Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Health: Choosing A Water Filter

I have been scouring the internet for more information on water standards in Malaysia and the types of point-of-use water filter available. Of course, thrown into the mix would be budget, maintenance and hopefully fuss-free (reliability) in the long run.

The water quality in Malaysia has always been bad but it is deteriorating to dismal level as indicated here.I cannot understand how some people in Malaysia can live in big houses but try to save money on water quality.

Previously, I have been using Diamond Classic filter but after much consideration, here are the reasons why I have decided to terminate my contract with Diamond water.

1. There was no deposit but installation itself came up to more than RM1000. Like I said, I was ignorant.
2. Monthly fee for indoor unit. RM83/month. So, in three years, we paid RM2988.
3. The contract states 3 years free maintenance but in REAL LIFE, they only change the filter for you in the first 2 years, the total cost of the filters was less than RM1000. In the third year, when you are required to change four filters, amounting to more than RM1000, you have to renew your contract. So CLEVER!
4. If I were to renew my contract, my new fee would be ONLY RM65 per month. (again, SO CLEVER!) In three years, it will amount to RM2340.

If I were to be so stupid and renew my contract, for six years of not that superior water, I would have to pay RM5328 + RM 1000 (installation) and the machine is still NOT MINE!!!!! So SAD :(

Out of the six filters, only two are certified.  
Diamond uses carbon filter but doesn't effectively remove harmful contaminants. Reports and news from Taiwan and Hong Kong claimed they have made false claims and banned them.

So, I set on a quest to find a new one.

What I am looking for in my system is disinfection and purification.
Alkalinazation, I am not convinced about the effect. Your stomach is acidic, for what? Kill bacteria and whatnot. Then you are taking alkaline water for what? Neutralize the stomach acid? Sorry, don't see the logic here.
Coway - RO water. Meaning it removes every single impurity up to minerals - so your water is mineral free. Can't eliminate virus. Mineral free water causes joint pains after years of consumption. Not very good in the long run.
The only way to kill bacteria without boiling the water is ultraviolet. I don't trust ceramic.

Now that I know what I want, which one to buy?

1. ESTABLISHED BRAND (It is afterall an investment)
Since I am no expert, I referred to these sites NSF and WQANSF independently tests, audits, certifies, trains and consults for the food, water, health science, sustainability and consumer product sectors.

So, my options were:
Picture from

1. Amway Espring.
Exorbitant pricing. RM3000 plus :(
Filter change every 6-12 monthly (RM500 per filter)
Certification: NSF 42,53 & 55

2. Aquasana AQ 4000
Price RM 790. Filter change every 1000 gallon. 6-12 monthly: RM 339
Certification: NSF 43 and 53
This is a well established brand in the states. I really, really wanted to get this but...

Customer service was really bad. Reliability is out but that was then. You will have to do more research to see if they have upgraded their customer service.
3. Philips UV water purifier WP3892/01 UV Class A Intellifill
When researching on this model, I was told it had been discontinued. I called Harvey Norman and confirmed with PHILIPS. Don't argue with me saying its still in the market.

Similar to Espring for a fraction of the price.

4. Panasonic TK7585
A friend recommended this. 
Rm1799 at Harvey Norman but hmmm, I want a bug killer, not alkaline ionizer.
Filter/cartridge: RM 175

5. Coway:
I like the hot water and beauty of the design for petit and mach but how to kill bacteria with just ceramic. Not sure if its fortified ceramic or not.
NSF 53

In the end, I bought the Espring with a 12 month installment plan in July 2012. To purchase the Espring, I registered to be an Amway member and was forced to pay RM90 for a beginner sales kit. WTH?

Update June 2013: Changed the filter once after 11 months. Love the beep beep function that basically tells you that the filter is dying on you, please change.

Picture from

Update Nov 2013: The rubber pipes/tubings cracked and leaked after 14 months. (indicated by orange arrow). I wrapped it with silver foil and plumber's tape to prolonged its lifespan. Otherwise, you may have to replace it every 4 months if exposed to sunlight. They cost about rm 43, which I have yet to pay my sister. I used her account because mine expired and I don't intend to renew.

