The whole-house water filter is a very liberating thing to have. Instead of filtering water at only one point, like a below-the-sink or counter-top water filter might, whole-house water filter systems treat the water before it enters your home at all, meaning that no matter which faucet you use, you get clean, filtered water! We’ve recently had the opportunity to experiment with Aquasana’s system, and in this review we’ll dive deep into our findings and opinions on the system.
Aquasana’s whole-house water filter kits come in a wide variety of options. If you just want a basic filtration system for your home, the Rhino EQ range of models offers options available for filtering from municipal tap water or even filtering from well water. But for those looking for a more comprehensive all-in-one solution to treating their home water supply, the Aquasana whole-house water filter system can be expanded to include Aquasana’s own Sterilight UV Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener.
Installing, Using, and Reviewing the Aquasana Whole-House Water Filter System with Sterilight UV Filter and Water SoftenerThe first question anyone asks about a whole-house water filter system is usually the same: can I install it myself? The answer is, well, maybe. With the included Professional Installation Kit, installing an Aquasana Rhino system is well within the ability of those with some amateur plumbing and possibly carpentry experience. However, importantly, Aquasana offers a warranty only when installed by a professional plumber. For example, the Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 offers a warranty of 10 years or 1 million gallons, the full rated lifetime of the product, but requires the system to have been originally installed by a professional.
Because of the warranty, we had our EQ-1000 system installed by professional plumbers. However, we are confident we could have done it ourselves. Depending on the complexity of your home’s plumbing, and the exact location of installation, difficulty in installing the system will vary from home to home. It should generally be installed on the water line before the water heater. See Aquasana’s installation guide and notes for more.
If you want to get a good idea of what the installation entails, check out this short video from Aquasana which shows the installation of a Rhino EQ-300 system:
Using the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter
Once installed, using the Aquasana filter is literally as easy as turning on the faucet.
Designed with the needs of a modern home in mind, Aquasana whole-house filters can last as long as 10 years (with the EQ-1000 model) without significant maintenance, though the Pre-Filter should be changed every 3 months and the Post-Filter (included with Pro Kit) every 12 months for optimal filtration performance and water pressure.
Let’s take a look at what kind of performance you can expect from the system. First, a few words of clarification on the different models. The most basic option is the simple Aquasana Rhino Whole House Filter, available as the EQ-1000, EQ-600, and EQ-300. Each of these models uses the same filtration technology, but differs in filter lifetime and price. The EQ-1000 has a lifetime of up to 10 years/1,000,000 gallons, whereas the EQ-600 offers 6 years/600,000 gallons, and the EQ-300 3 years/300,000 gallons.
The most affordable way to get started would definitely be the Aquasana Rhino EQ-300, which is available in its most basic model for around $350+. The mid-range Rhino EQ-600 runs around $700. This makes the EQ-1000 the best bargain of them all, for those who can afford the extra upfront cost. In a package including the Professional Installation Kit, the Rhino EQ-1000 is about $750.
Compared to the EQ-600, the EQ-1000 offers an additional four years or 400,000 gallons of filtration for about $50. This makes it the clear option for anyone looking to step up from the EQ-300. We strongly recommend going with either the EQ-300 or the EQ-1000. The filter and overall filtration quality in all three models is the same. The only difference is the filter lifetime.
What the Aquasana Rhino Filter Does (and Doesn’t) Filter (EQ-300, EQ-600, and EQ-1000)
The Rhino EQ systems we’ve been discussing so far rely primarily on activated carbon filtration, where water is filtered through a specially engineered carbon medium to remove unwanted chemicals, and Aquasana’s “Copper Zinc & Mineral Stone” filter, which inhibits bacterial growth, removes scale buildup, ensures the water’s pH is alkaline, and gets rid of water-soluble heavy metals. These two filters offer an effective combination for getting rid of herbicides and pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other chemical compounds. The unique design of the Rhino with its dual-tanks sitting atop one another is advertised as maximizing the efficiency of the filtration.
The Aquasana Rhino has been NSF testing certified to remove >97.4% of chlorine, making it an ideal choice for those looking to get the chlorine taste and odor out of their water.
