The only way to make sure that the water you drink is actually clean and free of impurities is to install a water filtration system, that’s for sure. But with so many different types of filtration systems that you can go with, it can be rather difficult to make up your mind and choose a certain model. If you want to make sure that the type of system you invest in will actually do a great job, we recommend that you go with an RO water filter. To find out what are the best models on the market, check out the following lines.
Top 5 Reverse Osmosis Filters Comparison
- 1 Top 5 Reverse Osmosis Filters Comparison
- 18.104.22.168 Pelican Pro 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis (RO)
- 22.214.171.124 Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
- 126.96.36.199 Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Filter
- 188.8.131.52 APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
- 184.108.40.206 iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter w/ Transparent 1st Stage & Designer Faucet
- 1.0.1 General Information
- 1.0.2 Performance
- 1.0.3 Filter Replacement
- 1.0.4 Convenience
- 1.0.5 Warranty&Support
- 1.1 The RO Systems Evaluation
- 1.1.1 1. Pelican Pro 6-Stage
- 1.1.2 2. Aquasana OptimH2O + Claryum
- 1.1.3 3. Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series
- 1.1.4 4. APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage
- 1.1.5 5. iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD
- 1.1.6 6. AquaLutio AL-1118
- 1.1.7 7. Brondell H2O+ Circle
- 1.1.8 8. Global Water RO-505
- 1.1.9 9. Express Water ROALK5D
- 1.1.10 10. Aquatic Life RODI Buddie 50 GPD
- 1.2 How We Rated Our Selections
- 1.3 How Reverse Osmosis Works
- 1.4 Provided Health Benefits
- 1.5 Useful Buying Guide
- 1.6 Pros and Cons of RO Systems
- 1.7 Test Results
- 1.8 Frequently Asked Questions
|1. Pelican Pro 6-Stage||2. Aquasana OptimH2O + Claryum||3. Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series||4. APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage||5. iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD|
|THE BEST||OUR CHOICE|
|Manufacturer||Pelican Water Systems||Aquasana||Christal Quest||APEC Water Systems||iSpring|
|Dimensions||14.5”H x 12”W x 14.75”D||12″L × 4.5″W × 12.5″H||16″L x 8″W x 21″H + 4″||16″W x 5.25″D x 17.5″H||14.5″W x 6″D x 18″H|
|Weight||8 lbs||12.3 lbs||35 lbs||26 lbs||30 lbs|
|Stages of Filtration|
|Number of Removed Contaminants|
2-stage Carbon/Mineral Post Filter
1-stage Claryum Media
1-stage RO Membrane
Solid Carbon Cartridge
GAC or Coconut Shell
2 stage – Eagle Redox Alloy(KDF Media) Cartridges
2 Carbon Block Media
High Rejection RO Membrane
Coconut Carbon Media
Granular Activated Carbon Media
Carbon Block Media
High rejection RO Membrane
Total Polishing Inline Post Carbon Media
Post Filter – 6 months
Remineralizer – 12 months
Carbon Pre-Filter & Claryum Post-Filter – 6 months
UF and multi-stage – 12-24 months
Carbon Block – 6-12 months
RO Membrane Cartridge – 24 months
RO Membrane Cartridge – 24-36 months
Inline Post Carbon Filter – 12 months
|Automatic Shut-off Tank|
|Water Detector/Flood Alarm|
The RO Systems Evaluation
The state of your health is tightly linked to the quality of the water that you drink and cook with. Unfortunately, an aspect that worries a lot of people is the fact that the water that comes out of their taps is of a poor quality, to say the least. The multitude of contaminants that lurk in it is what makes this water a great danger to your health, and the reason why you have to install a great RO filter to ensure that these harmful contaminants will be effectively removed.
1. Pelican Pro 6-Stage
This RO system helps you in more ways than you can imagine as it not only provides you with clean water to drink and use, but it actually improves your health by ensuring you are ingesting the needed beneficial minerals, and it makes you an active participant in saving our planet as you won’t contribute to plastic water bottle waste anymore. It is a costly upfront investment, but in the long run it actually helps you save costs. It comes with three different style faucets you can pick between, which include chrome, brushed nickel, and oil rubbed bronze. The manufacturing company backs it with a 1-year warranty against any potential defects. Furthermore, it is a WQA certified product that is up to NSF/ANSI standards.
