- Top Reverse Osmosis Systems
- Tap Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact
- Tap Master TMULTRA ULTRA Reverse Osmosis System
- iSpring 75GPD Reverse Osmosis System
- iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis System
- Watts WP5-50 Premier
- AMI Home System
- Hydro-Logic 31040 Stealth-RO200
- Best RO System Comparison Chart
- What Is Reverse Osmosis Water Filter?
- How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
- What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
- Reverse Osmosis Pros and Cons
- Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance
- Other Reverse Osmosis Frequently Asked Questions
- Does reverse osmosis waste a lot of water?
- What is the importance of water pressure?
- What are the annual maintenance costs?
- Where can I mount the system?
- Do reverse osmosis units need electricity for operation?
- Can I use a water softener along with the reverse osmosis system?
- Can I connect my reverse osmosis system to a refrigerator or ice maker?
- The Bottom Line
With many filters available with reverse osmosis system, it can be challenging to find and select the right one for your home. To have the cleanest and purest water from your tap, you want the top quality of the product. So what is the best reverse osmosis system for your home? In this article, we provide reverse osmosis water filter reviews that will help you to find the best reverse osmosis water filter for you. Below we have compiled a reverse osmosis comparison guide of the best products with more detailed reviews of each one of them under the chart.
- Tap Master TMAFC
- Stages of filtration: 7
- Filter life: 2,500
- Dimensions: 20 x 16 x 13
- Price: $$$
- iSpring 75GPD
- Stages of filtration: 5
- Filter life: 6-12 months
- Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 18
- Price: $$
- Tap Master TMULTRA ULTRA
- Stages of filtration: 6
- Filter life: 3,000
- Dimensions: 20.1 x 16.4 x 12.3
- Price: $$$
- iSpring RCC7AK
- Stages of filtration: 6
- Filter life: 6-12 months
- Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 18
- Price: $$
- Watts WP5-50 Premier
- Stages of filtration: 5
- Filter life: 6 months
- Dimensions: 5 x 16 x 16.5
- Price: $$
- Hydro-Logic 31040 200-GPD Stealth-RO200
- Stages of filtration: 2
- Filter life: 6-12 months
- Dimensions: 6 x 12 x 26
- Price: $$
Top Reverse Osmosis Systems
Tap Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact
The Tap Master Artesian Full Contact, which is one of the top rated reverse osmosis systems, removes from the water up to 98% of chemicals, dissolved solids, chlorine, heavy metals and other contaminants.
All the systems by Tap Master use larger tubing and fittings than other traditional reverse osmosis filters. This doubles the water’s flow rate. The patented system used by Tap Master remineralizes the water twice: first when the water is passing to the storage tank, and one more time on the way to the faucet, at the same time adding a small amount of magnesium and calcium.
This filter features 7 stages of water treatment, which produces exceptionally pure water. The filters of this unit are designed for long lasting use and can be used up to a year or 2,500 gallons. The Tap Master Artesian Full Contact reverse osmosis system reviews are mostly positive with the according high rating.
Tap Master TMULTRA ULTRA Reverse Osmosis System
TMULTRA ULTRA is one more Tap Master reverse osmosis system that has similar features and design. This filter is great for well water and does a great job at removing contaminants and microorganisms of the water.
This filtration system includes Fast Flow RO kit that’s designed to provide double flow from your tap.
The filter element and its housing feature one modular assembly, which makes the annual change of filters easy and quick, and doesn’t require any additional tools. When the time comes for the UV filter replacement, the unit is equipped with an Audible Alert that notifies you.
Tap Master reverse osmosis water filters have received the highest ratings. Their main benefits include the larger hoses that allow better flow rate and the Artesian’s remineralization process.
iSpring 75GPD Reverse Osmosis System
This iSpring 75GPD features a 5 stage filtration process that starts with the water going though a 5-micron sediment filter that catches particulate matter. In the next 5-micron GAC filter the taste and odor of chlorine are reduced. Then it goes through carbon block filter that removes residual color and taste. The other 2 stages can be added for extra effect.
In the 4th stage water is pressed through the reverse osmosis membrane that removes sodium, chromium and many other contaminants. The fifth stage involves the final polishing GAC filter for the water going from the storage tank to the faucet.
The construction of this system is designed to provide noise-free operation. The storage tank is made of steel to ensure that it doesn’t leech any flavors.
iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis System
iSpring RCC7AK comes ready for installation and includes a RO faucet. This system works to restore the calcium and magnesium that gets removed during the reverse osmosis process.
