A.O. Smith – An Introduction to Water Systems

A.O. Smith

I remember when we moved into our house, the first thing I did was install a reverse osmosis system and a water softener.  For me, I want good clean water, well who doesn’t?  Which brings me to A.O. Smith. But before I go on, I want to talk a little bit about my house project. As you probably know, I am remodeling my house from the ground up.  I am doing this in two phases.  The first phase was the front part of the house which was the porch, bedroom, and a couple of other rooms.  My second phase is going to be an addition along with the kitchen.

This is going to be a two-part series.  For this article, I want to briefly talk about the company and the two different products I am going to be using in the house.  Since it’s still under construction, I can’t do a full review, but once I install both of these items, I will have another write up and go more in detail of what I think about these systems.

A.O. Smith History

If you are not familiar with A.O. Smith, they have a long history dating back to 1874.  So when it comes to manufacturing, dealing with specialty products and working with customers, they know what they are doing.  While they have a long history, it hasn’t always been in the water arena.  A while back they saw a need to create better products in the water segment and that is what they did.

As you know, we can’t always trust our drinking water.  We assume and hope our municipalities are treating the water the correct way, but as you all know what happened in Flint Michigan and countless other towns, it’s just something we can’t rely on someone else for.  So that is where we have to step in and make sure our family is receiving safe drinking water.

So for me, that is what I am doing in my house, creating a safe drinking water system and I am using A.O. Smith. I am going to use the following two items in my house.

So here is what I am going to accomplish with the two-part system.  The whole house system means that every faucet in the house is receiving safe, clean drinking water.  From the shower, the bathroom sink to the kitchen sink.  Then the area (Kitchen Sink) I know that people will be drinking water, I want to take extra precaution and use the reverse osmosis system. Yes, you can use just the whole house filter system and yes, the reverse osmosis system might be overkill, but when it comes to my family’s health and considering we are primarily made of water, why not go the extra step?

A.O. Smith

As I noted earlier, this isn’t a review. That will be coming when it’s installed but I did want to talk about the quality of this system and why I am using it.  When you buy this system, the first thing you will notice is how nicely everything is packaged and kept safe for transportation.  To me, this just says a lot about a company and their product.  It’s someone who takes pride in their products.

The tanks, the filter, the hardware are all very nice, even down to the brass fittings they provide. They even provide some of the water lines for the reverse osmosis system. I know it’s hard to show in a picture and even explain the quality of a product, so this is something that you have to trust me on. I currently have a reverse osmosis system installed at the house, which I am getting rid of and this new one is night and day from the system I bought a while back for more money than this system.  So let’s jump into each system.

Single-Stage 7-GPM GAC Whole House Water Filtration System

So first on my list of installs once I get the kitchen and addition done is the A.O. Smith Single stage 7-GPM GAC Whole House filtration system.  This tank is one of the first tanks that the water runs through after it enters your house.  Depending upon the quality of your water, you can run a detriment filter but it’s not necessary.

Here is why I am going with the whole house water filter.  I am on municipality water and as you know, the way these towns treat water is using chlorine.  Not all the time, but sometimes our water has a funny taste, which is the taste of chlorine.  So if I can remove this chemical from the beginning when the water enters the house, it’s a win for me.  That means the showers, the laundry, brushing my teeth and everything else will be that much better.  Softer hair (if I had hair), better towels, better taste when brushing my teeth and I won’t have to worry about what’s in my water when I am cooking.

So let me give you a little run down on this system.  One really cool feature to this system is it doesn’t require back flushing like your water softener, it doesn’t even require salt.  Just install the filter and you are set for up to 6 years or 600,00 gallons of water.  Considering it only costs about $270 at Lowes, that is a bargain for the gallons to cost ratio.

The filter reduces 97% of chlorine taste and odor from your tap water.  Think about that not going into your digestive system, your hair or your food.

According to A.O. Smith, this is designed for a household of 4 or more people.  However, even if I only had two people, I would still rather buy this bigger unit as it treats 7 gallons per minute, which is more than enough to run a household.

4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

While a whole house filtration system cleans up your water, removes chlorine and makes it tasty, a reverse osmosis system takes it one step further.  A reverse osmosis system will remove lead, fluoride, asbestos, chromium, mercury, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and chlorine.  Not sure about you, but I would hate to have that in my drinking water.  So as you can see because a reverse osmosis system removes these harmful chemicals, this is why I am adding this system to my drinking water even though I have a whole house filtration system.

Before I jump into the reverse osmosis system, you have to understand the difference between the whole house and the reverse osmosis system.  The whole house water filtration system will not cause you to lose pressure.  The reverse osmosis system has a holding tank and can only hold so much water.  So a reverse osmosis system is designed just for your drinking water.  As you run out of your reserve water in the holding tank for the reverse osmosis system, it has to clean new water and, yes, it’s a slow process for any reverse osmosis system.  So as you run out, the water will start to come out slower from the reverse osmosis faucet.

If you are not familiar with a reverse osmosis system, it goes through more filtration than the whole house.  Reverse osmosis goes through numerous filters to clean out contaminants.  Each filter cleans out different chemicals and each filter has extremely small holes, so water flows through these small holes extremely slowly.  So that is why a reverse osmosis system has a holding tank.

The AO-US-RO-4000 is a four-stage system and runs about $180 at Lowes.

  • Stage 1 – Carbon Filter – Reduces Chlorine, Taste, and Odor
  • Stage 2 – Reverse Osmosis – Reduces particles like mercury and other harmful particles
  • Stage 3 – Claryum Filter – Reduces pesticides, VOC’s and more
  • Stage 4 – Remineralizer – Return health minerals back to the water

So why do I like this system?  First, it really cleans out most of the harmful particles in your drinking water.  However, when you clean out bad particles, you also clean out good particles.  That is what I like about this system as it returns those good particles back to your drinking water, which your body needs.

My only issue with this system is I wish they had clear containers for the filter instead of the black.  I get it, the black looks nicer, but I am used to having a clear container so I can see how dirty the filters are.  I understand you need to change filters every 6 months, but there are times I turn off the water in the house, then when I turn on the water, I see rust pour out of the faucets.  It would be nice to see if the filter got ruined when I turned on the water.  Obviously not a huge deal since I am using this in my house, but just something to note.

Final Word

I will keep you all updated once the addition is done and the kitchen is done.  But for now, I wanted to let you know about my plans to make my house a safer place.  I think these two systems together pack a powerful punch to create safe drinking and usable water in a home.  Sure, there are a lot of other things you can do to help treat your water but I feel like this is a viable solution to create a system that is reliable, trustworthy and inexpensive. For about $450 I have the peace of mind that I am protecting my water.



    • I have an older house so there are times I had to turn off the water. When I did the bathroom, I had to turn off the water to change out all the pipes. Then I had to change my water heater and the local shutoff valve was broken, so had to turn of the water to the house to replace that. When I installed my boiler, I had to turn off the water to the house to replace the back flow valve. When I am going to do the kitchen, I will have to turn off the water to replace all th pipes.

  1. Does this system also create “soft” water and remove sulfur? Living in Florida, the water smells like sulfur and when I use the dishwasher, there are (white) stains left on utensils, glasses, etc. What do you recommend? Thank you.

  2. This is probably the worst system out there. There are at least half a dozen leak points for potential, maybe more. I spend the allotted couple of hours installing this moderately expensive system and with each new “stage” of pressurization, IT LEAKED!!!! Had to go the hardware store TWICE to get new O-Rings or adequate compression fittings. Even after that….LEAKED!! I disconnected it so I could enjoy what was left of my evening and then will pack it up and take it right back to the store and go with something else.


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