As the name suggests, this Pelican product passes the water you end up consuming through 6 different filtration stages to help rid it of potential contaminants. It utilizes two separate media to provide this thorough filtration, more precisely a 2-stage carbon/mineral post-filter, and a 4-stage RO membrane pre-filter. As the water passes, all solids and chemicals are dissolved, impurities are removed so that the liquid will taste and smell better than ever, and it even adds back essential minerals to help boost your health even further.
Maintenance tends to be costly with these systems, but this isn’t always the case. When it comes to the Pelican entry we are analyzing right now, you are only required to do major maintenance work rarely, and the media that needs to be replaced isn’t costly either. More precisely, you have to change the post-filter once every 6 months, and the membrane once every 18 months. Best of all, you don’t need any special tools to replace the filtration media, this being a simple procedure that is covered in detail in the instructions manual that comes with the system.
Mention Worthy Details
- It is able to purify up to 50 gallons of water per day.
- Easy to install and comes with a comprehensive guide that will take you through the process.
- Measures 14.5 inches in height, 12 inches in width, and 14.75 inches in depth.
- High efficiency rate when it comes to the removal of cysts from your drinking water – over 99.99%.
- Eco-friendly design ensures it wastes approximately 50% less water than other similar systems do.
There are a lot of filtration systems out there which, during the process of purifying the water, also tend to eliminate minerals it contains that are actually beneficial to your health. Luckily, this isn’t the case with the Pelican Pro as it actually features a carbon/mineral media inside, media that adds back all the essential minerals you should be consuming and using when you cook. These minerals are, of course, calcium and magnesium, two pivotal elements of a healthy life.
|Passes water through 6 separate filtration stages||Lack of UV technology makes it unable to remove bacteria|
|Features a 2-gallon storage tank||Does not feature flood detection|
|Carbon post-filter removes unpleasant odors, leaving the water perfect for consumption|
|Removes a total of approximately 50 different types of contaminants|
|Operating temperature ranges from 40 °F to 100 °F|
Although the Pelican Pro 6-Stage is not perfect, it is as close to perfection as these water filtration systems do. Its capability of removing over 50 contaminants that lurk in tap water due to the 6 filtration stages that it passes the liquid through ensures that you will never again have to fear poisoning or health issues as a result of drinking water. Additionally, its capability to re-mineralize the water guarantees that beneficial contents remain in it, thus helping boost your health through superior hydration.
2. Aquasana OptimH2O + Claryum
It measures 12 inches in length, 4.5 inches in width, and 12.5 inches in height and it weighs 12.3 pounds. It uses 3 stages of filtration to ensure that the water you drink is of a good quality, not containing contaminants that might threaten your health. During these filtration stages, it removes up to 60 different contaminants that it encounters in the water.
The components include a 1-stage carbon media, a 1-stage Claryum media, and a 1-stage RO membrane media. As it purifies the water, it remineralizes it as well, thus ensuring that you will drink high-quality water that will help boost your health. Unfortunately, it is not capable of removing the bacteria that it finds in the drinking water. The operating pressure of this model ranges between 40-100 PSI, and the operating temperature ranges between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
It boasts an impressive production rate of 13.32 gallons of water, and it features a spacious 3.2-gallon storage tank. Two aspects that displease about it are the fact that it does not come with the water detector/flood alarm feature, and it does not automatically shut off when the tank is full. The RO membrane and the re-mineralizer of this model have to be changed once every 12 months, while the carbon pre-filter and the Claryum post filter have to be replaced once every 6 months. In addition, it is backed up by a generous 2-year warranty that exceeds the standard of this market.
|Passes tap water through 3 separate filtration stages||Requires professional installation|
|Features a carbon media, a claryum media, and a RO filter||Does not remove bacteria from drinking water|
|Capability to remove up to 60 different types of contaminants||Tank does not come with automatic shut-off feature|
|Impressive production rate of 13.32 gallons|
|Operating pressure ranges from 40 psi to 100 psi|
Aquasana is a market leader when it comes to producing water filtration systems, so there is no wonder to the fact that it makes an appearance in this top. The OptimH2P RO+Claryum ensures drinking water will never have any sort of contaminant in it as it removes up to 60 types of impurities that usually lurk in it. The system boasts this wonderful performance due to the 3 separate, highly effective filtration stages it comes with.
3. Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series
The reason why this is our favorite product is that it offers impressive water cleansing capabilities and it comes at a decent price. It measures 16 inches in length, 8 inches in width, and 21 inches in height, it weighs 35 pounds, and it is easy to install, so you won’t have to spend extra money to call in a professional for this task. What impresses the most about this model is the fact that it features no less than 12 filtration stages, being able to remove up to 500 different contaminants from the water due to them.
The components that help in its process are a 6-stage cartridge, a RO membrane media, a UF membrane media, a solid carbon media, a GAC or coconut shell carbon media, and 2-stage Eagle Redox alloy cartridges. While it might not be able to remineralize the water during the process of eliminating it of contaminants, it is capable of removing the bacteria that it encounters. Therefore, you can rest assured that it delivers healthy drinking water.
The operating pressure that it boasts ranges between 20-125 PSI and the operating temperature is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a production rate of 50 gallons of water and a storage tank that has an impressive 3.2-gallon capacity. What it lacks is the automatic shut-off feature that would have activated when the tank gets filled, and the water detector/flood alarm feature. The maintenance work that has to be done is that you have to change the RO membrane cartridge once every 36 months, the UF and multi-stage filters once every 12-24 months, and the carbon block once every 6-12 months. In addition, it is NSF certified for its impressive water cleansing capabilities.
|Can remove up to 500 different contaminants that lurk in water||Does not feature flood detection|
|Uses 12 separate filtration stages for ultimate results||Tank does not automatically shut off in case of emergency|
|Capability to remove bacteria from drinking water|
|Amazing 50-gallon water production rate|
|3.2-gallon storage tank capacity|
|Easy to install|
The 1000C from Crystal Quest is our choice and recommendation for anyone looking for a quality filtration system. What makes us like this product is its impressive contaminant removal rate as it can eliminate up to 500 different types of impurities that normally lurk in drinking water. Its amazing performance is ensured by the 12 filtration stages that it passes the water through, stages during which even bacteria and germs are removed.
4. APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage
This filtration system measures 16 inches in width, 5.25 inches in depth, and 17.5 inches in height. It weighs 26 pounds and the easy installation allows you to do it yourself, helping you save money by not calling in a professional to do the task. What makes it a great choice to go with is the fact that it features 5 filtration stages during which it removes up to 1000 different contaminants that it encounters in the water.
These contaminants include the dreadful bacteria, so by installing it, you can rest assured that you will hydrate yourself in the healthiest way possible. Unfortunately, what it lacks is the fact that it does not have remineralizing properties, so the water that it produces loses some of its health-boosting traits. Also, it does not come with the water detector/flood alarm feature. It has an operating pressure that ranges between 40-85 PSI, and the operating temperature of this model ranges between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The production rate for it is 50 gallons of water, and it features an impressive 4-gallon storage tank. Best of all, it comes with the automatic shut-off feature, so when the tank gets filled, it automatically stops operating until the tank gets emptied. The cartridges have to be replaced once every 6-12 months, and the RO membrane cartridge has to be replaced once every 24 months. Therefore, you won’t have to do a lot of maintenance work if you go with it. In addition, it is NSF certified for its amazing performance, and it is covered by a 1-year warranty.
|Uses 5 filtration media to remove water impurities||Is not capable or restoring healthy minerals|
|Can handle eliminating up to 1000 types of water contaminants||Does not come with a flood detector|
|Impressive 4-gallon storage tank capacity|
|Coconut carbon media removes unpleasant odors|
|High production rate of up to 50 gallons|
Capable of removing up to 1000 different contaminants and impurities that lurk in tap water, including bacteria and germs, this whole house system is a necessary installation to make if your municipal water supply is faulty. It comes at a fair price considering its performance, and it does not require much in the way of maintenance work either.
5. iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD
Another impressive filtration system that we could not skip on is the RCC7 75 GPD model. It is easy to install, it weighs 30 pounds, and it measures 14.5 inches in width, 6 inches in depth, and 18 inches in height. During the 5 stages of filtration that it puts the water through, it effectively removes up to 1000 different contaminants that lurk in it, including the dreaded bacteria. Therefore, it ensures that the water is clean enough to drink even by small children, not endangering their health in any way anymore. But this model does have a flaw, more precisely that it does not have remineralizing properties, so the health-boosting quality of the water that you drink will be slightly affected if you use it.