The most basic setup for the Rhino EQ-300, 600, and 1000 models is a three-stage system involving a 5-micron pre-filter to trap any sediment or large particles before stage 2, the “Copper Zinc & Mineral Stone Filter” which sits on top of the Rhino’s third stage, the activated carbon filter. A fourth stage is optional, but recommended: a 0.35 micron post-filter to get rid of anything smaller than the sub-micron pore size. This Post-Filter is included with the Professional Install kit.
This type of setup ideal for filtering water from a municipal source. This is tap-water which is already safe to drink and mainly needs to be filtered of chemical contaminants which can be harmful to your health and even your home’s plumbing, in the case of scale buildup, or simply make your water unpleasant to drink, in the case of chlorine disinfectants.
We are a little disappointed that Aquasana has not made available more independent laboratory tests regarding the performance of Rhino whole-house water filter systems on chemicals other than chlorine. Importantly, the Rhino system does not remove fluoride, and while the basic system is effective at removing chlorine, for those looking to remove chloramine disinfectants from their water, another model is available.
Chloramine Whole-House Water Filter (EQ-400)
Before purchasing any whole-house water filter system, you’ll need to be armed with some basic information about your water supply. For those with municipal tap water provided by a city or local water authority, the main question is usually what type of disinfectant has been used in the water. In the United States, water utilities are required to provide this information in an annual public report. You can contact your water company or visit their website to find out what kind of disinfectant is being used in your water. Typically, it will either be chlorine or chloramines. If it is just plain old chlorine, you can go with any of the Rhino EQ-300, 600, or 1000 systems.
But if your water has instead been treated with chloramines, you’ll want to look into the somewhat pricier Aquasana Whole-House Chloramine Filter System, the EQ-400, which is rated for 400,000 gallons or 4 years of use and costs a mint more than it’s chlorine-only counterparts. The chloramine-removing Rhino filter offers a more advanced filer element featuring upgraded catalytic carbon capable of trapping the combination of chlorine and ammonia that makes up chloramine disinfectants.
Well-Water Whole House Filter System (EQ-500)
If you don’t get your water from a municipal source and instead rely on your own private well, Aquasana offers a beefed-up version of the Rhino line in the EQ-500. The main difference between the EQ-500 well-water model and the typical Rhino lies in what Aquasana refers to as a “carbon media upgrade” that improves the efficacy and filtration quality of the main activated carbon filter stage. The EQ-500 also includes the double-sized 20″ pre-filter and the post-filter from the Pro Kit standard. It has a lifetime of up to 500,000 gallons or 5 years of use.
To handle the task of sterilizing the water and ensuring it is free from any bacteria, viruses, or other nasty microorganisms, the EQ-500 well-water system includes the Sterilight UV Filter, an effective and chemical-free solution to disinfecting water before drinking. The Sterilight UV Filter is an optional addition to any Aquasana Rhino system, but comes standard as part of the whole-house well-water filtering system.
Aquasana Options: UV Filter, Water Softener
Available options for any model of the Rhino whole house water filter systems include the Sterilight UV Filter, which comes standard with the EQ-500 Well-Water Filter system, and the Salt Free Water Softener.
Sterilight UV Filter
The Sterilight UV Filter is an ideal way to deal with bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms that might be lurking in your water. This is a great option for homes which draw their water from private wells, streams, catchment tanks, or other sources which have not been disinfected. Water from municipal supplies is already treated with chemical disinfectants, such as chlorine or chloramines, in which case a UV filter is generally unnecessary. However, a system like the Sterilight uses ultraviolet light to kill upwards of 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, protozoan cysts, and other microorganisms that can potentially harm your health.
Since the UV purifier requires energy to power the ultraviolet lamp, the Sterilight is the only part of the Aquasana whole house water filter system that requires electricity. Take note when planning your installation that you’ll need a nearby outlet to plug the Sterilight into.
