iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage Water Filtration System review

Introduction

The iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage Water Filtration System effectively removes most problematic contaminants while maintaining a natural alkaline balance and great taste.

Details

Simpler and more compact than Reverse Osmosis systems, the iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage Water Filtration System is an excellent choice for most general water filtration applications. The advanced 4-stage design of the CU-A4, featuring a unique combination of Activated Carbon, Ultra Filtration and KDF filters, removes a wide variety of unhealthy contaminants, including bacteria, algae, fungi, giardia, lead, arsenic, iron, nickel, chromium, cadmium, calcium, aluminum, mercury, chlorine and chlorine treatment by-products, pesticides, hydrogen sulfide and other organic compounds. You experience safer, healthier and better-tasting water, without the hassle, expense and negative environmental impact of bottled water. It is very easy to install and maintain – only requiring occasional filter replacement. 

iSpring CU-A4 Water Filter, White
  • Superior 4-stage multipurpose water filtration system for safer, healthier, better-tasting water. The unique 4-stage design, which...
  • The 0.1 micron Ultra Filtration (UF) stage removes up to 99% of most problematic pollutants such as chlorine and chlorine...
  • Simple, compact and flexible, the CU-A4 provides highly effective water filtration for any number of clean-water needs - at the...
  • All filters, tubing and other water-contacting parts are manufactured to comply strictly with FDA and NSF/ANSI standards for...
  • iSpring supports all of its product with the best support in the industry. In addition to our 1-year limited warranty, we offer...

Last update on 2019-07-16 / Links, Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The high-capacity, high-performance filters last up to twice as long as other filters and provide maximum water flow – a difference you’ll notice when you turn on the faucet. A beautiful lead-free faucet included with the system is usually mounted on the counter as the primary source of drinking water, but with a wide range of optional parts and accessories, the CU-A4 easily adapts to fit nearly any refrigerator or ice maker connection*. Our push-to-connect fittings and color-coded tubing simplify the installation process and minimize the possibility of leaks. Perfect for RVs, apartments or where space is at a premium, the CU-A4 is the best, most economical and flexible choice for clean, fresh, great-tasting water instantly.

  • Superior 4-stage multipurpose water filtration system for safer, healthier, better-tasting water, the unique 4-stage design, which includes both ultrafiltration and KDF/GAC stages provides the most effective water filtration in its class
  • 0.1 micron ultrafiltration (UF) stage removes up to 99% of most problematic pollutants such as chlorine and chlorine treatment by-products, bacteria, giardia, lead, arsenic, and much more, while retaining healthy minerals
  • Simple, compact and flexible, the CU-A4 provides highly effective water filtration for any number of clean-water needs – at the sink, in the refrigerator, for coffee makers and more, with no storage water tank and no waste water, the CU-A4 is perfect even for RVs
  • Designed for high reliability, maximum flow rate and low maintenance, the CU-A4 uses High capacity cartridges that last up to twice as long as similar products. can be installed inline and used as a fridge filter
  • All filters, tubing and other water-contacting parts are manufactured to comply strictly with FDA and NSF/ANSI standards for safety and water quality, simple to install and simple to maintain, CU-A4 easy-twist cartridges simply twist on and off
  • Note: if you plan to use the CU-A4 as an inline filter without the included air-gap faucet, your incoming water pressure needs to be 40 PSI or below, if it is above that, a 40 PSI pressure regulator (APR40) should be installed on the input line to keep the pressure on the system at 40 PSI or below, please contact us if you plan to “tee off” the pure water line and connect it to your fridge, as you would need a regular RO faucet along with a pressure regulator
  • For windows requiring emergency access capabilities, please see Prime-Line’s model number S-4779

Other Useful Information

he CU-A4 is a multi-layered filter system that provides optimal protection against a wide range of contaminants while retaining healthy minerals. The system consists of 4 stages, each one designed to progressively remove contaminants and improve water quality and taste:

  • 1. A Polypropylene (PP) sediment filter (5 microns) removes larger particles like rust, sand and dirt.
  • 2. UF membrane is capable of removing contaminants like waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites. These emerging contaminants can be pharmaceuticals or chemicals not yet regulated by the EPA.
  • 3. KDF and activated charcoal filter. It provides much better control of particularly problematic contaminants including bacteria, chloramine, hydrogen sulfide, metals, and other organic compounds.
  • 4. The last fine activated carbon filter provides final polishing before the purified water is delivered to the faucet, removing any possible residual chlorine, tastes or odors.

