Osmosis is the process through which water moves across a semi-permeable membrane from an area of lower salt concentration to an area of higher salt concentration. This process is reversed by the reverse osmosis system in order to remove salts and other particles from water by utilizing pressure to force water across a semi-permeable membrane. Reverse osmosis systems are now utilized in the homes for purification of the drinking water.
There are different brands and models of reverse osmosis in the market today. However, as normal in life, they are not equally made. Some are more reliable than others. If you are looking for the best reverse osmosis system in UK, below are top 6 rated reverse osmosis system that you may consider buying anytime you want to purchase a RO system.
How to Choose the Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
When it is time for you to buy a RO system for your home use or office use, it is advisable that you go for quality product. As mentioned above, there are different products in the market but all of them are not of great quality. Besides quality issue, there are other factors to consider such as size, space, usage and cost factors. The tips given below will be of help to you when you want to shop for a best reverse osmosis system for your home or office use.
1. The quality of system
There is no doubt that you will like to purchase a quality whole house reverse osmosis system for your family house. However, identifying a quality product can be very difficult and challenging given the availability of many brands each claiming to have the best product. But there are factors that will help you to differentiate between quality products and inferior products. When it comes to quality, here are some factors to take into consideration.
2. Purification efficiency
The purification efficiency of the products in the market are not the same. Quality products come with high purification efficiency. What determine the purification efficiency of a product are the components of the system’s filter as well as its reverse osmosis membrane. Make sure that you buy a product with components certified by NSF and FDA.
Quality filtration components and RO membrane will function together in order to get rid of dissolved solids such as nitrates, heavy metals, fluoride, lead, rust, turbidity, sediment, chemical contaminants like chlorine, pesticides, chloramines, gasoline additives, herbicides and gasoline additives. There are some products that even come with features that beef up the purification efficiency of the entire system. Such features include the use iron and UV filters.
3. Leak elimination
When you want to buy a whole house reverse osmosis system, it is also important that you consider the leak elimination ability of the products that you are want to buy. Some products after a year or a couple of years of usage will begin to leak water but this is not the case with quality products. Leakage occurs when the walls and seals of the filter housing of a system is subjected to a high water pressure. High pressure and wear will weaken the filter housing resulting in leakage. In quality product, the entire filter housing can be removed and not only the filter element. In this way, the leakage is prevented.
4. Reduced waste
Quality products boast of reduced waste. This is because the designers of the products integrate into the system architecture a combination of flow restriction components in order to put the pressure to and from the gallon under control. This helps to reduce or eliminate water wastage. If you install a system that has reduced waste ability, you will not get a hike in your water bill. But the reverse will be the case if you buy a system that waste water.
5. User-friendliness and ease-of installation
User-friendliness and ease-of-installation are two other features that define quality products. The features available in quality products are very easy to use. You don’t need any help in order to install them as they come with easy-to-follow instruction. In most quality products, the filter housing contains the filter and so, when it is time to replace the filter, you have to replace the entire filter housing and this will not take you any time.
6. Water pressure and temperature
The temperature under which the RO operates finely as well as the water pressure is another factor to consider if you are looking for a quality product. If the water is warm, the membrane of the system will last longer. So, buy a product that operates under a reasonable temperature. The water pressure should also be high because high pressure reduces waste.
7. Other factors to consider
Besides factors relating to qualities, there are other factors that you should consider when you want to purchase an osmosis system. Some of these factors are:
Size>: RO systems are available in a number of sizes. Some sizes are suitable for home use while some are suitable for commercial and industrial use. If you want to buy one, it is advisable that you buy a size that will meet your requirements.
If you want to install one for a commercial establishment for example, you should go for a type that comes with a big tank that will serve the number of people that are supposed to use it. In other ways, to determine the right size, you should consider the number of people that will use the system. The higher the number of people that will obtain water from the system, the bigger the size that you should buy.
The space for installation: Before you decide which system to buy, you should consider the space under your sink where you will install the unit. The nature and available space under your sink will determine the type and size that you will buy.
Cost: There are many sellers of RO systems both offline and online. If you care about getting a good deal, it is advisable that you shop around and compare prices taking into consideration the factors mentioned above. Make sure that you do not sacrifice quality for affordability.
Best Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Filter System in UK 2021
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis is not just a technology used by the water filter under your sink; it actually has many applications in the industry and is extremely helpful in getting drinking water out of salt waters. The principle is quite simple and it only requires a semipermeable membrane that will filter off the contaminants (salt, bacteria, viruses, other big particles) and pass (almost) pure water on the other side. In order for this to work, the water must be pressurized when passing through the membrane.
The membrane is usually comprised of three layers: a polyester base, a polysulfone layer that comes on top of the base, and a polyamide layer that is only a few microns thick on top of the first two. The polyamide layer is the one that actually acts as a barrier against various pollutants while the other two act as support. The water is forced through the filters that contain the membrane and, while it flows through, it leaves behind most of the contaminants.
The result water’s purity level can be influenced by a few factors like:
- The water pressure – in order to have a great filtration, water must go through the membrane with a certain pressure level. The membrane is built to withhold high pressure but it won’t perform so well in conditions of low pressure;
- The temperature;
- The type of solids present in the water – if the filtration capacity of the membrane has been reached, you must change the filter;
- Each filter is equipped with a certain type of membrane and this also influences the end result.
What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?
Through reverse osmosis, solid particles like salts are removed from the drinking water. Also, you must know that, with the contaminant particles, RO also removes most minerals as they are usually bigger than the water molecule.
