Water is the most important essence of life. More than two-thirds of the human body consists of water and the access to clean drinking water is a human right. It guarantees that you and your family stay healthy and fit. Unfortunately the supply of clean drinking water can be difficult, even in the western world.
A good reverse osmosis water filter system guarantees that you have access to clean, clear and great tasting drinking water at all times.
But what makes a good reverse osmosis water filter system and what do the best reverse osmosis systems have in common? This extensive guide does not only tell you what features to look for to find a reliable RO system, but also provides you with a best of list.
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Size (inches)||Filter Life (Years)||Filter Stages||Gallons Per Day||Warranty (Years)||Review|
Unbeatable #1 RO System - Home Master TMAFC
|$$||20 x 16 x 13||1+||7||50||5||94.25% Read Review|
The Runner-Up - APEC 5-Stage RO System
|$||16 x 5.2 x 17.5||1+||5||50||1||94.0% Read Review|
Our #3 - Home Master TMAFC-ERP RO Filter System
|$$$||12 x 16 x 20||1+||7||75||5||95.0% Read Review|
iSpring RCC7 - RO System with Faucet
|$||14.5 x 5.2 x 17.5||1||5||75||1||92.5% Read Review|
APEC RO-90 Reverse Osmosis System
|$$||15 x 7 x 18||1+||5||90||1||94.0% Read Review|
Express Water RO5DX 5-Stage RO System
|$||18.2 x 19 x 16||up to 1||5||50||1||91.0% Read Review|
There are some important key aspects you need to consider when you want to purchase a reliable RO system, in order to prevent yourself from making a wrong buying decision and end up with a second-class filtration unit that is not up to standards.
In the following page section, we listed those key aspects to guide you through the decision making process...
Talking about consuming clean drinking water is talking about staying healthy and fit, which is why it's vitally important for you to rely on an American recognized brand and a manufacturer based in the US, when purchasing a reverse osmosis system. Usually, these systems filter out at least 98 percent of water impurities.
Additionally, you should pay special attention to FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and NSF certificates. They ensure that the water processed by a system is of high quality and 100 percent safe for human consumption.
Furthermore, additional WQA (Gold Seal) certificates guarantee that a reverse osmosis filtration unit operates at low noise levels and requires only little to no maintenance.
With great RO systems, in the filtration process the water usually runs through at least 5 filtration stages, before it is ready to be consumed.
At stage one, a sediment filter removes soil particles and dust, followed by one to two carbon filter stages, which remove chemicals, such as chlorine and fluoride, odors and tastes.
The next stage involves the reverse osmosis process itself to filter out all remaining contaminants. Last but not least, a coconut shell refining filter removes residue taste.
More expensive reverse osmosis systems tend to have additional processing stages to re-mineralize the water by adding bits of magnesium and calcium balancing pH-levels and creating a great taste.
Not all of us are gifted do-it-yourselfers. But excellent water filtration units allow for easy installation and part adjustment without complications.
Depending on the system, replacing a filter may be a difficult endeavor and paying for the new filter costs some money. Therefore, seek for a reverse osmosis system with long-lasting filters that can be installed easily.
Side Note: If you live in a larger household, you might want to look out for bigger membranes as they extend a unit's longevity and shorten the time period that is needed to fill up the water tank.
Top notch reverse osmosis water filtration systems not only provide a consistent flow of clean drinking water, they also prevent water from being wasted by automatically shutting down the system once the tank is filled completely. These systems help you to save money!
An outstanding seven-stage filtration process makes the Home Master TMAFC the best reverse osmosis water filter system available for under $500.
Also, system maintenance is a breeze and does require neither much time nor effort. Thanks to an extended performance span (about 2,000 gallons), filters need to be replaced only once per year and their 'all-in-one' design makes the replacement fast and easy.
To prevent canister leakage or failure, but also disease-causing germs from accumulating, the annual filter replacement includes the disposal of the entire filter housing including sediment, microorganisms and biofilm.
A regulated maximum water flow of 50 gallons per day reduces water waste production to a minimum (check out all advantages on amazon).
Most reverse osmosis systems produce slightly acidic water lacking minerals (especially magnesium and calcium), which would normally contribute to your daily nutritional intake. But don't worry - the Home Master TMAFC adds those minerals back into the water in the storage tank.
Last but not least, the scope of delivery includes everything you need, such as drain saddle, chrome faucet + faucet adapter, TFC-membrane, UV power supply and storage tank. The self-explanatory user manual guides you through the installation process. Even inexperienced handymen don't need to seek professional help; a great way to save that extra money!
One minor disadvantage of this reverse osmosis system is that you have to pay for additional costs that come up to replace the whole filter housing. But as stated above, luckily this has to be done only once a year.
