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Reverse osmosis systems is one of the top most effective filtration solutions being used today to lessen the number of total dissolved solids that are usually left behind by activated charcoal filters. Having this in your home will reduce your consumption of bottled water and prove beneficial to both you and the environment. 

In this post, we listed 9 reverse osmosis systems along with some basic information and our personal take on them. As you go over each product, you can then narrow down your list of choices. There is also other essential information that we added to expand your knowledge on these systems and how they work. 

Top 7 Whole House RO Systems

1. iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System – Best Overall

iSpring RCS5T 500 GPD Grade Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1:1 Drain Ratio, Pressure Gauge
  • 5-STAGE FILTERS: 1-3rd stages remove rust, sand, chlorine, disinfection byproducts and odor. 4th stage Dual-Flow RO Membrane removes heavy metals, pesticide residues, etc. 5th Stage removes chlorine, tastes to improve the quality of drinking water.
  • GREAT CAPACITY: Advanced Dual-Flow 500GPD membrane saves 60% of water, with LOW WASTE 1: 1 drain to clean water ratio. Great for light commercial in Restaurants, Salons, Labs, and Offices all benefit in their ways from high-quality RO water.
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY BOOSTER PUMP: No worries for low water pressure. Built in booster pump increases the production of purified water by raising the water pressure and maximizes RO production rate to the optimal level for the reverse osmosis process.
  • FEATURES: Come with Sliver Chrome drinking water faucet with 360° free swivel and Easy to Read Water Pressure Gauge.
  • EASY-TO-INSTALL AND REPLACE FILTER: Typically, in a couple of hours with industry-leading help just a phone call away with well-organized instructions and videos. Clear see-through 1st stage housing makes filter inspection a snap.

We put the iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System at the top of the list for a lot of reasons. With its five-stage filtration along with the standard activated charcoal filtration, this model is capable of cleansing up to 500 gallons a day and does not have much wastewater product. It has an automatic flush system and its filters are quite easy to replace. Also, it has a booster pump included which is something that we loved about it. This can increase the water flow rate to your home without the added pressure to your appliances. You can also monitor the membrane condition through the pressure gauge. It also has a 360-degree swivel faucet. However, you will definitely need extra help for the installation. 

Pros

  • Five stages of filtration
  • Less wastewater
  • Booster Pump and Swivel Faucet
  • Easy filter replacement
  • Convenient and easy to read pressure gauge
  • 500 gallons of filtering capacity
  • Automatic flush system

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Complex installation process

2. Crystal Quest 7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System – Premium

7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
  • The 7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System is the most effective water filtration system available and can provide filtered, great-tasting water throughout your home.
  • Every Crystal Quest RO System is made in the USA and backed by over 30 years of manufacturing experience!
  • Our tank kit stores filtered RO water that can be used throughout your house as needed. A Water Pump and Float Switches are also included to pump the water and make sure your storage tank stays full.
  • Every one of our systems use quality, long-lasting components such as: TDS Meters, Pressure Gauges, Membrane Housings, and a high performance RO Motor/Pump. Every system is built on a lightweight, white powder-coated frame.
  • 1000-2000, 2000-3000, DSL, over-3000, residential-ro, reverse-osmosis-system, review-prioritize, system-type-reverse-osmosis, system-type-whole-house, whole-house-water-filters

We recommend the Crystal Quest 7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System if you need a RO system that can supply water to a mansion or a large home.

It’s pricey, but it offers more output capacity than any other whole-house RO system we’ve encountered.

The Crystal Quest RO system, unlike other RO filters, is intended to function as a whole-house reverse osmosis filter. It includes everything you need to get started and provide filtered water to every shower and faucet in your home.

The primary unit is made up of pre-filters and a TFC membrane with a high rejection rate. Almost all contaminants in water are removed by these filters, including heavy metals, chemicals, and germs.

You will also receive a storage tank. We prefer the 550-gallon tank, but you can also get a 165-gallon or a 220-gallon tank.

A pump and float switches are included in the Crystal Quest system.

The pump delivers water to your home at the appropriate pressure and flow rate. As the tank’s water level declines, the float switches allow more water from the RO system to enter the tank. This guarantees that you have a constant supply of water.

