APEC Commercial Reverse Osmosis – Which to Choose?By John Davis - December 10, 2014
Searching for a reverse osmosis system for your home or business is one task that can be a real challenge and quite frankly, a bit frustrating. I’ll never forget when we started looking for a system for our home and I couldn’t believe how hard it was to get information that made sense and was helpful. All the top companies have their own features and selling points to try and gain an edge over the competition and it’s really difficult to compare apples-to-apples.
But then I thought, wait, what if I needed something even bigger, like for a restaurant, office building, or school? Wow. The decisions could really get difficult then. Not only are there more choices, but differentiating between suppliers, models, and options is almost enough to make you want to pull your hair out.
Hopefully we can help make that decision a little easier for YOU as we take a look at the commercial RO options from APEC water. I’ll also tell you upfront that while I have personal experience with APEC from a residential standpoint, I’ve never actually tested any of these units as I do not have a commercial need for one, but I have spent countless hours researching and comparing them online to try and make sense of it myself. If my time spent can help just one person make an informed decision then it will be worth it to me. Will that be you?
Why APEC Water?
First of all I really like APEC because they have been building their own water purification systems for over 17 years, have an A+ BBB rating, have WQA Certified Service, and they have a clean user-friendly website that allows you to pick and choose options to customize your order without having to speak directly to a sales rep. However, if you do need to call them they are very friendly and will take the time to answer any questions you may have – I know personally because I had a question before purchasing an RO unit for my home.
If you’re like me you’re probably already tired of reading my rambling and are ready for a visual, so I’ve included a table below that has what seems to be some of the most useful specs to compare each model side-by-side, but keep going after that to get my detailed analysis of each unit.
|Available Output Sizes / GPD||180
|14 Pressurized PVC
34, 44, 86 Pressurized Stainless Steel
34, 44, 86 Pressurized Stainless Steel
|Membrane Type||Polyamide Thin-Film Composite||Polyamide Thin-Film Composite||Polyamide
|Polyamide Thin-Film Composite||Polyamide Thin-Film Composite|
|Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Frame||PVC||Powder-Coated Premium Steel||Powder-Coated Premium Steel||Powder-Coated Premium Steel||Powder-Coated Steel|
|Feed Water Hardness (gpg)||N/A||Not over 10||Not over 10||None||None|
|Feed Water Silica (ppm)||N/A||Less than 125||Less than 125||Less than 125||Less than 125|
|Feed Water Max Temp||100°F||85°F||85°F||85°F||85°F|
|Power Source||Pressurized Tank||110 or 220 Volt||110 or 220 Volt||110 volt-60 hz or 220 volt-60 hz||110 volt-60 hz or 220 volt-60 hz|
|50 hz Power Option||N/A||110v only||110v only||Yes||Yes|
|NSF Certified Parts||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Motor Sizes||1.5 or 3/4 HP||1.5 or 3/4 HP||1.5 up to 3 HP||1.5 up to 3 HP|
|Pump||Rotary vane||Rotary vane||Stainless steel multi-stage||Stainless steel multi-stage|
|Dual Level Float Switches||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Product and Waste Water Flow Meters||Optional||Yes||Yes|
|TDS Digital Monitor, Remote Mount||Optional||Optional||Optional|
|Time Delay Start||Yes||Yes|
|Liquid-Filled Pressure Gauge||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Inlet/Outlet Pre-filter Gauges||Yes||Yes
|Waste/Recycle Flow Controls||Stainless Steel Fixed||Stainless Steel Fixed||Stainless Steel Adjustable||Stainless Steel Adjustable|
|Feed Water Low Pressure Switch||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Feed Water Inlet Solenoid Valve||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USA Lab Tested||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic Hourly Flush||Yes
|Learn More||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
RO-LITE Light Commercial Reverse Osmosis
The RO-LITE Series is a great option for small office buildings, restaurants, schools, coffee shops, or large houses. It’s actually a hybrid between a commercial and residential RO system with a 5-stage filtration system that’s very similar to most home models.
Constructed in the USA with a PVC membrane housing and 14 gallon pressurize reservoir tank the RO-LITE Series uses no electricity is available in three gallon-per-day output sizes: 180, 240 and 360
- RO-LITE-180 = $840
- RO-LITE-240 = $940
- RO-LITE-360 = $1040
You can also add a UV light upgrade for $235, but other than that this model pretty much comes as is.
PROMO: The RO-LITE Series is currently being offered with a FREE digital pocket-sized tester to perform a before and after analysis of your water. This nifty little tool will help you see just how much purer your new RO system actually makes your water. A $40 value in itself.
RO-COM Compact Commercial Reverse Osmosis
For the more serious business owner that’s looking to get the most performance and life out of their equipment at an affordable price point APEC offers their Compact RO series. The RO-COM Series comes standard with a rotary vane pump, stainless steel membrane housing, powder-coated steel frame, and is available is three daily output sizes; 250, 450, and 800 GPD.
