Express Water is one of the three recommended brands in my roundup of the best reverse osmosis systems for 2015. I briefly mention that their best selling points was the low price point that nearly reaches the under 100 dollars mark. In this article, I am taking a closer look at this affordable RO system and see what is giving it the 5 stars reviews on Amazon.
What is good about Express Water
Right out of the gate, I am impressed with its 5 stage filtering process, comprising the likes of carbon filters and RO membrane. These things are not exactly cheap as I have mentioned in my DIY cost comparison. This means you are not getting short change for buying a cheaper system. All the important components are there to ensure the water has a PPM of 10 or even 5 and below.
In fact, they even add an extra set of filters within the package. Talk about value for money! In this aspect, Express Water does have it unique selling point.
In terms of quality of water, all the reviews I have read have said that their water PPM has dropped from 200+ or 100+ to below 10. That is a very good result and assures me that this system is doing what a good RO system is for: namely purifying and cleaning the water to remove TDS.
Another thing that brought a nod of approval was its customer service. If you need any installation advice or special requests such as how to hook up to your heater or ice maker, the customer rep will be happy to guide you alone. This is rather impressive as good customer is so rare nowadays.
Why I didn’t choose Express Water
The lack of remineralization is the main reason why I went for the more expensive Home Master RO system. This is not a design flaw. Every reverses osmosis system I know of tend to over extract the minerals such that even the good ones are removed. I guess that is how it must be in order to ensure a 98 to 99% TDS removal rate. However, I do want the right minerals in my drinking water which is why remineralization was an important consideration in my purchase. If Express Water has this, I would definitely choose it over the Home Master because of its attractive pricing.
The other downside to this problem is the installation, at least from what I read. From my own installation experience, it took me about an hour tops. However, from the Amazon reviews, I am seeing folks mentioning spending hours on the installation process or that it is better to engage a plumber.
Here is some examples of an installation problems lifted from Amazon:
” The connection from the blue tube of purified water going to your sink’s new RO Faucet dosent include a washer, so its ALWAYS Loose, and even if you tighten it it becomes loose again within a week or two (or less.) ”
“ The instructions are only clear if you know “plumber language”. Either my kitchen sink has crazy wrong sized water supply lines or they sent the wrong size adapter”
These are not big issues but you do need to know about some plumbing tricks if you want to stop the leaking. All these seems to indicate that installation might be an issue. If you are not good with plumbing, do factor in the price of hiring a plumber into your overall budgeting.
To conclude the review, I must say Express Water is an extremely value for money reverse osmosis system. It produce great tasting water at about half the price of the nearest competitor. Although there might be some installation issues, it is not an insurmountable problem. I would recommend buying this system if you are not looking for a RO system without remineralization.
Here are some common FAQs regarding this Express Water system
- How often must you change filters: Ideally, you should change once you notice a change in the taste of the water. Realistically, I recommend the most 9 months as this was the case for my Home Master version. Filters are cheap anyway although changing it is always troublesome.
- Size of tank: The capacity is around 4 galleons. I believe there is a 2 galleons version if you have a small under sink storage space
- Can the RO system be used without a tank: Unfortunately no as the water from the faucet is not sufficient. If your under sink does not have the space, perhaps you like to consider an counter top reverse osmosis system?
- Does it comes with water lines, filters etc: Yes. This is a complete RO kit so you get everything. The only thing you need are the plumbing tools 🙂
- What water pressure is needed: According to the instruction booklet, it says 8-10lbs psi. If you find your water to be coming in drips, try adding air to the water tank to increase the pressure.