3 Good 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems

When you're looking for the right 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System, a lot of factors come into play:

  • What impurities you need to remove from your water;
  • What you DO NOT want removed from your water;
  • How much clean water you'll need in an average day;
  • Do you have enough space in your cabinet or under your sink;
  • How much it costs to maintain and replace the filters;
  • What is the water pressure in your water feed line;
  • Will a professional have to install it? …

If you haven't thought about these things, you might want to check out my article about how to choose a RO water filter system. It answers the questions “what is a reverse osmosis water filter system?”, “how does it work?”, and “how do I pick a good one?”

Once you understand your needs clearly, selecting the best reverse osmosis water filter system for home use — in YOUR home — becomes an easier matter of budgeting.

A 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System?

If you've decided upon something more than a basic system, that filters out a good 98% or more of impurities, uses post-filters for taste, and doesn't add back in any minerals or use a sterilizing lamp, then you're looking for a good 5-stage reverse osmosis water filter system.

These systems are probably the most common standard nowadays.

Here are 3 popular and highly rated systems you can buy online. As usual, I've linked you to the manuals, replacement filters, and online merchants so that you can make the most informed decision possible:

  1. APEC Water 90 GPD Ultimate Reverse Osmosis System
  2. iSpring 75GPD 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
  3. Brondell Circle Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Click those links to jump ahead, or scroll down to compare them all.

APEC Ultimate Series 5-Stage High Output Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System (Ultimate RO-90)

Company: APEC Water Systems

Price: $355 Retail ($229.95~$244.95 Online)

Contaminants filtered: Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, fluoride, lead (96.8%), radium, selenium, and more…<–(click for details)
Avg. Filter Cost:
~$60-85/year
Stages & GPD:
 5-Stage; 75-90 GPD (based on feed water PSI & temp)
Feed Water Pressure & Temp: 40-85 psi, @40-100°F
Manual: Click here to Download the Manual

Click below to check prices & features,
or BUY IT NOW from these online retailers:

Amazon  •  Home Depot  •  Walmart

APEC regards their standard-setting Ultimate RO-90 as their “Flagship” product, for its high production rate and high-capacity, long-lasting filters.

These higher capacity filters allow for a less frequent maintenance schedule than other reverse osmosis filtration systems. However, this doesn't seem to affect the average annual cost of filter replacement significantly. As with all systems, the average cost and frequency of maintenance will vary with water quality. (See below for schedule and links to filter prices.)

This model also boats a high production rate of up to 90 GPD (gallons per day). Now, keep in mind that many factors affect this production rate. To APEC's credit, they are very transparent on their website about these factors — stating that, with source/feed water at 77°F, the filter will produce 90 GPD @ 60 psi, and 75 GPD @ 50 psi.

It can be used with both well-water and city/municipal water sources, with well-water requiring more frequent changing of filters.

The system comes standard with a 4-gallon storage tank which can be upgraded to 14 gallons (or even downgraded to 3 gallons).

It also comes ready with a goose neck chrome faucet (or, brushed nickel for about $20 more), a complete set of filters, and a 1-year limited warranty.

Here's an outline of the stages, and their replacement schedules:

Filter replacements can be purchased individually by stage (click links above for prices on Amazon), or you can buy an Ultimate Complete Replacement Filter Set at discount. Here it is at Home Depot. Keep in mind that the filters change out at different intervals. So, while these “complete kits” give you all the filters you'll need, you'll need to replace the first 3 stages more frequently. Buying a set of the first 3 stages makes more sense.

APEC also produces a PH-balancing version of this system, the APEC Ultimate RO-PH90, which adds an Alkaline Mineralizer as its final 6th Stage. (available online from Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart)

For those of you with low water pressure, APEC makes a few models with a pump to compensate for the low pressure. Consider the Ultimate RO-PERM Permeate Pumped system for feed water pressure between 30-50 psi, and the APEC RO-PUMP Electric Pump system for feed water pressure from 0-30 psi. Both systems are available online:
– Permeate Pump: Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart
– Electric Pump: Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart

……………

iSpring 75GPD 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System (RCC7)

Company: iSpring Water Systems LLC

Price: $199.99 Retail ($178.09~$199.99 Online)

Contaminants filtered: Lead (98%), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses, more…
Avg. Filter Cost:
~$50/year
Stages & GPD:
 5-Stages; 75 GPD
Feed Water Pressure: 45-70 psi*
Manual: Click here to Download the Manual

Click below to check prices & features,
or BUY IT NOW from these online retailers:

Amazon  •  Home Depot  •  Walmart

This is the most basic of the iSpring reverse osmosis water filter systems. Despite being the cheapest model, it has all the benefits of a 5-stage system.

One cool feature I like about this iSpring model is the transparent blue casing for the 1st Stage filter. With a quick glance, you can see whether or not it's time to change the filter — before any problems occur.

It can be used with well-water sources, or heavily chlorinated municipal water, purifying up to 75 gallons of water per day, with a Waste Water Ratio of 1:3.

This model is also considered “high capacity” — it boasts a 3.2 gallon storage tank which can be positioned vertically or horizontally for the best fit.

The system comes ready for use with a goose neck brushed nickel all-metal faucet (now “European Style” with a high-output spout), and a complete set of filters. Rest easy with 30-day money back guarantee, 1-year limited warranty, and lifetime technical support from iSpring.*

*I've also seen a 1-year money back guarantee with a 3-year limited warranty listed on Amazon.com. Please confirm these details with your retailer upon purchasing.

Here's an outline of the stages you'll get, and their replacement schedules:

(click to enlarge)

Filter replacements can be purchased individually by stage (click links above for prices on Amazon), or you can buy a 1-Year Replacement Pack or a 3-Year Replacement Pack at a savings.

Those of you concerned about losing minerals in your water might want to consider iSpring's more popular 6-stage version, the iSpring RCC7AK (reviewed here) which is only about $30 more. It adds healthy minerals back into the water during its 6th Stage. (available online from: Amazon • Home Depot • Walmart)

*For those of you with low water pressure (below 45 PSI), consider iSpring model RCC7P — it comes with a pump to compensate for low pressure, and is available online from: Amazon • Home DepotWalmart.

……………

Brondell Circle Reverse Osmosis Under Counter Water Filter System (RC100)

Company: Brondell

Price: $349.99 Retail ($259.99~$381.61 Online)

Contaminants filtered: Lead, Chlorine, Fluoride, Hexavalent, Chromium, Trivalent, Chromium, Arsenic, Barium, Radium, Cadmium, Copper, Cysts, and more…
Avg. Filter Cost:
~$175/year
Stages & GPD:
 4-Stages; ~57 GPD
Feed Water Pressure: 40-120 psi*
Manual: Click here to Download the Manual

Click below to check prices & features,
or BUY IT NOW from these online retailers:

Amazon  •  Home Depot  •  Walmart

While this model is technically not a 5-stage system (there are only 4 physical stages in it), It's features and filtering technology allow it to go head-to-head with 5-stage systems, and make it worth mentioning here.

The first feature you'll notice that makes it stand out is its space-saving all-in-one encasing design.

The storage tank and filters are all enclosed in one box, making it easier to set aside space under your sink or in a cabinet. This also allows the tubing to be organized a bit better than with conventional systems.

One drawback to this arrangement is a smaller storage tank. At 6 liters (1.6 gallons) it's significantly smaller than the other systems mentioned here. However, that's fine if you have a smaller family, or are only using it for drinking and basic cooking. Additionally, it's faster fill rate reduce any wait time you might have between tank refills.

Brondell's technology boasts a lower than average Waste Water Ratio of 1:2.1, which should please people concerned with wasting too much water in the cleaning process. It can be used with both chlorinated municipal water and well-water sources, purifying up to 56.9 gallons of water per day.

There's even a cool feature built into the included goose neck faucet that comes with the system: This chrome faucet includes an integrated LED filter change indicator that gently reminds you to replace your filters. Nice touch.

The RC100 comes with a One Year Limited Warranty, with 100% Coverage of all parts and labor for the entire product for the first year from original date of purchase.

Here's an outline of the stages you'll get, and their replacement schedules:

  • 1st Stage: Sediment Filter; Replace every 6 months
  • 2nd Stage: Pre-Carbon Plus Filter; Replace every 6 months
  • 3rd Stage: Reverse Osmosis Membrane Filter; Replace every 2 years
  • 4th Stage: Post Carbon Block Filter; Replace every 6 months

Filter replacements are a little bit more expensive than that of other systems. The Sediment and Carbon Filters are sold in a 3-pack, since they all have the same replacement schedule. The pack also comes with a replacement battery for the faucet LED filter-change indicator. The Reverse Osmosis Filter is sold separately.

How Do You Choose The Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System?

If all you want is simply purer water, then you'll do well with just about ANY of the many RO systems available. But, choosing the best reverse osmosis water filter system for your situation goes a bit further than that.

There's your budget, storage space, contaminants & minerals, and so forth that will determine whether you want 4, 5, 6, or 7-stage reverse osmosis water filter system.

Again, I recommend reading my previous article about these considerations.

But, if you've decided on a solid 5-stage system, these three systems are a great place to start. Review the specs, check out the reviews, and begin your comparison shopping.

I hope you've found this article helpful. If you have any questions, new information about these items, or comments or other systems to add, please use the comments section below.

Thanks for reading,

~ Scott

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