You may ask why purify ‘safe’ water?
Is our water really safe? EPA gives its best efforts to ensure that every household receives safe and healthy water from the supplier. But, unfortunately, some contaminants do not fall under EPA’s scope. We, therefore, need to purify it further.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) is the process that gives water the healthy, pure and sweet quality for the food processing, drinking and the even for the aquarium if any. Water is fed to the purifying RO system installed under the sink, and a pump takes it to a storage tank from where it is tapped through a faucet.
A labeled RO diagram would help cut on the installation cost as the homeowner can install the system without an expert’s help.
Want to know more?
From the first commercial use of a reverse osmosis in 1977, RO systems have been refined and re-defined to give homeowners healthy water at an affordable price. Today, RO systems are cheap and small enough to be bought and used by each household. There are many models on the market today and choosing the best among them may prove to be a daunting task.
Buying a Reverse Osmosis filtration system is like buying a car in the sense that you buy a car with the goal of using it for years. A reverse osmosis filtration system should be looked at in that light, so you have to be extremely sure which system will best serve your immediate and long-term needs.
The answer to that question can only be found after conducting a thorough research and testing out the different types of reverse osmosis systems. Unfortunately, you may not have the time or resources needed to carry out that task and so we took it upon ourselves to do the research and testing and provide you with the best reverse osmosis system for home.
Now, let’s get started.
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System
These components feature different build materials such as brass for faucets and high-quality plastic for the other parts.
Let’s now explore some of its great features here;
- Solid brass made faucet with nickel finish for sublime feel and appearance. This European-style round-top faucet features a durable ceramic valve and a quarter turn handle. It looks elegant and fits seamlessly in the kitchen sink to compliment the kitchen design.
- The iSpring features calcium carbonate water filters together with red mineral stones. The calcium carbonate works by getting rid of minerals from water that changes its odor and taste. The red mineral stone features ionized minerals that later add rich minerals to the mineral-free water to make it more wholesome.
- This 6-stage RO comes equipped with transparent 1st stage housing for two main purposes. The first purpose is to let the user see the iSpring’s filtration process as the contaminants are flushed out. As for the second purpose, the user gets to inspect the filters to determine whether they need replacing.
- This under-the-sink filtration system features quick fitting connections that are color coded to help simplify the installation process. All DIY homeowners will relish the challenge of installing this heavy-duty filtration system as it is made simple by the installation videos that are readily available online.
- The iSpring features a GAC filter as well as a CTO filter to provide additional protection for the sensitive RO membrane. The GAC filter has loose carbon that works extremely well at flushing out large contaminants from the water. Smaller contaminants and mineral deposits in the water are then filtered out by the highly effective CTO carbon block filter. Getting rid of these impurities enhances the lifespan and performance of the RO membrane.
- Advanced filtration system that flushes out over 1,000 water contaminants
- The RCC7AK features a thin-film composite semi-permeable RO membrane. This semi-permeable membrane provides a mindboggling filtration competence of up to 0.0001 microns. To put that into perspective, a single human hair measures about 50 microns.
- The calcite rich alkaline filters of the iSpring not only remineralize the water but also balances the pH of the water to make it more ideal for human consumption.
Here is the bottom line:
So why is iSpring number one on our list?
Well, it is quite simple. For a 6 stage filtration system, the iSpring is pocket-friendly unlike other 6 stage models. You are sure to get your money’s worth with this unit. What’s more, iSpring RCC7AK is extremely durable and has a lot going for it in terms of features.
All things considered, the iSpring is not a basic system by any chance. It is a solid, advanced RO water filter system and that I would strongly recommend as a must buy model if it meets your needs.
- Pocket-friendly price
- Filters over 1,000 contaminants in the water
- Compact design that fits under the sink cabinet with ease
- Easy installation
- Cost effective water usage
Express Water 5 Stage Undersink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System
What sets this system apart from the rest of the crowd?
One of the outstanding features of this five stage RO is the feel of the build materials. The build materials come together on this filtration system to make it feel robust to touch.
Let us now look at some of its many features:
- The Express Water features an airtight frame that keeps out air and thus contaminations that may be carried by air. All Express Water units are tested for air leaks using air injection pressure testers before shipping to ensure they meet the highest standards of the brand.
- This five stage filtration system is fitted with a pressure tight frame to guarantee its users maximum durability when subjected to normal working pressure. The pressure tight quality (just like the air tight quality) of the Express Water helps maintain the freshness of the filtered water.
- Comes with a polypropylene sediment filter as the first line of defense against contaminated water. This polypropylene filter excels at filtering out all large contamination such as dirt, rust, silt, etc. from the water.
- Both the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filter and the CTO carbon filter on the Express Water are made entirely from coconut shell extracts. Not only do these filters flush out residual dirt and chemical compounds found in water but they also restore the natural odor and taste of water.