We recommend hiring a plumber to install the system due of its size and the intricacy of connecting it to your home plumbing.

The Crystal Quest RO system is pricey, but that is to be expected given the high daily output. That much water cannot be produced by a domestic RO system.

Pros

  • Daily output is high.
  • The whole equipment includes a tank and a water pump.
  • Life expectancy is between 15-20 years.

Cons

  • Expensive

3. APEX MR-C1500

Apex Commercial Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water & Hydroponic Treatment (1500 GPD)
  • Manual ON/OFF Control Switch
  • White powder coated steel frame
  • 5 mic Sediment filter 20"
  • 10 mic 20" Carbon block filters at second and third filters
  • Flush O Tech Brass rotary vane high pressure pump

The APEX MR-C1500 is a commercial reverse osmosis system that is made in the United States. Because all wastewater is reprocessed, the normal recovery is 50 to 75 percent, which is far more than what you receive with most other units – a significant cost savings that is also beneficial for the environment.

When paired with a storage tank and delivery pump, the APEX MR-C1500 is ready to go whole house, providing you with the flow rate and capacity that you and your family require.

Apex Commercial is our top choice for whole-house RO systems since the water it produces has no odor and no chemical flavor.

The APEX includes a delivery pump and a storage tank, making this whole-house equipment ready for installation. We also like how the high-pressure pump on this device ensures a maximum water production of 1.04 gallons per minute or 1,500 gallons per day.

The steel frame of this unit makes it simple to install, maintain, and relocate. These advantages, together with the system’s intake and output pressure indicators, make it simple to use, maneuver, and determine when to change the water filters.

Speaking of water filters, you won’t have to worry about them being tough to replace in this whole-house reverse osmosis system. Each water filter is a standard size, making them simple to replace with off-brand versions if you wish to tailor your filtration to your personal needs or save money.

  • 1.04 gallons per minute capacity
  • Steps of filtering: Three stages of filtration remove chemicals, poisons, and visual contaminants.
  • Waste water ratio: It ranges between 50% and 75% recovery rate.
  • Filter life expectancy: 3-5 years
  • Warranty period: up to 25 months

This unit is great if you want a unit that comes with everything you need for installation. It is our top choice since, in addition to providing extraordinarily pure water, it has an excellent flow rate.

Pros

  • A 5-micron sediment filter keeps rust, sand, and other contaminants out of the system.
  • Chemicals and pollutants such as chlorine and pesticides are removed by 10-micron carbon block filters.
  • Fluoride, heavy metals, nitrate, salt, and up to 99 percent of other contaminants are reduced by three RO membranes.
  • All filters are standard-sized, you can replace them with off-brand ones.
  • A high-pressure pump ensures maximum water output: 1.04 gallons per minute or 1500 gallons per day, which eliminates long wait periods.
  • The steel frame makes the RO system easy to install, maintain, and transfer.
  • Inlet and outlet pressure gauges provide an instant overview of the system’s status and show when filters need to be replaced. Other meters allow you to monitor the system’s performance and make modifications as needed.

Cons

  • It is much more expensive than rival models.
  • Depending on the quality of your water, you may need to install a pre-filter.

4. WECO HydroSense Light 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System

WECO HydroSense Light Commercial Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System (HydroSense-0500GAC)
  • Reverse osmosis drinking water purification system for residential and light commercial applications
  • Sediment and compressed carbon block pre-filtration removes tiny particles like rust, silt, taste and odor-causing chemicals like chlorine, chloramine and rotten-egg odors.
  • Standard 1812 Volume Thin Film Composite reverse osmosis membrans removes up to 98.5% of water contaminants like nitrate, TDS, fluoride, lead, sodium and mercury.
  • Ideal for residential drinking water use, medical offices, laboratories, schools, aquariums and hydroponic growing operations. Automated water pressure sensors and booster pumps keep system functioning at maximum capacity.
  • Please note this is not a complete whole house reverse osmosis system. Atmospheric tanks, jet pumps and other equipment need to be purchased separately for turning this system into a part of whole house RO setup. Read our whole house RO setup blog and contact us for more information before purchasing for whole house applications.

