Aquasana Active Clean Water Machine Review (New 2020)

    Aquasana Clean Water Machine Review

    Aquasana Active Clean Water Machine

    •    Price: $$
    •    Flow Rate: 0.5 gpm
    •    Filt. Capacity: 320 gal
    •    NSF Cert.: 42, 53, 401, P473
    •    Warranty: 1 Year

    The Aquasana Active Clean Water Machine (CWM) provides purer drinking water than most other countertop and pitcher filters you can buy. Water that not only tastes delicious but is also 100% free from any odors – at very low cost per gallon.

    And since the system runs on electricity to push raw tap water through an ultra-dense Claryum filter block, you also get a much faster filtration rate (.5 gallons per minute to be precise) for shorter waiting times.

    We know, this is not a whole lot of water, but much more than what you get with any gravity-based pitcher.

    The CWM simply sits on your countertop and is very easy to use. 100% BPA-free? Check!

    What’s more, you can choose between two sleek designs, black and white, and whether you want the version that comes with a pitcher or the one with the dispenser. Which option you go for doesn’t make a difference price-wise (all available here).

    However, you can undock the pitcher and put it in your refrigerator for cooling, something that the dispenser does not allow.

    The dispenser on the other hand has the advantage that it can hold twice the amount of water that fits into the pitcher: One gallon vs. half a gallon.

    Another difference is that the dispenser will filter your water on demand at the push of a button. With the pitcher installed, all the water will run through the filter automatically. The unit stops once the feed reservoir is empty.

    Filtration capacity: 320 gallons or up to 6 months, so many times more than a regular pitcher filter.

    What We Like

    First things first. Aquasana’s Clean Water Machine basically can remove every single contaminant that you can think of – except fluoride – and retains all healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium while doing so.

    So you not only get healthy drinking water that is 100 percent safe for consumption. Reducing acidic compounds and preserving minerals also improves water alkalinity and overall pH for better hydration, says Aquasana.

    To give you a better idea of what impurities will be eliminated from your water, here is an excerpt of the test results that Aquasana has provided:

    • Chlorine and chloramine – 96.06%*
    • Particulates – 99.9%*
    • Turbidity, asbestos, lead, chlorine-resistant cysts (cryptosporidium & giardia) – more than 99%**
    • Mercury – more than 96%**
    • MTBE – 91.2%**
    • Dozens of VOCs (e.g. herbicides, pesticides) – at least 95%**
    • Organic substances (e.g. pharmaceuticals like Ibuprofen, Linuron, Estrone) – way above 90%***
    • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) – 95.8%****

    *According to NSF Standard 42

    ** According to NSF Standard 53

    ***According to NSF Standard 401

    ****According to NSF Protocol P473

    All in all, the activated carbon, catalytic carbon and ion exchange filter media combined with sub-micron mechanical filtration can handle more than 70 harmful contaminants that might be present in your water supply.

    More features are the slim profile that takes up only a minimum counter space and the sleek design. After all, the Clean Water Machine will be visible on your countertop 24/7.

    And lastly, we like the fact that you get a 1-year limited warranty covering defects in materials and workmanship in manufacturing.

    Aquasana Active Review - CWM


    Setting up this countertop water filter is a piece of cake as you are about to see. No tools are required in the process.

    Priming the Pump

    Start by priming the pump:

    1. First, fill the dispenser/pitcher with tap water and place it firmly on the base.
    2. Plug in the unit.
    3. If you are working with the dispenser, press and hold the button until all water has run through. For the pitcher, simply wait for the process to finish and the blue light to turn off. Please note that it may take a couple of minutes for the water flow to start.

    Installing the Filter

    Continue by installing the filter.

    1. Slide the top lid to the right and take it off.
    2. Place the filter into the dock with the male end facing up.
    3. Put the lid back on by pressing it firmly down and rotate it to the left until fully locked in.
    4. Plug in the unit.

    Flushing the Filter

    Finally, it’s time to flush the filter before use.

    1. Fill the dispenser/pitcher with tap water and place it firmly on the base.
    2. If you are working with the dispenser, press and hold the button until all water has run through. For the pitcher, simply wait for the process to finish and the blue light to turn off.
    3. Discard all water.

    If something remains unclear, check out this setup video provided by Aquasana:

    Parts List

    • Filtration dock
    • Claryum filter
    • Dispenser or pitcher with lid


    All that is required for maintenance are regular filter changes. When the filter indicator light is blue, all is good. A blinking red light means that you are at 80% filtration capacity. A solid red light usually means that immediate filter replacement is required.

    However,  the light is timer-based. There is no actual meter inside the system that measures your water consumption. After 3 months of using the same filter the light will turn red, no matter what.

    So if you are single or living in a household of 2 and the amount of water that you drink is far below 320 gallons within 3 months, simply hit the reset button at the top and the 3-month cycle will start again. Just don’t do this more than once. After 6 months of use you should definitely change the filter, says Aquasana.


    You can access the manual here.

    What We Don’t Like

    After reading dozens of reviews we can say with absolute certainty that one major issue is leaking. Leaks are common and usually first occur after a couple of weeks or months of use. And for some users their system stopped working entirely.

    Aquasana provides a couple of possible solutions to the problem, which include making sure that the pitcher/dispenser is fully attached to the filtration dock or double-checking that the black rubber O-ring is in place on the bottom connection point of the filtration lid. Unfortunately, they do not work for everyone.

    We also heard customers complain about broken units being shipped, so it feels a bit like you play the lottery when ordering the Aquasana CWM.

    At least quick refunds and immediate replacements are not a problem. Customer service is good with no questions asked.

    One smaller issue is that the system is loud while running. Sure, you can place a towel underneath it to dampen the noise, and the whole process takes less than a minute, but better not turn it on in the middle of the night.

    Our Verdict

    All in all, only slightly more than half of the customers seem happy with this purchase. Those that haven’t struggled with leaks would highly recommend the Aquasana Active CWM – it is beyond doubt that the water it provides is exceptionally clean and tastes great.

    Still, we would recommend you stay away from the filter at this point and wait until all defects have been fixed.

    Looking for More Aquasana Information & Reviews?

    Make sure to also check out our other Aquasana water treatment system reviews:

    Alternatively, find the best countertop and gravity water filters here.

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    This completes our Aquasana Active review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

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