- The semi-permeable RO membrane in this filtration system is built specially to filter out 99 percent of contaminants in water including health-hazard contaminants such as bacteria and viruses.
- The Express Water comes equipped with an inline polishing filter as the last stage of the filtration process. The work of this inline filter is to get rid of all bad odour and tastes and finally stabilize the taste of water by adding health friendly minerals to the water.
- Compact design that fits in all standard sized under counter kitchen cabinets. The compact design of this five-stage filtration system also makes installation and maintenance easy.
- This filtration unit features color coordinated caps and connectors that indicate where hoses are to be inserted. Also, all the filter housings are labeled with the corresponding filter number to simplify the replacement process for all non-professionals and DIYs.
- The Express Water features an adjustable pressure mechanism that puts out clean, filtered water at an astounding rate of 0.8 gallons per minute.
To sum it all up:
With over a whopping 27 years in the business of producing water filtration systems, it is fair to say that the Express Water brand is full of expertise in the water filtration industry. This experience translates directly into the quality of their products as evidenced by this model.
This filtration system is one of the best 5 stage RO models out there. So when you buy the Express Water, you are not only getting four complementary filters and purified water, but you are buying into the entire history of the brand.
- Premium quality
- Easy installation
- Excellent performance
- Super-fast flow rate of water
- Comes with four replacement filters
Express Water 5 Stage Undersink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System
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iSpring RCC7 WQA Gold Seal Certified 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
Perhaps the most notable difference is iSpring RCC7WQA is 5 stage RO system compared to the 6 stage iSpring RCC7AK. Another notable difference is the discounted price of the iSpring RCCWQA. But just like the first one, the second difference aforementioned cannot be spotted by looking at the two units side by side.
- The iSpring RCC7WQA comes with a 3.2-gallon tank for storing filtered water for instant access. The tank reservoir is both air tight and pressure tight to keep out contamination and preserve the freshness of the filtered water.
- This 5 stage filtration system features an adjustable pressure control that can easily put out 75 gallons of water per day. This enhanced pressure ensures water is readily available at all times. The iSpring’s water pressure combined with its 3.2-gallon tank make it suitable for use by a large family or even for commercial needs such as a small restaurant.
- Solid brass-made faucet with nickel finish for sublime feel and appearance. This European-style round-top faucet features a durable ceramic valve and a quarter turn handle.
- The RCC7WQA features a thorough pre-filter process that comprises of the first three filtration stages. The pre-filter stage essentially begins once the unfiltered water enters the filtration system. In this three-part stage, large contaminants such as dirt and chemical compounds are flushed out of the water to protect the RO membrane from damage.
- Like the RCC7AK model, the iSpring RCC7WQA features a transparent filter housing that not only shows the filtration process taking place but allows the user to monitor the condition of the filters for replacement purposes.
- This five stage RO system is compact. The whole system measures about 17.5 inches by 14.5 inches by 5.5 inches meaning it can fit in all standard sized kitchen cabinets.
- Features output lines for filtered water that can be connected to various equipment units such as an aquarium, a refrigerator, and a coffeemaker, etc.
- The iSpring features a GAC filter as well as a CTO filter to provide additional protection for the sensitive RO membrane. The GAC filter has loose carbon that works extremely well at flushing out large contaminants from the water. Smaller contaminants and mineral deposits in the water are then filtered out by the highly effective CTO carbon block filter.
What are our final thoughts?
Some people may be put off with the uncanny similarities between the two models from iSpring but when you stop and think about it for a minute, you realize that the similarity is a good thing. The iSpring manufacturers got it spot on with the RCC7WQA model because it employs the same characteristics as the RCC7AK model of which are nothing short of a master class.
So, if you own a small restaurant or a big house, regardless the family size, the iSpring RCC7WQA represents an attractive prospect for a filtration system and therefore you should consider buying it.
- Easy installation and maintenance
- Filters out over 1,000 different water contaminants
- Excellent performance
- Great tasting water
- Enhances water efficiency
Watts Premier RO-Pure 531411 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis System
The Watts Premier features the standard build materials found in other RO filtration systems such as plastic and stainless steel. This under-the-counter RO system is ideal for a small family as it comes with all the essential features a family could need from a filtration system.
Let us now look at some of its features and compare it to other models.
- Filter change made easy on the Watts Premier thanks to the buttons that release the worn out filters when pushed. What’s more, the filters included are specially designed to snap into place once they have been aligned correctly. It is without a doubt that the filter changing mechanism employed by the Watts Premier is the standout feature that makes it appealing.
- Auto shutoff valves built in the filter heads provide convenience such that the user doesn’t have to manually shut off the water supply to the filtration system once the tank is filled with clean filtered water.
- The high production semi-permeable membrane of the Watt Premier filters contaminants as small as 0.0001 microns. This mindboggling fact means that 96 percent of dissolved solids and 99 percent of disease-causing bacteria and viruses are flushed out of the water, leaving it safe for drinking.
