Overview of the APEC Top Tier Essence ROES-50
The APEC ROES–50 is another very popular and inexpensive under sink RO system that gets a high number of positive reviews. This is because it is a simple way to get basic reverse osmosis filtration without any bells and whistles.
It produces purified water through 5 stages of filtration and is rated for about 50 gallons of purified water per day.
The ROES–50 does waste some water during the process but at the average rate of about 3 gallons of waste to produce 1 gallon of purified water.
The system comes complete with everything you need to setup and, typically, can be installed by anyone with basic DIY skills in about 1 hour. Both a faucet and pressurized storage tank are included.
Filtration System Design
The APEC ROES–50 is a filter/housing system. This means that a housing is removed, the filter is replaced inside, and then the housing is reattached. Since there is also water in the housing, this can be a little messy.
The stage 1, 2 and 3 filters, which require replacement at around six months of use are loosened with a supplied “C” spanner wrench and then unscrewed by hand. The old filter element is removed and replaced with the new filter element, then the filter housing is screwed in and tightened with the “C” spanner. Users recommend greasing the filter housing threads to ensure you can twist it off easily the next time you change the filters.
Stage 4 (the RO membrane) and stage 5 filter elements are replaced at 2 to 3 year intervals, again depending on the quality of the feed water. The best way to gauge the age of your filters is with a simple TDS test meter.
Follow this link on the APEC website to see a complete list of the contaminants that are removed.
As with all RO systems, some incoming water is used to flush the RO membrane and create back pressure. This wasted water is sent down the drain. APEC suggests that the waste water can be re-routed for watering gardens or some other non-drinking use. This would only require some additional tubing to reach your waste water storage container.
The amount of water needed to flush the membrane varies depending on the incoming pressure of water, but typically with the APEC ROES–50, 3 gallons are wasted for every 1 gallon of pure water produced.
Ease of Installation
The complete APEC ROES–50 is a compact system that is designed to be installed in a small under counter space although it can be installed anywhere there is a convenient water feed line. Installation can be done by someone with average DIY skill level in about 1 hour with tools that most households will already have. To help with installation, all of the tubes are color-coded.
The recommended water pressure coming into the filtration system is between 40 and 85 psi. For lower water pressures, a pressure-boosting permeate pump would help.
The user manual is quite detailed but it is worth taking a look at the following videos from APEC before you start since they do show how easy the system is to install.
- Video 1 – Unpacking and checking the unit
- Video 2 – Installing and fitting filter and membrane units
- Video 3 – How to install the feed water and drain saddle adaptor
- Video 4 – Installing the RO faucet
- Video 5 – Connecting the tubing connections and system start up
The filters do not have an indicator to show when they need changing. The best way to check if the filters need changing is to test the water entering and exiting the system with a TDS meter.
Be sure to consider the space you will need to remove filter housings with the spanner wrench before you install. Accessing the filters easily is very important so make sure you have enough room before mounting the system to the wall.
Check out our list of the best reverse osmosis accessories for some items to consider with your new reverse osmosis system.
- Competitively priced
- Relatively inexpensive filters make for a low total cost of ownership (TCO)
- Removes up to 99% of contaminants
- Designed for DIY installation within about 1 hour
- RO Membrane life of between 2 to 3 years
- 4-gallon pre-pressurized water storage tank
- 100% lead-free chrome faucet
- U.S. based technical support which is free for the lifetime of the product
- 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Manufactured in the USA
- Purified water output per day of 50 gallons is on the low end
- APEC makes the same system but with higher output in the APEC Top Tier Supreme High Flow RO-90
- 3 gallons of wasted water per 1 gallon of purified water is average
- Filters in housings are more difficult to replace than modular filters
- No remineralization stage to add back minerals
- Does not include a UV light to kill bacteria and other microorganisms
- Well and natural water sources are more prone to this problem but only a water test can confirm the level in your water
The APEC ROES–50 is one of the best selling RO filter systems in the US.
While the filters are a little more difficult to replace than the modular filters on competitors such as the Home Master systems, the cost of the filters is less than many competitors.
The waste water produced is on the high end but since the total cost of ownership is so low, many people still trust this system.
For high quality, low price, and lower than average maintenance costs, the ROES–50 is a highly recommended RO filter system.