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Choosing the Best Reverse Osmosis Systems in 2017 – Guide & Reviews

Choosing the best reverse osmosis system can be a daunting task. There are many top reverse osmosis systems on the market and customer reviews to help you out with your decision.

The models suggested below offer a good starting point if you are looking for high rated units with good customer feedback. Make sure to read customer reviews and compare features carefully before making a purchase.

Remember that the best reverse osmosis system is the one that meets your specific water filtration needs without inflating the price tag with unwanted features.

 

TOP 5 REVERSE OSMOSIS SYSTEMS

DuPont WFPF13003B Universal Whole House Filtration System Whole House 3 stage filtration water system Culligan HF-360A Whole House Sediment Filter Clear Housing Home Master HMF2SMGCC Whole House 2-Stage Water Filter

APEC (ESSENCE ROES-50)

ISpring RCC7

Global Water 5-Stage ROS

TMAFC Artesian Full Contact ROS

APEC (ESSENCE ROES-PH75)

Authentic 100% Built in USA machine
Filters 1,000+ water pollutants
Removes up to 99% of contaminants
Added minerals for great taste - Patented Full Contact technology
US made cartridges
High quality Quick Connect fittings
Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal Certified
Premium NSF filters
Built-in non-electric permeate pump
Premium long lasting filters
1 year Satisfaction Guarantee
1 year money-back guarantee

Easy to install and maintain
Long lasting and easy-to-change filters
75 gpd 6-stage system removes up to 99% of bacteria
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With all the glorious tools that the internet provides, you definitely have to check out a few models online. Presented with dozens upon dozens of reverse osmosis water filter models, you may find yourself stuck over which system to buy as indecisiveness starts to trickle in… Sounds familiar?

Well, you are not alone. Many buyers have been through that path, only to decide that the best reverse osmosis systems should provide value for money rather than serve up fancy features that simply bump up the price tag.

Although there are dozens of reverse osmosis water filters on the market, we have selected top 5 models with high buyer ratings in order to make the buying process easier. Here are our quick reviews on each selected system:

 

Model #1: APEC (ESSENCE ROES-50) Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

This 50-gallon per day reverse osmosis system is perfect for small households that want to install a single point of use water filter. It stores about 4-gallons of filtered water in a pressurized tank to facilitate flow from the faucet. The APEC Essence ROES-50 is a 5-stage system that has the ability to remove heavy metals, chlorine, fluorides, bacteria, viruses, and more than 1000 contaminants to deliver water that is 99% pure.

APEC (ESSENCE ROES-50)

Perfect to install under the skin or on the countertop, this reverse osmosis system is very flexible to setup. It comes with all the necessary connections such as nuts and leak-proof o-rings required for installation. You will need to drill a hole measuring ¼” or ½” to mount the faucet. What’s more, this water filter boasts premium, long lasting coconut shell carbon filters that require replacement every 2-3 years.

Pros

  • WQA certified
  • NFS and FDA approved tubing is made from food grade material
  • Free lifetime technical support
  • Items is backed by a 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • The APEC ROES-50 can be quite wasteful since it uses 3 gallons to produce at least 1gallon of purified water

 

Model #2: ISpring RCC7 5-Stage Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System

The iSpring RCC7 is another 5 stage reverse osmosis water filter that boasts removing 98% of contaminants from unfiltered water. Unlike the APEC Essence ROES50, this 75GPD unit uses 2 gallons to produce a gallon of clean water. This compares favorably for buyers looking for reverse osmosis systems with little water wastage.

iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Under-Sink

This is an under-counter mounted water filter. It comes with the reverse osmosis unit, a drain saddle, housing wrench, spare o-ring fittings, water detector, faucet, filter pack, pre-filter housing, pressurized storage tank, quarter inch tubings, as well as 1/2” and 3/8” compatible feed water adapters.

As far as maintenance is concerned, the NSF certified reverse osmosis membrane on this unit has a projected lifespan of 2-3 years while recommended replacement time for filter cartridges is after every 6 months. Keep in mind though that replacement of filters will largely depend on the quality of feed water.

