Converting impure water (tap water) to pure water isn’t a small process, especially these days when ordinary tap water has become unsafe and purifier systems have become quite expensive.
This is the reason why the best reverse osmosis system works where other low-end or even high-end systems don’t work.
But getting this system isn’t an easy task and therefore, we have decided to look for the best one for your home.
Reverse Osmosis Systems Explained
Maybe you are aware that the water purifying system isn’t a groundbreaking innovation.
In fact, the osmosis process could have been found in nature before the man existed on planet earth. Modern reverse osmosis system uses this principle but in a reverse manner.
These systems use pump-driven high-pressure purification systems that have been used for decades to convert brackish or seawater to potable water.
Uses for Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis is an increasingly common method of desalination, because of its relatively low energy consumption compared with distilling and other methods.
Reverse osmosis plays a key role in water purification process. For instance:
Here is our review of the best reverse osmosis systems of 2017.
Best Reverse Osmosis System Reviews 2018
Being the only system in the world to get the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal Certification, iSpring RCC7 WQA is one of the top models in terms of safety, durability, and quality.
The system infused granular activated carbon (GAC), reserve osmosis (RO), polypropylene sediment (PP), and Carbon block (CTO) filtration technologies to produce crisp tasting, high-quality water.
With the system measuring 17.5 by 14.5 by 5.25 inches and the reservoir measuring 16 by 11 inches, the whole unit fits well in an under-sink cabinet.
Included with this system is a lead-free compact brass surface faucet with a coated nickel finish. The faucet is often mounted on your counter as the primary output for the reserve osmosis water, but the output systems are also compactable with your refrigeration output, coffee maker, and ice maker.
Its installation is easy and DIY for the majority of people, with written, tech support, and video assistant. Replacement parts are standard sized and easily found at the firm’s direct pricing. What is even more satisfying is that the system comes with a one-year money back guarantee, one-year limited warranty, as well as lifetime technical support.
RCC7 WQA is a seriously effective system. I specifically like that it features a tank. Although I am only able to fetch about 2½ gallons at a time, it’s still an amazing product for its price. I did not purchase it for drinking water but for aquarium one, and let me inform you that it has made a huge difference.
Hair algae have been eradicated from all of my tanks already – super great. What I even liked about this product is that I was able to install it in my upstairs bathroom. I was able to connect with the toilet water supply line easily.
Maintaining the system is also very easy since the filters are quite easy to clean and the firm provides great customer services if need be.
The system also boasts of a transparent first stage housing that makes it easy to visually see the sediment filter and witness the elements being removed from the water.With this feature, you will easily know if it’s time to change the filter before an issue arises.
Find more iSpring RCC7 WQA information and reviews here
- Clear instructions and easy installation process.
- Amazing water pressure that isn’t too high or too low.
- Delicious tasting water.
- Removes even the helpful minerals from the water.
- Assembling takes a lot of time.
2. APEC Essence Ultra Safe – Best Reverse Osmosis System for Water Well
With APEC Essence you are guaranteed to enjoy continuous ultra-fresh, great tasting, and clean water right in the comfort of your house.
The system is known to produce one of the best quality water for making delicious tea, ice, and coffee as well as for cooking.
It saves you the hassle, time, and money for buying expensive, bottled water and ensures that you live a healthier life free of contaminated water.
The system guarantees to eradicate up to 99 percent of all contaminants such as odor, taste, chlorine, arsenic, chromium, lead, and toxic fluoride – this productive and efficient reserve osmosis system will provide you with trouble-free and high-quality water for many decades.
The system is very easy to install and is perfect for surfaces that aren’t ideal for making permanent installations (you don’t need to create any hole in your sink).
You may use a homemade box or use zip ties to ensure that the system remains in place; get a little bit creative. The installation process itself is easy as it comes with clear instructions about what you need to do.
With 50 gallons output every day, the system works swiftly and produces delicious water for the entire day.
