The Reverse Osmosis system removes the contaminants from water to make water more drinkable and healthier. There are several systems available in the market to choose from based on their separate uniqueness and consumers’ requirements.
When choosing an RO system for your house you have to take notice of your needs and choose the one that matches your needs the most. Here are few RO filtration systems which are currently the best in the market. These reviews will help you choose which system is better suitable for your house.
Home Master TMAFC-ERP (Best Overall)
Waterdrop WD-G3-W (Most High-end RO System with fast water flow)
iSpring RCC7AK (Cheapest yet Quality RO System)
Waterdrop G2 (Affordable RO System with Tankless & Compact Design)
Express Water RO5DX
Best Reverse Osmosis System
Home Master offers one of the best reverse osmosis water filter systems available in the market. Its wonderfully innovative design of the water filter eliminates the most common problems related to canister leaking and tankless RO systems. The permeate pump of the water filter guarantees purified water with added minerals. That is one of the reasons it gives product satisfaction to all health-conscious customers.
This water filter comes with a fully assembled purification unit with membrane and filters, making the installation of the system less time consuming and easy. It comes with color-coded push in lines and a fitting instruction manual, making it one of the easiest water filter systems to install.
Moreover, the reverse osmosis water filter system filters water through 7 stages to deliver you highly purified water on tap. It reduces TDS creep and reduces water waste.
Home Master’s patented demineralization system adds calcium and magnesium twice during the filtering process which guarantees a good taste, highly purified water, and less storage tank degradation. The home master meets the NSF standards for material safety and purification performance.
This system includes a fast flow RO kit, which uses larger fittings, tubings, and high flow components guaranteeing the fast flow of the water from the RO faucet. The filter of this system lasts longer than any other traditional RO systems, requiring filter change once a year or every 2000 gallons.
Compared to other traditional water filter systems, this water system produces consistently pure, better-tasting mineral water.
What we like
- Easy to install and hassle-free servicing.
- Better tasting water.
- Water with minerals.
- Very quiet system.
What we don’t like
- It does not remove iron from water.
- Requires more storage space.
If you are looking for a RO water filter system that is stylish and compact than Waterdrop’s G3 is for you. Its innovative system with composite filters makes the whole process of water purification performance faster and better.
Apart from that, this filtration system is certified against 58 & 372, which means the system can reduce up to 90% of the TDS after complete flushing. This RO system doesn’t contain certain chemical substances like formaldehyde, bisphenol A, etc.
The system comes with automatic flushing which automatically flushes the surface of the RO membrane after 2 hours. Even on holiday mode, the system flushes once in 24 hours. It has a built-in leaking protection system, this makes the system beep when there is a water leak or malfunction.
The best part of the product is that it comes with a smart faucet and it has a light indicator. If the filter needs attention, the light indicator on the faucet will show it. With this system, you never have to worry about not knowing what issues are happening under the sink because as soon as any problem will occur, the light indicator on tap will let you know. Replacement of the filter is very quick and easy and it doesn’t require any tools at all.
This RO system gives the flow of 400 gallons of water per day, producing pure water very quickly because of its internal pump. The filtration system also saves water waste by 300%, which makes a significant difference in your water bill.
What we like
- Innovative compact design that occupies less space.
- Less water waste.
- A smart system with a leakage detector.
- Automatic flushing system.
- Effortless filter changes and Installation.
What we don’t like
- Requires electricity.
- It is expensive.
- Less water flow.
iSpring is known to be the no.1 brand in the USA for delivering the best RO water filters and providing the best customer support. This model filters water in 6 stages Alkaline remineralization filtration, which is specially designed to restore the natural minerals and balanced alkaline in water.
If you do not wish to install the new water faucet with the filter, you can skip that part by easily connecting this water filter with your refrigerator with the ICEK kit. The water purifier is specially designed for do-it-yourself installation. iSpring provides an instruction manual, instructional videos with access to their technical support.