This system, unlike the previous, has 6 stages of filtration. It includes a sediment filter, 5-micron GAC filter, carbon block filter, the reverse osmosis membrane, and the final stage involves alkaline and mineral filter. The last filter improves the taste by making the water slightly alkaline. In most of this reverse osmosis filter reviews users comment that they noticed a nice change in the taste of the water.
Watts WP5-50 Premier
The Watts WP5-50 is also one of the best reverse osmosis system products and the reverse osmosis water treatment works in a similar way as the previous models. It includes 5 stages to the 5 stage iSpring filter. The RO of this system also incorporates the sediment filter, coconut-shell carbon, another carbon block filter, the membrane and the last high quality GAC filter.
This system features a manifold design that provides effective elimination of 17 connections by providing a seamless water path.
To ensure the user of the high quality offered by this filter, the system was tested and certified to meet the NSF standards. By choosing the Watts WP5-50 Premier you are not only choosing a healthier filtration option for yourself, but also helping to protect the environment by eliminating the harmful consequences of buying bottled water.
AMI Home System
This AMI system can produce up to 50 gallons per day of clean drinking water. It effectively removes contaminants and microorganisms that harm the water.
It features the standard 5 stage process with the water going through 5 different filters to produce purified water that would have the highest quality for drinking.
The system is complete with prefilters and post filters that remineralize and purify the water, making it safe for all household uses.
The unit comes completely assembled. So upon receiving the box it’s ready for the installation. To guide you through the process, the product includes a detailed installation manual that includes all the instructions. The kit comes complete with a 3-gallon tank and a No Air Gap faucet.
Hydro-Logic 31040 Stealth-RO200
This Hydro-Logic model can filtrate more water than the previous system. It can produce up to 200 gallons per day, which is enough even for a big family. It will remove up to 98% of contaminants and chlorine.
One of the benefits of this system is that it is designed to waste 25% less of water than many other RO systems. Also, it stabilizes the PH level of the water and provides all the minerals in the water that are essential for a human organism.
The features include an automatic shutoff valve. The system comes fully assembled, so you can just plug it in and start using it. In the box you get everything for a quick installation of this filtration system. The unit is also equipped with a metal bracket in case you would like to mount the system on the wall under the sink.
Best RO System Comparison Chart
|Product name||Stages of filtration||Filter life||Dimensions|
|Tap Master TMAFC||7||2,500 gallons||20 x 16 x 13|
|iSpring 75GPD||5||6-12 months||15 x 8 x 18|
|Tap Master TMULTRA ULTRA||6||3,000 gallons||20.1 x 16.4 x 12.3|
|iSpring RCC7AK||6||6-12 months||15 x 8 x 18|
|Watts WP5-50 Premier||5||6 months||5 x 16 x 16.5|
|Hydro-Logic 31040 200-GPD Stealth-RO200||2||6-12 months||6 x 12 x 26|
What Is Reverse Osmosis Water Filter?
Reverse osmosis (RO) is a method of water treatment that removes salt from seawater. This process is also called water desalination. The reverse osmosis water filters are used for purifying drinking water. In the process of this system, the untreated water molecules are forced through a semi-permeable membrane, which blocks the impurities and contaminants. So they are subsequently expelled from the environment to produce clean drinking water.
Reverse osmosis systems can remove different types of molecules and ions from solutions. These water filters are widely used in both production for drinking water and industrial purposes.
When choosing a reverse osmosis water filter, you should keep in mind that all of these systems look alike and work the same way with the same basic components. The only difference in them is the quality of filters and membranes, and the number of stages of water filtering.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis is a process also known as hyperfiltration. It works by decreasing the particles to the molecular level, which creates clean water. Reverse osmosis filters lower the salt level as well as other water pollutants, producing high-quality pure water.
Most of the reverse osmosis systems work the same way. However, their performance can be affected by different factors. They include the incoming water pressure, the quality of filters and membranes, water temperature and the type and number of TDS (total dissolved solids).
The reverse osmosis system works by pushing the water coming from the tap through a membrane and filter. It can also be a series of them. The membrane allows only the water to pass, while the contaminants and impurities are left behind and flushed down the drain. The pure water is then delivered to a holding tank that you can access when you turn on the faucet.
Let’s take a closer look at the steps a reverse osmosis system includes.
