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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The 3M Filtrete Water Station is a good product idea with some positive aspects. But the product's poor design will inevitably show its flaws after long term use. I advise anybody considering this product to buy an alternative.

This is clearly marketed towards families who drink a lot of bottled water. The product website repeatedly lists how using the water station is better than drinking bottled water. But they should have taken some time to compare this product to other water filtration systems on the market instead.

The bottom line: use a home filter or purchase an alternative filter system from ZeroWater,Mavea,PUR or Brita, and buy your own bottles to fill. I like the Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle but see-through plastic bottles are also available.

PROS:
++ New filter design works quickly
++ Indicator system tells you when it's time to change your filter after 3 months
++ Filters are designed so that they can be disassembled and partially recycled
++ Can fill 1 - 4 bottles at once, or a pitcher using the spout
++ Bottles are BPA free, & also are nice and clear so you can see your water
++ Bottles are dishwasher safe

CONS:
-- No information is provided on filtration percentages or elements that are filtered; both Pur and Brita have this data on their websites and product packaging
-- Station does not drain well; standing water will provide a breeding ground for bacteria
-- Filter is not secured in place, so water will run around it if you over-fill it
-- To avoid that problem, you must fill the well slowly because it holds little water at a time
-- Bottles overfill, especially when filling fewer than 4
-- Mounting bottles is clunky
-- Spouts leak when you remove bottles
-- Bottles close via clumsy lever arms that are hard to close and open
-- That makes it easier to screw off the tops rather than drink from the tops
-- Drinking from the bottle tops also spreads germs when you attach them to the spouts for refills
-- Getting the water out of a specific spout requires you to lean the station all over, leading to leaks and more mess
-- If you refrigerate the bottles, the station itself becomes a space waster
-- If you leave the bottles attached, the water becomes stale
-- The only way to prevent stale water is to disassemble and dry the components nightly
-- Even after doing this, it's almost impossible to shake all the water out of the filter itself
-- Even after washing the filter many times and filtering 10+ gallons of water, there is still tons of filter sediment in the water station when I disassemble and clean it
-- Replacement filters are more expensive than alternatives
-- MSRP is also much higher than most alternatives

CONCLUSION

This product may work for a small number of people. Perhaps few people are as picky as I am, but I recommend you choose one of the alternatives outlined above. As for me, I have developed my own work-around to use this unit.
1. I filter my water with my Pur pitcher first.
2. I run the filtered water through the Water Station.
3. I use the filled bottles for drinking at home.
4. I disassemble the entire unit every few days to let it air out.

Happy shopping.
1717 comments|259 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 2, 2010
Last week this item wasn't available through Amazon, so I drove to a Wal*Mart 40 miles away. It was worth the drive. I am thrilled with this product. It does everything and more than the ads say. It will fill one bottle at a time if you want and it has a spout on the side so you could fill a container to make coffee.

But just a little info., shame on this vendor for their price. I paid $37.95 for this at Wal*Mart. I know it's hard, but if you can't find it somewhere for that price...wait. Soon it will be all over the web.
66 comments|99 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 5, 2010
I have been using this system for about 4 months now and about 2/3 weeks ago I started having a musty/mold type taste in my water. I replaced the filter since it was time to replace it anyway. I flushed about 3 full sets of bottles through the filter and system to make sure there was no residue left from the old filter. The first set after that seemed to be ok. After about 2 weeks though it now has a mold/mildew taste again. I tasted the water right out of the tap and that flavor is not there. After having it happen twice I will not be using this filter system again.
22 comments|47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for sharing your experience. Filtrete™ would not expect this to happen. We invite you to contact us directly at 800-388-3458 (7:00 am to 6:00 pm US CST M-F) to discuss additional quality issues and to send out Postage Paid Label for the return/replacement of the product for our quality lab to review.
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 2, 2011
This filter is incredibly fast, especially compared with pitchers, faucet-mounts, and distillers. But the bottles leak more than 50% of the time in the week I used it. And more troubling: the system doesn't seem to purify the water much. The claim that it "helps reduce sediment, chlorine taste and odor from tap water" is not exactly specific chemical information. "Helps reduce" doesn't say much, nor are sediment and chlorine odor and taste the biggest things I want filtered out of tap water. As far as I can tell, this system reduces dirt and chlorine from water faster than letting the water sit in a glass for a couple of hours (which gets rid of chlorine and allows sediment to settle to the bottom), but not much more than that. None of the information on the box, the marketing copy, or the 3M web site specify what the filtrete water station removes from water. What percentages and what chemicals does it remove? If they don't specify, chances are it's still in the water.
22 comments|30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for your review. The Filtrete™ Fast Flow Filter reduces chlorine taste and odor, and sediment. The Filtrete™ Fast Flow Filter has been tested according to NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) Standard 42 and found to reduce chlorine by 96%. The pH of the water that passes through the filter is not modified. The filter is intended for use with potable water (water that is safe to drink). If you have any other questions please contact us at 800-388-3458 (7:00 am to 6:00 pm US CST M-F)
on September 21, 2010
As soon as I saw this advertised on TV, I started searching for it online and in the store. I ended up finding it at Walmart for $37 as another reviewer did. The system filters very quickly - much more convenient than my Brita pitcher than I've been using for years. No more waiting 5 minutes to fill the pitcher! It only takes about 30 seconds to fill all four bottles and the overflow valve is handy as well. Also, no soaking filters for 15 minutes in addition to wasting a gallon of water. Just run water over the filter for a minute or two and you're ready to go! The bottles are a little difficult to open and close but the fact that they are leak proof is worth it. Also, my 2 year old daughter can't open them so that is a plus! However, the opening is small enough that she can drink from them without spilling. The bottles are attractive, a nice size, and good quality as well as BPA free!!
I suppose you can fill the bottles, take them off the station and put them in the fridge, or you can just put the whole thing in the fridge if you are like me and have more fridge space than counter space. My husband even likes it and that it a shocker!
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 6, 2010
I just got this from Wal-Mart tonight for the $37.44 price - in the box was the station, 1 filter, and 4 bottles - I also bought two 2-pks of extra water bottles at $14.88 for ea 2-pk so I could have 8 bottles total ($67.20 for the station & extra bottles). I might even get more!

