What’s the Best Reverse Osmosis System?By John Davis - April 20, 2015
So you’re in the market for a water filtration system for your home?
Perhaps you don’t like the way your water tastes, or maybe you want to remove bacteria, chemicals, or other contaminants that could possible be in your drinking water.
Maybe you’re just tired of the high price, hassle, or environmental waste of constantly having to purchase bottled water.
Regardless of your motivations, if they are related to your drinking water, a reverse osmosis system can certainly deliver the results you’re looking for.
How do I know?
My Experience With Water Filtration
Before purchasing a reverse osmosis system for my home I tried many other solutions; several different faucet attached filters, pur water and brita fill-dispenses, even my new Whirlpool side-by-side stainless steel fridge has a built in filter, but none of these options really delivered satisfactory results.
If you test your water you will find these options are very limited. While they may improve the taste, they’re not going to remove very many impurities and they usually have short filter lives as well.
A high quality RO system is going to be superior to any faucet attached, refrigerator, or fill-dispenser water filter.
Why is reverse osmosis so much better than these other types of water filters?
There’s a few reasons;
- Not only do reverse osmosis systems have semi-permeable ro membranes -which are so dense they remove 98-99% of all total dissolved solids (TDS) – but they also have anywhere from 4-6 additional filtration stages designed to do everything from improve taste to removing bacteria such as e-coli, dust, rust, chemicals, and even dangerous pharmaceuticals.
- They have far longer filter life. Any decent RO system will have a filter life of at least 6-12 months. Most of your faucet or fill-dispensers will need to be changed every 30-60 days.
- As with anything in life you usually get what you pay for. Cheap solutions yield mediocre results. Bottom line. Reverse osmosis systems may cost more upfront, but in the long run they will pay for themselves while giving you ultra pure and safe water that also tastes great.
So if you think a reverse osmosis drinking water system could be right for you, then please read on to see my top recommendations.
While I’ve only tested one of these units personally, the APEC Water ROES-50, I have been researching these systems long enough to give you a good birds-eye-view of each.
For the most part, many of them have similar base features and all of them will provide you with filtered water that’s great tasting and safe to drink.
Top Entry Level Recommendations
APEC Water vs iSpring
For a good entry level reverse osmosis system I’d recommend either the APEC ROES-50 or the iSpring RCC7. These two water systems have a lot in common. They could almost be brothers, or sisters, whichever.
- 5-stage Filtration Process
- 1 Year Warranty
- Highly Rated on Amazon
- Similar Size / Dimensions
- They Run on Water Pressure = No Electricity Required
- Same Price = $199
- Daily Output – The biggest noticeable difference is that the iSpring will filter 75 gallons per day (gpd) vs the APEC which is 50 gpd. Since most households will never drink 75 or even 50 gallons of water in a day I don’t see this as a huge advantage. None the less, it does mean that the iSpring’s tank will refill in less time. But again, unless you’re emptying the 3.2 gallon tank multiple times a day it won’t really matter how quickly it can refill.
- Upgraded European Style Brushed Nickel Faucet – This faucet looks really attractive and would be a nice touch for most customers. The downside is you almost have to mount it on your counter top. In our case we already had a designer faucet and granite counter tops, so I didn’t want to drill a hole in the granite and mount a second faucet. With the standard faucet that comes with the APEC system I can just hang my faucet under the sink and get it out when I need it. I don’t think that would be possible with the bigger faucet. But again, for a lot of people this upgrade could be a big plus.
- Water Flood Alarm – While I think it’s very unlikely, this is a nifty feature that could come in very handy if something were to go wrong with the system. If the water level increases above a certain level an alarm as loud as a smoke detector will alert you before a flood occurs under your sink.
The APEC model has a few advantages as well.
- Pre-Assembled RO Membrane – With the ROES-50 the reverse osmosis membrane comes pre-assembled from the factory. With the iSpring you have assemble it yourself. This isn’t a huge deal, but it will add some time to your installation.
- Quick Connect Fittings – While both systems claim to have quick-connect fittings, APEC’s appear to be superior. All you do is push them in and pull back to check they’re locked. Very quick and simple. With iSpring you you have insert the tube, hold it in place, and with your other hand fit a small plastic clamp over the tube to secure it. It might sound easy, but you have consider there are multiple lines to be connected and you may be in a tight space under your sink, so messing with these little clamps could be a bit tedious. Never-the-less, most people who have installed the iSpring claim the installation was easy.
- Longer filter life – Stages 1-3 on the iSpring need to be replaced every 3-6 months, according to their documentation, where the APEC’s will last 6-12 months. Of course you’ll want to perform periodic rejection rate tests to determine exactly when to change your filters.
|Model||iSpring RCC7||APEC ROES-50|
|Yes – OK||Yes – Better|
|Warranty||1 Year Limited||1 Year Limited|
|30 Days||30 Days|
|Filter Life||3-6 Months||6-12 Months|
|Gallons Per Day||75||50|
|Tank Size||3.2 Gallon||4 Gallons|
|Built in USA||No||Yes|
|Flood Water Alarm||Yes||No|
|Removes 98-99% of
|Read Review||Click Here||Click Here|
Top Mid-Range Recommendations
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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