APEC RO-90 Reverse Osmosis Filter Review

The APEC Water RO – 90 reverse osmosis (RO) filter system, is the higher output version of the highly popular APEC Water ROES – 50 .

The RO – 90 is rated at 90 gallons of pure water per day, based on the industry standard of a water feed supply at 60 psi and 77 degrees F.  That makes this system ideal in situations where there is a high demand for pure water or if it is located where the feed water pressure is low. With a feed of just 50 psi, this system will still produce 75 gallons per day.

Like other APEC Water RO systems, the RO – 90 comes complete with everything that you will need to install the system, including Teflon tape.

The system produces filtered water by means of a 5 stage filtration system:

  • Stage 1– A pre-filter that removes sediment including dust and rust. This also helps extend the life of the RO membrane.
  • Stages 2 and 3 – Two carbon block filters that remove chlorine, odors, tastes and any discoloration or cloudiness, as well as VOC (volatile organic compounds) and other chemicals from the water.
  • Stage 4 – The high rejection TFC RO membrane. This removes a wide range of contaminants including arsenic, bacteria, lead, fluoride, chromium, radium, and others.
  • Stage 5 – A coconut shell refining carbon filter — this removes any possible residual taste from the water before it enters the 4-gallon storage tank.

Follow this link to see a complete list of the contaminants that are removed.

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Filtration System Design

The RO – 90 is a filter/holder system.  This means that all the filters and the membrane are removed from the filter holder and then a replacement filter is fitted back into the holder and the holder replaced.

The stage 1, 2 and 3 filters, which require replacement at between six and 12 months’ use (depending on the condition of the inflowing water) 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 holder is screwed in and tightened with the “C” spanner.

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 inflowing water.

Water Efficiency

As with all RO systems, some incoming water is used to flush the RO membrane. This flushing water is often wasted. APEC suggests that the waste water can be used for watering gardens or filling ponds assuming you were to pipe the waste away. However, if you have fish in your pond, you may want to check the quality of the waste water  since the quantity of contaminants will be typically higher that would normally come out of your faucet.

The amount of water needed to flush the membrane varies depending on the incoming pressure of water, but typically with the APEC ROES – 90, 3 gallons is wasted for every 1 gallon of pure water produced.

Ease of Installation 4.6/5

The complete APEC ROES – 90 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. The whole system is designed to be installed by a do it yourself of average skill level in about 1 hour with minimal tools that most households will already have. To help with installation, all of the tubes are color coded depending on where they connect to.

The system is designed to be installed where the water pressure coming into the filtration unit is between 40 to 85 psi. For lower water pressures, an alternative system of a pressure boosting pump may be needed.

The installation and 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

Pros

  • Up to 90 gallons of pure water produced each day (subject to water pressure)
  • 4 stage filtration plus the RO filter
  • Designed for DIY install within about 1 hour
  • Competitively priced
  • Supplied with everything needed for a standard installation (including Teflon tape)
  • Filter life of between 6 to 12 months depending on condition of feed water
  • Membrane life of between 2 to 3 years
  • Removes up to 99% of contaminants
  • 4-gallon pre-pressurized water storage tank
  • Manufactured in the US
  • US based technical support which is free for the lifetime of the product
  • 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • The filters do not have an indicator to check when they need changing. The best way to check if the filters need changing to test the water occasionally with a TDS meter.

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Conclusion 4.8/5

In our APEC Water RO – 90 review, you can see why it is so highly regarded. The high output capacity makes it and ideal solution for households where higher than average pure water is needed. This capacity also is a good solution for low feed water pressure, where many standard output systems will not produce enough water without the addition of a pressure increasing (permeate) pump.