Moving From the Aqua Pour to the PiMag Waterfall

The old Nikken water filter, the PiMag Aqua Pour, is a great water filter, but not as good as the newer PiMag WaterfallAs I said in my last post, I became a Nikken customer and distributor almost ten years ago. One of those many boxes in the picture on that post held my brand new PiMag Aqua Pour gravity water filter. It was great. It held plenty of clean, alkaline water for my family of four. Fortunately, we had plenty of room in our kitchen for it because it was rather large. It was round with a ten inch diameter and almost 2 feet tall. It took up some space and wasn’t going to fit on a countertop under the upper level of cupboards.

In September of 2011 the Aqua Pour was discontinued to make room for the new Nikken water filter, the PiMag Waterfall. Because some people had difficulty finding enough space for the Aqua Pour, the Waterfall was made more compact. It is oval instead of round, so it is a little narrower and a little deeper than the Aqua Pour. It is also more than four inches shorter than the Waterfall, which makes it much more economic in its use of your counterspace. I’m actually very glad for that because the house I’m in now doesn’t have the space in the kitchen that my previous one had.

With the smaller size, the current Nikken gravity water filter holds just over half of what the Aqua Pour did. I was concerned about that when it came out so I did not get the Waterfall right away. The Aqua Pour is still a great water filter and Nikken usually supports their discontinued air and water filters for several years, six years is what I’ve always heard, so there wasn’t any overwhelming reason to upgrade right away. It was actually a year and a half before I had a PiMag Waterfall of my own. My concerns about its capacity proved to be unnecessary because when the filter cartridge is properly prepared, water flows through it pretty fast.

The PiMag Waterfall is a Better Water Filter

The Nikken PiMag Waterfall gravity water filterThe PiMag Waterfall is a better water filter than the Aqua Pour. The filter cartridge is designed to remove more contaminants than the Aqua Pour was. The Waterfall has been tested for lead, mercury, VOCs and chloramine as well as chlorine. The Aqua Pour was only tested to remove chlorine and the other chemicals associated with municipal water chlorination. The newer gravity water filter also makes the water much more alkaline than the older one did. Water from the Waterfall starts at 9.5 pH and gradually drops to 8.5 pH over the life of the filter cartridge. The highest I ever saw from the Aqua Pour was about 7.8 pH.

Chlorine contamination is the biggest concern for most people on a municipal water system because that is the chemical they add to kill things in the water. Some cities add chloramine in addition to or instead of chlorine, and the Aqua Pour isn’t as effective against that. There are some areas of the US right now that are also dealing with lead contamination problems. The PiMag Waterfall is better able to deal with those concerns than the Aqua Pour was too.

The problem with water from most municipal systems is that it comes from surface water. Surface water comes from run off after it rains, so it picks up all sorts of pollution – chemicals (weed killers and fertilizers) from large farms, waste from livestock, and all of the other pollution that gets into the water upstream from the reservoir where the city pulls the water. All of the potential bacterial and viral contamination is dealt with by adding chlorine to kill anything living in the water. Hopefully they filter it to remove the other stuff as well, but they don’t always.

For a couple years recently I was on a city water supply and was very glad that I had the more advanced filtration from the PiMag Waterfall. I have spent most of my life drinking water from a well, which is usually thought to be safer. It isn’t always safer though. Every time an opening is cut through the ground into the water table there is a new potential path for contamination. It doesn’t matter what kind of water source I am on now, I will make sure that it is as safe for me and my family to drink as I can by continuing to use my PiMag Waterfall and keeping the replacement parts up to date.

PiMag Waterfall is Easier to Maintain than the Aqua Pour

Speaking of replacement parts, as water filters both units require that you replace certain components on a regular basis. The Aqua Pour has three parts that need to be replaced – the filter cartridge, a pre-filter and the mineral stones in the bottom where the water was stored. There seems to be a point of confusion for some people with the pre-filter on the Aqua Pour because there is a choice of two. There is a ceramic dome pre-filter that filters  out a lot of material and there is a microsponge pre-filter that works more like what you would expect for a pre-filter. The ceramic dome is a nightmare to prepare and install properly, slows the flow speed of the water significantly, and in most cases isn’t worth the trouble. Often people buy both of them not knowing which they need. Nikken recommends that you change the filter cartridge every six months and the mineral stones every twelve months. For the pre-filters, the microsponge is good for up to five years and the ceramic dome is good for two years.

Nikken has simplified matters with the PiMag Waterfall. There are only two components to replace – the filter cartridge every three months and the mineral stones every twelve months. The filter cartridge has the sponge inside it, so it does still have a pre-filter. They got rid of the ceramic dome option completely. You may have noticed that the filter cartridge gets changed twice as often in the Waterfall as it does in the Aqua Pour. That is because of all of the materials that Nikken had the Waterfall certified to remove. To have that certification Nikken has to say that the filter cartridge expires when it can no longer remove every substance that it listed.

