In this review, we are going to take a closer look at the Aquasana AQ-5200, AQ-5300 and AQ-5300+ a.k.a. 5300 Max Flow under sink drinking water filter systems.
All three make use of Aquasana’s Claryum filtration technology – combines activated and catalytic carbon media – to make plain tap water potable.
3 stages rather than 2 increase the capacity before filters need to be changed from 500 gallons for the AQ-5200 to 600 gallons for the AQ-5300 and as much as 800 gallons for the Max Flow.
How? It’s quite simple: The additional 20-micron pre-filter traps rust, sediment and silt that would otherwise clog the following stages and thereby extends their lifespans.
But then why 800 gallons for the AQ-5300+? Because it uses larger cartridges.
In addition, larger filters also increase the flow rate. While you can expect approx. half a gallon of purified water per minute from the regular 2 and 3-stage system, the Max Flow provides 0.72 gpm (thus its name).
By the way, if you do the math you end up paying about
What are the contaminants that these under sink systems will remove from your water?
Well, there are way too many to list them all as each unit can reduce up to 99% of 77 different and potentially harmful substances. This includes:
On a side note, reduction rates for ALL analyzed contaminants are identical for each of the three systems – certified according to NSF standards (42, 53, 401 and Protocol P473).
Min/max water pressure: 20-80 psi
None of Aquasana’s water filters contains BPA – that’s good!
And the systems were designed to reduce plastic waste by minimizing disposable parts. In addition, they come with a one-year limited warranty.
We also like that all healthy minerals will be retained in your water so they add to your required daily intake. Usually to achieve this level of water purity, reverse osmosis technology or distillation is needed which both eliminate calcium, magnesium and the like.
And lastly, what we also like is that you have the option between three 100% lead-free metal faucets each with a different finish to match your taste: Brushed nickel, chrome and oil-rubbed bronze. (What we don’t like is that their quality is rather low…)
Hooking up one of the three under sink systems in your home should not pose a problem. All necessary parts are included and the manufacturer did a decent job explaining the whole process step by step, so just refer to the manual (linked below). This shouldn’t take you more than an hour really.
The benefit, obviously, is that you are going to safe some extra money by not having to pay a plumber.
Below is an installation video exemplary for the AQ-5300. Videos for the 2-stage system as well as the Max Flow can also be found on YouTube!
What you have to do in terms of maintenance is change filters once they’ve reached their capacity but at least every 6 months to stop bacteria from growing inside the system.
The good news is that you don’t have to disconnect any hoses or water lines and you don’t even have to shut off the water supply. Filter housings twist off with a simple snap – nice and easy!
To take out the guesswork, your system will alert you whenever it’s time for another change. The battery alarm will sound and flash red when water is flowing. This is why you also have to switch batteries with each replacement (new battery is included with the cartridges).
The AQ-5300+ can even be connected to your iPhone via Bluetooth. Simply download and install the free app to receive alerts on your phone. The app will “track” meaning calculate the number of filtered gallons you’ve used among other things. And, of course, it allows you to order replacement filters.
By signing up for Aquasana’s Water for Life program you receive a 15% discount plus free shipping. Regular prices are between $60 and $80 which is relatively pricey if you consider that biannual replacement is mandatory.
Links to the manuals:
While basically all reviewers have said that after installing one of the filter systems their water tasted so much better, they also complained about the following issues:
From what we saw, most customers don’t regret buying one of Aquasana’s under sink water filter systems and enjoy the benefits of having one in their home (although the AQ-5200 2-stage system might be a bit too low in flow rate actually).
Some customers were even shocked at how clean their tap water tasted all of a sudden. The install is easy, customer service is reliable and the filters are excellent albeit a tad expensive.
Our verdict: 3.5 stars for the AQ-5200 and 4 stars for the AQ-5300/AQ-5300+!
This completes our Aquasana under counter water filter review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!