Top positive review
If you want it, buy it. It works and is very well made. Detailed review below.
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2016
Easy to install and very well built. Great results.
I am an Engineering Manager at a cosmetics manufacturer and am very familiar with many different types of water filtration. This review is given with years of experience dealing with this technology on an industrial scale. I chose this filter after a few days of research and decided it was the best whole house filter for the money, and is made by a reputable company in 3M who I trust all of the products they put to market.
PROS - The filter housing is solid, made of quality thick stainless steel and is polished on the inside where the water flows through. The polish removes the pits in the stainless where debris and consequently bacteria can collect and wreak havoc on water quality. The mount is sturdy and holds the entire unit well. When installing the filter cartridge it clicks in place like on the video, and assures you that you have assembled everything correctly.
The water in my NJ home had multiple odors and taste : musty, rusty, and sediment dirty, also red color in the pre filter I installed. This filter has taken care of all of those concerns. Water quality after the filter is fantastic. Before installing the 3M filter, I used a Brita filter pitcher for my drinking water and it still tasted bad. After the filter install I can drink straight from the tap and it tastes better than it did before out of the pitcher. Now I have this water quality in my entire home. Showers are much more enjoyable as I don't feel I'm bathing in smelly water. Laundry also smells better.
Cons - Short list. The bracket to hold the filter housing does not come with mounting screws, which is a disappointment but OK for me because I wouldn't have used the screws it came with anyways. The filter also doesn't really have instructions on how to mount the bracket; it's simple as you only need 2 screws, but still I think it was a miss on 3M's part. No other issues.
-Install a 5 micron sediment filter prior to this filter. I used the Watts unit pasted below because it is clear so you can see the filter to help identify when to change it, it has stainless threads where you connect instead of plastic that are more durable, and it has a built in bypass valve for easy cartridge changes. Use any 5 micron 10" cartridge that you like. I used the Culligan P5-D as they seem to be the best for the price.
-Mount the filter(s) on an wall that's easy to access. Secure a 3/4" or 1" thick piece of pine to the wall, and then mount the filters to that piece of pine. Ensure your screws are long enough that you have 1" of screw penetrating the material that you are mounting to. Meaning if you use 3/4" plywood mounted to concrete, you should use 1 3/4" inch concrete screws. I used the same 1 3/4" concrete screws to mount the filter bracket to the plywood as they dug an inch into the concrete. I painted the entire block wall in my basement with waterproof mason paint and then painted the wood with exterior latex for waterproofing as well. Use a level to make sure everything is straight and looks nice.
-You will need 2x 1" NPT male fittings to connect the filter to your water line. I used PEX so I bought the 1" NPT to 3/4" PEX crimp fittings and they were about $8 a piece. Use premium teflon tape to wrap the threads before you install them, and wrap them 4-6 times around. I didn't have any leaks because I used good teflon tape and a lot of it. If you use the thin cheap stuff it might leak as others have noted.
-Add pressure gauges before and after each filter. If one filter you need 2, if 2 filters you will need 3. You can decide when to change the cartridge, but a good rule of thumb is when the pressure after the filter is less than 90% of the pressure before the filter, it's time to change it. Meaning if you have 50 psi before the filter, change it when the pressure after the filter is less than 45 psi. Your budget and personal preference on flowrate should be the ultimate decider when you change the cartridge.
If you think you want the filter, buy it. You won't be disappointed.