Pros

  • Features lead free and sleek looking brass faucet finished with nickel coating
  • WQA gold seal certified
  • Rings with water detection alarms ring weak leaks are detected

Cons

  • Smaller storage tank only holds 3.2 gallons of purified water
  • Installation tools sold separately

 

Model #3: Global Water 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System Water Filter

Global water is another top rated brand known to offer state of the art reverse osmosis water filters, and their 5-stage unit is no exception. Equipped with NSF certified components, this unit removes up to 99% of contaminants from water. It can flush out heavy metals, dissolved salts, turbidity, and a host of other chemicals.

5-Stage Built In USA Reverse Osmosis

While the reverse osmosis membrane usually lasts several years, the NSF certified carbon block filters on this unit must be replaced after every 6-12 months. However, you don’t have to worry about replacement filters for a year because the package comes with an extra set of 4 filters.

Installing the Global Water 5-stage reverse osmosis system is relatively easy. This can be attributed to features such as the color-coded tubing along with quick connect fittings on the drain saddle and valves.

This 50 gallon-per-day water filter stores 3.2gallons when the tank fills up. Although it has a relatively high wastage ratio, features like the leak proof double o-ring housing and automatic shutoff valve help to minimize wastewater.

Pros 

  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Operates silently
  •  Replacement filters included in the system
  • NSF-certified components

Cons 

  • High waste ratio of 1:3

 

Model #4: Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact 50/75GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

For buyers who not only want to drink clean but also great tasting water, the Home Master TMAFC Artesian reverse osmosis water filter might just be the perfect pick. This 7-stage water filter passes water through two re-mineralization stages to add some of the minerals lost during filtration and reduce the acidity of pure water.

Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosi

Any certified professional can install this simple-to-setup under skin system. The package comes with an instruction manual and there are videos available online for those who decide to make this a DIY project.

The carbon filter typically lasts 12 months under normal conditions when the water pressure is between 40-90psi and temperatures remain in the 40-100 degrees F range. This will be equivalent to 2000 gallons of pure water produced when replacing the carbon filter after 12 months. On the other hand, the reverse osmosis membrane can last up to 5 years depending on water quality.

Pros 

  • Produces clean and great tasting water
  • Modular design allows for easy filter replacement
  • Buyers have the option to buy reverse osmosis unit bundled with permeate pump
  • Components conform with NSF standards

Cons 

  • Unit produces only 1 gallon of drinkable water from every 4 gallons used
  • The storage tank is relatively small, with a capacity of only 3.2 gallons

 

Model #5: APEC (ESSENCE ROES-PH75) Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

With a 75-gallon per day rating, the APEC Essence ROES-PH75 is for families that require a higher production speed from a reverse osmosis water filter. This unit delivers the same high purifications standards as its smaller brother the APEC ROES-50. However, it has an added sixth acidity neutralizing stage that mixes calcium carbonate with filtered water to increase alkalinity.

APEC (ESSENCE ROES-PH75) Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

This reverse osmosis water filtering system can be both a countertop or under skink unit, depending on the amount of space you have. APEC provides installation videos online and delivers their water filters with detailed instruction manuals to aid with DIY installation. Their free technical support is an added bonus for those who decide to make APEC their brand of choice. Much like other reverse osmosis models from this line, the ROES-75 removes 99% of total dissolved solids from water along with unpleasant odors or tastes.

Pros 

  • Adds calcium minerals to improve the tasted of filtered water
  • Generously sized 4 gallon storage tank
  • WQA gold seal of approval
  • NSF certified components
  • Long-lasting filters and reverse osmosis membrane

Cons 

  • Filter process takes long
  • A lot of water goes to waste

 

What to Consider When Shopping for a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Reverse osmosis systems are some of the most highly sought after water filtration appliances available, and with good reason. These units have gained international acclaim for being able to provide pathogen-free drinking water that’s also devoid of heavy metals and harmful chemicals. However, the process of buying a reverse osmosis water filter can be daunting given the numerous brands, makes and models that are on the market. Before looking at individual systems, it would first be worth spending a few moments to go through the following buying guide, which goes into the dynamics of choosing a reverse osmosis water-purification system.

While reverse osmosis water filters may perform the same basic function, they are not created equal. Below are some of the factors to take into account when looking to purchase a reverse osmosis system.