- Prefiltration. Entering the RO system, the water flows through a prefilter that prevents clogging of the membrane with debris. At this stage, larger particles are filtered out. Silt, scale or rust, and other large particles are pushed out. This helps to extend the life of the RO membrane, so it can tackle smaller contaminants.
Many of the RO systems also include activated carbon in the prefilter. The porous activated carbon removes chlorine particles and other contaminants.
- Membrane. During the next stage, the water travels through the membrane, which is the center of the system. The particles that are too small to be filtered by the prefilter are removed here. These particles are then rinsed through the drain.
The membrane features microscopic pores that allow Oxygen and Hydrogen molecules through. So the water passes through, while the dissolved solids are flushed and exit the system.
- The final stage. After the membrane, the water comes to the holding tank. The final stage of filtration happens when you turn on the faucet and then the water is drawn from this holding tank. The system features an automatic shut-off, so until you turn on the faucet, the water will be kept in the holding tank. The final filtering stage involves a carbon filter that removes any remaining tastes and odors. So the final result is clean, pure drinking water.
What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
Reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing up to 99% of the dissolved salts, bacteria, particles, colloids and pyrogens. However, don’t rely on the RO system to remove 100% of bacteria and viruses. Contaminants with a molecular weight over 200 are very likely to be rejected by a running RO system. For example, the molecular weight of the water molecule is 18. Contaminants with greater ionic charge are unlikely to pass through the RO membrane. For example, calcium and sodium will not be rejected by the RO membrane, as they have only one and two charges respectively. Same with CO2, they have low molecular weight and are not highly charged while in solution, so the gas is not removed.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
High levels of fluoride can bring fluorosis, a childhood dental condition. This has raised the concern of high levels of fluoride in public water supplies and has sparked interest in purification systems that can remove it. Reverse osmosis is one of the common ways to do it, as it removes different particles and compounds, including fluoride.
The process of reverse osmosis can remove up to 90 percent of fluoride in the water. Compounds, including fluoride, are bigger than water molecules, so they become trapped by the membrane. The amount of fluoride that can be removed depends on the membrane and its microscopic holes.
Reverse Osmosis Pros and Cons
Reverse osmosis is an effective system for produce purified water. However, along with benefits it also has some downsides. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- Pure drinking water: desalinating of water, removal of pathogens, contaminants, etc.
- Removal of odors and tastes.
- Requires minimal maintenance.
- Convenient to use, as you can have clean drinking water at the touch of a finger.
- Can be cost effective.
- Not all RO systems can block dangerous chemicals like chlorine, pesticides, and herbicides, which are molecularly smaller than water. For the RO system to effectively block these chemicals, it should come with a carbon filter. The products we have mentioned above all come with a carbon filter. So they all provide safe drinking water.
- RO systems tend to waste a good portion of the water that runs through them. In general, they waste about 2-3 gallons of water for producing one gallon of purified water.
Reverse Osmosis System Maintenance
After having the reverse osmosis system installed, as with almost any other appliance, it will require regular maintenance. If you are not sure what it will involve, below are some of the most common questions that could potentially arise in operating the system. So hopefully you’ll find all the answers you’ll need.
How often should I change RO filters?
To have the optimum efficiency of the system, it’s required to perform regular maintenance. The main part of it involves regular filter replacement. Different RO systems can have a different number of stages. It can be from three to five stages. Each of the stages has its own filter, which should be replaced on a regular basis. But the time for each filter’s replacement differs.
The first stage usually involves a pre-filter. The water first flows through this pre-filter cartridge, which strips it of such as contaminants as silt, dirt, and sediment. The purpose of this filter is to protect the delicate RO membranes. Depending on your average water usage and how much sediment there is in your water, you should replace the pre-filter somewhere between 6 to 9 months. If you don’t change your pre-filter regularly, the pre-filter can become clogged and will not be able to protect the RO membranes.
The next stage of most RO systems usually has the water flowing through a carbon filter. Its purpose is to remove the water chlorine, as well as taste and odor contaminants. It’s also an important stage, because if there’s still chlorine left in the water, it can also damage the RO membrane. The life period of this filter is same as for the pre-filter, which is 6-9 months.
