If you’re cramped for space in your kitchen, you’ll need a small under sink water filter. And if you want the best under sink water filter for small spaces, you’ll want the Aquasana AQ 5200. It’s affordable and equipped with excellent certifications.
For this review, our team tested and compared the Aquasana AQ-5200 system to determine how it stacks up to the competition. Combining that with dozens of research hours, we’re happy to share these insights with you as you look for the right filter for your home.
If you're outfitting a small kitchen with clean water, the AQ-5200 is an incredibly efficient use of your under cabinet space. The filter’s body is compact and easy to install, and the costs are quite reasonable.
What We Like
- Great price for its performance
- Compact size means it can be installed in any home
- NSF/ANSI certified to remove 99% of 77 contaminants
What We Don’t Like
- Lack of a sediment pre-filter can interfere with filter longevity
- Installation may require decent DIY skills
- Flow rate could be a little better
Open the small manufacturer’s box for the AQ 5200, and you’ll find everything you need to install the system. That includes brass fittings, durable tubing, and a separate faucet to add to your sink. With the use of a few common tools, you’ll be able to install it in under an hour. And since it’s smaller than most under sink systems, the AQ 5200 won’t take up any of your valuable storage space.
One small word of warning, though: All of Aquasana’s products are made to accommodate standard, modern pipe fittings. If your house is quite a bit older, you may need to purchase a few additional parts to get everything to line up well.
How It Works
The Aquasana AQ 5200 uses two proprietary Claryum filters to work its magic. As the water passes from your cold water supply through the included T valve, it moves through these two filtering stages to reach the faucet.
That means each drop of water from your newly installed faucet will have passed through:
- An activated carbon layer for large contaminants
- A selective filtration layer that retains healthy minerals
- A catalytic carbon filter that removes chlorine and chloramines
- Ion exchange and sub-micron filters that get rid of lead, mercury, asbestos, and cysts
Having three important NSF/ANSI certifications means the AQ 5200 is fully capable of giving you fresh, clean, pure, and healthy water. These include:
- Certification 42, which protects against “aesthetic impurities”. This means your water will taste better, smell better, and look clearer.
- Certification 53, which protects against harmful contaminants like lead and mercury
- Certification 401, which protects against “emerging contaminants”. This new category includes things like chemical runoff and pharmaceutical contamination.
Taken together, this means that the AQ 5200 offers full protection and better smelling and tasting water.
The AQ 5200 offers a respectable .5 gallon per minute flow rate through its own separate faucet. This means that filling a glass of water will only take a few seconds. But filling an 8-quart stock pot may take up to 4 minutes.
If you have a large household (4+ people) that needs a lot of purified water, this filter’s big brother(the AQ 5300) may be a better choice. It has a much larger filtering capacity and better flow rate. But for small homes and apartments with one or two people, the AQ 5200 is a reliable and affordable choice.
What Is Installing the AQ-5200 Like?
Installation for the AQ 5200 can go one of two ways. Fast and easy, or more involved. And it all depends on whether you already have an extra hole in your sink.
If you do, installation is as simple as following Aquasana’s five-minute video. This includes disconnecting your cold water line, installing a “T” valve, installing the faucet, and mounting the filter system. Then connect everything with tubing, and you’re good to go.
If you don’t already have an extra hole though, things are trickier. You’ll need to punch, drill, or saw a hole for the new faucet head. And if you’re not comfortable with that, you’ll need to find or hire someone to help with installation.
Either way, you’ll need these common household tools for installation:
- a bucket
- adjustable wrench
- tape measure
- variable speed drill
- phillips head screwdriver
Aquasana’s proprietary Claryum filters are what makes the AQ 5200 such an excellent system. Because they’re designed to filter through multiple stages, every ounce of water from your faucet will be clean and safe. And since there’s a selective filter layer, naturally healthy and great tasting minerals stay in your water.
With just two smaller filters to replace, the AQ 5200 is less expensive than many larger systems. The filters should be replaced every six months or 500 gallons, and cost just $60. That’s $120 per year for your filtered water.
Check out the AQ 5200’s performance data sheet for a complete look at everything it removes from your water.
Owners consistently remark on the high quality of every Aquasana filter system. And the AQ 5200 is no exception. Its brass and stainless steel fittings are attractive and durable. And the long lengths of tubing make it easy to install the system wherever you’d like to under your sink. If you’re looking for a particular visual in your kitchen, the multiple finishes for the faucet are a nice touch too.
Warranty & Support
All of Aquasana’s under sink filter systems come with a 1-year warranty and a 90-day guarantee. That means you have three months where you can return it, no questions asked. And for up to 365 days, the AQ 5200 is covered for any material or workmanship defects. This means Aquasana will replace any faulty parts at no cost to you.
The company also has a support phone line that operates during business hours Monday through Friday. You can contact them at 888-572-9095 with any questions you might have.
The Aquasana AQ 5200 combines top notch filtering performance with a compact design and affordable pricing. It’s easily the best under sink filter for small homes and apartments.
We recommend it if you want:
- A small under sink filter for your home or apartment
- Affordable investment and replacement costs
- Great tasting, healthy water
But if you’re looking for a larger capacity filter that can serve a household of four or more, the AQ 5300 is a better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Aquasana AQ-5200 cost per gallon?
Since each filter is rated for 500 gallons and costs $60, the AQ 5200 costs 12 cents per gallon.
What contaminants does Aquasana AQ-5200 remove?
How long does Aquasana AQ-5200 last?
Each filter for the AQ-5200 lasts for six months.