This is one of the top-tier whole house RO systems in our opinion. It packs a lot of great features such as a pH neutralizing filter to maintain the water’s pH, an ultraviolet disinfection system that goes with its activated charcoal prefilter, and a booster pump with a pressure regulator as well.

The WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System can provide 500 gallons of purified water every day with the five filters that have 100-gallon individual capacity. However, installation can be challenging to do on your own because the instructions are hard to follow and the unit weighs around 70 pounds or 30 kg.

Pros

  • Activated Charcoal Prefilter
  • UV light disinfection
  • pH neutralization
  • Booster pump and pressure regulator
  • 500 gallon daily capacity

Cons

  • Instructions are not user-friendly
  • Unit is heavy

5. iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

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iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filtration System, 300 GPD, Tankless, for Residential and Light Commercial usage,TDS Reduction, with Booster Pump and Pressure Gauge
  • High capacity Reverse Osmosis systems removes up to 99% of over 1, 000 contaminants and hardness, including lead (removes up to 98% of lead), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium and more.
  • Freestanding Stainless Steel Frame and Metal hanging bracket. Makes your installation and filter changes easier while adding a protective buffer for your system
  • Super-efficient RO membranes combine to provide up to 300 gallons of purified reverse osmosis water daily. Rejects wide spectrum of impurities down to .0001 micron.
  • Built in booster pump increases the production of purified water by raising the water pressure. Compatible with 11 or 20 gallon iSpring storage tank. TANK NOT INCLUDED.
  • Great for light commercial use in Restaurants, salons, labs, and offices all benefit in their own ways from high quality RO water.

The iSpring RCB3P is a high-capacity reverse osmosis water filtering system designed for whole-home domestic or light commercial applications. More than 1,000 pollutants, including fluoride, calcium, arsenic, chlorine, sodium, lead, and asbestos, can be reduced to less than 99.9% effectiveness with the method.

Just like the ones listed above, this RO system has an activated charcoal prefilter that comes with the filtration system that can provide you with up to 300 hundred gallons every single day as it goes through 3 stages of filtration. An added bonus is its steel frame that holds the unit itself so it does not need to occupy any space on your wall, making its installation less of a hassle. 

The same cannot be said for the replacement of the filters though because they are hard to replace due to where they are placed within the unit. If they are not reattached correctly, it will lead to leakages in the filter. And even if it was, the design of the unit is not 100% leak-proof. 

There is a built-in booster pump that can speed up the output of filtered water. This is especially useful in low-water-pressure households that may struggle to handle a whole-house reverse osmosis water filter. This system does not contain a tank, thus you will need to purchase your own tank separately.

Pros

  • 300 gallons daily capacity
  • Comes with a freestanding steel frame
  • Booster pump
  • 3 stages of filtration

Cons

  • Hard to replace filters
  • Prone to leaking

6. iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water

iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System w/ 20-Inch Sediment and Carbon Block Filters
  • Protect Your Family and Household Appliance from Sediment, Chlorine, and More: Say goodbye to smelly, bad tasting water! Our system removes up to 99% of chlorine from water as well as up to 95% of sediment, rust, pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, VOCs, and various other contaminants. This system is installed at the main water supply line in order to treat all the water in your home.
  • DIY Installation and Maintenance: Refer to our manual and our helpful YouTube videos for easy DIY installation. With 1” NPT inlet / outlet and 20” x 4.5” filter cartridges, the system has minimum impact on water flow (up to 15 GPM) and requires minimum maintenance.
  • Top-Notch Quality: The first stage high capacity polypropylene sediment filter is able to achieve filtration down to 5 microns. The second and third stage CTO Carbon Block filters are made of high quality coconut shell carbon for maximum filtration efficiency and filter life. Both are tested by an independent third-party to meet NSF/ANSI standards. The system has a capacity of 100,000 gallons of water, enough to supply a family of four with clean water for a full year.
  • Peace of Mind Customer Service: Register online to activate your extended manufacturer warranty and life-time free tech support from U.S. local support team. We stand behind our products and if you encounter any problems with any of our products please reach out to us immediately. We are happy to help!
  • Please Note: Unlike an RO system, this system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), and instead keeps healthy minerals in your water. If you are interested in a filter that removes TDS, consider our iSpring Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems. The cartridges are individually wrapped to ensure freshness. Please unwrap the cartridges before use.

