To have a healthy and tasty tap water in your home you need to buy the best reverse osmosis systems at your disposal, not only for an effective filtering but to guarantee you will have it for a long while working effectively. There are many, many of these systems these days in the market as the reverse osmosis filtering has become a quite popular tool to cleanse the water, increasingly suspicious to human consume.
So, here we listed a trio of the best reverse osmosis systems available in the market for 2017, and they are not only the most popular and well rated products around, but also tried and tested, NFS certified products that are renowned for producing top quality tap water.
Best Reverse Osmosis System with Reviews for 2017
Home Master TMAFC Reverse Osmosis Filter
image source: homemasterfilters.com
This reverse osmosis filtering system is one of the most complete options in the market as well as one of the most effective filtering experiences for tap water. The TMAFC developed by Home Master includes a patented technology created by the brand, the Artesian Full Contact. During the filtering of tap water, a regular reverse osmosis system will remove some minerals that not only are healthy but also make the taste of the water better for human consume: calcium and magnesium. If you have a whole house water filtering system that makes the water even more sterile on those minerals because whole house systems are designed to remove these substances as they are responsible for clogging pipes with limescale.
That’s not necessary though for the kitchen or bathroom faucets, as you will be constantly accessing those faucets and using the water sourced from them and this is enough to prevent clogging – not letting the water sit for too long – so you can keep the water on those scenarios mineralized. The Artesian Full Contact does that. After filtering the water – and unfortunately removing those healthy minerals – the Home Master TMAFC drives the water stream to extra stages where these minerals will be added again to the water, making it taste better – and healthier!
Home Master sells this reverse osmosis filtering system as a seven stage system, even though it includes only 4 types of filtering, so don’t be alarmed with confusion when purchasing it. The system in fact uses seven stages of filtering despite implementing only four types of filtering. The remineralizaton of the water comprises two stages at the end of the process, but before that, the water is first filtered by a sediment prefilter, then it goes through the carbon filtering, twice, as well as it goes through the reverse osmosis membrane and finishes the process with another sediment filtering.
Is also important to note that the carbon used here is not the regular activated carbon, but a superior kind that can filter more effectively the chlorine from the water. The catalytic carbon is, in a nut shell, a more “charged” carbon, resulting in a filtering surface that is more chemically reactive, so it will be able to clash with chlorine and steal it from the water much more effectively.
Another great feature of this system is the modular filter design. Most reverse osmosis systems just require you to switch filter cartridges inside the filter cylinders. With time though, these structures sediment the elements they filter and just replacing the cartridges doesn’t solve the problem.
The water taste is doomed to worsen, clogging can happen inside the canisters and soon or later the whole system of canisters must be replaced. Home Master solved this problem making the whole cylinder replaceable, so when is time to change the filters, the whole thing is replaced. Important to mention however these filters will last for at least 1 year or 2000 gallons of water filtered.
APEC Ultimate RO-90 Reverse Osmosis Filter
image source: freedrinkingwater.com
The RO-90 is another complex reverse osmosis system that comprises several different stages – five to be accurate – but also makes use of only three different filtering mechanisms, the same standard ones you will find in most respected reverse osmosis systems – sediment, carbon and membrane stages. APEC developed something less “overdesigned” than Home Master as you won’t find modular filters or remineralization stages here, but they invested their efforts on making this system a quite NFS certified filtering pack able to eliminate a lot of heavy chemicals: arsenic,
barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, copper, lead, radium, among others. From this list, Home Master is not certified to filter radium, cadmium and barium, which is a differential for this APEC RO-90 filter.
The setup also has a friendly design since you can clearly see each stage orderly, starting by sediments and going through two carbon filtering stages followed by two reverse osmosis membrane treatment stages. APEC also claims their filters last 2 times more than other filters in the market, even though they don’t inform how much gallons they can filter before replacing is necessary.
As a bonus, this filter system comes with a lead free faucet to be implemented with the system.
iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis Filter
image source: 123filter.com
Our last indication on the best reverse osmosis filtering systems is the iSpring RCC7AK, which comprises a six stages filtering process, including remineralization just like the Home Master system. This iSpring system though offers a quite effective carbon filtering, since it has three different stages, which is the difference here from the other systems. Carbon filtering ensures that heavy metals and chemicals will be effectively removed from the water. Like all reverse osmosis systems, it includes the sediment stage and then send the water through a granular carbon filter canister followed by a carbon block canister. Both methods are based on activated carbon, but it is the agglomeration of the element here that makes the difference. The granular offers more surface while the block more absorption, so the latter compensates to enhance the level of reactivity with other chemicals in the water. This is followed by the reverse osmosis process and a final carbon treatment, through the inline carbon canister that will make sure any remnants are properly absorbed.
