I’m not a huge water drinker, but the person I live with doesn’t go anywhere without a bottle of water. We buy multi-packs of Aquafina and other name brand bottled water when it is on sale. Even though we recycle the empty plastic bottles, I still feel guilty buying them. That’s why I’ve been trying to find a water filter system that can make ordinary tap water taste as good as bottled water. HoMedics agreed to send me their Restore Clean Water System to review. Let’s see how it fared.
What’s in the box?
8 cup capacity pitcher with built-in UV lamp
The Restore System looks similar to other filtered water pitchers on the market such as those by Brita. The main component is a BPA free large plastic pitcher that holds a filter cartridge.
The Restore System is comprised of two parts. The reservoir and the 8 cup capacity pitcher.
The reservoir lifts out for easy cleaning.
With the reservoir removed, you can see the reason why the Restore Clean Water System is different than other water filtering pitchers. This one has an Ultraviolet (UV) light bulb in the bottom that will purify the water to remove 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.95% of microbial cysts.
The filter is used to reduce heavy metals, chlorine (taste and odor), and some industrial and agricultural pollutants. According to the manual, the filter will last approximately 2 months before needing a replacement. A look on the HoMedics store site shows that replacements cost about $8, which is about the same as Brita filters.
The base of the pitcher has a socket for the special purifier adapter and there’s a switch on the handle that is used to switch from fill mode to purify mode.
The adapter has a three-prong plug on the back and a retractable cable, control buttons and a filter status indicator on the front.
A button on the side of the adapter retracts the cable back into the housing when it’s not in use.
Purifying a pitcher of water with the Restore system is pretty simple after prepping the carbon filter. Like other filtered pitchers, you have to soak a new filter for about 15 minutes and then run a couple pitchers of water through it and discard. Once that is done, all you have to do is slide the switch on the handle to FILL and then fill the reservoir with water (it can only hold 4 cups at a time), let it filter into the bottom of the pitcher and then do it once more to fill pitcher to the 8 cup capacity. Then make sure you put the lid on the top, slide the switch to the PURIFY setting, plug the adapter into a wall outlet, pull out the cord, plug it into the base of the pitcher and press the PURIFY button on the adapter. The UV in the bottom of the pitcher will glow Pink for a less than a minute and then turn Blue for a few seconds before it turns off. Once the light has turned off, you know the water has been purified and is ready to drink. The whole process takes about a minute. The pitcher can then be placed in a refrigerator.
I decided to conduct a taste test to see if I could tell the difference between water purified with the Restore System, water filtered through my Kenmore refrigerator’s filter and bottled water. I was unable to taste any difference between the water from the Restore pitcher and the water from my refrigerator. The bottled water did taste slightly better to me I don’t think it was all in my head…). I don’t know what it is about bottled water that makes it taste different. I had Jeanne do the same test and she wasn’t able to taste a difference between all of them and said they all tasted fine to her.
So what does that mean? It means that the Restore Clean Water System doesn’t make your water taste significantly better than bottled water or other filtered water. Does that mean that it’s a waste of money? Well, it is pretty expensive at about $100, but the whole selling point with this product is the UV purifier and the ability to remove bacteria, viruses and microbial cysts. I think it really depends on where you live and the quality of your water that you’re starting with in the first place. I’ve been drinking tap water from the Southwestern Bartholomew County, Indiana water for 45 years and haven’t had any issues with it. That said, I can understand how people might want some extra piece of mind given all the talk about H1N1, E. Coli, etc. these days. If you’re one of those people, then I all I can say is go for it. For me, if I’m going to drink water, I want bottled water taste, so I’ll probably stick with Aquafina or Dasani.