If you are looking for a budget faucet water filter, the InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES is one of the best. It’s cheap but it does a great job filtering out a wide range of contaminants from water.
The filter uses activated coconut carbon to reduce heavy metals, microbial cysts, chlorine, sediment and various chemicals.
It makes your tap water safer to drink and enhances its taste and odor. Essentially, it turns your tap water into bottled water.
So if you are looking for a way to save on bottled water (and conserve the environment along the way), get this filter. It costs less than two packs of bottled water.
Read on for our full review.
If you are still not sure whether this is the best faucet filter for your home, read our in-depth faucet water filter buying guide for other top picks.
The Instapure F2BCT3P-1ES is not meant for heavy-duty filtration.
It works great in most cases but if your city water contains too much chlorine or has a high level of sediment, I’d recommend a more capable faucet filter.
One of the reasons this filter falls behind other brands is that it uses one activated carbon filter.
Granted, it’s a good quality coconut carbon filter. But it’s still no match against the 2 or 3-stage filtration process you get from PUR faucet filters.
This is not a problem for most places. Most users have noticed their water tastes much better.
But those who have used other brands before say the Instapure is not the best of the bunch especially if your city water has a very strong chemical smell/taste.
In terms of water safety, the Instapure filter is great. It reduces several harmful contaminants including 99% lead, 99% of VOCs and 99% microbial cysts.
What About Well Water?
That’s a big no.
Do not use the InstaPure faucet filter if you receive well water. There are two major reasons why.
One, the activated carbon media inside the filter does not remove dissolved salts and minerals commonly found in well water.
If you were hoping the filter would reduce the scaling caused by magnesium and calcium or prevent the reddish stains from iron, it won’t.
In fact, avoid faucet filters altogether. If you want a filter that can handle well water, look for an under sink unit or a whole house system.
Two, the InstaPure filter does not remove harmful microorganisms in water. If there are any germs and bacteria in your water, they will pass through the carbon filter untouched.
If you are using untreated water, a reverse osmosis system will protect your family better than a faucet filter. It can remove those harmful bugs as well as most other impurities.
Can I Filter Hot Water?
Another big no.
Activated carbon filters get damaged if they come into contact with hot water. The max temperature limit is usually 100F.
You can still install this filter on a faucet that produces both hot and cold water. Just remember to turn the flow selector to unfiltered water before you turn on the hot water.
This filter does not have a filter life indicator like the one you find on PUR faucet filters. So you have to estimate when to replace the cartridge.
The cartridge has a capacity of 200 gallons, which translates to around 2-4 months of use depending on how much filtered water your family consumes.
The manufacturer recommends a standard replacement period of 3 months.
Installation & Maintenance
Similar to other faucet filters, the InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES is incredibly easy to install onto your faucet.
But before you order, make sure it is compatible with your faucet. Check that your faucet has a removable aerator and that it’s not a sprayer or pull out style faucet.
Don’t worry about whether the threads should be on the inside or outside. The filter is compatible with both designs.
Just use the right adaptor that fits onto your faucet (adaptors are included).
With the adaptor fitted, attach the filter to the faucet and hand tighten. Finish by inserting the cartridge into the chrome base and securing the clear cap on top.
Open the faucet and turn the flow selector to direct cold water through the filter. Let the water run for a few minutes to flush out carbon fines.
The only maintenance you need to undertake is replacing the filter cartridge after 3 months or when you notice that the taste and quality of water had deteriorated.
To replace the cartridge, open the clear cap to remove the old cartridge and put in a new one. Run the water for a few minutes to flush the new filter.
If you need to clean the outside of the filter, use water and soap. Do not use any harsh detergents to avoid damaging the filter components.
What We Like The Most About The InstaPure Faucet Water Filter
We like the price tag. Faucet filters are generally inexpensive but the InstaPure filter is cheaper than most.
Despite the low price, it still does a good enough job filtering out chlorine and a host of other impurities.
If you want to remove the taste of chlorine from your tap water or filter out heavy metals like lead, the InstaPure filter is one of the cheapest ways to do it.
We also love how easy it is to install. Even if you’ve never installed a water filter before, this is a breeze to set up without any tools.
Unlike under sink and whole house water filters, you don’t need to buy additional fittings. The filter comes with everything you need including adapters to fit different types of faucets.
Several customers have also noticed that it has stronger filtered water flow than most other faucet filters that produce a frustratingly slow trickle.
In terms of style, it would have looked better if the entire filter had a chrome finish. But the chrome base and clear cap combo doesn’t look too bad.
The chrome base matches well against your existing faucet while the clear part has a nice modern look to it.
What We Don't Like About This Water Filter
This filter has more than a few limitations.
It cannot filter well water (the carbon media does not remove dissolved solids in untreated well water), it can’t handle hot water and it is ineffective against bacteria and other waterborne microbes.
And even when it comes to the impurities it can remove, it’s not as efficient as other slightly more expensive faucet filters.
As I mentioned, it’s great for most places. You’ll notice that your water tastes and smells better.
But if your city water has particularly high chemical content, I recommend something more capable like PUR or DuPont.
The InstaPure Faucet Water Filter Is Perfect For You If...
Avoid Buying This One If...
Our Bottom Line
Cheap is not always bad and the InstaPure filter is proof.
For its price, it’s very well made. It doesn’t break as quickly as some other more expensive brands. It also filters plenty of impurities from water and gives your tap water a fresh spring water taste.
It may not be as capable as other pricier filters but it’s good enough for most homes.