Additionally, its water waste isn’t terrible, but it isn’t advisable to use it. Depending on how you maintain your system, it will last for a very long time or even get damaged within months.
My neighbor bought this system a few weeks ago and asked me to install it for him. First, I had to get under the sink to install it but its installation process and instructions went smoothly.
Sadly, I realized that its “Teflon tape is vital” don’t ignore it or you will forever deal with leaks. I tried its water quality and I can tell you that it was one of the best that I have ever tasted.
The system is also very sturdy and well designed to rest firmly on any place that you install it. This ensures that there is no unnecessary movement that might lead to leakage in the future.
Buy APEC Essence here
- Well built as well as a sturdy system for everyday use.
- Installation is easy and is easy to go through the instructions.
- Produces great tasting water which is better than bottled water.
- Wear and tear might happen just after a few months of use.
- Customer services don’t really help the user.
The Home Master TMHP provides amazing water purity while also adding useful minerals that produce great-tasting mineral and clean water on tap.
It features a permeate pump that reduces water waste by about 80 percent while boosting water production by about 50 percent.
The system’s design eliminates some of the most common issues found in customary reserve osmosis systems – canister filter housing slow flow rate, service challenges, high water waste, slightly acidic water, and leaks.
In fact, the system is one of the best choices due to its modular filter design, better water efficiency, fast flow rate, easy-to-change filters, and the use of the power of UV light.
While most of the systems on the market today come with 5 or 7 stages of purification, this system comes with 9 stages of filtration, sanitization, sterilization, as well as improvement to produce amazingly clean water.
For example, it uses sediment, catalytic carbon, iron, and reserve osmosis sanitization process to eradicate 98 percent of hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, dissolved solids, chemicals, metals, chloramines, and other harmful elements from the water.
The system also contains the latest redox media KDF85 that removes dissolved iron that is most found in well water (this iron destroys the reverse osmosis membrane).
We installed the Home Master TMHP system in my sister’s new home, and they are quite pleased with it. I am handy, and thus they decided to seek my services. The installation process was as easy as A B C as within a few minutes I was done. Having been exhausted with this task, I decided to take a glass and drink some of the water from the system to have a feel.
The water was quality; I even took a second and a third one. Additionally, the purity of its water is slightly better than some of the leading brand on the market today.
The system also features a mixed media prefilter that uses catalytic carbon to eradicate chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and chloramines. Its advanced UV light sterilization chamber destroys about 99 percent of bacteria, viruses, and germs.
This leads to 100 percent pure and great tasting water. The system produces 50 gallons per day which are enough for most home consumption.
Find more Home Master TMHP information and reviews here
- Easy to maintain and lasts for a long time.
- Less water waste.
- Easy to install.
- Changing filter is a bit tricky.
- Could leak if not installed properly.
Unlike other reserve osmosis systems on the market today with very complex design, the Express Water RO5DX has a simple design that is friendly.
Its systems are designed using twirl connections that enable its membrane container to open with ease. This is realized without the need to remove the piping. It is vital to note that the connection and disconnection of pipes exposed the system to leakage (do not remove the piping).
The product boasts of easy installation process – you don’t need to worry about the person who will install it. In fact, no technical savvy or skill is required when installing this system.
The best thing about the product is that it comes with an installation manual.
Additionally, all the connections made to the inlet water, wastewater, storage tank, and faucet are labeled.
In addition to buying a best reserve osmosis system, you need to have a system that will save you operation cost.
This system saves you about one thousand gallons of water every 30 days that also increase its membrane life. The system also shuts down when its pressure reaches 65 percent of the incoming pressure – shuts down when it is 2/3 full.
Additionally, the system has a huge storage capacity of 4.4 gallons and works well between the pressures of 45-75 psi. The performance of most reserve osmosis systems solely depends on flow rate if they don’t have booster pumps.
