9 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems 2020 Review

Did you know that Singapore has the cleanest tap water in the world?

The government uses reverse osmosis(RO) as part of the process to translate everyday wastewater into the pure water due to the lack of water source.

The core filtration element is the semipermeable RO membrane which is 0.00001-micron rating that is capable of removing 99% of contaminants.

While many claims that RO water is not safe to consume due to the slightly acidic, Water Quality Association(WQA) claimed otherwise.

Upon contact with our saliva, the effects of the pH of reverse osmosis water are quickly negated. 

You might be struggling to identify which are the best reverse osmosis systems as the membrane is not a proprietary product. Each company will produce their own RO membrane accompanied with varies stage of other filtration media.

DISCLOSURE: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Our Top Pick


Home Master TMAFC​

Get freedom from 98% of heavy metals, chemical, chlorine, dissolved solids, and other contaminants in tap water with Home Master TMAFC. The machine is engineered to filter water @ 50GPD at a maintenance cost of $87/year. Our top-pick also keeps fluoride away.

How To Pick A Reverse Osmosis Water System?

How can you make sure that you are getting the best RO system for your home? You can get on the right track by taking the following factors into consideration.

Water Source

Where your water comes from should be among your main considerations if you’re on the market for a reverse osmosis system.

Homeowners who get their water from private wells will want to invest more in their new system. More often than not, the water coming from a private well is loaded with all kinds of contaminants. Microorganisms are especially abundant in that kind of water.

A water filtration system equipped with some kind of UV light sterilizer is better suited for those who get their water from private well.

If your water comes from a water treatment plant, a less sophisticated system should suffice.

Water Pressure

Some reverse osmosis systems come equipped with permeate pump. Whether or not your system will need a permeate pump depends on what kind of water pressure you’re getting at home.

If the water pressure in your home falls below 40PSI, you will most likely need a system equipped with a permeate pump. Without enough pressure, the water may not be properly filtered and you could end up drinking something contaminated.

Waste Water

Simply put, there is no way to completely eliminate waste water from the equation if you are using an RO system. This is true even if you have the best reverse osmosis systems installed in your home.

All that said, you can still get a system that produces only a minimal amount of waste water.

The so-called “zero waste” systems are ideal for minimizing waste water production because they circulate the unclean water back into the system until they can be processed again. Look for those if you want to avoid having too much dirty water stuck inside your system.

Maintenance Cost

There are two things you need to keep in mind if you want to pinpoint the maintenance cost for your unit.

First, you have to check how much the replacement filters cost. Some replacement filters are available for as low as $25 while others may be sold at double that price point. Check out which replacement filters your system needs before deciding whether or not to purchase it.

The other consideration to keep in mind is the longevity of the filters. You will find filters that only last for about 2 years. As much as possible, try to find the units which utilize filters that can remain in service for about 4 years or something closer to that.

Remineralization Capabilities

Reverse osmosis systems are quite thorough. Because of that, they will also remove elements that you actually want in your water supply such as minerals.

Even though mineralized water can leave stains on clothes, you still need it because it provides important nutrients.

You can ensure that you still get a steady supply of minerals from your water by finding those systems that make use of a remineralization filter.

Reverse Osmosis System Review

  1. Home Master TMAFC – Best Reverse Osmosis System
  2. iSpring RCC7 – Best Budget RO System
  3. APEC RO-CTOP – Best Countertop RO System
  4. Home Master TMHP – Best Reverse Osmosis System for Well Water
  5. APEC RO-PH90 – Best Alkaline RO System
  6. Waterdrop G3 – Best Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
  7. Brondell Circle – Stylish Reverse Osmosis System
  8. AquaTru – Modern Countertop RO System
  9. iSpring RCB3P – Best Light Commercial RO System

Home Master TMAFC – Best Reverse Osmosis System

When it comes to quality, Home Master has one of the best and highly rated reverse osmosis system in the market. TMAFC is their flagship product which received thousands of great customer reviews.

What’s so great about this water filter system?

Background: Formerly known as Tap Master, this company has been known as one of the most innovative reverse osmosis water filter company in town. All their products are designed and made in the US and is a patented system.

Filtration Capability: The TMAFC is a 4 stage filtration system that includes 2 pre-filters, an RO membrane, and a post remineralization filter. Home Master claims that it is 7 stage filters by using 4 physical cartridges.

