Culligan FM-15A Review: Affordable Faucet Mount Water Filter

Culligan FM-15A Review

Photo: Culligan

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Tested and certified
  • Wide pressure/temperature range
  • Includes faucet adapters

What We Don’t Like

  • No filter life indication system

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an affordable water filter to mount on your faucet, look no further than the Culligan FM-15A.

Introduction

Faucet filters are known to be very affordable and the Culligan FM-15A is no different. Despite this, it is still an effective filter that ensures you get clean and clear water that is good enough for family use.

The unit also has a good capacity and flow rate, which further enhances its performance. More details about this product are given in the review below.

Culligan FM-15A Review

Culligan FM-15A

Filtration Effectiveness: Removes Up To 99% of Chemicals

The FM-15A is fitted with a carbon block filter, which is designed to reduce multiple contaminants such as atrazine, lindane, chlorine, and lead, as well as nominal particulates class 1, sediments, turbidity, bad taste, and odor.

This results in visibly clean and clear water that is safer to drink and to cook with.

To verify these claims and give you some assurance of its performance, the filter is tested and certified independently by IAPMO against ANSI standards 42 and 53.

The standard 42 test is for aesthetic effects and is designed to certify that chlorine and particulates class 1 are reduced by over 50% and 85% respectively.

On the other hand, standard 53 test is for health effects and certifies that the filter reduces turbidity, lead (pH 6.5), lead (pH 8.5), lindane and atrazine by a minimum of 99%, 96.1%, 98.1%, 97.9%, and 94.7% respectively.

That said, the filter delivers a flow rate of 0.5 GPM at 60 PSI, which is enough for domestic use. However, it can be used across a 30-100 PSI range, and within this range, the flow rate increases with an increase in pressure, and the vice versa is true.

There are a couple of precautions that you need to follow through. For instance, the filter should only be used to filter cold water because it has an operating temperature range of 40-100ºF.

Also, the unit should not be used to filter microbiologically unsafe water. If it contains harmful micro-organisms, it should be disinfected before or after passing through the system because the filter cannot kill these germs.

Installation: Super Easy

Installing this faucet mount filter is as easy as it gets. No tools are required and you begin the process by removing the aerator from the faucet.  

If the faucet has external threads, no adapter is required to mount the filter; it can be fitted directly. However, if it has internal threads, then you need an additional adapter to fit it in and in this case, you must use the gasket from the aerator for snug-fitting to prevent leaks.

That said, two aerator adapters are included in the set but these are not guaranteed to fit all consumer faucets. The manufacturer recommends that you verify the thread size from the faucet’s manufacturer first for compatibility purposes.

After installation, turn on the water about halfway then pull out the diverter valve stem. Let the water run through the system for about 10 minutes to flush out loose carbon particles.

Once you turn off the faucet, the valve stem returns to the unfiltered position automatically, and therefore, you have to pull it out every time you want clean, filtered drinking/ cooking water.  

All these instructions are given in detail together with installation diagrams in the included user manual.

Maintenance and Replacement: Tool-Free

Apart from installation, maintaining this water filter also requires no tools. The process involves the replacement of the filter cartridge and this should be done after every two months or after 200 gallons have passed through the system, depending on usage.

With that in mind, it can be a bit difficult to keep track of this time or volume because no filter life indicator is built-in.

Therefore, if you start experiencing changes in taste, color, odor, and reduced water flow, a replacement is due and the filter only fits Culligan FM-15RA.

Installation begins by turning off the faucet then unmounting the filter. Once it's off the faucet, undo the cartridge from its housing by turning it anti-clockwise until it drops into your hand.

Insert the new filter cartridge into the housing and turn it clockwise until its tight. Mount it back to the faucet and check for leaks. Just like with a new installation, run water through the system for about 10 minutes to flush out any carbon fines and that’s it.

Detailed instructions are included in the user manual and these should be followed for a proper replacement.

Other than that, maintenance also involves cleaning and this should be done by wiping the filter’s outer surface using a damp cloth with mild soap. Detergents, solvents, cleaning fluids, and other harsh chemicals should not be used because they might damage the surface.

Operation   

Even though a new filter is flushed for about 10 minutes after installation, you must flush it again for about 3 seconds every time before use. You should do this at low pressure with the faucet about half-open. After that, you can open the tap fully and collect the water in a glass.

However, as stated above, do not filter hot water that is above 100ºF because this will damage the cartridge. You should also protect it from cold, freezing temperatures because these can cause the cartridge or its housing to crack.

Price: Very Affordable

Culligan’s FM-15A is a very affordable water filter but this does not mean it is of low quality. It falls squarely within the price range of most faucet-mount filters, which are usually very affordable.

Apart from its initial price, you need to consider the cost of the replacement cartridge, (Culligan FM-15RA), which costs less than $15.

In comparison, the manufacturer only produces one more faucet mount filter, which is the Culligan FM-25. This is slightly more expensive than the FM-15A because it has a premium chrome exterior finish.

Other features are similar but this model requires a different replacement filter, which is the Culligan FM-25R. This is also slightly more expensive than the FM-15RA because it has a chrome exterior.

Verdict

An affordable faucet filter that is ideal for domestic cooking and drinking water filtration. 

Affordability is the main advantage of this water filter and this makes it an easy-to-acquire option for the kitchen faucet. Additionally, it has a carbon filter that delivers clean and clear water that is suitable for drinking and cooking in your home.

Specs

  • Product Name: Culligan FM-15A
  • Product Brand: Culligan
  • Filter Life: 200 gallons (2 months)
  • Flow Rate: 0.5 GPM @ 60 PSI
  • Pressure Range: 30-100 PSI
  • Temperature Range: 40-100ºF
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 5.5 x 6.75 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 oz.
  • Warranty: 2-year limited

Key Features

  • Tool-free installation and maintenance.
  • 2-month or 200-gallon filter life depending on use.
  • Carbon block filtration method.
  • Tested and certified by IAPMO against ANSI standards 42 and 53.
  • Includes adapters that can fit all standard sink nozzles.  

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