Installing a home water filtration system might be a simple and cost-effective option if your water does not smell or taste as well as it should. However, finding a device that addresses your specific water quality issues without charging for extraneous features is not as simple.

The most typical difficulties for homeowners on a safe city water supply are fine sediment that makes water hazy and leftover chemicals like chlorine that give it an off-taste. The iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System addresses these and other difficulties, and it could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics that make it a top pick.

Why settle for clean water from a single tap when the iSpring WGB32B can treat every drop in your home while having little to no effect on water pressure? It has a high-efficiency polypropylene sediment filter that removes silt as small as 5 microns, as well as two sophisticated coconut shell carbon filters that decrease chlorine and chemical pollutants. Each cartridge has been independently tested for performance and fulfills NSF/ANSI requirements. The 100,000-gallon total capacity will last a family of four for up to a year, and filter maintenance are simple.

Pros

  • Water pressure is not adversely affected.
  • The use of a high-performance sediment filter extends the life of carbon filters.
  • Beneficial minerals are kept.
  • A higher-capacity system necessitates less maintenance.
  • A no-hassle 30-day satisfaction guarantee is included.

Cons

  • DIY installation necessitates basic plumbing knowledge, however video and technical assistance are available.

7. Hydro-Logic Evolution High Flow RO system

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Hydro-Logic 31023 1000-GPD Evolution RO1000 High Flow RO system, White (HL31023)
  • Highest flow rates and most efficient reverse osmosis system in the industry
  • 2:1 waste to purified water ratio
  • Lowers the parts per million of total dissolved solids by 95 percent
  • High durable polypropylene construction

The Hydro-Logic Evolution has massive flow rates, making it one of the most efficient systems in the business. However, with a waste-to-purified-water ratio of 2:1, there is a disadvantage to achieving such high clean water production rates.

This system has been shown to reduce the ppm (parts per million) level of total dissolved solids by up to 95%, giving you peace of mind that your water supply is pure and uncontaminated.

This system is composed of a highly durable polypropylene to provide a long lifespan and outstanding robustness, and it is much more simple to use in a home context because it is totally tankless.

Despite the lack of a tank, it can still produce up to 1000 gallons of clean and pure water each day, which is more than enough for most family needs.

This system includes two reverse osmosis membranes, a carbon material/KDF filter, and all of the necessary fittings to get it up and running. However, it lacks a sediment pre-filter.

The membrane is not protected from clogging in the absence of a pre-filter to remove big particles such as dirt and dust. Dirt/sediment filters are reasonably priced, and we recommend using one before this equipment to ensure that its filters last the complete duration.

This system will ensure that your drinking water tastes fantastic by removing undesired chemicals from your water supply such as lead, arsenic, sulfur, chlorine, and fluoride.

Pros

  • High-flow system designed to meet the needs of larger families.
  • Polypropylene structure is quite durable.
  • Reduces the PPM of dissolved solids by up to 95%
  • Simple to set up and install
  • In a home situation, a tankless system is suitable.

Cons

  • The operation is quite loud.
  • Filters are costly to replace.
  • There is no sediment pre-filter.

Reverse Osmosis in a nutshell

Reverse Osmosis or “RO” for short, is simply osmosis in reverse. Now what happens during osmosis? Basically, water just passes through a selectively permeable membrane from one region with more solute content to another with a less solute content to balance the concentration of both regions. This is a natural phenomenon. In the case of reverse osmosis, water is forced by pressure to move through the membrane and into another region and removes all possible solute from it. 

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention provided some information comparing different water filtration systems and how effective they are in cleaning water. Also, here is a guide that discusses reverse osmosis even further. 

What does reverse osmosis water filter remove?