The span of filter changes is about 6 months to 1 year depending on the quality and supply of the water. The RCC7AK has a multi-layered filter system providing safety against 1000 various contaminations to get you healthy and better-tasting water on your tap.
The water filter is certified against NSF 58/ANSI for TDS reduction in water. The carbon KDF filter of this model plays a big role in removing the large contamination and protecting the RO membrane from chemicals like chloramine and chloride. The first stage sediment filter comes with transparent housing, which makes it easy to know when the filter needs to change.
The filter is backed by a 1-year money-back guarantee and 1-year manufacturer warranty with iSpring’s lifetime technical support promising customer satisfaction. iSpring even provides expert tech support in deciding on choosing among their water filters, based on your needs.
What we like
- Water leakage alarm.
- Removes 99% of the contaminations.
- Easy to install.
- Highly appreciative customer support.
What we don’t like
- The lifespan of the filter is less.
- Alkaline levels are not idle.
Waterdrop G2 RO system has the most unique tankless design saving up to 50% under sink space compared to other water filters. With its 5 stages filter system, it can filter out 99.99% of the contamination from water. Because of its compact design, this RO water filter is easy to install with the help of the instruction manual provided by the seller. Although it requires under sink electricity.
Moreover, the smart panel design will indicate when the filter needs to be changed. The system’s reverse osmosis membrane composite filter eliminates 95% of the TDS, bacteria, and metals from the water. A composite activated carbon filter makes sure that water is clean and tasty.
This Reverse Osmosis system provides a fast water flow rate of up to 400 GPD. It can fill your cup within 12 seconds. Because of this system’s integrated twist and pull filter designs, it would take just 3 seconds to change the filter.
The whole system is made of lead-free plastic material, even the faucet is made from lead-free brushed nickel. The system reduces carcinogens and heavy metals like chromium, cadmium, lead, barium, copper, radium, and aluminum.
The G2 RO system just has 3 hoses reducing the chances of leaking. Installing this water filter under your sink’s small space is a piece of cake. The cartridges of the system are inexpensive and very easily replaceable. Unlike many other RO systems, this system will not need filter changes every 6 months. This system is durable and reliable.
The system comes with a 1-year warranty. This RO water system is made for the under-sink installation, it may not connect to your refrigerator.
What we like
- Compact design.
- Easy installation and servicing.
- Panel indicating the need for filter change.
- Quiet system.
What we don’t like
- You cannot connect it with your refrigerator.
- Needs electricity.
- Average water flow.
Express Water RO5DX Reverse Osmosis filter guarantees safe and pure drinking water. This system frees you from the process of activation and refilling of your filters. Water from this filter is said to be the best water for aquariums and dehumidifiers.
The system is fully customizable and fully upgradable. Consumers can attach additional filter attachments like Alkaline, UV, Deionization, and many more. It removes contaminants like cyanide, lead, asbestos, bacteria, and viruses efficiently from the water.
The system purifies water in five stages. The filters for all of these stages are doubly sealed to keep your space clean and avoid leakage. Moreover, the system detects water overflow and shuts itself off using the leak stop valve. Some of the filters require to be changed twice a year whereas some filters need changing once a year.
This RO system provides you with a fast water flow rate and it can produce up to 50 gallons of purified water each day and also Express Water RO filters are NSF certified. Not only does the system meet expectations for the NSF standard 58 but it exceeds standards in system construction and in the reduction of dissolved solids and cycle test reliance.
Before putting the RO water filters on the market, they are checked for leaks using an air injection pressure system. Moreover, Express Water provides exceptional customer support even when you have questions regarding which filter to purchase or have questions about your already purchased filter from them.
What we like
- Customizable and upgradable filters.
- Easy Installation.
- Budget-friendly cost.
- Excellent customer support.
- Inbuilt Leak stop valve which prevents leakage.
What we don’t like
- Requires more space.
- Requires filter changes in 6 months.
- The water waste ratio is 1:1.
