Customer Review

256 of 295 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best water filter is also one of the cheapest.., February 13, 2008
This review is from: Purenex FT-1 Countertop Water Filter System (Tools & Home Improvement)
Great filter, great price, and a low cost of ownership...

Though I want to be forward with my biases. I am convinced water filters and bottled water for health reasons are unnecessary for cityfolk... what comes to your house if you get city water is very likely to be fine... in fact.. great; compared to what the rest of the world drinks, and especially compared to what people used to drink.

It may smell or taste funny, but not because its bad for you. Tests are conducted at the water treatment facility constantly, and they send you, and the powers that be, a water quality report regularly. Learn to read it. You will see that from the source, the municipal water standards are better than a) bottled water must be, and b) what most filters actually filter out.

That said... bottled water is usually just tap water... and filtered only for flavor, and maybe a little sodium added. Sometimes your really unlucky, and its well water (or gravity fed spring water) or artesian well water (lower water table under pressure.. less organic toxins, and more inorganic ones)... measured via the inferior FDA standards for water, and then only if its brought over state lines. Remember the FDA are the people that think less than 2% bug guts and rat poop in food is just fine.

I trust my unfiltered tap water over bottled water.

Most filters? They are one of two things... aesthetic filters that remove the most common substances that cause bad flavors, odor, and color (water pitchers, disposable filters, whole house filters, faucet mounts), possibly leaving all kinds of stuff you don't want in your mouth, or something like ultraviolet sterilization that leaves all the bad non-living substances but kills germs, or ceramics that are little better than aesthetic filters, or reverse osmosis filters that create a mineral free water which replaces those minerals with whatever it touches, like the container its in, or the carbon dioxide in the air... becoming acidic.. dissolving more potentially nasty stuff...

I trust my unfiltered tap over a bad filter.

Oh... long story short; You get this filter, and you live in the city, and you got this water thing licked. Its going to taste good, and that 1 micron filter will give you all the peace of mind you need. Even if your water was as scary as you fear, this filter would take care of it. Lead, chlorine, copper, cryptosporidium, volatile organic chemicals, plastic softeners, all out. You get a replacement filter every six months for $30 and you'll be just fine. You'll spend less on this superior housing and filter than you will on anything else out there now... even the junk that doesn't work is more expensive.

This filter is great. Its manufactured by Paragon and is often rebranded..

Look closely, and you'll see that this is the same model as the chrome filter that sells from Gaiam for $100, and the same as the chrome model that sells from Amazon from this store (Bestfilters) for $88... they both use the exact same filter cartridge inside.

The extra $30-50 is for chrome colored plastic and maybe a brand. My suggestion is to save your money. Go with the white plastic. If you don't, you are probably a sucker, and would better enjoy a $350 filter that does the same thing as this one. May I suggest Multipure, or any other filter from a multilevel marketing company?

Buy this and you are getting a good deal.

What about quality? Don't take my word for it... check the reviews on this model (the 2900) and the Chrome model (the 3200). On every site I could find the average review is 4.5 to 5 stars. I definitely give it that as well. It does what its supposed to.

Secondly, many companies put their reputations on the line when they rebrand and put their name on these filters. The quality is there. This filter isn't going to break in six months and flood your counter like... the Aquasana countertop filter reportedly does... constantly.

If you don't have municipal water... then you should be getting your well, or canteen, or cistern, or whatever the heck you have tested regularly. Consult a professional (not Amazon reviews) for your special needs... you probably don't have a countertop to set this filter on anyway... :)

One more bias... I am a bartender. I have nothing to do with the water filter industry, despite my glowing review of this one product. I've spent all this time learning about water because I was very nearly fooled by a waterfiltercomparisons web site that pretends to be unbiased, but is actually run by the president of a water filter company... complete with fake 'consumers digest" award... (I challenge you to subscribe to consumer's digest. go ahead. try.) It made me angry.

I spent a day on the national science foundation website reading about water filters and looking through their database of certifications (and picking the best of the best), and even went so far as to track down and interrogate a Paragon engineer about their filters. I actually read my municipal water report, and spent the time researching it long enough to understand what it said. I watched a half hour tv program about water, its bottling history (a scam 100 years ago), where it comes from, and how its treated. I read New York Times editorials about why we should be drinking tap water... and on and on...

I did all that so I wouldn't be scammed. I've written all of this so you won't be scammed either.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2008 11:26:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 4, 2008 7:04:52 AM PDT
JohnnyBGoode says:
while i may admire the fervency this person attaches to his review, it is simply full of misinformation when he gets into things scientific. His market research isn't bad - he seems to have checked around and formed not invalid opinions about competing brands and their scams or competencies - but his scientific observations are less well thought out, and it is with these conclusions i differ markedly.

