Best Reverse Osmosis System Review And Buying Guide

How important clean drinking water for you? Would your tap water be enough to sustain your health on a long term basis? With the rise of the health consciousness on a global basis recently, these questions become more important with each passing day.

Many new technologies have also emerged to achieve the production of pure, clean drinking water out of our households, and among them is the topic of our discussion, the reverse osmosis system.
"Among Reverse Osmosis System, Home Master TMAFC Artesian Osmosis Water because their top of the line reverse osmosis household product. The term ‘AFC’ stands for their patented Alkaline Full Contact technology. The full contact technology is unique with its added benefit of extra filtration and re-mineralization. We will discuss this technology further in the technical specifications section below."
"Among Reverse Osmosis system, APEC Water ROES-75 Top is Sediment removal filter to remove dust, particles, and rusts ,Carbon block filter for double filtrations, eliminates chlorine, unwanted odors, colors, and cloudiness, as well as removing chemicals and VOCs.The High Rejection TFC membrane removes bacteria, arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium, and other unwanted contaminants Coconut Shell Refining Carbon; the ‘polisher,’ removes residual tastes."

Why we choose to write on this

The reverse osmosis system gained the public attention back on the start of the past decade. Since then, many households and commercial industries have adapted the technology to produce pure and clean drinking water in an affordable way.

However, many people still misunderstood the technology, and are hesitant to purchase it. With so many types and brands are available on the market, making a purchase decision can sometimes be a daunting task, and those are the reasons we are compiling this guide.

Why You should Trust Us

With the internet flooded with information, reviews, and guides, it is understandable for you to question the legitimacy of our guide.

I am a real person of the medical profession and the real passion for health. With technology and science as my hobby, I try to combine both to help people achieve better health through technology.

What Is Reverse Osmosis System?

Before we can understand reverse osmosis, and its importance, we must first understand the term ‘osmosis’ itself.

Understanding Osmosis

Osmosis is a natural phenomenon, and in fact, one of the most important processes happening in our environment. By definition, osmosis is a spontaneous movement of a liquid substance through a cellular, semi-permeable membrane. The movement occurs from a place with a higher concentration to a place with a lower concentration.

Sounds confusing? Let us explain by an example. One of, if not the most important occurrence of osmosis in nature is how plant roots absorb water from the soil.

The Reverse Osmosis

When natural osmosis movements can only happen from a higher concentration to a lower concentration, the reverse osmosis allows the reverse direction. By applying some form of energy, we can reverse the osmosis process so that the lower concentrated substance can move towards the higher concentrated one.

Why Is It Important

The reverse osmosis allows pure water to be separated from contaminants such as dissolved salts, pyrogens, bacteria, and organics, and other unwanted minerals. This process will be impossible with natural osmotic movements. Reverse osmosis system ‘push’ the pure water through the reverse osmosis membrane, while leaving the contaminants behind, and you’ll get a clean, pure water as the end product.

Benefits of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water

Drinking more water is always a smart health decision! However, will drinking a pure, reverse osmosis water bring more benefits for you?

Here are some key facts you might want to know about drinking reverse osmosis water:

  • Health: Removal of Contaminants

There are a lot of microscopic contaminants that are unseen in your average drinking water. Yet, they can bring an extremely harmful effect to your body.

Here are some of the notable and dangerous contaminants that will be removed by a reverse osmotic system:

    • cryptosporidium (cyst)
    • Radium
    • Barium
    • Fluoride
    • Chromium
    • selenium
    • Nitrates and nitries
    • Lead
    • Copper
    • Arsenic
  • Economics: Eliminating the Needs For Bottled Water

A lot of us are afraid of the contaminants in our tap water, or simply don’t like the taste of it. Those two could be the major cause why you’re buying bottled water all the time.

Bottled water is an expensive liability in the long run, not to mention piling up the plastic wastes is bad for the environment

A reverse osmosis system can justify the long-term cost, and will be a better overall investment economic-wise.

In the U.S. alone, Americans spent more than $14 billion on bottled water in 2015.

  • Taste: It Tastes Better Both for Drinking and Cooking

When your tap water is impure, it will definitely affect the taste of the food you cook with.

Reverse osmosis water simply tastes better, including when you make your coffee or tea with it.

Many testimonies and studies pointed the major difference in both the taste and appearance of reverse osmosis water.

Best Selling Reverse Osmosis System Products

  1. APEC Water Systems ROES-75
  2. iSpring RCC7
  3. Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact

After our research and trials of numerous products available on the market, here are the three notable products that we recommend:

APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral pH+ 75 GPD 6-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-PH75)

The APEC Water’s ROES-PH75 was first introduced in February 2014. APEC water is one of the most renowned drinking water supplies manufacturers, with products ranging from water heaters/coolers to faucets to their advanced reverse osmosis system.