It has an operating temperature that ranges between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and an operating pressure that ranges between 40-70 PSI. It boasts an impressive production rate of 75 gallons of water, and it features a 3.2-gallon storage tank. The components include a polypropylene sediment media, a granular activated carbon media, a carbon block media, a high-rejection RO membrane media, and a total polishing inline post carbon filter.
It is NSF certified for its amazing performance. Also, it comes with the useful automatic shut-off feature, meaning that when the tank gets filled, it will shut off on its own. The maintenance work that needs to be done with it is that you will have to replace the first 3-stage filters once every 3-6 months, the RO membrane cartridge once every 24-36 months, and the inline post carbon media once every 12 months. In addition, it is backed up by a 1-year warranty.
|Uses 5 filtration media to cleanse drinking water of impurities||Can not restore beneficial minerals|
|Can handle removing up to 1000 distinct types of contaminants from tap water|
|Industry-leading 75-gallon water production rate|
|Carbon block media eliminates any odors to leave behind only pleasant tasting and smelling water|
|Capable of removing bacteria and germs|
Although the iSpring RCC7 comes at the most affordable price when compared to its predecessors found in our top, it equals all of them with its performance. Using 5 quality filtration media, it can remove as much as 1000 distinct types of impurities and contaminants from tap water, including germs and bacteria. Thus, if you install it – and operation that you can easily perform on your own, by the way – you will enjoy clean drinking water as well as impurity-free bathing and cooking water.
6. AquaLutio AL-1118
A major improvement in terms of water taste is instantly noticeable with this RO system as it actually detects and eliminates out over 1000 different contaminants, even highly dangerous ones that would have otherwise put your health in peril, like pesticides, sulfur, arsenic, herbicides, lead, and so on. Best of all, it provides this high efficiency without actually asking you to pay too much money upfront, being one of the cheaper water quality improvement solutions to go with at the moment. Thus, basically, there are only benefits to reap from installing it. Its efficiency is quite impressive, being tested to remove as much as 99% of contaminants it encounters.
The long-lasting cartridges it uses are what give it this hard to beat efficiency. Of course, we cannot overlook the fact that it passes the water through 5 separate filtration stages before the liquid ends up in your glass. during the first stage, a 5-micron melt-blown polypropylene sediment media removes large as well as fine particles, during the second stage a GAC activated carbon media removes chlorine and all unwanted odors, during the third stage a 5-micron carbon media tends to the removal of chlorine, VOCs, and common chemicals which alter the taste and smell of the water.
In the fourth stage, a thin film RO membrane reduces bacteria and chemicals up to 99 percent. Finally, in the fifth stage of the process, an inline granular carbon media stabilizes the water and removes any remaining traces of odors of bad taste. An under sink system which is easy to install and hassle-free in terms of maintenance work, we strongly recommend it to anyone looking to improve the quality of the water they drink.
|Under sink installation can be performed by yourself, no extra money needed for a professional installation|
|One of the more reasonably priced products in this niche – affordable water cleaning solution|
|Effortlessly removes up to 99 percent of any types of contaminants it encounters in the water|
|Can be used to trace and eliminate over 1000 different types of water contaminants|
|In addition to eliminating contaminants, it improves water taste and odor|
|Satisfaction guarantee – if you are not pleased with it while the trial period is active, you can return it and receive a full refund|
Featuring a technology which enables it to remove over 99 percent of all contaminants lurking in the water, including some more dangerous factors like arsenic, pesticides, and herbicides, this is a RO system we strongly recommend to any responsible homeowner. Furthermore, it comes at a cheap price which makes it an approachable solution.
7. Brondell H2O+ Circle
Passing the water you end up consuming and using when you cook through 4 separate filtration stages, the Brondell H2O+ RO system is one of the most efficient choices you could make. When the water passes through the first purification stage, a sediment media reduces particles like rust, sand, and fine debris. During the second stage, a pre-carbon plus media eliminates VOCs, soluble contaminants, and chlorine, leaving the hydrating liquid tasting and smelling a lot better.
