What Is The Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System? Best Of 2018

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My Top Recommendation

Are you in a hurry? This is my top choice.

APEC Top Tier Supreme Certified Alkaline Mineral pH+ High Flow 90 GPD 6-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ULTIMATE RO-PH90)


Nothing you take in daily is as vital as crisp, pure, clean water, except maybe the air we breathe. So, it makes complete sense to have the best water possible for drinking. For our health and our families health too.

Also check out my page on How To Drink Water Correctly, filled with lots of ideas to spruce up your water and to help you switch over to drinking more water, instead of sugar-laden drinks.

I would also like to take this time to maybe introduce you to a possible choice instead of a reverse osmosis system and that system being a water distiller. Water distillers are the cleanest water system available. You can read my post here, Top 10 Water Distillers. I’ve have since made the jump to distilled water over reverse osmosis filtered water.

There are so many features and quality to look for in a reverse osmosis system that can make it a bit overwhelming at first.

What To Look For In Features Of Reverse Osmosis System 

Before I go recommending anything we need to get an understanding of what to look for. To inform ourselves with some basic features to make the best possible decision.

  • Quality parts and build. Some manufacturers are better than others. Some supply stainless steel faucets, while others supply a plastic faucet, as an example.
  • A history of no-leaks.
  • GPD. This is an acronym for Gallon Per Day, how fast the water can be replenished in the provided tank through the filters. A rough guide is a 50 GPD would take about 1 hour to replenish a gallon of water, and a 90 GPD would only take about 30 minutes to replenish a gallon of water.
  • Size – As you want something that easily fits under your kitchen sink, without to much hassle. Most manufacturers give this information, so you can properly measure your cabinet space.
  • Ease of install. Plumbing can really suck! Right? Easy connect fittings, and color-coded tubings are a must. Saving us time and from getting frustrated from installing. Along with instructional videos and the all-important customer support team. This should take at the most a couple of hours for installing. You can call a plumber to install if you want.
  • Amount of Water
  • Warranty – You need at least a one year warranty.
  • The number of filters. As the more filters, you have the purer your water and better tasting.
  • A good rating. The larger the number of positive feedback, the greater chance of this being a solid working, no problems water filter.
  • WQA Gold Ranking – Is the highest ranking by the Water Quality Association (WQA). This ensures again that the product is constructed and formulated from safe materials.
  • Country of where it was manufactured. This is important to me, as I am looking to get the most quality I can.
  • Optional ice maker kit – This is a key feature for people with an ice making feature on their refrigerators.
  • How often to replace filters. This varies a lot because of usage and the quality of water being filtered.
  • Water Waste Ratio – The first number is in gallons of purified water, the second number is in gallons of wastewater sent down the drain. If water consumption is a big concern look for a low ratio.
  • Customer Service – You want a helpful, knowledgeable, friendly person on the other line when you run into problems.

1. APEC Ultimate RO-PH90


This is APEC’s flagship in their line of under sink models. What separates this from the APEC Ultimate RO-90 (seen below), is it has a 6th stage filter that adds calcium back into the water, this also helps to raise the pH/alkalinity of the water in the final stage of filtering. This also makes the water taste amazing as well and is a big deciding factor for me when I recently purchased this unit.

Another feature that really sold me on this unit was its Super Capacity Filters that give you 2X the lifespan of a typical filter. This translate into less changing of filters and for fewer purchases of filters. Which could possibly be expensive, depending on your water usage and quality of your water.

I drink a lot of water, and I wanted something that doesn’t take a long time to fill up. This unit has a 90 GPD (gallons per day). If you use a gallon of water, it only takes about 30 minutes to replenish that gallon of water. Fast.

Dimensions of this unit are 15 X 7 X 18 inches.

Pros

  • 6 Stage Filters.
    • 1st Stage Super Capacity Sediment Filter
    • 2nd & 3rd Stage Carbon Block
    • 4th Stage Filmtec RO Membrane
    • 5th Stage Coconut Carbon Filter
    • 6th Stage PH+ Alkaline Re-Mineralizing Calcium Filter (makes it taste better too) This will raise your total ppm to roughly around 15 to 35 ppm.
  • WQA Gold Seal certified.
  • Additional Ice Making Kit to purchase additionally to run to your refrigerator.
  • Built in the USA.
  • Great instructions provided.
  • Noise free.
  • Has the high-quality JG quick connect fittings and tubing, which are quick connect fittings that don’t leak.
  • 100% Lead-Free Faucet.
  • 90 GPD
  • Long Filter life – APEC recommends changing filters 1, 2, 3, and six once a year and filters 4 & 5 every 3 to 5 years.
  • 1-year guarantee.
  • 1:3 Water Waste Ratio. For every 1 gallon, 3 gallons of waste.
  • Removes up to 99% Removal Rate for arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, copper, lead, radium and more.
  • FDA  Certified JG food grade tubing.
  • Free lifetime loyalty service. If you run into any problems with this unit, a solution is only a phone call away.

Cons

  • Slightly wider and taller than the other models. This is in part from the addition of the 6th filter, so be sure to check under your sink to see if this will work for you.
  • After 5 years housing needs to be replaced by recommendation of the company.

 

 

2. Home Master TMAFC-ERP-L Artesian

The Home Master TMAFC-ERP-L comes fully assembled to ease you installing this under your kitchen sink. It has additional options for purchase if you want to upgrade the unit as well, like a refrigerator ice kit.

This system is great if you have low water pressure and want a reverse osmosis system to filter your water as this has a permeate pump. This also increases water flow rate while also reduces waste water.

Other key differences, is the filter and housing are a single unit, not separate. This is called a Modular Design. So when you replace the filter, you are in effect replacing the housing unit as well. This over time, saves you from eventually having to replace the housing, as this is not needed on this system. As you are replacing the housing with every filter change. Thus saving you time and money down the line.

Dimensions for this are 20 X 16 X 12 inches.

Pros

  • 7 Stage Filter
  • 75 GPD
  • Built-in Fast Flow RO Kit uses larger diameter fittings and tubing for faster water flow.
  • 1:1 1/2 Waste Water Ratio. This is great if water consumption is a top priority. As wastewater is only about 1 gallon to 1 1/2 gallons to every one gallon of filter usable water.
  • Has a modular design, so there is no housing, like other RO units.
  • Has many upgrades like faucet, refrigerator kit and antimicrobial tubing.
  • 5-year limited warranty and a 30 day 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.
  • Long filter life. 3,000 gallons or 1 year between filter changes.
  • Reduces up to 99% of dissolved solids, metals, and harmful chemicals.
  • I like that on Home Master website they have the installation instruction so you can read through it before purchasing.
  • Made in the USA.
  • The system is BPA free.
  • Permeate pump. This system has a permeate pump which doesn’t use any electricity and reduces your waste water ratio, while also increasing water pressure.
  • No tools required to change filters.
  • No filter housing to clean.
  • Come fully assembled. Which makes it easy to install.
  • WQA Gold Seal Certified.
  • Great customer service.

Cons

  • Highest priced reverse osmosis system.
  • Filter change can be a bit tricky.

 

 

3. APEC ULTIMATE RO-90


Its complete name is APEC Top Tier Supreme Certified High Flow 90 GPD Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System. APEC is a pretty renowned name in the filtration market and is made in the good ole USA. This is relatively the same as the APEC Ultimate RO-PH90 (above) but without the ph 6th Stage filter + Alkaline remineralization calcium filter. That would bring the water PH to a more alkaline state, as any reverse osmosis naturally filters water it is more acidic. Other than that the unit is the same.

APEC Ultimate RO-90 dimensions are 7 X 15 X 18 inches.

Pros

  • 5 Stage Filters
    • 1st Stage Super Capacity Sediment Filter
    • 2nd & 3rd Stage Carbon Block
    • 4th Stage Filmtec RO Membrane
    • 5th Stage Coconut Carbon Filter
  • Made in the USA.
  • Up to 99% Removal Rate for arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, copper, lead, radium and more.
  • WQA Gold Seal certified.
  • 1-year guarantee.
  • 100% Lead-Free Faucet.
  • FDA Certified JG Food grade tubing.
  • Optional ice making kit found here, APEC Water Systems ICEMAKER-KIT-RO.
  • All equipped filters and membranes are super capacity and U.S. made. Allowing for longer changeout times that last 2X longer than the standard filters.
  • Noise free. As some RO systems make noises.
  • True Leak-Free fittings. They use world-class JG tubing and fittings, which use special stainless steel teeth and a special O-ring that provides a rock solid fittings.
  • Free lifetime loyalty support service.
  • 90 GPD – This would take about 30 minutes to replenish 1 gallon of water.
  • 1:3 Waste Water Ratio.