- The technologically advanced Watt Premier features a display monitor that lets the user control some of its functions. The monitor doubles as an information center that notifies the user when it’s time to replace the filters.
- As expected from a top tier RO system, the Watts Premier features a full-sized tank that allows users to store water for immediate use and future use.
- Features 5-micron pre-filter traps that filter out sediments such as dirt, silt, and rust as well as excess chemical compounds such as chlorine, sodium, etc. in water.
- This 5 stage filtration system puts out about 50 gallons per day to ensure your family or small business is well catered for with clean, filtered water.
How about the bottom line?
Despite only being a 4 stage RO system, the Watts Premier is a great RO filtration system. All things considered, the Watts Premier easily stands toe to toe with the finest filtration systems despite costing a fraction of the price as the high-end models. This is because it has a lot going for it in terms of usability and features.
Also, the Watt Premier has one of the best filter changing technology in the market. All in all, if you want to consume high-quality water similar to bottled at a fraction of the price and without the inconvenience of bottles, this system will suit your needs perfectly.
- Great build quality
- Quick change filters at the touch of a button
- Great tasting water
- Easy to install and maintain
- Reasonably priced
- Isolated cases of leaky valve after months of use
Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
However, the sense of touch tells a completely different story. When you touch it and feel it, you get a rough idea of where the money went. From all the RO systems we have tested, the 9 stage filtration system feels the most premium so you could easily forgive its average look. Let us go through some of its unique features below to give you a better sense of this model.
- While the design is not groundbreaking, it is perfectly compact and solves common issues related to RO systems such as ease of fitting and maintenance.
- The standout feature of the Home Master is its 9 stage filtration system. 98 percent of contaminants such as hydrogen, iron, sulfide, chlorine, metals, rust, and other components are flushed out thanks to the effective combination of a sediment filter, catalytic carbon filter and reverse osmosis purification process.
- The semi-permeable RO membrane is coated with iron components to protect it from the contaminated water from wells. It is worth noting that the iron pre-filter system of the Home Master is fitted with a catalyst called redox media KDF85 that helps suck all the iron from the water. As you would expect from a high-end filtration system, the Home Master comes fitted with multiple carbon filtration systems that get rid of minerals from the water.
- Modular filter design in this 9 stage filtration system is revolutionary. Not only does it speeds up the entire filter replacement process but disrupts the build-up of harmful microorganisms in the system. Unlike traditional RO systems that allow you to only change the filters, this unit uses an all-in-one filter and filter housing that is disposable after a period of one year.
- Since UV light is more effective than chlorine in killing harmful bacteria and microorganisms, the Home Master features UV light technology as a method of sterilization. An added advantage of using UV light is that it does not contaminate the water further as is the case with chlorine.
- The Home Master features a non-electric permeate pump that enhances the system’s effectiveness by increasing water production by a staggering 50 percent while decreasing water wastage by 80 percent.
- The Home Master is fitted with high flow components as well as large flow tubes to double the rate of water flowing to the faucet.
To sum it all up:
The Home Master is truly a perfectionist piece of equipment. It is true that this RO filtration system delivers a high-quality filtration performance that purifies water better than most filtration systems. The thing about the Home Master is that you don’t only get germ-free water but you are guaranteed odourless and great tasting water with added minerals.
The odourless, mineral-rich water is made possible by the Home Master HydroPerfection coupled with other cutting edge technology. Perhaps the only stumbling block with this model is its super high price. Unlike some RO filtration systems, the price of the Home Master is justified with technology such as UV light, the non-electric permeate pump and the all-in-one modular filter design among others.
So if price is an issue for you, you are better off looking at other alternatives but if it is not an issue, you will get back every cent of your investment through the Home Master’s performance.
- UV light technology
- Easy to change filters
- Fast flow rate
- Water efficiency
- Great build quality
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Global Water 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System Water Quality Filter
What’s great about it? This system comes with an installation kit hence fixing it is a no-brainer. Further, the steps on how to fix each component are well printed on the component.
- 5 x 14 x 16 inches in dimensions with a weight of 17 pounds.
- An NSF compliant sediment filter (5-micron) that effectively filters away large particles such as mud and sand.
- A GAC carbon filter (10-inch and activated) that serves to remove dissolved organic substances as well as chloride and fluoride components giving the water a nice odor. Any color particles and chemicals are well dealt with by this filter.
- One CTO carbon filter (5-micron) that removes the cloudy property of unpurified water. This filter restores the sweet natural taste of water.
- A semi-permeable membrane (TFC), which filters away over 1000 pollutants before being disposed down the drain. Unwanted elements including dissolved minerals with negative health impacts are filtered by the membrane. Other remaining amounts of chlorine, fluoride, VCO chemicals and organic solutes are filtered too.
- One inline filter at the final stage of the process where unwanted smells and unnatural tastes are removed. This cartridge fits easily into the system.