In the third stage, a RO membrane filter separates the water molecules from the contaminants, thus greatly reducing pollutants like arsenic, cysts, heavy metals, and more. Lastly, in the fourth stage, a post carbon block media reduces the remainder of small size contaminants. It comes with a specially designed chrome faucet which features an integrated LED that fulfills the role of announcing you when to change the cartridge.
Its non-electric design makes it a lot more efficient than conventional systems of this kind. It provides constant flow rates, so you won’t even feel that any change has been made. For maximum water efficiency, it features a smart valve and a flexible water tank. It boasts a space-saving design which makes it perfect for under-sink storage. Furthermore, it features an automatic flusher which helps extend the life of the RO membrane, meaning that you will spend considerably less money on maintenance work.
|Refills fully in less than 1 hour, and tank capacity is 6 gallons||Wastes a little over 2 gallons of water per 1 gallon of purified water it produces|
|Maximum operating pressure of 120 PSI|
|Generous faucet flow rate of 0.26 to 0.37 gallons per minute|
|Water feed temperature ranges from 41 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit|
|LED filter change indicator announces you when maintenance work is due|
|Twist-and-seal change design ensures easy cartridge replacement|
More reasonably priced when compared to some of our previous entries, the Brondell H2O+ is what you need to ensure clean drinking water. It is designed to be easy to care for, cartridge replacement being a cinch, and it comes with numerous features which add to its convenience in use, including a cartridge change indicator LED light.
8. Global Water RO-505
As it is rated to filter over 1000 different types of contaminants lurking in the water that ends up in your glass, you can rely on it to tackle chlorine, fluoride, and other common impurities as if they were nothing. To provide this exceptional efficiency, the system employs a 5-stage filtration process, being able to purify up to 99% of contaminants it encounters.
During the first stage, it uses a polypropylene 5-micron sediment filter that fulfills the role of removing small particles, mud, and sand. In the second stage, it uses a GAC coconut shell activated carbon media that tends to the removal of VOCs, turbidity, organic compounds, and so on. For the third stage, it uses a CTO 5-micron coconut shell block carbon media to reduce chlorine odor and taste, and remove cloudiness. In the fourth stage, it uses a RO membrane to remove up to 99% of the remaining contaminants. Lastly, in the fifth stage, it uses an inline cartridge to remove all the remaining odors and tastes.
It even comes with a lead-free faucet that you can install to enjoy a complete filtration system. It features an automatic shut-off valve that prevents water waste, and a flow restrictor that ensures back pressure is provided for the membrane. Additionally, the warranty agreement that accompanies it lasts for 1 year, so you will enjoy free replacement of parts and repair in the meanwhile.
|Employs an effective 5-stage filtration process for optimal results||Does not re-mineralize the water|
|Can tackle over 1000 types of contaminants|
|Water waste is prevented by the automatic shut-off valve it features|
|Lead-free faucet is included in the package|
|Comes at a cheap price|
|Warranty agreement lasts for 1 year since the purchase date|
Reasonably priced yet effective in its quest to eliminate impurities as it can tackle removing over 1000 different types of impurities, the RO-505 is a system you can confidently purchase knowing that your money is well spent. Chlorine taste and odor, amongst other things, will be a bad memory of the past, and you will be assured of hydrating properly from the moment you install it on.
9. Express Water ROALK5D
The ROALK5D is a filtration system that uses an effective 10-stage process to ensure the complete removal of contaminants from your drinking water. Not only this, but it alkalinizes the liquid so that you hydrate at a better rate. During 5 of the 10 stages utilized, it mineralizes the water you consume to guarantee that your body receives everything it needs to function properly.
During the first filtration stage, a sediment media is used to remove sand, rust, and dirt, while during the second and third stages carbon block and granular carbon media are used to eliminate VOCs, odor-causing compounds, chlorine, and organic chemicals. In the fourth stage, the RO membrane is used to remove contaminants like TDS, chromium, fluoride, and so on, while during the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth stages minerals, oxygen, and antioxidants are put in the water. In the last stage, a post activated carbon media removes any remaining contaminants to ensure the water is clear, odor-free, and tastes good.
It can produce up to 50 gallons of pure water per day, and it gets the water through the faucet at 0.8 gallons per hour. The filtration media needs tending to only once every 6 months, so cartridge replacements won’t be too costly. In addition, the system is covered by a 1-year warranty, so if any defects appear, it will be repaired or replaced free of charge.
|Provides an effective 10-stage filtration to ensure the removal of water contaminants||Some customers found the installation process to be a bit too difficult for them|
|It also alkalinizes the water, thus providing you with alkaline drinking water|
|Operates on 40 to 80 PSI water pressure|
|Produces up to 50 gallons of clean water per day|
|Includes 5 stages of mineralization to provide you with the healthiest drinking water possible|
|Affordable – one of the more reasonably priced entries on the market|
A 10-stage system which not only tends to the removal of harmful contaminants lurking in your drinking water, but that alkalinizes it to ensure superior hydration, the Express Water is one of our top recommendations for those looking for a budget-friendly option.
10. Aquatic Life RODI Buddie 50 GPD
This RO/DI system is everything you could ask for as it ensures a complete cleaning of the water you drink and use, not only removing common contaminants like all other RO systems do but due to the addition of the DI cartridge media, guaranteeing a complete lack of total dissolved solids in the liquid. Its 4-stage purifying system includes the DI mixed bed resin cartridge and Thin-Film Composite membrane RO cartridges wit sediment and carbon cartridges.
The quick connections it provides ensure an easy manner to remove and replace cartridges when the time comes to tend to this maintenance work. It features mounting brackets that hold the RO system securely regardless where you install it, so there does not exist the risk for it to fall and get damaged. It comes with 20 feet of polyethylene tubing that come in handy for the plumbing part of the installation.
Its membrane housing accepts standard 11.75-inch TFC membrane cartridges, and the faucet adapter it comes with ensures you can easily connect it to standard garden hose threads. It comes at a cheap, reasonable price which makes it affordable for a wider range of customers. As it can purify up to 50 gallons of water per day, it is more than sufficient for a medium to large-sized home. Furthermore, it is accompanied by a 1-year warranty offered by the manufacturing company.
|DI cartridge media ensures all total dissolved solids are removed from the water you consume and use|
|Carbon pre-filter ensures the water will taste and smell better than ever|
|Quick connections ensure an easy removal and replacement of cartridges when maintenance work is due|
|Small footprint – ideal for under cabinet installation|
|Comes at a cheap price – affordable water cleaning option|
|Backed by a 1-year warranty|
One of the cheaper water purifying solutions out there, yet a reliable one nonetheless as it even tends to the complete removal of total dissolved solids from the water you consume, the Aquatic Life is obviously one of our main recommendations for those who are on a budget and are seeking to drink only clean, pure water.
How We Rated Our Selections
RO systems provide a thorough manner of removing contaminants that alter the quality of our drinking water, but their efficiency level relies on the quality of their manufacturing. Thus, some systems are simply better than others as they come with the right features and boast the best specs. To grant you with a realistic painting of the quality picks on this market, there are some factors we took into consideration as they have the biggest impact on performance.
|Rating Criteria||How It Affects Product Quality||Product to Receive the Best Score|
|Filtration stages||Quantity doesn’t top quality, that’s a given, but the truth when it comes to these system is that a higher efficiency in contaminant removal is enjoyed when the water is passed through a higher number of filtration stages. Thus, systems that pass the water through a more thorough filtration before outputting it are bound to be more effective.||Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series|
|Removed contaminants||The amount of contaminants it can help remove indicates how effective it is in purifying the water you use and consume. The more the better, so we obviously gave a higher rating to products that are capable of eliminating a higher number of contaminants from the water.||APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage, iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD, AquaLutio AL-1118|
|Bacteria removal capabilities||Bacteria are harder to remove than other types of contaminants, and few systems on the market are able to tackle eliminating them. Evidently, a better score was received by the products that can handle removing bacteria, among other types of contaminants.||Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series, APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage, iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD, AquaLutio AL-1118|
|Remineralization capabilities||As the water purification process takes place and particles are removed from the liquid, there is the risk of beneficial contents to be cleared as well. However, there are systems that return these beneficial minerals to your drinking water before outputting it in order to ensure you will hydrate in a healthily manner.||Pelican Pro 6-Stage, Aquasana OptimH2O + Claryum|
|Filter replacement frequency||You can figure out what maintenance costs await you by checking out the replacement frequency needed when it comes to the filtration media the system utilizes. As these are expensive products to begin with, it is preferable for replacements to be required as rarely as possible.||Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series|
How Reverse Osmosis Works
The fact that the water we consume is not clean is not news to anyone, being no mystery behind the fact that each time we drink tap water we actually ingest a wide variety of contaminants. Although public water suppliers generally do their best to provide clean water for their customers, this does not happen due to a wide variety of problems, the water that comes out of the taps smelling and tasting bad, and being dangerous to consume.
Filtration systems use various types of technologies designed to capture certain impurities in the water. Reverse osmosis is one of the most popular technologies that are based on a rather simple process that occurs naturally. These include a semipermeable membrane that captures large molecules and particles from the water. Usually, a filter is paired with a sediment filter that retains sediments, rust, and calcium carbonate. In addition, these units also include an activated carbon media that eliminates chlorine to prevent it from affecting the membrane. These combinations extend the lifespan of the RO filters and maximize their performance as well.
Provided Health Benefits
These systems are gaining a rapid popularity due to their high efficiency and effectiveness. But with so many different types of water filtration methods out there, it can be hard to understand what makes RO a great option to go with. To enlighten you, we will list the health benefits provided:
- Lead-free water
Lead is among the most dangerous contaminants that lurk in tap water, and unfortunately, it is mostly found in high numbers. Therefore, you cannot ensure that you will protect your health if you continue to consume this contaminated water. What makes lead a big enemy of your health is the fact that its consumption leads to problems with fertility, blood pressure, nerve damage, muscle damage, and even brain damage. But with the help of the filtration system, this won’t be an issue anymore as this type of system effectively removes lead from the water.
- No more cryptosporidium
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is found in contaminated water and that greatly affects the small intestines once it is ingested. Some of the unpleasant effects of ingesting it include diarrhea, cramps, and fever. Fortunately, reverse osmosis water is free of this very dangerous parasite, so you won’t have to worry that your health or the health of any other family member might be affected by it if you install this type of filtration system.
- Removal of sodium
If you or any of your loved ones suffer from liver disease, kidney disease, or if you have high blood pressure, it is recommended to avoid consuming sodium. Unfortunately, sodium is found in pretty high numbers in the tap water that we consume, so you must find an effective solution to remove it. The best way to do this is by drinking purified water because the filtration system that produces this healthy water removes the sodium molecules that it finds in the drinking water.
- Improved immune system
There are a lot of people who have weak immune systems and who are at risk for infections related to waterborne contaminants if they do not ensure that the water they consume is clean. This is especially true for children as their immune systems are in development, being very dangerous for them to drink contaminated water. Fortunately, with the addition of this type of a filtration system, you won’t only protect your immune system and the immune systems of your loved ones, but you will actually help improve it as well.
Useful Buying Guide
There are certain traits that characterize a quality system, and in this section of the article, we will cover more details about them. By doing this, we hope to give you a bigger chance of investing in a quality product. Therefore, if you intend to buy this type of water filtration system, check out the following lines to have a better understanding of what you should look for.
The first spec that you should check out when buying an RO filter is the number of filtration stages that it passes the water through. Top brands offer products that feature 5 to 7 filtration stages, but there are models that exceed this number, like the Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series that offers a staggering 12 filtration stages. The reason why it is important for these systems to have many filtration stages that are actually effective is that, during the filtration processes, various contaminants that lurk in the water are eliminated, every stage handling certain types of contaminants.
Water Production Rate
The water production rate represents how much drinking water the system can produce in a single day, and it is measured in GPD or gallons per day. To ensure that the RO media you are checking out is actually of a superior quality, the GPD values should range from 50 to 90. Just know that the water production rate that is displayed on the spec sheet of the product is rarely achieved as there are various other aspects that influence the final number, like the water temperature, the quality of the water that runs through the pipes, and the incoming water pressure. Therefore, the numbers will probably be a bit lower than manufacturers advertise when it comes to the GPD rating.
The reason why it is crucial to check the lifespan of the cartridges is that they are the ones that influence the maintenance costs the most. If you invest in a low-quality RO filter, expect for it to have cheap cartridges that have a short cycle life and that need to be replaced very often, meaning that you will spend a lot of money on maintenance work. On the other hand, if you invest in a top quality system like the Crystal Quest 1000C or the iSpring RCC7, the cartridges will require replacement so rarely that you won’t be inconvenienced budget-wise.
