Filter Stages: 4
Gallons per Day: 57
NSF Standard: 42, 53, 58...
Annual Costs: ~$185.00
Warranty: 1 Year
In this review, you will learn all you need to know about the Brondell H2O+ Circle RO water filter system. What sets the system apart from its competition is that it’s much more economic a.k.a. water saving than most conventional reverse osmosis systems.
It features a 4-stage filtration mechanism to provide nice, clean tasting water.
- Stage 1: The sediment pre-filter reduces larger particulates like sand and rust. This helps to protect subsequent filters from clogging, which extends their lifetime.
- Stage 2: The carbon pre-filter reduces chlorine for improved water taste, a long list of potentially harmful VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) and a number of soluble contaminants that would otherwise damage the delicate reverse osmosis membrane.
- Stage 3: The semipermeable RO membrane separates H2O molecules from the majority of nasty contaminants that might be lurking in your water. Example reduction rates are as follows: Lead (98.2%), arsenic (98.9%), radium 226/228 (80.0%), chromium 6 (97.3%), fluoride (83.8%), TDS (92.5%).
- Stage 4: The carbon block post-filter gives the water a finishing touch and improving overall water aesthetics.
The maximum pressure at which this filter system can operate is 120 psi. The required minimum pressure is 40 psi. You want to make sure to stay within that range to avoid leaks on the one hand and have adequate water flow on the other hand.
What We Like
There are the 3 aspects about the Brondell H2O+ Circle that we’d like to point out:
- 1. Compact design – The Brondell H2O+ Circle is sleek and compact. It’s a single elegant box that leaves plenty of room for other household items in the storage under your kitchen sink.
- 2. NSF Compliance – The whole system is tested and certified against NSF Standards 42, 53, 58 and 372. These certifications back up the manufacturer’s claims regarding contaminant reduction and guarantee save drinking water for you and your family.
- 3. Water saving – Using a flexible reservoir, Brondell could eliminate the high back pressure present in every RO system that’s caused by an almost full storage tank. This back pressure is the reason why conventional systems become less efficient and produce substantially more wastewater the more water is inside the tank. With the H2O+ Circle, wastewater is reduced to an average of 2.1 gallons for every gallon of drinking water. According to Brondell, this is up to 10 times more efficient than what you get with traditional systems, which will save you money in the long run (although 2-4 times more efficient seems more realistic to us).
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Other than that, the system is able to process up to 57 gallons of filtered water per day, which is impressive. At the same time, water tank capacity is a mere 1.6 gallons (6 liters). You might want to remember that when you need a lot of water at once. The good news is that the tank refills in as little as 1 hour.
Many of today’s RO systems are bulky. They take up quite some space under your kitchen sink or in the basement and require more effort to install than most other types of water filters. The Brondell H2O+ Circle is not much different – at least as far as installation goes.
You have to drain a hole in your sink or countertop for the extra faucet. You have to install the feed water valve. And you have to connect the wastewater line to the drain. If you feel comfortable doing these things, then there’s no need to call a plumber. You need all the required tool, of course, but all the bits and pieces are contained in the package, including illustrated installation instructions.
Also, this installation video created by Brondell provides additional help:
- RO module with integrated tank (1.6 gallons)
- 2x pre-filters
- RO membrane
- Water supply T-valve with rubber washer (⅜” connection)
- T-valve adapters with rubber washer ⅜” to ½”
- Drain clamp
- Chrome faucet with integrated LED filter change indicator
- Color-coded tubing
This Brondell RO system is easy to maintain, thanks to the quick change twist and seal filters. When the LED of the filter change indicator starts to flash red instead of blue, it’s time to change the filters and reset the indicator afterwards by replacing its battery (a new battery comes with each filter replacement set).
Here is what you need to do:
- Open the faucet to drain all water from the tank. Leave the faucet open to release any remaining pressure inside the system.
- Close the T-valve under your sink to stop water from flowing into the system.
- Remove the unit’s front cover.
- Remove the filters that need to be replaced by giving them a quarter turn.
- Insert the new filters in the same fashion (filter base arrow points to lock).
- Replace the front cover.
- Turn on the water flow by reopening the T-valve.
- Flush the system properly.
- Replace the battery in the faucet indicator to reset the timer. After removing the old battery, wait 30 seconds before you insert the new to allow for a full reset.
FYI: The filter change indicator does not measure TDS, but time and water usage. It will start to flash after 6 months or 475 gallons – whichever comes first.
What are the average lifetimes of the filters/membrane?
- Sediment pre-filter: About every 6 months
- Carbon pre-filter: About every 6 months
- RO membrane: Every 2 years
- Carbon post-filter: About every 6 months
Please be aware that product lifetimes can vary depending on how much water you use on a daily basis and its condition prior to the filtration. Water with high levels of hardness minerals/TDS require you to replace the components more frequently.
Annual replacement costs? That’s two times $70 bucks for the 3-filter set plus $90 every two years for the RO membrane. Average costs: $185 – not exactly cheap, but within the normal range for modular filters.
What We Don’t Like
Here is what we don’t like:
- The system itself seems to work fine for the most part. But water flow from the faucet can be a bit slow, which has to do with the fact that there is no compression bladder in the storage tank to create pressure.
- In addition to that, we heard customers complain about receiving faulty parts that needed replacement before installation.
- Lastly, a handful of components are made of cheap plastic or really fragile in general and are likely to break off, such as the handle of the T-valve which allows you to turn the water flow on and off.
Water saving and space saving – these are the main selling points of the Brondell H2O+ Circle RO water filter system. NSF certifications yes, but it’s not the most effective at removing contaminants. All in all, it’s a thumbs up from us.
Our verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars!
If you have any questions about the Brondell H2O+ Circle or any other filter system really, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
And if you are looking for more detailed RO system reviews, you can find our Top 10 list right here!