Review: Zero Installation Purifier (ZIP) AlcaPure Edition Countertop RO Water Filter

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The Zero Installation Purifier (ZIP) is a countertop reverse osmosis water filter that provides great-tasting drinking water ridded of many potentially harmful contaminants that are lurking in a lot of our water supplies these days.

But for us, the key feature is the plug & play functionality. Basically, the system doesn’t require any sort of plumbing or drilling during setup. This makes it suited for both renters and people who simply don’t want to deal with a tedious install or hiring a professional.

Want to learn more? You’ll find all the pros, cons, and complaints in the following review!

Zero Installation Purifier

Zero Installation Purifier

Filter Stages:4
Filtered Water:1 Gallon in 10-20 Minutes
NSF Certifications:58
Annual Cost:~$75

Our Rating

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ZIP Zero Installation Purifier RO System – Key Features

Most importantly, the Zero Installation Purifier uses a 4-stage filtration process to remove up to 99% of a broad range of contaminants:

  • Stage 1 is a 5-micron sediment pre-filter. It traps large particles to protect the rest of the RO system from clogging.
  • Stage 2 uses an activated carbon block filter (coconut-based) to adsorb chlorine and its byproducts, bad tastes and smell, chemical residues, and pesticides.
  • At stage 3, the preconditioned water has to diffuse through the reverse osmosis membrane. It’s NSF standard 58 certified to reject aluminum (93-98%), chlorine (90-95%), nitrates (90-95%), fluoride (93-98%), chromium (94-96%), arsenic (93-98%), and a bunch of other harmful stuff like organic compounds. Well, it’s a start!
  • Stage 4 is a polishing carbon post-filter. It adsorbs any remaining impurities. And because this is the AlcaPure edition of the Zero Installation Purifier, the post-filter also adds healthy calcium and magnesium back into the water. This is not only good for your daily nutritional intake, it also improves water taste and increases alkalinity for a more balanced pH (7-8). By the way, this remineralization is why your TDS meter won’t read “0” which is NOT a water quality issue!

On a side note: If your water is very high in hardness or TDS you should consider using the optional anti-scale carbon pre-filter as an alternative to the regular activated carbon block filter in stage 2. The anti-scale filter is better suited to prevent scale-buildup which ensures a long RO membrane life.

Another key feature that we wanted to point out is the pressure pump. It boosts water filtration speed – one batch of water (1 gallon) takes 10-20 minutes to process depending on TDS and hardness – while reducing the amount of wastewater produced. In the end, the recovery rate is 50%, meaning out of 1 gallon of feed water you get half a gallon of filtered RO water. This might not sound super efficient, but the average reverse osmosis system wastes 3-5 gallons for every gallon of filtered water.

ZIP Pros

The ZIP AlcaPure is available in Space Black and Silver White (see image). Personally, we prefer the former, but both look pretty nice.

Also, they are super easy to use. All you have to do is fill the bottom container with water, push the start button, and wait. The filtered water will be collected in a separate tank. The dirty water is routed back into the feed water tank ready to be discarded.

Speaking of tanks, they’re BPA-free and can be easily removed for cleaning. The rest of the system maintenance is just as simple. Filters need annual replacement (the system will tell you when), the membrane lasts a full 2-4 years. The process itself is super quick and straightforward. All you need is a screwdriver to remove the screws of the back cover. Bottom line: You save time, effort, and money.

And lastly, we have US-based support, and everything is covered by a 1-year warranty and a 1-year risk-free money-back guarantee. What more can you ask for?
Zero Installation Purifier

The Zero Installation Purifier – learn more on


As mentioned in the introduction, neither installation nor assembly is required before you can use your ZIP countertop reverse osmosis water filter for the first time. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Place the unit on a level surface.
  2. Plug the power cord into the back of the system and the A/C adapter into a wall socket.
  3. Fill the pitcher to the indicated max level and seat it back into the base.
  4. Hit the start button.
  5. Discard the first 2 batches of filtered water.
  6. Done!


This helpful video explains how the countertop RO system works, how to set it up, and how to maintain it.

Filter/Membrane Replacement

In a nutshell, system maintenance is child’s play.

The filters are long-lasting so they’ll only require changing every 12 months. The front light will start blinking red to notify you that the time has come. The RO membrane is good for 2-4 years so that you should replace it at about every second filter replacement.

Replacing filters or membrane, the process itself isn’t complicated at all. You just need a screwdriver to remove the back panel. Then you can replace the sediment and the carbon pre-filter with a simple twist. RO membrane + carbon post-filter use quick-connect fittings which are DIY-friendly, too. This shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes (remember to run 2 water purification cycles to flush the new filters and reset the timer by holding the start button for 5 seconds).

Cost? The replacement filter bundle is priced at $49.95; the membrane costs another $49.95 so that the average annual cost is roughly $75 which is really hard to beat.


Here is a link to the product manual.

ZIP Cons

The Zero Installation Purifier has two main issues:

For one, it can be difficult to lock the feed tank in place. When done improperly, it can cause leaking or the filtering won’t start. And for some people, their unit quit working after a while because it wouldn’t detect the bottom tray being pushed in anymore.

The second issue: Leaking from different areas (presumably) that couldn’t be fixed in all cases.

Generally speaking, considering the relatively high price tag some system parts seem rather delicate like the dispenser tap.

In terms of contaminant removal, we would have hoped for more thorough testing according to different NSF standards. Also, the RO membrane alone is NSF standard 58 certified, not the entire system.

ZIP Zero Installation Purifier Review: Our Verdict + Best for

Overall, people are happy with their purchase and would recommend the Zero Installation Purifier countertop reverse osmosis water filter to their friends and family. It’s easy to use, it works like a charm, and it looks good in their kitchen.

In our opinion, the system does a good job at filtering several harmful water contaminants, but the lab testing doesn’t go far enough. Thus 4 stars.

It’s best for people who want RO-purified, remineralized drinking water.

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This completes our review of the Zero Installation Purifier RO water filter. Questions? Ask away!

About the Author Tim Stanley

Tim Stanley is our content creator veteran. His daily tasks involve everything from research to editing. His expertise: Water Softeners. When he is not working, Tim spends most his free time cycling and shaping his body doing calisthenics. To calm down he also likes to watch Netflix (who doesn’t?).
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