As we saw with the Home Master filtering stages, the carbon filtering and the reverse osmosis membrane steals a lot of the healthy minerals of the water, so iSpring also offers a remineralization stage here at the end of the process, the alkaline filter that will release calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium back in the water, so the tap water not only is cleansed but also tastes good.
The brand doesn’t offer either information on how many gallons can be filtered before replacement of filters is required, but they promptly recommend to change the granular and block carbon filters ever 6 months, the linear every 12 months. The sediment and alkaline pre and post filters also last for at least 6 months, just the reverse osmosis membrane that can last for up to 2 or 3 years.
What is a reverse osmosis system ?
This system of water filtering is the most simple, or common we could say, of the water treatment methods. They are often implemented on the kitchen tap water faucet because their main goal is to treat water for drinking and cooking. The installation of a reverse osmosis system takes place in general under the sink, but there are large systems that can filter a whole house net of pipes, including bathroom faucets and shower/bathtub pipes.
The reverse osmosis is process of filtering based on a thin-film composite membrane called TFC. This membrane removes most organic and inorganic elements found in the water stream that comes from the street. This also includes what is called the TDS, Total Dissolved Solids. which include many chemical substances harmful to consuming, like fluorides, lead, copper and other heavy metals. Many microorganisms like parasitic cysts and bacteria are also eliminated during this process. On the other hand, the TFC is sensible to chlorine reactivity, so the water chlorine degrades it and can reduce the lifespan of the filter greatly if the water is not treated before to remove this element. That’s why all reverse osmosis systems include at least 2 stages of carbon filtering to ensure all chlorine is removed before the water reaches the TFC membrane.
How does it work works ?
Different from carbon filtering, the TFC doesn’t work here with chemical reactivity, but is all about physics. This membrane is extremely thin, to a microscopic level, made of a polyamide layer that is smaller than 200 nm, implemented on top of a polyethersulfone or polysulfone porous layer, which is around 50 microns thick. This microscopical feature makes it effective to let water molecules pass by, but not for heavy chemical compounds that have larger molecules, so they get stuck there while the water flows by rid of them.
That’s why often the reverse osmosis filter cartridge lasts longer than carbon filters because it doesn’t corrode and the substances it barres are microscopic and this includes these microscopic microorganism that would not be barred by the carbon or sediment filters.
What are the benefits of using a reverse osmosis system?
While the carbon activated is an excellent way to remove chemical contaminants from the water, it is not enough to deal with so many different elements that are included in the water one way or another. The reverse osmosis works like an effective physical barrier and it is also important to keep harmful microorganisms at bay, something carbon cannot do at all and other kind of filterings are not independently effective to deal with – like copper-zinc alloys that can be toxic to some bacteria and algae, but not to most of them.
The reverse osmosis doesn’t happen “right in time” for consuming. The process of filtering takes 3 gallons of water to prepare 1 gallon of cleansed water. This ready to use water is stored in a tank that will then answer to the faucet flow. The time to process the water will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The most robust systems can produce up to 100 gallons within 1 day. Included with most systems there is a small tank to store water up to consume whenever you need, but they vary from 3 to 4 gallons.
What the best reverse osmosis system must include?
As we previously said, is important to have a good carbon filtering coverage. That sounds ironic since this is a complete different method of filtering, but the carbon is essential to keep the chlorine away from the TFC membrane. Also, the ratio of water filtered and the time to filter it is a feature that is important to many people can’t wait forever for water, so if you have a large household where a lot of tap water is consumed, you have to look for systems that are compatible with your needs.
The products we included here have an average production of 50 to 90 gallons a day, but their storage tanks is not the biggest. You can alternatively purchase larger thanks from them so the tanks can store cleansed water up to their full capacity, which is better than running out of water in some special scenario where you are cooking or washing a lot of dishes. These larger tanks surely increase the price of the whole set as they are not default sizes.
Also, note that producing a lot of filtered water in a time frame too short is too good to be through. The reverse osmosis filtering is not a process that should take quite fast, so unless the system has a big capacity of filtering, you must be suspicious about filtering mechanisms that are promising a tsunami of cleansed water in short time.