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database states:

  • 81 percent of the water in the United States includes pollutants linked to cancer.
  • Hexavalent chromium (the “Erin Brockovich” chemical) is consumed by 77 percent of Americans.
  • Arsenic, chromium-6, disinfection byproducts, lead, nitrates from fertilizers, and radioactive contaminants have been discovered in water samples from all 50 states.

Furthermore, the EWG recommends reverse osmosis water filters as the “most effective” approach to filter your drinking water because they remove up to 99 percent of common and harmful chemicals like:

  • Aluminum
  • Ammonium
  • Arsenic 5
  • Bacteria
  • Barium
  • Cadmium
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Chlorine
  • Chloramines
  • Chromate
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Cyanide
  • Cysts
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Mercury
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • Pesticides
  • PFAS, PFOS, PFOA, and GenX “forever chemicals”
  • Phosphate
  • Potassium
  • Protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia
  • Radium
  • Radon
  • Selenium
  • Silver
  • Sodium
  • Strontium
  • Sulfate
  • Sulfite
  • Turbidity
  • Viruses
  • Zinc

Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems

As if it isn’t clear from the term itself, this kind of filtration system is designed to purify the water that flows throughout your entire home. It cleanses your water at the main inbound pipeline and so all the faucets and showers that you have inside the house will only give you purified water for consumption. This works for large households with a lot of water needs and if you want clean water for every part of your house. 

How it Works

Water is pushed through a selectively permeable membrane that leaves out dissolved content, leaving the resulting water free from unwanted contaminants. During osmosis, water moves from a less saturated area to a more saturated area in order to maintain a balance in the concentration of both areas. But since we are talking about a reversed process, pressure is now used to move the water in a direction away from a concentrated area so there is less solute content. As a result, the water is separated from the solute or the contaminants, making it purified and clean. 

The membrane is not the main mechanism of a whole house reverse osmosis filtration system. There is a first stage in filtration that occurs just before the membrane so it does not bear the burden of the entire workload. Most of the time, this is done by sediment filtration or activated carbon filtration. 

You might also need more kinds of filters if your water supply is heavily contaminated with foreign substances such as heavy metals and hard water mineral deposits. 

If you ask us, calcite filters work best with whole house RO systems as a post-filter media. Basically what it does is that it takes the resulting water from the RO system which has been usually stripped of essential minerals, and subjects it to alkalinization so it is less corrosive to the plumbing system. 

There is a pressurized storage tank that comes after the filtration process and this can be your safety net to guarantee that you do not run out of supply of purified water. This is better paired with a booster pump for efficient distribution throughout the whole house. 

The benefits of Whole House RO System

  1. Supply of clean and safe drinking water

RO-filtered water is a healthier and safer option than plain tap water.  Reverse osmosis has already been proven by science to effectively remove 99.99% of water contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and other dissolved substances. Furthermore, together with its pre and post filtration, it eliminates more chemicals and particles that are potential health hazards like organic solvents, disinfectants, pesticides, and sediments of various kinds. Having a whole house RO system ensures that you get clean drinking water from every water outlet in your home. 

  1. Improves the taste of your food and water

Contaminants largely affect the taste of your water and therefore also affects the taste of the food that you prepare using the water or the kitchenware that you wash. 

  1. Improves hair and skin condition

The water that touches your skin and your hair also affects their overall condition. It is essential that your skin and hair should be pampered with good quality water to avoid irritation and drying out. Clean water helps maintain the smooth texture of your skin and keep your hair healthy.

  1. Customizable 

Whole house systems are generally customizable and to suit your needs depending on the quality of your water.

  1. Wise Investment

Having a whole house RO system saves you from future expenses that may be caused by contaminated water. You also do not need to regularly buy bottled drinking water for consumption since you can easily get it straight from your tap.

  1. Easy Maintenance

It may seem as though maintaining a filtration system that covers your whole house is a lot of work. But that is not the case for RO systems. In fact, you do not need to frequently check up on it from time to time. All you need to keep in mind is that you have to replace the filters as indicated on the system when it reaches its capacity. 

The cons of whole house RO systems

Price and wasted water are usually the only disadvantages of this kind of filtration system. In reverse osmosis, there is wastewater that is thrown away and this may not be an ideal scenario especially in areas where the cost of water is high. This will be another added expense so that might be something you would want to consider. 