The system is capable of removing up to 98% of heavy metals, chemical, chlorine, dissolved solids, and other contaminants.

While most of the RO water system stored the slight acidic filtered water in designated storage tank, the TMAFC will remineralize it with crushed marbles to make it slight alkaline before heading to the storage tank.

The water will pass through the post filter again before reaching the faucet. This patented technology, Full Contact Technology enables RO water to be remineralized twice within a single filter.

Key Features: There are 4 innovations that designed Home Master system stand out from the rest.

  1. Advanced modular filter that removed the need for a filtration housing. It is hygienic and prevents cracks or leaks on the water filter.
  2. Fast Flow RO! Kit that increases the water flow by 2X with larger tubing.
  3. Push-in tubing for replacement filter. No wrench needed.
  4. Patented Full Contact Technology.

The pH of the water is slightly increased to 7-8 as opposed to normal RO systems which are less than 7. The production rate is expected to be 50 Gallons per day depends on the water pressure, temperature and water conditions.

The TMAFC is tested against NSF standards by an independent laboratory and exceed the expected performance on filtering contaminants.

Home Master backed their RO water filter with a 5 years limited warranty, one of the longest among all the top rated reverse osmosis systems.

Maintenance: All of the filters have a lifespan of at least one year while the RO membrane can last for 3 years before a replacement is needed.

The estimated cost per year is $87 over a period of 5 years.

Customer Rating – 4.8 | Our Rating – 4.78

To learn more, visit the Home Master TMAFC review.

+ Remove up to 98% contaminants in tap water.
+ Double remineralization technology to prevent acidic water entering the storage tank and faucet.
+ Affordable maintenance cost.
+ Long lifespan filters for up to a year.
+ 5 years limited warranty.
+ Designed and manufacture in the US.
Expensive initial cost.
Average daily production rate as compared to the price category.
4 Gallons of waste water for 1 gallon of RO water.

iSpring RCC7 – Best Budget RO System

Looking for an RO system but on a tight budget? The iSpring RCC7 is one of the affordable models that cost less than $200 to own it.

Background: iSpring is one of well-known water treatment company that has been on the market for more than a decade now. They are specialized in under sink, commercial and whole house water filters.

The iSpring RCC7 is one of the best sellers products for under sink reverse osmosis systems which is backed by thousands of positive reviews from its customers.

Filtration Capability: It is a 5 stage reverse osmosis system that is packed with a pre-sediment filter, 2 activated carbon pre-filters, a reverse osmosis membrane filter, and a post-carbon filter.

It claimed by iSpring that the membrane is capable of removing up to 95% total dissolved solids (TDS). In addition, the pre-filters will remove huge sediments such as dust, rust and chlorine odor and smell.

The post filters make sure that unwanted odor and taste from the storage tank will be removed before the clean drinking water reaches the faucet.

Below is a list of contaminants that will be filtered.

iSpring RCC7 Rejection Table 1
iSpring RCC7 Rejection Table 2

Key Features: The RCC7 is the only RO water system that is under $200 to receive the WQA Gold Seal Award. This is the highest among all certification as the filter needs to go through a rigorous test and examination to prove that it is trustworthy.

Among all the affordable RO water filters in the market, the RCC7 has the highest daily production rate of 75 gallons per day.

The wastewater ratio is 3:1 which is slightly better than most of the RO water system.

The RCC7 is certified against NSF/ANSI standard 58 by WQA.

Maintenance: The lifespan of iSpring filters are way shorter than some of the reverse osmosis systems. The suggested replacement frequency is about 6 months for the pre-filters, 3 years for the reverse osmosis membrane and one year for the post-filter.

The estimated cost per year is $50 over a period of 5 years.

It is slightly higher than filters like the APEC ROES-50 due to the frequency of replacement. However, the cost is still affordable for an entry model filter.

Customer Rating – 4.8 | Our Rating – 4.6

To learn more, visit iSpring RCC7 review page.

+ Remove up to 95% TDS in tap water.
+ Affordable system to own in terms of initial and yearly cost.
+ Certified against NSF and WQA Gold Seal Award.
+ High daily production rate of 75 gallons per day.
Short lifespan filter of 6 months.
Not manufacture in US.
4 Gallons of waste water for 1 gallon of water.
One year limited warranty.
3:1 waste water.