If you are looking for the best reverse osmosis water filter system available, the Home Master TMAFC is definitely the right option for you. The following link will get you to the official amazon product page, which has the best price available as of 20th September 2017.
Your health is your wealth, which is why you should look out for a water purification unit to add to your home. From all our reverse osmosis reviews, the Home Master Under Counter Water Filtration System stands out the most. It is not only affordable, but gives you the chance to clean and get the best tasting drinking water with unmatched quality.
Traditional reverse osmosis systems produce demineralized water that is pure but slightly acidic. This patented unit balances the pH-Levels in the water to make it taste great.
his water filtration unit is capable of eliminating up to 99% of impurities such as heavy metals, chlorine and dissolved solids. It incorporates larger fittings and tubings in comparison to the traditional water filter systems, which doubles the water flow rate.
The water is re-mineralized twice in the storage tank and the water faucet. The Home Master Artesian will add small bits of magnesium and calcium (vital nutrients) to the water. The 7-stage reverse osmosis purification unit is composed of durable filters which have a one-year performance span and can provide 2,000 gallons of water before replacement.
7-Stage Purification Process. The seven stages of filtration, purification and enhancement makes this home master system produce exceptional pure water. It uses patented full contract technology that adds magnesium and calcium during the purification process, which provides the necessary minerals required in drinking water.
Additionally there is a powerful carbon filtration mechanism built into the device to filter persistent disinfectant chloramines. This feature makes it possible to remove contaminants that typical reverse osmosis systems may not be able to remove.
Regulated Flow. The system's design is a classy combination of components that regulate the flow to 50 gallons per day. This ensures minimal waste water production and optimizes the purification process to provide exceptionally clean and refreshing water.
By the way the filters have been fixed in the housing in a way, that during the filter replacement the entire housing is disposed off. This reduces any chances of leakage and eliminates any need to continue using the same filter.
Durable And Sleek. The Home Master TMAFC reverse osmosis unit is durable and sleek and offers amazing water filtration capacity that delivers high quality water.
5-Year Warranty + Extras. Other notable features include the UV power supply, drain saddle, chrome faucet, faucet adapter, TFC membrane and a storage tank. The system comes with a user manual and what's best with a 5-year warranty, which makes it the ideal water filter.
here are unique advantages that this patented innovative water filtration unit provides, such as great tasting and refreshing water that has an optimum pH-level. The unique design makes it easy to assembly with a toll-free installation. Moreover the superior filters eliminate any risk of leaks. Further advantages are:
Like all systems from our reverse osmosis reviews, this one has some drawbacks, too.
he Home Master Water Filtration System is rated very high by various online stores. It is highly efficient with an innovative design that makes it quite easy to set-up and use. The walter filtration unit delivers pure water at high speed in a double purification process. This water is enriched with essential minerals and is free from contaminants.
All in all, there is no doubt that this is a top-notch reverse osmosis system available on the market in terms of price-performance ratio with excellent value for your money.
First of all, the APEC 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is produced in the US. The system's filters are long lasting and outlive most filters of other brands. APEC provides not only a one-year satisfaction guarantee, but also lifetime product support.
NSF and WQA certificates guarantee that not only the water is 100 percent safe for human consumption, but also that the system operates at really low noise levels. Above that, the WQA Gold Seal assures the product's excellent performance, quality and durability with only low-maintenance requirements.
The APEC 5 RO system has great built-in features, such as a steel-free storage tank to maintain the water's quality as well as a clean and natural taste. An automatic shut-down prevents water wastage once the storage tank is filled completely.
Additionally, 5 filtration stages process the water removing 99% of all contaminants. The filters remove soil particles, dust, rust, chemicals like chlorine, odors, tastes and provide a consistent and unlimited water supply for you.
Customers criticize the membrane filter housing, which is difficult to open. Moreover, at filtration stage three it may take a while to get rid of carbon floating on the water surface.
The APEC 5 Stage Water Filtration System is among the best selling RO systems on amazon. It provides clean, clear and great tasting drinking water with almost no impurities left. Also, the price-performance ratio is great.
There are a number of different water purification systems available on the market. All of them use the same mechanism to remove impurities. In the first of our reverse osmosis system reviews, we take a closer look at the APEC Top Tier 5-Stage unit, which might easily be the best reverse osmosis system due to its exceptionally good features and unparalleled performance. The filtration mechanism is certified as ultra-safe and provides an unlimited amount of high quality and clean water for homes and offices.
he first step we take when creating our reviews is to examine all features each individual product comes with.
