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

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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).

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:

  • 97.66% 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

Pros

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, 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)

AQ-5300 Max Flow

Aquasana AQ-5300

AQ-5300 Max Flow

Aquasana AQ-5200

AQ-5200

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 discount. Still, regular prices are relatively high when 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

Cons

While basically all reviewers said after installing one of the filter systems their water tasted way better, some complained about the following:

  1. Tubing popping out, broken filter housings, a flimsy faucet or failing O-rings – leaks can be an issue.
  2. Lower water flow than advertised, especially for the AQ-5200 2-stage.
  3. As already mentioned, the faucets could do with a quality upgrade.

Our Verdict

From what we saw, most people enjoy the benefits of having one of Aquasana’s under sink water filter systems in their home. They would buy again and they would recommend the products to someone else. Some reviewers were even shocked at how clean their tap water tasted all of a sudden.

System install is easy, customer service is reliable, and the filters are excellent albeit a tad expensive.

Our verdict: 3.5 stars for the AQ-5200/5300 and 4 stars for the 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 reviews.

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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!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald has been with BOS since the very beginning. She is head of content creation and has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
Learn more about Gene and the rest of the BOS Team.

Gene

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