However, this system uses a flow restrictor that feeds its membrane with the ideal water pressure so as to function efficiently and to provide quality, tasty, and safe drinking water.
Buy Express Water RO5DX here
- Noise free system.
- Features an auto shut-off system.
- Doesn’t need electricity to work.
- It wastes a lot of water.
- It is only effective for biologically safe water – like from tap water.
As one of the biggest systems you will find on the market today, you will definitely enjoy about 200 gallons of pure water every day.
The system also removes 98 percent of contaminants such as chlorine and wastes 25 percent less water than any other system of its class. What I like about this product is that it comes assembled with plug-in-and-use technology.
The technically developed features of this system are enough to win your heart, and with minimal maintenance needs, you should expect even better results.
Once you install your system, which is pretty easy, you will avail germ-free and purified water for a long lasting span of time.
With this system, you are likely to enjoy certain great features, which make it one of the best systems, among the modern products.
For example, this product is proven and known to remove 98 percent germs for delicious water.
In additional, it helps to remove chlorine from your water. The system also uses less power than other systems due to its latest technology that saves you more money on electricity bill. In fact, it uses 25 percent less electricity.
This is by far one of the biggest reverse osmosis systems that I have installed. My mother and father had been drawing water jugs for many years and then I informed them that there was a better way.
So, I did some research and found that this was the best system for them. They are on a private well and that water is pretty bad. Full of iron and pH of 7.6 and ppm of 780.
When I installed this system, the pH went down to 5.7 and ppm to 10. Amazing! What was even more satisfying is that I called the customer support to seek support because there was a small leak when installing the system, they were really helpful.
This system comes with wall mounting bracket that creates a better grip. It also features an auto cartridge with effective shut-off tech to ensure that it doesn’t overflow when it is full.
Although time-consuming, it is quite easy to clean this system – you will need to clean it regularly.
Find more Hydro-Logic 31040 information and reviews here
- Produces 200 gallons of water per day.
- Takes 25 percent less amount of electricity.
- Helps to remove 98 percent of germs and contaminants.
- It only comes with one size and shape.
- Need to be cleaned regularly.
Reverse Osmosis System Buying Guide
If you want to take a deep dive into the factors that make a great reverse osmosis filtration system and how we determined our ranks, we looked at some of the following factors. Please note that we rely on the information from the manufacturer as well as online reviews for many of the water filters, and haven’t directly tested various lab results that are claimed on the products. We can confirm that these claims have been backed up by reputable labs all across the United States.
RO System Buying Considerations
1. Wasted Water
There are some common misconceptions about the amount of water that is wasted in Reverse Osmosis filtration. It is true, that when using sea water with very high amounts of salt and other sediments, there is a significant amount of water “wasted” to flush the membrane. However, these are for large, commercial uses. The RO systems in our guide are significantly more efficient, designed for home tap water which is generally pretty safe to start with.
This technology continues to improve and we see the amount of water needed to flush the RO membrane continues to decrease. The benefits significantly outweigh the small additional cost of wasted water. When selecting the right RO system for you, be aware of the water costs in your municipality and if they are high enough, you may want to spend a bit more for a more efficient unit.
2. pH Levels
Reverse osmosis systems can work with water of nearly any pH level, and most public water supplies already have water with pH levels around neutral (6.5 – 8.5). In general, reverse osmosis systems make water slightly more acidic, meaning they lower the pH value if the incoming water. As a result of the lower pH, the water might have a taste that you’re not accustomed to, since a lot of the minerals have been removed from the water.
RO lowers the pH value
If you don’t like the taste of your RO water, you can simply use a remineralization system which will change the taste of the water and put the exact minerals in the water that you’re looking for.
The ease of installation is another key factor that you should take into account when buying your system. Some of these systems are easy to install (DIY) while others are complicated (require an expert). Some reverse systems require addition parts to be installed (additional cost) while others come with all the items.
With that said, ensure that your system comes with an installation manual that will show the right steps of installation.
