Zero water: Water pitcher- A water filter that really works.
Sep 16, 2009 (Updated Sep 17, 2009)
Review by Alan Lake
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Easy to use, water comes out perfect. It works perfectly.
Cons:7-minutes to fill it half way, pitcher could be bigger. Cost of filter is expensive.
The Bottom Line: If you want a water filtration for home use I can thing of nothing better than this. The only concern is the cost.
When it comes to water I am a fanatic of crystal clear water. I absolutely hate my water supply because of the chlorine and mineral taste to it. I can taste it in my coffee and tea. I saw a food detective episode where they were able to tell the difference between New York Water and Los Angeles water and I was not the least surprised. Our water is horrid. Water bottles have become a way of life for me and an addition cost to my budget that is well worth it. I usually refill the Aquafina bottles with my “Water Store” water and drink out of those during the week, refilling them every day. Now I am using “Klean Kanteen” stainless steel containers that I am absolutely in love with. Well worth the money. A review is on the way.
Recommend this product?
The very first thing I did was pull out their little tester, pop batteries in, and check my bottled water. My bottled water read 6 ppm. Not bad I thought. Then I tried my horrific tap water and it read 310. Since the reader only had 3 digits I assume this is high. Upon reading the literature I did find that it was worse than average and I should only expect it to last for about 14 gallons. I did the test on the purified water from the “Zero Water Pitcher” and it read zero. So according to their tester the water was nearly perfect.
I then tasted it. The water felt soft. It was tasteless with that slight sweet element water has and I can definitely taste the difference between my 5 gallon bottles of water and this filtered water. The Zero Water water was notably better (but not by much) than my bottled water I get at the water store down the street. That is an issue I have to take into consideration.
The other issue some people may have with this system is it take too long to filter. Well you’re right but you have to remember that it is gravity fed (no energy needed to move the water) and it has 5 filtering layers to get through which is more than some other brands. In fact I timed one batch and it took just over 7 minutes until the top reservoir emptied itself. To get a full pitcher you need to fill the top reservoir twice and the second time it took over 9 minutes. This is a problem with gravity fed systems in that they slow down when you fill them to their max and the filter is placed so low into the final water reservoir that the gravity pull isn't as strong. If you fill it too much, the top reservoir will not empty
How it works
You do have to do a little install but it is easy. Take the top reservoir unit (not the lid) and screw the filter into the large hole. Then just gently place plastic reservoir piece/filter unit inside the blue tinted jug. Then you can put the top, loose fitting lid on top. Now that you put on the very top lid, and feel proud of yourself for putting it together, take off the loose fitting top lid and fill the reservoir with room temperature tap water. They don't recommend using the filter when it is cold. You fill up the reservoir 2 or 3 times depending on how daring you were when filling it up. Then just pour like a normal pitcher after all the water has disappeared from the top reservoir. If the unit is still filtering you can still access the water through a button operated dispenser on the bottom heel of the pitcher. It is pretty slow compared to my bottled water dispenser but it does work, just not all that fast. This is a part I think needs to be improved in future generations.
The filter is a 5 stage filter and bigger than the Brita filters I have used in the past. It is gravity fed and therefore requires no batteries. Unlike my backpacking filter, there is no manuel pump either. The first layer is an activated carbon infused micron cloth the keeps out large particles and hair. The second stage is activated charcoal which is used in some filters to make it taste better (takes out the iodine and chlorine tastes for example.). Stage 3 is “Distributor that maximizes contact time”, kind like a slow sign on the highway. Stage 4 is “Comprehensive ION EXCHANGE array. Stage 5 is “Non-Woven membrane to remove fine particles”.
TDS water tester.
This is a great little device that allows you to test various water sources for impurities. I tested my tap water that I hate so much and found it was over 300. The water that first came out of the filtration system was rated at 000. It is now at 006 and they recommend you replace it at this time. So next time I'm at target (unless I can find them cheap online) I will be picking up a package of these expensive filters.
How long will it last?
Depends on how polluted your water supply. Mine is over 300 so the estimate they gave me was 15 gallons or less. From my experience I find this estimate to be accurate. There is a lot of chlorine and other minerals in my tap water so this made a BIG difference in the final tasting. But because of the pollution the filter becomes less effective. Average city water will give you 22.5 gallons according to the literature.
