Aquasana vs Pelican

Aquasana vs Pelican Whole House Filters Compared

Eighty-five percent of homes in America have hard water. That’s a staggeringly large number! And yet there are a huge amount of water softener systems out there for you to choose from.

Since there are so many options available, we aim to break it down for you a little bit by comparing two favored household brands: Pelican and Aquasana. Both are very well-liked and both have different options to meet varying needs.

We’ll start with Aquasana. This company was founded in 1998 and has its headquarters in Austin, Texas. Even though it’s relatively new to the game, it sells one of the most popular water softening systems in America.

But first…

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Water Softener

Trying to decide which will be the right choice for your home and drinking water can be overwhelming, as there are so many different aspects to consider. Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before committing to one type of softener or another.

  • What do I want to achieve for my home and drinking water?
  • Is my water supply via municipal water or well water? Do I currently have clean water?
  • Should I be concerned about contaminants, or do I just want to soften my water?
  • How much am I willing to spend?
  • How big is my home?
  • How many people are in it?
  • Am I relatively handy or would I require visits from a maintenance technician?
  • Am I dealing with salt-based or salt-free filtration systems?

Aquasana Rhino 1,000,000 Gallons

Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - Filters Sediment & 97% Of Chlorine - 1,000,000 Gl - EQ-1000
602 Reviews
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - Filters Sediment & 97% Of Chlorine - 1,000,000 Gl - EQ-1000
  • Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine and reduces harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and more

This is a whole-home water softener filtration system. The added water filter conditioning system is not salt- based, so it won’t release salt or harmful chemicals into the environment. Further, an added UV light kills bacteria, contaminants and viruses, which is especially helpful if you are on well water.

A softener water filtration that doesn’t use salt allows for healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium to stay in your water, and as a plus, it is also suitable for sodium-reduced diets.

Non-salt based softeners use technology that causes the water-hardening minerals to flow through your pipes, faucets and water-based appliances without causing scale buildup, thus prolonging their life. You’ll also see and feel a difference in your skin, hair and clothing.

  • Reduces 97% chlorine, lead and other contaminantsAquasana Rhino 1,000,000 Gallons
  • Offers a flow rate of 7 gallons per minute
  • Has a 10-year warranty
  • Has available add-ons, such as a salt-free water conditioner and a UV filter
  • Has a carbon and KDF water filter system that’s designed not to remove dissolved solids from your water
  • No draining or back flushing is needed for this filtered water system. A filter replacement should be done every 3 months.
  • Has fittings for 1” or .75” pipes.
  • Weighs approximately 10lbs.
  • The 1,000,000 gallon version lasts approximately 10 years.
  • A smaller, 6000,000 gallon version lasts approximately 6 years.
  • A pro-install kit is included.

This system also comes with three different options at various price points. Your choice will vary depending on your need and what kind of system you have.

  • A 10-year water filter system (above) costs $777.02 at time of publication
  • A 10-year water filter system + conditioner is $1489.98 at time of publication
  • A 10-year water filter system + conditioner + UV lamp is $3405.99 at time of publication
  • A 6-year water filter system is $648.00 at time of publication
  • A 6-year water filter system + conditioner is 1319.00 at time of publication
  • A 6-year water filter system + conditioner plus pro-install kit is $1402.00 at time of publication

Rhino Well Water with UV

This is a salt-free water conditioning system with a UV filter, made specifically for well water, as opposed to clean water. This is a 5-year, 500,000 gallon filtered water system.

  • $1149.00 at time of publication
  • With the addition of the conditioner, $1849.00 at time of publication
  • Pro-install kit adds an extra $83.00 to the price, at time of publication

Pelican Water Filter Reviews

Next up, we have the Pelican water filtration. Pelican was founded in 2007 and is based in Florida. Like Aquasana, it’s a new player in the water softening and filtering game. Also, like Aquasana, it’s Pelican water is pretty popular. Unlike Aquasana, they offer two different methods of softening your water: salt-based and non-salt based. Here they are broken down for you.

“Advantage Series” Salt Water Softeners

This Pelican water softener system uses ion-exchange, where sodium or potassium ions are exchanged for calcium and magnesium. The salt is then flushed out of your system via the drain. This is ideal in that it genuinely softens your water, removing the minerals that make it hard in the first place. The benefit of a salt-based Pelican water system is that your water will be softened instead of just treated. These are sold in two different sizes: a 600,000 gallon or 1-3 bathrooms, or a 1,000,000 gallon or 4-6 bathrooms.Aquasana Rhino Filter

  • Large capacity tank
  • Removes mineral ions, saving your pipes, appliances, clothing, skin and hair
  • Programmable metered electronic head
  • Potassium chloride can be substituted for salt
  • Bypass valve for easier maintenance
  • Salt-based Pelican water systems come with lifetime warranty
  • High capacity resin lasts up to 25 years with carbon pre-filter
  • Minimal backwashing wastes less water

Price points for the salt-based systems are as follows, at time of publication:

  • $1453.60 for the 600,000 gallon model
  • $1639.20 for the 1,000,000 gallon model

Pelican Natursoft Water Softening Alternative

This Pelican water filtration system boasts a scale reduction rate of over 99% according to their site. This is a choice for those who prefer not to use salt or potassium chloride in their system. Although non-salt softener systems don’t remove the minerals that cause scale and hardness in their water, this method does effectively “soften” the water by preventing the minerals from adhering to surfaces such as appliances, sinks, pipes, hair, skin and clothes.

