Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a proven and effective way to ensure you are drinking a high-quality water. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the standard for providing a lot of helpful information in regards to your particular water source, the type of reverse osmosis filter you need, as well as addressing concerns you may have about your water. Whether you are interested in installing an RO system in your home or not, it’s important to know the quality of the water available on tap that your household receives.
Water quality can affect everything from eye sight, to the health of your teeth, hair and skin. To understand your water quality best, check out your local “Consumer Confidence Report” or CDC, to learn about what is in your water. Public water suppliers are required to submit a new CRC every year. If you get your water from a private well, get a sample from your well and send it to a certified laboratory for analysis. The results of your water test can help you determine factors to consider before purchasing a best reverse osmosis system, as well as the kind of RO system to suit your needs best.
Best RO Systems: Side by Side Comparison
Check simple and brief comparison of best systems reviewed below.
|APEC ROES-50 5-Stage|
|iSpring RCC7 WQA ||5||75||4.8|
|Home Master TMAFC Artesian |
|APEC Ultimate RO-90||5||90||4.7|
|iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage||6||75||4.6|
|Home Master HydroPerfection ||9||75||4.5|
|Express Water RO5DX||5||50||4.7|
As you can see from the table above each system is unique, and they are also top rated as the best RO filtration systems on the marketplace today. Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive, nine stage filtration system, or you simply need a basic system under your kitchen sink to ensure your water is pure and safe, one of these systems is sure to meet your needs- and your budget.
If you live in a rural area you may be treating well water, which would have different needs than someone living in a condominium in a large city. Each person has pollutant in their water, but pollutants are different. The positives of one system may be the negatives for another person in regard to that same system. Keep in mind that everyone has different needs and no matter what you choose, any reverse osmosis water purification system is better than not having one at all.
Our Favorite: Reverse Osmosis System Reviews
Instead of picking the highest rated and most expensive systems, we have gone through all options available to find the best ones. Some of the systems reviewed have 5 stages of purification, to eliminate unsafe contaminants, while others include UV light treatment to kill harmful bacteria that may cause sickness. The systems reviewed range in price, but there are options for those looking for top of the line systems, or more cost-efficient ones, and everything in between.
The Top Tier 5-stage system’s technology removes nearly 100% of contaminants which include: chlorine, lead, heavy metals, arsenic, viruses and more than 1000+ other contaminants.
The filters that come with this system are premium filters which will last for a very long time. They treat both tap water and well water giving you an unlimited supply of refreshing and crisp water that is far better, and far less pricey, than bottled water.
Because it’s manufacturer is WQA certified, you can rest at ease knowing you are guaranteed a reliable, noiseless system that will provide you with pure drinking water for a very long time.
If you are not completely satisfied, you have a one year guarantee to return the product.
The tank that comes included with this system is designed to fit under a typical kitchen cabinet. The dimensions of the tank are 11′ X 11″ x 15.”
There are no extra lock clips or any additional steps you need to take to prevent a seal leak. The connect fittings are very reliable and convenient.
The iSpring RCC7 is a high-quality system. This product is designed to help you increase your water consumption, to minimize your spending, and virtually obliterate your bottled water and water transportation needs altogether.
The RCC7 comes complete with a gold seal certified five-stage filtration system. It is one of the best RO filters on the market. It will filter out over one thousand different water contaminants, even the tough ones to filter out such as fluoride and chlorine. It’s semipermeable RO membrane will filter down to an astonishing 0.0001 micron. That means it can remove every harmful contaminant in the water ranging from chemicals and bacteria to viruses.
This system will fit under your sink in standard cabinets. The WQA (Water Quality Association) has certified this set with a Gold Seal of Certification.
Be sure to register your new unit with the manufacturer for your free one-year money back guarantee warranty.
The APEC ULTIMATE RO-90 is the fastest, and safest reverse osmosis system to filter your drinking water on the market as of today. APEC’s other systems have proven to us that they go above and beyond providing clean, crisp, refreshing water that is both higher quality and better for you, than standard bottled water. It has the highest grade, super pure, 5 stage filter system.
Because APEC is 100% designed and made in the USA from selecting only the most exceptional components from around the world, you know that you are going to have safe water. Your water will be free of over 1000 contaminants including heavy metals, biological matter, viruses, and chemicals. Because it is WQA Gold Seal Certified, it removes nearly 100% of all those pollutants leaving your mind at ease and your water pure and clean.
