Looking to get a new water purifier? After around 3 months of research and testing, we have selected the best water purifiers in India. If you are looking to use one with municipal supply, the Kent Maxx with a detachable storage tank, is a great pick. For those looking to get RO purifiers, the Kent Supreme is our top pick. In this article, we tell you how to select the right water purifier and also why a water purifier is recommended in every home.
The Best water Purifier for most people
- Kent Maxx
The Best RO Water Purifier
2. Kent Supreme
How to select the right water purifier ?
Water purifiers ensure that your drinking water is safe. They improve the taste of water and also protect you from harmful contaminants. Your water source may be municipal water, ground water or water from mixed sources. Water can get contaminated at any place before reaching your glass. It maybe from chemicals in the groundwater, leakages in tanks and old rusty pipes or bacteria residing in outlets and faucets.
Whatever the source of water, it is important to consider the TDS (Total Dissolved Salts) present in the water. TDS is measured in ppm (parts per million) and usually consists of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates. Some of the most common contaminants in water are Arsenic, Benzene , Chromium, Lead, Mercury and other water based Pathogens. The only foolproof way of determining how good your water is, is to get the water tested in a laboratory. While this facility is available in most cities, it’s expensive to do these tests and not very practical.
A more practical way is to gauge water from it’s taste /source. Soft, clear and sweet water is generally a sign that there are no heavy metals in the water. Water is called “HardWater” when there is excess of calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water by itself is not harmful and can be consumed by humans safely. However there still may be bacteria, heavy metals and particulate matter in it. The right type of water purifier is dependent on the quality of the water and what exactly needs to be treated in the water.
Water can be from :
- Municipal water – This water is pre-treated to eliminate impurities but impurities still make their way into this through old pipelines and during transport and storage. A UV plus Carbon filter system or a basic RO is enough for this.
- Borewell, rivers, lakes, tankers – Ground or borewell water varies in quality depending on the surroundings. If it’s around cities and industrial areas, such water has more salts and microbiological contaminants. Industrial belts may contain harmful industrial pollutants such as arsenic, lead and mercury. An RO + UV with superior features like TDS control is recommended.
What are the types of water purifiers?
- Carbon filters – The most cost-effective water purifier type is the one with active carbon filters. Carbon itself is naturally a great absorbent and can absorb many water impurities that are invisible to the naked eye. Carbon filters are good enough to remove lead, chlorine, certain parasites, pesticides and herbicides. These are ideally recommended for underground or water from bore wells in areas that are far away from industries and not in highly urbanised areas since they don’t remove all viruses and chemicals.
- Ultraviolet light (UV)- Ultraviolet light/energy is great for cleansing water of viruses and germs. However, it doesn’t physically filter the water. When paired carbon filters its a very effective solution. It’ as good solution to treat municipal water.
- Reverse Osmosis (RO) – It works by squeezing water with high pressure through a semi-permeable membrane which is a very fine filter at around 0.0001 micron (about 0.00000004 of an inch) thickness. The clean water comes out and the rejected water is left behind with most of the salts in it. Reverse osmosis is very effective at removing minerals from water. That includes minerals humans need and that occur naturally in water, like magnesium and calcium. They remove chemicals that carbon filters may miss and they also help in making hard water soft. However, these systems waste around 50 -60% of the water. So for 10 litres of water that passes through, you’ll get only 5 litres of usable water. In urban and industrial areas, where water from ground sources, RO (reverse osmosis) purifiers are preferred.
The market is flooded with water purifiers and all of them claim to purify water the best. However there is no way of knowing if these purifiers actually do what they claim. To test this, one will have to test the water source coming out of the tap and then measure it against the treated water. Again, because water sources are vastly different everywhere it is difficult to test the efficiency of a single purifier against every source. This is where certifications from independent organisations become important. India has its own certification, the ISI mark given to products adhering to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms. Two international organisations that are independent, respected and considered as industry-standards are the NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) and WQA (Water Quality Association). Both are American companies that test and certify water filtration systems and parts.
