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 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 6 Reverse Osmosis Systems Reviewed
- Top 6 Reverse Osmosis Systems Reviewed
- 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 Buying Guide
- RO System Installation and Filter Replacement
- What Are the Costs of RO Water Filter Systems?
- RO Systems Brands
- Health Benefits of Owning a Reverse Osmosis System
- 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
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.
- Quick Filter Change – The filters are easy to access, so you should not encounter any problems when you decide it’s time to change them. The UV filter change is signaled by an audible warning.
- Good Water Flow – Unlike other reverse osmosis systems, this one keeps the water flow nice and strong. You won’t have to wait an eternity before filling a single glass of water when you use this system.
- Instructions Could Be Better – This product comes with an instructions manual, but it’s not very thorough. However, you can contact customer support for more information.
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.
- Great Customer Service – This company’s customer service is great. The people working there know their products, and they will help you no matter what problem you have.
- Water Tastes Great – You find out how good your water can taste only after you install this unit. Most customers agree that their water tastes better than bottled one after using this product.
- Small Tank – This system uses a 3 gallons water tank, and some people might consider it too small for their needs. If your household has a high water consumption rate, this tank might not be large enough
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.
- Easy Install – This unit comes with color coded hoses, so even children will know where each one of them has to be connected. The installation instructions are also clear, and using them and the color code will allow you to install the system quickly.
- Water Good Enough For Shrimps – Shrimps have to live in strict water conditions, and this system is able to provide clean enough water for them to live in.
- Low Pressure – This unit is great, but the resulting clean water flows with greatly reduced pressure than what your water source actually provides.
iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis System
This reverse osmosis system is able to filter more than 1,000 water pollutants and uses a thin membrane to filter very small particles, some as small as 0,0001 microns. This would mean that even the good particles in the water will be filtered, but this model will reintroduce them in the water before it flows out of your faucet.
Elements such as Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium are reintroduced in your drinking water, so your body will be able to benefit from their effects. A calcite portion of the filter will neutralize the water’s pH, resulting in a bottled water quality straight from your tap.
- Great Taste – This unit’s last filter makes the water more alkaline, and it will test better because of that. In fact, customers consider the water tastes so good, they won’t have to buy bottled water any longer.
- 6 Water Filters – This system uses 6 consecutive water filters, so you can stand assured that the water you drink will have a good quality.
- Hoses Need Adjustments – Make sure you cut a small portion from all the hoses, so their ends will be square before making the connections, or they might end up leaking.
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.
- Excellent Water Quality – No matter how contaminated your water source is, this reverse osmosis system will filter it enough so it will come great out of your faucets. The water is clean enough for hydroponic use.
- Works Fast – Depending on the quality of your water source, this system can filter a gallon of water in under 90 minutes. The cleaner the water is from the start, the quicker the filtering process will go.
- Noisy – This reverse osmosis system is noisy. You will be able to hear it from your kitchen and from other rooms as well
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.
- Great Filtering Capacity – This reverse osmosis system is capable of producing up to 50 gallons of high-quality drinking water each day, so it can be used with great results by households with a high water consumption rate.
- Great Installing Instructions – The installation instructions are clear and thorough. If you know which end of a wrench and screwdriver to hold, you will be able to install it yourself without problems.
- Bad Customer Service – Customers have complained that the customer service usually replies late, and sometimes it doesn’t reply at all. This is a big minus.
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.
- Fully Assembled – One of the great things about this product is that it comes fully assembled. You don’t have to waste time and energy with long installation times and imperfect hose connections. You will only have to handle two push-in connections
- Very Efficient – This reverse osmosis system will fill a 5-gallon tank in under one hour if your water quality is not extremely bad.
- Filters Are Hard To Change – This unit is great, but the filters are pretty hard to remove so changing them every year might be a struggle.
Best RO System Comparison Chart
|Product name||Stages of filtrations||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 of drinking water and for 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.
Lets 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 gases are not removed.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
High levels of fluoride can bring fluorosis, a childhood dental condition. This has raised 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 Buying Guide
Choosing a reverse osmosis system with the right capacity is very important. This capacity determines the amount of water produced by the unit in a single day. If you choose a capacity below what you usually use daily, you won’t be able to benefit from all the advantages a reverse osmosis system offers. On the other hand, choosing a unit with a capacity well over the amount you usually use in a day will increase your expenses without actually benefiting from the extra water.
Here is a list of things you should keep in mind when deciding on which capacity to choose for your reverse osmosis system.
- Reverse Osmosis Ratings – Reverse osmosis systems are rated on their capacity of producing clean water. This capacity is measured in gallons per day or GPD. However, these ratings are done in laboratory conditions, which means that the contaminant levels and the water’s temperature were optimal.
- The Influence Of Cold Water – When you install a reverse osmosis system, you will set it on a cold water line. The water’s temperature can lower the production rate by as much as 50% in the cold season when the water is really cold.
- Contaminants Will Lower The Production – A high level of contaminants in your water source will determine a slower clean water production. Besides having to discard a lot of water because of the high contamination level, the filters will also become clogged faster, further slowing the production.