The next stage is usually the reverse osmosis process itself. This is the phase that involves the RO membrane. Using a separation process, the system uses pressure to press the water through the RO membrane. The contaminants are then retained on one side, while water as a pure solvent passes to the other side. The semi-permeable feature of the membrane means that only pure solvent can pass, but not the solute contaminants. As the water passes through the semi-permeable membrane, it then flows into the storage tank. All the dissolved and particulate materials retained by the membrane are then washed out down a drain pipe.
The average lifespan of the RO membrane is about 2-3 years. The time of replacement will vary as with other filters on your average water consumption and the quality of water in your area.
For the final stage, the RO system is usually equipped with another carbon filter. Its purpose is to polish off the water, removing any taste or odor that haven’t been removed yet in order to provide the highest quality drinking water. As with the mentioned other carbon filter, it should also be replaced every 6-9 months.
What will happen if I forget to change the RO filters?
If you forget to change you RO filters, the system will gradually start producing less and less water. If you forget to change the pre-filter will become clogged, and the water won’t be able to pass as freely. Some of the systems are also equipped with automatic notifications that will help you determine when exactly the replacement time comes. Overall, if you see a significant decline in the amount of water the system is producing, it’s most likely a sign that the time to replace the filters has come.
Do I need to regularly clean the RO system?
The systems usually require annual sanitization and recharge. To find out how to carry out the cleaning either consult the manual for your particular model or choose an easier option by hiring your local water treatment professional.
How long will a reverse osmosis system last?
If you service your system regularly, always replace the parts on time, it can last virtually forever. A lifespan of 10-15 years is very possible. Just remember to annually sterilize and clean the system, and maintain the system as parts wear out.
Other Reverse Osmosis Frequently Asked Questions
Does reverse osmosis waste a lot of water?
A reverse osmosis system does use more water than you consume, as it needs the extra water to clean itself washing away the impurities. However, this extra water that it uses is not that high that you’ll notice on your utility bill. Most of the modern reverse osmosis systems that are on the market today are designed to be very efficient with their water usage. On many models, you will also find a water conservation valve that works by shutting off the system when the storage tank is full with water.
What is the importance of water pressure?
It is important that the system has enough water pressure to be able to press the water through the membrane, in order to flush the contaminants away. The minimum required pressure for an RO system would be 35 psi. If you have lower pressure, it might be insufficient and will result in premature fouling of the membrane and decreased the production of water. However, if you do have very low water pressure, you can use a pressure booster pump as a solution.
What are the annual maintenance costs?
Annual maintenance will mostly only include filter replacement. Additionally, once every 2-3 years there will membrane replacement costs. The frequency of the filter replacements will depend on the quality of the water in your area and the daily amount of water your household consumes. So you daily costs will only be about $0.30 per day.
Where can I mount the system?
The most common place for the RO system installation is in the cabinet under the sink. The systems usually have a compact size, which allows them to easily fit insider almost any cabinet. However, you can install anywhere else in the house, be it in the garage, basement, or anywhere else where you can connect it to the water supply line. If you purchase additional tubing and have good water pressure in your house, you can run it to any other place in the house.
Do reverse osmosis units need electricity for operation?
No, they don’t. Reverse osmosis units use only water pressure for their operation. However, if you are using a pressure booster pump, then you will need electricity for it.
Can I use a water softener along with the reverse osmosis system?
No, just the opposite. They make a great combination. Calcium and magnesium are the hardest minerals for the RO unit’s membrane to remove. So as the water softener removes those minerals, it helps the RO system extend the life of the membrane. Also, the sodium that you add to the water softener are easily removed by the RO membrane (up to 98%).
Can I connect my reverse osmosis system to a refrigerator or ice maker?
Yes, you can install your RO system under the sink and then using a 1/4 inch tube (will most likely need to be purchased separately) run it to your fridge or ice maker. For some of the refrigerators the water pressure will be an important consideration. So before hooking it up, check with your manufacturer if the RO system will be able to provide enough pressure. An average pressure from a typical RO system would be about 2/3 of the incoming water pressure.
The Bottom Line
Reverse osmosis systems are one of the good ways for providing clean filtered water. By reducing the level of salt and other water pollutants it produces pure clean water. The reverse osmosis reviews of the filters we have mentioned are all based on the reverse osmosis system and they’re the best products in this category of filters. We hope that our best reverse osmosis water filter reviews have helped you with information in your search. Read also our reviews of shower filters and inline water filters that will protect your appliances from hard water. On the other hand, you can also choose a softener for all the water supply in your house. The best models are provided by such brands as Morton, Fleck, Waterboss and Aquasana.