Aquasana Rhino Filter Green

  • Leaves in beneficial minerals
  • Conditioner refills instead of salt refills
  • Does not produce slippery feeling
  • Does not use electricity
  • No salt or potassium is added to the water

Pelican water sells two models of whole-home water softening systems in their salt-free line. One is the straightforward model and one has the addition of a UV light to kill bacteria and viruses. Both are available in two sizes, broken down by the number of bathrooms you have in your house, 1 to 3 which is 600,000 gallons, or 4 to 6 which is 1,000,000 gallons.

  • Pre-filter with 5 micron pores traps sediment like sand, silt and rust
  • Granulated carbon filter binds contaminants, including chlorine and pharmaceuticals, to the surface
  • Bacteriostatic copper-zinc filter reduces bacteria and algae
  • UV option kills bacteria and viruses and safeguards against boil water alerts
  • Only third-party tested softening alternative system, with 99.6% prevention of scale buildup

Well Water?

Pelican water softener also has three different well water models.


  • Pelican water softener alternative or salt-based
  • Carbon filtration
  • Sediment filtration
  • 1-3 bathrooms $1998.40, 4-6 bathrooms $2479.20 at time of publication


  • Pelican water softener alternative
  • Carbon filtration
  • Sediment filtration
  • Bacteria protection
  • 1-3 bathrooms $2557.60, 4-6 bathrooms $3198.40 at time of publication


  • Pelican water softener alternative
  • Carbon filtration
  • Sediment filtration
  • bacteria protection
  • 1-3 bathrooms $3508.00, 4-6 bathrooms $4235.20 at time of publication

So, which filtered water system is better? A more accurate question would be, which one is right for you? There are certain states, such as California and Texas, that have banned salt-based water softeners for environmental and infrastructure reasons.  So, you will definitely need to be cognizant of what your area allows in terms of water softener treatment.

Aquasana vs Pelican Breakdown


  • Less expensive
  • Flow rate of 7 GPM
  • 10-year warranty
  • Filter lifespan 600,000 to 1,000,000 gallons
  • Salt free water softener system
  • Well water system with 500,000 gallon filter lifespan
  • UV options available for removal of bacteria, contaminants and viruses
  • Salt-free system is electricity-free


  • Higher price
  • Flow rate of 12 GPM
  • 12-year warranty
  • Filter lifespan of 600,000 to 1,000,000 gallons
  • Has both salt-free and salt-based systems
  • Multiple well-water systems
  • UV options for added protection against viruses and bacteria
  • Salt-free options are “set and forget” ꟷ no maintenance needed

Aquasana Water Softener Reviews:


  • One customer did a before-and-after installation drinking water “taste test” and found that her Aquasana soft water system made a great difference. She also noticed a difference in her skin and hair and in buildup on sinks and other surfaces. She did find a small reduction in pressure when she ran her garden hose, shower and dishwasher at the same time.
  • Another customer noticed a positive difference in the way his clothes smelled and felt after coming out of the washer and said that his dishes felt cleaner as well. He also mentioned that now his family drinks straight from the tap.



  • A customer felt that their water quality was the exact same pre and post-installation of the water treatment system. He felt there was no reduction in sulfur smell or scale.
  • Another customer states that since installing his Aquasana system, he has had charcoal clogging his shower pipes and has had to replace all of his shower heads. He also states that he constantly has charcoal sitting in the bottom of his toilet. Customer service told him to install a post filter, which costs $114.00, and he says he would need to call a plumber to install it.

Pelican Water Softener Reviews:


  • A Florida customer with very hard water had two different soft water systems that he says had failed before he installed the Pelican system. Although this customer notes that water spots are a concern, he also says that the lime scale buildup around his faucets has actually disappeared in the year since he purchased and installed his Pelican system.
  • A Virginia customer was concerned about contaminants in well water, but did not need a softening system. He was pleased with the customer service’s response and with the products he was sold, which include two types of filters, plus the Pelican UV light to kill any bacteria that might be present in the water. He had a leak in one part of his system, but the part was sent to him immediately and at no cost, with easy-to-follow instructions on how to install it.


  • One consumer had a Pelican technician install his whole-home softener system to eliminate hard water and a sulfur-like smell. He recounts that after 30 days, no discernable change had been made to the smell or feel of his water, and that he called both the Pelican helpline and the number of his local Pelican dealer numerous times. His call went straight to voicemail, and he has yet to receive a response about the water filtration system.
  • One customer found that after installing his Pelican whole-house system, he found he had a powdery substance around his sink and faucets. He contacted Pelican customer service about it, and they assured him that it was a mineral deposit and he should have no problem using it for drinking water and tap water, as it is healthy for him. The customer was not comfortable with this, as he had been assured that he would have bottle-quality drinking water post-installation. Pelican offered to send a technician for the water filter system but would charge a fee for this. This customer felt this was unreasonable, as it is their system that is malfunctioning. Therefore, he gave his system one star.

Conclusion: Aquasana vs Pelican

There is no final answer as to which water treatment system is better. Pelican is more expensive, but its longer warranty and “set-and-forget” technology just may be worth it.

It really depends on what your water is like, to begin with, what you are trying to achieve with a water-treatment system, and your budget. Consumer reviews should usually be taken with a grain of salt, as there may be extenuating circumstances that cause negative results.

In the Aquasana vs Pelican water filtration system question, both of these softener systems are highly rated. Both are fairly expensive, although much less so than some others that are out there, and certainly less so than bottled water!

Amanda Perkins

Amanda began her career as a technical writer for a healthcare group in 2008. Years after getting married and starting a family, she joined her husband Joshua on the Water Filter Authority journey to educate other families and households about safe, affordable, and effective water filtration systems.