Mainly i take issue with the innocuousy of that chlorine taste. Chlorine, and the by-products it forms in the various water systems, are far from harmless, nor is there a great deal of believable research regarding this. However, over-all, the best filters for most already disinfected and reasonably well treated and filtered water are of the activated carbon type, and, as he points out, a slow flow through the filter greatly decreases any undesirable tastes, and likely, since the slower flow will not erode the filter as a higher pressure flow would, this will not significantly reduce the filter life, however it is not likely to prolong it either, for a slower flow will leave remnant in the filter a greater amount of contaminant bound up in the carbon.

hooray for pure and sweet tasting water. Now what else can they dream up to charge us for - bottled air, or your own home air filter?

change the world before it mutates you

Posted on Jun 17, 2009 6:49:56 AM PDT
Kristen B. says:
Moot point, but the company that certifies water products is the National Sanitation Foundation, not the National Science Foundation. They're two different things. NSF is a great source for verifying if a claim a company makes is true or not.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 10:37:57 PM PDT
Siobhan says:
Sorry waterboy, but I have to disagree with you about city water systems in the US all being wonderful. Albuquerque, NM's water arsenic level is off the scale and Phoenix, AZ's water is off the scale in turbidity and 3/4 the way up the bar graph for 3 other contaminants: worse the Albuquerque's. Now Flagstaff, AZ has GOOD city water; lived there for 12 yrs and I use it for the gold standard.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2009 3:45:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 15, 2009 3:46:05 PM PDT
Yep, I second Siobhan. I lived in Portland for 6 months and the water there is fantastic! Then I moved to California and never felt clean for the the first few months. Now I'm used to it. Which is why a shower filter seems like a good idea, as well.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 7:17:02 AM PDT
Anybody ever do a study comparing the quality of water leaving the city treatment facilities vs by the time it reaches a home across town? All I know is that two things have forever changed how I perceive city water, drinking distilled water and (this may sound gross to some) brushing my tongue when I brush my teeth. It was amazing to me how much better I could taste things if I brush my tongue whenever I brush my teeth. I guess clean taste buds make a difference. At any rate, ever since I switched to drinking purified or distilled water only on top of brushing my tongue, city water anywhere in the country tastes like chlorinated mold to me. It's disgusting. My work carries me around the country a bit and naturally I've found the tap water in some places to be better than in others, but nearly everywhere I go I can taste mold in the water now. Never mind the fluoridation (poisoning) and chlorination (more poisoning) that goes on with our water supplies. Bottom line, I drink tap water as little as possible.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 8:20:35 AM PST
S. Eaton says:
I never trust tap water. City or no city... I don't trust the powers that be. Tap water is fine for brushing teeth, and other household uses... but for drinking NOOO WAY. And if you actually take your tap water into a doctor that does water testing... I DO... you will never want to drink tap water again. but i agree with him on his opinion that this is a great filter.

Posted on Dec 8, 2009 11:41:27 AM PST
Tony T says:
I have to agree with Siobhan about Phoenix water. Personally I never drink water from the tap, I buy a spring water at $1 a gallon for drinking but as a tea and coffee drinker I always notice the difference between filtered and unfiltered water. In a popular coffee house chain I recently purchased a cup of tea and there was a thin layer of scum on the surface. I asked if they used filtered water and the reply was no, straight from the tap! My main concern about filters is the gradual build up of all those nasty things that we don't want in our water so I try to be disciplined about changing the actual fiter on a regular basis.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 10:13:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2010 10:14:22 PM PDT
I think this is a really interesting review, but I wish Waterboy had discussed the basis for his belief that tap water in most places in the US is very high quality. On the face of it, it seems like this is something that should be questioned.

Like anything that's funded by tax dollars, we should expect that water treatment is a political football, and politicians will not fund it one cent more than is absolutely required to get them re-elected. In practice, I suspect that means that as long as the electorate is not obviously getting sick from their water, they consider it a non-issue. In addition, when tests are conducted on water quality, what happens when the treatment facility fails the test? How quickly are they required to act, and how much effort are they required to make, in order to to comply with established standards? What if they fail repeatedly? I suspect there are more than a few areas where underfunded water treatment facilities play a continuous game of dodge-the-inspector, and do as little as possible to pass the tests, as late as possible. And are the people who give the tests themselves totally independent and reliable? How do we know?

Then there's the problem of the standards themselves. To take only one area: read The Hundred-Year Lie, an objective book by a Wall St Journal reporter. He claims that current food and water standards are based on the dangers of chemical contaminants studied in isolation. But the dangers of thousands of such contaminants all mixed together in our food and water have not been studied, so there do not exist any legally enforceable standards for them. Yet very tiny amounts of thousands of these contaminants are dumped into the ecosystem every day. Are they bad for our health? No one knows.

A good water filter is one way to hedge your bets against problems of this kind.

Posted on Sep 8, 2010 5:56:10 PM PDT
Togrim says:
I agree with this well written review. I like this product beacuse, many times, especially recently, my town water has had a strong taste of chlorine and while this may make the water safer, it spoils the taste. This filter solves the problem and I don't have a large plastic mess attached to the end of my kitchen faucet.

Posted on Sep 20, 2010 9:19:01 AM PDT
MeeToo says:
thanks for your research into this product. it helped alot!
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