Water filter countertop Kenmore 34551

January 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Tea tools, accessories, Water | 9 Comments

Always wanted to get a water filter, but last i remembered the caraffe option was a pain and had to replace filters often. And under the sink/whole house not an option. It is pretty big and ugly πŸ™‚ but certainly beats buying bottles of water over and over and over and over…….. (definitely would get an undersink if i could).

By chance went to the bookstore and seen the Consumer Reports (2007) part of which rated water filters. Supposedly it rated the countertop Kenmore 34551 as best product at 91% so i got one from Sears. (not available at Sears anymore). Now you can find similar build in many places, online/Amazon, WholeFoods has one for $39.99 (they all seem like a re-branded China product but some look better built than this Kenmore with metal at the faucet connection(the WholeFoods too, tho i didnt see if it comes with filter, and WF has the filter at 17$) ).

$50 comes with filter (due for replacement at 3000 gal or 6 months or when taste is spoiled).


The “base unit” sits on the countertop and the ~3ft tube goes to your faucet, where it screws on. Includes adapters (plastic) for different size screw.

The switch is a plastic knob thing that is pushed from one side and so sends sink water to the filter. I colored my switch with a marker – GREEN means YES use the sink. When pushed it pops out on the other side, and that side is colored RED meaning STOP πŸ™‚ because you don’t want to turn on water with a high pressure or have hot water running thru the filter. (This all because in the mornings, a cloudy head leads to pushing knobs and switches and turning on hot water thru the filter πŸ˜› ). The only big issue I have with this machine after 1 year: the switch to divert water to the filter got harder to push.

When i took this apart after 6 months the water inside had some sort of orange-brown flakes from my water pipes, cleaned that up and replaced old filter.

(left pic) bottom left you see the dispensing “head” the bottom part of it fits into the little hole at the edge of the left side-you have to put it in all the way otherwise it leaks. (middle) new replacement filter 3000 gal one.
(right pic) putting back the unit.

The replacement filter (can find at most Sears, tho i’d guess any 10 inch round block) is ~10$ for the 3000 gal chlorine taste one, and 17$ for the 4500 gal (= get the cheaper one, don’t know what math they use = for 9000 gallons you get 3×10$=30$ and 2×17$=34$ of the 4500…!?). There are other kinds of filters, more expensive as well, for lead, for finer filtration, giardia, and other kinds of animals.

I’ve been using this everyday, about 3liters(0.6gal) everyday or more, in about 255days(8.5months) = 765L(202 gallons). Not even close to the rating of 3000 gal (maybe it was due to running hot water for ~3seconds 4-5 times, or running it in a not so slow flow that might have damaged the charcoal filter…. don’t know.) all i know is the water started tasting chlorinated again, so when i’m writing this its been since may2007 so that’s 8 months and whatever days.

Build: plastic all around, no plastic taste. Seems well made, no problems with it in 2 years. The tube is very well connected, I couldnt remove (and i tried hard, without a knife). The cover screws on nice and tight sometimes its hard to twist open. Not happy with the faucet connection it doesnt have any rotation into it and when you put it on it twists the whole tube. Not happy with the exhaust (the thin tube that spits filtered water), seems flimsy and the connection as you see in the picture above is guarded just by those 2 small rubber rings (I didnt have any issue with it so far, but just saying.)

Water flows very fast out the filtered end, usually I turn the faucet so that i get at ~ 20-30sec/1L.

Had a PUR filter (entire unit attaches to the faucet) for a while and returned it. Weird taste for like 1 day, expensive, small filters run out fast.

(following is a copy of water taste test post)

Taste test:

#1. Kenmore water filter: almost no taste, somewhat ’soft’ ..sweet? taste. just feels like a liquid.

#2. Trader Joes: more mineraly – so its got more of a *bing* compared to the Kenmore. not sure difference in tea.

#3. local tap water (LongIsland, NY): chlorine (maybe its summer chlorination time).
#3. local tap water (Pasadena,CA): even more mineraly, minor chlorine taste.



=dont copy this to sell your ebay crap or populate your URL craplist to make ad/click moneys.



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  1. don’t refill disposable (poland spring) bottles. They are “single use” and actually start leaking toxins into the water at a much higher rate once refilled… or so I hear.-to all our health

  2. sears does not carry the kenmore 34551 anymore and they will not help me
    do you know how i can still get one and filters?

  3. hi. sorry, i don’t see anymore online either… just the filters and the undersink one at sears online… they might be replacing it ?
    you could try ebay…

  4. I am glad I saw this before I bought, because of the water filter issue. I am looking at a unit that appears to have the same filtration system as the Kenmore, but there is only one choice of replacement filter which is $19.95 plus shipping and tax from [website that sells RO systems].com The difference in the system appears to be metal water spout and attachments. This filter is suppose to do 2,500 gallons of lead removal and other chemicals. I need the lead filter due to old pipes. You might check it out.

  5. True enough, Kenmore no longer sells this product. they’ve actually done a very good job eliminating all traces of theis product from *all* of their catalogs. You can still find the manual for 34551 at the http://www.managemyhome.com kenmore service website. It’s listed as product 625345510, and links to the manual titled L0102003.pdf
    You can still find the carcoal ‘activated carbon’ filters for sale ($10 each) on the kenmore website (part number 42-34370); I believe that they are still used in the other kenmore water filter products, so they may not disappear soon…
    If you are still looking to purchase one of these countertop faucet water filters, look to around on ebay, or check at your local Sears to see if they have a few left…

  6. Just today(Jan.3’09) I have bought from the Sears store @ Citadel Mall of Charleston SC one refill(model# 42-34370) for the Kenmore Faucet water filter model 34551 for $11.99 plus tax. Since the store had plenty in stock I assume it is an item that Sears will continue to keep.

  7. While the product may do an excellent job filtering water, the product itself is shabbily made and may be a health hazard.
    The filter is made of plastic as is all parts & accessories, such as the water faucet diverter. And it doesn’t take much for the diverter or hose connections to snap. I followed the instructions & coated the gasket with petroleum jelly. Didn’t help. The top was frozen on. I was only able to open the unit to replace the filter with the help of a pipe wrench.
    But most disturbing is the direction to lubricate the gasket with petroleum jelly. Upon closing, there is no way that the petroleum product can be prevented from oozing into the inside of the filter. I have since ceased using the filter until I can get reliable information regarding petroleum jelly ingested. Even if the jelly eventually comes off, it is still there when the filter is resealed. I wonder if this is why Sears removed all traces of this unit from their store & catalog.
    Sears took it off the market but it is still being sold on ebay or other outlets. Stay away.
    I needed a second counter top
    filter. Needless to say, I did not buy this one

  8. i had mine for 2 years i think
    no problem with any parts snapping off, but the diverter button is getting tougher to push.
    i dont remember the petroleum jelly lube part, and probably ignored it since it doesnt sound appealing.
    it is made of plastic. whats the problem with that ? Most filters ive seen are of plastic. even the 80$ ones that look exactly like this one.

  9. Thanks for info about water filter countertop.
    I need to buy it.

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