The APEC 5-stage filtration system is built in the US. All parts are NSF-certified and outlive most other filter units available from other brands. What's best is that the unit comes with a one-year customer guarantee and lifetime support. Other features are:
American Technology. APEC is an American reputable brand that has designed the 5-stage filtration system, which uses powerful reverse osmosis technology to provide clean and natural tasting water.
The device allows for easy installation and wall mounting. A certified steel free storage tank preserves water taste and does not add any artificial flavors.
5-Stage Filtration Mechanism.
Low Noise Level. The APEC 5-stage system is WQA certified, which ensures low noise levels. Implemented filters are long lasting and improve productivity.
99 Percent Pure. The APEC 5-Stage features the only semipermeable membrane that can treat more than 99 percent of impurities present in water. Additionally, the treated water is given a refreshing taste.
A++ Efficiency without Wastage. The filtration system is rated A++ High Quality Assurance. APEC applies an advanced QC process to ensure that each product component is operating smoothly. In order to prevent water wastage, the system automatically shuts down once the tank is filled completely.
he next step in creating our reviews is to weigh product advantages and disadvantages against each other:
The system is certified ultra-safe and has the ability to remove 99% of contaminants including arsenic, bacteria and heavy metals. FDA and NSF certifications ensure that the end product is completely safe for human consumption.
he bottom line section completes all reviews and contains our final statement...
The APEC 5-Stage is one of the most advanced reverse osmosis units that is packed with high quality and durable features. The 5-stage filtration process makes the end product to be excellent and almost 100% free of impurities.
The system is quite easy to install and connect, as there are no complications adjusting the parts together. A WQA certification guarantees low maintenance and low noise levels. This is a US made product and it will add value to your life.
This unit is able to vouch for the quality and integrity of the water that we drink in our homes. It offers an alternative to APEC filtration systems. However, the APEC 5-Stage outperforms it, as its filters are liekly to last longer. The iSpring RCC7 75GPD Reverse Osmosis System is also NSF certified and ensures microorganisms don't get past the multi-level filtration process. For a full review click here!
With its WQA Gold Seal and NSF certifications, you can be rest assured that the iSpring RCC7 ro system (5 stages) is a premium water filtration unit built in the US. It operates problem free and makes almost no noises.
The system comes at a very affordable pricing on amazon and uses cost-effective technology (automatic shut-off once the tank is filled up) making it a great choice for people who want to save money.
In a 5-stage filtration process, the system removes 99% of all chemicals, pharmaceuticals and microorganisms and supplies you with a maximum of 75 GPD of refreshing drinking water.
At filtration stage #4, the reverse osmosis process itself goes into action. Here, a larger membrane is used to increase the system's longevity and filling speed (ideal for larger households).
What we like most about the system is the fact that even inexperienced handymen should be able to install it themselves with the help of a detailed user manual including DIY videos as they are part of the scope of delivery.
We don't like that the water pressure in your home needs to be at least 35 psi for this reverse osmosis unit to work efficiently. Therefore, citizens living in areas with low water pressure have to purchase an additional booster pump.
On top of that the system's filters tend to wear out rather quickly, causing extra replacement costs.
The iSpring RCC7 reverse osmosis water filtration unit is suitable for everyone who wants to save a few bucks when purchasing the system itself, but is willing to spend the extra dime to purchase replacement filters more regularly.
The iSpring RCC7 Reverse Osmosis 5-Stage Water Filter System is a WQA Gold Seal Certified product and built in the US with a solid construction and a superior performance. It makes use of cost-effective technology that rejects up to 99% of 1000+ water pollutants such as chlorine, lead, fluoride, pesticides, arsenic, drugs and fertilizers.
With this reverse osmosis system, you are assured of a steady supply of purified water that will continuously run into your tank.
he iSpring RCC7 is the best value 75GPD 5-stage reverse osmosis water filter system, which has been newly upgraded and that makes use of brushed nickel faucets. It has been manufactured under quality management systems certifications and comes with a broad range of features:
5-Stage Filtration Technology. The iSpring RCC7 makes use of 5-stage filtration technology to deliver the final product.
ISO 9000 Certification. All parts of the iSpring RCC7 filter system are manufactured by ISO 9000:2000 certification inspected by the NSF. Using a bigger membrane, the unit will deliver 75GPD of pure water that rapidly fills the storage tank.
Noiseless Operation. The system's sturdy construction ensures a problem free and quiet operation. Additionally there is an automatic shut-off function that ensures that the filtration process stops once the tank has been filled up.
Easy Installation. A detailed instruction manual is part of the scope of delivery so that users can easily install it themselves. The manual comes with a DIY video that shows the user the entire process of installation.
