About AquaTru Countertop Water Filter
AquaTru Countertop Water Filter is a patented, 4-stage reverse osmosis system that promises to remove (or substantially reduce) 128 toxic chemicals and gasses from your tap water—without installation or plumbing required.
AquaTru even claims their TruPure technology is identical to systems used by major bottled water brands, just smaller. Unlike these commercial systems though, AquaTru fits on your countertop.
To use your AquaTru Water Filter, simply fill the tank with a gallon of tap water, and you’ll have bottled water-quality water in 12 to 15 minutes. This way, whether you’re at work, at home, or on the go, AquaTru claims their countertop water filter can help you positively impact your health and that of your family; save thousands per year by not buying bottled water; and save the environment from over 40 billion discarded plastic water bottles annually.
After browsing the AquaTru website, you might be wondering if it’s just an updated version of those old school filters that used to attach directly to your faucet, or those pitchers that took forever to do their job. Even if this countertop water filter works better, does it still mean it’s a solid buy? We’ll explore it all in this review.
AquaTru’s Tech Specs
Overall, the AquaTru Filter is 14″ tall x 14″ deep x 12″ wide and consists of the following parts:
- 3 Different Filters:
- Pre/Carbon filter – The pre-filter removes sediment, while the carbon filter removes chlorine and other unwanted flavors.
- Reverse osmosis filter – AquaTru claims this is the filter that does all the “heavy lifting.” We won’t go into all the details, but this article can give you a basic primer on how reverse osmosis works.
- VOC carbon filter – This filter removes any toxins that are in gas form.
- A top water tank that holds tap water
- A front water tank that holds clean, filtered water. Both tanks are manufactured from Tritan BPA and BPS-free, dishwasher safe plastic.
- Base unit, where the electronics and filters are housed
- Power cord (similar to what you’d have with a notebook computer)
How Does the AquaTru Water Filter Work?
Before using your AquaTru Filter, the manufacturer states you’ll need to wash each tank with warm, soapy water and dry.
First, plug your power cord into AquaTru. Then, after lifting the side cover away from the base, you’ll thread each of the 3 filters into their specific receptacle. Replace the cover.
Now, you’ll secure the filtered water tank at the front of the base, fill the unfiltered water tank with tap water, and put it in place behind.
At the back of your AquaTru base, you’ll flip the red on/off switch, at which point the device will start filtering. The company notes that you might notice some bubbles and cloudiness when you turn it on for the first time, although this is simply the trapped air escaping from the 3 filters.
Over the course of the next 12-15 minutes, the gallon of water in the tap water tank will turn into 3 quarts of water inside the filtered tank. The control panel will show each filter doing its job as the water circulates through them.
Finally, you’ll just place your glass underneath the front of the filtered water tank, press the blue button, and water will dispense.
Important note: AquaTru advises that you’ll need to clean 4 tanks of water before you drink anything.
How Often Do AquaTru’s Filters Need to Be Replaced?
Back to those old-school filters: Remember how quickly they became clogged and needed to be replaced? Will you experience something similar with AquaTru?
AquaTru’s website tells us the reverse osmosis and pre-filters last anywhere from 1.5 to 3 years (depending on water usage and local water quality), while the VOC filter needs to be replaced once per year.
Let’s quickly carry these thoughts over to the next section.
What’s the Difference Between Water Filtration & Purification?
In one of the videos on AquaTru’s website, we see Peter Spiegel (more about him in a second) talking about outdated pitchers and other devices that only filter out a few basic chemicals, and therefore make your water taste better. Comparatively, he tells us that AquaTru can filter out 128 toxic chemicals and gasses, while dropping the word “purifier” on at least one occasion.
The terms “filter” and “purify” might seem similar, but they’re not interchangeable, so it’s important you understand the difference. As you might guess, filtration is the physical act of filtering something; i.e. to prevent something from making it into the water supply. In the case of AquaTru, this task is handled in a 4-stage process using its 3 different filters.
On the other hand, purification isn’t necessarily a process like filtration; it’s an end result intended to remove unwanted substances. But purification doesn’t necessarily mean “pure.” For example, if your goal was to remove just a handful of unhealthy chemicals from water, you could then claim that it was purified.
What’s the takeaway? While AquaTru filters and purifies, so do many other devices on the market (more soon). Where AquaTru really differentiates itself is the number of contaminants it filters out of your water.
Important note: According to their website, AquaTru is “designed to filter municipal water. Although the RO membrane will filter out micro-organisms and pathogens, it is not recommended for lake, stream or well water.”
How Much Does AquaTru Cost?
Currently, AquaTru is priced at $349, plus $19.95 S&H. However, it’s also only available for preorder, with a anticipated delivery by the end of July 2016. You will be billed in full as soon as your order is placed.
An additional filtered water tank can be purchased for $50, plus $6.95 S&H. Perfect Minerals (drops that turn your AquaTru water into naturally alkaline mineral water) cost $15, plus free S&H.
Although the company claims your AquaTru Water Filter can save you anywhere from $100 to $2,800 over the course of 5 years, keep in mind you’ll have some minor ongoing costs. The pre-filter and the final carbon VOC filter cost about $20 each, and the reverse osmosis filter costs about $40. If you choose, you can have replacement filters automatically shipped to your home.
Finally, AquaTru operates off a 120 volt AC wall plug and uses about $2.00 of electricity a year.
