3M’s Aqua Pure whole house water filter has excellent filtering powers for the price it’s offered at. Filter changes are quick and easy, but we’d save installation for the exceptionally handy homeowner or the pros.
What We Like
- Good filtering certifications for the price
- Easy to change filters
- Good flow rate potential
What We Don’t Like
- Very involved installation
- A pre-filter would really help
- In some cases, filters may not last as long as advertised
If you’re in the market for a whole house water filter, you probably already know that installation will take some effort. This is doubly true for 3M’s Aqua Pure system, as you’ll need to purchase the plumbing hardware and tools separately.
But if you’re willing to put in a little extra elbow grease, this whole house filter will produce excellent water quality at a very reasonable price. For this 3M Aqua Pure review, we take those strengths and weaknesses into account to give you a clear picture of whether it’s right for your home.
How it works
The key feature of the 3M Aqua Pure filter system is its granular activated carbon filter.
This filter media is the most popular for water filters in every category, and it works just as well in this system. Because of the huge surface area of the activated carbon, sediment and other impurities are captured and removed from your water.
For the Aqua Pure system, filtration happens directly at the source of the water connection to your house — guaranteeing cleaner water supply for every faucet, showerhead, and appliance in your home.
This system is certified by NSF and ANSI for its ability to filter your water.
Specifically, it holds Certification 42, which guarantees the reduction or removal of aesthetic impurities from your water.
That means it will remove any “off” smells and tastes, especially from chlorine. And it will also remove any cloudiness from your water. As a result, you’ll end up with clear, clean, pure tasting water.
The 3M Aqua Pure has an impressive maximum flow rate of 20 gallons per minute at its peak.
Standard operating capacity is closer to 10 gallons per minute, which is still quite respectable. In plain terms, that means that a large household shouldn’t experience any significant decrease in water pressure or flow rate after installing it.
There’s a caveat here, though.
Depending on the type of contaminants found in your water, the single-stage filter design of the Aqua Pure may present some challenges. This is specifically true for households with sediment in their water supply.
Because this system has no sediment pre-filter, the carbon filter is prone to becoming clogged if your water is high in sediment to begin with. Clogging can negatively impact your water pressure and flow rate.
If sediment is a regular feature in your water supply, consider investing in a whole house filter that includes a sediment pre-filter. This additional stage is added ahead of the carbon filter to proactively remove large particles, so that they won’t create clogging.
It’s also possible to purchase a stand-alone sediment pre-filter, which you can position upstream of the aqua pure.
All of that said, if you don’t have regular sediment then the whole “pre-filter” dilemma should be a non-issue for your household.
Easy filter replacement is one of the big draws for the 3M Aqua Pure filter system.
This exercise is almost as simple as unscrewing the old filter, and threading a new one on. All you need to do is vent any pressure from the system, then unlock a latch before replacing the filter.
Each filter is rated to last for 100,000 gallons.
For most homes, that will translate to about a year of use. But, as mentioned in the previous section, if your water is high in sediment the filter may clog well before this timeline.
Total upfront costs for this system are very reasonable given the expected 1-year filter life.
When building your budget, remember to include the cost of the tools and installation hardware in your calculations; this will vary depending on the tools you already have on hand and prices at your local hardware store.
Filter replacements cost about $180, and need to be changed out perhaps once a year. That works out to about $15 per month for filtered water to your entire house, which is an excellent price.
Lifespan and Warranty
After installing this system, the connection points and plumbing will last for decades. The filter tank itself is intended to be changed every year. Each new filter comes with a 1-year warranty as well. So for the lifespan of each filter, it is covered under a manufacturer’s warranty.
Unless you’re quite well versed in DIY and home plumbing jobs, we’d strongly recommend that you seek professional help to install the 3M Aqua Pure.
Depending on the area you live and the layout of your home, the cost to hire a professional plumber for installation may vary. We find it typically costs between $100-250, for most people.
If you do decide to try your hand at installation, you’ll need to take some preliminary steps. It does not come with the parts and tools you’ll need to install it, meaning that you’ll need to purchase all of the below:
- Pipe cutter
- Two 1” sweat connections
- 2” ball valve
- Plumbers tape
- Adjustable wrench
- Plumbing solder
- Plumbing flux
Which, as you can imagine, means that installing this system is going to take some serious work. That’s one of the biggest downsides of the 3M Aqua Pure system.
Overall, 3M’s Aqua Pure has a lot to offer: Affordable pricing, good certifications, and easy filter changes most of all. But it’s quite difficult to install, and the lack of a prefilter is a big downside. If you’re quite handy with DIY installations and plumbing though, it’s one of the best values on the market for a whole house water filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Aqua Pure filter work?
3M’s Aqua Pure is a whole house filter. It connects at the point of entry for your water supply, and filters water through the use of activated carbon.
How long does an Aqua Pure filter last?
Each Aqua Pure filter is rated to last for 100,000 gallons, or about 12 months.
Are Aqua Pure filters recyclable?
3M’s Aqua Pure filters are not rated as recyclable by the manufacturer.