99 Percent Pure. Due to its proper design and superior technology the system is able to eliminate 99% of chemicals including arsenic, lead, fluoride and a plethora of other microorganisms and pharmaceutical products. To add additional security, there is an alarm that is triggered in case of any leak in the system.
he 5-stage filtration process ensures that there is little chance for anything below the standards passing through. This guarantees high quality and safe water for home use. Further advantages are:
he iSpring RCC7 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is an affordable, efficient and durable water filtration unit that is the top choice for families that need large quantities of drinking water every day. With this device you are assured to enjoy great tasting pure water that guarantees your family health.
The installation is fairly straight forward even for those who don't have plumbing skills. The startup instructions are easy to follow.
Overall, people looking for an ideal solution to water filtration issues should highly consider the iSpring RCC7 water filter system. It maintains a high user rating from Amazon customers and its reviews are overwhelming.
This product is one of the best filtration systems we covered in our reviews. It makes use of a world-class purification process to ensure that users do not experience service challenges, low flow rates, acidic water or water leaks. It uses a high-density combination of flow restriction components that control the pressure emanating from the membrane to ensure an optimization of the purification process.
The APEC 5-Stage is among the best filter systems on the market. It provides a steady supply of clean drinking water and utilizes the exact same filtration technology as iSpring RCC7- the same technology used by bottled water companies. This model is among the best-selling on Amazon and competes toe to toe with the iSpring system. The only difference is that the APEC 5-Stage Water Filtration Unit is slightly more expensive than the iSpring RCC7 with a slightly better performance.
All in all it is super effective at purifying water, which makes it an equally ideal choice. For a full review of the APEC 5-Stage Water Filtration System click here!
The Express Water Home Reverse Osmosis System not only features a 5-stage filtration process that removes up to 99% of water contaminants, it also comes at a very low price compared to other ro systems on the market. The system is US-built.
In the 5-stage filtration process solid particles such as dirt and sand, tastes and odors, chemicals and microorganism are being removed.
Due to the fact that the system works fully automatic, it is very convenient to draw water from its faucet; the tank will get auto-refilled. Afterwards the system shuts off.
Thanks to the easy-to-follow user manual and instructions, the system is easy to install (no special plumbing skills needed), fits in almost any kitchen and only requires low maintenance.
4 extra water filters are added to the scope of delivery, which you can check out on amazon here. Additionally, NSF certifications, a one-year warranty plus life-long professional support are also included in the package.
Customers have remarked that leakages might occur, if you don't follow the installation instructions precisely.
On top of that, carbon may float on the water surface for a couple of days before dissolving.
The Express Water 5-stage reverse osmosis system is legitimately one of the most popular among customers with a small budget. An affordable price meets great filtration performance that is up to standards.
Having your water filtration system gives you the peace of mind that you and your family are producing and consuming the healthiest of drinking water possible in the most economical and environmentally friendly manner.
This 5-Stage Home Drinking reverse osmosis filtration unit comes with an extra set of 4 water filters to provide great, purified drinking water at an exceptionally affordable price. Express water is the premier manufacturer of this reverse osmosis system. It is designed and manufactured to meet the industry standards and remove 99% of water contaminants.
All quality standards have been backed up by a 1-year warranty and a life-long technical support.
he easy to install reverse osmosis unit filters impurities, chemicals, contaminants and solids found in water. Its parts are shipped with simple and easy to follow instructions and all the replacement parts are universal for customer security. It is 100% lead-free and above that materials are BPA-free for anti-contamination.
With this product, you will experience the convenience, comfort and savings of having a healthy and crystal clear refreshing drinking water at your home. More of the best features are:
Certification. Everything is build in the US, certified ultra-safe and has been constructed with NSF certified parts. Customers are rest assured that it meets the high-quality standards. Its superior filters can outlive many of the competitors' on the market and serve better before they need to be replaced.
Fully Automatic. This reverse osmosis system works fully automatic. When the user draws water from the faucet, it will auto-fill its holding tank and then shut off until more water gets drawn from it.
Easy Installation & Maintenance. The unit features a solid construction that facilitates easy installation as well as a low level of maintenance. Therefore it only takes little efforts for users to install and start using the product.
Quiet Operation. This home drinking system operates almost without making any noises, so it won't bother you while it's working.
1-Year Warranty. The overall high built quality is backed up by a one-year warranty with professional technical support.
ith this water filtration system you are assured of great tasting water suitable for cooking and drinking. This model is very popular among users who are looking for a a small budget filter with superior performance. Further notable advantages include:
As compared to other superior products available on the market, this model has some shortcomings. However, keep in mind its small scale use and cheap pricing.
f you are looking for an efficient and economical way to get safe water for your family, this home drinking filtration unit is ideal for you. Despite the cheap price, this water filter system has plenty of useful features that guarantee your satisfaction.