APEC RO-CTOP – Best Countertop RO System

There is only a handful of countertop reverse osmosis system in the market. The APEC RO CTOP is definitely one of the best in the market. 

Background: APEC has been in the water treatment market close to 2 decades now. They specialize in reverse osmosis water filter and whole house filtration systems.

One of their best seller product that was featured on Amazon is the APEC ROES-50 under sink water filter. It received more than 2000 great reviews from its customers.

Filtration Capability: Back to the CTOP model, it is a 4 stage water filter the comes with a pre-sediment filter, activated carbon filter, a high rejection FILMTEC membrane filter and a post-carbon filter.

APEC claims that the high-grade membrane filter is capable of removing up to 99% of TDS such as bacteria, radium, arsenic, fluoride, chromium, lead, heavy metals, and viruses.

The table below shows the list of contaminants that guaranteed to remove by APEC RO CTOP.

APEC RO CTOP Contaminants Removal Table

Key Features: This model has the filtration capability as the top-notch product in APEC. The high daily production rate of 90 gallons per day made it capable of producing great drinking water almost instantly without a storage tank.

Rest assured on the built quality as the entire filter is manufactured in the US including the individual filters.

Installation is much simpler as compared to all of the recommended reverse osmosis systems. All you need is to attach the adapter to the faucet and the water filter is ready to produce pure water. No drilling is needed.

For every gallon of filtered water, approximately 3 gallons of wastewater is produced. It is 1 gallon less in wastewater as compared to the majority of the water filter system.

Maintenance: APEC is known for creating great filtration for RO systems. The lifespan of their filter can last for at least a year for pre and post filters and 3 years on the RO membrane.

With the suggested replacement schedule, it is estimated to pay about $70 per year over a 5 years period.

Customer Rating – 4.5 | Our Rating – 4.7

To learn more, visit APEC RO-CTOP review page. 

+ Remove up to 99% TDS in tap water.
+ Portable, space saving, easy to dismantle and move to a new location.
+ Long lifespan filters.
+ Installation is easy and fast for this model.
+ High daily production rate of 90 gallons per day.
+ A US-made product.
Slightly higher in terms of initial cost.
3 Gallons of waste water for 1 gallon of filtered water.
One year limited warranty.

Home Master TMHP – Best Reverse Osmosis System for Well Water

If you need a fully covered RO water system, the Home Master TMHP is what we recommend. It was packed with all the features that are available in a water filter. 

Filtration Capability: It is a 5 stage reverse osmosis filtration system which consists of a Modular Sediment filter, Iron Filter With catalytic carbon, Ultra Violet Sterilizer filter, RO Membrane, and a Remineralization filter.

Home Mater claim to capable of removing up to 99% sediments, dissolved solids, heavy metals, organic chemical, and VOC. In addition, the UV light will kill any virus, bacteria and living microorganism found in well water source.

Similar to the Home Master TMAFC, it is remineralized once when flows into the storage tank and once in going into the faucet.

Key Features: To combat the low-pressure problem that is often faced by well water homeowners, the water filter system comes with a permeate pump which can increase the incoming water pressure.

The wastewater is reduced to 1 gallon for every gallon of filtered water. It is a 75% saving as compared to the conventional reverse osmosis systems. The daily production rate is set to be 75 gallons per day.

Likewise, this filter comes with a 5-year limited warranty as Home Master stood behind their quality.

Maintenance: As it is a complete system, it doesn’t come cheap in replacement cost. All of the filters can last at least for a year and 3 years for the reverse osmosis membrane.

According to the suggested replacement schedule, the annual maintenance cost is about $150 in a period of 5 years.

Customer Rating – 4.8 | Our Rating – 4.6

To learn more, visit Home Master TMHP review page.

+ Remove up to 99% contaminants and living microorganism.
+ Completed system with UV light sterilizer and permeate pump.
+ 5 years limited warranty.
+ High daily production rate of 75 gallons per day.
Expensive initial and annual maintenance cost.
Needed larger space under sink for this system.

APEC RO-PH90 – Best Alkaline RO System

While most of the system has alkaline features in it, the APEC RO PH-90 is one of our recommended alkaline reverse osmosis water filter. Let’s take a deep dive on what is so great about this water filter.