- It removes water’s taste.
APEC is America’s number one trusted brand since 1995 for providing reverse osmosis water filters with 20 years of continuous success and trust among consumers for delivering long-lasting and noise-free systems.
This 75 GPD 6-stage RO system guarantees to remove up to 99% contaminations and deliver the purest water to drink. System filters are WQA certified for filtering tap or well water.
The quick advantage of this water filter system is that it comes with a 100% lead-free faucet with food-grade tubing, and with safe parts to provide contamination-free water. Everything is leak-proof, like all the other systems it doesn’t rely on a leak detector to avoid leaks.
Installation of this water filter is hassle-free with the help of online installation videos and instruction manuals. The system’s calcium mineral cartridge adds only 100% of the US-made superior quality calcium carbonate to make the pH balance effective for those who require purified water with alkaline.
APEC RO water system guarantees quality water with perfect taste compared to other brands. The capacity of the tank is 4 gallons. This water filter system can be connected to your refrigerator. Overall system capacity for providing pure water is 90 to 75 gallons a day. Although the system needs to be connected to a direct water source like all the other systems except for one part that it doesn’t need to be hooked up to electricity.
What we like
- Water tastes better.
- Easy installation.
- Does not need electricity.
- Dissolves solids significantly.
- Can be attached to the refrigerator.
- Trusted brand.
What we don’t like
- The water waste ratio is high -1:3.
- Filtration takes more time.
Whirlpool WHER25 RO System uses a 3-stage process in cleaning the water and making sure that the filtration process is filtering out the contaminations which are larger than 0.001 microns.
The system’s filter requires a change every 6 months. Installation of the system is also quite easy with the instruction manual like most of the other RO systems. The system contains 3 main filters which are pre-filter, post-filter, and reverse osmosis filter. Compared to other RO systems with tanks, this system takes up less space under your kitchen sink.
Whirlpool WHER25 RO system is certified by NSF, providing consumer healthy water to drink which is free of contamination. The system is also tested by a third party to provide consumers with the best and finalized product. The filter changes are UltraEase allowing the user to quickly change the filter when necessary.
The whole system includes a special filter water faucet, one 2-year membrane, water storage tank, fittings for installation with color-coded tubing with push-in connections. The system decreases the TDS in water to make the water drinkable and healthy. Compared to other systems in the market, this system costs way less. If the filters are changed at needed times this system lasts up to years.
The system comes with a limited warranty of one year. Whirlpool RO water filter system provides consumers with purified drinkable water with the removal of metals, viruses, and chemicals. Less stage filtration of the system provides water quickly after the system is turned on although the water flows way less when compared to 6 stage systems.
What we like
- Occupies less space under the kitchen sink.
- Easy installation.
- Keeps the space neat and clean.
- Filters are easy to change.
- The system costs less compared to other systems.
- Parts are of high quality compared to other products.
What we don’t like
- Water waste is higher compared to other systems.
- Comes with a limited warranty.
- Filters’ cost is pricey.
- Not a very quiet system when filtering water.
What is Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse Osmosis is a process used to remove impurities from the water by pushing it through the permeate membrane. When the water passes through the very thin layers of membrane, it filters out contaminations. This process removes many dissolved contaminations and chemicals while pushing the water through the very thin layer of permeate membrane. The permeate membrane filters out all the impurities which are larger than the water molecules.
Reverse Osmosis is used to purify the water from more than 1000 contaminations, eliminating all the odors, gases, and TDS from the water.
How does the Reverse Osmosis System work?
The Reverse Osmosis system filters out any contaminants like chloride, dust, viruses, etc from water. This system consists of the main 3 stages of filtration to provide you healthy drinking water. These three main stages consist of pre-filters, RO membrane, and post-filters. Water flows through pre-filters to remove the large contaminants, sand and dust before going into the membrane. In the next stage, the water passes through the thin layers of the RO membrane, which removes all the particles that are larger than 000.1 microns. Basically eliminating all the particles except for water.
