive in the long run and there is no strict regulatory approval on those bottler company. Some of those are even worst than the tap water.
Installation An Under Sink Water FIlter
How Do You Install Your Under-Sink Water Filter?
The DIY steps for installing an under-sink water filtration system are discussed below.
Step 1: Removing The Tubing
Turn off the cold-water shut-off valve under the sink.
Loosen the nut and take out the tubing from the valve fitting using a kitchen wrench. You then disconnect your water line, so the pipe is open.
Step 2: Mark The Location
Take the mounting bracket and make a mark close to the cold water line through the holes in the mounting bracket. Drive the screws halfway through these holes it the marked area. These are to be tightened later when the filter is hung and fitted in place. Remember to leave enough clearance space to the floor for easy change of cartridge filters.
Step 3: Plumbing Connections
This is the step where you assemble your filter. Most kits include plastic tubing for water line connections, but we recommend using flexible stainless-steel lines (flex lines) as they are sturdier than the plastic types.
Thread in the brass fittings provided into the side of the filter cup, and use a Teflon tape to seal. Use a wrench to carefully tighten the fittings, but don’t overtighten.
Locate the “in” and “out” markings on the filter cup and thread a flex line into each of them.
Step 4: Hanging The Filter
After the filter unit is fully assembled, hang it on the wall and tighten up the half-screwed on the initial hole markings till the unit is locked.
Join the flex line on the “in” fitting into the cold water shut-off valve.
Step 5: Final Connections
Join the flex line on from the “out” fitting with the threaded faucet shaft. Check that the connections are correct. Turn back on the water supply.
Use the water pressure relief button to release trapped air in the system. Check for any leaks. Start to delight in pure drinking water.
When Should You Replace the Water Filter Cartridge?
Usually, there are always specific instructions as to when you need to change your water filter cartridges. They will need replacement after every 3-6 months on average, but the frequency varies for different types of cartridges.
Here are a few signs you need to replace your under-sink water filter cartridges.
Reduced Flow Rate
If you notice that your faucet has reduced the rate at which it dispenses filtered water, it is the time you replaced those cartridge filters. It means that dirt and other contaminants are trapped within the filter media, thus clogging the filter, so it’s hard for water to flow through freely.
Change in Water taste
Your water will change its taste if the contaminants are no longer absorbed by the filters. Sudden change in water taste can be caused by other factors, too, but dysfunctional cartridges are the most obvious reasons several contaminants are passing through. A replacement is necessary if the water taste persists.
Change in Water Smell
Accumulation of contaminants in your water filter can cause an odor in your filtered water. This is a direct sign that the filter cartridges need to be replaced.
How do I clean and Replace Cartridges?
- Turn off the shut-off system that controls the system’s water flow
- To relieve the water pressure, loosen the faucet through which filtered water flows
- Remove the filter housing using a wrench or by hand. The filter is usually full of water, so you need to be careful
- Take out the housings and cartridges
- You will notice O-rings in the housing. Remove them and wipe them clean together with their groove. Replace them back after they are clean and make sure they are correctly seated.
- Check the cartridges for sediment build-up before you discard them. If the sediment build-up is excessive, you need to replace them frequently. We recommend adding a cheap sediment pre-filter to your cartridge system.
- Wash the filter housings using a soft-bristled brush and warm soapy water, then rinse with clean water.
Sanitizing Your Filter
- To prepare a sanitizing solution, you need 1 gallon of water and 1/3 teaspoon of unscented household bleach.
- Add the teaspoon of bleach in the water and pour a cup of the sanitizing solution to every filter housing sump
- Reconnect back the housing sumps with the caps holding the sanitizing solution. Don’t fit the cartridges
- Open the shut-off valve to fill the housing with water
- Close the separate faucet once the water starts flowing out.
- Keep it turned off for 30 minutes for the water and bleach to sanitize the housings.
- Use the same procedure above to remove the sumps – close the shut-off valve, take out the housings and drain all the remaining sanitizing solution.
- Use the procedure in the first section to fit the cartridges and housing back in place.
Get Your Under Sink Filtration System Today!
After going through our detail review and comparison table on all the under sink water filtration systems, I guess you have a better view on which system can help to solve the contaminated problem on your drinking water.
It is time to make a choice now! Check out the Woder 10k Gen3 as it is our recommended best under sink water filter that is available in the market.
If you are looking for something that is portable and easy installation, have a look at the our top rated countertop water filter system.