There is, for example, the NSF certified steel storage tank for material and structural integrity requirements on the one hand and the automatic shut-off valve that saves water from being wasted on the other hand. Overall, this reverse osmosis system has the substantial purification ability to provide you with refreshing drinking water every day.
Though the following products are quite similar to the 5-Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System in terms of features and advantages, they vary in quality, price and required level of maintenance:
The Aquaphor DMW-101 has a built-in airless storage tank and a mineralization function. It is incredibly compact compared to other home drinking systems and the best feature is that it works efficiently even at a low level of water pressure without requiring booster pumps.
In addition to that the Aquaphor DWM-101 (available on amazon) features twist ON/OFF replacement filters. Its components are manufactured from food-grade recyclable materials in an environmental friendly process.
The Brondell H20+ uses a new patented technology making it ten times more efficient that the current conventional reverse osmosis devices. The water filter system reduces water wastage to an average 2.1 gallons for every gallon of drinking water. The Brondell H2O+ (available on amazon) removes many hazard chemicals making it quite suitable for home use.
The APEC RO-90 GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System removes 99% of all contaminants in a 5-stage water filtration process.
Every single unit gets tested and put through a 10-point quality control procedure to ensure it is up to WQA Gold Seal standards, which guarantee the highest rates of water contaminant removal.
Additionally, the seal ensures low noise levels during operation plus low maintenance requirements - pre-filters have to be replaced annually and filter cartridges last much longer than normal filters do.
Above that, the RO-90 provides you with 90 gallons per day of pure drinking water (almost twice as much as other systems provide).
Once the system's water tank is filled up, it will shut down automatically to prevent water wastage and save energy and money. Learn more about the automatic shut-off valve on amazon. 100 percent lead-free chrome faucets complete the package.
Customers are concerned about the fact that the membrane filters are quite difficult to access. You might need to practice a bit before it will become a quick and easy task to do.
Moreover, customers have experienced water leakage due to mistakes made during the installation process and additionally, floating carbon might take a while to be cleared during filtration.
This APEC Water reverse osmosis system is top-notch and delivers the purest drinking water with the best taste. However, it costs about $100 more than the average system and not everyone is willing to pay that extra money.
Considering the escalating costs of healthcare and increasing risk of water pollutants, having a reliable water filtration unit at home can be a valuable asset. Your family needs a good and reliable system to be protected from hidden health hazards.
The APEC RO-90 GPD High-Flow Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System has been engineered to enable users to enjoy unlimited ultra-fresh, healthy and great tasting water straight from the tap. This device not only saves you money and time, but also the hassle of buying costly bottled water by providing users with drinking water that is 99% free of contaminants.
his APEC Water Filter Unit has been tested and certified in respect of the highest standards in the industry with WQA Gold Seal that guarantees the highest rates of removing contaminants to produce the purest water possible.
This reverse osmosis apparatus is one of the best at producing purified water as fast as possible - twice as fast as the usual reverse osmosis systems. It removes the widest range of contaminants including chlorine, fluorine, taste odor, lead, arsenic, chromium, and others.
Superior 5-Stage Filtration Technology. The system subjects water in a stringent QC process that eliminates 99% of all contaminants and imperfections guaranteed.
Quality Performance. The APEC RO-90 has been engineered to guarantee exceptional performance, safety and durability. The system uses selected premium grade filter cartridges that lasts twice as long as the normal filters to offer superior contaminant removal capacity.
Each RO-90 unit has been tested and put through a comprehensive 10-point quality control process and all five filter stages are manufactured to NSF/ANSI standards for quality assurance.
Noiseless operation. The APEC Top Tier RO-90 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System is WQA certified and ensures low noise levels during operation. It features an automatic shutter that turns off as soon as the tank is full, adding to the efficiency and safety of the filtration process (A++ High Quality Assurance).
Full Scope of Delivery. The system comes with 100% lead-free chrome faucets and NSF & FDA certified components to provide safe, contaminant-free, pure water. In addition to that the high quality connect fitting doesn't require extra lock clips or steps to seal leaks. It is super secure and convenient.
Versatility, Compatibility & Upgradability. The industry standard design and parts offer top-notch system versatility, compatibility and upgradability.
ustomers reading our reviews might be interested to know the benefits that they are bound to enjoy due to the advantages that come with the APEC Water RO-90 system. The best and most important advantages are:
he APEC Top Tier RO-90 5-Stage reverse osmosis unit almost fully eliminates every possible deadly contaminant in your water. The device delivers a healthy, pure and crystal clear water right from your tap. But it will not only help you to get rid of water contaminants, it also reduces the water's hardness.
