Water is vital for our well being and clean water is essentially the difference between healthy living and becoming ill all the time.
Many water filters feature a reverse osmosis system.
However, finding the perfect one to put in your home is a difficult and intimidating challenge.
If you are hoping to have clean, pure water coming directly out of your tap, then you are going to need a very high quality product.
Now I am well aware that we all want the best product available, but sometimes the price is way too much for our budget, which is part of the reason I created this guide.
So, just how do you identify the perfect reverse osmosis filtering system for you?
Keep reading to read a number of reviews of reverse osmosis water filters in order to identify the best one you can have. In the following paragraphs, you are going to find a compilation of reverse osmosis water filters with detailed notes on each for your use.
Top 3 Best Rated Reverse Osmosis Filters
More below: Read on for full reviews
The TMAFC Artesian Full Contact from Tap Master
Super long lasting and easy change filters
The Tap Master offers among its models; the Artesian Full Contact, which is all around one of the most highly rated options among reverse osmosis systems. It is up to 98 % effective in the elimination of things you don’t want in your water.
- Heavy metals
- Dissolved solids
Every Tap Master system makes use of bigger fittings and tubings than you’ll find in most reverse osmosis units.
Tap Master does this to double the flow rate of the water, and they have in fact patented their system. It remineralizes water passing through not once but twice. It happens once when the water passes into the storage unit, and then it happens a second time en route to your faucet. Trace amounts of both calcium and magnesium are added when this occurs.
This particular filtration systems sports seven different stages of treating the water, so the water that results is incredibly clean. The filters featured in this unit are built to last, either a calendar year or up to 2,500 gallons of water.
Again, reviews of the Artesian Full Contact from Tap Master are generally positive, with some of them rating the unit very highly.
The TMULTRA ULTRA Reverse Osmosis System from Tap Master
Perfect for filtering Well Water
Tap Master also provides the next unit on our list with the TMULTRA ULTRA reverse osmosis system. Its features and design are not unlike the Artesian, and this particular offering is very adept at filtering out microorganisms and contaminants, especially from well water.
These systems typically include a Fast Flow RO kit to double the flow coming out of your tap.
There is a single modular assembly for both the filter element and the housing feature around it, which means that when it comes time each year to change your filters, the process is easy, quick, and done without extra tools. The unit even has an Audible Alert feature to let you know when you need a UV filter replacement.
The highest ratings of all reverse osmosis systems go to Tap Master units. The specific features that are touted the most often include how Artesian units remineralize water, and how most Tap Master units can double flow rate.
The 75GPD Reverse Osmosis System from iSpring
Made in the USA
This unit features five stages of filtration, that includes:
- The starting point is a 5-micron sediment filter that takes particulate matter out of the water.
- The next filter is also 5 microns, and is a GAC filter that minimizes the odor and taste of chlorine.
- A third filter blocks carbon for additional taste and color enhancement.
- Filters four and five are optional additions.
This unit is designed for quiet operation, so you’ll barely hear it, if at all. Steel storage tank construction ensures that flavors remain strong.
iSpring also offers an RCC7AK filter that can reintegrate magnesium and calcium to reverse osmosis processed water. Reviewers of this system have noted that the water coming through tastes comparably better than when straight from the source.
The WP5-50 Premier from Watts
Perfect for larger families
Watts also has one of the highest rated reverse osmosis offerings on the market, and the treatment technology is not all that different from units already discussed, as its five stage process is similar to the iSpring models.
This really is one of the best water purifiers for home and family use as a result of its rigorous NSF testing, detailed blow.
Also included are:
- A sediment filter
- A carbon block filter
- A high caliber GAC filter
- A membrane
- A coconut shell, carbon filter
This particular unit makes use of manifold design, so that a seamless water path effectively eliminate 17 connections.
In order to make sure that users get the best water out of this unit, Watts made sure that it was tested in accordance with NSF standards, which are now certified for this model. If you choose this unit, you not only improve your own health through cleaner water, but you help the health of the Earth by reducing the number of used water bottles to be disposed of.
