Does anyone have recommendations for Under sink water filters? Pros cons cost brands all feedback welcome!
Hi @Shorty1, welcome to the community.
What is the purpose or what are you trying to achieve with a water filter?
Are you on tank water and after a microbial filter, on groundwater and want to remove ions or taints (taste/odour), on town water and want to filter it for some reason such as soften water…?
There are different filters best suited for different application which can deal with microbial, sediment, taints, particular suspended ions etc.
Knowing the above might allow members to better match replies with what is needed.
To @phb list of things to clarify, do you have a budget or reasonable cost expectations?
Some products can only use replacement filter cartridges from the original manufacturer of the housings and system. For others there is some choice, competition and possibly better pricing.
Depending on how your sink plumbing has been installed, it’s most likely you will need a licensed plumber to install and connect your filter/s and above sink outlet. We have generous under sink space. We still needed to lower the under sink shelf or remove it to provide sufficient height for our filters.
There are also filters which are a single unit that plug into an adapter fitting rather than use a replaceable internal cartridge. Easier to change, but not necessarily as economical?
Yes, many factors as above post point out so will just post our experience.
We were just after filtering of odour/taste really. Wanting max convenience we decided on an inline - ie. all kitchen cold water goes through the filter. Ended up we could install ourselves as our mid 90s house has the steel flex hoses connections to a mixer - it’s just a case of undoing the cold hose & connecting the filter passthrough in place. Under bench shelf was an issue but just used a holesaw to make room for the length of the adapter & cartridge.
To give an idea the cartridges are these - Aquila WFAQ7000 Maxiflow Filter QC3533CCW.
The main con apart from install cost if you need it is the cartridges aren’t cheap but shopping around pays - you can get compatible; just as these Aquila ones are for us - originals were O2 I think - wanting from memory $130 each where the Aquila’s are $70. They also state 6month I think or 12 max replacement - pffftt you can tell when the taste is going & for 2 of us in the house we found 15months about right.
I think I recall my Son having similar recently installed at his house & install with supply I think was around the $700/750. DIY I “think” is around $200-300.
Disclaimer - all off the cuff “from memory” as I’ve implied
They are both expensive compared to purchasing a cartridge type housing that can use one of these types of filters.
While it sounds simple enough, there is always on line advice it’s plumbing work. It’s worth checking first, and knowing the risks. If it leaks know your insurance will likely not cover the damage.
I cannot speak for other states, but in Vic those easy to undo flex hoses are considered part of the main plumbing and legally require a plumber to do anything with them, whether replacing one or changing the tap they are connected to or inserting a water filter.
I’ll not comment on my opinion of the respective regulations but be aware. A worst case outcome could be a strata title where the DIY did an easy job. Sometime later a flex pipe burst and created a flood doing some damage. The Owner Corp could come after that homeowner for having illegal work done and the insurance could also be voided. In a detached non-strata residence? The odds are different
Who these regulations serve is referenced in various topics. We live in Australia, a country that apparently is populated with unclever residents incapable to doing much of anything without bringing in a licensed tradie for their callout + time fees.
We have lived on tank water (on a farm) for about 30 years so we rely on water filters. I use a primary cartridge filter to remove sediment (20-25 micron) and I have a carbon cartridge filter at the kitchen sink to remove taste and odour. From experience with trying a few various brands of carbon filter, I have settled on using the 3M Aqua-Pure AP117 cartridges at about $80 each. They have consistently given us the best result and the water has no taste or odour - basically as good as bottled water. I swap them out around every 6 months; 3M recommend every 6-12 months. I just purchased the filter housing from Reece but Bunnings have them as well - I don’t even recall the brand.
If I didn’t have a primary filter then the carbon filter wouldn’t last very long. If we were on clean mains water then maybe they would last longer. If the filter gets clogged then the flow will slow down so that’s a sure sign that it needs changing, but remember that is only relevant if the source water has contaminants.
This thread also has comments about DIY plumbing. Notwithstanding any potential rules and regulations, installing a cartridge filter housing is relatively easy. Modern houses will most likely have steel braided flexible hoses (EZ Hangers) so you just need an additional hose to connect the filter housing to the pipe outlet (normally 1/2" or 15mm). Older homes may have copper pipes that join the outlet to the cold water tap but these are also easily replaced with flexible steel hoses. EZ hangers are going to cost about $5-10 each depending on the length.
EZ Hangers usually have fine print that suggests that they should be replaced after about 5 years, irrespective of whether they are installed by a plumber or DIY. Copper pipe might be out of fashion but it basically will last for the life of the house.
mark_m & PhilT take the points & yeh aware; should have stated/disclaimered. Won’t be able to change a light bulb yet. Personally though not calling a Plumber to change a screw on/off flex hose for a Dunny…
As for insurance pfft we’ve had 2 leak issues in the past unrelated to flex hoses & the Big Co’s shirked on technicalities so don’t have any faith anyway. I’m planning now on a more proactive “self” mgt approach; deploying smart leak sensors in high risk areas.
Strata is a definite whole other world though.
Our family experience includes a plumber who did not prime the hot and cold in a new mixer so both hot and cold were cold after the plumber left without verifying the mixer was working properly. Another enthusiastically cut an improperly shaped hole to replace a basin making 30mm open corners, eg a rectangular hole for a rounded corner basin.
The former problem was easily resolved by some DIY water off/on at the valves and the latter cost that plumber a new basin to cover his hole - a very nice basin - yet not the customer’s preferred one; the options changed with the size of his hole.
In each case the work would have been trivial DIY save for the strata world.
As this topic is about water I’ll refrain from going into other trades.
We’ve used both the Dura and Puretek branded carbon based cartridges. They are available in a number of different filter capacities and purpose. No complaints with either. They may be less expensive or more readily available options depending on location and needs.
We’re rural on tank water with primary filtration and UV treatment of all household water. There is an additional pre-filter on the water supply to the drinking water which reduces the particulate loads on the more expensive carbon based filter.
The filters comfortably last 12 months (the maximum recommended by the manufacturer). Our tank is aged concrete with the water typically free of poor taste without filtering or treatment. Whether there are risks in taking a filter past the recommended 12 months? There is advice provided by local councils and health authorities on independent water supply.
EG (edit link appended)
As to the warranted lifetime of flexible wire braided hose, Watermark Certified and compliant with AS/NZS 3499, 15 years warranty for quality products, if installed by a licensed plumber.
I could not find any reference to a 5 year warranty and ‘EZ Hangers’.