The problem with this is the cost. A gallon of water going through this system costs 1 dollar plus the cost of water itself. The water store is 30 cents a gallon, I'll let you figure out the math. But if you are elderly this is a far better method than lugging heavy bottles around. And if you are like me with a bad back then you would also benefit from this device.
The entire unit (excluding the filter) is made from BPA free plastic. The filter has some activated carbon and other stuff.
Ergonomics and ease of use.
It is easily used. You have two options, the first is to just pour it like a water pitcher. It flows fast and the sharp, pointed design helps the water flow in a more controlled fashion. But if water is still filtering then you can’t pour water out this way. So your other option is a spout located on the back heel of the unit.
Who is this for?
People like me that demand clean water and don't mind paying for it. It is also a great option for the elderly.
The look is sharp. Fairly artistic in my eyes. This is both good and bad. It looks good and you have no problems with pouring out the water due the shape of the front. But they sacrificed water storage space with such a “tight” design. I would actually prefer a more utilitarian design as an option.
Nothing to really clean. It takes in water and produces cleaner water. The most you need to do is change out the filter and wash the pitcher with a damp cloth from time to time.
This is to be determined but I have bumped it around with no ill effects. It hasn’t taken the 3 foot fall yet and I hope that it doesn’t because I really like this unit. This unit will break if you abuse it.
Can I use this in the back country?
If you want to get sick? Sure. There is no iodine or fine mesh filters to take care of nasty bacteria and viruses. This is for purified city water only.
No batteries are needed for the filter, but the tester requires 2 aa's and I have no idea how long it will last. I'll have to keep you updated....remind me.
What I like.
I love the water. It is better than the high tech filtration found at the water store down the street. But not by much,
It is also a very easy device to use. Just pour it out like a normal pitcher when it has processed the water. The other option is to use a spout on the heel of the unit.
What I do not like.
-First and foremost, this is not the cheapest way of getting your water. I get my water at a water store for 30 cents a gallon. The Zero Water System will average (with my bad water source) a buck a gallon. Less if your water is better. In a city with very clean water, the water would run you 30-50 cents a gallon.
The water store option is a pain. I have to take 7 3&5 gallon jugs in my truck, then to the store, fill them, lug them home and store them somewhere. 5 gallons isn't bad for a person of my height but there are times it has pulled my back out where I need to use muscle relaxants or pain reliever. As time/life progresses, that 70 cents difference is not going to be that bad. For someone like my grandmother who is very frail, this would be a perfect gift for her, especially if she hates Riverside water as bad as I do.
-The second is the long wait time. For one filling you need to wait 7 minutes. You can pour it sooner but you are using a slow spout on the heel of the water dispenser. And it has to reach a certain height just to use this spout, so you're at least waiting 3 minutes or so. Is that really slow? No, but in this society built on speed I can nuke a burrito in less time.
Besides the water store. They do make a model that is designed to work like the water dispenser I have. So instead of the hand jug being your water reservoir, the counter top dispenser becomes your reservoir. I haven't tried it so I can't comment on how well it works.
The life of my filter has expired. My meter is reading at 006 and the recommended measurement that they give you for changing the filter. I'm going to continue to use it a little more in order to see the results. I have a couple of options, buy a 2 pack or 4 pack from $30 and $60 respectively. Amazon has it for $53 for a set of four. So far that looks like the best bet with their free shipping program.
Why the score
Normally I would take cost into consideration with my purchases, but I feel this is a unique circumstance. And if I had a choice between lugging 5 gallons and filling this, I'd pick this. It will be used and it really works as advertised.
I was given this by the company in exchange for an honest review. For those of you that know my other free products know that I don't cut them any slack and this is exactly what I think.
Weight and dimensions
Weight (dry): 3 lb
Depth (max): about 11 inches
Width (max): 5 9/16 inches
Height: 11 inches
Capacity: Just short of 2 liters and just a few hairs above 2 quarts.
I am very pleased with this unit and I will definitely use this despite the cost. But it doesn't replace my bottled water due to the amount of water we go through. Maybe some day I'll try out their water jug contraction but for now I'm really happy with having these two options.
© Common Loon Productions
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