Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and mention of a product I received in exchange for review.
All opinions presented are my own.
I have a confession to make: I've assumed that my move to the city meant that the tap water must be filthy in comparison to what I'm used to. I use my Brita religiously and I've been lusting over tub and shower filters for awhile now. They can be rather pricey, meaning research is needed before ordering one at random.
As you can guess, I was pretty excited when I was given the opportunity to review the Ava Shower Filter, which claims to "Filters 99.9% of Chlorine, Algae, Dirt, Fluoride, Lead, Chloramine, Bacteria, Arsenic, Chromium, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Mercury and Heavy Metals and many more chemicals. Shower filter also reduces scum build-up using kdf." Amazon lists the retail as $99.99 with a current "sale price" of $69.99.
|The Ava Shower Filter|
|The installed filter|
In this case, I got the filter for free, but I did spend money to make sure this review was done right. I purchased a $15 Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester (total dissolved solids) to test the water before and after (you can read more about how that works here). Here's what I learned:
- The water in Baltimore ain't bad at all. I'd read some other Amazon reviews challenging the filter's effectiveness. One user said his water tested in the 400's before using any sort of filter. Yikes! When I tested all our home faucets and showers, everything was between 170–190 ppm (parts per million_. Not bad! Our tap water when filtered through our Brita was only 110 ppm. I shared my surprise on Facebook and with co-workers to find out that Baltimore (and Maryland) are known for having some of the cleanest tap water. Nice!
- The Ava Shower Filter doesn't do squat. Sean installed the filter, I took a quick shower, and measured the water. Many Amazon reviewers complained the ppm stayed the same. For me, it increased. It was over 200 ppm. I thought maybe it just needed some time to run through the filter (after all, you do have to soak those Brita cartridges before using them) I continuously tested the water post-shower for 5 days only to consistently get higher ppm readings. So, not only does it not work, it made things worse!
Normally my reviews are based on both fact and opinion: i.e., it's not to my personal taste, but it's not a bad or ineffective item. In those cases, I contact the company and discuss whether they'd still like me to publish my feedback . Sometimes they say yes, sometimes no, sometimes they send a different product for comparison.
In this case, fact is fact. Numbers show that the filter is ineffective and nothing gets my blood boiling like a blatant lie. This product already had negative Amazon reviews for the same reason and it's clear to me that bloggers were being solicited for reviews in hopes of boosting their ratings...which is exactly what has happened. The star rating has increased and the factual reviews containing numbers have been buried by the "yay, free stuff!" reviews citing opinions that the reviewers may or may not really believe: "I feel cleaner, my hair feels softer, etc. ..."
Bottom line? Yes, I have an opinion. My opinion is that this product is falsely advertised crap. That opinion happens to be backed up by fact. For that reason, I skipped my usual courtesy of talking with the company in favor of exposing the truth.
Free stuff is great, but I value ethics more.