While manufacturers have to pay to get their products certified, these agencies are still considered neutral with fairly high testing standards. Both the NSF and the WQA provide a list of certified manufacturers and products on their website where you can search and filter out companies.
NSF and WQA give out several certificates based on categories for e.g.: NSF / ANSI standard 58 covers RO systems, NSF/ANSI 53 which rates water filters (UF). The Indian, IS 16240: 2015 standard covers Reverse Osmosis (RO) and The other standard is IS 7402:1986 /2011 and IS 14724: 1999 which certifies ceramic filters and UV filters.
We were surprised to find out that very few manufacturers in India actually have these certifications. Most manufacturers without these use clever marketing language and disguise the fact that they don’t have actual certifications. They boast of awards like “Readers Choice Awards” or “No. 1 trusted brand” awards which don’t really mean anything.
How did we pick?
After around 3 months of research, we shortlisted the models that are well certified. We then compared their features and selected the ones with the most user friendly features and aesthetic design. We preferred models which can be wall mounted so they take up less shelf space. We also gave more preference to models with inbuilt storage tanks since it means ready, clean water when needed. With RO systems we gave high marks to water saving features, since RO system do usually have a lot of water wastage. We then checked user reviews and spoke to a water filtration consultant about features that they liked. Finally, we physically tested the two models we shortlisted.
The Best water Purifier for most people
- Kent Maxx
Kent Maxx is a UV+UF water purifier with a detachable storage tank that provides double purification. The UV+ UF along with an activated carbon pre-filter makes it best suited for tap/municipal water supply and domestic purposes. We love it’s overall design, ease of use, maintenance and performance.
The Kent Maxx has an easily detachable ABS storage tank with a storage capacity of 7 litres. The tank is also easy to clean and is transparent, which helps in seeing the water easily.
This system has a Sediment filter, Activated Carbon filter, UF Membrane and UV system. The UV filter deactivates the bacteria and viruses and the UF filter membrane filters and reduces them from the water. The pre-filter has an Activated Carbon membrane that reduces odour and bad taste. KENT Maxx doesn’t have RO and hence does not remove dissolved impurities. It’s suitable for use where the water has low TDS of around 750 ppm (like tap or municipal water).
We found the purifier fast with a purification capacity of 1 litre/minute. This means that the 7 litre tank fills up in around 7-8 minutes. The water dispenser outlet is wide and fast too and its a simple and effective tap, unlike the cumbersome pipes and tube outlets that certain other models come with.
The purifier is fully automatic with auto-on and off functions. There are simple LED indicators to show this status. It also has a computer controlled operation with a filter change alarm and a UV fail alarm which alerts you when to get the unit serviced. The filter capacity is around 700 hours of usage after which it needs to be replaced
We couldn’t find any non-RO system in India that is internationally certified. This model comes with an CE certificate and an IS 14724 certificate (which covers Water Purifiers with Ultra-violet Disinfection)
Maintenance – The Kent Maxx is easy to clean and maintain. The tank can be easily removed and is recommended to clean every week. The UF membrane is recommended to be replaced every 6 months and the Activated Carbon filter and the sediment filter every 12 months. The Kent service network is wide enough and we did not face any problem in routine maintenance.
This purifier is designed for wall-mounting and looks clean and good in most houses. Overall the simple design and the easy to use features along with the removable storage tank makes it our top pick in this category.
The Best RO Water Purifier
2. Kent Supreme
The Kent Supreme is a no water wastage RO purifier with an inbuilt TDS controller. It has high user ratings, great certifications and has easy installation and maintenance. This model is one of the few ones in India that is tested and certified exhaustively for its performance and quality by international agencies like CE, WQA, ISI, NSF and ROHS. It’s best suited for Indian homes and offices and suitable for purification of all types of water sources like bore well, water tankers or municipal water.