The Home System from AMI
AMI’s Home System can give you up to 50 gallons of clean water on a daily basis. Virtually all dangerous microorganisms and contaminants that you want out of your water are taken care of by this system.
Again, like it’s competitor units, it has a five stage process involving just as many filters. It even sports pre and post filters that purify the water further, including a remineralization process, so that the water is usable for most household intents and purposes.
One advantage specific to this unit is that it comes already assembled. Open the box and you can install it right away. There is still detailed instructions, just in case, as well as a 3 gallon tank.
Personally, I really love the fact that you can use it straight out of the box…it makes life a heck of a lot easier for those of us with busy schedules and families to look after.
A Hydro-Logic 31040 Stealth-RO200 Review
This latest line Hydro-Logic filters can filter much more water than any of the previous systems. In numbers, it is capable of producing up to 200 gallons of water in a single day.
This amount of water is sufficient enough to fulfill the needs of even big families.
It terms of performance, the system is designed to get rid of up to 98/99% of the contaminants in the water.
In addition, the system is designed to perform as indicated above while reducing water wastages. It is designed to waste 25% less water than the previous systems as well as many of the systems in the market. In a final display of its strength in performance, the system is capable of stabilizing pH level, while retaining the majority of the minerals necessary for healthy living.
Its main features include:
- The system has an automatic shutoff valve to ensure no water is wasted
- The system is easy to install under the sink due to the metal bracket it has. This makes its installation on the wall much easier and straightforward
- The system is purchased in a fully assembled state. You do not need to have extensive technical expertise to install it, in the case of a DIY installation project
Understanding The Process - How They Work
Reverse Osmosis, otherwise known as RO, is a method of water purification that is famed for desalinating salty water, especially sea water. Due to the close relationship with seawater and these systems, the process has also attained the moniker – water desalination, which is used in place of RO.
The process and systems filter salt water off unwanted minerals, bacteria and other particles by forcing water molecules and other necessary molecules through microscopic pores, thus separating them. The impurities, in this case, are left behind and later drained off, to leave you with pure water that is of high-quality and very safe to drink.
As a system, it can be optimized to remove different types of molecules thus leaving behind water with the required quality. Their versatility and capability of producing high-quality water have seen RO systems deployed in different places such as for domestic uses, commercial/industrial uses or civil uses all over the world.
However, choosing one can seem like a walk in murky waters as they tend to be a plethora of options in the market. One guiding pointer you should always have in mind is that these systems utilize the same principles, and their fundamental function is the same. What set one system apart from the rest is the build of the system, and the stages water has to pass through during the filtration process.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
The RO process is also referred to as hyperfiltration.
For the process to work, the content found in the water are separated by their minute structure, the molecules. By decreasing the contents found in water to the smallest size possible, the system is capable of separating the various particles, discarding the unwanted salts and pollutants in the water.
In the domestic environments, the system works by getting tap water, forcing it through a membrane or a system of membranes, thus performing the primary function of separating the wanted and unwanted molecules. The unwanted particles are washed down the drain whilst the pure water usually goes to a holding tank/reservoir.
All the systems work in this manner.
However, differentiation in quality of end-product (pure water) may vary due to factors such as quality of filters, water pressure, water temperature and the quality of water membranes used.
Stages Of Contaminant Removal By Reverse Osmosis
This is the part of the process where the water is filtered off the ‘big’ debris that would otherwise damage the filter and the membrane.
Particles that are targeted in this part of the process include scale, silt, rust and any other particle that are large. This protects the filters and the membranes from unnecessary strain, thus improving the longevity of the system.
Activated Carbon Pre-filter
The second stage is the usually through the activated carbon pre-filter. This stage of the process gets rid of the chlorine in the water.
The membrane is located at the center of the system/process. This is the stage in which the major action is. The membrane is made of microscopic pores that only allow oxygen, hydrogen, and a select few atoms to pass through.
Unwanted particles that have passed up to this point are filtered as water content passed through the membrane. This yields clean water while unwanted particles are drained away.