Filtration Capability: It is a 6 stage reverse osmosis filtration system that comes with a 5-micron Sediment filter, twin Premium Extruded Carbon Block filters, a high graded FILMTEC RO membrane filters, an Advanced Coconut Shell Refining Carbon Post Filter and a Calcite Acidic Water Neutralizer.

It is a similar membrane that is used in APEC RO CTOP model, our recommended countertop reverse osmosis water filter system. It removes 99% of TDS from the tap water which includes fluoride, chromium, arsenic, lead, heavy metals, and bacteria.

The neutralizer filter eventually increases the pH of the water to 8-9 which claims to be optimum for the absorption of our body.

Key Features: It is a high-end model among all APEC water filter system which is capable of producing 90 gallons of filtered water per day. In addition, it comes with a huge 4 gallons storage tank to produce drinking water instantly from the faucet.

The fully American designed and built water filter reduce the wastewater to 3 gallons for every gallon of pure water that was produced.

All APEC products come with a one year limited warranty.

Maintenance: As you might know that APEC produces quality filters that will last longer than average filters. The minimum lifespan is a year for all the cartridge except the RO membrane.

This translate to approximately $85 on the annual maintenance across a period of 5 years.

Customer Rating – 4.7 | Our Rating – 4.6

To learn more, visit APEC RO-PH90 review page.

+ Remove up to 99% TDS.
+ Raise the pH of water to 8-9.
+ Fully American Made Product.
+ High daily production rate of 90 gallons per day.
Slightly expensive on initial and annual maintenance cost.
3:1 wastewater.
Needed larger space under the counter.

Waterdrop G3 – Best Tankless Reverse Osmosis System

If space is a concern under your sink, you definitely wanted to check out the Waterdrop G3 Tankless RO System.

Background: Waterdrop came to existence in 2015 with the passion and expertise of creating high-tech, efficient, and compact water filtration system. Getting clean drinking water in the U.S. is a critical issue for the majority of the states due to groundwater contamination from industries and community waste.

As of the moment, this company has over 200 products on water treatment and filtration systems. These product lines include filters for faucets, pitchers, RO systems, and refrigerator water filters.

Filtration Capability: Waterdrop G3 is a smart and compact RO water system that has an efficient 7 stage reverse osmosis filtration system. It is completely tankless, so it takes up minimal space under your sink.

The three main filters include carbon filter (0.8 microns), reverse osmosis filter (0.0001 microns), and carbon block filter (0.5 microns). It can remove over 1000 water contaminants which include chlorine, sand, heavy metals, odor, organic contaminants, and pathogens.

Based on NSF and ANSI Standard 58, Waterdrop can remove 94% of TDS. Meanwhile, all its parts and materials are free of lead content as tested and certified by the NSF/ANSI standard 372. it has passed 400+ lab tests and found zero traces of hazardous compounds such as lead, cadmium, benzene, and formaldehyde.

Key Features: Below are some of the impressive innovations which make Waterdrop G3 stand out from the rest.

  1. Fast flow rate at 400 GPD. Compared to traditional RO systems, it is highly efficient in producing clean drinking water, that is, 12 seconds to fill one glass of water. Likewise, despite its excellent purification system, it produce of 400 gallons of water per day (GPD).
  2. Auto Flushing. Like other RO tech, you need to have a periodic washing of your filters to keep its optimal function. G3 has a smart system that automatically flushes its filters when the device has consistently worked for two consecutive hours.
  3. Quick and Easy to Set-up. The compact and sleek design of G3 makes it easy to install (30 minutes only). Likewise, the three main filters can be quickly replaced in 3 seconds, simply by turning the knob. Its tankless design also contributes to its easy installation under your sink.
  4. 1:1 Low Down Ratio. Because of its efficiency, G3 has a wastewater to drinkable water ratio of 1:1. One gallon of potable water will only produce one gallon of wastewater.

Other features:

  1. Holiday Mode. When G3 is left to be unused for 24 hours (no filtered water has been dispensed), then it intuitively does its auto flushing mechanism.
  2. Smart TDS LCD Panel. It has a screen display that shows the real-time quality of your drinking water and its TDS contents.
  3. Overworked Reminder. To preserve the functionality and parts of G3, it has an auto shut-off mode when it has consecutively dispensed water for 30 minutes. It has a loud buzzer which beeps for three minutes to alarm you that it needs to rest.
  4. Starting and Stopping Frequently Reminder. When the permeate pump of G3 is repeatedly turned on and off, its buzzer alarm will snooze five times.