Cons

  • No remineralization filter to add back helpful minerals back into the water.

 

4. iSpring RCC1UP-AK 7 Stage

This system has all the bells and whistles and with that comes a bigger unit, as this unit comes in at 19 inches high. So, make sure you have the space for this. This is iSpring’s maximum performance reverse osmosis line coming with a pre-installed booster pump that increases water pressure to the optimal pressures in which a reverse osmosis system operates at.

The dimensions of this unit are 14.5w X 7d X 19h.

Pros

  • 7 Stage Filters
    • 1st Stage PP Sediment filter – Removes sediments, dust, sand, particles, and rust.
    • 2nd Stage GAC Filter -Removes chlorine, taste, odors, cloudiness, and colors.
    • 3rd Stage CTO Filter – Removes chloramine, VOC’s, harmful chemicals and more.
    • 4th Stage RO Membrane Filter – Produces bottle water quality drinking water.
    • 5th Stage Post Carbon Filter – Filter right after the storage tank to remove any residual tastes or odors.
    • 6th Stage PH Filter – Raises the PH-balance and gives back healthy minerals and taste.
    • 7th UV Filter – Destroys all microorganisms. Turn itself on and off with water flow.
  • 100 GPD. This is the highest gallons per day on this list.
  • 90%+ rejection rate for TDS.
  • 98% removes chemicals, heavy metals, sediment and other contaminants.
  • Uses an 11 watt UV light to destroy viruses and bacteria. This turns on and off with water flow, great for saving power and increasing the life of the bulb.
  • 1-year money back guarantee.
  • Lifetime tech support.
  • Pre-installed booster pump for optimal production and waste water ratio.
  • Optimal Fridge Connection and Ice Maker Kit for purchase.
  • 1:3 Water Waste Ratio.
  • Quick fitting connections that are also colored coded for easy hookup.
  • Pre-installed booster pump to help boost water pressure, as well as getting a better waste water ratio.
  • 360-degree swivel faucet. Lead-free too.
  • The booster pump delivers up to 80 PSI, and this is the optimal PSI for a reverse osmosis system.
  • Water alarm included, that detects a water leak.

Cons

  • The pump produces a low noise.
  • Needs an outlet nearby in order for the UV Filter and for the pump to work for a total of one outlet with two receptacles.
  • One of the biggest dimensions wise. Check to see if fits.
  • Filters need to be changed more often. Stages 1, 2, 3, and 6 need to be replaced every 3-6 months. While stage 4 needs to be replaced 2-3 years and the 5th stage every 12 months. The 7th stage bulb needs to be replaced once a year.
  • One of the heaviest RO systems coming in at 35.9 pounds.

 

 

How To Test For Yourself If Your Reverse Osmosis Working 

If you’re going to be investing in a reverse osmosis system, I highly recommend you get a TDS meter, also known as a ppm pen. As this is an inexpensive and convenient tool to check your water quality. TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids. To get the most accurate reading possible, the TDS meter should have an ATC feature. ATC stands for Automatic Temperature Compensation. Without this feature, your TDS meter will give varying readings depending on the temperature of the water. The reading can vary as much as 50 ppm without the ATC feature.

It’s a good idea to test your water before and after installing a reverse osmosis filter to see the changes. Then you can determine how well your reverse osmosis is working, as everybody water is different depending on location.
Here are two TDS meters with the ATC feature.

HM Digital TDS-4 Pocket Size TDS Tester Meter

iSpring 3-Button Digital TDS Water Quality Test Meter Kit with Temperature Calibration


 

Do you have a Reverse Osmosis System? What system do you have? How does it perform? Feel free to leave a question or comment.

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