The water thereafter goes into the holding tank from where the consumer can draw it. However, between the faucet and the tank, there is a carbon filter that is used to get rid of the obnoxious odor that may arise from storing water in a holding tank.
This also gets rid of any tastes that are unwanted.
What Kinds Of Contaminants Does Remove?
Any particle that is bigger than oxygen and hydrogen is filtered out. This amounts to 99% of any pollutants, pyrogens, colloids, salts and bacteria.
However, it should be noted that no system is fool-proof in as far as removing 100% of the viruses and bacteria.
In general, any particle with a lower charge or molecular weight of water, which is 18 will pass through the membrane. In this regard, calcium (charge of 1), sodium (charge of 2) will pass through the membrane and so will CO2, which as a lower molecular weight.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
Due to children being prone to fluorosis, many families are looking to reduce the amount of fluoride in their drinking water.
RO systems have emerged as one of the best solutions in the market. They are capable of removing 90% of the fluoride in water, leaving an amount that is healthy for consumption and greatly reducing the risk of the dental condition.
Pros & Cons Of Reversed Osmosis Filtration Devises
Reverse osmosis is a technique that is often used to make purified water. It has a number of benefits which makes it a popular purification technique, but there are some downsides to using this technique as well:
- It produces pure water free from contaminants and pathogens
- It removes unpleasant tastes and odors
- There is not a lot of maintenance required
- It is easy to use so you can quickly get purified water
- It is quite an inexpensive way of purifying water
- It can remove a lot of the fluoride from your water supply
- Some chemicals – including herbicides, chlorine and pesticides can make it through the system.
This is because they are quite a bit similar, molecularly speaking, to water molecules.
- RO systems can be quite wasteful with the water that runs through them.
As a rule of thumb, they will waste roughly 2-3 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of filtered water.
It is worthwhile noting here, that some of these downsideside are decreasing every year die to improving construction methods and research.
For example, the Hydro-Logic in this list specifically mentions it uses 25 % less water in part due to a special cut off valve. This is great to save you some money in the long term.
If you are also worried about some contaminant getting through; you should opt for a reverse osmosis system that includes a carbon filter.
Caring for a Reverse Osmosis System
Once the systems are installed they will need to be maintained. The system will come with documentation to help you take good care of it.
You’ll find information about how to take care of the system in the user’s manual, but I will give you a brief overview about some things you can do straight away.
How Often Should I Change My Filters?
The most common and easy to remember maintenance task; is changing the filters.
This is something that you should do on a regular basis. Different systems will have different requirements for this – and it can be a 3-5 step process to filter water, with each step having its own filter. Read the manual to find out how often you need to replace the filter for each stage.
1. The first stage of the process usually involves using a pre-filter, which will strip the water of any visible, large contaminants. The reason for this stage is to protect the delicate, finer filters that are deeper inside the appliance.
How often you change this filter depends on the clarity of your water, but on average you should change it every 6-9 months. If you wait longer than this it could become severely clogged and won’t protect the membranes as well.
2. The next stage of the system is a carbon filter which will remove chlorine as well as a number of contaminants which can make water taste bad or have an unappealing smell.
This is an important part of the process because if there is still some chlorine left in the water it can damage the RO membrane.
You should change this filter at the same time as you change the pre-filter.
3. After this you reach the filter that is the actual reverse osmosis one. This uses an RO membrane. There is a separation process which will push water through the membrane. The contaminants will stay on one side, while the water will stay on the other. The membrane is semipermeable, and only pure solvent can pass through it. When the water passes through the membrane it will flow to a storage tank. Meanwhile, any contaminants will be washed away and out through a drain pipe.
The average lifespan of the RO membrane should be between 2 and 3 years, depending on the amount of water that you use, and the quality of the water that you are filtering through it.
4. After the RO membrane there is a final stage – in some appliances – this is another carbon filter that will remove any excess chlorine or other contaminants that survived the rest of the process. This will need replacing every 6-9 months, just like the first carbon filter.
What Happens If You Don’t Change the Filters?