On top of that a simple DIY installation process and the low maintenance level make the APEC Top Tier RO-90 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System one of our favorites.
There are many different reverse osmosis water filters available on the market. Each manufacturer claims their product to be the best reverse osmosis system out there. Therefore you can’t make a decision based only on advertisements. You need to compare the advantages, disadvantages and features of different products by reading various reverse osmosis system reviews in order to make an informed decision.
The iSpring RCC 5-stage WQA Gold Seal Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is among the most feature rich products currently on the market. It has been well built and its filters are easily available on the market, enabling users to enjoy a high-value and low-maintenance water filtration unit.
A 5-stage filtration procedure eliminates every possible contaminant and water pollutant. The high rejection rate of the reverse osmosis membrane comes with a PP sediment, carbon block and granular active carbon technology.
For customers with a low budget the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is an ideal choice as it is a bit cheaper than the APEC. For a full review of the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Unit, click here!
More on Reverse Osmosis Filtration Units
In addition to our reviews, we would like to provide to you more information on RO water filtration technology, which might be the key to a sustainable water future.
You have probably heard the term 'reverse osmosis’ or RO for the first time in relation to water purification. There are ro systems for home use, for businesses and large units for industrial use. But how exactly does reverse osmosis work?
In simple words, reverse osmosis is the opposite of the natural osmosis process. If you remember your chemistry, osmosis occurs when a solvent, like water, moves from a low concentration solution into a more concentrated solution through a semi-permeable membrane. This process goes on until the concentration on both sides of the membrane is equal.
In reverse osmosis, the opposite happens. A solvent, usually water, is forced to move from a high concentration solution to a low concentration one. The aim is to separate the solvent (liquid) from the solute (dissolved solids), resulting in pure potable water.
A reverse osmosis water filtration system is thus a system that makes use of the reverse osmosis process to purify water and makes it safe for drinking. In homes, reverse osmosis systems come in small sizes and are used primarily to produce clean drinking water. You can even carry one with you when you go camping. In industrial applications, reverse osmosis filtration systems are much larger and more complicated. They can be used for many things from producing drinking water from salty seawater (desalination) to recycling wastewater.
We had a brief glance at the scientific principle behind reverse osmosis systems. But what exactly happens during the process and how does reverse osmosis work? Here is a more detailed look at the inner workings of a RO filtration system:
The objective of the reverse osmosis process is to remove bacteria, salts, lead, fluoride and other dissolved impurities from water. The resulting purified water can then be used for drinking and in other applications such as preparation of beverages, irrigation and factory production.
An RO system comes with some essential components that makes the process possible. In fact, most RO systems are similar and work in roughly the same way. Some basic components you will find in most RO systems include:
To sum it up, water will enter the system, undergo a pre-filtering stage to remove large particles, pass through a semi-permeable membrane (the main RO process), go through a post filtering process and finally come out of the faucet as purified potable water. Of course, different systems will have slight variations in the process. Additionally, industrial systems will have much more complicated processes though still based on the same principle of forcing water to go against the natural osmotic pressure.
One of the best explanatory videos about how reverse osmosis works can be found on YouTube. To make things easier, we embedded the video into our website. Check this out:
Reverse osmosis systems vary in price depending on the size and complexity of the system. For a few hundred dollars, you can get an under-sink system that connects to a single faucet in the kitchen. For several thousand dollars, you can get a larger system that cleans all the water coming into your home. Some systems will have a complicated 5-step filtration process, even using UV light to purify your water further.
Your needs therefore, will dictate how much you will pay for a RO water filter system. Evaluate what your water purification needs are and what cost range is within your financial comfort. For homes, there are plenty of low cost RO systems. If you have a business, you might need something bigger and more expensive.
Generally, reverse osmosis systems cost between $100 to $300 on the lower end and $1,000 and above on the higher end. Do not forget to add installation and maintenance costs for the system.
When evaluating the cost of RO systems, there are three general categories you need to be aware of; cheap systems, mid-range systems and high-end systems.
Cheap systems will cost anywhere between $100 and $200. These are small home-based systems that usually connect to a single tap only. You can get a cheap RO system to place on your countertop or one that goes under the sink. These systems are cheap because they use the lowest quality parts available. While they will purify your water just as well as other higher priced systems, individual components do not last long. After about a year, you will have to replace various parts such as the filters and faucet.
Mid-range systems provided the best value to homeowners. They range in price between $250 and $600 depending on size and complexity. They are much better in build and quality and are likely to last for many years. Some sellers even provide lifetime guarantees. If you are looking to buy a good quality RO water filtration system without spending thousands of dollars, look for a middle-class system.
On the pricey end of the scale, we have high-end systems. These systems combine top performance with stylish looks and extra features in one system. The cost can start at $800 and go into the thousands. However, be careful when buying a supposedly high-end reverse osmosis system. Some come with useless bells and whistles that will do you no good. Others compromise on important features just to maintain their form and style. Make sure that when you pay for a high-end RO system, it actually delivers on function and performance.
A reverse osmosis system is designed to remove most of the impurities from water. At the pre-filter stage, large particles like sand and silt will be removed. Most RO systems also come with a carbon filter or two to remove chlorine, which would otherwise cause damage to the semi-permeable membrane.
When the water gets to the heart of the RO system – the semi-permeable membrane – virtually any molecule larger than the water molecule will be filtered out. Most of the minerals will be stripped off, dangerous substances like lead and asbestos will be removed and compounds like fluoride and calcium will likewise be removed from the water. Even bacteria is not spared from the filtration process.
What you have at the end of the process is almost pure water. This is why reverse osmosis is one of the most recommended water purification processes and is used everywhere from homes to large industries. It simply works.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Chlorine?
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Bacteria?
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Salt?
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Calcium?
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?
Reverse osmosis is one of only two processes that produce what is described as 'high purity drinking water’. The other process is steam distillation. As mentioned earlier, the semi-permeable membrane found in RO systems removes anything bigger than water molecules. Thus, the filtered water at the end of the process has a high level of purity. In fact, the FDA recommends the use of RO filtered water in medical applications. Additionally, industry processes that require mineral-free water use RO filtration to obtain 'pure’ water.
But what about an actual number representing purity level? Well, manufacturers and sellers of RO systems tend to claim that water filtered by their systems is 95-99% pure. While there could be some advanced high-end systems that come close to these numbers, the reality is that most home RO systems achieve lower purity percentages.
This is not to say that reverse osmosis is not a good process to purify water. Even with a 70% or 80% purity level, the water produced is safe enough for drinking and other uses. It is important to note that different reverse osmosis filtration systems will have varying levels of water purification performance. Cheaper systems may be able to remove only 50 to 60% of dissolved solids while mid-range and expensive systems can get up to 80% and more. Furthermore, the percentage of water purity goes down as the system ages. This is why it is important to maintain your system regularly and change filters as recommended.
People tend to be skeptical of new technologies, and rightly so. Even though reverse osmosis is not exactly new tech, there are still many people who doubt its ability to purify water. Other people claim that the water produced through reverse osmosis is not healthy. The main basis of this claim is the stripping away of minerals that are otherwise considered healthy for the human body. They call it 'dead water’ with no health benefits at all.
Are they right in saying that reverse osmosis water is bad for you?
Let us begin with the safety issue. Reverse osmosis is considered one of the best water filtration methods. As a result, it is used in hospitals, homes, disaster relief areas, laboratories and factories. Most of the bottled water you see on supermarket shelves is in fact produced through reverse osmosis. The filtered water may not, as we mentioned before, be 100% pure, but that does not mean that it is unsafe. Remaining solutes will not cause any health problem. So yes, RO water is safe to use and drink.
But is it healthy? Absolutely. The average tap water supplied by your municipal is far from pure. Various studies have discovered that the water contains contaminants that cause skin rashes, tooth damage and allergic reactions. Even harmful substances like arsenic, lead and barium have been found in tap water. If you are getting your water from a ground source, there is even worse stuff lurking in it. Reverse osmosis removes most of these toxic chemicals, leaving your water safe and healthy to drink.
Simply because most of the minerals have been removed does not mean that your body is starved of essential minerals. Water is not the only source of important minerals for the body. A good diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables more than adequately covers the body’s mineral requirements.
So you do not have to worry about RO water making you ill or denying you of amazing health benefits that you would otherwise get with normal tap water. It is safe, it is healthy and it is good.
If demineralization of drinking water due to filtration is something you take very seriously, then we want to provide to you some basic information in the following paragraph on what you can do to cover your daily intake of minerals.
Let's take calcium as an example: About 20% of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of calcium comes from the water we drink (remaining 80% comes from our food). If we drink filtered water, then we might not fully cover our RDI of calcium.
The most convenient solution would be to add a remineralization stage to our filtration system or use electrolyte blends containing Ca, Mg, potassium, sodium, etc.
One of the common charges against reverse osmosis water filtration systems is their water wastage. Potential buyers are warned of high water bills if they use RO systems. Is there any validity to this claim?
