The number of different home reverse osmosis systems in the market today is varied and caters to families with different budgets and needs. Before making a purchase, it is advisable to ask yourself some usage questions as you gather information for your own research.
This buying guide was put together to not only recommend the best under sink RO systems for the money and also to alert you on the criteria you should be paying attention to when you are doing your shopping.
- 1 Under Counter Reverse Osmosis Comparison
- 2 Under Sink Reverse Osmosis system reviews
- 3 Reverse Osmosis system under $100
- 4 Reverse Osmosis system buying guide
- 5 Conclusion
Under Counter Reverse Osmosis Comparison
In choosing which model is right for your family, I find a reverse osmosis comparison table is the best to see the differences between brands. As such, I have prepared one such comparison table below for your reference:
|Brand||Remineralization||Waste Water Ratio||Capacity||Price|
||Yes||4:1||3 gallons when full||~USD400|
||No||3:1||3 gallons when full||~USD190|
||No||4:1||3.2 gallons when full||~USD140|
Some of terms mentioned in the table above might not be familiar so let me run through them quickly.
Remineralization: This is a process whereby minerals are reintroduced into the water after it has been filtered. The benefit of doing this is to balance the PH of the water, which tend to be acidic after the filtration has been done due to the removal of certain minerals. Acidic water’s taste is not as smooth as a balanced water and it can corrode the rubber lining of the filter system. Therefore, it is better to have a PH balanced water if you can afford it.
Waste water ratio: This refers to how many water are wasted to derive a unit of clean water. The lower the ratio, the less wastage your system will be.
Capacity and should be pretty self explanatory.
Under Sink Reverse Osmosis system reviews
Home Master review
As I have explained, this process is important to maintain the taste of the water as well as to prevent it from eroding the rubber sides of the tank.
In case you are unaware, acidic water is also not recommended for our bodies.
Installation wise, it is pretty straight forward although you do need to drill about 3 holes under the sink. Two of them is for you to hang the RO system and one is to the sink. The latter hole might be more troublesome but it is not impossible if you have experience drilling.
APEC represents the next best choice at the relatively more affordable cost level. In fact, out of all the reverse osmosis filter system that doesn’t remineralization, I consider this RO system to be best value for money.
In terms of waste water ratio, APEC RO system actually out performs the Home Master basic version. Specifically, you have less wastage with this machine even though you are paying lessor for it. A good deal right?
(Note: Home Master has a high end model that offers a water waste ratio of 1:1, which is the highest I have seen in the market but that comes with a more expensive price tag).
The APEC reverse osmosis system offers a 3 galleon capacity when full and should be sufficient for a large family.
Finally, the customer service offered by this company seems to be out of this world. I have not personally experienced it but reviewers are singing high praises for their responsiveness to their problems. This will come in very handy when you have trouble with your RO system installation.
Express Water review
Quality wise, the water purity is awesome as well as its 5 stage filtering process takes away 98% of the impurities in the water. From a TDS point of view, it can reach up to 2 ppm on the second filling of the water tank. (First will be achieve around 7ppm)
Removing the filter are made easy with their swivel connection, which allows for the membrane canister to be open without the need to first remove the tubing. Doing so will reduce the possibility of water leaking due to the frequent removing and attaching of the tubing.
The only downside is the installation which might take some effort, compared to the above model. Also, the large canisters can be difficult to move with their provided wrench as it doesn’t do the job properly. You are better off using a filter wrench although it was not provided.
Reverse Osmosis system under $100
I know some folks might to buy cheap reverse osmosis system and are looking for one under one hundred dollars. I am afraid to tell you that there is no such device currently. The closest I have seen is from Express Water and it goes for slightly above $100.
I think the only way you can buy a RO system under $100 is if you bought it from China’a Alibaba or Ali Express. However, given the number of fraud items on sale, I don’t want to place my health at risk by buying something cheap that might shortchange you in other non obvious ways.
Reverse Osmosis system buying guide
All the reviews in the world will be useless if you don’t know what you are looking for. To help you, here is a guide that will teach you everything you need to know about buying a home revese osmosis system.
A primer about TDS
One of the standards used to measure the quality of water is what is known as TDS or Total Dissolved Solids. The measurement used to measure TDS is known as ppm and can be accessed via the use of a TDS meter.
While it is true that the lower the TDS, the higher the quality of water, 0 ppm TDS is not actually favored by all as some will want certain mineral content in their water. This is why remineralization is important to retain some of the better minerals for our body. If your preferred RO system does not remineralise, you can do it yourself manually.
For comparison, the average ppm TDS of tap water is around 150-400 ppm while water that has been filtered via carbon filters will have a ppm around 50-150. Once the water quality goes beyond 300-350 ppm, it might change the taste of the water and makes it unpleasant.
For reverse osmosis systems, the quality of water usually goes to around less than 10 ppm but not totally zero.
Check for re-mineralization
This has been repeated for a couple of times but do check for whether the RO system you are interested in is able to add back the healthy minerals that were removed during the filtration process. This is especially important for folks who need to drink a more PH balance water, instead of a more acidic one.
Changing filters should be easy
The most common maintenance task you will be doing with a reverse osmosis system is the changing of the filters. Makes sure the unit you are buying has an easy way for you to swap the filters out without causing a mess.
This guide has arm you with all the information and reviews you need to make a informed decision about buying a reverse osmosis system in 2015. If there are any answered questions, feel free to add them in the comments.