- RO-COM250 = $1650
- RO-COM450 = $1850
- RO-COM800 = $2150
The RO-COM comes standard with a pressurized storage tank switch and three pressurized NSF Certified stainless steel options to choose from if you need one.
- 34 Gallons = $515
- 44 Gallons = $644
- 86 Gallons = $964
- Otherwise you will need to add the optional float switch for $90 to be used with an Atmospheric storage tank if that’s what you have.
- More available options include a 220v motor for no charge instead of the standard 110v, and a PVC ball (shut-off) valve for $45.
RO-PLUS Commercial Reverse Osmosis System
Like the Compact RO Series, the RO-PLUS is available in 250, 400, and 800 GPD and also has the same optional pressurized storage tank options, or the option to use an atmospheric tank. However, it’s a little bit taller and weighs a little more. The biggest differences I could find in this model when compared to the Compact, other than size and weight, are the premium safety features.
The RO-PLUS comes equipped with a dual level float switch, which tells the system when the storage tank is full or when it needs water. And in addition to the feed water low pressure switch it comes with a low pressure bypass delay to keep the system running for 10 seconds to prevent an automatic low-pressure shut off that can sometimes be caused when the pump starts.
Also with the RO-PLUS you get a time-delay start feature that makes sure the system is completely flooded with water before the high pressure pump starts, this help to prevent any possible pump damage that can happen with a dry run.
The float switches on this model also have a 24 volt level control circuit for an additional layer of safety.
Optional premium feature for this model are the same as the RO-COM with the addition of a Total Dissolved Solids Remote Monitor ($260) to give you a constant measure of the TDS in the product water.
RO-PRO Commercial Reverse Osmosis
For larger organizations that have heavy-duty purified water needs APEC offers their Professional or RO-PRO Series.
The RO-PRO series can handle serious daily outputs of up to 10,800 GPD and comes equipped with even more safety and energy saving features. It’s also lab tested in the USA to make sure each unit is optimally built to exact specifications.
The RO-PRO does not use a pressurized tank system but has the option to add a 300 gallon atmospheric storage tank.
Daily output options and pricing are as follows;
- RO-PRO1800 = $3790
- RO-PRO3600 = $4790
- RO-PRO4800 = $5790
- RO-PRO6300 = $6990
- RO-PRO8000 = $7990
- RO-PRO9500 = $8990
Other than the output sizes, the biggest differences I could find between this model and the RO-PLUS is that the PRO comes standard with a product and product / waste water flow meter, where that’s an add-on for the PLUS. The PRO also has a fused ON/OFF safety switch and an adjustable waste water recycle valve where the PLUS is fixed. The PRO can also be shipped on a crate (add $250) for overseas shipments.
RO-LOGIC Commercial Reverse Osmosis
The most advanced Commercial RO system from APEC is their logic-controlled or RO-LOGIC series.
This series has pretty much all the same features and options you get with the PRO series, including the same optional output levels.
Output levels and pricing are as follows;
- RO-LOGIC1800 = $4890
- RO-LOGIC3600 = $6190
- RO-LOGIC4800 = $7190
- RO-LOGIC6300 = $8490
- RO-LOGIC8000 = $9590
- RO-LOGIC9500 = $10,990
However, the RO-LOGIC comes equipped with monitor lights on the front panel to tell you if the has power, is running, experiencing low pressure or if the tank is full.
You also get some additional options that can be added to the ICP control box.
- 3phase Motor with IEC Motor Contactor ($460) – Allows the RO system to be connected to a 3phase power supply.
- Automatic Hourly Flush ($250) – This feature helps to lengthen the membrane lifespan by automatically flushing the membrane with a rapid flow of water on start-up and then once ever hour afterwards to loosen debris from the membrane surface.
- Permeate purge ($120) – This feature also helps to preserve the membrane by purging all the water the concentrated water from the membrane housing and refilling it with already purified water.
- Pre-treat Lock-out ($20) – Used to turn off the system during a pre-treatment backwash.
- High-pressure Cut-off ($250) – This is safety feature that shuts the system off if the pressure rises above 200 PSI. The system will attempt to restart every 15 minutes but also has a manual push-button override.
- Product Diversion ($120) – Used for high-purity applications the permeate water is diverted and drained when the system is started so that only the highest quality water possible is moved to the storage tank.
PRO and LOGIC Additional Features
I should also point out that both the PRO and LOGIC series’ have 50hz electrical options for the 220v motors. This is very common is many overseas countries. Pricing is the same for each model based on the GPD and is listed below.
- 1800 GPD = $200
- 3600 GPD = $270
- 4800 GPD = $360
- 6300 GPD = $420
- 8000 GPD = $480
- 9500 GPD = $480
Hopefully You Have a Better Idea
Well this concludes my research and analysis of APEC’s Commercial Reverse Osmosis systems, I sure hope you found it useful. If you’d like to learn please head on over to APEC’s website and start configuring a system to meet your needs.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
In it’s simplest form reverse osmosis is the process of using pressure to pass water from a more concentrated area through a semi-permeable membrane to a less concentrated area.
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