A water filter for your home is a long-term purchase. These products tend to come with relatively high up-front costs. They’re usually worth it considering they provide your home with clean, safe drinking water. But if you’re going to spend your hard-earned money, we think you should spend it on a product that’s going to last.
We also want you to buy from companies that stand by their products.
This is why our water filter review process involves a detailed analysis of a company’s warranty policy, as well as how it applies to the specific product we’re reviewing.
Here are some of the things we take into consideration in our warranty check and analysis:
When a company offers a truly good warranty on its products, it’s usually easy to figure out how long it lasts. But this isn’t always the case when the warranty is not as competitive. Manufacturers may use vague language to indicate they have a warranty, but you need to dig a bit deeper to figure out exactly how long they last.
That’s where we come in. We’ll dig through all the warranty information we can find and even reach out to a manufacturer to determine exactly how long your warranty will be in place.
Sometimes, a warranty can be extended if you spend more money. We’ll look into that, as well, and see why this is the case and if it’s worth the money.
In addition to a warranty’s length, it’s also important to look at what it covers. Manufacturers often like to highlight the best aspects of their warranties, but then don’t immediately make it clear if it applies to all parts of the product.
When it comes to water filters, there are usually a number of components that make up the end product: valves, fittings, tanks, and controllers, to name a few.
When evaluating a warranty, we take a look at how the warranty applies to these different components. In the event there are limitations or different terms on some components, we like to dig a bit deeper to see why that’s the case.
In the water filtration industry, often the company that sells the product uses components made by someone else, and this can have an impact on the final product as well as the warranties involved.
Before we recommend a product, we make sure we know exactly what’s covered and compare it to the other products on the list. We also look out for red flags. Poor or exceptionally limited warranties are often a sign of a low-quality product and something we investigate thoroughly as we do our analysis.
Warranties are also notorious for their fine print. Manufacturers love to advertise “lifetime warranty” in big, bold, all-caps letters. But then they hide the details and limitations of that warranty in the fine print, hoping no one reads it too carefully.
However, this is precisely why you come to us. We not only read the fine print, we dissect it.
Often, the fine print will outline what is and isn’t covered, but more often than not this is where you find what could make the warranty null and void.
For example, does the system have to be installed by a professional? Does that warranty require certain types of pre-filtration? Does the water need to meet a certain quality standard to remain intact?
Many manufacturers put these kinds of caveats on their warranties but don’t explain to their customers what they mean. That’s where we step in. You can be sure we’ve scoured all the fine print and can confidently tell you the many details of a warranty, including its exclusions and limitations.
Ease of Use
It’s one thing to have a warranty, it’s another thing to let people use it. Most companies have something in place to guarantee their products will work and protect customers from defects and other problems. But if this does happen to you and you’re forced to use the warranty, how hard is it to do?
For example, are you responsible for shipping, or is it covered? Is there somewhere you can bring the item? Will you be given a replacement right away or will you have to wait for the company to diagnose the problem and either fix it or send you a new unit?
Does the company have a designated warranty department, or do you have to go through traditional customer service channels?
To get to the bottom of this we do a thorough investigation of the company’s warranty service, speak to current and past customers where we can, and even initiate a simulated warranty claim to verify the company follows through on the promises it makes to its customers.
Warranties are quite common in the water filter industry. These technologies have been around long enough that manufacturers can confidently say how long their products can be used without defects. However, return policies or money-back guarantees are not as common, but they are something we look for when reviewing a product.
Before you buy a water filter, it’s important you test your water so you can be sure whichever product you’re buying is going to meet your needs. If you don’t, you could wind up buying something that doesn’t work for your home.
There could also be other reasons why you might no longer need a filter. Perhaps after buying it you learn you can connect your home to the city water supply, or it simply doesn’t fit in the space where you need it to fit.
Companies who recognize stuff happens and are willing to let you return a product often have better overall customer service and are easier and more reliable to work with. When we review products, we look out for this.
Our top products don’t always have the most generous return policy on the market, but it’s unlikely we’re going to recommend something that doesn’t allow for any flexibility and treats all sales as final.
Reviews You Can Count On
As part of our rigorous product research and testing methodology, we look at every aspect of buying and owning a water filtration system. Product warranty is just one of many important factors we consider as we create product reviews you can count on.