It’s attractively priced and requires very little maintenance, but is it a worthwhile investment?
Filtration Stages: 1
Warranty: Limited Warranty. Filter cartridges = 1 year, stainless steel head= 25 years
Filter Lifespan: 1 year or 100,000 gallons
Filter Cost: The replacement cartridge for AP903 is around 60% of the unit. Other filters are available.
Water Flow Rate: Up to 20 gallons per minute
Waste Water: None
Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 27 inches
The Aqua-Pure AP903 provides a stark contrast to other recent whole house filter reviews in that it is considerably cheaper. The initial outlay is around 3-4 times less than whole house filters from Aquasana and Home Master. However, a replacement filter cartridge is required every year at a cost of around 60% of the unit. This seems a little expensive for a system providing just one stage of filtration, however, it is still much cheaper than most competitors in the long run. A further benefit of this system is that it fits the filter cartridge from the AP904 model, which provides protection against the hardness scale. This acts to protect household appliances that use hot water, prolonging their life.
What really sets this system apart from others is that is really easy to maintain. With just one annual filter change (that is about as easy to do as they come) this water filter is as maintenance free as water filters can be. But, with this comes a cost. With just one filter, there exists no pre-filter and therefore no filter protection.
This means this filter is only effective for city/municipal water supplies and is not suited to private/well water. The sediment in well water can build up very quickly in the filter cartridge, which reduces the lifespan of the filter. The filter is stated as lasting for one year, but if your water is high in sediment or heavy metals (eg. iron) then I wouldn’t recommend getting this water filter. If your water is particularly bad, and you have problems with high levels of iron then other filters are much better suited at solving this problem. The Home Master model which we reviewed is excellent in this area. This system will, however, provide good filtration of rust, chlorine, and odors. It lacks the finesse of more expensive whole house filters but can do an effective job in the right circumstances (city water supplies). Be sure to know the composition of your water before buying a filter, and get the right one for your home.
The AP903 consists of just a stainless steel head, which holds the filter cartridge in place. It’s really easily maintained as the filter changes require no tools or wrenches. Its not a messy process, like changing filters can be for some whole house systems.
Unlike some other whole house filter systems, this filter provides just one stage of filtration. It gives protection down to 5 microns, which to put into perspective, compares with the Aquasana Rhino’s 0.35 microns, and the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC’s 1 micron. This means that any pollutants of particle size smaller than 5 microns will be allowed to pass through. This provides adequate protection against most contaminants, but as I mentioned in the Home Master review, those living in the country might want greater protection against pollutants like pesticides. As alluded to earlier, it’s not a heavy duty filter either. If your water has particularly high levels of sediment and iron, then this water filter might work out at being a very expensive one, as you have to frequently change filters. It can do a great job, but make sure you do your homework on what contaminants you are really worried about.
The system uses the same 1″ fittings as your current water inlet, so it is capable of keeping the water pressure high. It can provide water at up to 20 gallons per minute, should this be possible.
Installation and Maintenance
The Aqua-Pure AP903 has to be the easiest to maintain whole house water filter on the market. It needs just one filter change every year. Add to this the fact that it has one of the best filter change systems around, and you have a seriously easy to maintain water filter. Installation is always a bit harder, and if you don’t have basic plumbing/DIY skills then I’d advise hiring a professional. I’d recommend installing bypass and shut-off pipes and valves too, or you’ll have a really wet time when it comes to changing filters! The video above gives a very brief outline of the process.
Another highlight of this system, and something that could be important if space is an issue, is its size. At 6 x6 x 27 inches, it is small compared to some other systems. Whole house filters can come in large, awkward shapes, so this system could provide a solution to those without much room to spare.
Pros and Cons
|Very little pressure drop||Sensitive to metals like iron and heavy sediment|
|Relatively cheap||Filters to just 5 microns|
|Just 1 filter change every year|
|Easy to change filters|
|Small unit size|
Is this our favorite whole house filter? Find out more here.
Other Whole House Water Filters Worth Considering
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System
You can purchase this whole house water filter in several variants:
- 10-year filter system
- conditioner + 10-year filter system
- UV filter + conditioner + 10 year filter system
- 5-year well filter system + conditioner + UV filter
- 6-year filter system
Whichever version you choose, you’re getting a sweet deal for your money. The carbon & KDF filtration media is engineered to maximize contaminant reduction while leaving healthy minerals in your water.
It’s not meant for reducing total dissolved solids on its own unless you buy the version with a conditioner. The filter itself removes 97% of chlorine and reduces harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and many more.
No draining or back flushing needed – Easily replace pre and post-filters every 3 months for best filtration and flow rate.
iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
The filters for this unit come in two variants: heavy metal reduction, and iron & manganese removal.
Apart from that, you can purchase the unit in the following versions:
- Stand-alone water filtration system with one set of cartridges (Standard pack)
- Standard pack + replacement cartridges
- Standard + 50-micron filter
- W.F. System + filter with siliphos
- W.F. + water conditioner from the same brand
We like the fact that the unit comes with a comprehensive manual that guides you through the installation process and also includes links to helpful video in case you get stuck.
The first stage high capacity polypropylene sediment filter is able to achieve filtration down to 5 microns; the second stage CTO Carbon Block filter is made of high-quality coconut shell carbon for maximum filtration efficiency and filter life. Both are tested by an independent third-party to meet NSF/ANSI standards. Both filters have a capacity of 100,000 Gal. of water, enough to supply a family of four with clean water for a full year.