3M Aqua-Pure AP903 Review

Are you searching for a water filtration system that scores highly on water quality, pressure, and ease of maintenance? The Aqua-Pure AP903 might be just what you need.

Not all whole house filtration systems are created equally, and some do a better job than others. The Aqua-Pure AP903 not only combats sediments, chlorine, and particulates, but it also has the best water pressure for all household needs.

3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filtration System Review – Best Water Pressure

The Aqua-Pure AP903 by 3M is the second filtration system in the AP900 series. It’s particularly suited for home and light commercial applications. It has just one filter – ideal for city water supply but not heavily contaminated water that needs thorough filtration.

This system is actually an upgrade of the AP902 system. While the AP902 relies only on non-woven pleat media to reduce sediments, the AP903 also incorporates carbon block filtration. It’s also considerably cheaper than most competitors.

The system has been available in home improvement stores since early 2012. There haven’t been any significant changes since, but it has nonetheless been gaining popularity among homeowners.

Who Is This Water Filter For?

The Aqua-Pure AP903 system is suited for city/municipal water supply, and for good reason. That it has just one filter means there’s no pre-filter. Thus, the system is not ideal for well water – which contains more sediments than municipal water sources.

The filter lasts for about one year, after which you may need to replace it with a new one. It provides good filtration of dirt, chlorine, rust, and odors. If your water has high concentrations of heavy metals like iron, this system wouldn’t be a good fit.

Another thing worth noting is that this system is built to withstand operating temperatures of up to 100°F (37.8°C). If you install the system to the hot water supply line, the lifespan of the filter will be reduced considerably.

This system also works best when the water pressure does not exceed 80 psi. You should avoid installing the system when water pressure exceeds 125 psi. If you live in an area that does not have water hammer conditions, this system would be ideal.

If cost ranks highly on your list of preferred qualities, this might be the real deal for you. This system is about three times cheaper than most competitors, including Home Master and Aquasana. It is one of the best filtration systems for city dwellers on a budget.

What’s Included?

If you decide to acquire the Aqua-Pure AP903 filtration system, in the box you will find a filter head, bracket, and filter cartridge (AP917HD). To hold the cartridge in place, the system comes with a stainless steel head. What makes this system truly stand out is the fact that the steel head is protected by a 25-year limited warranty.

To install the system you will need a pipe cutter, plumber’s tape, and plumbing solder. Unfortunately, these tools are not included in the box. You can either buy them separately or seek help from a well-equipped professional.

Overview of Features

The Aqua-Pure AP903 is capable of reducing sediment for up to 100,000 gallons, equivalent to 378,541 liters. And thanks to a flow rate of 20 gpm, the system can meet most city/municipal water applications. 1” inlet and outlet connections go a long way to maintaining high pressure within the system which again manifests in the high flow rate.

The AP903 system is the first filtration product to use the Sanitary Quick Change (SQC) design. This means you do not need a filter wrench for cartridge change-outs. The cartridge easily twists off, enabling you to avoid contact with the filter material.

Since the head is made of stainless steel, you won’t have to contend with rust or corrosion ever. The head is also designed to facilitate “sweat in place” installation.

Trying to remember the date you should replace the cartridge can create an unnecessary burden. For this reason, the installation kit includes an electronic countdown timer refrigerator magnet which automatically reminds you when the next change is due.

Perhaps even more noteworthy is the fact that the entire system is made of FDA CFR-21 materials. And if space is a bit limited, the Aqua-Pure AP903 filtration system should fit in smaller areas compared to most competitors. It measures 6 x 6 x 27 inches.

A 10-year limited warranty for the system as a whole should give you some piece of mind after installation.

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How to Get the Most out of It

This system is one of the easiest to maintain because it has just one filter, which only has to be replaced once a year. Installation can be quite difficult for beginners. If you do not have basic plumbing experience, you can seek the services of a professional plumber.

Before installation or change of cartridge, you should shut off the main water supply. This can help you to avoid too much water spill when replacing the cartridge.

To get the most out of this system:

  • Remove the cartridge whenever temperatures fall below 40°F to prevent freezing
  • Avoid using a torch or some other items that can increase temperature around the system
  • Use a water hammer arrester if water hammer conditions exist
  • Replace the cartridge after 12 months, or as soon as you notice a reduction in flow rate


The Aqua-Pure AP903 water filtration system is not ideal for hot water supply lines. Its filtration ability is also limited to 5 microns, which means particles smaller than 5 microns will easily pass through.

One suitable alternative could be the AP904 system which comes with the AP917HD-S cartridge. The AP904 is better at reducing particulates, scale, and chlorine.

The AP902 system can be another suitable alternative, particularly when the water quality is lower (such as well water).


For the best water pressure for home and light commercial applications, you might want to try out the Aqua-Pure AP903 water filtration system. It combats particulates and chlorine quite well and comes at a cheaper price compared to most competitors. It’s an easy way to convert hard, dirty city water into clean, sediment-free, and odorless water for everyday use.

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