The taste of the purified water is probably the most significant factor of a good osmosis system. After all, you will be drinking and using this water to cook, so you will surely want it to taste good. Luckily, these systems are designed to remove impurities that might make you water to taste bad. They remove even elements that you might not have known that they exist in water.
The majority of people think that water doesn’t have a taste. You will be surprised to find out that it has a delicious taste when you drink your first cup of a good reverse osmosis system. You will never want to take water from another source. Furthermore, the best system will provide sweet water, regardless of the quality or price.
Some of the best osmosis system models come with 7 stages of purification. However, not all the systems have the seven stages, and it isn’t that critical for the quality of the water. Unless you have a personal reason for wanting all these stages, 5 stages are often enough.
These stages include the following (they are universal to all systems):
- Stage one – water pass via a filter that traps sediment to eliminate silt, dust, and large particles.
- Stage two – a carbon filter filters odors, bad tastes, mineral oil, and chlorine from the water.
- Stage three – another carbon filter removes any remaining odors, bad tastes, or chlorine that might have been left.
- Stage four – this is the reverse osmosis stage. Water is pushed via a fine filter that removes about 95 percent of the remaining impurities, such as fluoride.
- Stage five – the water in a reservoir is prevented from forming a stale taste by a polishing carbon filter.
- Stage six – the water is alkalized here, pH is adjusted to 7 or above using elements such as calcium and magnesium.
- Stage seven – the last step used a special filter with UV rays to kill all germs and bacteria in the water.
6. Total Dissolved Solids
Total Dissolved Solids, or TDS, is a measurement for the amount of sediments in drinking water. The sediments include elements like magnesium, potassium, chlorides and sulfates, as well as other organic matter which is generally harmless. The EPA’s standard for a failing TDS score is 500 mg/L of water. Depending on the RO filter you’re using, you may get up to 99.9% of these sediments out of your drinking water.
How do Reverse Osmosis Systems Work?
Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters have extremely microscopic pores to allow only water to pass through. In fact, they aren’t technically called “filters”, the term is a membrane, as it is so thin it resembles the thinness of a cell membrane, although some models come with a pre-filter for sediments (ie in a 5 stage system). Water is forced through this thin membrane with either gravity or the water pressure from your house’s system, forcing only pure water through and leaving all the sediments behind. All the pure water is stored in a tank for consumption.
Since Reverse Osmosis filters up to 99% of all contaminants in water, it can turn virtually any water source, even the most toxic and polluted, into pure drinking water that is safe for human consumption. In general, RO systems can filter out the following levels of contaminants in water:
- Phosphate: 97.1% – 99.8%
- Arsenic: 98.4% – 99.9%
- Lead: 99.1% – 99.9%
- Iron: 98.4% – 99.5%
- Fluoride: 94.5% – 99.1%
- Chloride: 92.1% – 99.3%
- Mercury: 96.2% – 99.5%
As you can see, RO filters can basically remove everything from the water, including essential minerals that are beneficial to you. Thankfully, these minerals are easy to re-add to the water, using a mineral packet or an alkaline water machine.
The effectiveness of your reverse osmosis system is dependent on a variety of factors. Depending on your situation, the RO system you have may underperform your expectation, especially in highly sensitive areas such as medicine and science. Some of the factors that can impact the performance of your RO system include:
If you have insufficient pressure to your RO filter, it may not be able to force the water through the membrane, resulting in a lot of wasted water
TDS of Incoming Water:
The more impurities are in the water, the more stress is put on the machine, which will result in the need to replace the filters more frequently
In general, RO systems filter water best at higher temperatures, although you want to avoid boiling hot water. Luke warm is ideal.
There are cheap RO systems that don’t have as thin membranes as some of the quality brands. You always get what you pay for.
Reverse Osmosis Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Reverse Osmosis for my drinking water?