Global Water RO- 505 system is one of a kind. As if the fact that its USA made fittings are durable is not enough, the buyer gets a free spare of all filters for free. It has never been better. The effectiveness of the system in giving households water that is not only sweet but also healthy.
- Global Water has been the water business for a long time. This system is, therefore, designed and made with years of experience to offer the best possible service.
- The RO-505 system filters 99% contaminants after five stages in the RO process leaving you with clean, sweet, odorless water.
- The NSF faucet, colored tubing, and NSF steel tank are very durable. Further, the components are lead-free.
- This system has Water Quality Association (WQA) certification. This means the buyer is assured 100% satisfaction with minimal usage frustrations.
- The sediment filter and three carbon filters that make up the system come in double. This means that after the installed ones wear out, replacement can be done without much hassle. The system also affords self-shutting valves.
- Installing the system at home is easy. The system comes with an installation kit and easy to follow instructions that cover the entire installation process.
- This system comes with no batteries and requires no batteries to run. It uses pressure instead.
- In case of any problem either during installation or during usage, the customer service of Global Water is available round the clock.
- The efficiency of the system is low. A relatively large amount of water is lost during the RO process (ratio 3:1)
Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
It is among the few RO systems that have seven stages in one process hence the quality of water from this system is very high. Its water is also cleaner and it handles water of TDS 2000ppm.
Is it really that good? This system has a GPD of 75. This is 50% more than other RO systems of its size. Among other superior qualities, the system also features a high water flow rate.
- Full Contact technology adds two minerals at separate stages during the purification process. Magnesium and calcium are added at the rate of 30-60 mg/l. The resulting water is healthy and without acidity. Slightly alkaline water is tasty.
- The Modular Filter design is an innovative way to do away with the problem of canister filter housing. The new design combines the filter in a filter housing that is easy to change. Otherwise, the debris filtered through RO accumulates in the canister and weakens it. Eventually, it starts leaking, causing wastage.
- A catalytic carbon filter, which filters away very resistant contaminants such as chloramines, which common carbon filters cannot filter out.
- A non-electric permeate pump that enables the production of 75 GPD. Further, the pump reduces water wastage to a ratio of 1:1, which is 80% lower than traditional RO systems. It also increases the flow rate.
- A Fast Flow RO kit that avoids slow flows. This system uses tubes that are slightly larger. This, combined with the power of permeate pump, ensures fast flow rates.
- The system measures 12 x 16 x 20 inches and has a mere weight of 14.5 pounds. It comes with a whooping five-year warranty from the manufacturer.
The Home Master TMAFC-ERP performs seven-stage purification process that gives the best quality of healthy water. The fact this system gives mineral water directly from the faucet is through the Full Contact Technology simply excellent. Its pump ensures slow flow rate common in other RO systems is well dodged.
Our opinion is that this is the best candidate among competing systems of its kind.
- The 7 stages of filtration remove as much as 99 percent of pollutants and contaminants. Persistent pollutants that common filters cannot remove are filtered as well. TDS creep is also eliminated.
- The Full Contact innovative technology adds magnesium and calcium to clean water. This makes it even healthier, odorless and alkaline. Other than being pleasing to the tongue, alkaline water does not corrode the tank as acidic water does.
- This system is just a snap to install. Its parts have the fit-in quality and no tools are needed to get it running.
- The fittings of the system meet NSF standards.
- The filters can produce over 2000 gallons before being replaced.
- The TMAFC-ERP is an efficient system and has very low water wastage rates at a ratio of 1:1.
- The system is relatively affordable and requires little maintenance.
- 5 years manufacturer’s warranty.
- Some customers have complained that the installation manual is more confusing than guiding. This problem has been addressed by incorporating images in the manual.
- The tubing may be inadequate to cover a large place. However, an extension may be bought and the problem fixed.
APEC-Top Tier Five-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
What makes this so special?
The system’s qualities are outstanding, to say the least.
Let us take a look.
- A 5-micron sediment filter that filters away sand and rust.
- A 10-micron carbon filter measuring 10 inches, which takes over the second stage. VOC chemicals and organic solutes are filtered by this filter. Similar filters are placed at the third and fifth stages to remove more pollutants and unwanted water color particles and odors.
- The system has one TFC semi-permeable membrane where most of the RO process takes place. Contaminants that do not pass through are washed down a drain pipe while clean, fresh water goes to the fifth final stage.
- ROES-50 features the double carbon blocks with a larger than normal surface area. The effectiveness of these two blocks is unparalleled. They give a 99% purification level, leaving perfectly clean & safe water.
- A rate of 50 GPD, which is ideal for smaller households. This rate is attained at 60 PSI.
- A lead-free chrome faucet to safeguard health. All other parts are lead-free as well. The tubing is FDA approved.
- The system measures 16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches, overall weight is 25 pounds.