In some RO purifiers, only 20% of water is recovered as purified water and about 80% is rejected as water water. Modern RO purifiers manage to save more water and the Kent supreme recovers more than 50% water as purified water. The rejected water is stored in a separate tank that can be utilised for mopping and washing, resulting in no water wastage.
KENT Supreme comes with 2 ABS tanks. It has 9 litres of purified water storage and a separate 9 litre tank to store the rejected water. This can be used for gardening, mopping, washing utensils, etc. We wish that the tank was see through though, since it gives a visual confidence of having clearwater.
This system has a RO system, a Sediment filter, Activated Carbon filter and UV system. The RO membrane has a filter thats only 0.0001 microns thick which reduces dissolved impurities (salts and heavy metals) and converts hard water into more sweet and purer drinking water. Traditional RO systems strip water of all minerals including the good ones. The Kent Supreme allows the user to control the TDS levels which helps retain essential natural minerals in water. To increase the TDS level the user can simply turn a valve to increase or decrease the mineral content in treated water.
It’a a complete water purification system. The water first goes through the sediment filter and the Activated-Carbon filters in to the RO system and comes out after UV purification. The pre-filter has an Activated Carbon membrane that reduces odour and bad taste and the the UV filter deactivates bacteria and viruses from the water.
Being a RO system, purification is slower at the rate of 15 litre/hour. This means that the 9 litre tank fills up in around 30 minutes time. The water dispenser outlet is wide and fast and easy to use.
The purifier is fully automatic with Auto-on and Off functions. There are simple LED indicators to show this status. It also has a computer controlled operation with a filter change alarm and a UV fail alarm which alerts you when to get the unit serviced. The filter capacity is around 700 hours of usage after which it needs to be replaced
This model is one of the few ones in India that is tested and certified for its performance and quality by renowned laboratories of the world such as CE, WQA, ISI, NSF and is ROHS Compliant. The important ones are the IS 14724 certificate (which covers Water Purifiers with Ultra-violet Disinfection) and the NHS and WQA certificates for NHS/ANSI Standard 58 (for reduction of TDS)
Maintenance – The Kent Supreme is easy to clean and maintain. The Storage tank must be drained once in 2 weeks. It easy and one just has to open the drain plug at the bottom of the tank & allow the water to drain. The Activated Carbon filter, sediment filter and the RO membrane has to be replaced every 12 months. The Kent service network is wide enough and we did not face any problem in routine maintenance.
This purifier is designed for wall-mounting and looks clean and good in most houses. It’s best suited for Indian homes and offices and suitable for purification of all types of water sources like bore well, water tankers or municipal water.
Overall the simple design and the easy to use features along with the water saving features makes it our top pick in this category.
This guide is the result of a process of elimination. We eliminated products that have not applied or received international certifications. Some other models that are highly rated and have certifications are:
- Aquaguard Enhance RO – The Aquaguard Enhance RO is the only model in the Aquaguard range, at the time of writing this article that has a WQA certification for NSF/ANSI 58. It has very good user ratings and reviews, comes with a 7 liter storage tank and can be used even for water with high TDS (upto 2000 mg / litre). It wastes only around 50% of the water in the RO process. However there is no storage provision for waste water which means reusing it will be difficult.
- A.O Smith Z2 – This under the sink model has an RO Membrane element that is tested and certified by WQA against NSF/ANSI 58 standards for material requirements. The unit looks good and can be placed in a kitchen cabinet, with the outlet in the form of a kitchen tap. Such models are useful when you wish to purify all the water used in the kitchen and not just for drinking purposes.
RO filter producers not following dissolved salts rule – New Indian Express.
Water filter buying guide – National Geographic.
Water filter buying guide – Consolidated Food Service.
What you need to know before buying a water purifier – Consumr.com
Watch your water purifier! – Hindu Business Line.
Purifying the purifier – Downtoearth.org.