If you have an Aqua Pour, now is a great time to upgrade because Nikken reduced the prices a few months ago on almost all of their products, including the PiMag Waterfall. As I already said, I have been with Nikken as a customer and a distributor for almost ten years. Nikken hasn’t changed their prices much in the past because they have been able to absorb most of the changes in manufacturing costs over the years. With the new lower prices my guess is that they will be more volatile because there is less room to absorb fluctuations. I also said that Nikken supports filters for several years after they are discontinued, as the Aqua Pour has been for four and a half years as of the time I am writing this. I have a feeling that Nikken will continue to support the Aqua Pour for more than the usual six years because of the sheer number of them in use, but at some point they will stop making the parts.

With the lower prices, the different chlorination methods for municipal water systems, and the uncertainty of how long Nikken will continue to support the Aqua Pour, I think now is the best time to upgrade from the Aqua Pour to the PiMag Waterfall. You can find out more about the PiMag Waterfall here. You can also get the replacement parts for your Aqua Pour or Waterfall here.

Leave me a comment below if you have any questions about either Nikken water filter. You can also email or call me if you prefer. My contact info is at the top of this page.


As I have already said, I am an independent Nikken distributor. If you decide to order parts for your Aqua Pour or PiMag Waterfall, or order the Waterfall itself, through any of the links on this page, I may earn a commission. Nikken products are only available through independent distributors like me.

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6 Responses to Moving From the Aqua Pour to the PiMag Waterfall

  1. SUSSI Rodriguez says:

    I called the company Nikken in Irvine. I was told by Nikken that the filters were the same for both Nikken systems. So I’m puzzled if filters are the same, why then the different expiration dates? You mentioned something about well water. I thought the Nikken system was not recommended or should not be used for well water, as it does not get rid of bacteria or viruses that could be potentially in the water. I’m trying to decide what Nikken system fits best for me. You can still purchase the older model on EBay thank you.

    • Wayne says:

      Hi Sussi. The filter cartridge for the Waterfall and the Aqua Pour are different, if for no other reason than that the Aqua Pour’s is round and the Waterfall’s is oval. Some of the filtration media is different. The different replacement times is driven by the claims that Nikken makes for what they filter. They don’t claim much more than chlorine removal for the Aqua Pour, so they can have a longer filter life. They claim a lot of different contaminants with the Waterfall, so the filter life is determined by the hardest contaminant to filter. If chlorine is all you are concerned with then you can change the filter cartridge less frequently in the Waterfall as well.

      I have never been told that I shouldn’t use the Aqua Pour or Waterfall with a well. Nikken does say that it is only for already potable water, but if you have a well then you know you should have it tested regularly anyway. As long as it tests safe then the Nikken filters will do their work just fine.

      I’m sure you can still get the Aqua Pour on Ebay and other places. As long as you are comfortable with the seller then the only concern is with how long Nikken will continue to stock the replacement parts. I have no idea how long they continue to support the Aqua Pour.

  2. Very good to know Ben! Appreciate the update. Because Pimag may work for us now, that we’re back in NJ. Tap water is drinkable but we’ve discussed getting a filter that offers a bit more than a standard Brita job.

    • Ben says:

      Welcome back to the States Ryan. I have followed your’s and Kelli’s blogs for a little while and you two have certainly been to some of the most beautiful places in the world. My wife’s job is supposed to be taking her to Costa Rica in the next couple months so I will have to check out your post about the animals to keep an eye out for when she’s there. As for the PiMag Waterfall, as I said in the post, it’s a great system and I love mine. Thanks for taking the time to visit.

  3. Hi Ben,
    Followed you here to your ploace after you left me such a support comment on my blog – thank you again for that.

    The PiMag Waterfall sounds like a great system especially re chlorine contamination but the biggest water problem we have here has notyhing to do with chlorine.

    We live in a remote little Thai village with no regular chlorine treated water supplies. All our water comes from bores linked to the underground water table and the biggest issue is calcium.

    Calcium gets into everything and really causes some major problems, despite all the nfiltering we have ever tried.

    Will be checking out your recomendation to see if it can handle our problem.

    Thans for the heads up Ben

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger


    • Ben says:

      Hi Peter. Thanks for visiting. Unfortunately, the PiMag Waterfall isn’t available anywhere near Thailand, so it isn’t a good solution for you. I did a little research on calcium, or hard water, and most websites recommend a water softener instead of a water filter. Softeners use sodium to bind with the calcium so that it won’t drop out of the water and cause the scaling problems that you are having. The potential problem is that too much sodium is not good for you. What I would consider doing in your place is to get a large water softener installed on the waterline coming into your home then have a point-of-use system to clean the water that you use for drinking and cooking. The Waterfall would be ideal as the point-of-use filtration unit if it were available to you in Asia. If your calcium problem is that bad, the most important thing will be to make sure the replaceable components on your water softener are checked and replaced regularly, otherwise the calcium is going to be a problem again.

      Thanks again for taking the time to visit me Peter. I appreciate it.

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