Reverse osmosis is a great and sometimes the only solution for multiple water issues, such as high salt or metal content. It’s suited for both well and city water treatment and it’s the #1 option if you are trying to achieve the highest level of water purity for your home or business place.
Compared to point-of-use units, whole house and commercial RO systems have much higher filtering capacities and water production rates.
The only problem is, how do you find the best whole house reverse osmosis system respectively the best commercial reverse osmosis system out there? Don’t you worry. We got you covered!
On This Page You Will…
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Gallons Per Day||Recovery Rate||Filter Stages|
Best Rated System: APEX MR-C1500
Best Price-Performance: WECO HydroSense
Best Selling Unit: iSpring RCS5T
Cheap for Small Budgets: iSpring RCB3P
No Green Light For: Purify Guru
Did you know that of all water treatment methods, reverse osmosis removes the largest spectrum of contaminants at the most economical costs? Yes, it’s true! Contaminant rejection between 95 to 99.9 percent.
However, commercial reverse osmosis systems aren’t exactly cheap. This is all the more true for whole house units. In order to make the right buying decision and not waste your money, here is what you need to consider.
A complete RO solution usually involves much more than just the filter unit itself – think pre and post-treatment (more on that below) and a method for storing and distributing the filtered water.
You have to properly size an RO filter system so that it meets your water needs.
It is estimated that the average American uses about 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. So for a whole house unit, a family of 4 should calculate with at least 4 x 80 gal = 320 gal of filtered water.
Furthermore, most experts recommend sizing a reverse osmosis system so that it runs at 75% or less. Some go even further and say the best practice is to double your water usage needs. So for 320 gallons of water a day, a 2 x 320 gpd = 640 gpd (gallons per day) system would be appropriate.
Please note: Just because a system is rated at let’s say 500 gpd does not mean that it will indeed deliver 500 gallons within 24 hours. These ratings mirror capacities under optimum conditions. If in doubt, ask the manufacturer or seller for the actual output under your water conditions.
By the way, this is not only a question of how many gallons you use on a daily basis. This is also about how many gallons you use at peak times, for example in the morning and in the evening. This is why at least for whole house applications a large enough tank is mandatory. Minimum size: The amount of water that you use in 1 day.
Most of the time, commercial reverse osmosis systems are tankless. In other words, water gets purified on demand. So what matters most is the amount of water that can be produced within a certain period of time. This is also known as the water flow rate measured in gpm (gallons per minute). If a system’s flow rate is below of what you require, you will experience a drop in pressure.
Depending on your feed water, for most whole home RO systems additional pre-treatment is key. The same goes for commercial units that oftentimes operate at very fast flow rates.
With the proper measures in place, a reverse osmosis system can last for many years. Without them, a system is almost bound to fail prematurely, which will raise operating costs.
We also highly recommend that you conduct a water quality test to get a basic understanding of the condition of your feed water and the contaminants it contains. For TDS above 2,000 ppm, consider consulting a specialist to discuss your next steps.
Calcite filters are most commonly added to RO systems for post-treatment. These raise water pH to prevent corrosion of copper pipes and fixtures and also improve taste. The reason why this might be necessary is because RO membranes reduce mineral content and can thereby lower the pH of water below 7.
What’s more, if you don’t consume a whole lot of water for a few days in a row and it stays inside the storage tank for too long, ultraviolet disinfection or ozonation are recommended to ensure that any microbes that might have accumulated are rendered harmless.
Of course, every full house and commercial RO filtration system is different, but as a general rule, most of them can only be installed by do-it-yourselfers that have the necessary time, determination and experience OR by a professional plumber or contractor.
As for the maintenance, all there is to do is regularly replace pre and post-filters and a membrane every now and then according to your water usage – easy. The crucial factor are replacement costs that can add up over time depending on the brand.
In the past, RO systems used to waste 6, 7 or even 8 gallons of water for every gallon of purified water. That’s not only a waste of resources, it also costs a lot of money. Today, modern devices are much more efficient – all the more important if you go whole house. They can now achieve a minimum recovery rate of 33% (2:1).
By using a recycle valve, a portion of the drain water flows back into the system to obtain rates of up to 70%. Multi-membrane units can achieve even more.
Also, remember that the amount of wastewater produced might overburden your septic system. In this case, you will have to send it to a dry well or out the basement drain system if possible.
These systems are heavy and more importantly large in size, so make sure that you have enough space to accommodate one.
Built in the USA, the APEX MR-C1500 is the highest quality and best commercial reverse osmosis system that we know. Combined with an optional storage tank + delivery pump, it is ready to go whole house giving you the flow rate and capacity that you and your family need.
The 3-stage filtration system applies…
All filters are standard-sized so you can replace them with off-brand models in case you have specific filtration needs or want to spend less.
Also, because all wastewater is reprocessed, the standard recovery rate with this beauty is 50% to 75%, which is much better than what you get with most other units. Plus it’s good for the environment and a real money saver.
A high pressure pump guarantees maximum water output: 1.04 gallons per minute or 1500 gallons per day avoid long waiting times and keep your tank full.
Above that, a steel frame makes it easier to install, maintain and move this commercial reverse osmosis system. Inlet and outlet pressure gauges give you an at-a-glance overview of the system’s status and indicate when the filters need to be changed. Other meters allow you to monitor how well the system performs and make adjustments accordingly.
Let’s put it this way: Quality doesn’t come cheap.
If you want to go all-in on whole house or commercial RO filtration, this system is it. It’s easily the best whole house reverse osmosis system providing exceptionally pure water at a good flow rate – quality written all over it. Go check it out!
The WECO HydroSense is a light commercial RO water filter system ideal for residential use, schools, medical offices, hydroponic growing operations and more.
It comes in 5 slightly different variations so you can choose the one that best fits your needs (from lowest to highest price):
What else is there to say? For one, the pre-filters are 20″ instead of 10″ which doubles their capacity for fewer replacements saving you time and money.
Automated pressure sensors and 4 independent booster pumps make the system run under optimal conditions and at maximum capacity. Flow rate: 0.34 gpm for on-demand use at a 50% recovery rate (or 1:1 waste to reject water ratio) to keep your water bill low. Only the APEX MR-C1500 has better stats.
FYI: Although we have a total of 4 pumps, the HydroSense runs very smoothly and quiet without making disturbing noises.
The whole unit is pre-assembled and can be set up with simple tools. If you do everything yourself, you should have it up and running within a couple of hours. Pre-filter cartridges can be changed with the help of the filter wrench included in the package. On top of that, if you have any questions, the WECO staff is very knowledgeable and happy to help you with all your inquiries.
We got nothing.
The WECO HydroSense makes refreshing water your whole family will enjoy. At the same time, it delivers high-purity water as required across a range of commercial applications. All in all, you can’t go wrong with this product.
iSpring’s RCS5T is another commercial grade reverse osmosis system that supplies enough water for entire households or small businesses on demand, meaning that it does not come with a storage tank.
However, you are free to add a non-pressurized tank in combination with a delivery pump to make the system whole house ready. With this setup, the only downside is that the filters cartridges will need frequent changes, about every other week or so. As for the RO membrane, it’s a little less often.
Under ideal conditions, the RCS5T has a theoretical filtration capacity of 500 gpd or 0.34 gpm. According to iSpring, the actual output is likely to vary between 350 and 450 gallons – still sufficient for a family of 3 or 4.
What we like most about the system is the 50% recovery rate (thanks to a booster pump). In other words, for every gallon of filtered water that you can use, 1 gallon goes down the drain. Now we know this sounds like a lot, but for reverse osmosis this is actually pretty damn good.
4 sediment and carbon pre-/post-filter stages + 1 dual-flow RO membrane (pore size 0.0001 micron) eliminate all the bad stuff that might be lurking in your water, for example:
And the list goes on…
How difficult is the install? Not difficult at all. It’s the same process that you undergo for setting up a regular under sink RO system – unless you add a holding tank and delivery pump, of course. This might be a chance to save some extra cash!
