Experts say the Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A is one of the best faucet-mount units. Its durability, budget price, low annual filter cost and long filter life make it a great value. Users love the taste of the water and automatic switch, but say the filter's flow rate is pretty slow.
Excellent filtering, simple design. Bells and whistles take a backseat to filtering performance in the Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A. In addition to reducing bad taste and odor -- including all Class I particulates -- it's NSF-certified to reduce parasites, lead, lindane, atrazine and turbidity. Testers at a major consumer organization rate it as one of the best filters across the board.
The Culligan FM-15A makes "tap water taste just like bottled water," says one user at Amazon.com. Plenty of others agree: With an average 4-star rating from about 1,000 reviews, it's one of the top-selling faucet-mount filters there.
This unit doesn't come with a filter-indicator light, but Culligan offers reminder stickers and free emails instead. "Who needs an indicator light to tell them there's a difference in the way their water tastes?" says an owner at Amazon.com. User reviews say this feature is frequently inaccurate on competing models, and most Culligan Faucet Filter owners don't criticize its absence.
Users' biggest complaint is the FM-15A's slow flow rate, a common issue with faucet-mount filters. This one has a 0.6-gallon-per-minute flow. According to NSF International, that's just under average for this category, and no NSF-certified faucet filters rate above 0.75 gallons per minute.
No tools or plumbing knowledge required. "It was a cinch to install and use," says blogger Josh Champagne on LiveWellSimply.com. "In five steps, we were up and running." Most users agree that the Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A is easy to hook up, and the included faucet adaptors fit most sinks. "We have one of those [very old] farm sinks, with the big basin and a larger faucet, and it fit on perfectly," says one owner at Amazon.com.
The filter includes a diverter valve to start filtering the water, and most say this is easy to use. "One nice thing is that you can switch between filtered and unfiltered water while the water is running," says an Amazon.com post. "The water pressure holds the switch in filtered position, and when you shut off the water it returns to the unfiltered position."
Users who have tried other brands say they like the durability of the Culligan FM-15A. Filters last for 200 gallons or two months -- without the clogging and leaking problems that affect other faucet filters -- and cost about $11 to replace. Culligan recommends flushing new filters by running water through them for 10 minutes before using.
Long warranty, good customer support. The Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A's two-year warranty is one of the longest for water filters. Few Amazon.com users have needed it, but most of those who did say Culligan's customer service is polite and helpful.
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors at ConsumerReports.org include faucet-mount filters and the Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A in their water filters review. Their recommendations are based on how well the filter reduces lead; cuts down chloroform, which indicates ability to remove organic compounds and disinfectants; water flow rate; and filter life.
Review: Water Filter Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent About 1,000 users weigh in on the Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A, giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Most say the filter is easy to install and durable, and doesn't leak. Those who have tried more popular brands say the Culligan outperforms Brita and Pur faucet-mount models. Several owners report that the filter drastically reduces flow rate, but most say the taste of the water offsets this issue.
Review: Culligan FM-15A Level 3 Faucet Filter, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Fair After tiring of the chore of filling water jugs at coin-operated dispensers at the store and hauling them home, Champagne orders and installs a Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A. In this single-product review, he explains why he selected this filter, describes the installation, and discusses the savings and convenience.
Review: Culligan FM-15A Water Faucet Filter Review – Or 'How to Spend Less on Drinking Water', Josh Champagne, April 3, 2012