So far, so great - as others have said, the water filters through and fills the bottles very quickly and I tested it with 4 bottles and then with just one bottle and it works great with either - when filling just one, water does not come out or even drip out of the other dispensers.

The only thing I would suggest is to make sure to fill the bottles when the station is sitting in the sink - I noticed that when I pulled a bottle out of the station, a little bit of water came dribbling out of the station so keeping it in the sink while filling and removing the bottles would have helped with that.

Like another said, the bottles arent the easiest to open and close, but that's ok - I really just wanted this product to help me eliminate some/most/all of the plastic water bottles I was using and it is doing just that.

I also like that the filter is supposed to last for about 3mos - so I only need to spend $11 or so every 3 months for a filter, which is great.

I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because of the difficult bottle tops and the water leaking when you remove the bottles from the station.
0Comment|8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on April 8, 2012
I think this is a good idea, but it is a little misleading, I thought you could just dump some water in and it would filter and fill the bottles while I went about my business, actually the "reservoir" doesn't even hold enough water to fill two of the bottles, so you are required to stand there and keep adding water until all the bottles are filled and then dump the excess water out. In short, it is usable, but nowhere nearly as user friendly as I thought it would be. I personally will use this until the filter wears out and then buy one of the filtered water pitchers.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for your response. It sounds like your filter may not be fully conditioned. It may take 1 day or more to fully condition your new Filtrete™ Fillter for optimal water flow rate. The water flow rate should increase during the first several days. If you are still having issues, please give us a call at 800-388-3458 (7:00 am to 6:00 pm US CST M-F).
on September 13, 2010
I just recently bought this machine from Sam's Club and find it COMPLETELY worth the money. The BPA Free water bottles are durable, and the lid snaps very tight! It will fill up to 4 bottles at a time, but will also do 1, 2, or 3 as well. No leaks whatsoever. I find the bottles the perfect size for travel, as well as to use with the single serving packets of crystal light. I would reccommend going to Sam's or Walmart where it is sold for $37 dollars and you get an EXTRA 2 water bottles as well.
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VINE VOICEon May 12, 2011
We've been using this product for about two weeks now, and I am still very happy I ordered it. I started feeling guilty about how many cases of bottled water we go through each month (not to mention the cost of same), and when I saw this product advertised on TV, I looked for it here on Amazon and ordered it, an extra filter, and two extra water bottles. What I like best about it is the fact you fill four bottles at one time, but you can also fill just one or two (water does not come out the extra spouts if there is no water bottle in place). I also like the fact it has a fold-out spout on the side, which I use to get filtered water for my coffee pot and tea pot. Despite washing, the plastic bottles did have a bit of a "plastic taste" to them for the first few uses even after washing, but that lessened after just a few uses. I've filled six bottles a day for about 10 days, and the monitor that tells you when you need a new filter has barely moved, so I expect it to last three to four months at this rate.

I'm not putting plastic bottles out into the environment now, and I'm saving money by not buying the cases of bottled water. It's all good!
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on June 20, 2011
Maybe I got a lemon, but this product was poorly designed. The bottles were a struggle to get in and out of the holder. The black pieces that held the bottles into the frame often came out with the bottle when you were taking the full bottles out of the holder. The "tops" that were to seal the bottles while you took the bottle with you, did not close properly. This was a very wet product to deal with! Water "leaked" every where while dealing with filling the bottles, removing the bottles, and trying to cap the bottles.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for your review and taking the time to share your thoughts on the Filtrete ™ Water Station. Filtrete ™ Water Station Refill Bottles now offer a screw top lid that replaced our flip top lid. The new Filtrete ™ Water Bottles are available at your local retailers and on-line resources. For further product information please visit our website at www.filtrete.com/water.

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