Maintenance: The smart features of G3 impressively contribute to the preservation of its condition and performance. It has three filters with varying lifespan and function which is mentioned below:

Annual Maintenance Cost: $90

Customer Rating4.9  |  Our Rating4.8

+ Space-saving and stylish design
+ 400 GPD.
+ Excellent resistance from leaking.
+ Lesser wastewater production.
+ Ability to show real-time water quality.
The pricey initial investment for the unit.
Cannot be overworked longer than 30 minutes because of its smart system.

Brondell Circle – Stylish Reverse Osmosis System

Brondell Circle+ is another space-saving under the sink RO device. It is popular for its stylish appeal and patented RO system which reduces back pressure to increase its water purification efficiency.

Background: Brondell unexpectedly started from curiosity which later thrived and succeeded through creativity and innovation. It produces high-tech, environment-friendly, and efficient products for the bathroom, water purification, and air filter.

It is 10 times more efficient and water-saving than your traditional RO tech and this gained the Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal certification. With its elegant look, Brondell H2O+ can also serve as a nice accent in your modern kitchen.

Filtration Capability: Brondell H2O+ uses a four stage water filtration system which effectively removes various contaminants in your drinking water. The effectiveness of its water filtration process is tested and certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA).

It passed the standards of NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 58 for the removal of the following water pollutants: cyst, fluoride, volatile organic compounds, chlorine, smell and taste, lead, hexavalent and trivalent chromium, barium, arsenic, cadmium, radium 226/228, selenium, lead, heavy metals and copper.

It also showed a great reduction for the TDS in your faucet water. Moreover, it passed the NSF/ANSI 372 certification for having very low to zero contents of lead.

Key Features: For your understanding of Brondell’s uniqueness and value, here are its highlight features.

  1. Higher Efficiency. For one gallon of drinkable water, only 2.1 gallons of wastewater are produced. 10 times water-saving properties than standard RO systems.
  2. Stylish Faucet
  3. Smaller Size. Unlike the bulky RO systems, this one has a space-saving design that helps you seamlessly install it under your sink.
  4. Patented Smart Valve and Flexible Reservoir. This ergonomically designed valve and water tank improve water filtration efficiency by reducing backpressure.
  5. Auto-Filter Flushing. It has a built smart feature that flushes the installed water filters to extend its life.

Other features: It comes with a 6L storage tank, stylish chrome-plated faucet with an LED indicator to signal if the filters need to be replaced.

It comes with 1 year-warranty and it is certified against NSF, ANSI and WQA.

Maintenance: The built-in auto flush system for the water filters of Brondell H2O+ truly helps in extending its functional life. This RO system has four filters and each has a different lifespan.

  • Sediment, pre-carbon plus and post carbon block filter – replaced every 6 months
  • RO membrane filter – replaced every 24 months

Annual Replacement Cost: $70

Customer Rating: 4.4  |  Our Rating: 4.6

+ Better performance in purifying water.
+ Stylish design and small footprint.
+ Durable construction.
+ Easy to set up and change filters.
Pricey upfront cost.

AquaTru – Modern Countertop RO System

If you want an alternative to your traditional RO system, then AquaTru can be your good choice.  It is a modern countertop RO water filter system that produce pure water without the need for technical installation processes.

Background: AquaTru is one of the known companies in the water purification industry. This company aimed to produce a portable, easy to set-up, and cost-efficient filtration and purification system to secure clean drinking water.

They have been in the industry for more than two decades providing every home quality and efficient RO water filter system.

Filtration Capacity: The four-stage filtration performance of AquaTru is tested and certified by NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 58. It can effectively remove all types of water pollutants such as organic compounds (99%), barium (96.4%), hexavalent and trivalent chromium (98%), copper (95%), fluoride (93%), lead (99%), selenium (98%), radium 226/228 (96%), cyst (99%) and TDS (87%).