The ROES-PH75, in particular, is a six-stage reverse osmosis system of an exceptional quality, with its five stages consist of:

-1st stage: Sediment removal filter to remove dust, particles, and rusts

-2nd stage: Carbon block filter; eliminates chlorine, unwanted odors, colors, and cloudiness, as well as removing chemicals and VOCs.

-3rd stage: Another carbon block filter for double filtrations

-4th stage: Reverse osmosis membrane. The High Rejection TFC membrane removes bacteria, arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium, and other unwanted contaminants

-5th Stage: Coconut Shell Refining Carbon; the ‘polisher,’ removes residual tastes

-6th Stage: PH+ alkaline re-mineralizing calcium filter adds calcium carbonate to increase water alkalinity


Pros and Cons

As with any other products, of course, there are things we liked and disliked from this product. Let us start with the pros first.

PROS

  • State-of-the-art 5-stage filtering technology.
  • Very durable material.
  • Can remove 1000+ types of dangerous contaminants.
  • Low noise.
  • Easy and secure installation with high-quality quick-connect fittings.
  • 100% lead-free chrome faucet.
  • NSF and FDA certified food grade tubing.
  • Only the carbon block filters and refining carbon need replacement every 6 months, other parts and filters can be replaced up to 3 years.

CONS

  • A bit spacious in size (full size below).
  • As with most reverse-osmosis systems, can also deplete useful minerals from the water.

Technical Specifications and Issues

Technical Specification:

  • -System Capacity: 50 gallons per day @ 60 psi or 30 gallons/day @ 50 psi
  • -Tank Capacity: 4 gallons
  • -System Dimensions: 16″ (width)x 5.25″ (depth)x 17.5″(height)
  • -Tank Dimensions: 11″x 11″ x 16″
  • -Total Package Weight: 26 lbs

Known Technical Issues:

  • -Installation could be a complicated process if you do not have sufficient plumbing experience; consider hiring a professional
  • -You should be careful about your water pressure, as it will affect the reverse osmosis process. Refer to the technical specifications.
  • -Will require drilling on the draining pipe, if your draining pipe is hard to reach, installation process might be more complicated
  • -Make sure you have enough space in your kitchen cabinet, as this product is a little bulky. Refer to the technical specification above for exact size.

After Sales Service

APEC Water is a U.S.-based company with a well-known customer service and technical support excellence.

If there’s any technical or installation problem you encounter, you may contact APEC water at:

Phone Numbers:

Toll-Free: 1-800-880-4808

Local / International: 626-968-8969

Fax: 626-956-0668

Mailing Address:

APEC Water Systems

1320 S. Johnson Dr.

City of Industry, CA 91745, USA

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM-5.30 PM PST

Warranty

This product is eligible for a 30-day return policy (depending on your retailer) and 1-year product warranty from APEC Water.

Users reported that their warranty claim is reliable, and most users with technical problems or faulty products got their replacements or repair services within a considerable amount of time.


iSpring RCC7

iSpring Water Systems is a private limited company based in Georgia, United States. Established in 2005, they have been specializing in reverse osmosis water filtration systems for many applications and has gained a positive reputation for more than a decade.

The iSpring RCC7, which we will discuss here, has been around since June 2010 and has been one of the most widely used reverse osmosis systems in the U.S. and around the world for drinking water purpose. The product has now been updated in 2014 to utilize more recent technologies.

The RCC7P is also a 5-stage system and is one of the best in the business. Their version of the 5-stage system consists of:

-1st Stage: High-Capacity 5 Micron 10″ polypropylene sediment filter (removes rust, dust, and micro particles)

-2nd Stage: 5 Micron 10″ granular activated carbon filter (absorbs chlorine, odors, and tastes)

-3rd Stage: Carbon block (CTO) 5 micron 10″ filter (absorbs chlorine, odors, tastes and enhances the efficiency of the previous stages )

-4th Stage: Reverse osmosis membrane (.0001 Micron TFC)

-5th stage: Total polishing post-carbon filter (removes residual tastes and odor)

Pros and Cons

Here are some unique qualities and features that we liked and disliked from the product.

PROS

  • A booster pump technology to regulate and optimize your water pressure.
  • Durable, high-end material.
  • 5-stage filtering technology filters more than 1000 pollutants and contaminants.
  • Transparent housings for visual monitoring.
  • Water Quality Association (WQA) Gold Seal certified, an assurance for quality, safety, and durability.
  • Relatively easy installation.
  • Lead-free brushed nickel faucet included.

CONS

  • A bit spacious (see exact size below in technical specification section).
  • As with most reverse-osmosis systems, can also deplete useful minerals from the water.
  • Tank capacity relatively small.

