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ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug Review

The ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug is the best bet for anyone who wants a little more filtered water on hand than the standard pitcher provides
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $38 List | $35 at Amazon
Pros:  Great contaminant removal, fairly inexpensive
Cons:  Slow flow rate
Manufacturer:   ZeroWater
By Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman  ⋅  Nov 8, 2019
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93
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Lead Removal - 25% 10
  • Chlorine Removal - 25% 10
  • Salt Removal - 25% 10
  • Taste - 15% 9
  • Flow - 10% 4

Our Verdict

Claiming one of the top scores out of any filter that we have tested to date, the ZeroWater 23-Cup is a great option for anyone who wants more capacity than the standard 10 or 12-cup pitcher. ZeroWater uses the same filter in all of their pitchers, which did a great job across the board in our impurity removal metrics. Our judges thought the water from this pitcher tasted great. However, it did a slightly subpar job in our flow rate metric.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $38 List
$34.50 at Amazon
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$530 List
$436.28 at Amazon
$260 List
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Star Rating
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Pros Great contaminant removal, fairly inexpensiveFantastic at removing impurities, makes great tasting water, inexpensiveGreat at removing both lead and chlorine, makes great tasting waterGreat tasting water, excellent at removing lead and chlorinePerformed well in our lead removal, chlorine removal, and salt removal tests
Cons Slow flow rateSmaller capacity, takes some time to refill and refilterMediocre flow rate, priceyVery priceyLow flow rate, pricey
Bottom Line The ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug is the best bet for anyone who wants a little more filtered water on hand than the standard pitcher providesDoing a fantastic job in most of our tests, the ZeroWater combines an amazing performance with an even better priceThe best filter for permanent installation that we have seen to dateThe HydroPerfection is a fantastic product but is prohibitively expensiveThis relatively expensive under the sink model was outperformed by products that cost much less
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Rating Categories ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug ZeroWater 10-Cup... iSpring RCC7 Home Master... APEC Essence ROES-50
Lead Removal (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
Chlorine Removal (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
Salt Removal (25%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Taste (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Flow (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
4
Specs ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug ZeroWater 10-Cup... iSpring RCC7 Home Master... APEC Essence ROES-50
Model Pitcher 10 Cup RCC7 TMHP Essence ROES-50
Replacement Schedule 18,000 mg of disolved solids; 1-40 gallons 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 2 for $30
4 for $40
8 for $90
12 for $115
16 for $150
2 for $30
4 for $40
8 for $90
12 for $115
16 for $150
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 Yes Yes Yes N/A No
NSF/ANSI certified for organic contaminants removal No No Yes N/A No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The ZeroWater 23-Cup is a great choice for multiple people using the same filter and aren't able to install a more permanent under-the-sink option. The 23-Cup has a decently high flow rate and will dispense water quickly --- when it's full. Unfortunately, it does take a little bit of time to filter more water when you are empty.

Performance Comparison


The ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug did a great job in all of our contaminant removal tests.
The ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug did a great job in all of our contaminant removal tests.

Lead Removal


The first of our contaminant removal tests, lead removal is responsible for one-fourth of the final score for the ZeroWater 23-Cup's. To rank and score this, we dissolved lead shavings into peracetic acid, then mixed that into some water to make some lead-contaminated water well above the acceptable EPA limits. After filtering this tainted water, we sent sample into a lab to measure the concentrations for us to determine results. We repeated a similar procedure for each different contaminant metric and used the same results for each ZeroWater pitcher, as they use the identical filter cartridge in each product. This filter did exceptionally well in this test, removing the vast majority of the lead and earning one of the top scores overall.


The ZeroWater 23-Cup removed 99.9% of the lead in the water, leaving it at a level 7.5 times lower than the EPA standard.

This filter removed practically all the chlorine  even with our torture test.
This filter removed practically all the chlorine, even with our torture test.

Chlorine Removal


For our chlorine removal assessment — also worth 25% of the score — we laced the supply water with chlorine bleach as a contaminant before running it through the ZeroWater. We did two versions of this test: one with incredibly high levels of chlorine (1300+ ppm) and one with much more reasonable ones (20-50 ppm). We used chlorine test strips to measure the filtering performance, with the ZeroWater 23-Cup again performing exceptionally well.


The 23-Cup removed almost all of the chlorine in both tests, with the indicator strips failing to change color at all.

We couldn't really measure any salt in the filtered water from the 23-Cup Jug.
We couldn't really measure any salt in the filtered water from the 23-Cup Jug.

Salt Removal


Equivalent to lead and chlorine removal, salt removal is also responsible for 25% of the final score for the ZeroWater 23-Cup. We repeated the same procedure as before using common table salt as a contaminant and a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter to measure results. Again, the ZeroWater earned one of the top scores of the entire group.


We measured a salt concentration of 445 ppm in the supply water with our meter, which the ZeroWater 23-Cup reduced to 0 ppm according to the meter.

Our judges agreed that the filtered water from this jug tasted great.
Our judges agreed that the filtered water from this jug tasted great.

Taste


To rank and compare the taste of the filtered water from each product, we started by making an exceptionally foul-tasting batch of water using chlorine and salt, then ran it through each pitcher. We also ran purified water through each product, to ensure that none of the filters imparted a negative taste. We then had a series of judges try the different filtered waters in a blind side-by-side taste test and score the results. This is responsible for 15% of the score for each product, with the ZeroWater earning an excellent score and finishing at the top of the group overall.


The filtered water from the 23-Cup came out near perfect, with our judges struggling to distinguish between the filtered water and the control purified water. All evidence of chlorine and salt had been removed. Additionally, none of our judges found any negative flavors added to the clean water after it had been through the ZeroWater.

Regrettably  this ZeroWater filter can take a bit of time to filter more water once it runs out.
Regrettably, this ZeroWater filter can take a bit of time to filter more water once it runs out.

Flow


For our final testing metric — responsible for the final 10% of the total score — we looked at the flow rate of each filter, both how long it takes to dispense filtered water and in the case of the pitchers, how long it takes to filter water when refilled. The 23-Cup did slightly below average in this metric, hurt by the long time it took to filter more water when empty.


It took about 24 seconds to empty a quart of water from the 23-Cup — if it's already full. However, it would take almost 14 minutes to do this if you had to filter that amount of water first.

We didn't really like that you have to hold the button down while dispensing water.
We didn't really like that you have to hold the button down while dispensing water.

Value


The ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug is a solid value option, especially if you need the additional capacity over typical filters.

Conclusion


The ZeroWater did very well in the majority of our tests, thoroughly impressing us with its contaminant removal abilities in our tests. It's a fantastic choice if you want to have a larger supply of filtered water available on hand and don't want to pay the large upfront cost for an under-the-sink filter.


Austin Palmer, David Wise, and Jenna Ammerman