  • Two-stage Pre-filtration system: In here, larger particles are removed which include sand, sediments, and silt. For the removal of chlorine taste and smell, it will be treated with the activated carbon filter.
  • RO Filter: This filter will remove particles that have a size larger than 0.00001 microns.
  • VOC Carbon Filter: This filter will remove the volatile organic compounds present in your drinking water.

Based on NSF/ANSI 42, AquaTru can remove chlorine contents, smell, and taste at 96.6%.

Key Features: Here are the impressive traits of the AquaTru countertop RO water purification system.

  1. Low waste water ratio . It has higher performance and lower wastewater production compared to standard RO units.
  2. One-Touch Water Dispensing. You have an easy way of getting your drinkable water from AquaTru with just a press of a button.
  3. Great Space Saving Design. Its compact and stylish design eats a very minimal footprint on your countertop. Likewise, it can impeccably increase the curb appeal inside your kitchen.
  4. Hassle-Free Filter Replacement. Simply lift the side panel where the filters are placed, then take out the old filters and place the new replacements.
  5. 10-minute DIY Set-Up. Setting up your AquaTru requires zero tools and the manual is very easy to understand and follow.

Maintenance: Like any other reverse osmosis water filter, the major maintenance is the replacement filters. The pre-filters and VOC carbon filter will last for 1 year and 2 years on the reverse osmosis membrane.

Annual Maintenance Cost: $70

Customer Rating: 4.0  |  Our Rating: 4.5

+ Great space-saving design.
+ Excellent water taste and smell.
+ Easy to install and use in just 10-15 minutes.
High cost for the unit.

iSpring RCB3P – Best Light Commercial RO System

If you want another alternative for commercial use RO system, then this iSpring RCB3P is a good option for you. It has an efficient water purification process that filters out 99% of water contaminants in your water source.

Background: iSpring water systems is situated in Alpharetta, GA, and has been in the industry for more than a decade. They are a family-owned company producing innovative reverse osmosis water filter for households and commercial establishments.

This company creates an array of products for treating your water supply. These products include countertop filters, commercial and residential RO technology, ultrafiltration system, faucet filters, and RO coolers.

Filtration Capacity: The filtration performance of iSpring RCB3P has been tested and certified by NSF and ANSI. Its 5 stage reverse osmosis system can effectively remove 99% of 1000 water pollutants. These contaminants include bacteria, pathogens, lead, chromium, arsenic, cadmium, asbestos, dissolved solids, heavy metals, chlorine taste and smell.

Its RO membrane filter (0.0001 microns) highly contributes to removing the majority of water contaminants. Likewise, the activated post carbon filter guarantees you get clean and crisp drinking water by eliminating the taste and smell of chlorine.

Key Features: This commercial RO system from iSpring has five main innovations which will be of great help in supplying clean drinkable water for your office, small restaurants, retail stores, and other business establishments.

  1. NSF / ANSI Certified. It has a high-efficiency rate compared to norma RO systems. Through its 5 stage reverse osmosis filtration process, it can remove 99% of water contaminants.
  2. Quick and Easy Installation and Filter Replacement. It uses a freestanding stainless steel frame that holds the entire RO system. Filter set-up and replacement only entail a twist and drop mechanism.
  3. Impressive RO Efficiency. It can sufficiently supply 300 gallons of clean potable water per day.
  4. Permeate Pump. This feature increases water pressure going into the RO system which helps increase its efficiency while reducing back pressure and wastewater.
  5. Best for Light Commercial Use. The overall filtration performance of iSpring is suitable for light and medium-size business establishments.

Maintenance: Sediment, Granular activated carbon (GAC), and carbon block pre-filter needs to be changed either every 6 to 12 months.

The reverse osmosis membrane can typically last for five years but you have to check its rejection rate every 6 or 12 months. Lastly, the

post carbon filter. This filter needs to be replaced every 12 months.

Annual Maintenance Cost: $150

Customer Rating: 4.0  |  Our Rating: 4.6

+ Suitable RO unit for small-size business establishments like a small diner, bar, salon, and office.
+ Excellent clean water dispensing capacity at 300 GDP.
+ Installation and maintenance processes can be intuitively done on your own.
Expensive upfront and ongoing cost.

What Is Reverse Osmosis System?

The success of the reverse osmosis process hinges largely on whether or not the filter does its job. The filter, which is also often referred to as the semi-permeable membrane is responsible for separating the water from the impurities.