Above that, maintaining the unit is a breeze. All you have to do is replace filter cartridges according to your water usage and the built-in pressure gauge. The first set of filters is part of the deal.
And lastly, iSpring offers a free 1-year money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty, if you register your system with the company. Their customer service is superb. The team will help you to work through all problems if need be.
What we don’t like? Quick connect fittings that tend to leak. And the user manual could do with an upgrade. Also, the smaller 10″ pre-filters will wear out more quickly.
The iSpring RCS5T is your best option if you don’t want to be spending a thousand dollar or more for a water filtration system. But don’t underestimate the time and money that go into its maintenance.
Compared to the iSpring RCS5T above, the RCB3P is a commercial grade reverse osmosis unit that is compatible with pressurized storage tanks for whole home usage. Filtration capacity: Up to 300 gpd under ideal conditions.
The system features oversized pre-filters providing about twice as much purified water as the industry standard, which means that they need less frequent changes for added convenience. The same goes for the 3 separate RO membranes that the system uses.
By the way, stage 1 is a 5-micron sediment filter that traps larger particles. Stage 2 and 3 are activated carbon filters that reduce chlorine, chloramine and other chemicals and also improve how your water tastes, smells and looks.
At stage 4, each RO membrane removes hundreds of potential contaminants from your water. A carbon post-filter eliminates residual tastes.
For faster production and a higher recovery rate and purity, the booster pump that comes with the system increases water pressure to 80 psi.
Other features are the free-standing frame that helps you to keep everything nice and clean and the pressure gauge that lets you know when it’s time for replacing the filters.
Speaking of filter replacements, it’s a simple and straightforward process. The same goes for the installation.
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to contact iSpring’s customer support based in Atlanta, GA if you run into a problem.
In direct comparison, more water is wasted in the purification process. Other than that, a few issues with shipping, which to be fair iSpring has resolved exemplarily.
While 300 gallons at max won’t suffice for most families, the iSpring RCB3P light commercial/whole house RO system has other benefits like being low-cost and low in maintenance. It’s perfect for low-volume applications.
Our last review features the HydroLogic 31023 Evolution high flow RO system that delivers about twice the amount of purified water per day than both iSpring models above.
However, the system also has a higher waste to purified water ratio (2:1) meaning that more goes down the drain as the filtration process is less sophisticated.
“Only” about 95% of all contaminants are removed. The industry standard is closer to 98-99%. This plus the dual RO membrane design is what provides for the increased flow rate and total water output.
Again, we have a tankless system, so if you want to go whole house you have to acquire an additional holding tank and a re-pressurizing pump.
What about the setup? It couldn’t be any easier. A detailed manual and a quick start guide for those too lazy to read outline the whole procedure step by step.
There are a number of available addons for the HydroLogic Evolution that come in handy if you have more ambitious filtration needs:
Here is what we don’t like about the HydroLogic 31023:
The HydroLogic 31023 is a high performance unit with a small initial price tag. However, you should keep in mind that running costs will start to add up over time.
More on Whole Home & Commercial RO Filter Systems
Have you found your top favorite commercial or whole house reverse osmosis water filter for sale? Then it’s time for some additional know-how.
The cost for a full house RO filtration system can vary a lot. If we are only talking about the system itself without a storage tank and optional delivery pump, expect to pay anywhere between a few hundred and a couple of thousand dollars. This depends on how sophisticated the purification, how high the capacity and how many extras you get.
The price for a system including an atmospheric tank + pump or alternatively a bladder tank is even higher.
As whole house and commercial RO systems are interchangeable, their costs are more or less the same.
To explain the setup and functionality of a commercial RO filter machine using words is not easy. So we decided to implement this very informative YouTube video instead. Enjoy!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
And don’t forget to come back to this page from time to time, as we are going to add new commercial & whole house reverse osmosis system reviews occasionally.