In the post-filtering, the purified water passes through a carbon-based layer that removes any bad taste and odor from the water, making the water contaminants-free and pure.
Several systems follow these 3 main purification filtration processes in 7 stages. Let us see how the Reverse Osmosis system works step-by-step in 7 stages.
- Sediment Filter– Water passes through the sediment filter and removes large particles like rust, dust, sand, etc. so that the water can be sent through a permeate filter.
- Carbon Filter– This filter eliminates chemicals like chlorine from the water making it safe to pass through permeate membranes.
- Carbon Block Filter– The water passes through the carbon block filter to remove all the pesticides, fertilizers, insects which are too small to spot with human eyes.
- Reverse Osmosis Membrane– This is the main stage of the Reverse Osmosis system. The Reverse Osmosis membrane has small holes, when the water passes through this membrane it removes all the molecules which are larger than 000.1 microns.
- Removal of Impure Water– In this stage, the impure water is discarded by the system via a separate pipe so that it doesn’t enter the next filter.
- Remineralization– This process is skipped in some of the Reverse Osmosis systems. Remineralization adds extra minerals into the water, these minerals can be calcium, potassium, etc. Not only does it make the water healthy but it makes the water taste better.
- UV Light Filters– This filter is optional. Ultraviolet light removes all the microorganisms which somehow manage to pass through the permeate membrane and gives you highly purified water.
There are many other optional customizations you can choose for your Reverse Osmosis system.
- Some of the systems comes with a water storage tank. Without the water tank you will get water filtered in real time. But if you want to get a system which occupies less space in your home, then you should opt for the tankless system.
- Remineralization filters are also customizable in some systems. You can choose the minerals you want to have in your water and you can get a remineralization filter based on your needs.
- Some of the system comes with high pressure pumps to have fast flowing water on your tap.
- There are some systems that come with lead-free faucets if you do not wish to use the same faucet in your sink. Using the lead-free faucet will reduce the risk of contamination and chemicals coming into water because of the surface of the faucet.
What to look for when buying the Reverse Osmosis System?
There are several points that can help in choosing which RO system is best for your requirement. It is necessary to first identify your requirements with the Reverse Osmosis System.
Firstly you will have to find answers to the questions like,
The RO System with or without Tank
It is necessary to identify if you need an RO system that occupies less space in your home. Several systems come without the tank and are compact in design. If you want to purchase a system with a tank, it is necessary to make sure what kind of tank size you will need. These tanks come in capacity from 3 gallons to 14 gallons.
First, you will need to figure out if you wish to buy a system that needs a plumber to make it work or, do you want something like a do-it-yourself (DIY) installation? Based on this you can choose a system with easy installation and customer support.
Several brands offer customizable systems via which you can get a system that meets your needs perfectly. While choosing a customizable system it is necessary to identify the factors like water source, filters, space, etc
Your needs of the system
Before choosing a system, it is necessary to decide for what purposes do you want to use the Reverse Osmosis system. Do you want the system for drinking? Attaching it to the refrigerator?, For your aquarium?, or Do you want a system just for your kitchen or your whole home?
After identifying answers to these questions, there are several other points that should be considered before buying the Reverse Osmosis System, let’s see what are those:
The Lifespan of Filters and Filter Stages
When it comes to filters there are certain different filters with different lifespan with each system. You have to choose a system with filters, which has more lifespan and capacity. There are several filters which come with a limited lifespan becoming a reason for continuous expenses on the filters.
The stages of the filter identify the purification of the water. Any system with more than 6 to 7 stages is an idle system to choose to get highly purified water. There are certain systems that come at a reasonably cheap price but filter change becomes a hassle. Before buying a system you will have to check on the process of filter change and the cost of these replacement filters.
