As part of the Easy-Change (EZ-Change) series, Culligan offers 3 under sink drinking water filtration systems:
All three models feature a single carbon-based filter stage and are rated at .5 gallons per minute service flow rate which is okay for drinking and cooking needs. Required water pressure: 30 to 100 psi.
Being the most elementary, the EZ-1 is NSF Standard 42 certified to reduce chlorine and particulates class III. In other words: If all you care about is improved water aesthetics – think taste and smell – this filter is absolutely sufficient.
Each cartridge has a maximum filtering capacity of 3,000 gallons or up to 12 months.
FYI: Particulates class III have a size between 5µm to 15µm.
If apart from chlorine and particulates class I (0.5µm to 1µm) you also want to get rid of cysts (99.9%), turbidity (98.5%), lead (about 99.0%), atrazine (94.1%) and lindane (98.2%), you should opt for the EZ-3.
*All reduction rates are according to NSF Standard 53.
Its capacity is 500 gallons or a maximum of 6 months, whichever comes first. Obviously, this is less than what you get with the EZ-1, but no reason to worry about high maintenance demands. This won’t be the case.
For even higher filtration requirements the EZ-4 is your best bet. In addition to all the impurities listed above, it’ll also take care of chloramines, MTBE, mercury, chloroform, dozens of VOCs, perfluorinated chemicals (PFOA & PFOS) and so-called emerging contaminants for increased water safety.
Emerging contaminants include stuff like Phenytoin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Estrone, Bisphenol A and Nonyl Phenol.
This has earned the unit 4 independent NSF certifications:
The last two are pretty hard to find which underlines the sophistication of the filtration process.
Capacity: 500 gallons or 6 months.
Information overload? Check out this table:
|Bad tastes and odors||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Particulates||99.9% (class III)||99.9% (class I)||99.9% (class I)|
|Emerging contaminants (e.g. Ibuprofen, Phenytoin)||–||–||>95.4%|
|PFOA + PFOS||–||–||>95.8%|
There are three things that we like about the Culligan US-EZ series in particular and that is, firstly, the compatible head assembly which fits all replacement cartridges (EZ-1, EZ-3 & EZ-4). So if all of a sudden you want water of higher purity you can easily upgrade your basic or advanced filter.
Secondly, the head features a simple twist on/off mechanism designed for convenience. This avoids the mess that comes with changing out traditional filters. Instead, they can be replaced within seconds and without turning off the feed water supply – no need for buckets, towels or wrenches.
Thirdly, each product is backed by a 2-year limited manufacturer warranty.
The good news is that Culligan Easy-Change under sink systems come with everything you need for setup and operation.
What’s more, quick connect fittings and detailed DIY instructions make the installation somewhat easier. So if you are a practiced do-it-yourselfer there’s probably no need for calling a plumbing professional.
The bad news is that if your kitchen sink or countertop does not have a pre-drilled hole (e.g. used for soap dispenser or water sprayer) you’ll have to drill one for the dedicated chrome faucet that is part of the system.
Without going into full detail, here are some step-by-step instructions:
The modular filter design allows for quick and easy filter changes and avoids the mess that traditional cartridges often make: Simply twist and pull down to remove old. Push up and twist to install new.
How often do you have to change filters?
Like we said, the US-EZ-1 lasts for up to 3,000 gallons or 12 months, US-EZ-3 and US-EZ-4 for up to 500 gallons or 6 months. The built-in LED filter life indicator will let you know when it’s time for a replacement (EZ-3 & 4 only).
All in all, the annual maintenance costs seem reasonable.
Looking for a manual? You can find one here:
You are right, half a gallon water flow per minute at 60 psi does feel a little slow.
Also, the “chrome” faucet that’s included in the package is made from cheap plastic except for its metal spout. We would have appreciated an all-metal faucet.
Besides, a 1/2″ feed water adapter is part of the deal. However, if your home uses 3/8″ supply lines it won’t fit, so you will have to visit the local hardware store.
Furthermore, some customers reportedly had issues with leaks. One reason for this are the plastic connectors. You should seriously consider replacing them with brass. If on the other hand water leaks due to a cracked housing there’s really not much you can do.
An under sink drinking water filtration system that’s simple to install, low in maintenance and most importantly provides clean and great-tasting water – a perfect solution for people on a tight budget.
Most customers are very happy with their purchase. Our verdict: 4 stars for the Easy-Change 4, 3.5 for the EZ-3 and 3 stars for the EZ-1.
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This completes our review of the Culligan under sink water filter. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!