I am still using Diamond's outdoor filter simply because I am used to its backwash function. Each time I back wash, the water is dark brown, rusty and disgusting. Note that I am doing it and not my husband.

Update March 2014: Replaced cartridge and filter by myself! The whole time I was stressed about damaging the damn thing. This time it only lasted 10 months. I blame SYABAS for providing Selangor with filthy water. Disgusting money sucking water concessionaires.

April 2015: Replaced filter and cartridge. Lasted 13 months in a household of 4 adults and 2 kids :) 
Must be partly due to the fact that I changed the outdoor filter too.



Ms chong said...

I understand how u feel about the membership rm90. I was initially had the same thinking as u.. Lately I understand it just like a justo card.. Priviledge member card.. With that card u could buy the filter at privilege price ( special discount 20%).. RM90 is refundable. Hope u get the idea about the card. My son don't get fever after drink espring water save me fr clinic visit expenses....

Jessica_littletiger said...

Jusco card is ten ringgit le...summore can get rm 10 vouchers during J card member days :)

You sound like an Amway agent, btw.

Ms Chong said...

Hi Jess, I m the espring user like u..
Just share with u the purpose of card & rm90 is 100% refundable.
The last time I renew my Jusco card was rm12 but I don't get the rm10 voucher.
May u advice how to get the rm10 voucher pls?
Thanks ya.

Jessica_littletiger said...

Hi Ms Chong,

Mine is a supp card. Forgot it is now RM 12 :) and the 10 ringgit i mentioned is during the sales when you must purchased things RM 100 for RM 10, not for free. If for free I also want ler.

Usually during J card days, I will use all my vouchers that hubby get for free (through suppliers or credit card redemption) and exchange for more vouchers in return. Extreme couponing, Malaysia style!

Ms Chong said...

I see, thanks ya for the info..
I m in KL, if u r in KL too we can be friend if Hv chance...
Happy new year to you ya...

Kenny said...
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Filtered water said...
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water filtration system said...

Thanks for sharing this great content, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!

Amy Cray said...

Thank you for writing this post!!! I have lately felt more and more frustrated in trying to figure out the water issue. This is so helpful, as always!

Unknown said...
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munmun88 said...
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nikki said...

Good article, I am currently using the Diamond package like you did before, third year is coming, so I am surveying for a good water filter or purifier. I am wondering what is the pH level of espring water?

Jessica_littletiger said...

I read that it is btw 7-8 which is the same as untreated water. I do not believe in alkalinzation of water because whatever you drink, the acid base mechanism in your body is going to neutralize everything

I think the price is nuts but the water in my area is crap. I am not an Amway salesperson btw :) and I hate MLM companies.
You can refer to this sheet for more answers‎

Anonymous said...

What rubber pipes do you mean? I am about to purchase the eSpring system in the next few days. I wonder if it is really a hyped up system, as compared to any ordinary water filtration system out there? Any advice?

Anonymous said...

Oh and btw, Panasonic TK-7585 is not RM1799 as written by you here. I checked and it is RM3999!!!

Jessica_littletiger said...

Hi Anon,

It is a good system as with any other Amway products. As with any MLM companies, good products are overpriced. They are meant to pay the agents their yearly Europe trips. If you can afford it, by all means because it is one of the few certified systems out there that ia available in our country.

I have included a picture to illustrate the tubings/pipes. In the past 14 months, my drinking water produced by this machine cost me RM 8.20 per day. Pricey? Yes. Clean? Most definitely.

There are some other canggih ones but recommended for restaurants and such...those will cost more than 10k. I cannot afford :)

Jessica_littletiger said... pricey ady. When I called Harvey Norman during my researching, they we having promotion. For $3999, better get e spring lor. I am using my sister's card to purchase my tubings since mine expired and I refuse to renew.

Jessica_littletiger said...

If you find something else better value for money, do let me know, so that I can update here. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hey Niki can I knw where you buy the espring?

Anonymous said...