Reverse osmosis systems usually have between 5 – 7 different stages of filtration. Each stage does a different thing, but the first 5 are similar no matter which model you choose.
- Stage 1 – The first stage is all about rough particle removal. Larger particles, like those of rust, dust, or sediment are blocked from flowing further.
- Stage 2 – This stage is controlled by the carbon filters. They remove the foul tastes, the smells, and the cloudiness of the water.
- Stage 3 – This stage is also controlled by a carbon filter, albeit a finer one with smaller pores and different chemical properties. This filter will stop organic chemicals and most importantly, it will block chlorine from reaching the composite membrane and damaging it.
- Stage 4 – This is the actual reverse osmosis stage. The semipermeable membrane will trap most of the molecules which are larger than the water molecule itself, so the most effective cleaning is done at this stage.
- Stage 5 – This stage eliminates the bacteria in the water with the help of an UV filter, and also disposes of contaminants like nitrates and arsenic.
- Stage 6 (optional) – This stage is used by some models to make the water more alkaline, improving its taste.
- Stage 7 (optional) – This stage is used by some manufacturers to remove the odor and taste that might have affected the water while it was sitting in the storage tank.
TDS or Total Dissolved Solids is a way of determining the total amount of solids dissolved in a volume of water, and it’s expressed in mg/l or ppm.
This figure can refer to any type of mineral, metals, or salts which float in the water. Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron are the most common minerals in a source of drinking water. Sodium, chlorides, and potassium are also largely found in variable quantities in drinking water.
The higher the TDS lever, the harder your water will be. Hard water causes scale buildups you will be able to see on the surface of your faucets, bathtubs, and shower walls, but that’s only a cosmetic problem. The real problem with a high level of TDS is that scale buildups are also formed inside your plumbing and appliances, inhibiting performance. Water with a high level of TDS passing through your appliances will lead to the formation of scale buildups which can permanently damage the appliances.
High levels of TDS also makes the water unsuitable for aquaculture and hydroponics, and they can lead to maintenance problems in pools and spas.
A reverse osmosis system can lower the TDS level in your water by as much as 100%.
Water output or the total amount of water produced by a reverse osmosis system is highly dependent on two factors, water pressure, and temperature.
With a normal water pressure of 60 psi and a normal water temperature of 77 degrees, a reverse osmosis system will fill a three-gallon tank in about 5 -7 hours. It really doesn’t sound like much, does it? But if the water pressure is low, or the water is cold as it usually is during the cold season, the filling time of a 3-gallon tank can go up to or even exceed 12 hours a day.
Most reverse osmosis systems are easy to install, and you shouldn’t encounter any problems in that regard, especially if you are a handy person who is used to work around the house.
However, much of the installation time is actually spent on assembling the system. Some manufacturers developed reverse osmosis systems which are delivered fully assembled, so you only have to connect them to a water source and the installation is complete.
Even though modern reverse osmosis systems are less wasteful than old ones, water waste is still a problem. Most systems will use 3 – 5 gallons of water for every gallon of clean water they produce. This can be a very big environmental problem in arid areas, but it also leads to an increase in your monthly bills.
Manufacturer And Warranty
Choosing the right manufacturer should not be a problem in today’s market. Online shopping has broken the barriers between shoppers and manufacturers, and you don’t have to live near one of their shops to buy a product.
Most manufacturers offer an extended warranty for their reverse osmosis system. Keep in mind that a long warranty period usually reveals a manufacturer’s high level of confidence in the product.
RO System Installation and Filter Replacement
Reverse osmosis systems are usually not very difficult to install. Most manufacturers will provide instruction manuals for their products, and some systems are even color coded for an easier and quicker installation.
If you consider that the manufacturer’s installation instructions are not as clear as they should be, or you get stuck at some point, the easiest thing to do is to look for a video tutorial online. If you consider that the product’s installation process was difficult, chances are other people thought that as well, so you might find a video tutorial on Youtube, or sometimes even on the manufacturer’s website.
However, if you don’t have access to the Internet in that moment, or you can’t find the exact information you need, the best thing you can do is to contact the manufacturer’s customer support. They should be able to provide the necessary information to facilitate the installation. If that’s not possible, you can always contact the seller’s customer service. They might be able to provide the information, as well.
Quick Installation Guide
- Shut off the water valve and drain the pipe
- Assemble a saddle valve and/or EZ adapter on the water line
- Connect a drain clamp to the drain
- Place the system under the sink or on the wall.
- Remove the caps at the ending of the tubes. Cut them if necessary.
- Connect the water feed line (usually orange) to the saddle or EZ adapter
- Connect the drain line (usually black) to the drain clamp.
- Connect the filters to the tank (usually a green line)
- Connect the system to the faucet (usually a blue line)
- Turn on the water and check for leaks. Fix any leaks you find
- Open the reverse osmosis faucet
- Open the storage tank and allow it to fill
- Drain the system 2-3 times before using it (check with the instructions manual)
The filters in a reverse osmosis system need to be periodically replaced. The harder and more contaminated the water source, the more frequent the filter change.
