Educate me on reverse osmosis water filter systems for the home
August 9, 2014 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Looking for anecdotes and experiences about buying and installing a reverse osmosis water filtration system for the home, for drinking water. Where did you buy it? Who installed it for you? What's this I hear about over-filtration and stripping water of its essential minerals? I'm especially concerned about systems that are good at reducing hexavalent chromium. Finally, our sink has a granite top. Who do I hire to drill a hole in this (not a plumber, right?)
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We rent a unit from Culligan for about $30 a month, and they come out and replace the filter every year and do all repairs (so far, just a leaky faucet). Our water is much much tastier. I do worry a little about stripping the minerals, but we still cook with unfiltered city water, so hopefully that helps. I live on iced tea, and my tea is never cloudy!
posted by Malla at 1:03 PM on August 9, 2014

We have this one and are very happy with it. Some of the filters get changed every 6 months to a year. The RO one is changed every 5-6 years or something.

Watts WP5-50 Premier Five-Stage Manifold Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System

We've had it for about 4 years now. We bought it on Amazon and my husband installed it. Changing the filters is a bit of a struggle (i.e., I cannot do it myself).

There was no need to drill a hole in anything for us. We just repurposed our kitchen island's tiny sink and plumbing.

We prefer filtered water because our water is high in nitrates.

I've never heard about the issue of stripping minerals from water so can't address that.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 1:50 PM on August 9, 2014

Ours is in the basement and it's plumbed into our bar sink. It produces 2.5 gallons/hour so it's plenty for drinking water and cooking, but not enough to wash dishes... Otherwise we could have attached it to the cold water line at the main sink . Culligan maintains it along with our water softener system.
posted by carmicha at 1:55 PM on August 9, 2014

Another thing to consider is that home reverse osmosis systems are not always the most environmentally friendly.
posted by oceano at 6:23 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I got my system from Amazon and the installation was a do-it-yourself project. I'm not sure which model it is, but it adds minerals back into the water after it treats it. My parents used to have a model that didn't do that and when I visited, I would have trouble with getting dehydrated despite drinking plenty of that water.
posted by capsizing at 7:20 PM on August 9, 2014

We have a reverse osmosis / UV unit at work and it's not hooked up to a drain, so we'd have a major problem if it had a less than 100% "conversion ratio"... My guess is that the water waste fears are overblown, as are the mineral loss ones.
posted by reddot at 5:23 AM on August 10, 2014

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