You’ll notice that the filter itself features plenty of small pores. This is necessary because the impurities need to be completely eliminated from the water. Larger pores would just allow those contaminants to pass through.

When we’re talking impurities, we’re referring to any foreign particles that could have been in the water previously. Even microscopic particles such as bacteria are blocked by the reverse osmosis water filter.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Remove?

One of the reasons why reverse osmosis water filter stand out from other water filtration systems is because they excel at removing foreign bodies.

These systems will target the common contaminants that are found in the water such as salt and sediments that may enter the supply via erosion. It’s crucial for any home-based system to get rid of those contaminants simply because they tend to be so abundant.

Fluoride is yet another common contaminant that is removed by reverse osmosis systems. Elements such as arsenic and chlorine are also targeted.

Of course, those are not the most serious threats to your health that could come from the water supply. The good news is that the aforementioned filtration systems will also work on removing pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Bacteria and viruses that somehow sneak into the water supply can also be removed through the process of reverse osmosis.

As noted earlier, certain minerals that you don’t want taken out of the water may also be removed by RO filters.

How Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Works?

Filtration through reverse osmosis takes place over the course of different stages. The process also typically involves more than just one filter.

Step 1: Pre-filtration

To get things started, the water that enters the system, whether it’s an under sink reverse osmosis system or not, must first make it through pre-filtration. During this early stage, the focus is mainly on getting rid of the larger contaminants that may be floating around in the water.

Two different kinds of filters are often used during the pre-filtration process, with those being the carbon and sediment filters.

Pre-filtration is necessary because those larger contaminants could inflict serious damage upon the RO filter if they are not dealt with beforehand.

Step 2: The Reverse Osmosis Membrane

Now that the larger contaminants have been handled correctly, the process can continue to the next step. The next step in question involves the RO filter.

Pressure is again applied to the water in order to force it through the finer pores of the RO membrane. This time around, the smaller contaminants will be targeted and promptly removed from the water.

Step 3: Storage

Your system should already have produced some filtered water after the first 2 stages. It’s now time for the system to store that water.

Reverse osmosis systems have storage tank precisely for that reason. The system will continue to filter the water until such time that the tank has been filled up.

Benefits And Drawbacks For RO System

Unsurprisingly, there are benefits and drawbacks to using a reverse osmosis system inside your home. Here are the main points you need to know so that you can determine if the system is right for you.


Water Produced Is Pretty Close to Pure Water

The water you get from a reverse osmosis system is about the closest thing you’ll get to completely pure water. RO systems excel at cleaning up the water and you can rely on them to get rid of the dissolved solid.

Just refer back to the list of contaminants removed above to find out how comprehensive reverse osmosis systems are when it comes to cleaning.

Does Not Get in the Way

Adding a new water filtration system can seem like such a good idea at first. But then you realize how often it will be in your way and you start to second guess your decision to purchase one.

The great thing about many RO systems is that they can fit conveniently under your kitchen sink. You can continually use them without them ever being a hindrance to your work in the kitchen.

No Installation Issues

Compared to many other water filtration systems, the RO units are very easy to install. You should be able to get it done even if you don’t have a lot of experience working with household appliances.


Minerals May Be Removed

The biggest drawback to using a reverse osmosis system is that you may be taking out important minerals from the water by using it. Given how often you drink water over the course of a day, it probably accounts for a huge chunk of your mineral intake.

Thankfully, you can remineralize your water to minimize the impact of this drawback.

Optional Add-Ons For Reverse Osmosis System

The reverse osmosis water filter does not only remove 99.99% of water contaminants and pathogens, but also the essential minerals in it. This is the main reason why the filtered water from a RO system is slightly acidic.

You might want to consider reverse osmosis systems that comes with some add-on parts such as alkaline remineralization, UV lights and permeate pump.

  • Alkaline Remineralization: RO water systems produce clean and slightly acidic water. A reverse osmosis water filter that comes with an alkaline remineralization on the last filtration stage adds the essential alkaline minerals to your filtered
  • Permeate Pump: Permeate pump is mainly for houses that are low in water pressure. Contaminated water will be push across to the other side of the reverse osmosis membrane leaving the contaminants behind. Hence, it needs a decent water pressure. Well water user is encouraged to have the permeate pump installed with the reverse osmosis system.
  • UV Light: This is an added disinfection feature on your RO system which is responsible for killing viruses, E. Coli, cyst, algae, giardia, and other bacteria present in water especially for well water source.