Technical Specifications and Issues

Technical Spec

  • -System Capacity: 75 gallons per day (50/60 psi)
  • -Tank Capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • -System Dimensions: 14.5″w x 8″d x 19″h
  • -Tank Dimensions: 11″ (diameter) x 14″
  • -Total Package Weight: 34 lbs

Known Technical Issues:

  • -The included faucet has a relatively small base and tube, you might need additional drilling. If you have existing holes in sink or counter, this might create a problem
  • -Depending on your plumbing experience, the installation process might be difficult. Consider hiring a professional
  • -Make sure you have enough space in your kitchen cabinet, as this product is a little bulky. Refer to the technical specification above for exact size.
  • -The product came with a booster pump to regulate your water pressure if it’s not sufficient. However, make sure you double check the water pressure of your household to avoid future troubles

After Sales Service

iSpring Water Systems, is a Georgia, U.S. based company with a well-known customer service and technical support excellence.

If there’s any technical or installation problem you encounter, you may contact iSpring Water Systems at:

Phone Numbers:

  • Local / International: 678-261-7611
  • Fax: 678-530-1070​

Office Hours:

  • Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST

Technical Support Hours:

  • iSpring Water Systems
  • 3020 Trotters Pkwy
  • Alpharetta, GA 30004 USA

Warranty

This product is eligible for a return policy with 15% restocking fee and 1-year product warranty from iSpring Water Systems.


Home Master TMAFC Artesian

Perfect Water Technologies is a U.S. based company specializing in various water purification products. Has been around since 2002, the company has rebranded their household products under the brand Home Master.

The Home Master TMAFC is their top of the line reverse osmosis household product. The term ‘AFC’ stands for their patented Alkaline Full Contact technology. The full contact technology is unique with its added benefit of extra filtration and re-mineralization. We will discuss this technology further in the technical specifications section below.

The TMAFC is a 7-stage reverse osmosis system, but only actually includes 3 different filters and a reverse osmosis membrane, they are:

-Sediment filter to remove rust, sand, and dust

-Carbon filter to remove unpleasant odors, tastes, and colors

-Reverse Osmosis Membrane, the core of the system, filtering pollutants such as chlorine, lead, bacteria, and dangerous metals

-Full Contact Remineralization filter, adding back useful minerals like calcium and magnesium commonly eliminated in a reverse osmosis process.

PROS

  • 7-Stage filtering technology with patented full-contact feature for re-mineralization.
  • Innovative design and technology.
  • The added minerals enhance the taste of the water and its health benefits.
  • The filters are long lasting, will only need replacement after 1 year.
  • Very durable.
  • Water flows faster than other competitors, almost twice as fast.

CONS

  • A little more expensive compared to its competitors.
  • Filter replacements are also relatively expensive.
  • More complicated installation process.

Technical Specifications and Issues

Technical Spec

  • -Water Production: 50 Gallons per day
  • -Water waste: pure water ratio: 4:1
  • -Product Dimensions: 20 x 16 x 13 inches
  • -Weight: 14.1 pounds

Known Technical Issues

  • -The installation procedure is relatively more complicated compared to other products.
  • -The filter replacements are relatively expensive, although they are of exceptional quality. You will need to replace once every year

After Sales Service

Perfect Water Technologies, the owner of the brand Home Master, is an Arizona, U.S. based company . Based on our research and experiences to the said group, their customer service, and technical support have always provided excellent services.

If there’s any technical or installation problem you encounter, you may contact Perfect Water Technologies at:

Contact:

  • 7701 E. Gray Rd.
  • STE 109
  • Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • 1-877-693-7873
  • 480-348-0235 FAX
  • support@theperfectwater.com

Warranty

This product is eligible for a 30-days return policy, depending on your retailer and 5-year

limited warranty from Home Master. Check out the full details of the warranty here.

Make sure to register your warranty here.

Maintaining a Reverse Osmosis System

Regular maintenance of your reverse osmosis system will be necessary to ensure its longevity. Here are some of the necessary maintenance procedures you can do:

  • Changing Filters:

There are generally three major categories of reverse osmosis systems: three, four, or five stage filters. Check your respective owner’s manual for the product to get a clear picture of how many filters you have, and the exact type and which filter belong to each stage.

Here are the types of filter, and a general rule of thumb for maintaining each of them:

    • Carbon Filter

Carbon filters should generally be replaced once in a year.

    • Sediment Filter

Sediment filters should also be changed every 12-months.

    • Polishing Filter

Commonly the final stage of filters. The lifetime expectancy for polishing filters usually varies between brands, but commonly they should be changed every 6 to 9 months.

    • Reverse Osmosis Membrane

The semi-permeable membrane is the core of the whole system. The membrane usually will need to be changed every 2 or 3 years, depending on brands and types of the product.

  • Annual Cleaning and Maintenance:

With the filters commonly need to be changed every year, it would also be a good time to do a thorough cleaning and sanitization.