SimplySoft Salt Free Water Softener Whole-House Descaler
Utilizing what Aquasana refers to as “Scale Control Medium” or SCM Technology, the SimplySoft is a salt-free water softener solution for your entire home. Unlike traditional water softeners which add excessive amounts of sodium to “soften” the water, the SimplySoft instead relies on a salt-free method which prevents the buildup of mineral “scale” inside your plumbing.
This technique has many benefits over traditional water softeners. It does not demineralize your water, nor generate sodium waste. For those in areas where scale buildup is a serious concern for your plumbing, the SimplySoft whole-house descaler can be a great addition to the Aquasana Rhino system, giving you a complete all-in-one solution for treating your household water needs, for your family and your plumbing’s good health!
One potential drawback of the Aquasana Rhino whole-house system, especially for those in tight quarters, is its considerable size. Just by itself without any of the optional attachments, the Rhino stands quite tall due to its double-tank design. Even in its simplest configuration, the Rhino EQ-1000 stands 46″ tall, and at least 27″ long, depending on installation. However, a full Aquasana EQ-1000 installation with all additional options is equipped with two 46″ tall tanks, UV Sterilight filter, pre- and post-filters, for a minimal length of 69″!
This is quite a bit of space. Take careful measurements of where you plan to install it and make sure you have enough room. Take a look at the chart below to help get a sense of how much space you’ll need.
The Pros of the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter
- Requires virtually no maintenance aside from replacing pre-filter every 3 months and post-filter every 12 months. No backflushing or other routine maintenance necessary, unlike many of its competitors.
- Variety of additional options such as chloramine filtering, well-water filtering, UV filter, and water softener offer a chance to have a comprehensive all-in-one system for household water needs.
- Excellent flow-rate (7 gallons per minute for the EQ-1000 model) that doesn’t compromise your home’s water pressure or leave you waiting.
- Filter performs admirably, removing odor and improving the taste of water.
- Whole-house filtration means you use only the cleanest water in your home. For every task, be it drinking, cooking, bathing, or even cleaning, the whole-house system provides fresh filtered water from every faucet.
- Comprehensive product-lifetime warranty if installed by professionals backed with US-based support.
The Cons of the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter
- Very large.
- Professional installation required for warranty.
The Aquasana Rhino provides a comprehensive whole-house solution to filter water for your entire home. It stacks up to any other filter we’ve tried in terms of improving taste while removing odor and discoloration. With its exceptional flow-rate it doesn’t significantly impact water pressure and ensures you always have access to delicious filtered water from any faucet in your home. The basic Rhino EQ models do a great job of filtering all by themselves, but additional options are available for specialized needs, like removing chloramine, or more heavy-duty applications, like filtering well-water.
While it is possible for most amateur plumbers and DIY handymen to install the Aquasana whole-house filtration system, Aquasana’s warranty policy requires professional installation. The system is fairly bulky, especially if accompanied by its many additional options.
After installation it requires no maintenance other than periodically changing the pre- and post-filter (if installed.) The available option to attach the Sterilight UV filter can equip the system to handle water which has not already been disinfected, while the option to attach the SimplySoft Whole-House Descaler Water Softener can prevent scale build-up on your home’s plumbing.
The Aquasana Rhino might be a bit pricey for some, but we find it a reasonable bargain for what is on offer and the lasting performance of the system. For smaller homes the size and cost may make it an unwieldy option, but it provides an excellent and competitively priced option for a whole-house water filter system for mid and large homes.
We award the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter 4.5/5 stars.
Learn More About the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter System with Sterilight UV Filter and SimplySoft Water Softener + Whole-House Descaler
For the best deals on Aquasana systems, including limited time offers and bargain savings, visit the official Aquasana website.
To learn more details, check current prices, read customer reviews, or purchase your own Aquasana Rhino system, head over to the Amazon listing.
You can also check out this short video from Aquasana, which demonstrates some of the Rhino’s features in a more animated way!
Not What You’re Looking For?
Head over to our Water Filters and Purifier Reviews Section to pursue some more options. You may find a Gravity Water Filter more to your suiting. If affordability is your top concern, have a read through our Cheapest Water Filters Guide.
- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter
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A whole-house water filter system from Aquasana with a range of additional options available.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.