Reverse osmosis also takes some time to complete compared to other whole house filtration processes. The flow rate is not always equal to your regular water pressure. If you want to have a high flow rate, you can opt for a holding tank so you can have readily available filtered water to use anytime. 

  1. Wastewater

It is unavoidable that RO systems will always have wastewater. No matter the size of your system, the process of reverse osmosis produces wastewater as it operates. And so the larger your system is, there is a higher chance that you will have more wastewater. 

  1. No essential minerals

Because reverse osmosis almost completely rids your water of all impurities, it will also most likely take away the essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium ions. As a result, the water you drink will have no electrolytes for your nutrition. Water also tends to be more corrosive with the absence of minerals and that could affect your plumbing. We suggest that you also pair your RO system with a remineralization or alkalinization feature to resolve this. 

  1. Needs proper installation

Installing a whole house RO system is not a DIY job. You will need plumbing technicians to have it set up to your main inbound water line. 

A Guide For You – How to choose a whole home RO system

Below is a simple guide for you to follow and at the same time be informed on the aspects that you need to consider when buying a whole house RO filtration system. 

How it works

Like we’ve mentioned a lot of times before, reverse osmosis makes use of a membrane where water is forcefully pushed through via pressure, leaving contaminants behind. Most of the time, a booster pump is needed to add more pressure to the water. The resulting water now has lesser foreign matter content and contaminants. The water that does not make it past the membrane is referred to as brine – this is wastewater and should not be consumed.

Flow rate

The average daily water consumption of one or two people is around 74 gallons. The more household members, the larger the water consumption. Flow rate is the amount of water that a filtration device is able to deliver at a given time. This is usually measured in gallons per day.

You first need to determine your water consumption before you can decide on the system with the right flow rate that works well for you. If you live alone, a smaller unit may suffice for you but if you live with family, then you will most likely need a larger unit. In the case of whole house systems, keep in mind that every part of your house that consumes water is part of the equation. Showers, kitchen and bathroom sinks, especially toilets, these parts of your house consume a lot of water. 

Stages

Most of the time, the number of filtration stages determines the efficiency of a system. But this does not apply to all models. As a matter of fact, having more filters means more expense for replacements , more weight on the unit, and adds to its size as well. While it may give you more assurance that the water really went through multiple filtrations, it still does not guarantee 100% purification. Activated carbon prefilters are usually the initial filters right before the membrane and it can remove chlorine content to ease the burden on the membrane. 

Remineralization

A remineralization stage, which is standard on some systems or offered as an optional extra, adds essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and sometimes potassium, back to the reverse osmosis water. This not only improves the taste of drinking water, but it also increases its pH value by making it less acidic and more alkaline.

Installation

There are units that are easy to set up while there are also those that are difficult. Some units are already assembled and you will only need to attach it to your water line. There are wall-mounted units as well. So you have to decide if the hassle is something you’re willing to go through for the installation. 

Wastewater

This is true for all reverse osmosis. There will always be wastewater. The only difference is the amount of wastewater that a RO system produces and that depends on the brand. There can be a 1:1 or 1:5 proportion when it comes to this and that means that for every gallon of water that is filtered, either 1 or 5 gallons can be wasted. It is in your best interest to find a unit that has only a 1:1 water to waste proportion. 

Drainage Ratio

Drain ratio is an important consideration for people searching for a long-term cost-effective solution. What the drain ratio does is inform us how much water is eliminated throughout each filtration cycle. A 3:1 ratio, for example, means that for every gallon of product water, up to 3 gallons will drain. We advise our customers to opt for RO systems with a 1:1 drain ratio to reduce water waste, which subconsciously raises your water bill.

Storage tank plus other parts

A whole house reverse osmosis filtration system does not just pertain to the filtration unit itself. Sometimes you will need a pre and post filter for storage and further purifying your water. 

There is no other option besides a storage tank if you want a steady supply or a back-up supply of purified water when it comes to whole house reverse osmosis systems. 

