APEX MR-3020 with Activated Alumina Review

It can be hard to maintain quality drinking water with just one filter. Certain filtering techniques are more efficient at dealing with sand and rust than with chlorine, pesticides, microbes and bacteria. No matter where you live, chances are your water contains enough of each type of contaminant to warrant the use of a water filter.

Let’s take a closer look at one of our favorite products, the APEX MR-3020 with activated alumina. This system is well-built and it has shown that it can benefit both well-water and city-water households. The following paragraphs will explain why.

APEX MR-3020 Review

The APEX MR-3020 is a very well-rounded water system filter. It is a point of entry (POE) design which means it cleans your water before it splits into cold, hot and gardening circuits. Its high capacity and increased flow rate allow you to use it for both well water and city water and in large households.

The water filtration is done in three stages to ensure a superior water quality. The sediment filter keeps larger particles away while the activated alumina and carbon filter deal with bacterial and chemical contaminants. This way it protects appliances that use water too, instead of just improving the quality of drinking water.

Who is This Water Filter For?

Although highly efficient, the APEX MR-3020 is a rather large unit. Because of this, it might not be ideal for small homes, rented apartments or RV’s. For one, the system requires a lot of plumbing modifications to be installed. Secondly, it might just be too difficult to fit inside smaller living arrangements such as RV’s or trailers.

The APEX MR-3020 is a POE filter. This means that you’re not supposed to use it just for specific appliances. It’s not how you get the most out of it. Furthermore, the filters don’t handle hot water very well so using it just for boilers or other heating systems is out of the question.

The APEX MR-3020 works best in large households, office buildings, and even apartment buildings. Although it is recommended for 5 gallons per minute flow rate, it can easily handle higher levels if the quality of the water is not too bad, to begin with.

What’s Included?

The Apex MR-3020 is a large POE water filtering system. The package it comes in is also quite heavy so let’s see what’s inside it.

  • Mounting bracket
  • Filter cartridges
  • 3-Stage filtering system
  • Instructions manual
  • Filter wrench
  • 1” inlets and outlets

As you can see, the filter comes mainly pre-assembled and it only requires you to connect it to the piping and to mount it on your wall. Luckily it also comes with a mounting bracket and a filter wrench which should make your job much easier.

Overview of Features

The first stage of the APEX MR-3020 features a sediment filter. This first layer of protection is efficient for particles down to 5 microns. It handles most sediment including rust and even small insects.

The second stage filtration unit uses a 1-micron filter pad followed by activated alumina and another 1-micron pad along with granular activated carbon (GAC). This second filter in line stops any sediment that gets past the first filter. Activated carbon is the most cost-effective filter for chlorine removal and activated alumina does the same for fluoride.

The final filter in this three-stage water system filter acts as a final line of defense against chlorine byproducts and organic compounds. The 20×4.5” solid carbon block is efficient against most pesticides, insecticides and solvents commonly found in municipal water supplies.

This three-stage filter system cleans your water and makes it suitable for drinking, washing and cooking. It eliminates most particles too, making it safer to use in your boiler, washing machine, dishwasher and all other appliances that use water in your house.

The high capacity of the APEX MR-3020 relieves you of a lot of maintenance. The second and third stage cartridges require changing every 6-8 months or so. The sediment filter can last you up to a year.

How to Use

The APEX MR-3020 may seem like an intimidating water filtering unit but you don’t need professional assistance to complete the installation. Granted, the entire system weighs over 60 pounds, so you might need help with the heavy lifting.

Although the instruction manual has good diagrams and written instructions, here’s a quick preview of what you can expect. The APEX MR-3020 is equipped with 1” adapters, which are quite standard. Have some Teflon tape nearby to make sure the connections are sealed tight.

Turn off the main water supply before you start cutting pipes and mount the unit. Take measurements as the APEX MR-3020 is 30x24x12 inches so it needs quite a bit of room. Leave enough room above if you want to have an easy time replacing cartridges.

Actually, using the filter is super easy if you install it properly. The sediment filter is always first in line and the carbon filter last. After the installation is done, turn on the main water line and let it run for a few minutes. You can leave the water running in the kitchen sink to monitor the change in color and odor. You will notice an improvement quite quickly.


There are almost no important features missing from the APEX MR-3020. However, despite its great technical abilities, it does lack some quality of life options which we know some people prefer. The lack of control valves and clear cartridge casings may make this model less appealing to some.

If you absolutely need those two features on your water filtration unit, you can try the Pure Water Club WH-3 whole house 3-stage filtration water system. It has a similar setup with three filtering stages for sediments, chemicals, bacteria and microbes. Albeit not as effective or high flow rate as the APEX MR-3020, it comes with clear casings and valves at both inlet and outlet.

You may also give this product a second look if the APEX MR-3020 just won’t fit in your place. We don’t think it’s a better product overall, but it does have some features that the APEX MR-3020 lacks in the design department.


Whether you live in the city or rely on well water, you will want to improve the quality of the water running through your house. The APEX MR-3020 helps you do just that with its 3-stage filtration system. It takes care of 99.9% of unwanted contaminants from common sediments to chemicals, bacteria and microbes.

The combination of activated alumina and carbon block filtering is especially effective against fluoride, chlorine and chlorine by-products. This filtering system will improve the quality of your drinking and bathing water and will also extend the life of your appliances that use water.

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