Aquasana Vs. Pentair: Which Water Filtration System Is Better?

When it comes to clean, filtered water right from your tap, Aquasana and Pentair are two of the most popular brands. But with so many different models and features to choose from, it can be tough to decide which system is right for your home.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Aquasana and Pentair water filters side-by-side, analyzing the pros, cons, costs, and key differences between these two industry leaders.

Whether you’re concerned about lead, chlorine, fluoride or other water contaminants, read on to discover the best whole house or under sink filtration system for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

Filtration Stages5-7 stages including carbon, sub-micron, UV, ion exchange1-3 stages usually carbon block and/or sediment filter
Filtration TechnologyActivated carbon, ion exchange, UV, sub-micron filtrationMostly carbon block, some models have UV sanitation
Contaminant RemovalExcellent at removing chlorine, lead, bacteria, cystsGood at chlorine, sediment; some models reduce lead/bacteria
Filter Life6-12 months6-18 months
Filter Costs$70-130 per filter set$100-300 per filter set
Water SofteningDoes not soften waterExcellent water softening capability
InstallationDesigned for DIY installUsually requires professional install
Warranty3-10 years1-10 years
Customer ServiceHighly ratedMixed reviews

Overview Of Aquasana Water Filters

Founded in 1998, Aquasana is one of the leading brands in water filtration targeting health-conscious consumers. Their systems use a combination of filters to reduce over 77 potential contaminants from water, while retaining healthy minerals.

Aquasana offers whole house, under sink, shower head, and water pitcher options to meet different needs. Their filtration media includes activated carbon, sub-micron mechanical filtration, catalytic carbon filtration, ion exchange, and rhinox UV filtration using sterilizing light.


Key Pros

  • NSF certified filtration reduces 77+ contaminants
  • Retains healthy minerals in water
  • Multiple under sink, shower, pitcher options
  • Eco-friendly and easy filter replacements

Potential Cons

  • More expensive than some competitor brands
  • Most models do not soften hard water
  • Mixed reviews of customer service department

Cost: $$ – $$$ depending on model

Also Read: Aquasana Vs. LifeSource: How Do These Water Filters Compare?

Overview Of Pentair Water Filtration

Founded in 1966, Pentair is a large public company providing pool, filtration, and water solutions for homes and businesses. Their water filtration line includes whole home and point-of-use systems.


Pentair systems use filtration methods like carbon block, pleated mechanical filtration, and in some cases UV sanitation. They offer customizable solutions for softening hard water, removing sediment, chlorine taste/odor, lead, and cysts.

Key Pros:

  • Broader range of whole home capabilities
  • Effective at softening hard water
  • Good for homes with sediment or rust issues
  • Professional installation services available

Potential Cons:

  • More limited point-of-use/undersink options
  • Mixed reviews on carbon block filter effectiveness
  • Higher upfront installation costs

Cost: $$-$$$$ depending on customization

In-depth Comparison Of Features Of Aquasana And Pentair

·       Filtration Technology

One of the biggest differences between Aquasana and Pentair is the types of filtration technology used in their systems:

Aquasana utilizes 5-7 stages of filtration in their systems, including:

  • Activated carbon – absorbs chemicals & chlorine
  • Sub-micron mechanical filtration – traps particulate matter
  • Ion exchange – reduces lead & heavy metals
  • Rhinox UV filtration – destroys bacteria & microorganisms
  • Mineralizing stage – adds healthy minerals back

Pentair relies primarily on 1-3 types of filtration:

  • Sediment filtration – traps dirt, sand and particles
  • Activated carbon block – absorbs some chemicals & chlorine
  • Optional UV filtration – kills bacteria for some models

Aquasana wins for filtration technology, removing a wider range of contaminants through more filtration stages. Their focus is on health-focused whole home filtration.

Pentair offers solid filtration for basic water problems, but their carbon block filters have more mixed reviews vs. Aquasana. They specialize more in softeners and custom solutions.

·       Filter Capacity & Replacement Costs

Another major consideration is how long filters last before needing replacement, and the ongoing cost.

Most Aquasana filters last 6-12 months before needing replacement. Their filters cost $70-130 per set on average. For a whole house Aquasana system, replacing filters yearly costs around $300-500 depending on your model.

Pentair filter life lasts a bit longer – around 6-18 months before replacement is recommended. Their filters cost $100-300 per set. Whole house replacements may cost $250-600 annually.

Pentair wins slightly on capacity and filter replacement costs. But filter life depends a lot on your actual water quality and usage. Aquasana’s costs are still very competitive.

·       Water Contaminant Removal

Here is how Aquasana and Pentair compare for reducing common water contaminants:

Chlorine – Both use activated carbon filtration to remove chlorine taste and odor. Aquasana claims to remove 97% while Pentair removes 85-92% based on different models.