So many RO systems have a high ratio of water waste to purified water. When you choose a system with less water waste, you decrease your water bill significantly. Wastewater is one of the setbacks of the Reverse Osmosis System. There are systems that produce wastewater up to 25 gallons to purify 1 gallon of water. This wastewater contains a high amount of contaminants making the water useless. So, it is necessary to look for a system which has a minimum ratio of water waste to purified water.
The Flow of the water
Even the most expensive RO filters have low water flow compared to the non-RO filters. Some systems fill your cup in 12 seconds whereas some systems take more than a minute to fill up your cup. The reason for low flows can be because of different reasons like water source, flow pump, etc.
Capacity of the system
Before you choose the water filter to install in your whole house, you will have to identify the need for water quantity in a day. Some systems have the capacity of producing 75-90 gallons of pure water in a day whereas some systems have the capacity of producing 12 gallons of pure water in a day. Identify your usage capacity and choose a system that matches it perfectly.
The Reverse Osmosis system purifies water of any impurities, but sometimes some consumers face health challenges due to demineralized water. If you are keen on having minerals in your water always choose a system that uses mineral filters to remineralize your water.
Size of the System
There are several sizes available in the market for RO systems. Some systems occupy very little space whereas some RO systems fill up your under-sink space with its set up. If you are looking for a system that requires less space but still works in seven stages of purification, you will have to choose a system with advanced technology. Sometimes the systems which require less space are made with advanced technology costs higher than any regular systems.
Different components of Reverse Osmosis system
Pre-filtering is the first and important stage of the reverse osmosis system. Pre-filters remove large contaminants from water before the water enters into the RO membrane. Without the pre-filter the lifespan of the RO membrane can be really short.
When the water passes through the RO membrane it removes all the chemicals, viruses, bacteria, etc. RO membrane generally removes the contaminants that are larger than 0.0001 microns.
Post-filters are the filters situated between your storage tank and your tap. It removes carbon or any other substances in the water ensuring a better tasting pure water.
Certain RO systems have storage tanks among their components. Once the water is purified in the RO system, the purified water is stored in this tank. Some people choose not to install storage tank in order to save space.
Without the shut-off valve your kitchen would probably flood. Shut-off valve is usually automatic, making sure to stop the water filling inside the storage tank once it’s full.
Most of the companies producing RO systems suggest switching your old faucet with a new one. Switching your current faucet with the one which comes with the system can eliminate the risk of lead in your purified water.
UV light is usually considered as one of the most important post-filters. UV light kills remaining microorganisms that somehow found their way through the RO membrane.
Water pressure pump
If the input of the water is low then the output is going to a low water flow. Installing a water pump helps in increasing the water flow hence water filtering capacity.
A Non-electric permeate pump ensures that the water wastage is less. Making the water waste as minimal as possible
Like the permeate pump, an electric pump ensures that the minimum amount goes down the drain. It has the same work as the permeate pump, the only difference is that the permeate pump is non- electric.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis System
Reverse Osmosis System doesn’t come cheap. Now the main question is if the Reverse Osmosis system is really worth spending your money on it?
Let us see the pros and cons of the RO System.
Almost all RO systems come with an instructional manual and instructional videos to help you set up the system in your kitchen or basement.
Gives amazingly purified water
The RO system removes 99.9% of the water contaminants and chemicals in the water, giving you odorless and tasty purified water.
Less expensive than bottled water in the long run
Some RO filters cost a fortune while some are way cheaper. RO systems are one-time investment, after that, you will just need to change filters after their expiry. Overall in a log span of time the cost of having an RO system is less than purchasing bottled water.
Easy access to mineral water at all time
If you purchase an RO system with remineralization filters, you can have healthy and pure mineral water at all times in your tap.
Expensive than a regular filter
The Reverse Osmosis filter costs more than the regular filter.
Requires Filter change every few months
While the system gives purified water, it also requires timely filter change which can be a little frustrating for people.
Removes minerals from water
If there’s no remineralization filter installed in the system, the purified water will have no minerals at all.
One biggest drawback of the RO system is water waste. The lowest water waste ratio in some RO systems is 1:1 to 1:3 in the latest systems.
