7 Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems & Buyer’s Guide

by Jay | Last Updated:  Last updated on November 19th, 2022,

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

Table Of Contents

In this post, we listed 9 reverse osmosis systems, some basic information, and our personal take on them. You can narrow your list of choices as you go over each product. In addition, we added other essential information to expand your knowledge of these systems and how they work. 

EDITOR'S CHOICE
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
2ND PICK
7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
3RD PICK
Apex Commercial Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water & Hydroponic Treatment (1500 GPD)
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
Apex Commercial Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water & Hydroponic Treatment (1500 GPD)
-
-
Capacity
500 Gallons
550 Gallons storage tank
1500 Gallons
Item Weight
‎32.6 pounds
265
80 Pounds
Product Dimensions
‎14 x 11 x 18 inches
N/A
26 x 12 x 37 inches
Tankless
EDITOR'S CHOICE
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
Capacity
500 Gallons
Item Weight
‎32.6 pounds
Product Dimensions
‎14 x 11 x 18 inches
Tankless
2ND PICK
7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
7000 GPD Whole House Reverse Osmosis System
-
Capacity
550 Gallons storage tank
Item Weight
265
Product Dimensions
N/A
Tankless
3RD PICK
Apex Commercial Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water & Hydroponic Treatment (1500 GPD)
Apex Commercial Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water & Hydroponic Treatment (1500 GPD)
-
Capacity
1500 Gallons
Item Weight
80 Pounds
Product Dimensions
26 x 12 x 37 inches
Tankless

Top 7 Whole House RO Systems

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

Sale
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
278 Reviews
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
  • 5-STAGE FILTERS: 1-3rd stages remove rust, sand, chlorine, disinfection byproducts and odor. 4th stage RO Membrane...
  • GREAT CAPACITY: Advanced 500GPD membrane saves 60% of water, with LOW WASTE 1.5:1 pure to drain water ratio. Great...
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY BOOSTER PUMP: No worries for low water pressure. Built in booster pump increases the production of...

We put the iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System at the top of the list for many reasons. With its five-stage filtration and the standard activated charcoal filtration, this model can clean 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, which is something we love about it. This can increase your home’s water flow rate without adding 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 need extra help with 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...
  • 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...

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 offers more output capacity than any other whole-house RO system we’ve encountered.

Unlike other RO filters, the Crystal Quest RO system is intended to function as a whole-house reverse osmosis filter. It includes everything you need to start and provides filtered water to every shower and faucet in your home.

The primary unit comprises pre-filters and a TFC membrane with a high rejection rate. These filters remove almost all contaminants in water, 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 to its size and the intricacy of connecting it to your home plumbing.

The Crystal Quest RO system is pricey, which is expected given the high daily output. A domestic RO system cannot produce that much water.

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"

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

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

Apex Commercial is our top choice for whole-house RO systems since the water it produces has no odor or 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 and the system’s intake and output pressure indicators make it simple to use, maneuver, and determine when to change the water filters.

You won’t have to worry about water filters 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.
  • The wastewater ratio 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 it has an excellent flow rate in addition to providing extraordinarily pure water.

Pros

  • A 5-micron sediment filter keeps rust, sand, and other contaminants out of the system.
  • 10-micron carbon block filters remove chemicals and pollutants such as chlorine and pesticides
  • 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, eliminating 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 necessary modifications.

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)
22 Reviews
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...
  • Standard 1812 Volume Thin Film Composite reverse osmosis membrans removes up to 98.5% of water contaminants like...

In our opinion, this is one of the top-tier whole-house RO systems. 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 daily with five filters with a 100-gallon individual capacity. However, installation can be challenging 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

iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filtration System, 300 GPD, Tankless, for Residential and...
  • High capacity Reverse Osmosis systems removes up to 99% of over 1, 000 contaminants and hardness, including lead...
  • Freestanding Stainless Steel Frame and Metal hanging bracket. Makes your installation and filter changes easier...
  • Super-efficient RO membranes combine to provide up to 300 gallons of purified reverse osmosis water daily. Rejects...

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.

Like the ones listed above, this RO system has an activated charcoal prefilter with a filtration system that can provide you up to 300 hundred gallons daily as it goes through 3 stages. A bonus is the steel frame that holds the unit itself, so it does not need to occupy any space on your wall, making its installation less 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 unit’s design 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. However, this system does not contain a tank; thus, you must purchase your 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...
  • Protect Your Family and Household Appliance from Sediment, Chlorine, and More: Say goodbye to smelly, bad tasting...
  • DIY Installation and Maintenance: Refer to our manual and our helpful YouTube videos for easy DIY installation....
  • Peace of Mind Customer Service: Register online to activate your extended manufacturer warranty and life-time free...

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 gives 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. So 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 and 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. In addition, 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

Hydro-Logic 31023 1000-GPD Evolution RO1000 High Flow RO system, White (HL31023)
132 Reviews
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

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 highly durable polypropylene system provides a long lifespan and outstanding robustness. In addition, it is much simpler to use in a home context because it is tankless.

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

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

The membrane is not protected from clogging without a pre-filter to remove big particles such as dirt and dust. However, 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? Water passes through a selectively permeable membrane from one region with more solute content to another with less solute content to balance the concentration of both regions. This is a natural phenomenon.

However, in the case of reverse osmosis, water is forced by pressure to move through the membrane and into another region and removes all possible solutes from it. 

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

What does a 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 are “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 filtration system is designed to purify the water flowing throughout your home. It cleanses your water at the main inbound pipeline, so all the faucets and showers 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 dissolved content, freeing the resulting water from unwanted contaminants. During osmosis, water moves from a less saturated area to a more saturated area 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. Instead, the first stage in filtration 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. This is because it takes the resulting water from the RO system, which has been usually stripped of essential minerals and subjects it to alkalinization. Hence, it is less corrosive to the plumbing system. 

