It’s an interesting countertop reverse osmosis water filter. It has patented technology, NSF certification and it’s getting more interest recently. That might be related to videos of people pouring coke into this RO system and being amazed that what comes after is pure and clear water. Beyond that let’s take a better look and this system in this review. Is it really exceptional?
Specifications are as follows:
• It’s relatively small as a countertop RO unit with dimensions of 14” (H) x 14” (D) x 12” (W) and weight of 16 lbs.
• Tap water tank capacity is 1 gallon.
• Purified water tank capacity is 3 quarts. Basically, the system produces a gallon of waste for four gallons of purified water. So the waste to water ratio is 1:4. Which is exceptionally good for a countertop RO system.
• Input power: 120-volt AC wall plug.
• Filtration time: 1 gallon of water in 12 to 15 minutes.
How does AquaTru filtration work?
AquaTru stands out among other water purification systems as being NSF certified. What does it mean? Basically, NSF signifies that a product has been tested and certified by an independent organization. That product complies with specific standards for quality and safety. So we have legal proof that AquaTru does what is stated – removes the most harmful component from water.
In essence, AquaTru is a countertop RO system with four-stage filtration capabilities:
1) Mechanical sediment Pre-Filter – to remove sediment, dust, and other bigger particles
2) Activated Carbon Pre-Filter – to remove over 99% of chlorine and chloramines.
3) Reverse Osmosis membrane – to remove toxic contaminants like lead, Chromium 6, Arsenic & Nitrates among many others.
4) Activated Coconut Shell VOC Carbon Filter – further purify water by removing VOCs and making it taste great.
It’s a standard and solid filter arrangement meant to purify and produce excellent quality water. The company claims that it has Ultra Reverse Osmosis technology. But after doing research I believe that to be more a marketing claim than an actual improvement over already existing RO technology. Although AquaTru is miles away from standard pitcher filters. This RO system removes:
• Lead that comes from old pipes
• Various disinfection by-products common in tap water
• Herbicides, Pesticides & Fertilizers that seep into groundwater
• Drug residue that can leach into a groundwater
• PFOA also known as perfluorooctanoic acid.
• Fracking chemicals
• Rocket Fuel
• Chromium 6
• Hundreds of other contaminants
• Overall bad taste and odor
While I’m not sure if you can find all that in your tap water where you live. But it’s sure nice to know that your water purification system can remove these pollutants. Many other RO systems and manufacturers are claiming to be able to purify water from these materials and it’s probably true. But among many, just few are actually tested and backed by official NSF results.
AquaTru is easy to understand and use. It has two removable water tanks, one to be filled with tap water and another one containing purified water. This can be handy. Although some problems might arise, more on that later. The unit is designed so that you can carry the tap water tank to the sink and fill it up. Or bring the water in with a pitcher. However, you will need to remove the tap water tank to empty the wastewater from it.
After the water is purified it’s collected into another tank. You can place it in a fridge or anywhere else you desire. It works as a water dispenser with a simple press and hold button so you can pour water into a glass or bottle easily.
The digital display is there to tell you about all four filters’ lifespan. It’s a nice addition that takes away note-keeping or guesswork.
Also, the display informs when the water purification process is completed.
5 out of 5 stars for this aspect.
The whole system is engineered and designed to be installation free. Accordingly, the filters themselves are super easy to change. You just need to open the cover of the compartment and twist the filter to remove it. Then put a new one in, follow the flushing procedure and AquaTru will be back in working condition.
The filter usage is measured not in months but in the amount of purified water. Something unique about this system is that the stage one and stage two filters are placed in the same cartridge. So there are three filter cartridges in total that provide four-stage filtration.
|Stage 1 & 2: Pre-filter and Carbon filter||Change after 600 gallons|
|Stage 3: Reverse Osmosis membrane||Change after 1200 gallons|
|Stage 4: VOC Carbon filter||Change after 600 gallons|
On average that makes for around a year of usage for filters and two years for RO membrane. Nothing new when taking into account other RO systems.
Maintenance cost consists of filters and RO membrane change. The electrical usage is negligible. It’s estimated that a 16oz of purified water will cost you around $0.03. And that’s taken into account the price of AquaTru with average filter maintenance over the three year period.
There are various options for buying new filters. You can get separate filters and RO membranes or buy combo packs. But, overall, the maintenance cost for a year will be around $75. Again, this is on a lower side, when taking into account other RO systems.
5 out of 5 stars for materials selection.
Both the tap water tank and the purified water tank is made of plastic. However, a high-grade non-BPA Tristan plastic is used for these components in AquaTru. This plastic is more durable and is safer. It’s the same high-quality plastic that is being used in high-class commercial and domestic blenders so there should be no concerns.
4 out of 5 for the taste.
It’s known that RO systems produce water that is slightly lower than pH 7. AquaTru is no exception in this regard. Since it drops the TDS levels, it removes some of the natural water minerals and water ends up being somewhere slightly bellow pH 7.
There are many ways to remineralize your water but AquaTru provides a special solution. Mineral Drops that can be purchased together. A few drops will remineralize the water and improve its taste.
However, the system could have a built-in remineralization unit. It would be a challenge since everything is already compactly built. But that would definitely elevate the water taste and overall value.
There’s not much to say about installation since it’s non-existent. You just unpack it, decide where to place it, plug it in, flush it four times and it’s ready to go.
Keep in mind that after each full filtration cycle there will be some water left in the tap water tank. That water should be discarded since it’s wastewater that was used to flush the filters. This removes all the debris and materials that you don’t want to drink. You can use it for plants you’re not eating or just spill it into the sink.
Should you choose AquaTru countertop water filter?
My overall verdict: 4 out of 5.
- Looks nice if you like this style of design
- No installation and super simple maintenance
- Unique design with a removable water dispenser that can be placed in a fridge
- Does not produce remineralized water
- Need to discard wastewater every time
- The tap water tank can be hard to access
The biggest advantage of AquaTru is that it’s a countertop unit. So you’re getting a fully performing RO system that is really efficient both in water production rate and waste to water ratio. Also, it does not take much space and is quiet. It does not need installation, plumbing, and a separate RO water tap.
It’s a great Reverse Osmosis system and you don’t need to think about it much. On my Best Counter Top Reverse Osmosis list, I’ve ranked it number four. But that does not make it less good in any way. It produces excellent quality purified water and does it well.
The main reason it’s number four is that it’s not best for everyone. AquaTru will work wonders for a specific situation. You simply need to pick it only if you have the right space for it in your home.
The unit itself is about 14 inches high. You will probably need to place it on top of the counter. Or if you want to put it into a shelf, there should be left around 10 inches of clear space to access the back tap water tank. That can be a hassle for some people for the price they pay.
Also, the angle at which you have to remove and insert tap water tank can be awkward. Especially if the system will be placed somewhere close to the wall or snuggled it into a corner.
The final drawback is related to the fact that it has two removable water tanks. With moving parts and water seals, leaking can start to happen in the longer-term. So you need to be careful when removing and placing the tanks.
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