Our 2019’s Aquios AQFS234 & AQFS234L Jumbo Water Softener Review

    Aquios AQFS234 reviews

    Highest Flow Rate & Capacity: Aquios AQFS234

    •    Price: $
    •    Flow Rate: 15-18 gpm
    •    Capacity: 60,000 gal
    •    Tech: Salt-Free Conditioner
    •    NSF-Certified: ?

    We decided to review the Aquios AQFS234 Jumbo and the Aquios AQFS234L Jumbo both at once, since they are almost identical salt-free water softening and filtration systems.

    The only difference between the two is that the latter uses a finer filter cartridge that can trap more contaminants by filtering impurities down to a size of 1 micron instead of 5.

    This includes rust, chloroform and a group of contaminants that are called volatile organic compounds, short VOCs, which originate from industrial solvents, paints, shower curtains and other sources.

    VOCs can be carcinogenic – not a bad idea to have them removed.

    The 5-micron filter is mainly to remove sediment and chlorine odor & taste.

    Due to the fact that we have different micron ratings, we also have varying filtration capacities and therefore lifespans:

    • The AQFS234 solid carbon block filter is rated at 60,000 gallons and usually lasts between 3 to 6 months.
    • The AQFS234L carbon block cartridge is rated at 150,000 gallons and has a filter life of 6 to 9 months.

    Besides, Aquios recommends that you use a pre-filter stage together with the AQFS234L (especially for well water).

    Otherwise, chances are that the cartridge will clog early and reduce flow rates significantly.

    Is this softener-filter combo suited for larger homes? Absolutely! You can expect anywhere between 15 to 18 gallons per minute, which is sufficient for families of 5+ living in homes with multiple bathrooms.

    What We Like

    First of all and most importantly, the Aquios AQFS234 and AQFS234L can handle hardness levels of up to 30 grains per gallon.

    You have to keep in mind, though, that we are talking about salt-free softening systems a.k.a. conditioners which won’t remove any hardness minerals from your water.

    Instead, the anti-scaling effect is achieved by means of a food-grade additive (Siliphos) that prevents the largest chunk of calcium and magnesium from attaching to surfaces, such as your water heater, faucets, shower heads – you name it.

    It is also quite possible that already existing deposits in pipes and household appliances dissolve over time.

    Another benefit of using a salt-free softener is that you won’t have that slimy feel on your skin that’s often caused by regular salt-based systems.

    In addition, a salt-free conditioner is much more eco-friendly as no excessive sodium or potassium will be discharged into our water supplies and later the environment.

    No salt also means no regeneration saving you money as zero wastewater goes down the drain.

    What’s more, the technology does not require electricity nor programming, and the maintenance is kept at a bare minimum.

    Did we mention that all Aquios systems are covered by a 20-year warranty on the housing plus the head assembly?

    Aquios AQFS234 review

    Installation

    Due to their compact design, Aquios Jumbo conditioners are easy to install, especially if you use shark bite fittings.

    Simply connect them to your main water line as close as possible to where it enters your home.

    The manufacturer says that the average DIY installation takes about two hours:

    If a softener is not equipped with a bypass valve, we recommend you provide for one for ease of maintenance. Also, make sure to comply with local plumbing codes.

    1. In order to find the best location, keep in mind that a whole house conditioner/filter should be installed close to where the main water line enters your home. All three systems must be installed vertically.
    2. Starting by shutting off the main water supply.
    3. Attach the U-bracket (included) to the wall studs with the provided screws. Ensure that the bracket is a minimum of 36″ above ground level.
    4. Remove the housing head by detaching the blue collar. Use the wrench (included) if need be.
    5. Attach a threaded nipple to both the inlet and outlet ports on each side of the valve-in-head. Use Teflon tape to seal.
    6. Attach the valve-in-head to the wall by inserting the nipples in the housing head through the sides of the U-bracket.
    7. Connect the conditioner to the main water supply line.
    8. Place the cartridge (included) into the sump. Align the cartridge O-ring with the sump housing adaptor at the bottom.
    9. Check that the rubber O-ring is properly seated in the sump channel.
    10. Attach the sump to the housing body and secure with the blue collar. Use the wrench to tighten, but do not overtighten!
    11. Turn on the main water supply and check for leaks.

    The Package (Parts)

    • All-in-one softening & filtration system (25.4″ x 8″)
    • Cartridge
    • Mounting bracket
    • Mounting hardware
    • Housing wrench
    • Installation instructions

    Maintenance

    What do you have to do in terms of maintenance? Nothing except for replacing the cartridge as soon as it’s worn out.

    What We Don’t Like

    Here is what we don’t like:

    1. We couldn’t find any lab reports or certifications that verify the claims made by Aquios in regards to the anti-scaling effects. And indeed, some users reported that they did not see any difference in their water, whereas others said that their dish washer and electric water heater had less scale buildup. We assume that the decisive factor is the descaling additive that is most effective at a pH-range of 8 to 10.
    2. For some users, the cartridges need far more frequent replacements than advertised to prevent huge drops in pressure and flow rates. This is not cost effective.
    3. One customer complained about a leaking system. Another said his water kept coming out all milky and cloudy. After speaking to a friendly support team member, the whiteness was assumed to originate from salt residues that were being flushed out of the pipes. The coloring vanished a couple of days later.

    Our Verdict

    It looks like the Aquios AQFS234 and AQFS234L Jumbo do what they are supposed to do: They reduce the scaling effects of hard water (though not entirely) and remove even tiny particles from both well and city water.

    Taking into account the medium prince range we rate them with 3.5 stars.

    Looking for More Aquios Softener Reviews?

    If you also want to check out our other Aquios softener reviews, click this link: best-osmosis-systems.com/aquios-water-softener-reviews/

    comment banner

    This completes our Aquios AQFS234 & AQFS234L Jumbo review. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

    Leave a Comment: