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Best Reverse Osmosis Filter System 2018

Best Reverse Osmosis

If you are still drinking tap water you may be running the risk of ingesting heavy metals, toxins, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Municipalities treat water, but that does not mean that they are effective at removing all contaminants. Arsenic, lead and mercury can leach into the water supply having devastating health effects. Fluoride has been added to the water since the 1940’s to stop tooth decay but has since been found, in some studies to cause major endocrine disorders. Chlorine is being used as a disinfectant but long term use leads to memory and respiratory issues. For these reasons, many people are turning to home water purification to insure that they are drinking safe clean water.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is one of the best ways to purify your tap and well water. It is convenient, improves taste, saves money and is simply maintained. No longer will you have to spend money on bottled water. Reverse osmosis will give you control over what is in your drinking water, but how does it work?

Your homes water pressure pushes tap water through the reverse osmosis membrane and additional filters, such as sediment or granular carbon filters, the impurities are filtered out and go down the drain. What remains, is tasty, clean drinking water. Depending on the unit, 5 – 11 filters (stages) are used to process the water.

The iSpring RCC7AK-UV reverse osmosis filtration system provides superior tasting clean water. Their unique 7 stage filters will reduce 99% of over 1000 contaminants. They have earned the Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal Certification making it our top pick. This certification requires not only stringent initial testing but continued evaluation of a company’s quality performance.

This system will neutralize and raise the pH balance of water. Mineral stones replenish your water with good minerals making it not only cleaner but healthier. iSpring has a great selection of filter (stage) options, so it will be easy to customize your unit based on your needs. 

Instillation is easy with both written and video instructions. Everything you need to install this unit under the sink is included. iSpring’s customer service is fantastic and they provide lifetime technical support and a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

7 Stages (Filters)

  Sediment filter
  Carbon block
  Granular Carbon Filter
  RO Membrane
  Post Carbon Filter
  Alkaline and remineralizing filter
  UV sterilization

Filter Replacement

  Stage 1, 2, 3 & 6:  every 6 months

  Stages 5 and 7:  every 12 months

  Stage 4: every 2-3 years

Warrenty

  1 year

Unit Size

  14.5 x 5.2 x 19.5 inches

Pros
  • (WQA) Gold Seal Certification
  • Great support and customer service
  • Raises pH balance of water
  • Adds good minerals back to the water
  • Easy installation
  • Free lifetime customer support
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified
  • 1 year extended warranty
Cons
  • Wasted water - Might not be suitable for areas on water restriction
  • Requires an electrical outlet under sink for the UV light

The ESSENCE ROES-50 is one of the best selling reverse osmosis systems on the market. APEC Water Systems has 20 years of industry experience and assemble their products in the USA. They are known for using quality parts including leak-free fittings and o-rings.

Their long-lasting water filters can remove up to 99% of lead, arsenic, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses and contaminants. APEC is one of the best selling brands and well-known for delivering clean fresh water free of any chlorine taste.

This systems will fit under most sinks. The unit size is 16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches and will work well in smaller spaces. The ESSENCE ROES-50 can safely treat both tap and well water. It  improves the taste of tea, coffee and ice. Coffee makers require less descaling when using purified water. Food taste better when cooking with clean water. Pets can also benefit from ingesting less toxins and harmful chemicals.

This quiet system is made with FDA parts and the entire system has a 1 year warranty. Installation should take between 30 minutes to 2 hours for those that have a little DIY experience. APEC offers both a detailed manual and videos to make installation easier.

5 Stages (Filters)

  Sediment filter  
  1st Carbon block
  2nd Carbon block
  RO Membrane
  Post Carbon Filter

Filter Replacement

  Stage 1, 2 & 3: every 6 – 12 months

  Stage 4 & 5: every 2 – 3 years

Warrenty

  1 year

Unit Size

  16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches

Pros
  • Well-known company with 20 years experience
  • Long-lasting water filters
  • FDA certified parts
  • Free lifetime customer support
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified
  • 1 year extended warranty with registration
Cons
  • Wasted water - Might not be suitable for areas on water restriction
  • No remineralization stage

Alkaline water has become increasingly popular with health enthusiasts, athletes and for those that just want to improve their overall health. Alkaline water will have a higher pH level, usually around 8-9 while tap water is usually around a 7. Benefits to alkaline water can include improved circulation, increased hydration and improved bone health. This is important when considering that reverse osmosis removes not just the bad stuff from water but also the healthy minerals. The ROALKUV10D by Express Water adds back healthy minerals and raises the pH of water making it more alkaline. While many reverse osmosis companies a remineralization and alkaline filter, Express is unique in that it has 5 dedicated stages to adding minerals, oxygen and antioxidants back to your purified water.

This unit will also remove up to 99.99 % of contaminants and they use NSF certified parts.Their 11 stage system can provide water that is cleaner than bottled using UV sterilization as part of the filtering process.

Express has a good product and outstanding customer service team. This brand might not be as well-known but they are trying hard to provide a quality product and to go above and beyond with their support and service. Many of their parts come pre-assembled making it easy to install.

11 Stages (Filters)

  Sediment filter
  Carbon block
  Granular Carbon Filter
  Reverse Osmosis Membrane
  Post Carbon Filter
  Alkaline and remineralization filter
  UV sterilization
  (Stages 5-9 are related to the the alkaline and remineralization process)

Filter Replacement

  Stages 1-3: every 6 months

  All others are replaced once a year

Warrenty

  1 year

Unit Size

  15 x 5 x 17.2 inches

Pros
  • Easy installation with many of the parts being pre-assembled and color coded
  • Adds good minerals back to the water
  • Fast water flow (0.8 GPM)
  • Easy installation
  • Raises pH balance of water
  • 1 year extended warranty
Cons
  • Wasted water - Might not be suitable for areas on water restriction
  • Requires an electrical outlet under sink for the UV light
  • This unit is larger than other models

Geekpure offers a variety of units. You will be able to pick the amount of filters (stages) that you want based on your needs. All Geekpure reverse osmosis systems come with the basic 5 stages but additional filters like the various mineral filter, alkaline filter and UV light are all add ons that can be chosen. The various mineral filter is a great option because it adds back healthy minerals with the help of bio-stones and coral sands. Their alkaline mineral pH filter will produce water with a higher pH level, which it great for those that are focusing on a less acidic diet. UV light is also offered and can help in eliminating bacteria viruses that may have passed through the other filters.

The Geekpure is an efficient system that wastes less water than its competitors making it a better choice for those with water restrictions. This system has a water ratio is 1:2, meaning 2 gallons of wastewater is generated for every 1 gallon of purified water. Most other units are 1:4.

One of the coolest things that geekpure offer is their quick change twist filters. These filters can be changed in seconds and require no tools. You simply twist off the old filter, throw it away and twist on the new one, easy.

This system is great for those on a budget. Not only do they have a unit to fit all budgets but they are overall considerably lower in price than some of the better known brands.

5 or 6 Stages (Filters)

Sediment filter
Carbon block
Granular Carbon Filter
RO Membrane
Post Carbon Filter
Alkaline filter Remineraliztion filter
UV sterilization

Filter Replacement

Stages 1-3:  every 6-12 months

Stage 4: every 15-20 months  

Stage 5:  every 15-20 months

Stage 6:  every 12 months

Warrenty

  1 year

Unit Size

 14.2 x 6.2 x 18.1 inches

Pros
  • Wates less water
  • Raises pH balance of water
  • Easy installation
  • Free lifetime customer support
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified
  • Remineralization Stage
  • 1 year limited warranty
Cons
  • Cheaper plastic fittings - this isn’t a deal breaker, especially for great value of this unit. Brass fittings could be purchased at any hardware store for a nominal price
  • The instruction manual could be better

This reverse osmosis system will guarantees great tasting purified water. Their entire system is NSF certified. They have earned the NSF/ANSI 42 for the reduction of chlorine and the NSF/ANSI 58 for reduction of total dissolved solids (TDS). Like other RO systems it will remove up to 99.99% of contaminants including heavy metals, bacteria and other harmful toxins.

The Olympia RO system is one of the easiest to install with color coordinating tubbings and fitting caps. They have great instructions that go step-by-step with photos. You can tell they put a lot of work into making clear easy instructions.

I can only rave about their customer service. They have a 1-800 number that can help with any questions. Their team answers the phone quickly and they are really able to help.

This system is a quality product that is well-designed. It measures 16 x 7 x 20 inches and should fit easily under the sink. A lead free chrome-finish swivel faucet comes with the system and looks like it will last a long time.

5 Stages (Filters)

  Sediment filter
  Carbon block
  Granular Carbon Filter
  RO Membrane
  Post Carbon Filter

Filter Replacement

  Stage 1:  every 6-12 months

  Stages 2 & 3:  every 6-12 months

  Stage 4: every 2-3 years

  Stage 5: replaced every 2-3 years

Warrenty

  1 year

Unit Size

  16 x 7 x 20 inches

Pros
  • Chrome-finish swivel spout
  • Great customer service
  • Easy installation
  • Clear Instructions
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified
  • 1 year limited warranty
Cons
  • Wasted water - Might not be suitable for areas on water restriction
Stages Filter Life Included Filters Unit Size

APEC ROES-50

5 Stages

Stage 1-3: every 6-12 months

Stage 4 & 5: every 2-3 years

-Sediment filter
-1st Carbon block
-2nd Carbon block
-RO Membrane
-Post Carbon Filter

16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches
iSpring RCC7AK-UV
7 Stages

Stage 1, 2, 3 & 6: every 6 months

Stage 4: every 2-3 years

Stages 5 and 7: every 12 months

- Sediment filter
- Carbon block
- Granular Carbon Filter
- RO Membrane
- Post Carbon - Filter
- Alkaline and re-mineralizing filter
- UV sterilization

14.5 x 5.2 x 19.5 inches
Express ROALKUV10D

11 Stages

However: 

(Stages 5-9 are to re-mineralization and alkalinezation)

Stages 1-3: every 6 months

All others are replaced once a year

-Sediment filter
-Carbon block
-Granular Carbon Filter
-RO Membrane
-Post Carbon Filter
-Alkaline and re-mineralizing filter
-UV sterilization

15 x 5 x 17.2 inches
Geekpure RO5
5 - 6 Stages Depending on chosen model

Stages 1-3: every 6-12 months

Stage 4: every 15-20 months

Stage 5: every 15-20 months

Stage 6: every 12 months

-Sediment filter
-Carbon block
-Granular Carbon Filter
-RO Membrane
-Post Carbon Filter
-Alkaline filter -Re-mineralizing filter
-UV sterilization

Depends on model options

Olympia OROS-50

5 Stages

Stage 1: every 6-12 months

Stages 2 & 3: every 6-12 months

Stage 4: every 2-3 years

Stage 5: replaced every 2-3 years

-Sediment filter
-Carbon block
-Granular Carbon Filter
-RO Membrane
-Post Carbon Filter

16 x 7 x 20 inches

Frequently Asked Questions

Stages refer to filter options. Most reverse osmosis companies will sell several different filter options. The more filters attached to the reverse osmosis system, the more stages the water goes through in order to be cleaned. Listed below are different filter options available:Stages refer to filter options. Most reverse osmosis companies will sell several different filter options. The more filters attached to the revere osmosis  Stages refer to filter options. Most companies will sell several different filter options. The more filters attached to the system, the more stages the water goes through in order to be cleaned. Listed below are different filter options available: system, the more stages the water goes through in order to be cleaned. Listed below are different filter options available:

Sediment filter: Removes rust, particles, dirt and dust.  

Carbon block : Improves taste and look of water by removing odors, chlorine and cloudiness.

Granular Carbon Filter: Removes odors, chlorine and cloudiness

Reverse Osmosis Membrane: Reduces up to 99% of contaminants including bacteria, arsenic, lead, chromium, radium, fluoride, and  viruses

Post Activated Carbon Filter: Removes residual taste and impurities

Alkaline and Re-mineralizing filter: Restores healthy minerals and increases pH

UV sterilization: Kills bacteria or viruses that might have been small enough to pass through the filters

Having a system that offers remineralization is important. Reverse osmosis removes both harmful contaminants and healthy minerals from water. Most reverse osmosis systems offer a remineralization filter that will add magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium back to the water making it more like spring water.

Reverse osmosis removes healthy minerals which can make the water more acidic. The remineralization filter (offered by most systems) will not only add important minerals back to the your water but will also raise the pH levels making the water more alkaline. Alkaline water can have many positive healthy effects.

All reverse osmosis systems waste some water.  Most systems will waste four gallons for every one gallon of purified water. That is a 4:1 ratio. Some systems however may have a slightly better ratio.

The contaminated water goes down the drain and does not require dumping. Wastewater should not be consumed or used for bathing due to it higher level of salts and contaminants.

The American National Standard Institute (ANSI)  has developed several standards for drinking water related to public health. NSF/ANSI Standard 58 relates to reverse osmosis systems and  total dissolved solids (TDS) reduction in water. NSF/ANSI Standard 42 relates to a reduction of chlorine, taste and odor. Companies can apply to have their systems tested in order to gain a certification.

Some systems are very easy to install with color coded fittings and clear instructions. Others require a little more home repair type experience. It’s important that you find the right unit to fit your experience. You also may consider the expert installation offered on Amazon at time of checkout for an additional fee.

Yes. A smaller chrome finish lead free faucet is included with most systems. This may require you to drill a hole into your countertop or it may be possible to use an existing hole like the one used for an indwelling soap dispenser.

Yes, it possible with most units. It will require additional parts and possibly expert installation. Apec, iSpring, Express and Olympia sell specific reverse osmosis to refrigerator kits.

There are several filters that need to be changed at their own particular time. The sediment filter, carbon block and granular carbon filter will normally be changed at 6 months. While the reverse osmosis membrane should be replaced in 2-3 years. The other filters, such as the remineralization filter, are normally changed at 1 year.

Clean the entire system yearly or have it professionally cleaned. Clean the exterior parts with a cloth and keep it free of dirt and dust.