Can you pls add me in fb to share more info with me


Hi. Thanks for the info. Anyway you could source the tube at any hardware store, just for a fraction of the price. The tubes might be different but still perform the same. Just bringalong the od tube for size tally. Do you know anything about the expensive filter machine...which uses UV to kill bac and germs? Need one but not sure which. Any recomemdation? Money not big issue. Health is. Thanks

YC said...

just for your information, i bought the philips model that you mentioned with the price of RM1180. I verified with Philips Malaysia also. the filter still selling and continue maintenance support by philips.

you might have checked at the wrong place or wrong people.

YC said...

I bought it last week, 13th/Dec/2013

Jessica_littletiger said...

HI YC Thanks for your info, I shall update.

I actually called PHILIPS Malaysia and the operator is the one who told me it was discontinued. Do update us on the water quality, ya?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
I am thinking to get Diamond outdoor filter. How is the quality? Is it effective?
Do you happen to remember how much you got it last time? They are having promotion, RM979 including installation. Not sure whether it is a good buy or not.

Anonymous said...

Hi YC,

Where do you get the Philips model? I talk to the Philips Operator as well, and she advised this item has been discontinued

yc said...

I called to Phillips, this time....they mentioned the model has been discontinued . anyhow, if you would like to try it out, can visit electrical shop. I bought mine at Kepong.

Anonymous said...

Thanks YC, I am staying in Klang and had visited most of they electrical shop but none of them carry this unit. Do you mind to tell the shop that you buy from?

Unknown said...

how about NESH?

YawnQueen-M said...

Hi..i just want to know what is the member price for amway espring cartridge? Someone please shed some light on this. Thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

syarikat weng heng electrical shop. contact is 03-6274 9977

Anonymous said...

Anyone compared this to Zero Water?

Jordan said...
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Finnie Chin said...
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Finnie Chin said...
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Jessica_littletiger said...

I have the outdoor Diamond unit. Have to back wash every 2 weeks because Syabas is such a good company and the water standard is so high (insert sarcasm). I hope it is doing a good job because each time I backwash, it comes out all rusty colour. Can imagine living without a filter in this country

Jessica_littletiger said...

Hi Darren,

I wrote this based on the international recommendations. NESH, Coway and others were not mentioned. Either they did not submit to be certified or they did not pass. But for whatever reasons, choose one that is within budget, good product support and reputable.

Jessica_littletiger said...

Never heard of Zero Water-

Jordan said...

espring cartridge can get with rm509 with the member price.

boiling said...

Our heating element contains its own small electronic control unit so it's easily replaced when it eventually does wear out. Everything else is recyclable. That means only 2% of our product ends up as landfill.

Invention Review said...

Diamond Water System is overpriced and it does not help that there are dubious technologies in at least 2 of its filters, my review on this system can be found here

Derek Sharpie said...

try using berkey water filters, ideal for home and outdoor use. comes in different sizes and one more good thing is they have a certain small one that can be carry around and fits inside your bag

Unknown said...

i used berkey on my outdoor trips, but prefer Reverse Osmosis home water system. Really the best as it can remove contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper and lead.

Unknown said...

Great blog! Interesting in reading and very helpful. Here are some residential water filter and commercial water purification systems such as shower filter , carbon filters, faucet diverter valve, aquarium filters etc. Get free shipping on these item when you purchase 1 or more Qualifying items offered by Apex water filtration system. All systems are made with the highest quality NSF components approved by the FDA. And Apex Water Filters is the Leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water purification systems and replacement cartridges in CA, USA.

Unknown said...

Hi, thanks for sharing! Been looking around for a good water purifier and came across your awesome write up here. Had settled on deciding between 2: the Amway Espring or Diamond but after reading yours only found out that Diamond goes by rental style, the salesperson didnt even tell me! I also find Amway to be really expensive but I also believe it is really good. I'm planning to try getting the Aquasana from Singapore, as I stay in JB and travel to Singapore daily for work. Will go to their distributor next week. Hope that works out well.. :). Can check it out at www.h2ofresh

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this informative article thanks for sharing your great post,wish you have a nice day,happy every day.

Ozone Generators & Ozone Waste Water Treatment

zac1987 said...

Thanks for the info. I am choosing a perfect water filter for myself now, not sure which brand to buy. I think i go for Amway as u said it is perfect for u. Haha.

Muhammad Ahsan Taqveem said...
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