While the HomeMaster HydroPerfection delivered an overall exceptional showing in our tests — even tying for the overall runner-up position — this product failed to merit an award. It is simply too expensive, performing essentially identically to under the sink filters that cost less than half and was outperformed by a pitcher filter that is close to $500 less expensive. Aside from its exorbitant price, this filter does a great job at removing both lead and chlorine from the water, making great tasting water. It does a respectable job at extracting minerals and has a solidly high flow rate.
Home Master HydroPerfection Review
Pros: Great tasting water, excellent at removing lead and chlorine
Cons: Very pricey
Manufacturer: Home Master
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This filter tied with the iSpring RCC7 in terms of overall performance. The Home Master has a slightly higher flow rate, but didn't quite match the performance of the RCC7 when it came to extracting minerals from the water. However, we liked the RCC7 much more, as it costs about half as much as the HydroPerfection by Home Master. Both of these filters are outperformed by the ZeroWater 10-Cup Pitcher, which costs significantly less than both.
To see which water filter is really the best, we bought all of the top models and compared their performance side-by-side. We grouped our tests into five weighted testing metrics, with the results of the HydroPerfection explained below.
For this metric, responsible for 25% of the final score, we spiked the isolated water supply for our testing apparatus with lead until it reached a concentration much higher than the acceptable level for drinking water as stated by the EPA. We ran this tainted water through each filter, then sent the sample off to an independent lab for water quality testing. We also sent a sample of our supply water, to determine just how high the concentration of lead was.
The lab results showed that the concentration of the supply water hit about 2.3 ppm — levels over 150 times what the EPA considered to be acceptable. The Home Master HydroPerfection did a great job at removing all of this lead, dropping it down to about 0.002 ppm. This translates to removing 99.91% of the lead, leaving the filtered water with lead concentration levels about 7.5 times less than what is considered to be acceptable. This phenomenal performance earned the Home Master a 10 out of 10 in this metric, putting it at the top of the group.
For our Chlorine Removal metric, also responsible for a quarter of the overall score, we used chlorine bleach as our experimental contaminant, again adding it to the separate supply for our water filter testing assembly. We did two different trials for this metric, one with very high levels of chlorine and one with more moderate. We used indicator strips to measure the chlorine content, finding it to be around 1370 ppm in the first test and between 20-50 ppm for the latter. For reference, pools usually have 1-4 ppm.
The Home Master did an excellent job in both of these tests, removing essentially all of the chlorine. In both cases, our tests strips failed to register the presence of any chlorine, earning this filter top marks — a 10 out of 10.
Moving on to minerals, we repeated a similar procedure to the previous metrics, this time substituting table salt as our test contaminant. This metric is also accountable for 25% of the total score. We mixed salt into our experimental water supply until our Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter registered about 445 ppm. We then ran this water through each filter and measured the concentration of salt in the results.
The Home Master did well, but failed to claim the top spot, earning an 8 out of 10 for its performance. This filter pulled about 89% of the salt from the water, leaving about 49 ppm behind.
For our taste test, worth 15% of the overall score, we scored each filter on its performance in two different tests. For the first, we ran purified water through each filter, then had a panel taste the filtered water, to see if there were any undesirable or unsavory flavors added to the water by the filter. The Home Master scored very well, with our panel noting that the filtered water was identical to the purified water.
For the second test, we made a batch of exceptionally nasty tasting water using chlorine bleach and salt, then ran this through each of the products in our test. The Home Master again did very well, with our panel all agreeing that the water produced was quite tasty and definitely drinkable. This performance earned this filter a 9 out of 10 in our taste test.
For the final metric, responsible for the residual 10% of the overall score, we evaluated and scored the flow rate for each filter. We did this by conducting a single time trial of how long it took each water filter to fill up a quart container. The Home Master HydroPerfection finished out with a strong showing, earning a 7 out of 10 for its performance. This filter took about 21 seconds to fill the container — a little more than twice as long as the unimpeded faucet.
This product is a terrible value, being the most expensive of the test and performing similar or worse to products that cost half as much.
The combination of an exceptionally high list price and an undistinguished performance make it hard to recommend this product. There are other options that are a much better value, whether you are looking at other under the sink filters or filter pitchers.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer