If you haven’t already, you should definitely consider investing in a reverse osmosis system for your household. Clean water is something many of us take for granted these days, but unless you live in an area where tap water is guaranteed to be 100% clean, chances are that you will notice a peculiar taste as soon as you drink it. You see, pipes tend to degrade over time, causing particles of rust and other impurities to mix with the water that flows through the pipes. Even if they do not affect the taste, these impurities can surely make the water unsafe to drink. A good way to circumvent that issue is to invest in a reverse osmosis system or any other similar filtering technology. To give you some pointers on the matter, we put together a list of the ten best reverse osmosis systems the market has to offer for you to look at.
What Is a Reverse Osmosis System?
Let’s first discuss what a reverse osmosis system or RO system is. A reverse osmosis system is a unique filtration process used to filter water.
The reverse osmosis filtration process makes use of a semi-permeable, thin membrane. The membrane contains pores small enough for pure water to pass through while at the same time rejecting larger molecules like dissolved salts (ions) and other contaminants. The reverse osmosis water filtration system has been recognized and commercialized since the late 1960s.
Key Components of a Reverse Osmosis System
- Pretreatment cartridge filtration
- Pressuring pump
- Controls system (small RO systems need valves and rotameters while a large RO filtration systems need a flow rate, temperature, pressure transmitters, and control valves)
Best Reverse Osmosis Systems
We’ll save you time and prevent a headache. Below we have reviewed 10 of the best reverse osmosis systems you can choose from.
10Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
This versatile system combines standard reverse osmosis technologies with an advanced Claryum selective filtration and re-mineralization system. This ensures that no less than 95% of fluoride and 87 other contaminants are completely removed from the water, including lead, mercury, asbestos, and a lot more. It also gives you instant access to about .5 gallons of clean water every minute which translates into around 35 gallons a day.
9Watts Premier RO-Pure 531411
This 4-stage reverse osmosis system delivers crystal clear, high-quality, great tasting water as quickly and as easily as the technology allows it. Equipped with a high-end designer chrome air gap faucet and quick change sanitary filters, this system can prove extremely easy to not only operate but maintain. We say this partly because you can change the filters with just a push of a button.
8Brondell H2O+ Circle Water Saving Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
With this particular osmosis system, you get a filtering technology that is up to ten times more efficient than most osmosis systems. Equipped with integrated LED filter change indicators and a compact design that saves you a lot of space near the faucet, you can rely on this device to not stand out too much yet to be as efficient as you can expect one to be. What’s interesting is that it also benefits from a quick change twist & seal filter system that makes it easy for you to change the filters when needed.
7APEC Top Tier Supreme Certified Osmosis System
You should expect a high-end osmosis system to be not only efficient when filtering water but also easy to maintain. This is precisely what best characterizes the APEC Top-Tier Supreme Osmosis System, a filtering complex that produces a 100% high-purity, lead-free water. Not only that but the system also comes with a quality Chrome faucet and FDA certified JG food-grade tubing along with a WQA Gold seal of approval in regards to its filtering capabilities.
6Home Master TMULTRA Ultra Undersink Reverse Osmosis System
Home Master’s TMULTRA Undersink Reverse Osmosis System stands out as one of the most efficient such systems in the industry. Given its ingenious construction, this system solves the most common problems associated with traditional RO systems without making it harder to operate in any way. In fact, its advanced filtration and purification system removes up to 99% of iron, chemicals, microorganisms, and any other contaminants in the water.
5APEC Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
What makes this versatile osmosis system stand out is its ability to hook up to virtually any faucet out there. Lightweight and easy to set up, this osmosis system provides refreshing water on any 40 to 80 psi water system. This makes it perfect for apartments, condos, motor homes, or as a portable device when needed. Furthermore, this 90 GPD system is built with high-capacity filters that take a long time to expire.
4Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection
This is a high-end osmosis system in the true sense of the word, which may explain its tremendous popularity. Although a bit more expensive than most, this quality system offers an advanced filtration and purification that many such systems simply cannot deliver. At the same time, it allows you to add minerals like calcium and magnesium during the purification process for an improved taste.
3Home Master TMAFC Artesian System
The Home Master TMAFC Artesian System is seen as one of the systems with the largest capacity, which makes it perfect for any particularly large household. Giving you the possibility of adding minerals at will for an improved taste, it is sure to drastically improve the quality of your drinking water regardless of how much of it you require on a daily basis. It does so with the help of an innovative RO system paired with long-lasting, easy-change filters of the highest quality.
2APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis System
APEC’s Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis System is among the few such systems that can remove up to 99% of contaminants from water, including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, and bacteria. It does so with the help of premium long-lasting filters designed to provide a lot of use before needing to be changed. The system also comes with a 100% lead-free chrome faucet and FDA certified JG Food grade tubing for good measure.
1iSpring RCC7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis
Top on our list is the best home reverse osmosis system. There is perhaps no better reverse osmosis system than iSpring’s RCC7 High-Capacity 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System. The reason we say this is because it comes equipped with beautiful brushed nickel all-metal faucets and a clear see-through 1st stage housing. It also benefits from an ingenious construction that makes it very easy to set up. All this at a surprisingly affordable price, which may explain its current popularity. Overall, the high capacity potential, the efficient filtration technology, and the surprisingly durable construction make this system one of the very best money can buy.
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What To Look For In A Reverse Osmosis System
Now that you have made the decision to invest in a reverse osmosis system, you must surely be wondering how to determine which one to choose. This is no easy feat, mind you, not these days with all the different choices available. You could do what many people are doing and simply go for whatever system is more affordable, but this is sure to create problems for you down the line, not just technically speaking but also in regards to the quality of the filtering process itself. In order to purchase the best reverse osmosis system, you should first familiarize yourself with the key elements of these systems.
You will often see the term TDS mentioned when looking for a reverse osmosis system. This refers to the inorganic salts that can be found in most tap water, salts like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates. According to the EPA, the maximum TDS level has to be around 500 mg/L, which is not exactly healthy albeit relatively safe. With the help of a running osmosis system, you can remove about 90% of those impurities, as long as the system performs properly. Although this isn’t a standard by any means, you can at least expect the good ones to get the job done.
Air Gap Faucet
Most reverse osmosis systems come with air gap faucets that you set up onto the pipeline. This air gap faucet provides a siphon break for most RO systems, a mechanism that prevents dirty water from making its way into the system itself. Even though an air gap faucet system has its benefits, a standard faucet is to be preferred for the sole reason that it is much easier to install. Not only that but these systems also tend to get quite noisy over time.
A good reverse osmosis system should provide you with all the cleaning water you can drink on a daily basis. To ensure that they are capable of doing so, most of these systems are tested on a water pressure of 60 psi, a pressure that can differ slightly depending on where you live. Alternatively, a filtering system can also be improved with the addition of a pump to feed the water into the system in order to compensate for an unusually low water pressure. Either way, a reliable osmosis system should maintain a high TDS level reduction throughout the day.
Range of pH Values
The accepted range of pH values should be between 6.5 and 8.5 at all times, no matter the system or how the pipeline configuration is set up. Anything lower than 6.5 will cause the water to be more acidic, which won’t just cause the water to taste funny but it can also cause a series of gastrointestinal problems for some people. For this reason, you might want to look into reverse osmosis systems that remineralize the water as they filter it. This process increases the pH value close to a natural level while greatly improving its taste.
You simply cannot run such a system without the risk of wasting some water in the process. This is usually done when flushing the RO membrane and can reach levels of up to 20 gallons per every gallon of water produced. Although this is an extreme estimation, you can still expect the system to waste some amount of water following the filtering process. Realistically, the figure is closer to four gallons per filtered gallon, which is much more acceptable for your average household.
We referred to an RO membrane earlier, a term many of you might not fully understand. Basically, an RO membrane is a fine filter designed to filter anything larger than 0.001 microns, which is supposed to filter out roughly all impurities coming through the pipes. In this respect, it is usually dissolved particles that pass the RO membrane, the type of particles that can be filtered out by remineralizing the water or by running it through a second filter.
Although not that common, some of these systems are also equipped with UV Lights. They are intended to kill all the hazardous particles that pass the RO membrane or any other filtering system you might have installed. This presents a somewhat high-tech solution to the filtering problem, which is why the only systems that employ it tend to be in the minority. The reason behind this is the fact that UV Lights make the system more difficult to set up, thus more complex overall.
Pressure Increasing Pump
Like we said, most pipe systems have a pressure of around 40 to 60 psi, which might differ ever so slightly depending on where you live. If you determine that the water pressure isn’t strong enough to run a reverse osmosis system at its full capacity, you can always employ a pressure pump to boost the pressure in the system. You can do this with an electric pump or a permeate pump, both yielding similar results when properly installed.
Advantages of Using a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- Very simple to operate
- A whole house osmosis system does not use hazardous chemicals
- Energy-saving (even more when used with distillation to create pure water)
- Reduces water cost
- Can be used together with an existing membrane filtration system to achieve maximum rinse water cycle