Unique, high grade connect fittings make this job extremely easy and convenient. They require no extra lock clips or tape, and they ensure your unit is ultimately secure.
The iSpring RCC7AK is a top-notch system. Their filtration system takes it one step further, to reintroduce the good minerals, or re-mineralize, your water after eliminating all the harmful contaminants. iSpring is known for encouraging users to drink more water and to reduce the use of bottled/transported water. They help users introduce these changes by providing a system that will rid the water of many pollutants, including chlorine and fluoride and enhance the water with minerals users need to stay healthy like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. It’s RO semipermeable membrane can filter out essentially everything because it filters down to 0.0001 microns, making this system highly effective in keeping the drinking water safe and out of harm’s way.
Alkaline is what happens to the water when the pH is balanced. Because the RO system takes everything out of the water, including the helpful stuff, this system uses a sixth filter to re-mineralize the water.
Home Master’s Artesian TMAFC system is a game changer. They designed the Artesian just for you, the homeowner. Their filtration systems solve the problems that are commonly found in reverse osmosis systems. Home Master took the time to review what it takes to have the best RO filter, and then delivered with this comprehensive top-of-the-line product.
The Home Master’s Artesian Full Contact system re-mineralizes the water twice: once on its way to the storage tank, and again on its way to the tap. Each time is processed, a little bit of calcium and magnesium is added to ensure a quality taste and slightly alkaline, safe water.
This RO system is unique and has components that do more work than Traditional RO systems. The fittings are double the size, producing more water. It is also unique because of the added filtration step the Artesian has between the rubber bladder of the storage tank and the tap. The additional filtration step is added because although the water is pure, it is slightly acidic, which in turn, affects the taste.
The Home Master TMAFC Full Contact has one of the best RO filtration systems at a quality price. It starts by cleaning your tap water, stripping it of contaminants such as chlorine, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, viruses, and chemicals. In total, it removes contaminants for up to 98% cleaner, safer, purer water. This step is completed by using RO, then a sediment filter, and then carbon filtration. Finally, it is channeled through their patented remineralization process not once, but twice giving your safe, clean water needed minerals from a fresh source.
The Artesian’s filtration system is hard core, and it comes with a total of seven stages. It is also a purifier and enhancer, which means the water produced is incredibly safe, clean mineral water you can get from your tap.
In designing the Home Master RO, a sophisticated combination of flow restriction components were integrated into the system architecture to regulate the pressure in the 50 gpd membrane chamber for optimized purification and minimized wastewater production. The most sophisticated parts certified to NSF standards are included in the design and construction of the product.
Express Water’s RO5DX is a good quality system at a fair price. It provides the best Reverse Osmosis technology filter system finally your way, to get unlimited, fresh, great tasting, purified drinking water with RO technology at an affordable price.
Express Water is the premier manufacturer and supplier of reverse Osmosis and filtration systems. The RO5DX is manufactured and designed to meet industry standards with up to 99% removal of pollutants and contaminants that are found in your drinking water.
This system is built to exceed quality standards; it is backed and supported by their USA professional technical support. Their easy-to-install RO systems filter the impurities, contaminants, chemicals, and solids found in tap and well waters.
Each product comes shipped with easy to understand instructions. If you ever have any trouble or questions regarding the Express Water system you can contact their client care team anytime either online or by phone.
Some of the RO5DX specifications and features include:
1st stage: Has 5-micron Melt-Blown polypropylene sediment that removes large and fine particles such as sand, dirt, silt, and rust particles.
2nd stage: Includes GAC activated carbon filters; Removes chlorine, odors, and tastes of many organic compounds.
3rd stage: Has 5-micron carbon filters which block carbon filters made of fine coconut shell carbon; They also remove chlorine, tastes, odors, VOC and other common chemicals.
4th stage: This stage introduces a thin film 50 gpd RO membrane. A TFC membrane is the main component of any reverse Osmosis unit; it provides up to 99 percent reduction rate of bacteria and chemicals.
5th stage: The inline granular carbon filter polishes filters; and stabilizes the water tasting qualities and further removes any traces of bad tastes and odors.
The pump included in this system will increase your water production by half and decrease your water waste almost entirely.
The most common problems found in regular RO (reverse osmosis) systems are leaks in the canister filter, water waste, low flow, servicing issues, and sometimes slightly acidic water. Home Master has brought to the table a creative design that virtually knocks out all those problems.
