Everyone knows that the key to good health is to stay hydrated—they don’t call it the “source of life” for nothing. Recommendations vary, but you should drink at least 16 ounces of water an hour or two before an activity, and then drink more afterward. (Water is the best source for hydration. Experts will recommend a sports drink to replenish sodium and potassium after an intense workout, but that’s a story for another day. We are talking strictly water here.)
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re lucky enough to have water accessible at all times; if you want a drink, you can pour yourself a glass from the kitchen faucet. People who dislike the taste of tap water will hit bottled waters. More than $100 billion U.S. dollars is spent on bottled water worldwide and people consume around 50 billion bottles a year in the U.S. alone, but bottled water is environmentally unfriendly and a big expense to produce and consume. Despite having some of the cleanest tap water in the world here in the U.S., people still hit the bottle.
An alternative is to implement some sort of filtration system at home, either a water pitcher with filtration or a unit that can be attached to a faucet. They utilize filter cartridges that must be replaced every few months, and they aren’t inexpensive (think of it like razors or inkjet printer cartridges). (There are also even pricier units built into your sink or water cooler-style units). But compared to bottled water these systems are convenient, easily accessible and much more affordable. The folks at PUR recently sent us their One-Click Faucet Mount Water Filtration System to try out. PUR states that the One-Click filters out 99 percent of lead, trace pharmaceuticals, and microbial cysts, as well as reduces taste and odor of chlorine and other contaminants. Here’s our 3-month experience with it.
The “one click” in its name suggests just that, a one-step installation to mount the system onto your faucet. While installing this system was a cinch, there is some prep work you must do beforehand.
Inside the box, you’ll find the water filtration unit, a filter cartridge, rubber washers, and faucet adapters. The washers and faucet adapters replace the aerator and washer that are currently on your faucet; you will need to unscrew the aerator and remove the washer if there is one, and replace them with a suitable-sized adapter and washer from the mix. Removing the aerator was the most difficult part of the installation process, as it required us to pull out an adjustable wrench from the tool bag, but even this process required little elbow grease. Unfortunately, our package was missing the rubber washers, so we just used a generic washer from the hardware store.
The rest of the installation process is fairly quick and straightforward. Unscrew the top cover of the unit, drop in the filter cartridge, and screw the top back on.
Attaching the unit to the faucet involves pushing the unit onto the faucet-with-new-adapter until it clicks. That’s it.
The beauty of the One-Click is that it can be easily detached from the faucet by pressing the two quick-release buttons. We love this feature because the faucet in our test kitchen sink is very low, leaving limited clearance between the sink and the faucet. With the unit attached, it becomes quite difficult to wash dishes in the sink, for example, especially when there are dishes stacked up high. The quick-release feature allows us to temporarily remove the unit to give us room when we don’t need filtered water. This is a big plus if you have the type of sink-faucet setup we do, which a semi-permanently attached filtration system would hinder the use of the sink. And, when the One-Click unit is attached, it can swing out of the way to give you extra room for a basic chore like rinsing out a cup.
When you want to pour yourself a glass of filtered water, you simply push down on the switch-lever on the side (it’s important to remember not to run hot water when in the filter-on position). A light will illuminate when water is being filtered, with green indicating all is well, yellow meaning you should change the filter cartridge soon, and red indicating water is not being filtered properly and you should replace the cartridge.
Using the One-Click doesn’t get any easier or complicated, and we have not encountered any issues during our time operating the unit.
Water is supposed to be tasteless and odorless, but that only applies to H20 in its purest form. Drinking water contains minerals and other things that give it a flavor, whether good or bad. In New York City, where our test kitchen is based, the population likes to boast that it enjoys the best drinking water (although we have heard the same comments from folks in San Francisco).
For our highly unscientific test, we did a simple comparison of filtered water from the One-Click system, filtered water from a Brita pitcher, bottled water, and unfiltered water from the faucet. We first tasted the tap water to start, and found it neutral; it didn’t taste wonderful nor was it repulsive, and it certainly did the job in quenching thirst, but there was always something that didn’t taste quite right, which we couldn’t pinpoint initially. We next tasted water from the Brita pitcher, and we noticed a difference immediately. The filtered water tasted cleaner and lighter than the tap water; it was crisp and easier to drink, if we have to simply describe it. We next tasted the filtered water from the One-Click, and it tasted similar if not exactly the same as the Brita filtered water—pleasant. We couldn’t tell if the bottled water had a better taste by the time we reached that round. Bottled-water fans will most likely swear by a cleaner taste, but the filtered water from both the Brita and One-Click tasted fine in comparison. Finally, we tasted the tap water once more and noticed the difference in taste: it was slightly metallic and “heavy” to drink, lacking that crispness we tasted in the other sources.
From a taste standpoint, the One-Click doesn’t taste better or worse than our regular Brita filter pitcher or even bottled water, but it certainly one-ups non-filtered tap water in taste and “cleanliness.” What we do like is the convenience of getting filtered water straight from the tap, which is great for filling a pot for cooking and not having to refill a pitcher every time it runs out of water. The One-Click unit, which costs between $30 and $50, is relatively inexpensive, however, each filter cartridge costs about $15 to $18 each (around $35 for a three-pack). With the recommended replacement every three months, that’s about $60 to $80 a year. When compared to bottled water, however, you’ll notice there’s a big difference in cost savings (PUR says a family can save up to $1,000 per year by switching from bottled water.) PUR says one week of clean drinking water is provided to kids in the developing world through P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program with each purchase of a PUR water filtration system, so you can also feel good drinking from it if these types of causes matter to you. Ultimately, we enjoy the fairly easy installation/removal and operation, convenience, and good tasting water this PUR system provides.