Review: Crystal Quest Thunder Portable Countertop 10-Stage Reverse Osmosis System

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Contents

The Crystal Quest Thunder is a portable countertop reverse osmosis system. Most importantly, it can be installed to any standard faucet in no time. You can use it in your RV or home and take it with you when you move to a new place. You might even have the space to make it your travel companion. Bottom line: We like!

Only if you want a countertop RO system that doesn’t need to be portable we would recommend a different product: The AquaTru. That’s because it’s NSF certified for the reduction of over 80 specific contaminants, whereas the Crystal Quest is not.

Anyway, let’s find out about all the pros, cons, and complaints of the Crystal Quest Thunder and maybe come back to the AquaTru later on!

Crystal Quest Thunder vs. AquaTru

Crystal Quest - Tankless Table or Counter Top Reverse Osmosis System

Crystal Quest Thunder

Price:$$
Filter Stages:5 (10)
Filtered Water:~2 Gallons Per Hour
NSF Certifications:
Annual Cost:~$65-100

Our Rating

AquaTru 4-Stage for table or counter top

AquaTru

Price:$$$
Filter Stages:4
Filtered Water:1 Gallon in 10-15 Minutes
NSF Certifications:42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Annual Cost:~$100-120

Our Rating

Key Features

When you attach the Crystal Quest Thunder to your kitchen faucet the water has to go through 10 filtration steps before it comes out of the dispenser:

  • It all starts with a 1-micron filter pad. The pad blocks suspended solids like sediment but also giardia and cryptosporidium (cyst).
  • Filter stage 2 uses granulated activated carbon. It adsorbs chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and all kinds of chemicals that might be causing bad taste and odor, and that could actually be harmful to your health.
  • Next comes another 1-micron filter pad.
  • At the heart of the system (stage 4), the reverse osmosis membrane comes into play. It removes the majority of inorganic as well as organic contaminants – think lead, nitrate, and chloride.
  • One more filter pad.
  • Filter stages 6 and 7 use a blend of copper and zinc oxidation media (Eagle Redox Alloy) also known as KDF to reduce chlorine, water soluble metals such as iron, lead, and chromium, hydrogen sulfide, and more. The filter media also inhibits bacteria from fouling the system.
  • Stage 8 is an ion exchange resin. It gets rid of whatever heavy metals might be left and also reduces water hardness.
  • Another granular activated carbon filter removes any residual tastes.
  • A final 1-micron filter pad.

All in all, the Crystal Quest countertop RO system produces water that tastes very clean. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with specific contaminant reduction rates (more on this in a bit).

By the way, you can order additional optional filter cartridges. There’s one for nitrates, one for arsenic, one for fluoride, and one ionization/remineralization/oxidation filter. They might be useful for your individual water situation.

What flow rate can you expect? The system is rated at .03 gallons per minute at 60 psi which equals 2 gallons per hour. If the water pressure in your house is lower, you’ll get less. So the filtration is not super fast but fast enough if you use the Crystal Quest Thunder in combination with a large container to store the purified water in.

The minimum required pressure is 45 psi.

Crystal Quest Portable Countertop RO System Pros

For us, the main selling point of the Crystal Quest Thunder is its portability. Measuring 16x7x7 inches it’s one of the most compact countertop RO systems we know. This plus the fact that the unit can be easily hooked up and removed from any standard faucet within seconds, 2 minutes at max, is why it’s our #1 portable reverse osmosis system.

Crystal Quest customer service is great, too. And everything is covered by a 1-year warranty.

Setup

The Crystal Quest Thunder comes with all hardware included. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Remove the faucet’s aerator.
  2. Check if you need an adapter.
  3. Screw the diverter to the faucet until hand tight.
  4. Use the clamp to tighten hose to the diverter.
  5. Push spout into its housing.

Parts

  • GAC filter cartridge
  • 50 gpd RO membrane
  • SMART filter cartridge
  • Various system components including diverter, tubing, auto shut-off valve
  • Adapters

Filter/Membrane Replacement

All filter elements need to be replaced regularly to ensure proper system performance. The granular activated carbon filter cartridge expires within 12-18 months. RO membrane and SMART filter last 2-3 years

However, if you notice a change in water taste or smell or you see a reduction in water flow it’s usually an indicator that at least one filter element has reached the end of its life.

The good news, replacing is fast and easy thanks to quick-connect fittings.

Cost? Between $65 and $100 per year which is pretty affordable.

Manual

You can find a manual for the Crystal Quest Thunder Portable 10-Stage Countertop Reverse Osmosis System here:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/crystal-quest-product-manuals/THUNDERCountertopROManual.pdf

Crystal Quest Portable Countertop RO System Cons

The product description says all system components are NSF certified. But no actual certification or performance data is provided. We don’t even know which NSF certifications we’re talking about. Personally, we would have appreciated specific contaminant reduction rates.

That said, reverse osmosis water purification, activated carbon adsorption, and the other filter media mentioned above have proven themselves over the years so it’s not that big of a deal.

Our Verdict (+ What to Buy Instead)

People are satisfied with both product and customer service. They say the Crystal Quest Thunder portable countertop RO system is “worth every penny” and would buy again. We can only agree. Considering the reasonable price, it’s our go-to portable reverse osmosis system and worth 4.5 stars from us!

Side note: If you’re looking for a countertop reverse osmosis system that doesn’t necessarily have to be portable, we definitely recommend the AquaTru over the Crystal Quest Thunder. The former is certified to reduce more than 80 water contaminants according to 5 different NSF standards, making it our favorite RO system guaranteed to provide healthy drinking water.

What’s more, just like the Crystal Quest, the AquaTru is super simple to set up and use, and is even faster and doesn’t nearly waste as much water. More info? Read our detailed AquaTru water filter review here!

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This completes our review of the Crystal Quest Thunder. Questions? Ask away!

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.
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Gene

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