While this isn't the best overall water filter that we have tested, the APEC WFS-1000 is by far the best value of the under the sink filters that we have seen to date. This filter delivered exceptional showings when it came to filtering out lead and chlorine, though it struggled a bit when it came to minerals. It also didn't produce the best tasting water that we have seen. Regardless, it is an overall solid water filter that allows you all the conveniences of a permanently installed under the sink filter without completely breaking the bank.
APEC WFS-1000 Review
Pros: Inexpensive for an under the sink filter, removes tons of lead and chlorine
Cons: Filtered water didn’t taste amazing, didn’t remove minerals well
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|Pros||Inexpensive for an under the sink filter, removes tons of lead and chlorine||Fantastic at removing impurities, makes great tasting water, inexpensive||Great at removing both lead and chlorine, makes great tasting water||Great tasting water, excellent at removing lead and chlorine||Performed well in our lead removal, chlorine removal, and salt removal tests|
|Cons||Filtered water didn’t taste amazing, didn’t remove minerals well||Smaller capacity, takes some time to refill and refilter||Mediocre flow rate, pricey||Very pricey||Low flow rate, pricey|
|Bottom Line||If you are set on an under the sink filter and are shopping on a budget, the WFS-1000 is the perfect choice||Doing a fantastic job in most of our tests, the ZeroWater combines an amazing performance with an even better price||The best filter for permanent installation that we have seen to date||The HydroPerfection is a fantastic product but is prohibitively expensive||This relatively expensive under the sink model was outperformed by products that cost much less|
|Rating Categories||APEC WFS-1000||ZeroWater 10-Cup...||iSpring RCC7||Home Master...||APEC Essence ROES-50|
|Lead Removal (25%)|
|Chlorine Removal (25%)|
|Salt Removal (25%)|
|Specs||APEC WFS-1000||ZeroWater 10-Cup...||iSpring RCC7||Home Master...||APEC Essence ROES-50|
|Model||WFS-1000||10 Cup||RCC7||TMHP||Essence ROES-50|
|Replacement Schedule||Every 12 months||18,000 mg of disolved solids; 1-40 gallons||Stage 1 - 3 every 6 months
RO every 2 - 3 years
Post carbon every 12 months
|Filter Set changed annually
RO changed every 3 - 5 years
|Stage 1, 2, 3 Pre-Filters Every 6 - 12 months
Stage 4 RO Membrane Every 2 - 4 Years
Stage 5 Carbon Post-Filter Every 2 - 4 Years
|Replacement Cost||Stages 1-3 for $40||2 for $30
4 for $50
8 for $90
12 for $120
16 for $160
|2 year supply for $100||Filter Set for $130
RO for $100
|Stages 1-3 for $27
RO for $45
Carbon for $10
|Pure Water to Waste Water Ratio||N/A||N/A||~1:3||1:1||~ 1:5|
|Gallons Per Day (GPD)||N/A||N/A||75||75||50|
|NSF/ANSI certified for lead removal||No||Yes||Yes||N/A||No|
|NSF/ANSI certified for organic contaminants removal||No||No||Yes||N/A||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The WFS-1000 finished in the middle of the group overall and was outperformed by the most of the other under the sink filters: Home Master HydroPerfection, iSpring RCC7, and the APEC Essence. The WFS-1000 is on par with this trio when it came to extracting chlorine or lead, but fell far short in our mineral removal test. However, the WFS-1000 is much less expensive, ranging anywhere from $20 to $350 cheaper, making it a much better value.
To rank and score these products in our quest to find the best possible water filter, we researched all of the top products, then bought all of the most promising to test side-by-side. We conducted several different tests, divided up over five weighted rating metrics, with the results of the WFS-1000 detailed below.
Comprising a quarter of the overall score for each filter, we evaluated how well each filter did at extracting lead from water for this metric. The APEC WFS-1000 got off to a strong start, removing essentially all of the lead and finishing in the top-tier of water filters.
We contaminated our experimental water supply with lead until it was significantly higher than the EPA acceptable level of 0.015 ppm — about 2.3 ppm, according to the results of the water quality lab. When we ran this water through the WFS-1000, it reduced the concentration to around 0.012ppm — about 1.25 times less than the EPA standard. This calculates out to a reduction of about 99.48%.
Moving on from lead, our Chlorine Removal metric is also worth 25% of the final score. We followed a similar procedure as our lead test, using chlorine bleach to spike the concentration of the isolated supply, then testing the concentration of the filtered water using chlorine test strips. The WFS-1000 again delivered an exceptional performance, putting it right at the top of the group.
Differing from the lead test, we actually conducted two different trials for this metric — one with extremely high chlorine levels, on the order of 1000 times the level in a swimming pool, and one with more moderate levels, on the order of 5-10 times as much as a pool. The WFS-1000 did an extremely good job in both tests, dropping the concentration to around 0 ppm, or at least low enough that the test strips failed to indicate anything. We found this to be particularly impressive, as the high concentration test had far more chlorine than these products should ever come close to encountering through normal use.
Unfortunately, the WFS-1000 couldn't maintain its strong performance through all of our impurity removal metrics, delivering an exceptionally lackluster performance and finishing near the bottom of the group in this test.
We used standard sodium chloride (table salt) as our contaminant, mixing it into our water supply until we measured levels of around 445 ppm, according to our TDS meter. The WFS-1000 barely made a dent in this, failing to remove even 10% of the salt and leaving the filtered water tasting so salty that it was close to undrinkable.
After the WFS-1000's somewhat shoddy performance in the previous metric, we didn't expect much from it in our Taste metric, as this also involved filtering out salt. We weren't wrong, with the APEC earning a 5 out of 10 for its mediocre showing in this metric, which accounts for 15% of the overall score.
However, this filter did deliver a decent showing in the first component of this metric. We ran pure water through each filter, then had our taste-testing panel try each one to see if there were any undesirable flavors imparted on the water. The majority of our panel rated this water from good to excellent, with no detectable unsavory flavors imparted.
For the second test, we ran heavily chlorinated and salted water through each filter, again having our panel rate the results from each filter. The water produced by the WFS-1000 was exceptionally salty and not really something that anyone really wanted to drink.
For the last test, responsible for the remaining 10% of the score, we timed how long it took for each filter to produce a quart of water. The WFS-1000 finished on a high note, having one of the highest flow rates of the group.
This filter took 15 seconds to fill the container, only about 6 seconds longer than the standard faucet.
This filter is an exceptional value, giving you the most bang for the buck of all the under the sink or faucet models, earning it the Best Buy Award.
The APEC WFS-1000 does a great job of pulling lead and chlorine from your water, without pulling out too much cash from your bank account. It's not the greatest option if your water is full of minerals that you would like to remove or if you are shopping on a tight budget. If that is the case, then you should definitely look at a water filter pitcher instead.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer