Recommendation for 3 stage RO water filter system

User Forum Topic
Submitted by flu on September 29, 2019 - 2:58pm

Do any of you have a recommendation for a 3 stage reverse osmosis water filter system for under the kitchen sink? Specifically, with consideration to the cost of replacement filters and the frequency of replacing them?

I currently have a 3 stage RO system branded by EcoWater 175 that came with the house, and while it's been fine so far, I was going to replace all 3 filter cartridges. It's such a rare brand, that finding replacement cartridges are difficult and expensive. This RO system basically is the same system as one made by Whirpool, and the 3 filters cost $94....

https://www.amazon.com/Whirlpool-Kenmore...

Buying a brand new Whirpool 3 stage RO system using the same exact cartridges (with an included water tank and sink valve) is $104.....

Go figure....

https://www.amazon.com/Whirlpool-WHAROS5...

Is anyone using a 3 stage system that has more readily available replacement filter cartridges that generic companies make?

Submitted by Hobie on September 30, 2019 - 5:46am.

I've been using these guys for years. Local as in LA and they stock all the bits.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/

A TDS (total dissolved solids)tester is handy to tell when the membrane needs to be replaced.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/shop/replac...

Remember, in a RO system the membrane does the heavy lifting. The first two filters help scrub chlorine and solids to help extend the life of the membrane. Filters after the membrane are to polish the water for taste. Including adding an alkaline minerals, if you wish.

(now you can make your own Kangen water!. those who don't know Kangen is a >$4,000 machine to make alkaline water. sold through multilevel marketing pitches)

The UV light is not necessary for city water, maybe well water. IMHO

Submitted by flu on September 30, 2019 - 8:03pm.

Hobie wrote:
I've been using these guys for years. Local as in LA and they stock all the bits.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/

A TDS (total dissolved solids)tester is handy to tell when the membrane needs to be replaced.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/shop/replac...

Remember, in a RO system the membrane does the heavy lifting. The first two filters help scrub chlorine and solids to help extend the life of the membrane. Filters after the membrane are to polish the water for taste. Including adding an alkaline minerals, if you wish.

(now you can make your own Kangen water!. those who don't know Kangen is a >$4,000 machine to make alkaline water. sold through multilevel marketing pitches)

The UV light is not necessary for city water, maybe well water. IMHO

thank you

Submitted by TeCKis300 on October 6, 2019 - 9:13pm.

In the chase for "designer" or "better" water, there's some real concerns in systemically drinking too pure of water, i.e. little total dissolved solids. Pure water in these forms will leach metals and solids from the water transports, from containers, and from your body.

I'd encourage you to do a little research on RO water and the potential health impacts.

That said, I do own an RO system in my house. And use it selectively versus the simple whirlpool cartridge filter system built into my fridge.

I have a system from Costco. They sell various models but they seem to be from the Watts brand. These filters are all readily available from Amazon.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on October 6, 2019 - 11:09pm.

I don’t have an RO system, but I used a Brita.

Can you please elaborate about the health effects? How do you use your RO system and why?

Submitted by The-Shoveler on October 7, 2019 - 9:47am.

I use the filter that is part of my fridge for any cold water use (change filter out occasionally, maybe not on the exact schedule but maybe every 6 months or so).

Any hot water use (tea, coffee, cooking etc..) I just use the tap water, figure most bad stuff gets boiled away.

anyway IMO

Submitted by FlyerInHi on October 7, 2019 - 11:07pm.

I boil the water in an electric kettle and I let cool down then I pour it into a Brita pitcher. I don’t buy bottled water because I think the leaching from plastic is a lot worse for health.

Submitted by flu on October 8, 2019 - 4:05am.

I think I got this figured out....I wasn't trying to chase a "better" or designer system. What I was trying to do was reduce my future operating costs for a comparable system.

My new house had a 3 stage RO water filter system: EcoWater 175...
I've never heard of this company, and the system looks pretty similar to ones made by Kenmore, Whirpool, and EcoPure, and the replacement filters and membrane all looked the same, so I thought they were interchangeable.

Nope, I was wrong. The EcoWater system uses a slightly thicker thread on the pre/post filter so that you can only buy the filters from EcoWater, not anyone else.... That annoyed me, so I looked into replacing the entire system with something similar....