iSpring CU-A4 Water Filter, White
  • Superior 4-stage multipurpose water filtration system for safer, healthier, better-tasting water. The unique 4-stage design, which...
  • The 0.1 micron Ultra Filtration (UF) stage removes up to 99% of most problematic pollutants such as chlorine and chlorine...
  • Simple, compact and flexible, the CU-A4 provides highly effective water filtration for any number of clean-water needs - at the...
  • All filters, tubing and other water-contacting parts are manufactured to comply strictly with FDA and NSF/ANSI standards for...
  • iSpring supports all of its product with the best support in the industry. In addition to our 1-year limited warranty, we offer...

Last update on 2019-07-16 / Links, Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

User Reviews

Review 1

I am a General Contractor/Home builder. We originally had a RO system that provided us with excellent tasting water, but took up most of the under-cabinet and had to be sanitized with bleach at each filter change.. We don't have hard water and our tap water is drinkable but we wanted it cleaner, and the RO had intermittent leak problems. Could I find a system that would relieve us of the clutter , the maintenance, the water leaks under the cabinet, and still get great water?
I decided to give the CU-A4 a shot. SO, Here goes what I didn't like, and then what I liked:
CONS:
1. The directions do NOT adequately describe how to make the water connections. To someone who has installed with these type connections it is an obvious “no-brainer”, but to the rest of us………
Parts of the directions appeared to be for a different unit, and especially the section on installing the faucet, which was obviously from their RO system and was not anywhere close to describing the faucet enclosed. The faucet enclosed is an “air gap” style which requires a hole in your sink deck or in your counter of 1 1/8″ minimum. The threaded pipe that will go through this opening is 1″ in diameter. If your existing hole is anywhere from 1 1/2″ to 1 1/8″ the provided washer will work fine.
2. While there was plenty of 1/4″ tubing to do the installation, There are 3 colors of tube, red, white and blue. They provided plenty of blue and white, but not red, therefore I used white and labeled it red to make the job a clean install.
3. There is no discussion in the manual of run-in time after completing the install. The water was barely drinkable after letting it free-flow for approximately 10 minutes as suggested in the notes . After flushing the system with approximately 15 more gallons the water was crystal clear and the flavor has become progressively better and better and has stabilized.

PROS:
1. The system IS actually easy to install when you have familiarized yourself with everything they have sent and how it will work with your existing plumbing and sink. AND you have purchased anything you might need so the system will integrate seamlessly.
2. The snap-fit connections work great and do not leak a drop.
3. Twist on replacement filters. How could it get any simpler???
4. Takes up minimal space.
5. The faucet is all metal construction.
6. After initial flushing and after the first week of use (approx. 1 Gal per day)t the water tastes GREAT.
As good or better than any of the bottled waters we have tested against.
7. Every time I have called them (of course during business hours…duh…) they have been very responsive.
So, customer service gets a nod.