In general, Reverse Osmosis is overkill for drinking water, unless your source water is very impure or potentially dangerous. If you are looking to improve the taste of your drinking water, you may want to first look into a more simple countertop water filter.
Is Reverse Osmosis water safe to drink?
Yes, reverse osmosis is 100% safe to drink. Many articles may discuss the lack of essential minerals, however this does not make the water inherently dangerous in any way; it simply means you may need to supplement some of the minerals you would have otherwise ingested from your tap water.
Can RO water truly filter even the most dangerous water sources?
In 99.9% of cases, yes — RO is the most sophisticated method of filtering water us humans have come up with. In very rare instances, if RO filtration is not acceptable, you may want to look into a water distiller, which isn’t filtration, but is is able to achieve 100% pure water, albeit with significant amounts of energy.
What do the different RO stages mean?
Technically speaking, the only reverse osmosis filter is the membrane, which can filter out sediments over 900,000 times thinner than a human hair. This membrane is usually one of the later stages of an entire RO system. The first filtration stages are virtually the same as your average water filter, such as a Brita or a countertop water filter. After going through standard filtration processes, only then is water forced through an RO membrane. Some systems even have a stage after the RO membrane, which is usually a UV light. In general, the more stages, the more pure the water is at the end of the process.
Do I need to maintain my RO system?
Yes, RO systems require maintenance every 6 months to 2 years, depending on use and quality of the filters. Since sediments will build up in your filters over time, they will eventually be so full of sediment that water will no longer pass through the stages at a reasonable enough speed, and will end up wasting nearly 100% of the water. For that reason, you will have to replace your filters every so often. However, the replacement process is quite easy and in general the water filters are quite affordable, relative to the system cost.
How do I install a Reverse Osmosis System?
Reverse Osmosis systems, specifically countertop and under-sink varieties, are very easy to install and do not require professional installation. Some basic tools and a very basic understanding of where your incoming water pipes are is all you need to know to install your RO system. In addition, there are countless videos on YouTube and other sources that show you step by step how to install virtually any model of reverse osmosis system.
While there are a plethora of new reverse osmosis filtration brands popping up on Amazon everyday, we’ve narrowed down the best of the best so you can buy from reputable companies
iSpring Water Systems
iSpring Water Systems LLC is a Georgia based, family run company established in 2005. A proudly American company, they specialize in both residential and commercial reverse osmosisis systems, and an assortment of other filters for various faucets and appliance you’ll find around the house. Their products are some of the highest quality in the market and you will seldom find any bad reviews about their reverse osmosis water filtration systems online.
APEC Water Systems
APEC Water Systems is the #1 manufacturer of reverse osmosis systems in The United States. This california based company has a strong desire to educate the public about safe water and providing the world with the finest filtration systems that keep people in need safe. We love APEC water systems and think our mission aligns great with theirs as well.
Home Master Water Filters
Home Master Water Filters is one of the leading providers of RO systems for hydroponics and counter top reverse osmosis filters. Another proudly american from Scottsdale, Arizona, Home Master has grown to become one of the best selling RO filtration systems online. You can expect the majority of their systems to have the necessary add ons such as UV filters.
The Bottom Line
By now you should have a better understanding of these purifying systems and know whether to invest on one or not. I hope that you liked this guide and learned a lot about water systems that might be beneficial to your life.
In general, it’s quite simple to know what factors to consider when choosing the best system for your family needs. For example, you need to consider the system’s capacity, durability, installation, taste, among other.
One of the systems that boast of these features is the iSpring RCC7 WQA 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System – Gold Seal Certified (75 GPD) (my favorite reverse osmosis system). The system is the only top system in the world that has the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal Certification and is quite safe, durable, and quality. Maintaining the system is also very easy since the filters are quite easy to clean and the firm provides great customer services.
The system also boasts of a transparent first stage housing that makes it easy to visually see the sediment filter and witness the elements being removed from the water.
With these features, you will easily realize why it is a great buy.