And you know what else?
ROES-50 fittings have the Quick Connect technology. Installing the system does not require the expert services of a plumber nor does it call for a powerful wrench. The parts fit well and the system works in less than thirty minutes.
What’s the most interesting part?
The best thing about APEC-Top Tier Five-Stage RO system is the quality of its fittings. They are all American made, very durable and guarantee high performance. The filters are crafted with end results in mind; they have a large surface area to get most of the pollutants out. The system is quite affordable too.
We feel that a small family will choose this as their ideal RO system.
- It provides households with a simple, affordable way to access clean, healthy drinking water without over 1000 contaminants.
- Quick installation.
- It is a versatile home tool since it purifies both tap water and water from wells.
- ROES-50 has WQA certification. This gives a promise of stress-free usage with maximum satisfaction.
- Its parts are genuine USA products, are durable and very efficient.
- The small size of the system ensures it takes a small space in the kitchen.
- ROES-50 does not require batteries in order to be operational.
- The manufacturer gives one year satisfaction guarantee.
- Buyers have complained of leakages before the guaranteed satisfaction period expires.
- The system’s final output water has a pH of 4, which slightly acidic. This may give it a slightly bad taste and corrode the storage tank if kept for long periods of time.
- The customer service of APEC maybe slow to respond to question regarding this system.
- The wastage of ROES-50 is relatively high compared to other RO systems of its kind.
APEC-Top Tier Five-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
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Brondell H2o+ Circle Reverse Osmosis System
What’s the deal? For the relatively low price, quality clean water is available anytime. The features of this system are extremely effective in purifying water and efficient in eliminating unnecessary wastage. It is the easiest system to install. Everything is in one unit; no tools are required to fix additional components.
- This system features the all-new Water Saving Smart Technology which reduces the water wastage to a 1:1 ratio.
- Three filters that work efficiently through four RO stages to clean up fluoride (over 80%), chlorine, arsenic and VOC chemicals. The carbon filters have large surfaces to maximize their contact with water and purify it fully. It is worth noting that filter spares are readily available from the manufacturer.
- An NSF certified lead-free chrome faucet. The faucet features an innovative design to increase reach.
- LED lighting is integrated into this RO system. It turns on when being used. This makes diagnostics very easy.
- Brondell H2O+ Circle is fully dependent on pressure. It requires no new source of power such as electricity or batteries. Further, it requires no inbuilt pumps used by other systems to increase efficiency.
- This is one of the smallest RO systems in the market. It has a modest size of 13.8 x 9.2 x 16.5 inches and carries a weight of 14.6 pounds.
- The system can handles pressures of 120 PSI to give a high flow rate of 0.37 gallons per minute.
Can we be totally honest with you?
To say that Brondell H2O+ is a classic beauty would be an understatement. We feel that this system beats other systems by far. The small size, a weight of 14.6 pounds and the beautiful design are simply exceptional. The Water Saving Smart Technology ensures that users get the minimum possible loss. And while others may complain about the price, this system is worth every penny.
- The system is extremely efficient. It saves water more than other systems of its class.
- Space on the under the sink is preserved as much as possible; it is left spacious and neat. Further, the all in one design keeps the filters, tubing, and storage tank well protected from physical damage.
- Clean, healthy, tasty water is guaranteed by this RO system. It removes a great percentage of contaminants and TDS creep, leaving readings of below 10ppm on the TDS meter.
- It features an auto-membrane flush. This lengthens the life span of the membrane.
- The above 50 GPD is optimum for a household or a small business.
- Swift installation- the filters are just twisted and pulled so as to be removed. No need for tools.
- One year manufacturer’s warranty.
- The system is relatively expensive compared to others of its class. The design and functionality justifies this pricing.
- The joint of the faucet consists of cheap plastic that may break after months of use. This problem can be avoided by taking extra care when using the faucet.
Brondell H2o+ Circle Reverse Osmosis System
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APEC Top Tier Supreme Certified High Flow 90 GPD Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
Systems that purify water to the highest degree, minimize water wastage, consist of durable parts and feature quick installation seem to be the answer to this question. This is what APEC ULTIMATE RO-90 brings to the table. Here’s even more: After all the installation is an easy process. Different parts of this system have the Quick Fit property and require little or no plumbing knowledge and plumbing tools. Conclusion Can we tell you a little secret? APEC ULTIMATE RO-90 is a top-notch system on the market. Its durable USA made device. With this system, a homeowner can be sure that the family is getting nothing but the best water (ultra-safe). It is very economical and its price is fair. The tester also allowed us to check water temperatures at varied PSI. For efficiency, we manually operated each system and compared the ratio of waste to pure water to be certain that the features checked out. What’s more! The last tests we carried out were the effectiveness tests. Since this is the important feature, we took out time to confirm and re-confirm the purification properties of each system. We used different TDS meters including the Waterproof Ec / Tds / Temp Combo Meter / Professional Tester – Com-100 and the TDS Meter Inline Tester to avoid the risk of malfunctioned testers. We were able to establish that each system was extremely effective in purifying water by eliminating TDS creep, chlorine, fluoride and arsenic while maintaining the appropriate pH and water temperature. Our tests concluded that the above systems are the best.
