Originally, reverse osmosis water filters were created to be installed under the kitchen sink. However, creative engineers came up with an innovative design concept: Countertop reverse osmosis systems.
Most remarkably, it was not the only upgrade they made. Manufacturers stretched the boundaries and designed the first portable reverse osmosis filter.
Without further ado, we will explore in more detail how a countertop or portable reverse osmosis unit works, the pros and cons of such filters, and answer the question of whether you need a system in your home right now.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis filtration is believed to be one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions for homes or offices, providing clean and healthy drinking water.
In simple terms, reverse osmosis is a method used for removing a considerable number of diverse contaminants from tap water by pushing it through a semi-permeable membrane. As a result, the contaminants are left behind and flushed down the drain. A reverse osmosis filter has a pore size of approximately 0.0001 micron. The effectiveness of the system varies from 95% to 99% in overall contaminant reduction.
In order to effectively filter and achieve highest water purity, the filter process in conventional RO systems combines several phases of filtration (most of the time at least 4), including:
- Sediment pre-filtration
- Carbon block pre- filtration
- Reverse osmosis membrane purification
- Carbon-block post filtration
You may think of pre-filters as a vigorous protection for the reverse osmosis membrane, which is the most essential part of the entire RO system and can be considered the heart of the filtration process.
Sediment pre-filters remove visible contaminants such as rust, sand, and silt. Moreover, they simultaneously eliminate inorganic as well as organic chemicals and other large pollutants that might potentially damage the reverse osmosis membrane. Such pre-filters are engineered with 5 to 10-micron pore sizes and ought to be replaced frequently, after 6-12 months of constant use.
Due to being sensitive to the detrimental effects of chlorine, a carbon block pre-filter appears to be vital and is responsible for maintaining the wholeness of an RO membrane. Carbon filters last up to 2 years and then need to be changed.
The final phase of filtration is carried out by a carbon-block post filter, removing any contaminants that have been missed while going through previous filter stages. This stage ensures that your water will not have any remaining unpleasant taste and odor. According to manufactures, these filters should be replaced after 12 months of work.
What Contaminants Does Reverse Osmosis Remove from Water?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reverse osmosis units are able to remove widespread chemical contaminants including but not limited to sodium, chloride, chromium, copper, barium, and lead; and might also reduce nitrates, radium, arsenic, nickel, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, fluoride, potassium, nitrate, as well as phosphorous.
Due to having a tiny pore size, reverse osmosis water filters are also capable of eliminating some bacteria (for instance E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella) and viruses (such as Rotavirus, Norovirus, Enteric, Hepatitis A).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
As mentioned above, the effectiveness of the filtration process is proven to be 95 to 99 percent in overall contaminant reduction, making a reverse osmosis system one of the most efficient type of water filter on the market. Some countertop units are effective in eliminating close to 100 pollutants from water. Consequently, a countertop RO system provides you with outstanding purity of drinking water.
Compact in Size and Little or No Installation
Due to their design, countertop or portable reverse osmosis systems can be standalone and sit on the countertop or they can be hooked up to the kitchen faucet with relative ease in less than 10 minutes. In other words, they are compact and do not require much space.
Because countertop filters need little or no installation at all, they are the best choice for people who rent apartments and cannot make any changes to the plumbing setup. Moreover, portable reverse osmosis water filters are the perfect solution for travelers, providing them with high-quality drinking water on the road.
Countertop filters are said to be one of the easiest filters to use on today’s market. The only thing you should keep in mind is to track how long each filter cartridge has been in use. The filters usually need to be replaced after 12 months of constant use.
The cost varies from $100 to $500 on average depending on the model.
When it comes to the drawbacks of countertop reverse osmosis filters, there is not much to discuss.
More Water Wasted
Based on a study conducted by the EPA, your water bill may increase due to the fact that countertop RO systems use about 3 times as much water as they treat.
Some household owners provided us with feedback that potential leakage can occur due to flaws in design.
The table below lists all advantages and disadvantages of countertop reverse osmosis filters.
|Effectiveness from 95 % to 99 %
|Requires visible space on the kitchen
|Compact in size
|Easy to use
|Possible increase in your water bill
|Portable (if you opt for a portable reverse osmosis filter)
|Need to be replaced on average after 12 months of constant work
Taking Control of Our Well-Being
Drinking clean and healthy water is a necessity and an inseparable part of our lives. It is imperative to take control over our own well-being and it’s also everyone’s responsibility.
You should choose the best water treatment solution for your home as well as your business. Countertop or portable RO systems are proven to be one of the best to eliminate the majority of dangerous contaminants from tap water. They will ensure that your drinking water is safe to keep you hydrated and healthy.