Review: ZIP Zero Installation Purifier Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter – AlcaPure Edition

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Contents

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!

Side note: A countertop RO system very similar to the Zero Installation Purifier is the AquaTru. The reason why we prefer the latter is because it’s NSF certified for the guaranteed removal of 80+ different water contaminants (NSF 42, 53, 58, 401, P473). The Zero Installation Purifier simply cannot compete with that – you can read our full AquaTru review here if you want.

Make sure to use our discount code BOS8%OFF at checkout and get 8% OFF!

Zero Installation Purifier vs. AquaTru

Zero Installation Purifier RO system for table or countertop

Alkaline RO Water Filter: Zero Installation Purifier

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

Our Rating

AquaTru 4-Stage for table or counter top

AquaTru

Price:$$$
Filter Stages:4
Filtered Water:1 Gallon in 10-15 Minutes
NSF Certifications:42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Annual Cost:~$100-120

Our Rating

ZIP Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter – 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.

Zero Installation Purifier 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?

Setup

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!

Video

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.

Manual

Manual: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0012/7349/5599/files/RKIN_Zero_Installation_Purifier_Manual.pdf

Zero Installation Purifier 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 Water Filtration System: Our Verdict (+ What to Buy Instead)

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.

Like we said, there’s one particular countertop RO systems that was tested and certified to reduce 82 different substances including lead (99.1%), chromium-6 (97.2%), cyst (99.99%), and PFAS (97.5%): The AquaTru. It’s our favorite model guaranteed to deliver clean and safe drinking water. It, too, is really easy to set up and use, and it has an even better recovery rate than the Zero Installation Purifier only wasting 20% water instead of 50.

Looking for More Reviews?

You’re not a fan of the Zero Installation Purifier? Maybe you like one of these countertop RO systems.

If you are interested in reviews of all types of RO systems check this buying guide. Or find our countertop water filter toplist here.

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

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald has been with BOS since the very beginning. She is head of content creation and has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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Gene

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