How We Tested
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Systems that purify water to the highest degree, minimize water wastage, consist of durable parts and feature quick installation seem to be the answer to this question. This is what APEC ULTIMATE RO-90 brings to the table.
Here’s even more: After all the installation is an easy process. Different parts of this system have the Quick Fit property and require little or no plumbing knowledge and plumbing tools.
Can we tell you a little secret?
APEC ULTIMATE RO-90 is a top-notch system on the market. Its durable USA made device. With this system, a homeowner can be sure that the family is getting nothing but the best water (ultra-safe).
It is very economical and its price is fair.
The tester also allowed us to check water temperatures at varied PSI. For efficiency, we manually operated each system and compared the ratio of waste to pure water to be certain that the features checked out.
The last tests we carried out were the effectiveness tests. Since this is the important feature, we took out time to confirm and re-confirm the purification properties of each system. We used different TDS meters including the Waterproof Ec / Tds / Temp Combo Meter / Professional Tester – Com-100 and the TDS Meter Inline Tester to avoid the risk of malfunctioned testers.
We were able to establish that each system was extremely effective in purifying water by eliminating TDS creep, chlorine, fluoride and arsenic while maintaining the appropriate pH and water temperature. Our tests concluded that the above systems are the best.
All Types of Reverse Systems
Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are grouped differently according to their stages of filtration as well as their use, be it commercial or residential.
However, residential and commercial RO systems fall under the categories compiled below (over the counter and under the counter) so no need of getting into much detail with them. Check out the types of RO systems below:
- Counter top RO systems
This type of RO system is generally small and like its name suggests, it is installed on the kitchen table next to the faucet.
Unlike other advanced RO systems, you don’t need to worry about installation costs with the counter top systems since you can install them by yourself. But since they are small and compact, they produce water in small quantities therefore making them ideal for small families.
- Under the counter / under the sink RO systems
This type of RO system is much larger than the counter top RO model. Since under sink RO units are large, they produce the high amount of water making them suitable for large families and even for commercial exploits. When connected, clean, filtered water is produced directly from the water taps since the units are fitted under the sink where the water faucets lie.
Despite all its advantages, you will have to incur installation costs while maintenance is a bit more costly than counter top RO models.
- RO systems with water tanks
RO systems with tanks are so convenient because they store filtered water which makes it accessible at any given time. But despite making filtered water readily available, it is common knowledge that stored water changes taste over time and may not be fit for drinking.
- RO systems without water tanks
RO systems without tanks is a new technology that was introduced to solve the problem of stored water contamination. This unit features sieve membranes that filter water in the pipes in a matter of seconds and sends it directly to the faucet, therefore, curbing the need to store it.
Since the filtered water is produced instantaneously, this type of RO model is ideal for both commercial purposes and home use.
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5 Stage Reverse Osmosis System
A 5 stage RO system is a type of multistage RO system with five layers of filtering to remove impurities in water. Each of the five filters in this RO model has its own unique function.
For example, the sediment filter is useful in flushing out debris such as dirt while the carbon filter is vital in removing chemical compounds that change the taste and odour of water. As for the 5 stage filter system, it features a filtration stage known as the remineralisation stage.
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4 Stage Reverse Osmosis System
The first filtration process of the 4 stage RO system involves getting rid of debris and sediments from water.
The second filtration stage is known as carbon filtration and is important in removing chorine from the water.
The third stage and most important stage is known as RO membrane stage. This stage is where the water is subjected to extreme pressure through the RO’s semi-permeable membrane to remove all impurities.
The last fourth and stage of the 4 stage RO system is the polishing stage where the water goes through another carbon filter to trap all the remaining chemical compounds. Since water can hold a large amount of chlorine, two carbon filters are fitted in this 4 stage RO to help share the burden on the filters to prolong their lifespan.
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Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
Despite being small, compact and lightweight, this type of RO system has the capability to produce as much as 1,500 gallons of water per day so its compact nature should not fool you into thinking that it is inadequate.
What’s the most interesting part?
In terms of build, whole house RO systems are usually made of heavy duty stainless steel rather than powder coated steel or aluminium for durability and to prevent rust from contaminating the filtered water.
The whole house RO system features an advanced purification system of sieve membranes that are perfect for purifying borehole and well water to remove the salty taste of it. This RO model can still be used to filter city-treated water to produce purified water at every tap.
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GE Reverse Osmosis Filtration System GXRM10RBL
GE, a household name regarding electronics released this GXRM10RBL water filtration system a few years back and in doing so it raised many eyebrows among critics. This RO model from GE is a 3 stage filtration system that comes with a tank reservoir and is fitted under the sink to filter water coming through your home water faucets.