The HydroPerfection from Home Master is a smarter choice for multiple reasons: it has the best water efficiency, great tasting clean water, easy to replace filters, and UV light technology.
With filtration, sterilization, remineralization, and purification steps, the HydroPerfection has an astonishingly impressive nine stages to ensure you are receiving is nothing but immaculately clean water.
Home Master gives you and your family peace of mind knowing your mineral water is safe. It removes 98% of iron, chlorine, metals, dissolved solids, and other unsafe pollutants using not only reverse osmosis, but also catalytic carbon filter, sediment filter, and iron filter.
The mixed media pre-filler has strong catalytic carbon that removes herbicides and pesticides, which can harm the membrane in your RO system. Also, iron usually found in well water will also destroy that membrane, so HydroPerfection has a high-quality pre-iron filer to ensure your system does not get harmed.
Their highly advanced UV technology ensures your water is protected nonstop from pollutants, bacteria, and other pests that may enter the water system.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
According to Wikipedia, “Reverse osmosis is a water purification technology that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and larger particles from drinking water.”
During this process, nearly 100% of all harmful sediments, bacteria, and cultures among other things are removed from the water leaving you with nothing but pure, clean, and safe drinkable water.
What Should I Consider Before Purchasing a Reverse Osmosis System?
There are many factors to consider before purchasing an RO system for your home. While you may think it as simple as finding one at your local home and garden store, making sure you have the right sink fittings, questions about your water hardness are reasonable questions to determine before purchasing the system you think best fits your needs. Here are various things to consider before purchasing an RO system.
Proper Faucet for Dispensary
All RO systems require a separate faucet for the dispensation of the treated water. Make sure you have one installed before purchasing an RO system. You can choose a new faucet or upgrade your current one to match the style of your existing sink fixture. You can also pick the type of faucet you want: an air gap, or non-air gap faucet.
A non-air gap faucet doesn’t have a gap of air in the drain line that prevents water from the drainage form being siphoned back into the water system. These kinds of faucets are most common however, because they are easier to install, less noisy during use. By simply checking the valve installed in the drain line, drainage can be prevented from back flowing from the drain.
Number of Stages the RO System Should Have
Most RO systems come with at least three stages of filtering and up to five stages. Typically, four stages are perfectly fine for most applications, however if your water has high levels of sediment, a system with the extra pre-filtration step will provide the best filtration for your needs.
It’s important to understand the water quality of the tap available in your location. An RO system is not a water softener. If your water tends to be hard and is above 7 grains per gallon (gpg), a water softener will be necessary to pretreat the water and help preserve the life of the RO system and its membranes.
RO System Efficiency
Some systems are more efficient than others. Just like we use water to wash our dishes, or clothing, RO systems use water to clean the RO membranes as they filter the water. During the filtration process, RO systems typically do use more water for this cleaning, than the water they produce. However, once the storage tank is full, the system will shut down and water will not go down the drain.
Water Taste and Smell
If you want to remove particles or chemicals in your home water, an RO system is a great option. You can install a system that will treat the whole house, by using a system installed at the home point of entry (POE). Before this, it’s important to have a water analysis done to see what is causing the offensive smell or taste. Once you have found the cause, it’s easier to determine the right water treatment equipment that will address your specific needs.
Amount of Water an RO System Can Produce
The systems “50 gallons per day” (GPD) rating is the efficiency and speed at which the RO system makes drinking water, and how quickly it produces a gallon of water per hour. Expect a GPD rating of at least 50% to 75% of the system’s rating. The average household doesn’t use 50+ gallons of water per day, so a 50 GPD-rated system provides more than adequate water production for the day.
RO Water for An Ice Maker
RO Parts and Pieces
Lets talk about different parts and pieces of filter which work together to perform a complete filtration process.
The pre-membrane filters will remove out all solids like sand, rust, and chlorine through a minimum five-micron filter. The best RO filters tend to be the ones that filter more than once. These solids are in ordinary drinking water and are not always visible to the average eye. These solids can damage the reverse osmosis’ semipermeable membrane and the filter, or multiple filters and work hard to prevent that.