In general, here are the steps you should do:

    • Shut off all the valves completely
    • Make sure all of the water inside are dispensed
    • Remove the filters and the reverse osmosis membrane from their respective housings
    • Screw the housings back in place
    • Pour 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide into stage one housing
    • Reattach all connections
    • Turn the main valve back on, and let the system run for at least two cycles
    • Install the new filter replacements
    • Fill the tank back up with water, and drain one more time to eliminate excess hydrogen peroxide

Ultimate Buying Guideline

ultimate-buying-guide

After we have discussed the technology behind reverse osmosis systems, as well as some of the notable products we recommended.

To make a better purchase decision, here are a few important things you might want to consider:

Waste water ratio

Being essentially a filter, all reverse osmosis system will produce waste water. Technically, a reverse osmosis system can achieve ‘zero waste’ by circulating the waste back into the system with some form of an electric pump. This technique, however, will wear down the filters more quickly, increasing your long-term cost.

As a general rule of thumb, a good reverse osmosis system should have a maximum of 4:1 waste water ratio or less, meaning for every 4 gallons wasted, you will get 1 gallon of purified water.

Filter Stages

Generally, the more filter stages a reverse osmosis system has, the better the purified water quality will be.

However, with every filter needing a regular replacement, the more filter you have in your system, the higher the long-term costs will be.

Compatibility with Your Household

Installing a reverse osmosis system will disrupt your existing setup. Before making your purchase, make sure that the product will not require a major renovation or overhaul, and will be compatible with your existing setup.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)

1. Is Reverse Osmosis a Distiller?

Ans. Although the principles between both are similar, with the same purpose of reducing dissolved solids from water, the process are different. Distillers use temperature to condense and capture the water, with impurities left behind in the boiling chamber.Reverse osmosis, on the other hand, relies on semipermeable filters.

2. Distilled water vs reverse osmosis water, which one is better?

Ans. With the principle of using hot temperature to ‘filter’ the water, distillers won’t do a good job with chemicals and contaminants with a low boiling point.However, for the most part, both water produced are very pure.

3. Reverse osmosis unit wastes a lot of water

Ans. As we’ve also discussed above in our Ultimate Buying Guideline Section, reverse osmosis systems indeed will have waste water. However, based on many studies, the costs, in the long run, assuming you are using a good reverse osmosis product, is hardly noticeable.

4. Can the reverse osmosis unit be hooked to my refrigerator

Ans. Depending on your manufacturer, your reverse osmosis system might connect to your refrigerator or icemaker with a tube, commonly 1/4″,

5. How long will a typical reverse osmosis system last?

Ans. If you maintain it regularly (see our maintenance section above), your system can last 3 to 5 years.

6. Is it true that reverse osmosis membrane won’t filter chlorine?

Ans. It’s true because it’s not the job of the reverse osmosis membrane. Chlorine is filtered by carbon filters often found in the first stages of the filters.

7. Do reverse osmosis units need electricity?

Ans. No, unless you add additional electric pump or ultraviolet lamp.Is it true that reverse osmosis systems remove minerals essential to our health?

8. It’s true, but it’s more of a matter of tastes rather than health issues.

Ans. Based on numerous studies and medical journals, the minerals in water are inorganic and are rarely used by our body.However, a lot of people are used to the taste of mineralized water. Newer reverse osmosis system re-mineralizes the water for tastes purpose.

9. How is reverse osmosis water compared to bottled water?

Ans. At the very least, reverse osmosis water as just as good as bottled water. More advanced reverse osmosis systems have also been proven to produce even purer water than bottled ones.

10. What contaminants are reduced or eliminated by reverse osmosis processes?

Ans. There are more than 1,000 contaminants and pollutants proofed to be filtered by reverse osmosis systems. Among them are arsenic, barium, lead, fluoride, and selenium. All of them are potentially dangerous for humans.

best wood pellets editors choice

Out of the three products we’ve recommended, in the end, we will need to choose only one of them as our choice.

By considering many factors from qualities, technology used, features, and many other factors, our choice goes to:

Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact

Home Master’s TMAFC was unique with its 7-stage filters featuring their patented Full Contact technology. The Full Contact technology allows the re-mineralization of the water, adding the useful minerals such as calciums, which are often eliminated during the reverse osmosis process.

Although the TMAFC was relatively more expensive compared to the other products on this list, we feel that the price is justified with its overall quality and unique features.

Editors Choice

DESIGN

​PERFORMANCE

ACCESSORIES

PORTABILITY​

CUSTOMER SUPPORT​

Great price, great quality, and most user reviews during our research indicated overall satisfaction with all aspects.

4/5

Kirk Prichard
 

Kirk has been a long time practitioner in the market research industry. Spent 2002-2009 creating marketing channels for various products in Orlando, FL, and is a real dynamo when it comes to product research and writing.

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