Whenever you hear the word “whole house water filter,” what is the first thing that pops into your head? For many, it might be the hefty price tag; for some, it must be the industry-favorite large, single tank design, and for some, it might not be an option because of the high price range.
The NU Aqua 3-stage whole house water filtration system is changing all these preconceived ideas and bringing disruption in the industry. Armed with a compact design, great filtration, and an unbelievable price, the NU Aqua has offered perhaps the most accessible whole house filter.
So, we had to test this filter and see if the low price brings lots of compromises. We ordered one for ourselves and went in without knowing much about it. Here is the complete and detailed review of the NU Aqua 3-stage whole house water filtration system and our verdict on whether it is the right filter for you or not.
What’s In the Box?
The unboxing experience matters a lot to us; in a way, it matters to many people. Looking at the price of this filter and the level of great filtration, we were not expecting a great unboxing experience. And unsurprisingly, we did not have a great one either. The company has to cut corners somewhere, and this seems to be the best place to do so to offer great filtration.
The box felt very cheap, and so was the packaging. It felt as if the filter was wrapped in bare plastic haphazardly. There’s hardly any great padding you’ll find. Not a great unboxing experience, but do not take it as something negative. It is pretty apparent at this price range, and we are not complaining.
Coming to the quality of the filter, we were not impressed in this section as well. There’s a metal frame to hold the three filtration units, dials on top of the filters, and plastic components. The plastic feels cheap, the metal feels thin and wobbly, and the finish of the product is also not great at all. None of these components feel premium at all. Is it terrible? No. It is perfectly usable but if you want something that feels high-quality, well, pay a high price then.
We were not impressed with the looks of the filter. Not only does this filter feel cheap, but it has cheap looks too. We are not a big fan of this medical scrubs blue color and the cheap steel combination. It just looks and feels like a very basic and low-cost water filter, and that’s it. Do not expect it to blow your mind, as it does not blow your budget as well. So for that, we are not complaining at all.
Looks and qualities are some aspects of a filter that we are ready to compromise for a cheaper price tag. But what we cannot compromise on is the quality of filtration. A cheap filter is useless if it cannot provide great filtration. Let’s see what the company provides with the filter and if it can protect you against the common contaminants in the water supply.
We were so surprised and delighted to see that there is no compromise in the filtration quality or ability of the filter. What’s even more interesting is that it provides not just decent but excellent filtration! The filter comes with a three-stage filtration system, and it is one of the best ones we’ve seen, not just in this price range but in a much wider price spectrum. Here’s what each of these filtration units does.
The first stage is a sediment pre-filter unit that’s designed to remove larger sedimentary contaminants from the water. These contaminants include sand, silt, dead insects, plastic parts, etc. All the larger contaminants that can be sifted easily are removed at this stage. We love this because some filters cost more than one grand and still do not include a sediment pre-filter as standard. This filter is essential as we have noticed substantial contaminants in the US water supply.
The second stage is a granulated carbon filter that manages most of the contaminants in the water, including chemical and metal contaminants. The second stage will remove most of the chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, benzene, VOCs, PFAs, etc. This stage also removes toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, etc. The granulated carbon filter would have been enough, but NU Aqua surprised us by making it even better.
The third stage comes with a solid carbon filter which is very powerful in removing even the most minute amounts of contaminants. This stage removes any remaining impurities that may have been left during the second stage (granulated carbon is not very efficient). The combination of these three steps is perfect for removing all the contaminants found in the water supply, making it perfect for household consumption.
We were very excited to test the filter as we could not believe that such powerful filtration would come at such a low price because there are normal water filters that cost more and do not come with such filtration ability. And this is a whole house water filter we are talking about! So with high hopes, we began testing the filter.
We prepared the water sample for the testing, adding lead, mercury, chlorine, DEET, VOCs, and some sand and other granular contaminants. The amount of these contaminants was a lot considering that this is a whole house water filter. The sample was ready, and so were we. The entire 5 gallons of contaminated water went into the filter, and after some time, the sample was out to be tested. Do note that the sample’s TDS level was around 820, which is a lot by any standards.
After the filtration was done, we tested the water sample. The smell of chlorine which was there before filtration was completely gone. We first tested the TDS levels, and it was brought down to a pleasant 135, which is completely normal. But now was the time to test the filtration.
There was no trace of sand or any larger contaminants, which meant the pre-sediment filter was working properly. Then we tested for chlorine, lead, mercury, VOCs, benzene, DEET, etc. We are glad to say that the filter worked perfectly and brought down the levels of contaminants to safe levels. This is all due to the dual carbon filters in the system. We are giving this filter top marks for filtration because, at this price range, the filtration is as good as any expensive filters, if not better.
What We Liked About This Filter?
- Great Water Flow Rate
- Short Filter Life
The filtration was a pleasant experience for us, but that did not stop there. We found a lot of great things about the NU Aqua 3-stage filtration system. So, here are the best things about this filter that we loved.
The best thing about this filter and the reason to get it is the price. This three-stage filter with such powerful filtration and features comes at a low price of $415. That’s all! This price is lower than many drinking water filters with RO features. So, if the only reason you hesitated to get a whole house water filter was the price tag, then the wait is over. Do note that this is not a cheap filter in terms of features. The reason we are recommending this is it brings a lot of features at a very low price.
This is probably the most compact and easy to install whole house water filter we have ever seen. All of the whole house water filters that we have tested come in the form of a large single cylindrical tank. The “drinking water” filter design of the NU Aqua makes it very easy to install it anywhere without too much effort. The entire filter is light and small in size.
3. Great Water Flow Rate
This was unbelievable for us because it is too good to be true. The NU Aqua comes with a standard water flow rate of an impressive 15 gallons per minute. This is higher than some of the best whole house water filters in the market. For example, SpringWell and Bodyguard offer a standard flow rate of below 10 GPM, and both of them cost above $1,000. Definitely one of the best features of the NU Aqua.
What We Did Not Like About This Product?
There’s just one thing about this filter that we did not like. While we have already mentioned that the build quality and looks were not great, we cannot consider those as cons because a cheaper price tag demands such sacrifices. So here’s the one thing that we did not like about this filter.
1. Short Filter Life
It is very hard for us to put this under the cons list, but for the sake of it, we have to do it. While the company has not specifically mentioned the filter life, we had to do our research to find that out. And we did. The filter life is estimated to be around three to four years, which is not that great since the whole house filters come with a filter capacity of a million gallons or around nine to ten years. But the impact of this is not too strong considering the low price.
NU Aqua has made the whole house filters very accessible for many who do not want to spend a grand or two for a filter that could filter a million gallons of water. If you live alone or with just one or two people, then the NU Aqua makes the most sense both in terms of usability and price. At just over $400, there is no other option better than this option. It comes with great filtration capacity, amazing features, compact size and shape, and a great water flow rate. So, in conclusion, you’d be delighted to have this filter in your house with minimum issues. This is one of the best whole house water filtration systems in this price range.
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