Most helpful critical review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Seems more like a prototype than a viable commercial product. Stay away from this product.
on September 5, 2014
After my initial purchase I would have given this 5 stars. Now that I've owned it awhile there are some things I really don't like about it. The biggest issue is cleaning and replacing filters. But first the good.
This is a beautiful fountain, and when it works pets love to drink from it. I have one small dog and 3 cats. All of them are happy to drink from it, often two at the same time. (I've never seen more than two at once.) It probably doesn't need to be a full 360, as one side is probably against a wall, but it actually a fairly economical design for space usage.
Now the bad.
If you go into a pet store to buy the filters, they probably will not have them. I ordered filters within a week. About 6 weeks later they finally arrived at the pet store. I waited a couple of more weeks since the instructions are to change every 60 days. At that point I opened up and discovered there was no charcoal filter in the package, just a piece of foam. It turns out there are two types of filters for this fountain. The charcoal filters which should be replaced every 15 days, and foam which should be replaced every 60 days. That makes the cost of ownership of this fountain way too high... But if you are going to follow the instructions order them on amazon. If you order enough for the free shipping, it will cost the same as a pet store, but you are more likely to get exactly what you needed.
Now actually replacing the foam filter is a huge pain. When you look at the fountain it appears like you should just be able to twist it and remove the whole center tower. However, after struggling in vane to do this I search the internet to find instructions on how to do this. I didn't find any. I finally manage to get it open with lots of force and a set of screwdrivers to push at the tabs.
The foam itself appears to do nothing. The foam I took out did not look significantly different that the foam I put in. The fountain flow had gotten low, so I was hoping this would improve it, and it did slightly. Still another 2 weeks later it was dripping so slowly I took it apart again. It turns out it is just as difficult to open the second time... It seems as I expected the foam does nothing. It is really hard to get at the motor and pull it out to inspect it, but when I did I found it was full of cat hair. After a good cleaning, the flow rate still is not as good as it was brand new, but it is now acceptable.
I suspect because of the way I have to pry this thing apart to clean it, I will end-up physically breaking it before the first year is up.
So the reasons for my bad review is high cost of replacing two sets of filters, inadequacy of the filters, and the extreme difficulty disassembling for cleaning and changing filters.
BTW. The reason I purchased this fountain was to replace an older Drinkwell model, that I liked better but eventually gave out and they don't appear to make anymore. My primary reason for buying a fountain at all is our cat has had cronic urinary track infections before we purchased the first fountain. He likes to drink running water, so the fountain encourages more drinking to help keep him from having a relapse. If your fountain is clean, and you use fresh water to fill it, you really should not need to replace the water everyday even if you had no filters installed. I always fill with fresh filtered water. If you don't want to drink the water you are filling with, neither will your pet. The charcoal filter is mainly to keep a fresh flavour. The biggest problem with leaving water in is nothing will stop algae growth. In a fish tank you'll get noticeable amount of algae in days without something to take care of it. In a water bowl it should be weeks, so long as you don't allow the pets to drop food in the bowl and you keep it out of direct sunlight. With any fountain, plan on cleaning once every 15 days. Most fountains rate the charcoal filters to last 30 days, which seems about right. However, if you have many pets they are probably drinking the water too fast for the charcoal filter to make a significant difference. I'm probably just going to remove my charcoal filter all together as that improves the water flow with the idea of filling with filtered water and complete cleaning every 15 days is adequate. I'm still not certain if I'll bother buying more of the foam filters, or if I'll just clean the ones I have every 60 days.