Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purification systems are one of the best ways to get pure water at home for relatively little hassle. These systems can be installed under the kitchen sink and are especially popular because they are extremely good at removing waste thanks to their multilevel approach to water filtration.
Through a series of filters and a membrane, as much as 99% of contaminants can be removed from your drinking water before exiting a faucet as supremely purified water.
The ease of installing an RO system at home and the relative low cost associated with purchasing one combined with the effectiveness of these systems make them ideal for those looking to purify drinking water. Keep in mind that a RO system works best when limited to one water source. In other words, this method is not necessarily best used to treat a whole home water system. The process involves some time and the demands of water pressure in the home would likely exceed the capability of the RO system.
For those looking for clean drinking water at home for a low cost however, an RO system may be exactly what you need. We will highlight four of our favorite picks for home Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems.
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What can an RO system remove from drinking water?
RO can effectively remove everything from carbon particulate to chlorine. A few examples of other contaminants treated by RO systems are Flouride, Arsenic, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), like formaldehyde, as well as salt, lead, and radium. However, although able to eliminate the occasional bacteria, these systems should not be counted on to remove most bacteria and viruses.
Best RO Systems for Drinking Water
In this section we have highlighted 4 of the highest rated RO systems on the market to help you choose a high performing system that will do the job of supplying your home with clean drinking water. For a broad overview of water purification options, checkout Dispozal’s roundup of best water purifiers.
1. APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe RO System
First on our is the APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe RO System.
This system has an excellent reputation for removing contaminants. One customer experienced a drop in contaminants from 600ppm to 10ppm, which is pretty astounding. Customers say the water not only lacks bad flavor but actually tastes delicious and some have even installed multiple systems in their home.
Although installation may take a couple of hours, DIY newbies can manage to install this system with little hassle.
- Guaranteed to remove 99% of contaminants
- One year warranty
- Excellent tasting water
- Compact size at 16×5.2 x 17.5 inches
- Particular saw needed in some cases
- Some cited moderate difficulty in installation
2. iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
Tthe RCC7AK 6-Stage system is produced by iSpring, a family-owned, multigenerational company.
Made to cleans your water of more than 1,000 different impurities including Giardia and Asbestos, this amazing system is known for it’s six-stage approach to decontaminating (at a 99% level) and remineralizing your drinking water.
- Easy installation comes with videos and written instructions
- Compact size
- Family owned company specializing in RO systems
- Remineralizes water in 6th stage
- Replacement filters were difficult to find for some
3. Home Master TMAFC Artesian RO System
Reviewers noted the ease of installation as well as the ease of changing filters.
Also noted was the water’s taste and the speed at which the water was purified.
Customers were particularly impressed with the customer service of Home Master and noted time and again that phone interactions were extremely helpful and pleasant.
One reviewer said a technician called back to check on the status of the system and to be sure the customer was satisfied. Home Master offers a unique ‘Full Contact’ patented feature which remineralizes the water in the tank so that the pH is perfectly balanced and the taste of the water is excellent.
- Modular filter designed to be disposable to avoid breakdown of filter canister
- Higher flow rate than many
- Easy installation
- 5 year limited warranty
- One customer wished for different type of fixture but did not specify as to what they disliked about he included filter.
- Claims to remove 98% of contaminants compared to previous models claim of 99%
4. FS-TFC 5-Stage RO Filter Filtration
The FS-TFC 5-Stage RO Filter is another excellent choice for great tasting drinking water and can even be mounted on the wall.
It gets high marks for clear instructions and easy installation and even comes with four additional filters. Many liked the compact size and the wall mount feature for convenience and tight spaces, as well as the extra fittings sent along to make installation even smoother.
- Compact size
- Wall mounting option
- Easy installation
- Low price point
- No warranty listed
- One complaint of valve and reducers included being the wrong size
Other Benefits of an RO System
The benefits of using a reverse osmosis filtration system in your home are many.
As stated before these incredible systems can remove myriad impurities that pose a variety of health threats. Each individual water source will benefit from a RO system differently depending on which impurities are being treated. Some of the health benefits observed as a result of reverse osmosis filtration include: improved gastrointestinal health, stabilized blood pressure and decreased infertility in some people.
Obviously, these health problems have more factors than the patient’s drinking water, and we are not making medical claims. However, these RO systems remove harmful toxins and have been linked to a positive effect on the health of many people suffering from a variety of ailments.
The remineralization process used in many RO systems also ensures that you receive minerals that your body needs in the recommended amounts, taking the guesswork out of making your drinking water healthy and safe.
RO systems are not only reliable ways to get healthy drinking water that lacks dangerous contaminants, but they improve the taste and smell of water as well, often by adding in important minerals and balancing pH in the water that would have previously had an unpleasant taste. Many of the customers who use the systems we recommend here commented on the vast improvement to the taste and smell of their water thanks to the multi level approach used in reverse osmosis, which removes even dissolved substances out of drinking water.
Other Features that Matter
When it comes to reverse osmosis filters for drinking water, here are a handful of additional features that are important to consider when shopping for a system.
- Stages of filtration: The way that RO works is through levels or stages of filtration whereby impurities are removed by increasingly smaller filtration. In other words, the largest particles are removed first and then the stages of filtration progress to remove even the tiniest bits of contaminants which have been dissolved in the water. All of the systems on our list have at least five stages of filtration and as many as seven. When shopping around be sure to look into the percentage at which the company guarantees impurities are removed, and how many stages the filter uses to purify the water.
- Length of filter life: Check with the manufacturer of the particular model you go with to determine the optimal time to change the filters. Many can go for six months or even a year, though are usually measured by the gallon, as in “change every 300 gallons”. You will probably have to determine how many gallons of water you consume on a daily basis in order to establish a schedule for changing the filters.
- Included faucet/Quality of faucet: You should also keep in mind which models include a faucet and the quality thereof. Most of the reviews of the RO systems we recommended here were very positive about the faucets included. Most are stainless steel or brushed nickel and look sharp and classic in just about any kitchen. Occasionally a reviewer is unhappy with the faucet, though overall the vast majority of consumers are satisfied with every feature, faucet hardware included.
- Warranty: The warranty that is offered with the purchase of an RO system is significant. Most of the systems on our list have warrantees of at least one year, and many for longer. It may be worth a phone call to the manufacturer to ask some questions about what exactly is included in the warranty before you ever need to use it. Obviously the hope would be that with an excellent product functioning properly you would never have need of a warranty but having one provides a lot of peace of mind and can save you money and time in the event that an issue comes up with your RO system. You could also look into a company like American Home Shield which will actually insure your appliances and replace them whenever they malfunction.
When all is said and done, the concept of reverse osmosis filtration is both incredible and effective but it can also prove confusing. After careful consideration of how each of these systems works and what specific features are most important to you, this list offers some of the very best options for your drinking water.
Having pure, healthy drinking water is something that all of us, literally can’t live without.
We think that the process of choosing a RO filter for your home is an important one but doesn’t have to be extremely complex. Hopefully these four systems and the information provided has helped and you are well on your way to a purchase you can feel good about in more ways than one.