Crystal Quest SHARP UF+RO Bottleless Water Cooler (2023 Review)

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🧾 Overview

The Crystal Quest SHARP is a bottleless water cooler that can dispense hot and cold purified water. This system uses two purification processes: ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. This produces water that is free from the majority of total suspended solids (TSS).

With a hot water tank volume of 0.5 gallons and a cold water tank volume of 1 gallon, this cooler dispenser is ideal for use in home and office environments.

📝 System Specifications

  • Weight: 48 lbs, premium 59 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13”D x 13”W x 42”H, premium 13”D x 13”W x 50”H 
  • Power: 500 W for heating, 112 W for cooling
  • Hot water temperature range: 176-194°F
  • Cold water temperature range: 35-50°F
  • Holding capacity: 0.5 gallons hot water, 1 gallon cold water
  • Heating: 1.4 gallons/hour
  • Cooling 1.95 gallons/hour
  • Voltage: 110-120V
Crystal Quest SHARP UF+RO Bottleless Water Cooler

💡 Features

Stainless steel hot & cold water storage tanks

The Crystal Quest SHARP’s hot water tank is 0.5 gallons in size and the cold water tank is 1 gallon in size. This gives plenty of access to water at any given time. Both tanks are made from type 304 stainless steel

Bottleless design

Unlike many water coolers, the SHARP is a bottleless system. This means it gets its water directly from a cold water line and filters it for you, rather than simply dispensing pre-filtered water from a bottle. 

Built-in filtration

The sediment filter, GAC filter, and UF and RO filtration systems are built into the unit. This enables water to be purified before it is heated or cooled and dispensed. 

Automatic hot and cold temperature control

The SHARP automatically controls the temperature of hot and cold water before dispensing. It also uses an automatic shut-off device to prevent overheating once the desired temperature is reached. 

🚦 Performance

With two stages of filtration, including an optional heating element, you would expect the Crystal Quest SHARP to produce water relatively slowly. 

However, the system holds filtered hot and cold water in storage tanks, offering immediate access to water that has already been purified. Unless you’re dispensing more than 1 gallon of cold water or half a gallon of hot water at a time, you shouldn’t have to wait to access the water you need. 

Because the SHARP uses reverse osmosis, it does produce some water waste, which reduces the system’s overall efficiency. The wastewater line is designed to connect up to your kitchen drain. 

A traditional RO system wastes 4 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of purified water produced. However, there’s no mention of how much water is wasted in the product description, so it’s worth checking in advance with the manufacturer if you’re keen to know more about performance efficiency.

🔧 Installation & Maintenance

The SHARP comes with a user manual that explains the system in detail, and offers step-by-step installation instructions. 

There are 8 stages of installation, but while the process is quite lengthy, it isn’t too complex, and you shouldn’t have to call a plumber to do the job for you. 

The user manual also features a handy guide for changing the filters and membranes, cleaning the system, and troubleshooting. 

The sediment filter will need to be replaced after 12-18 months of use, while the GAC filter and UF membrane need changing after every 18-24 months of use. 

The SMART cartridge needs changing every 24-36 months. This will depend on the quality of your feedwater and how often you use the system. 

📝 Filter Info

The Crystal Quest SHARP uses two filtration methods to treat water: ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. 

During ultrafiltration, a 0.02 micron membrane is used to address total suspended solids in water. 

There may still be some TSS left behind after the UF process, which is why the unit follows up with reverse osmosis treatment. This offers thorough purification with semi-permeable membrane technology

The advantage of treating water with UF before RO is that ultrafiltration removes a percentage of contaminants first, reducing the strain on the RO membrane. 

As well as the ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis filters, there’s also a sediment filter, which removes the likes of sand, rust and dust, and a GAC filter, which removes chlorine, tastes and odors. 

The SHARP comes with a number of optional filters, too: a fluoride filter, an arsenic filter, a nitrate filter, an ionizer, mineralizer and oxidation cartridge, and two types of sterilizers (UV and ozonator). 

These filters should prove valuable to anyone dealing with specific contamination issues, such as microbial contamination or high levels of fluoride, nitrate, or arsenic.

🔔 Pros & Cons

👍 What I Like

  • Eco-friendly design – Being a bottleless dispenser, the SHARP doesn’t require bottled water – it simply filters water directly from your cold water line. 
  • Numerous safety features – The SHARP is safe for children to use, with an automatic shut-off for hot water and a child safety function. 
  • Removes a range of contaminants – Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective water purification methods out there, and ultrafiltration isn’t far behind. Combined, these processes provide a very high quality of filtration, removing a range of dissolved and suspended impurities.

👎 What I Don’t Like

  • Optional filters cost extra – It would be more convenient if the contaminants removed by the optional filters were already removed by the UF and RO processes. Having to pay for extra separate filters is a hassle. 
  • No certification – There is no indication in the SHARP’s marketing materials that the unit is certified by the NSF/ANSI for contaminant removal.

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between the standard SHARP cooler and the premium model?

The premium cooler comes with a stand and a cup holder, and costs just over $100 more than the standard model. 

Should I buy the paid add-on filters?

There are a number of add-on filters available: an extra nitrate filter, fluoride filter, arsenic filter, or ionizer, mineralizer and oxidation cartridge. Each of these filters costs around $50-$70. 

There’s also the option to purchase an ozonator sterilizer or a UV sterilizer system for around $90-$150, and a leak detector smart valve for around $50. 

I would recommend testing your water and determining whether your water contains the specific contaminants these filters are designed to treat, which will help you decide whether any of them are worth spending your money on.

water testing with tap score

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  • Brian Campbell
    Founder, Water Treatment Specialist

    Brian Campbell is a water treatment specialist and water expert based in Denver, Colorado. He's always been obsessed with water quality, and has spent years testing all kinds of treatment devices from simple pitchers and portable devices to complex whole home systems.

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