A pressurized storage tank 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 house. 

The benefits of the 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.  Science has already proven reverse osmosis to effectively remove 99.99% of water contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and other dissolved substances.

Furthermore, 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. A whole house RO system ensures 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 affect the taste of the food you prepare using the water or the kitchenware you wash. 

  1. Improves hair and skin condition

The water touching your skin and hair also affects their overall condition. Therefore, your skin and hair must 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 suit your needs depending on the water quality.

  1. Wise Investment

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. You do not need to check up on it from time to time frequently. Instead, all you need to remember is that you must replace the filters as indicated on the system when it reaches capacity. 

The cons of whole house RO systems

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

Compared to other whole-house filtration processes, reverse osmosis also takes some time to complete. As a result, the flow rate does not always equal your normal water pressure. If you want 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. This is because no matter your system’s size, the reverse osmosis produces wastewater as it operates. And so the larger your system is, the higher the chance you will have more wastewater. 

  1. No essential minerals

Because reverse osmosis almost completely rids your water of all impurities, it will most likely remove 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, which could affect your plumbing. Therefore, we suggest pairing 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. Plumbing technicians will need to set it 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, simultaneously, be informed on the aspects you need to consider when buying a whole house RO filtration system. 

How it works

As we’ve mentioned many times before, reverse osmosis uses 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

One or two people’s average daily water consumption is around 74 gallons—the more household members, the larger the water consumption. Flow rate is the amount of water a filtration device can deliver at a given time. This is usually measured in gallons per day.

You first need to determine your water consumption before deciding on the system with the right flow rate that works well for you. For example, if you live alone, a smaller unit may suffice for you, but if you live with family, you will most likely need a larger one.

In the case of whole house systems, remember that every part of your house that consumes water is part of the equation. Showers, kitchen and bathroom sink, 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. More filters mean more expense for replacements, more weight on the unit, and adds to its size.

In addition, while it may assure you that the water went through multiple filtrations, it still does not guarantee 100% purification. Activated carbon prefilters are usually the initial filters right before the membrane and 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, magnesium, and sometimes potassium back to reverse osmosis water. This improves the taste of drinking water and increases its pH value by making it less acidic and more alkaline.

Installation

Some units are easy to set up, while some are difficult. Some units are already assembled, and you only need to attach them 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 a RO system produces, depending on the brand. There can be a 1:1 or 1:5 proportion when it comes to this, which means that for every gallon of filtered water, either 1 or 5 gallons can be wasted. Therefore, finding a unit with only a 1:1 water to waste proportion is in your best interest. 

Drainage Ratio

The drain ratio is important for people searching for a long-term, cost-effective solution. The drain ratio informs 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. Therefore, 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 reverses osmosis filtration system does not just pertain to the filtration unit itself. Sometimes you will need a pre and post-filter for storing and purifying your water. 

There is no option besides a storage tank if you want a steady supply or a backup supply of purified water for 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 them 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 want to change your entire water supply and transition completely to purified water, we suggest a filtering capacity of at least 50 gallons daily. However, if your purpose is 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 maintaining whole house RO systems: leakages and filter replacement. 

The filter’s lifespan is usually indicated on the user’s manual and expressed in gallons and time. For example, Prefilters generally last up to 6 months or can filter up to 20,000 gallons in their entire lifespan. Reverse osmosis membranes typically last for around 2 years. But it still varies on 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, gradually reducing their lifespan. We strongly suggest subjecting your water to initial filtering for 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. However, you’ll probably have to buy directly from the manufacturer to ensure you acquire the proper filters for your machine. 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 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 used to flush the system. This water can be disposed of along with the wastewater or reused for other purposes such as gardening. 

If you have a water softener, install this 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: some units 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 about 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 some of the essential electrolytes were removed so that you won’t get 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 only convert your hard water to soft water by removing the hard mineral deposits. 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 a 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 filter?

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

A whole-house RO filter can remove a wider spectrum of contaminants. Still, 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 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. For example, 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. So you’ll need regular maintenance to last this long and safeguard the system with additional filters, such as water softeners.

Check if you 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 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 water content analysis laboratory. 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 on the market. 

For tap water, you can refer to a recent water quality report. Unfortunately, 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 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 cheap. However, this can be a good option if you have the financial capability because they are quite easy to install and do not require any other special equipment. 

A light commercial RO system option is 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 accessories to accompany it, such as storage tanks and booster pumps. But, 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 and the standard activated charcoal filtration, this model can clean up to 500 gallons a day and does not have much wastewater product.

In addition, it has an automatic flush system, and its filters are quite easy to replace. Also, it has a booster pump, which is something we love about it.

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iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
278 Reviews
iSpring RCS5T Commercial Tankless Reverse Osmosis RO Water Filter System with 1.5:1 Pure to Drain...
  • 5-STAGE FILTERS: 1-3rd stages remove rust, sand, chlorine, disinfection byproducts and odor. 4th stage RO Membrane...
  • GREAT CAPACITY: Advanced 500GPD membrane saves 60% of water, with LOW WASTE 1.5:1 pure to drain water ratio. Great...
  • HIGH EFFICIENCY BOOSTER PUMP: No worries for low water pressure. Built in booster pump increases the production of...

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

If you click on the Amazon link or Add to Cart and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Last Update: 2022-12-05

Jay

Self assessed Germaphobe, specializing in everything water, water filters, health and nutrition. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I've acquired immense amount of knowledge when it comes to natural, biology, and everything about human anatomy.