Since the GE is only a basic purification system, it can only manage to remove just 21 different contaminants from water as opposed to the 60 contaminants from other RO filtration models. While this fact might put off some people, it is worth noting that is merely a small fact because the GE has been approved by the Public Health and Safety Organization.
Below we look at some of its properties that make it special.
- Design and Specifications
The GE comes with many useful accessories so it is extremely hard to give the exact shape and the exact materials used to construct it.
However, most components are made or stainless steel and plastic with the stainless steel components spotting a chrome finish while the plastic components have a white finish that makes it super easy to clean. At about only 21lbs, the GE is a lightweight RO system.
This unit’s overall dimensions measure 15 by 14 by 5 inches while the tank’s dimension measure 15 by 11 by 11 inches meaning it can hold approximately 2.05 gallons of water.
The GE is well-equipped with features that improve its overall performance. Some key features include:
- 3 stage Reverse Osmosis filtration system that purifies water to make it safe for drinking.
- Chrome faucet that comes with the full set of installation kit.
- Impressive six-month filter lifespan or should be replaced after filtering 900 gallons of water.
- Light indicator that alerts you when it is time to replace the filters.
- GE’s Performance
As for the performance, the GE performs at an average level compared to similar priced RO systems on the market. In all honesty, nothing about the GE’s performance particularly stands out.
This under-the-sink filtration system uses the reverse osmosis process to filter water with its 3 stage filtration system. The GE is highly effective thanks to its adjustable water pressure range of 40PSI minimum pressure and 125PSI maximum pressure.
As for convenience, the GE’s tank reservoir can store as much as 2.05 gallons of readily available filtered water. Concerning the temperature and pH limits of the GE, it can produce water at temperatures between 40 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit and pH levels of between 4 and 10.
The GE is well priced. You get value for your money with this filtration system. After six months when you need to replace the filters, you will be glad to know that genuine GE replacement filters are readily available but are a little costly.
However, if you don’t mind off-brand filters, you can find them at much cheaper rates however they don’t guarantee you the same performance as genuine GE’s filters.
- Water tank
- Decently priced
- Produces high quality filtered water
- Comes with all the vital accessories included in the package
- Fragile plastic build
- Removes fewer contaminations than other models
All things considered, the GE is worth consideration if you are in the market for a 3 stage RO system. While it doesn’t have a lot going for it, this 3 stage RO system is decently priced and notifies you when you require replacing the filters. This GE is ideal for small homes or large homes that don’t heavily rely on filtered water.
Osmosis System Filters
RO water filters are responsible for getting rid of contaminants in water to leave it clean for consumption. The filtration process involves using pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane to filter out contaminants.
These RO filters flush out over 65 different contaminants at a 99 percent success rate. Most RO systems feature three or four filters.
Here they are:
- Sediment Filter – The sediment filter is the first line of defense against contaminated water. This pre-stage filter not only flushes out sediments like dirt and silt to purify water but also to protect the sensitive membranes from damage by the sediments.
- Carbon Filter – The carbon filter is different to the sediment filter. It works by getting rid of chemical composites such as chlorine to improve the taste and odor of water. Leaving such chemical compounds in the RO system lead to the deterioration of the RO membrane.
- Reverse Osmosis Membrane – As mentioned above, the RO is a semi-permeable component that only allows purified water through while flushing out 99 percent of contaminants that may have gotten through the first two system filters.
- Polishing Filter – The polishing filter is basically an additional carbon filter fitted in the RO system to polish’ off or get rid of the remaining odor and taste of water. RO water systems with four filtration stages produce more refined water than three stage filtration systems.
How To Choose
So, after making a decision to drink healthy, sweet, odorless water and figuring out that an RO system is the best option to attain this, what is the next thing?
There are some factors that need to be put into perspective. Given that there are many RO systems selling at very affordable prices, the best way to distinguish between superior and inferior systems is checking the features. We have a list of features to look out for.
Are you ready to learn more?
Check out the following properties.
- System Type
Check whether the system is a countertop or under sink type. Countertop systems are ideal for those who rent apartments since it requires little fixing. Under the sink, types are ideal for users with permanent homes.
We recommend under sink RO systems since they are only installed once and further maintenance is easy. Further, they do not require counter space in the kitchen. Ensure that the size is not too large.
- The GPD
This is the acronym for gallons per day. When buying an RO system, check that its GPD is enough for all water needs. The higher the GPD, the better the system is. However, it would a waste of money to buy a system with high GPD for smaller households. Purchase the one that suits the household.
Some RO systems are quite difficult to install or have a high installation cost. Ensure that an instructional manual provides a well labelled diagram. In addition to this, there should videos online clearly showing how the system should be installed. We recommend that a good system is one installed in less than one hour.