If you go too long without changing the RO Filter, then you will find that the system produces less and less water over time. If you fail to change the pre-filter, then you will notice that it gets clogged and water takes longer to pass through the system.
In some higher end filters, there is a notification system that will tell you if you need to change the water filters, and which stages need changed. This can help you to stay on top of the task.
If you notice that your system is slow to produce water, though, then you should probably change the filters.
How Often Should I Clean My Water Filter?
In addition to changing the filters, you will sometimes need to clean out the rest of the system. You can call in a water treatment professional to do this for you if you are not confident that you can do it properly yourself, but the cleaning steps are usually detailed in the manual.
How Long Will A Reverse Osmosis System Last?
With proper maintenance; you can expect your system to last 10-15 years, if not longer. You will need to sterilize the system every year, and replace the filters on time. Most of the parts are quite rugged, but if you fail to take good care of them then you can expect some problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do They waste a lot Of Water?
Being as a reverse osmosis needs extra water in order to cleanse itself by cleaning away any impurities it will require more water than you generally consume.
The amount of extra water needed will not be enough to be noticeable on your water bill. Most modern reverse osmosis systems available in today’s market are designed to be water efficient and save on the use of water.
There is also a water conservation valve which many models come equipped with, this allows you to shut off the system once your storage tank is full of water.
How Important is Water Pressure With These Filters?
The water has to be pushed through a membrane and this is how the contaminants are flushed away, so therefore there must be enough pressure to be able to press the water through.
For a Reverse Osmosis system, the minimum pressure required is 35 psi.
Lower pressure may be insufficient which could cause premature fouling with the membrane and small amount of water production. There is however a solution to this and that is using a pressure booster pump to make up for the lack of pressure.
How Much Will It Cost Me To Maintain The System Annually?
The main thing that will require maintenance on a yearly basis is the change of filter.
Every two to three years you will also have to replace the membrane as well. How often your filters have to be changed will depend largely on the amount of water you use in your home as well as the quality of the water in your area. To give you a basic idea you will probably spend around $0.30 a day, which is actually a great price considering that you are getting perfectly pure water!
Where Can The System Be Mounted?
The cabinet under the sink is the most common place for the RO system to be mounted. The system can generally fit snugly in almost any cabinet due to its compact shape and size.
That being said it can be installed just about anywhere in your home whether it be the basement or garage as long as it can be connected to the water supply line. If you have good water pressure in your home and additional tubing is purchased this can be run to just about anywhere in your home.
Is Electricity Necessary For It To Operate?
Not at all.
One of the best things about these water filter systems – apart from clean water obviously – is that all that is needed is water pressure. If you do require a pressure booster pump then electricity would be needed to run it.
Can Water Softeners Be Used With It
Yes, they go hand in hand. The most difficult minerals for a reverse osmosis unit to remove are magnesium and calcium.
Meanwhile water softener works on removing these tough minerals the reverse osmosis units membrane has a longer life span. The reverse osmosis can easily remove up to ninety eight percent of the sodium you add to the water softener so no worries there.
Can It Be Connected To My Fridge Or Ice Maker?
By installing the reverse osmosis system right under the sink and adding a ¼ inch tube, which you will probably have to purchase separately, you can run this to your refrigerator or ice-maker. The water pressure could be an important factor to consider with many refrigerators.
Before your attempt to hook it up consult your manufacturer as to whether or not your reverse osmosis system can deliver the necessary pressure.
Should I Buy A Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System?
Am RO system is one of the best ways to provide water which has been filtered and is clean. This system will lower the amount of pollutants including salt that could be found in water and provides you with water that is pure and clean.
It is our hope that the information we provided on the subject can help you make the best choice when it comes to purchasing and installing your reverse osmosis system. You can also consider adding inline water filters or shower filters which protect the appliances in your home from hard water.
You can also choose to add water softener to your home’s supply of water to prevent damage to appliances as well.
So hopefully Water Filter Advice has given a thorough rundown of some of the best reverse osmosis water filters out there, and from the reviews you will be able to find out which is the best fit for you 🙂