What’s AquaTru’s Refund Policy?
According to the company’s Terms, “Once you place your order, your order is final, non-cancelable and non-refundable.”
However, they go on to mention that if your device hasn’t shipped by September 30th, then you’ll be issued a full refund.
Have additional billing or refund questions? You can reach out to customer service at 800-220-6570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enough with the details. Let’s find out what AquaTru’s customers are saying.
What We Learned From AquaTru Filter Reviews
As a company, AquaTru seems to have a fairly robust affiliate system in place, so we encountered a lot of paid websites that portrayed themselves as independent reviews, but were nothing of the sort.
We did come across an AquaTru review on NaturalNews.com, which admittedly doesn’t exactly have a reputation for journalistic credibility. Nonetheless, they claimed to have tested the before and after results using clinical-grade equipment, so we thought it was important to highlight their results:
“To test AquaTru myself, I mixed up a concoction of extremely toxic heavy metals and chemicals in the lab. After analyzing the starting concentration of toxic elements via ICP-MS, I poured it into the AquaTru system and let it filter the water. (It filters very quickly ... far faster than gravity water filters.)
I then took the resulting "post-filtered" water and tested it in my lab using an Agilent 7700X ICP-MS instrument, which is a top-of-the-line laboratory instrument used by the FDA, universities and private commercial labs. It's sensitive to single parts per billion concentrations of most elements.”
What did they find? Some pretty astonishing results. For example, 100% of cadmium, cesium, mercury, and uranium was removed; 99%+ of copper, arsenic, and lead; and 92% of aluminum.
AquaTruWater LLC was not listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research. What about the man behind the company?
How Did Peter Spiegel Come Up with the Idea For AquaTru?
According to the AquaTru website, inventor Peter Siegel used an under-the-sink reverse osmosis filtration system for more than 2 decades. He enjoyed the quality it provided, but understood that it was much too bulky to purchase, install, and maintain for the average consumer.
Instead, he set out to build something that could be used right out of the box to provide pure drinking water, “without the financial expense or cost to the environment.” Over the course of 5 years, working with engineers and industrial designers, the AquaTru Counter Water Filter was born.
Prior to founding AquaTru, Peter worked extensively within the direct response industry, having founded the Ideal Living group of companies, which manufactures products like Paint Zoom, Cebria, Prosvent, and more.
Before wrapping up, let’s find out if AquaTru has any competition.
AquaTru Water Filter vs. Berkey
If you’re in the market to achieve high-grade filtration and store your filtered water until it can be used, your two top choices are arguably AquaTru and Berkey. How do these compare?
One of the first things you’ll notice is that Berkey manufactures a whole line of stainless steel filtration devices, ranging in holding capacities from 1.5 gallons to 6 gallons, while AquaTru’s filtered water tank will hold about 3 quarts. Berkey’s lowest priced model comes in at $228, compared to AquaTru’s $349.
Each of Berkey’s models also come with 2 or 4 Black Berkey filter elements, which work differently than AquaTru’s 3-filter system. However, even the smallest Berkey model is 19” high, so it probably wouldn’t be considered a countertop model like AquaTru.
Is an AquaTru Water Filtration System Right For You?
As Peter alluded on the AquaTru website, the basic idea behind this device’s 3-filter reverse osmosis system is nothing new, as it’s been used in under-the-counter systems for decades. As a matter of fact, I have one in my home that I’ve enjoyed for years.
If you’re in the market for something that’s portable and can easily fit under a countertop or squeeze in your fridge, though, the AquaTru Filter system really is the only game in town. While the Berkey might hold more water, calling it “portable” might be a bit of a stretch—not to mention that you might look like you’re setting up for a banquet.
Is the AquaTru worth more than $350, though? With very little online feedback (not to mention the role that personal preferences play in overall satisfaction), it’s difficult to say. But if you decide to give AquaTru a shot, just remember that as soon as you press the order button, you won’t be able to get your money back unless there’s a long delay in its release.
Broken filter that leaks badly, horrible customer service.
My son put the unit together as per instructions; it leaked all the water out all over the drainboard and floor. He's an engineer, so he does know how to put things together without breaking them. After it leaked I checked all the fittings and tried it again.
All the water leaked out the bottom of the unit again.
My son called the customer service number; the guy at the other end couldn't tell him anything and said a supervisor would call. But no supervisor called him back.
The next day I called the same number, and was told, "We never heard of that happening before, can't imagine what the problem could be."
A supervisor, "Anderson" called me that night and recommended I check the valve under the tank. But he said he didn't think that was really the problem, not with that much leakage, but check anyway just in case. He said if that didn't work he would send a Free Return Shipping Label and when they received the unit they would replace with one that hopefully works.
I checked the valve, that wasn't the problem.
The next day, after being on hold for several minutes, I talked to a “Dolores” and she said I should be receiving the shipping label by email soon.
The label never came.
Today I tried to get a hold of “Anderson” but I was told by a “Gabe” that there were “No supervisors there.” “Gabe” said that he would leave a note for a supervisor to call and that he would “Put in an order to have a shipping label sent.”
I said, “How hard would it be to sit down and email me a shipping label?” He said, “Oh gee, sorry, wish I could help you.”
I have sent a few emails to “Customer Service” and always get “We'll be glad to help you, just call our 800 number.”
It would take one minute to send me a shipping label, but I haven't received anything from them yet.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend