If you have very hard well water or iron-rich well water, you probably already know that simple whole-house water filtration systems aren’t enough. Systems intended for municipal water often fail to remove hydrogen sulfide or reduce TDS to an acceptable level. Welcome to my guide to choosing the best whole house reverse osmosis system. Whole house RO systems are an excellent choice for people on well water. You’ll experience a night-and-day difference between your current water and fresh RO water. Not only will you improve the quality of your drinking water, but your plumbing fixtures will also thank you. Say goodbye to stubborn deposits in your sinks, tubs, and faucets.
In this guide, I share:
- Top 5 Whole House RO Systems
- Whole House RO System Reviews
- Tips on How to Choose the Best Whole House RO System for Well Water
|#1) WECO HydroSense Light Commercial RO System|
|#2) Crystal Quest Whole House Reverse Osmosis System|
|#3) Max Water Commercial Reverse Osmosis Water System|
|#4) Premier Water Systems Light Commercial RO Water Filtration System|
|#5) iSpring Commercial Tankless RO System|
|Bonus Pick: AQUASTAR-H2O Tankless RO Water Filtration System|
Best Whole House RO System Reviews
Are you ready to start filtering? As you probably already noticed, most commercial and light-commercial RO systems are good for home use. Premium whole house RO systems incorporate multiple RO membranes to increase the production rate and longevity of the RO membranes. The problem with converting most residential RO systems into whole house systems is the RO membrane. The wrong RO membrane will burn out quickly in whole house applications.
Before I share my reviews below, it’s important to note that all whole house RO systems will more than likely require a sediment pre-filter at a minimum for well water. The sediment filters that come with most RO systems are 5-micron. These will clog quickly without a spin-down sediment filter or other types of larger-gradient filters installed before them. Be sure to stick around after the reviews for more tips on how to install and choose the right whole house RO system for your home. Now let’s take a closer look at the systems in my Top 5.
Weco HydroSense light-commercial RO systems are perfect for whole-house use. The HydroSense-0500UV is great for well water because of the additional UV filtration stage. UV filters eliminate harmful microorganisms that could be lurking in your well water. If you suspect bacterial or viral contamination in your well water, the combination of a UV filter and RO membrane is incredibly efficient for zapping microorganisms.
The HydroSense system includes five high-rejection 100 GPD RO membranes, pressure sensors, a solenoid valve flow controller, pressure gauge, 2 activated carbon pre-filters, 1 sediment filter, 1 polishing post-filter, and four pressure booster pumps. This is the ultimate combination of features for efficient whole-house RO filtration. Expect less wastewater with this system and consistent output.
When combined with a 550-gallon storage tank, the HydroSense-0500UV is ready to fill the tank once a day. A family of four should have a more than adequate daily water supply for the entire home. You might want to consider diverting the system away from gardening and outdoor needs to conserve RO water for inside your home and extend the life of the membranes & filters. The RO membrane life is 2-3 years.
Below are the pros and cons I found reported by owners in the HydroSense reviews:
Crystal Quest Whole House Water Filter
Of the systems in my Top 5, the Crystal Quest whole house RO system is the most complete. What I like the most about this system is the versatility. There are options to add a UV filter and/or remineralization stage depending on your needs. One drawback to RO water, like distilled water, is it’s devoid of minerals and typically slightly acidic. This can have a negative impact on the taste of the water. An easy solution is to add a remineralization stage. Alkaline minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium are the most common minerals used to boost the pH of RO water and enhance the taste.
The system includes two RO membranes, a sediment filter, a carbon block filter, a water pump, float switches, and a 550-gallon holding tank. There are also options to buy the system standalone, with a 165-gallon tank or a 220-gallon tank. Be sure to consider the size of your household and where you plan to feed the water to get an accurate idea of your household’s daily consumption rate. Like the HydroSense system, the Crystal Quest system is ready to produce up to 500 gallons of RO water per day.
Who is Crystal Quest? Crystal Quest manufactures its RO systems in the US and has over 30 years of water filtration experience. Compared to a lot of RO manufacturers, Crystal Quest is one of the more trustworthy outfits. The company currently has an A+ BBB rating. If you have any concerns or want expert advice on installing a whole house RO system, the company has a toll-free number for all inquiries. Overall, the Crystal Quest whole house RO system is one of the best on the market, and it’s an excellent option for all types of well water.
Max Water 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis System
The Max Water 600 GPD system is similar to the HydroSense system, except it uses two RO membranes rather than five. This equals more frequent RO membrane changes, yet a smaller cost when it’s time to replace. Max Water recommends switching out the membranes every 6 to 8 months or 20,000 gallons. If you have a larger household, the Max Water system has a higher maximum daily production rate of 600 GPD compared to 500 in the Hydrosense and Crystal Quest systems. At the time of this writing, the Max Water system costs less upfront than both the HydroSense and Crystal Quest systems.
The Max Water 101128 offers three stages of pre-filtration with granular activated carbon (GAC), carbon block (CTO), and polypropylene sediment filters. The 20″ pre-filters do a better job of removing contaminants and will last longer than standard 10″ filters. If you’re battling rotten egg odor or other foul tastes in your well water, this combination of filters does an excellent job of filtering out all the nasties. The final stage in the system is a polishing GAC post-filter that’ll sweeten up the taste of the resulting water.
Lastly, the system incorporates two built-in booster pumps to reduce wastewater and increase the efficiency of the RO membranes. Overall, this is a versatile system that’s ready for all types of home use and water types for one of the best prices you’ll find in this department.
Premier Water Systems Light Commercial RO System
This light-commercial RO system by Premier Water Systems is one of the best budget whole house RO systems currently on the market. The setup is very similar to the Weco HydroSense system. With the Premier Water System, you get four RO membranes instead of five. One drawback I noticed is the single booster pump compared to four in the HydroSense system, plus no pressure gauge.
The three pre-filtration stages consist of a sediment filter, GAC filter, and carbon block filter. There’s also the additional polishing carbon post-filter. Depending on your household’s needs, this might be the system for you. If your household is 1-2 people, you can save some bucks by opting for this system. The 400 GPD capacity and a single booster pump are more than enough for smaller households.
Having said that, there’s no UV filter with this system. When you factor in the price of the additional pumps, UV filter, and gauges in the Weco HydroSense system, the overall price is better for the HydroSense system. Those are several points to consider before you buy a whole house RO system for your home.
AQUASTAR-H2O Tankless RO System
The final type of whole house RO system is the Aquastar-H2O and iSpring systems. This type of system is the most affordable upfront and the least cumbersome. The biggest drawback to these smaller systems compared to the big boys is the single RO membrane. A single RO membrane will burn out faster than systems with multiple RO membranes, which may or may not be a dealbreaker for you.
Like the rest of the whole house RO systems, the Aqustar-H2O system requires a holding tank to make it a true whole-house system. One of the advantages of tankless systems is their versatility. In the end, you may spend significantly less than buying a complete system such as the Crystal Quest system. Unlike Crystal Quest, Aquastar-H2O systems are manufactured in Taiwan, though, made in Taiwan is not the same as made in China. Expect a higher quality water filtration system from Taiwan than you’d find coming from mainland China.
All in all, this system and the iSpring system in my guide are worth a look for smaller households.
How to Choose the Best Whole House RO System for Well Water
- Hard Well Water – As I mentioned earlier in the guide, if you have very hard well water complete with sediment and a high TDS, a sediment pre-filter is necessary along with a water softener to achieve the best results. By installing these systems before your RO system, you’ll significantly extend the life of the pricer filters in your RO system and the RO membrane itself.
- UV Purification – Harmful microorganisms including bacteria can contaminate private wells due to runoff from rainfall and snowmelt. While RO membranes do an excellent job of removing everything from your well water, they may not eliminate all harmful microorganisms. Adding a UV filter to your system is a nearly guaranteed way to eliminate all harmful microorganisms, especially when used in conjunction with an RO membrane. For this reason, I ranked the HydroSense-0500UV as the best whole house reverse osmosis system for well water.
- Feel Free to Customize Pre-Filters – The standard blue housings for pre-filters fit most filters on the market. If you’re battling hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg odor), KDF-85 is the preferred media. You might want to consider installing a KDF-85 or KDF/Carbon combo filter after your sediment filter to eliminate hydrogen sulfide from your water before it reaches the RO membrane. The beauty of the systems in this guide is there really are no limits to what’s possible.
- Production Rate – Most families of four find that a 550-gallon holding tank is adequate. Be sure to calculate your household’s daily water needs and match the GPD rate of the system to your holding tank. For example, the Weco HydroSense works well with a 550-gallon holding tank since it’s rated at 500 GPD. If you go with a smaller holding tank, a float valve will automatically turn off the RO system once the tank is full.
Whole house RO systems are an excellent option for people who want bottled-water quality water throughout their homes. Just imagine how good it feels to shower in purified water. On top of that, an efficient whole house RO system will eliminate annoying deposits and scale around your plumbing fixtures.
So not only do you get delicious water on tap everywhere in your home, you eliminate the annoying task of scrubbing away orange stains and deposits. This leads to plumbing fixtures lasting longer and perhaps less of a guilty feeling when investing in premium fixtures. Other advantages are no more buying bottled water (less waste), no need for additional filters such as faucet or pitcher filters, and jealous neighbors who can’t believe how good your water tastes. Which system will you choose?