As a summary, RO removes the following types of particles:
- Ions and metals like arsenic, selenium, silver, chloride, zinc, iron, lead, and more;
- Big particles like asbestos;
- Radium and Uranium;
- Big bacteria and viruses;
- Some microorganisms.
While the method is very efficient in clearing the water from most pollutants, you should also know that it will not remove harmful contaminants like dissolved gases, bacteria and viruses with a mass smaller than the water molecule’s.
Systems that implement a series of filters are going to deliver water of higher quality due to the fact that the water is going to be pushed through successive membranes, thus lowering the risk of filter degradation.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
Concerns regarding fluoride were raised ever since scientists proved that, in high concentrations, it may damage the brain or it may weaken the bone structure and lead to fractures in older people. Also, children exposed to high concentration of fluoride may develop bad teeth. The fluoride used to be added in water in order to strengthen the teeth and improve the general oral health in population, but according to new regulations and discoveries, it’s best to avoid constant exposure.
Fluoride is actually a type of salt, resulted from the combination of the fluorine element with various minerals presented in the environment. So, are all public waters contaminated with fluoride components? The water may be contaminated when passing through certain mineral deposits in the ground or during the filtration process in the processing plant. Also, there are communities that simply add fluoride into water for the health benefits they believe it brings.
The safe levels of fluoride in drinking water were established in 1974 when the Congress approved the Safe Drinking Water Act. The maximum level of contaminants that a person can be exposed to, during his/her lifetime, when it comes to fluoride, is 4.0 mg per liter. Anything that goes over this number may be dangerous for the health of the population. Also, the recommended level is actually 2.0 mg per liter, but these limits are non-enforceable.
Even today, in some areas, fluoride is intentionally added in the drinking water in order to help population fight cavities and other oral problems. As long as the maximum level of concentration established by the Congress is maintained, the fluoride won’t have any effects over the general health.
Since fluoride is actually a type of salt and its mass is usually bigger than the mass of the water molecule, the membrane installed in the filters manages to catch around 93% of the particles. Of course, if the filter is of lower quality, the quantity of fluoride caught during the reverse osmosis process will be smaller. This is one of the most important reasons why it’s always best to invest in high quality filters.
Reverse Osmosis Pros and Cons
As you surely concluded by now, reverse osmosis is a very efficient method for water purification in both the industrial and individual environment. Still, every amazing method has its problems, so let’s make a short comparison of pros and cons and see which one scores more points.
- The possibility to obtain drinking water in areas where most waters are salty or heavily contaminated with solids;
- Most filters will deliver 97% pure drinking water, free of most contaminants. This water is usually safe to drink by both adults and children;
- The resulted water usually tastes great and it will be crystal clear. This is due to the fact that the water is almost completely pure and it doesn’t have any odors;
- The method doesn’t require any energetic consumption as the water is naturally pressured into pipes, before passing through the membrane;
- Most water filters that use this method are cost-effective;
- The system is easy to maintain and it only require a regular change of filters;
- Removes most bacteria and viruses.
- The method also removes most minerals and the end result is almost completely demineralized water;
- Small bacteria and microorganisms that have a mass smaller than the one of the water molecule will pass through the membrane;
- You need 2 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of purified water which means that about half of the water quantity will be wasted;
- Many pollutants used in the water processing plants are smaller than the water molecule, thus remaining in the drinking water.
Reverse Osmosis FAQ
1. How many gallon can a RO produce per day?
This depends on the size and capacity of the flow membrane of your RO as well as on the size of the storage tank. A 15 GPD (gallons per day) system will filter in an hour a less than 1 gallon per day.
2. How can I check how clean the water is?
There are several ways through which you can determine how clean your water is. You can buy a water purity test kit either in an offline hardware store or online local store and follow the guideline given in the user manual in order to determine the cleanliness.
You can also pour the water in a clear glass and hold it up to a light source. Look through the glass to see how the water looks like. If it is not clean, you will see particles floating up and down the glass. The color of the water can also be cloudy.
You can also determine the how clean your drinking water is by using your sense of smell. A clean water should be odorless. If you cannot test the water by yourself, you should consider getting a professional help.
3. Which is the best RO?
It is difficult to tell which product is the best reverse osmosis system. To determine which product is the best, it is advisable that you take time to read the reviews of the previous consumers to know what they have to say about the product. You also take a look at our reviews here.
4. What are the RO water system standards?
Various nations and locality have water boards and agencies that give the standard for drinking water. It is better that you know what the water board of your locality stipulates as the standard and test your water to see if it meets the standard. However, in most countries, there is no regulation on home reverse osmosis water filtration system. But there are some recognized bodies that set standards for RO.
The National Sanitation Foundation normally abbreviated as NSF sets standards for construction, performance, user manual information and advertisement. The body also sets up performance standards which an RO company must satisfy before its products are certified and endorsed by the body.
Water Quality Association (WQA) is another association that assess construction, performance, commercials and user manual information. Their standards and that of NSF are the same. WQA also accredit and certify products using the same standards with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Choosing your RO system based on these standards will help you to get effective, efficient, durable and high performing RO system. However, they are not the only criteria to be considered while choosing a reverse osmosis water filtration system.
5. Is drinking clean water important to your health?
Water especially clean water is very important to health. It performs a lot of vital bodily functions that enhance the quality of your health. Below are some of the functions of water to your body.
- Water gets rids of toxins from the body.
- Water helps in circulation of valuable nutrients to the different cells of the body.
- Water quenches thirst and hydrate the body.
- It helps to prevent cancer.
- It has weight loss effect.
- It reduces joint pain.
- It helps athletes to perform better by making them to be hydrated.
- It helps to prevent headache that results from dehydration.
- It makes your skin to glow.