Expert tests say the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25 does an excellent job of reducing 26 different contaminants, and users say it delivers great-tasting water. Installation is more involved than other types of water filters, but most owners say that once the WHER25 is in place, it lasts for years with maintenance needed only twice a year.
Premium filtering at a budget price. The Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25, made by Ecodyne for Whirlpool, passes water through two activated carbon filters and a semipermeable membrane before delivery. Besides removing 90 percent of total dissolved solids, it's NSF-certified to reduce arsenic, lead, cysts and 20 other contaminants. With 95 percent of chlorine and bad taste removed, the result is water that's comparable to bottled water in quality and taste, users say.
Like all reverse osmosis systems, the WHER25 flushes contaminants with waste water down the drain. It creates about several gallons of waste water for every gallon of drinking water. Users with limited water sources such as wells and cisterns or pricey municipal water bills should keep the extra water in mind when factoring in annual costs. One major consumer organization says water flow is about average in comparison to other reverse osmosis filters.
This Whirlpool unit features a battery-operated timer at the base of the spout that begins flashing after six months. "The timer built into this product is a nice reminder to check the quality of the water being produced, but doesn't necessarily mean the filters need to be replaced," posts a user at Lowes.com. Many owners say they use water tests and total dissolved solids meters to monitor the quality of their water for a more accurate idea of when to change the filters.
No maintenance for six months, but a complicated installation process. Installation of the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25 often depends on a user's plumbing know-how. Those with basic skills have few problems; one says at Amazon.com that it's "easy to install with color-coded tubes and step-by-step instruction." Others find installation to be more difficult; it requires about 30 minutes and extra tools to run multiple water lines and mount the faucet. Leaking is a common side effect of incorrect installation.
After setup, many users like that the system is maintenance-free for a while. The two carbon filters and filter-indicator battery last about six months -- a replacement set with all three costs about $42 -- and the $49 membrane lasts one to three years. All three are "easy to replace," says an owner at Amazon.com.
A number of Amazon.com and Lowes.com users say their WHER25 still works great after several years. A few complain that the unit's low price is reflected in its construction; they call the spout "cheesy" and say some plastic pieces can break during installation. The faucet is available in only a chrome finish, and some users opt to purchase a replacement to match their fixtures.
Warranty, website more helpful than customer service. Ecodyne includes a one-year warranty for the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25. The website includes a wealth of information, including a video demo, an installation video, owner manuals and product specs.
However, consumers say customer service is lacking. At Lowes.com, owners who call the manufacturer for warranty needs or with questions on the filter say Ecodyne isn't helpful.
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Review Credibility: Excellent There are 28 under-sink and reverse osmosis systems in this report on water filters, including the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25. Editors test filters in four categories: ability to remove lead, ability to remove chloroform, flow rate and filter clogging.
Review: Water Filter Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Lowes.com has the most consumer reviews of the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25. It gets the most praise for its durability and high quality, with 74% of users saying they would recommend it to a friend.
Review: Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Filtration System, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Ratings for the Whirlpool Reverse Osmosis Filtration System WHER25 run the gamut at Amazon.com. Many of the low ratings come from consumers who report difficulty with installation; others say the unit lasts for several years. Most agree that it delivers high-quality water.
Review: Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013