The reverse osmosis membrane is a small, virtually undetectable filter that will let nothing more significant than 0.001 microns pass through it. What that means, is the only thing that can penetrate the membrane and go through it is pure water. Yes, some dissolved solids can get past the filter, but the membrane itself can eliminate nearly 99% of them. Because the membrane is extremely thin, increased water pressure does affect how quickly the water can get through it.
In most RO systems, the water will pass through one last filtration step. This last carbon filter will be used to remove any little taste and smell out of the water. After this step, the pure water is then stored in a tank ready for use.
Optional Reverse Osmosis System Add-ons and Upgrades
There are some additional features which you can get with RO system and get a better quality water as compared to basic system.
UV lights are a safe and effective way for killing 99% of bacteria and microorganisms that can make one sick, such as bacteria like E. coli. Unlike a corrosive solvent like chlorine, UV adds nothing to your water; it only removes the bad bacteria. While reviewing some of the best RO filter systems, most have the UV light option already equipped. If you do not have UV light filtration on your original reverse osmosis system and are concerned about your water source, you can easily purchase one and equip it.
In some systems, remineralization is a part of their entire process, while in others, you can purchase it as an additional feature. As the name implies, remineralization means you are selectively adding back beneficial nutrients to the water. Adding minerals back to the water is a great way to increase its PH level making it less acidic. For the most part, though, it just enhances the taste of the water.
Pressure Increasing Pump
There are two main reasons for adding a pressure increasing pump to your RO filter system. One, you may have poor water pressure, or two, you simply would like your reverse osmosis system to raise its output to give you more water, faster.
There are two types of pumps that can be added. The first is an electric pump, and the second type is a permeate pump (as used on many Home Master systems such the TMHP). A permeate pump is an ingenious non-electric device that uses water pressure to increase the water pressure in the system. Not only does this increase the output of the system by 50%, but it also dramatically reduces the water needed to flush the membrane. Instead of using 4 gallons of wastewater to produce a gallon of filtered water, systems with a permeate pump waste 1 gallon to produce a gallon of pure filtered water.
The Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Systems
Water is life. Without it, we cannot live. Poor water quality plays a huge role in severe medical issues like cancer, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, staff, and cysts.
Its priority to keep ourselves and our family’s safe and we have the resources available to us. Therefore, we naturally want to keep our water safe and pure. The systems on the market today can rid our drinking water of any unsafe metals, viruses or the many pollutants out there.
The science and technology of today gives up many water filtering options. Gone are the days of changing your countertop charcoal system every couple hundred gallons. Those systems of the past hardly reduced water contaminants. Nowadays, the technologically advanced RO systems go through countless filtration steps, and remineralization steps to provide you with drinkable water. The tanks are made larger, and the filters last much longer.
Maintenance for Your Reverse Osmosis System: The Best Care
The Three-Stages of a Reverse Osmosis System and Their Maintenance
A simple RO system mainly consists of three stages: Pre-filtering, osmotic membrane, and post-filtering. Advanced osmosis systems also have four or five stages for improved water purification.
The pre-filtering stage consists of a filter cartridge that separates out sand, silt, and other residual particles. This stage is important to protect the Reverse Osmosis (RO) Membrane from damage caused by these particles. This filter must be changed every 6-9 months.
Next, a carbon filter is used to remove any taste and odor from water. This filter cartridges must also be changed every 6-9 months.
If you don’t change these two cartridges, your RO membrane may become damaged, and water purification will also be affected; you might notice a specific taste and odor in water.
Maintenance of the Central RO Membrane
Next is the reverse osmosis stage, in which water gets pushed at a pressure of 35 psi to pass through the membrane. The thinly perforated RO membrane will separate the solutes from the solvent, and an only pure solvent is allowed to pass through.
You can clean the membrane every 3-4 months to prevent clogging of pores. If cleaned properly, this membrane has a longer lifespan, however; it must be changed every 2-3 years.
The post-filtering process is used to purify the water further and optimize it to meet market standards. A carbon filter is usually used at this stage to wash out any odor and taste from the water. This filter must also be changed every 6-9 months.
- Replace all filters every 6-9 months or max 12 months.
- Replace RO membrane every 24-36 months.
- Sanitize the water tanks every year.
- Cleanse and re-assemble the plumbing pipes every 2 years.
- Replace and buy new parts when necessary.
- The pressure nozzle must also be checked at regular intervals.
If you correctly maintain your RO system, it can last as long as 10-15 years. Remember, clean filters, and membranes mean pure and healthy water.