Cost

Reverse osmosis units are available for buyers on a budget as well as consumers who don’t mind spending more on an expensive water filtration system. Typically, most units fetch between $150 and $2000 or more depending on the quality, capacity and treatment requirements of the system. The cost of installation and maintenance should also be factored in when deciding which system to buy. Both low end and mid-range models from reputable brands can get the job done, but the higher end options add in some nice extra features as well.

Brand Reputation and Certifications

When shopping for a reverse osmosis water purification system, it is imperative to settle for a reputable brand that enforces high manufacturing standards. The best water filtration appliances come from manufacturers that have acquired certification from recognized public health and safety organizations. For instance, components of reverse osmosis systems like polythene tubing, the water reservoir, and pipe fittings may be NSF or FDA certified. Some brands also acquire WQA gold seal certification, which means their products operate at low noise levels and require little to no maintenance.

Filtration Stages and Quality of Water to be purified

Reverse osmosis systems usually purify water in 3-7 stages before it is ready for consumption. At stage one, the sediment filter removes contaminants like dust, rust and soil particles. This is followed by two or three pre-carbon filters, which attract chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride that would otherwise damage TFC (thin film composite) reverse osmosis membranes. Next, water goes through the reverse osmosis membrane where dissolved salts, elements and virtually anything larger than a water molecule is flushed out. From there, water passes through a polishing post-carbon filter that removes any odors or tastes the purified water picks up from the storage tank.

More advanced reverse osmosis systems tend to have additional processing stages. For instance, some units re-mineralize the water by adding bits of calcium and magnesium to balance the water’s pH and improve its taste. Other reverse osmosis systems might have a UV filter to kill bacterial and other microorganisms, or a de-ionizing stage to remove any bits of arsenic, fluoride and nitrate contaminants that remain.

The quality of water to be purified largely determines how many filtration stages would be ideal when investing in a reverse osmosis system. Generally, 5 stage systems are recommended for purifying water with high levels of sediment.

Types of Reverse Osmosis Systems and Installation Requirements


Reverse osmosis water filters come in two main designs – countertop and under-skin models. The counter top units are also called freestanding reverse osmosis systems because they can sit on the ground. These units are compact, easy to install and less cumbersome to relocate. On the other hand, under-counter reverse osmosis systems are a bit more complicated. Hence, they require a professional for installation. On the plus side, these units don’t take up counter space and can filter larger quantities of water.

Air-Gap vs. Non Air-Gap Faucet

Some reverse osmosis systems have an air-gap mechanism while others lack this option. An air-gap connects to the drain line to prevent siphoning of dirty water back into the system. While this function is essential, air-gap systems tend to be slightly noisy. Non-air gap systems are not only quieter but can also prevent backflow when equipped with a check valve.

Size

Nothing can be more frustrating than buying a reverse osmosis unit only to find that it does not fit under the skin or kitchen counter. So, make sure to measure the available space and check it against the dimensions of various systems being considered for purchase. It is also prudent to seek advice from a professional on the amount of space required to make installation possible, depending on the size of the chosen unit.

Water Filtration Capacity – How much water do you need?

The volume of purified water from a reverse osmosis system is usually measured in gallons per day (GPD). Common reverse osmosis systems either have a 50, 80 or 100 GPD rating. However, these ratings are only achieved under normal conditions when water pressure is at 60psi. Unless a pump is used, buyers should expect production rates of about 50%-75% of the manufacturer GPD rating due to water pressure fluctuations. Small households should be okay with a 50-GPD rated reverse osmosis system whereas bigger families can opt for large sized units.

Waste Water

Reverse osmosis systems are known to produce more waste than the amount of filtered solvent they produce. For example, from every eight units of wastewater produced, only one unit of clean water may be obtained. However, zero-waste systems repurpose water that would have otherwise been discarded. Such systems store wastewater for non-drinking usage like watering plants, washing cars or cleaning chores.

Ease of Maintenance and Availability of Replacement Parts

Generally, reverse osmosis water filters require little maintenance thanks to an auto-flush function that cleans the system. Over time, the reverse osmosis membrane along with pre and post carbon filters clog up with contaminants, rendering them ineffective at filtering water. As such, these components require regular replacement as recommended by the manufacturer. It is wise to choose a brand that makes these replacement parts easy to find.

 

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