What this claims do not give you is the full picture. Yes, it is true that more water goes down the drain than is produced by the RO system. No, it is not necessarily water wastage. Every chemical process, with a beneficial product at the end of it, requires an input of resources. It can be power, other chemicals, human labor or, as in this case, water.
Most RO systems will drain away 2 to 3 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of purified water they produce. This may seem like a waste, but not so when you consider that other water purification methods take even more resources to work. For example, WAC or weak acid cation is a type of water softener (best water softener reviews here) that is very expensive partly because production requires a lot of water.
When you consider just how effective reverse osmosis is at purifying water, then the water 'wasted’ is more like an investment that pays for itself many times over. So it is true that more water will go to drain than will come out of the system. But you would not really call this water wasted. It is simply a resource necessary for the final product, which is safe and healthy drinking water. You wouldn’t call water you use to do your laundry a waste, would you?
With advancing technology, manufacturers are coming up with RO systems that have significantly less water draining away. In fact, today you can get some small reverse osmosis systems that drain very little water away. Additionally, you do not have to worry about power costs since most RO systems do not require any electricity to run. The water pressure in the system is enough to trigger the reverse osmosis process.
If you want healthy and safe drinking water, the best recommendation is to buy a reverse osmosis system for your home or business. For people on a tight budget, you can get something small to place on your countertop or under your fridge. If your budget is more allowing, you can get a larger system that purifies your entire home water so that every tap in the house produces already-purified water.
But if you do not want to deal with the costs and hustles of a reverse osmosis water filtration system, there is an alternative that will still get you purified water. Just buy reverse osmosis water.
Check your local Wal-Mart first. Chances are that they sell RO water by the gallon. The price can range between 30 and 50 cents per gallon. Most HEB stores also sell reverse osmosis water by the gallon. Check other stores in your area for RO water. Some have machines that you can pump yourself to get RO water.
A good quality reverse osmosis system can last for years as long as basic maintenance is done. This includes replacing parts that are subjected to wear and tear. One of the components that requires regular replacement is the filter.
Filters can last for between 6 months and 3 years before they need to be replaced. This will vary depending on the quality of the system, and the kind of water passing through it. Cheap systems require replacements more frequently because their filters wear out more quickly. Additionally, water with high levels of impurities will wear out the filters faster.
Before you attempt to replace your system’s filters, check the product manual. Your manufacturer will have outlined specific maintenance requirements for your system. The manual will even tell you how often you need to replace the various filters and the membrane in the RO system. Most importantly, check for specific step-by-step instructions on how to open up your unit and replace the filters successfully.
It is also essential that you get the right filters for your unit. If you check your manufacturer’s website, chances are that they also sell replacement products including filters. If you are going to buy from another source, be sure of the quality of the filters otherwise you could be risking taking improperly purified water.
Here are some basic steps that apply to most RO units. We cannot overemphasize the importance of referring to your product manual for specific instructions.
Before you start cleaning your ro membrane, put on your gloves and protective eye wear and prepare the chemical cleaning solution in a bucket.
In order to best clean a reverse osmosis membrane at home, first you need to soak it in different chemicals solutions. Using the right chemicals is a crucial factor, since different water filtration systems use different types of membranes. Using the wrong chemicals could lead to severe damage that might be irreversible. Therefore, be careful and take a look into the user manual first or contact the manufacturer to get more information.
Please be aware, you don't HAVE to use all of the above chemicals in order to be able to fully clean your membrane. This also depends on the quality of your water.
Soak your reverse osmosis membrane for as long as the manufacturer recommends in each chemical solution. After every bath, rinse the membrane with clean water, before you soak it in the next solution.
At last, thoroughly rinse the membrane to free it from remaining impurities stuck in the pores and remains of the chemical solution.
After installing the membrane back into your ro system, led the water flow for 20-30 minutes in order to clean the system.
The rising number of people living on our planet and severe droughts add to the problem that there is not enough clean drinking water available for everyone. This is the exact reason why we will have to accept "toilet-to-tap" schemes in the near future, according to BBC.
Already today, wastewater including toilet flushes is being filtered and treated until it is perfectly ready and 100% safe for human consumption. "If anything, recycled wastewater is relatively sweet," says Anas Ghadouani (Environmental Engineer, University of Western Australia). Many people might not like the prospect of drinking recycled wastewater, but many cities incorporated it into their water supply, because it is the best way to tackle water scarcity and a necessity in a sustainable water future.
After filtering out all the solids and other contaminants, a reverse osmosis filtration process is used to filter out even very tiny particles. Additionally, the water is flashed with UV-light to sterilize pathogenic microbes.
If you are interested to get more information on this topic, you can find a link to the whole BBC-article right here.