Lead – Aquasana’s ion exchange method is more effective at removing lead and heavy metals. Pentair only reduces lead in some models.

Bacteria & Cysts – Aquasana’s UV stage gives it the advantage for killing bacteria and cysts. Only select Pentair systems use UV.

Hard Water – Pentair’s softeners are extremely effective at treating hard water issues. Aquasana does not soften water.

Fluoride – Aquasana reduces fluoride but does not eliminate it completely. Pentair water filters do not remove fluoride.

Overall, Aquasana beats Pentair for removal of chlorine, lead, bacteria and other standard filtration. But Pentair excels at softening hard water.

·       Installation & Maintenance

Installing and maintaining your system is also a key factor to weigh:

Most Aquasana systems are designed for DIY installation. Their under sink and whole house units use quick twist or clamp fittings requiring no plumbing skills.

Maintenance involves replacing filters on your own per the manufacturer guidelines.

Pentair water softeners and whole home units usually require professional installation due to soldering pipes or electrical set-up. The maintenance is also more complex – resin tank refilling, brine tank refills, etc.

So Aquasana systems win for easier installation and maintenance. But Pentair offers solid tech support and makes professional installation available if needed.

Watch the video to know more!

·       Warranties & Customer Support

The warranty coverage and customer service reputation of each brand is also worth considering:

  • Aquasana provides a 3-10 year limited warranty depending on the product. They have mainly positive reviews for customer service and support. Phone, email and chat support is available.
  • Pentair offers a limited 1-10 year warranty depending on the system. Reviews of their customer support are more mixed – difficulty getting through to support and some issues obtaining warranty coverage.

The warranty coverage is quite similar, but Aquasana edges out Pentair in reputation for helpful and responsive customer service. This gives buyers more peace of mind.

·       Best Aquasana Water Filter Models

Now that we’ve compared the two brands, let’s look at some of the top-rated water filter models from Aquasana:

1. OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis System – For under sink filtration, the OptimH2O is the top Aquasana system. It uses reverse osmosis combined with carbon and UV filtration to remove virtually all contaminants. The mineralizing stage adds back beneficial minerals.

2. Whole House Rhino System – As a whole house solution, the Rhino eliminates chlorine and chemicals with its 7-stage filtration. It also reduces lead, bacteria and other contaminants throughout your home’s water.

3. Claryum Shower Filter – For chlorine-free showers, the Claryum uses a 2-stage filter to remove chlorine and chloramines from shower water while retaining healthy mineral content. Easy install.

4. Claryum Countertop Filter – The countertop Claryum hooks right to your faucet and uses the same 2-stage filtration to instantly remove 66 contaminants from drinking water.

Aquasana gives you excellent choices for whole home, shower, undersink or counter top filtration. Their systems lead for performance, ease of use, and healthy water.

Also Read: Berkey Vs. Hydroviv: Which Water Filter Is Best?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most effective water filtration system?

For whole home filtration, a system like the Aquasana Rhino provides the most complete filtration. It combines multiple methods like carbon, sub-micron, UV, and ion exchange to remove a wide range of contaminants from all the water in your home.
For undersink use, reverse osmosis systems like Aquasana OptimH2O are the most thorough. Reverse osmosis removes virtually all contaminants through a membrane combined with carbon and UV filtration.

Is Pelican or Aquasana better?

Pelican offers decent carbon filtration systems, but most experts agree Aquasana is the superior brand. Aquasana provides better contaminant removal through advances like catalytic carbon and their Rhinox UV technology. Their filters also tend to last longer than Pelican’s.

What is similar to aquasana?

Aquios, Clearly Filtered, and Pelican are often viewed as similar brands to Aquasana. They provide comparable under sink and whole house filter systems. However, Aquasana stands apart with their focus on innovation, filtration performance, ease of use, and customer service reputation. Their filtration technology is a step above competitors.

How long does an aquasana system last?

With proper filter replacements, an Aquasana system can function effectively for many years. For example, their Whole House Rhino unit is built to last 10-15 years while individual filters are changed out yearly. Even the under sink reverse osmosis systems can last 5-10 years with 2-3 years of filter life.

Also Read: Clearly Filtered Vs. Hydroviv: Which Filtration System Is Best?

The Verdict

In summary, when comparing Aquasana vs Pentair overall:

  • Aquasana is better for removing a wide range of contaminants and most general filtration needs. Their focus is health-oriented drinking water filtration.
  • Pentair excels at softening hard water via their water softeners. Their systems can also handle some specialized filtration situations.

If your main goal is whole house filtration for health, Aquasana is likely the best choice. Their systems provide the most thorough filtration for the lowest maintenance demands.

However, if you have very hard water or unique needs like high sediment or iron, a customized Pentair system may work better.

Both companies make quality water filtration products. We hope this detailed comparison gives you the guidance to pick the ideal system for clean, safe water in your home.

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