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If you have made the decision to ensure the safety of your home drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis water filter the next question you will need to consider is which one is best for you.
Are all RO systems created equal?
The answer to this is emphatically no. Each household's requirements may differ and there are a number of factors that will determine which RO system would make the best choice of filter for your own situation. These may include such factors as the amount of water needed daily, the space available, the purpose the water is required for eg. home drinking water or dental/clinical applications, whether you need raised pH & detoxing filters and of course budget.
Having decided to install a home reverse osmosis water filter the next question you will need to consider is which would be the most suitable for your household from the bewildering choice of products available on the market?
Broadly speaking there are two categories of domestic reverse osmosis filters available which may be classified as 'direct flow' or tankless systems and 'storage tank' models.
Direct Flow or Storage Tank?
The direct flow RO systems are designed to have a greater flow rate through the use of two or more RO membranes and dispense with the need for a storage tank. These are normally the higher end models and are ideal for situations where space is limited and/or where the water is required to be freshly filtered.
If you are considering this option it is important to ensure that a/ your water pressure is high enough to ensure efficient filtering through the membranes eg. the BMB Nova Pro requires a minimum of 3 bar, and b/ the water pressure is constant at or above this level. Where the pressure is low there may be the option to install an external reverse osmosis pump. If the water usage demands are very high it is additionally possible to add a storage tank, although this does negate some of the reasons for choosing such a type there may be additional properties of the high end models which nevertheless justify the cost.
The most commonly installed RO filters are those employing a storage tank which is normally positioned close to the filter and is replenished when there is no demand on the water tap. In most domestic situations these will be quite adequate for daily use and work out less expensive than the direct flow systems.
Pumped or Non -Pumped
The first issue to consider when choosing a suitable tanked system is, once again, your water pressure. There are models of reverse osmosis filters which are available for working directly off of the incoming water pressure, usually requiring a minimum of 3 bar or alternatively some models which incorporate an integral pump which will overcome low or erratic water pressure situations. You can have your pressure tested very simply by a local plumber.
Re-Mineralising & Specialist Cartridges
The next consideration is whether you wish to pay that bit extra for additional functions such as a re-mineralising cartridge which will add compounds of calcium and magnesium back in to the purified water, or an oxygenating cartridge & tourmaline far infra red cartridge in some models.
One of the oft discussed issues around RO filters is that due to their very high filtration efficiency they remove the greater part of the beneficial minerals alongside the contaminants. There does seem to be a lack of conclusive evidence one way or the other, this is possibly due to the existence of other factors such as whether a persons diet is already high in minerals, general state of health, and the question of how much of the mineral needs of the body are actually absorbed from water. That the water produced by reverse osmosis systems employing re-mineralising cartridges is higher in pH is not in question however and many health practioners do consider this to be of some long term significance.
Regardless, installing a even basic entry level RO system will result far safer, healthier water than unfiltered tap water and aside from removing 99%+ of chlorine will remove a very high percentage of a huge range of other contaminants that may be present including fluoride, heavy metals, arsenic, PCBs, hormones, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, micro-plastics and much more.
When installing a reverse osmosis water filter for your kitchen there is the matter of the tap to consider
Most systems are supplied with an adequate seperate filter tap which requires just a 12mm hole to be made through the work top.
There is the option of replacing your existing kitchen tap with a three way (or triflow) water filter tap. These taps will allow normal operation of hot and cold supply but with the addition of a seperate channel within the tap for the purified drinking water ensuring that un-filtered water does not get mixed in with the purified drinking water.
This is often a solution that is more convenient and more stylish than a seperate faucet and is particularly attractive if you do not want another hole in your work top eg. granite tops etc.
Puriflow are able to offer a wide range of styles and prices on water filter taps.
The question of budget and price will for most of us be an important factor in determing our final choice of a reverse osmosis water filter and it is easy to make the mistake of opting for a false economy. There are now a considerable number of sophisitcated looking RO systems available for well below £100, in some cases under £50. Such prices are very tempting but these prices are almost always acheived by the manufacturer using cheap, uncertified, inferior plastics and single poor quality seals & other components.
Generally people's experience of them is that they work quite well for a year or two and then problems such as leaks, film build-up on the housings & flow problems arise and getting help from customer services from such sources can be very problematic. As with most purchases therefore we would recommend buying the best that your budget will allow.
Always look for double 'O' ring seals on the housings and a supplier that's available at the end of a telephone.
Portable Counter Top Reverse Osmosis Filters
One development in the RO scene that is worthy of a mention before closing is the popular new free standing counter top reverse osmosis filter which is now available.
The latest counter top model however, the Osmio Zero Installation Portable Reverse Osmosis Filter is in a class of it's own.
If you are in rented accomodation, need an RO filter you can take anywhere or just don't want to be bothered plumbing in an under sink model then this must be the RO filter of choice.
This system requires no installation, produces very little waste water, will provide ambient, hot and boiling water at the touch of a button, comes with a 2 year warranty – and it looks great too!
All it needs is an electrical socket to plug in to.
At Puriflow Filters we are always ready to discuss your requirements and happy to help you find the best reverse osmosis filter for your needs. Just phone us on 020-3507-1879 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org