Aquasana Under Sink Water Filter Review – The AQ-5300 3-Stage System

    Aquasana AQ-5300 Review (Max Flow)

    Aquasana AQ-5300+ Max Flow Under Counter Filter System

    •    Price: $$
    •    Flow Rate: 0.72 gpm
    •    Filt. Capacity: 800 gal
    •    NSF Cert.: 42, 53, 401, P473
    •    Warranty: 1 Year

    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.

    However, the difference between them is that the AQ-5200 is a 2-stage unit, whereas the Aquasana AQ-5300 and 5300+ feature 3 filtration stages.

    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

    • $0.12 per gallon of filtered water with the AQ-5200 2-stage,
    • $0.11 per water gallon with the AQ-5300 3-stage,
    • and $0.10 per gallon with the AQ-5300+ Max Flow.

    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:

    • 66% chlorine and chloramine
    • More than 99.99% cysts
    • More than 99.3% lead
    • More than 99% asbestos
    • 9% BPA
    • Dozens of VOCs and pharmaceuticals far above the 90% mark

    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

    What We Like

    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…)

    Aquasana AQ-5300 Review (Max Flow)

    Installation

    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!

    The Package (Parts)

    • System module
    • Faucet
    • Cartridges
    • Screws with anchors
    • Faucet rubber washer
    • Faucet spacer
    • Faucet washer
    • Faucet nut
    • 3′ x 1/4″ (3′ x 3/8″) poly tubing
    • Chrome nut
    • Plastic collar
    • Plastic tube insert
    • Brass nut
    • Brass tube insert
    • 1/4″ (3/8″) Brass tee (5200, 5300 only)
    • O Brass tee (5300+ only)
    • Battery (5300+ only)

    Filter Replacements

    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.

    Manuals

    Links to the manuals:

    http://cdn.aquasana.com/assets/AQ-5100-5200-5300_Install.pdf

    http://cdn.aquasana.com/assets/AQ-5300+_Install.pdf

    What We Don’t Like

    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:

    1. Tubing popping out, broken filter housings, a flimsy faucet or failing O-rings – leaks seem to be a major issue, unfortunately.
    2. Lower water flow than advertised, especially for the AQ-5200 2-stage.
    3. As already mentioned, the faucets could do with an upgrade.
    4. A couple of customers had parts missing in their shipment. The good news is that Aquasana sends replacements free of charge and in a timely manner.

    Our Verdict

    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+!

    Looking for More Aquasana Information & Reviews?

    Get more Aquasana reviews here!

    Of course, we also have plenty of other under sink water filter system reviews: www.best-osmosis-systems.com/under-sink-water-filters/

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

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