The lifespan of most filters varies between 6 – 12 months, but that highly depends on the water’s contamination. If a water source is very contaminated, you will need to change the filters more often.
The reverse osmosis membrane filter usually needs changing every 2 years or so. Some manufacturers recommend changing it every year as well.
What Are the Costs of RO Water Filter Systems?
The first and most significant cost is the acquisition. This can largely vary between models, with lower end models being cheaper than higher end ones. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
People who want to buy a reverse osmosis water filtering system are planning on using it for a long time, usually for a large number of years. Here’s what you should keep in mind regarding the costs of this kind of system.
Filters Need Changing – Every once in a while you will need to change the system’s filters because the old ones will be gradually blocked by the impurities they stop, and in time the water’s pressure will become lower, and the filtering system will become less efficient.
Most of the filters will need to be changed once every 6 – 12 months, sometimes even more frequent if the water source is highly contaminated. If you notice that the water pressure is dropping and the system produces less clean water than it used to, changing the filters might be the solution.
The main filter, the reverse osmosis membrane usually has to be changed once every two years, but that rule is not set in stone. Some manufacturers recommend changing it every year, while others recommend you change it once it produced 20,000 gallons of clean water
Wasted Water – Having a reverse osmosis system is great because you can drink clean water straight from your tap, but you should keep in mind that for every gallon of clean water produced, the system drains 3 – 5 gallons of water, sometimes even more if the water if very contaminated. In some cases, it can even waste 10 gallons for every clean one. This will increase your water bills, and it will also have a negative impact on the environment.
RO Systems Brands
There are a lot of different brands manufacturing reverse osmosis systems on the market, but there are some experienced manufacturers who have been doing this for a long time and have long lists of satisfied customers and thousands of reviews for their products. Here are the pros and cons for each of the giants activating in this industry.
iSpring Water Systems
iSpring Water Systems have been around for more than a decade, and they specialize in developing reverse osmosis water filtering systems.
- Easy Installation – Most of their models are very easy to install, and they come with detailed installation instructions, so you will be able to install them by yourself without encountering any problems.
- High-Quality Water – Their systems produce water so clean, you will be able to use it for an aquarium containing sensible species like coral or shrimp without harming them
- Low Water Pressure – The downside of filtering the water so well is often a reduces water pressure. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with iSpring reverse osmosis systems as well.
This company excels at producing reverse osmosis systems.
- Great Customer Service – This company only works with people who know what they’re doing. If you have any questions about which model to buy, or if you’re stuck at some point in the installation process, you can always contact them. They will go the extra mile and give you all the details you need and help you every time.
- Filters Are Easy To Change – This company places the filters somewhere they are easy to reach, so you will be able to change them quickly when you need to
- Instruction Manuals Could Be Better – The company’s instruction manuals are pretty vague, so some people might find the hard to follow. Luckily, their helpful customer service will compensate and help you with the installing process.
This reverse osmosis systems developer is reputed for distributing their products in over 100 countries.
- Great Installing Instructions – The company delivers clear and thorough instruction manuals with their products, so you will be able to install the reverse osmosis system by yourself even if you’re not a very technical person
- Outstanding Filtering Capacity – The company produces some of the best performing reverse osmosis filtering systems. Some are capable of producing 50 gallons of clean water each day.
- Customer Service Should Be Better – This company operates in over 100 countries, so it’s understandable to have some delays in responding to every request, but sometimes they don’t respond at all.
Health Benefits of Owning a Reverse Osmosis System
There are some major health benefits for using a reverse osmosis system
- It Will Remove Contaminants – Just because your house is tapped in the city’s main water line doesn’t mean that the water you’re drinking is good for your health. Unfortunately, that sometimes actually means you’ll have to be extra careful and decontaminate it before you use it.
- A reverse osmosis water filtering system will stop the following contaminants from reaching your water: lead, copper, nitrites, nitrates, selenium, radium, barium, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, and more.
- It Will Soften Your Water – Using soft water has its benefits. Your hair will be shinier and it will get dirty after a longer time. Your skin will also become softer once you wash with soft water.
- It Will Improve Your Cooking – Cooking with tap water changes the taste of the food because of the contaminants dissolved in it. One of the contaminants which will affect the food’s taste is chlorine. You might not be able to tell that the chlorine in the water changes the taste of your cooking, but after using clean water for cooking not only will you notice that the food tastes better, but you’ll also notice that it has a different color.
- It Will Render Plastic Useless – Studies have shown that bottled water might not be very good for your health because the bottle’s plastic might dissolve and pollute it, especially if the water bottles are improperly stored directly under the sun, or next to a heat source. Using a reverse osmosis water filter will eliminate the need for plastic bottles, removing this danger.
- Can Be Mineralized – Some might argue that the water produced by these filters loses its minerals, so it’s not as healthy. Modern reverse osmosis systems are able to remineralize the water, so you’ll benefit from every mineral and clean water at the same time.
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 question 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 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 various 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 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 from 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.
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 above 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 a 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 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.