Atmospheric tanks are not pressurized and these are the ones that work well with most whole house RO units. However, booster pumps are still needed to give the water an extra push through the membrane. Pressurized bladder tanks can also be used without pairing it with a booster pump. 

But you may not need a storage tank anymore, it varies from case to case. 

Filter speed

RO filtration systems can either filter on demand or you have to wait until it is refilled. If you are really looking to change your entire water supply and transition completely to purified water, we suggest a filtering capacity of at least 50 gallons a day. However, if your purpose is just mainly for drinking water, you can always choose a unit with lower specifications. 

Care and maintenance

You only need to watch out for two things in the maintenance of whole house RO systems and those are leakages and filter replacement. 

The lifespan of the filter is usually indicated on the user’s manual and is often expressed in gallons and time. Prefilters generally last for up to 6 months or can filter up to 20,000 gallons in its entire lifespan. Reverse osmosis membranes typically last for around 2 years. But it still varies upon the actual condition of your water and your daily usage. 

The more contaminants you have in your water supply, the heavier the workload of the membrane and your filters and gradually reduces their lifespan. This is the reason why we strongly suggest subjecting your water to initial filtering for the heavy contaminants. 

Ongoing costs

The most expensive recurring cost for a POE (Point-of-entry) RO system is the replacement of the carbon, pre- and post-filters, and reverse osmosis membrane.

Because whole-house RO is less widespread than POU (point-of-use) applications such as under-kitchen sink RO, you’ll have fewer replacement filters to pick from. To ensure that you acquire the proper filters for your machine, you’ll probably have to buy directly from the manufacturer. This will cost you several hundred dollars per year.

Another factor to consider when purchasing a POE RO machine is the cost of water waste.

Assume, for the purpose of argument, that your RO treatment squandered one gallon of municipal water for every gallon of filtered water generated.

If you used 300 gallons of municipal water per day in your home, this wastewater-to-filtered water ratio means you’d waste 300 gallons per day, bringing your total water use to 600 gallons per day.

Fortunately, many whole-house RO systems are designed to use significantly less water per gallon of filtered water, but if you can’t find information online, it’s worth contacting the manufacturer.

Whole-House reverse osmosis system installation

Whole house RO systems are designed to be attached to your main inbound water line if you want the purified water to circulate your entire house, which is generally the whole idea of a whole house system. 

You will also need to drain the water that is used to flush the system every now and then. This water can be disposed of along with the wastewater or it can be reused for other purposes such as gardening. 

In the case that you have a water softener, install this first before the RO system so that the hard water does not meet the membrane in the RO system. Otherwise, this will reduce the membrane lifespan and efficiency. 

For water with high iron content, an iron filter is suggested to be installed before the RO system because iron is harmful to the membrane.

Just a little tip: there are units that are easy to install but we still think it is in your best interest to seek the help of a technician so there are no other aspects of the installation that are overlooked. Experts know the technicalities especially with regards to the plumbing. This way, you are confident that everything is set up properly and is functioning accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much should I expect to spend on a whole house RO system?

These systems come in a wide range of prices. A couple of hundred dollars is the starting price for the low-cost systems that do not have a storage tank while you can expect large units to be around $2000 more or less.

Is the resulting water from reverse osmosis safe for drinking?

Yes. The water that undergoes reverse osmosis is already stripped of a lot of potentially harmful contaminants and is therefore safe for drinking. But that also means that some of the essential electrolytes were also removed so you won’t be getting the nutritional benefits.

Do I still need a whole house RO filter even if I already have a water softener?

The difference is that the water softeners convert your hard water to soft water by removing the hard mineral deposits only. This does not include other foreign substances such as organic solvents, disinfectants, bacteria, and other microorganisms. 

Do I still need a pump and a tank for a whole house RO system?

Dedicated ones already have the entire package. A light, commercial one will need both a pump and a tank to operate as a whole house system. You may need a storage tank with 300-500 gallon capacity and a booster pump to help the water circulate throughout the house. 

Do I need reverse osmosis if I have a whole house hilter?

No, not always. A whole-house filter may remove the most common pollutants found in municipal water. If your home is fed by a well, you may also acquire POE water filters that are built for well water.

