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ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher Review

An affordable water filter that does a solid job but is a bit slower than some
ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher
Credit: ZeroWater
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Price:   $40 List | $39.80 at Amazon
Pros:  Great filter performance, good taste, affordable
Cons:  Slow filtration, cartridge lasts for forty gallons
Manufacturer:   ZeroWater
By Ross Patton and Matt Spencer  ⋅  Aug 2, 2022
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88
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 13
  • Lead Removal - 25% 8.0
  • Chlorine Removal - 25% 10.0
  • Salt Removal - 25% 10.0
  • Taste - 15% 9.0
  • Flow - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

Delivering a decent performance at a reasonable price, the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher is a solid water pitcher. We were impressed with its chlorine and salt removal, and it did relatively well at removing lead. Our panel of judges agreed that this filter produces some great-tasting water that is on par with the water purified by any other version in our review. The only drawback of the ZeroWater 12-Cup is that it takes longer than we would like to filter everything. That said, this is a great product if you aren't in a hurry to filter your water and don't want to break the bank.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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53
Star Rating
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Pros Great filter performance, good taste, affordableFantastic at removing impurities, makes great tasting water, inexpensiveGreat contaminant removal, fairly inexpensiveInexpensive for an under the sink filter, removes tons of lead and chlorineInexpensive, removes tons of chlorine
Cons Slow filtration, cartridge lasts for forty gallonsSmaller capacity, takes some time to refill and refilterSlow flow rateFiltered water didn't taste amazing, didn't remove minerals wellDidn't do well in our lead or salt removal tests
Bottom Line An affordable water filter that does a solid job but is a bit slower than someDoing a fantastic job in most of our tests, this filter combines amazing performance with an even better priceThis filter jug is for anyone who wants a bit more water on hand than the typical model and also impressed in our impurity removal metricsIf you are set on an under the sink filter and are shopping on a budget, this is the perfect choiceIf you are set on a faucet mount filter, then the SAFF-100 is your best bet
Rating Categories ZeroWater 12-Cup Pi... ZeroWater 10-Cup Pi... ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug APEC WFS-1000 Brita SAFF-100
Lead Removal (25%)
8.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
6.0
Chlorine Removal (25%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
Salt Removal (25%)
10.0
10.0
10.0
2.0
1
Taste (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Flow (10%)
4.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
5.0
Specs ZeroWater 12-Cup Pi... ZeroWater 10-Cup Pi... ZeroWater 23-Cup Jug APEC WFS-1000 Brita SAFF-100
Model ZD-012RP 10 Cup Pitcher WFS-1000 SAFF-100
Replacement Schedule 40 Gallons 18,000 mg of disolved solids; 1-40 gallons 18,000 mg of disolved solids; 1-40 gallons Every 12 months Every 100 gallons or 4 months
Replacement Cost 2 for $33
3 for $46
4 for $55
6 for $80
8 for $100
16 for $200
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
Stages 1-3 for $40 1 for $19
Pure Water to Waste Water Ratio N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gallons Per Day (GPD) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
NSF/ANSI certified for lead removal Yes Yes Yes No Yes
NSF/ANSI certified for organic contaminants removal Yes No No No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the zerowater 12-cup pitcher does a great job and won't wreck your...
The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher does a great job and won't wreck your bank account.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Lead Removal


To accurately assess how well the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher does at purifying lead-ridden water, we created a concoction of tap water with 2.3 ppm of the toxic substance. The EPA limit for water that is considered safe for human consumption has 0.015 ppm of lead, so this is well beyond the toxicity that anybody would presumably be filtering. After pouring the tainted water through each filter, we sent the samples to our friends at a third-party water-testing laboratory, where they have the proper equipment for analyzing lead content. This section of the review accounts for 25% of the total score.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the filter cartridge on the zerowater is located just below the top...
The filter cartridge on the ZeroWater is located just below the top lid.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher removed 98.7% of the lead from our contaminated sample. This puts the filtered water produced by this model barely outside the EPA limits, but considering that the amount of lead that we added to our supply water was essentially an absurd amount, we think the ZeroWater 12-Cup would do completely fine with any normal tap water.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the zerowater 12-cup pitcher includes a total dissolved solids meter...
The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher includes a total dissolved solids meter so that you will know exactly when you need a new filter.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Chlorine Removal


The next 25% of our total score is dedicated to how well the filters do at removing chlorine. According to the EPA, water with less than 4 ppm of chlorine is deemed safe for human consumption. We mixed a batch of tap water with chlorine to bring the ppm levels of the concoction up to 106. After running our chlorinated water through each filter, we used chemical test strips to measure the resultant levels following filtration.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - this model is affordable and does a fantastic job of removing...
This model is affordable and does a fantastic job of removing contaminants.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Earning a perfect performance for this metric, the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher removed all of the chlorine from our tainted sample water.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - if you want to be sure to remove 100% of the chlorine from your...
If you want to be sure to remove 100% of the chlorine from your tapwater, the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher is one of the best options.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Salt Removal


Acceptable salt levels in water for human consumption are a bit more ambiguous than chlorine or lead. The general consensus from official healthcare authorities on ppm levels can range from 20 to 250. Those who recommend lower levels tend to consider that we get sodium from many other sources of beverages and food. In comparison, others allow for higher levels because sodium is a critical element of human life.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the zerowater 12-cup pitcher had no problem purifying extremely...
The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher had no problem purifying extremely salty water.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Regardless of your take on recommended sodium levels, the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher earned a perfect performance in this metric by reducing our salty test water from 445 ppm to 0. Salt Removal comprises 25% of the overall score.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - we were very impressed with the zerowater 12-cup pitcher during our...
We were very impressed with the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher during our salt removal experiments.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Taste


To assess taste, we used a panel of judges to offer their thoughts on water that had gone through each filter. In order to ensure that the filters themselves weren't adding any strange flavors, we used purified water for our first set of tests. Next, we filtered our local tap water and used the same panel of judges to see if anything had changed. This section accounts for 15% of the total review score.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the ergonomic handle on this model aids in smooth pouring.
The ergonomic handle on this model aids in smooth pouring.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher did exceptionally well during our taste tests. We found that no matter if we used tap water or purified water, the water that came out of this model had a flawless flavor.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - our team of judges found that the filtered water from the zerowater...
Our team of judges found that the filtered water from the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher had a perfect taste.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Flow


Finally, we measured flow rates for the outstanding 10% of our total score. This was the one area where the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher fell short of the pack. While some water filters can filter a gallon of water in less than a minute, this model takes 36 minutes. Because of this drastic difference in rates, we could only award it a 4 out of 10 for this metric. If you want rapid, on-demand filtered water, the ZeroWater is not the product for you.

ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher water filter - the zerowater 12-cup pitcher takes a fairly long time to filter...
The ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher takes a fairly long time to filter water, but once it's done its job, the results are top-notch.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Value


Considering its relatively high performance and very affordable price tag, we think the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher has tremendous value.

Conclusion


The main drawbacks of owning the ZeroWater 12-Cup Pitcher are its slow flow rate and the fact that each internal filter cartridge only lasts 40 gallons. We appreciate that this model includes a TDS meter so that you'll know exactly when it's time to order a new cartridge. Other than that, this version does a great job of removing chemicals, and the resulting filtered water tastes great.

Ross Patton and Matt Spencer
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