Installation and Maintenance of the Reverse Osmosis Filtration System
Some people prefer to hire a plumber for the installation of the system although it is fairly easy to install by yourself, so many of the companies provide instruction manuals and instructional videos to make the installation hassle-free and quick.
The installation process takes up to 1-2 hours. Here are the steps to guide you for installation.
Choosing the space for installation.
First, you will have to decide on the place you want to install the system. Most of the time people install the system under the kitchen sink to get purified water from the kitchen’s sink tap. You can also put it in your basement and get the pipe through the floor to tap.
Disconnect the current water faucet and turn off the cold water line.
Before you begin to install your system, make sure to disconnect the cold water line. Also, do not forget to disconnect the water pipe which is connected to your tap.
Connect the system with a waterline.
After disconnecting the waterline with your sink’s tap, now it’s time to connect the system with the waterline.
Connect the drain line.
Once you are done connecting the waterline with the system, you would want to connect your drain line with your waste pipe. Make sure to fasten it properly so it won’t leak.
Install the faucet which came with the system.
It is advised to use the tap which came with the system. Usually, the tap which comes with the system is lead-free, connecting your system to the old tap does not guarantee clean and pure water. You can remove your current tap and install the new faucet in its place or you can drill a new hole to install the new process.
Set the system in place.
After making sure that the previous steps are followed perfectly, set the system in place of your desired location.
Install the tank.
If your system includes the water tank, connect the tank to the filters and tank’s line to the tap. In some systems the water tank comes connected to the filters, when it does, make sure that the lines are tightly connected and connect the line of the tank to the water faucet.
Plug the system.
If your system works on electricity make sure to plug in your system to the electric outlet after you are done installing the system.
Once you’re done turn on the valve slowly and check if any pipe or line is leaking, if anything leaks, secure those lines.
Flush the water tank after installation.
Almost every Reverse Osmosis system provider advises to fill and empty the tank after installing it. This can be different with each system. For some systems, it is advised to flush the tank more than once. Check the manual guide for your system. If you have a tankless system, it is advised to let the water flow from the tap as long as it is advised in the system’s manual instructions.
Maintenance points to consider after installing the system
You will have to maintain changing the filters from time to time based on your water source and usage. On average these filters need to be changed every 6 months to 12 months. The RO membrane filters should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.
Some of the system models come with transparent filter cases, you would just have to keep an eye on the need for filter changes at intervals and change the filter when required.
Some faucets come with LED light indicators when the system needs attention or filter change. Make sure to keep a watch on the colors of the tap to change the filters at the required time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. How does the Reverse Osmosis System work?
The water goes through the sediment filter and removes the large particles like dust and sand from the water, then the water goes through the RO membrane to remove the chemicals, viruses and insecticides, which are larger than 0.0001 microns ensuring the water is purified. After purifying through the RO membrane, water goes through the carbon filter removing any microorganisms, odor, or taste from the water. Some systems have remineralization filters which add minerals into the water before it comes out from your tap.
Q. How long does the Reverse Osmosis system last after purchasing?
The Reverse Osmosis system lasts for a very long time if you change the filters when needed. Filters are the only thing you will have to keep changing, the whole system lasts a lifetime.
Q. How much does it cost to install the Reverse Osmosis system?
It costs nothing if you install it yourself and some systems come with instruction manuals and instruction videos to help you install it. There are some companies that also provide technical support to assist you when you are installing the system. If you choose to hire a plumber to install the system, it would cost you around $100 to $350.
Q. What is better? Distilled water or Reverse Osmosis water?
Distilled water does not remove all the pesticides and chloride from the water as efficiently as Reverse Osmosis water. If compared, RO water is more pure from any contaminants.
Q. How much water waste does the Reverse Osmosis system produce?
This is a drawback of the RO system, This system wastes about 4 gallons of water with every 1 gallon purified. Although, there are several systems available that have a lower water waste ratio.