A whole-house RO filter can remove a wider spectrum of contaminants, but it can also remove salts and minerals that contribute to better-tasting water, so it isn’t always the best clean water option (and certainly not the most cost-effective).

Does reverse osmosis remove bacteria?

It does, indeed. Bacteria is rejected during filtration because it is larger than the holes in the membrane chamber of RO systems.

Which is better, filtration or reverse osmosis?

Reverse osmosis is considerably superior to traditional filtering since it penetrates far deeper into the purifying process. Furthermore, it aids in the retention of nutrition as well as the enhancement of taste and odor – something that is not achievable with standard filtration.

Why does reverse osmosis water taste different?

The flavor of water is determined by where it originates from. Calcium imparts a creamy and pleasant flavor to water, while magnesium can be harsh and sodium imparts a salty flavor. Osmosis (reverse osmosis) All of these minerals are removed from water by water filters, causing your water to taste different than tap water.

How long does a whole house reverse osmosis system last?

The average POE RO unit can survive up to 15-20 years after installation – but only if properly maintained. To last this long, you’ll need to undertake regular maintenance and safeguard the system with additional filters, such as water softeners.

Check if you really need a whole house RO system

Having this system sounds promising and tempting especially if you already have the budget for it. But you might be having second thoughts as to whether you really need one or not. To put your mind at ease, the best thing you can do is have your water tested. You can do this with the help of a laboratory that does water content analysis. They will give you a thorough water analysis that identifies the contaminants of your water supply. If you do not want to go through that hassle, you can do DIY testing using water testing kits available in the market. 

For tap water, you can refer to a recent water quality report. This cannot be done for those who rely on well water. 

To remember:

  • Getting a water quality report can be for free if taken from the source itself. But you cannot get a report on the water that you receive in your home.
  • Seeking assistance from a laboratory can cost a lot.
  • DIY testing is cheap and hassle-free but may not give accurate results. 

Choosing what to buy

There are also a few brands and models to choose from when we talk about dedicated whole house reverse osmosis filtration systems and they are not exactly cheap. However, if you have the financial capability, this can be a good option for you because they are quite easy to install and do not require you any other special equipment to do so. 

There is a light commercial RO system option available for you that you can modify to become a whole house system if you are on a budget. But you will need special tools and other accessories to accompany it such as storage tanks and booster pumps. Overall, it does cost a lot less. 

Conclusion

To conclude, the iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is our overall best bet for performance. With its five-stage filtration along with the standard activated charcoal filtration, this model is capable of cleansing up to 500 gallons a day and does not have much wastewater product. It has an automatic flush system and its filters are quite easy to replace. Also, it has a booster pump included which is something that we loved about it.

iSpring RCS5T 500 GPD Grade Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1:1 Drain Ratio, Pressure Gauge
  • 5-STAGE FILTERS: 1-3rd stages remove rust, sand, chlorine, disinfection byproducts and odor. 4th stage Dual-Flow RO Membrane removes heavy metals, pesticide residues, etc. 5th Stage removes chlorine, tastes to improve the quality of drinking water.
  • GREAT CAPACITY: Advanced Dual-Flow 500GPD membrane saves 60% of water, with LOW WASTE 1: 1 drain to clean water ratio. Great for light commercial in Restaurants, Salons, Labs, and Offices all benefit in their ways from high-quality RO water.
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY BOOSTER PUMP: No worries for low water pressure. Built in booster pump increases the production of purified water by raising the water pressure and maximizes RO production rate to the optimal level for the reverse osmosis process.
  • FEATURES: Come with Sliver Chrome drinking water faucet with 360° free swivel and Easy to Read Water Pressure Gauge.
  • EASY-TO-INSTALL AND REPLACE FILTER: Typically, in a couple of hours with industry-leading help just a phone call away with well-organized instructions and videos. Clear see-through 1st stage housing makes filter inspection a snap.

We hope that our reviews and simple buyer’s guide help you towards picking the right kind of filtration system that fits your needs and preferences. Feel free to share with us your experience and leave some comments as well as share this post to your social media pages to reach others who might need it!

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