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Filtered water? It'll cost you...
Brita Aluna Water Filter
Member Name: Drifter_2000
Brita Aluna Water Filter
Date: 06/02/12, updated on 18/02/12 (61 review reads)
Advantages: Very effective
Disadvantages: Cost of cartridges, hard to clean
I've used water filters in the past but mainly to improve the taste of fluorinated West Midlands water. Since moving to Manchester, water filters have become more of a necessity than a mere lifestyle choice. It could be down to dodgy Edwardian plumbing or a personal allergy to something or other, but the water here has never agreed with me. I got my Brita Aluna XL for around £15 from Amazon, although I now see it's available for a couple of pounds cheaper.
The design of the Aluna XL is fairly spartan and nothing like as space age as some Brita models. A handy meter on the lid tells you when it's time to replace the cartridge. However, I would take the reading with a pinch of salt as the taste of the water always starts to deteriorate before the cartridge 'runs out'. Brita say that each cartridge lasts for 4 weeks but I tend to change mine every 3 weeks. The XL model has the capacity for 2 litres of filtered water but still comfortably fits in the fridge door compartment.
The Aluna XL uses Maxtra cartridges, which remove all the usual impurities such as limescale and chlorine, but also permanently absorbs metals such as lead and copper. Maxtra cartridges don't come cheap unfortunately and the RRP is £5.50 each. However, Amazon has 4-packs of cartridges for a tenner and the supermarkets tend to have offers from time to time (3 for £8.50 at Sainsburys is fairly common). Once I was lucky enough to find a recently opened Sainsburys local that had mispriced its cartridges at £1.99 each. I bought a fair few of those, I can tell you!
The cartridges click into the filter easily enough, without the need to soak the cartridge in water first (I tend to give it a quick rinse all the same). A plastic ring on the top of the cartridge allows it to be removed and disposed of easily (all Brita cartridges are recycleable I was impressed to discover). The used cartridges always feel reassuringly heavy and I always like to think of all the water-born nasties that the filter has captured. One problem with the filter jug is that it's very hard to clean, particularly the part that the cartridge sits in. It needs a good 'deep clean' every month or so but it's difficult to get into every nook and cranny. An old toothbrush might do the job...
Another slight defect has emerged with the plastic triangle that sits on top of the jug spout (the piece that's in the top left-hand corner of the picture above. Usually it clicks into place but just recently it's started to come loose every time I try to pour water from the filter jug. Quite annoying if it falls into your glass of water!
Other than that, it's a great filter that would turn bilge water into a heavenly elixir.
Summary: Does the job but quite expensive
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