Some systems come with extra features that add to their performance and that make them perform better in certain situations. The extra features that we recommend you look for include a UV light, a remineralization media, and a pressure pump. The UV light is highly effective at killing microorganisms of all kinds, removing contaminants like bacteria, algae, fungi, giardia, E-coli, and Cryptosporidium from your drinking water. The remineralization media is useful as it adds healthy minerals back to the water that you consume when the filtration process ends. When it comes to the pressure pump, this extra feature is useful as it increases the water production rate and the system’s efficiency by feeding more water pressure into the filter.
Pros and Cons of RO Systems
As any other home improvement you might make, these systems have their good and their bad sides and it is best to learn more about each one before finally making a purchase. Otherwise, you might not be happy with your new filtration system. Without further ado, let’s see what are their pros and cons.
One of the perks of using it is the fact that it does not require any electricity like other systems might. The entire process is developed energy-free so you will not add any costs to your household bill.
If you resort to RO systems instead of buying bottled water, you will save a lot of money because it will deliver gallons of water for a few dollars. Also, the purchase costs are not as high as other types of filters that are more complicated and require more cartridges.
Better tasting water
Without a doubt, you will manage to improve the quality of your water which will also influence how your food will taste. The process is highly accurate in removing impurities and harsh minerals so that the resulted tap water will be far more qualitative.
Compared to other systems that are more cumbersome to maintain, this one only requires you to remove and replace one filter. It is as easy as that and in a few simple steps, you will refresh your filter and prepare it for more purifying.
The biggest downside is that it takes more time to purify the water, compared to other systems. It uses water pressure to push the water through the media, which is not a fast process. This means you will have to wait more time for your water to come from the tap. If you need a large amount of water and you empty its tank, it will take more time to refill it.
Due to all the impurities in the water, the media can get clogged very often if you do not ensure proper maintenance. A useful tip to prevent clogging is to install a pre-filter that captures the larger particles in the water thus, keeping the RO cartridge cleaner.
Another unpleasant side is the water waste that occurs every time you use it. During the process, up to 20 gallons of water are wasted for every gallon of purified water, which is not a convenient aspect.
Some of the systems we tested are rated to remove over 50 contaminants, while others promise to tackle as much as over 1000 impurities. However, the only way we could be sure was to use each system to filter the water in our headquarters – prior to the filtration process, we tested the water to see what contaminants actually pollute it. Obviously, we passed a water sample through testing once again after the filtration process to see what differences exist when it comes to its purity.
We used each system to filter water that we tested before for bacteria and the results were positive. After the filtration process took place, we tested the water again to check the level of bacterial contamination at that point. This way, we could draw a realistic comparison of how effective each model is when it comes to ridding the water of harmful microorganisms.
We installed each system ourselves to see if this is a doable procedure for you or if you are likely to require the intervention of a professional, a decision that would require you to spend a hefty sum of money. Following this testing parameter, we concluded that some systems are easy to install and come with comprehensive guides that pass you through the entire procedure, while others are downright impossible to install by common folk, professional help being mandatory.
When we refer to maintenance, we refer to the ease of replacing filter cartridges when the time comes for this procedure to take place. We replaced the filters in each system one by one, giving a higher score to those that are designed to make the maintenance task simplistic and fast.
|#1 – Pelican Pro||#2 – Aquasana||#3 – Crystal Quest||#4 – APEC||#5 – iSpring||#6 – AquaLutio||#7 – Brondell||#8 – Global Water||#9 – Express Water||#10 – Aquatic Life|
As it is our top choice, it should come as no surprise that the performance in terms of contaminant removal provided by the Pelican Pro 6-Stage highly exceed industry standards. It can remove up to 50 different types of contaminants it encounters, utilizes 6 different filtration stages to provide these great results, and it requires maintenance work less often than you would expect – you need to change the pre-filter only once every year and a half, while the post filter needs to be replaced once every 6 months. But the system we must admit caught our eye the most is the Crystal Quest 1000C THUNDER Series which is not only reasonably priced and thus affordable to a wider range of customers, but that is capable of removing up to 500 different contaminants lurking in your drinking water. However, if you have severe water quality issues and there is a ridiculously high number of contaminants found in it, we recommend the APEC ROES-50 Premium 5-Stage or the iSpring RCC7 5 Stage 75 GPD that are able to remove up to 1000 different harmful particles.