What Is TDS?

TDS stands for total dissolved solid and this is natural for all raw water sources. It refers to all inorganic positive (cation) and negative (anion) ions dissolved in water. Some of the common inorganic salts soluble in water include potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, carbonates, bicarbonates, sulfates, and nitrates.

Using a TDS meter is the most practical and efficient way of measuring how many dissolved solids are present in the water. Modern RO systems have a built-in TDS meter so you can check on a real-time basis on the quality of your filtered water. Otherwise, a separate handheld TDS meter can be used to measure the quality of the water.

TDS measure is expressed in mg/L or ppm. Based on EPA standards, potable water among households must have a maximum TDS level of 500 ppm. When your faucet water has a high TDS level, then it isn’t suitable for drinking.

Reverse Osmosis System Installation

The first step of the installation process involves toggling the cold and hot water shut-offs inside your home. You specifically want them to be inactive during the installation process.

Next, take out the filter assembly and hang that on the wall of the sink base. You can now go ahead and install the saddle valve that was packaged together with your system.

Turn your attention to the color-coded water supply line next and cut it. After cutting, position it above the cabinet base and then fasten the plastic tubing to the supply valve.

Connect the supply and waste lines to the fittings on the base of your faucet. Shorten them as appropriate, but don’t touch the black waste line.

Link the faucet to the sink and follow that by placing the drain line adapter under the sink basket. Cut off the waste line now and make sure it goes into the adapter.

Get the storage tank now and place that in its designated location before installing the water line.

With all that done, you can now start using your reverse osmosis filtration system.

RO System Maintenance

Maintenance, as it pertains to RO systems, means managing the filters. The tricky part is that the filters used by most reverse osmosis system feature different lifespans.

The filters that take effect before and after the RO filter has done its job are the ones that don’t last very long. You can expect them to remain in working condition for about a year, but you should really start to check on them once they hit the 6-month mark.

As for the reverse osmosis filter itself, you don’t need to worry about replacement until after 2 years. Once you get to that point, pay closer attention to the condition of the reverse osmosis filters.

FAQs On Reverse Osmosis Systems

Why Should I Rely on a Reverse Osmosis System Instead of Using Bottled Water?

People like to drink bottled water because it’s convenient and they can be confident that they are consuming something clean. The main issue with relying so heavily on bottled water though is that you end up producing a lot of plastic waste. The world is already suffering due to how much plastic is in the environment and you should avoid contributing to that problem if possible.

Reverse osmosis systems give you the same quality of water without the accompanying plastic waste.

How Much Waste Water Is Produced by a Reverse Osmosis System?

There’s no getting around the fact that waste water will be produced if you use an RO unit. You may even end up with about 4 gallons of waste water for each gallon of clean water. That is obviously a problem.

To minimize that issue, look for RO systems that recycle the water they don’t clean up right away.

What Does Water Produced by a Reverse Osmosis System Taste Like?

Water produced via reverse osmosis does not taste bad per se, but it’s hard to say that it tastes great as well. The best way to describe the flavor is that it’s bland. The water tastes that way because so many of the foreign entities have been removed.

You will likely need some time to get used to the new taste of the water, but it’s not too bad.

Do I Need a Reverse Osmosis System with a UV Light?

You may find some RO systems that are bundled together with UV lights. Those UV lights are actually meaningful additions. They help clean the water further as they specifically target bacteria and viruses.

How Much Will I Have to Spend if I Want a Reverse Osmosis System in My Home?

Homeowners can still add an RO system to their home even if they don’t have a limitless budget to draw from. Per HomeAdvisor, there are RO units available for as low as $150. If you have more money to spend, there are more feature-rich options sold for around $1,000.

Wrapping Up

Everyone has their own requirement when it comes to picking the best reverse osmosis systems. The above recommendation reflects our opinion and knowledge towards water treatment products.

It might be hard to decide which type of filtration system should you be taking. Don’t worry. Head over to our recommended drinking water filter guides today and discover which water purifier suits your family’s needs.

In general, there are 7 types of drinking water purifiers system. There must be one which is suitable for your home.

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