I found that the EcoPure ECOP30 system, Whirlpool WHER25, Whirpool WHAR055, kenmore ultrafilter 650. and kenmore ultrafilter 450 all are all very similar systems with the same post and pre filters and membranes that can be used interchangeably. There is no difference in performance in those systems and the EcoWater system, as there is nothing special about the different filter housing, and they all use the same filter type. EcoWater was just an ahole company to make their filter thread different so they could vendor lock their customers.

So I ended up buying an EcoPure water system, since it looked similar to the EcoWater system, was the second cheapest price, The cheapest priced system that uses the same filter was the Whirpool WHAR055, which looked really flimsy.....

All I had to do was replace the EcoWater filter housing with the EcoPure housing. Everything else, all the hose fittings, tank, etc was pretty much the same...
The future running cost will be much lower and more readily available generic filters and membrane since gther are 5 different RO systems that share the same filter/membrane design, unlike the EcoWater that intentionally changed the thread of the filters to vendor lock customers into there own branded filters....

The membrane is good for 3 years, and the pre/post filters are around $30 for both, and I think can last for about 1.5 years given my usage.... Score! EcoWater's replacement costs are nearly double. Screw you EcoWater.

I don't need anything more fancy than 3 stage..

Anyone want an older EcoWater 175 system????Makes a great doorstop.

Submitted by flu on October 8, 2019 - 4:09am.

Hobie wrote:
I've been using these guys for years. Local as in LA and they stock all the bits.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/

A TDS (total dissolved solids)tester is handy to tell when the membrane needs to be replaced.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/shop/replac...

Remember, in a RO system the membrane does the heavy lifting. The first two filters help scrub chlorine and solids to help extend the life of the membrane. Filters after the membrane are to polish the water for taste. Including adding an alkaline minerals, if you wish.

(now you can make your own Kangen water!. those who don't know Kangen is a >$4,000 machine to make alkaline water. sold through multilevel marketing pitches)

The UV light is not necessary for city water, maybe well water. IMHO

speaking of Kangen water and those $4000 systems. I was over at someone's house that bought one recently. Claims the water is really good. I didn't have the heart to say it, but I'm sorry, it still tasted like tap water. Unlike the $100 RO system that seems to do a pretty good job making tap tastes more like drinking water.

Submitted by phaster on October 13, 2019 - 12:52pm.

flu wrote:
Hobie wrote:
I've been using these guys for years. Local as in LA and they stock all the bits.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/

A TDS (total dissolved solids)tester is handy to tell when the membrane needs to be replaced.
https://apexwaterfilters.com/shop/replac...

Remember, in a RO system the membrane does the heavy lifting. The first two filters help scrub chlorine and solids to help extend the life of the membrane. Filters after the membrane are to polish the water for taste. Including adding an alkaline minerals, if you wish.

(now you can make your own Kangen water!. those who don't know Kangen is a >$4,000 machine to make alkaline water. sold through multilevel marketing pitches)

The UV light is not necessary for city water, maybe well water. IMHO

speaking of Kangen water and those $4000 systems. I was over at someone's house that bought one recently. Claims the water is really good. I didn't have the heart to say it, but I'm sorry, it still tasted like tap water. Unlike the $100 RO system that seems to do a pretty good job making tap tastes more like drinking water.

Bottled Water episode - Penn & Teller Shotime Show "Bullshit"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIJEw5aDzOo&t=1m11s

Submitted by sdduuuude on October 14, 2019 - 8:52am.

Go with a $30 Culligan in-line full-flow filter.

RO wastes alot of water and can be flakey.

Submitted by TeCKis300 on October 14, 2019 - 10:22am.

Water that's too pure has a strong affinity to dissolving and/or leaching anything.

In the human body, this can mean that it could pull out nutrients and minerals. Resulting in things like osteoporosis or magnesium deficiencies among other things. For a young and healthy body, probably not an issue. For older or those on the threshold, could be more significant.

There's no strong better answer here. Is it better to filter out all potential contaminants or risk some of the other potential impacts?

As we have relatively hard water here in SD, I primarily use my RO water source for, coffee makers, clothes iron, steam cleaners, etc. Or if I'm cooking and adding in ingredients anyways. For a glass of water, I generally just use my fridges basic filtered water.

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