CONCLUSION:
Well worth the money,
Simple design and install
Great tasting water

NOTES:
1.There is a review about salt taste. If you have softened water, then you may want to contact your
service company regarding what is best to work with your existing system. At the very least do an internet search
on how softeners and filters can work together before purchasing this system.
2. There are reviews that mention a 1/2″ 3-way valve and having to buy adapter fittings. My system came with a 3/8 to 3/8″ 3-way valve (which worked perfectly), so it seems iSpring has changed it to the more typical size.
3. One reviewer gave 3 stars because this system does not reduce TDS and it cost them 10% restocking to return it.
TDS is reduced by RO systems, This is NOT a RO system. iSpring does not claim reduced TDS. If you need reduced TDS…iSpring has a very highly rated RO system ( http://www.amazon.com/iSpring-RCC7-Reverse-featuring-See-through/dp/B003XELTTG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_sims?ie=UTF8 ) for about $200.00.
4. Most every review says the directions suck. I can attest to that. They do!
Layout everything from the box, familiarize yourself with it, identify any problems with your existing plumbing. Take the 3-way valve with you to your local home improvement store and buy whatever you need.
5. Make certain you have the correct tools to accomplish the install.
6. For a water tight connection fit, remove the blue “horseshoe” clips and FIRMLY push the 1/4″ tubing approximately 5/16″ in to the
couplers until you feel it “bottom out”, check the assembly by firmly pulling on the 1/4″ tubing. Replace the blue clip.
7. I made all of my tubing the same length and long enough for me to remove the filter manifold a couple feet from the cabinet to facilitate changing the filters when that time comes. The tubing is coiled and taped up (love that blue tape), and will be easy to undo and stretch out.
8. I purchased an extra set of filters ahead of time, and store them right next to the unit.
9. Instead of changing my filters by use of a calendar (such as recommended by the manufacturer, every 6 months), I will change them based on usage. Since we only use it for drinking and cooking, we likely will never hit a max avg of 3gals per day. Most filter manufacturers claim 6mos. is relatively equal to 1200 Gals. Therefore 3 gals x 365 days = 1095 gals. (1095 is approx 90% of 1200 filter life). That is when I will change mine, at about 1 year. You also can adjust your schedule based on this formula. If you use 6 1/2 gals per day, you will hit the 1200 threshold at about 6 months. Were you to use 10 gals per day you would want to replace the filters after 4 months. AND so on.
If you don't have a basin wrench, get one from your tool store, (see images) Make your life easier.

Review 2

I purchased this system and had it running for a month. My wife complained about the taste, so we left tap water and filtered water sit out over night. The filtered water had oil drops on it the next morning. After several back and forth messages with Ispring support we got to this point:

support: “Unfortunately, this system does not remove calcium, mercury, iron, and fluoride. I think
you may be confusing the CU-A4 with our reverse osmosis system.”

my response: On the cover of the CU-A4 manual (attached) it shows that arsenic, lead and fluoride are removed. On page 1 of the manual, it says
“4. Third stage: […] removes pesticides and heavy metals such as chromium, lead, mercury and cadmium…” Now, you say it does NOT remove these things.
Are you saying the manual is wrong and your cover page is false advertising?

It is possible that during fabrication some oil got into the manifold, but you'd think the filters would actually remove that. But they claim to remove “heavy metals” and explicitly mention lead and mercury. Then, support comes back and says their manual is wrong. So 1) the filters I received put oil into the water, so they don't work and 2) Ispring support denies the filters even work as filters for what it claims it ought to do.

They are at least refunding my money.

Review 3

Concerned about oily residue? See below for simple fix! This is a great filter for anyone who wants to LEAVE THE GOOD MINERALS IN your water and filter everything else out. The only better filtration is reverse osmosis, but it needs its own separate storage tank so the water is just room temperature, and it has a metallic taste and low water pressure = slow flow.

After significant research we decided we didn't want to waste our money on expensive reverse osmosis filters that make water acidic, have a slow flow, remove the good minerals and take up massive amounts of space. (Some RO filters have a separate stage to add minerals back in, but why do that when you could just keep them in in the first place?) This fit the bill perfectly with a healthy four filtration stages, great flow and no RO! I had it running in a half an hour with simple inline connections to the 'fridge water line and it eliminated the pesticides and city water taste instantly.

Important Notes:
#1) This filter prefers to be under 80 PSI water pressure; we live in Minneapolis and had exactly 80 PSI. Make sure you add the iSpring APR40 or APR70 (40 / 70 PSI respectively) to your purchase to ensure long-term leak-free operation

#2) As others have mentioned there is a slight oily sheen in the water upon first installation. The oil is there to help seal the cartridges. Simply run 15 gallons of water through the filter to purge it all out, really not a big deal, see images 2-3. Residue and cloudiness are common to nearly ALL water filters upon first installation and the 1-star complaints are indicative of inexperienced DIYers.

#3) The included push-to-fit 1/4″ water line couplers work on both Copper and PEX/plastic tubing as they are both relatively soft materials with the same outer diameter

Water tastes like bottled now and we're extremely satisfied, plus no more pesticides. If I have any problems, you know where I'll be posting them!

Conclusion

iSpring is America's favorite brand of water filtration systems. All of our systems go through rigorous testing for air leaks, pressure and cycle resistance to adhere to our own demanding quality and high-performance standards. You are assured of many years of safe, trouble-free, low maintenance peace of mind.

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