- Efficiency and Effectiveness
Ensure that the system cleans, purifies and sweetens water to the maximum. Also, check that it does not waste too much water.
Confirm from the manufacturer the life length and how long it takes before replacement of filters and the membrane. In our experience, an average system requires that filters be changed in six months and the membrane in a year. If there are systems that exceed this average, they are definitely better.
- The Price
The RO system should have a price fair to the seller and the buyer. But as the rule of thumbs, when quality is of concern, price may be overlooked. We strongly advice against overpaying just because the manufacturer says the system is good.
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Believe it or not, it is a simple, DIY activity. It is good to explore whether all the necessary fitting have been delivered. The parts may include a faucet, a storage tank, filters, shut-off valves, and tubing. After confirming they are there, we suggest the following steps be followed:
- Decide where exactly the components of the equipment are to be installed.
- Drill a hole through the sink where the faucet is stand. An electric drill may be needed for this activity. Depending on the material your sink is made of (metal or porcelain) choose the appropriate type of drill to perform this operation.
- Fit the faucet in the drilled hole. All parts above the rubber ring should be above the sink while the others fall on the under the sink. Tighten the nut below the sink.
- Choose an appropriate place where the storage tank is to be placed. Fix any tubing in line with kitchen cabinet boundaries to avoid clumsiness
- Install the shut-off valve. This valve links the supply line to the already fixed faucet, and the line should be shut off during installation. The valve requires no tool; it can be fixed by freely by hand.
- Install the drain saddle valve, which later connects the system to the drain pipe. A small hole is to be drilled on the side of the drain pipe where the systems drain line meets the drain pipe. A clipping should be used to fix the two.
- Connect the tubing at this point. Also, connect other components of the systems- filters, and membrane.
Stages of Filtration
Except for a few systems, reverse osmosis systems have five stages of filtration. Some systems go as far as incorporating two more stages and continue to give ultra-safe water for drinking. Other systems have small designs and use a four-stage filtration model.
What happens during the stages?
- The First Stage
Water from the cold water supply line is fed to the system through connected tubs. This water passes through and comes into contact with a sediment filter. At this stage, large particles such as sand particles, rust, dust, and mud are removed. This filter serves to protect the next filter from filling up and leaking as well as damage.
- The Second Stage
Most RO systems place a GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filter at this point. Its main function is to remove chlorine and fluorides. These pollutants can damage the membrane and impair its lifespan.
- The Third Stage
A CTO (Chlorine Taste Odour) filter is installed at this stage. As the name suggest, the filter removes chlorine, bad taste and odor from the water. Further, the cloudiness in contaminated water is removes at this stage.
- The Fourth Stage
This is referred to as the reverse osmosis stage. A semi-permeable membrane (TFC or CTA) is installed to filter out dissolved VOC chemicals as well as other dissolved solids.
The membrane with pores measuring 0.0001 microns in diameter filters out bacteria and water viruses, which have slightly higher measurements (0.02-1 micron). Water from this stage is pumped to the storage tank. The waste water is taken down the drain pipe.
- Fifth Stage
The water from the storage tank passes through coconut shell filter in this final stage. Here, odours and smells are removed to give fresh tasting water.
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Reverse Osmosis Efficiency and Waste
Wondering what is the negative side of RO systems?
The answer is that they do waste water during purification. The efficiency of an RO system is summarized by a ratio of wasted water to pure water produced. Traditional systems retain about 15% of the water and waste the rest. Commercial systems retain about 80%. However, their RO membranes have larger pores and hence have a larger TDS.
Household RO systems can be modified to reduce the waste drastically. Our research shows that RO systems using an inbuilt permeate pump or featuring the Water Saving Smart Technology are very efficient with ratios of 1:1. We, therefore, recommend them more.
Different manufacturers of RO systems offer different warranties on their products. It advised that the buyer be fully aware of the warranties granted to them. Our research shows that the most common granted for RO systems is one year, sometimes with a money back guarantee of one month.
We advise buyers to look out for this warranty when purchasing a system. Whole house system warranties may go to between five and ten years. However, beware that warranty laws change from state to state. Comply with the laws of your state to enjoy the full benefits of the warranty.
The road to getting clean, healthy and tasty water is a simple one. All that is needed is an RO system.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
Most reverse osmosis systems use JG fittings that are easy to install in the under sink with the help of an installation diagram to maintain zero installation cost. Within no time, fresh delicious water comes running through the faucet. We advise that the system have a pump so that efficiency is preserved. With enough pure water in the storage tank, unlimited water will be available for drinking, cooking and for the aquarium.
With our journey of the best reverse osmosis system for home coming to an end, we recommend the iSpring RCC7 WQA Gold Seal Certified 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System as the rating proves to be #1 Amazon bestseller. After all, it is Gold Seal Certified by Water Quality Association and has 1-year money-back guarantee along with lifetime support from iSpring.