If you are concerned about the safety of the tap water you’re drinking, you have good reason to be. Recent studies have found that the water supply in one out of every four U.S. households is either unsafe to drink, or not properly tested for toxic substances.
In order to drink tap water with a clean conscience, your best bet is to invest in a filtering system. One of the most reliable solutions nowadays is the APEC RO 90, a reverse osmosis water filter system.
APEC RO 90
The APEC Top Tier Supreme Certified High Flow 90 can also be called APEC Ultimate RO 90 since it belongs to APEC’s Ultimate line of products.
This system aims to rid tap water of contaminants, along with foul odors and taste, making it safe for you to drink (which it does, but more on that shortly). It uses reverse osmosis as its primary filtration method, one of the most affordable and effective filtration processes nowadays.
This is an install-under-the-counter system, which means you’ll have to do some plumbing in your kitchen to make it operational. It also takes up some space, even more so because of the included water storage tank, meaning it is not a portable solution.
The RO-90 can probably be called APEC’s flagship, a company that’s been in the business for more than 20 years. Since then, several new versions were released: the RO-PH90, which raises the water’s pH, the RO-PERM, for homes with low water pressure, the RO-PUMP, for homes with even lower water pressure, and the RO-CTOP, a portable solution that you can carry around with you.
Who Is This Water Filter For?
If you want a filtering solution that is guaranteed to improve the quality of your tap water, and money is not an issue, then you can go for the RO-90 without looking back.
It has a WQA Gold Seal, a certification recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Standards Council of Canada. The Gold Seal means that the equipment is capable of eliminating contaminants from the water without adding contaminants of its own.
You should also get the Apec RO 90 if high flow rate is one of your priorities. It can output a maximum of 90 gallons of water per day (GPD) at a pressure of 60 psi and comes with a 4-gallon water storage tank, and you can upgrade to 14-gallon tank if you so choose.
However, you should verify that you have enough space in your kitchen to install this system. If you require a smaller or portable unit, there are better solutions out there, which we’ll talk about briefly.
The packaging of the Apec RO 90 seems well thought out. Apart from a couple of common household tools you should have, it includes everything you need to install the system in your kitchen. There is even some Teflon tape to help with the tube connections. Here are the full contents of the box:
- Instruction manual
- Company information leaflet
- 2 filters for filtering stages 4 and 5 (RO system head)
- 3 pre-filters for filtering stages 1 to 3 in 3 housings
- Chrome faucet with nuts and washers
- Plastic wrench to open pre-filter housings
- 4-gallon water storage tank
- Parts bag
The plastic parts bag includes an assortment of tools:
- Teflon tape
- Membrane wrench to open the membrane cap
- Colored tubing 1/4”
- Waste water drain saddle
- Feed water adapter 3/8”- 1/2” with needle valve kit
- Faucet adapter
- Tank’s ball valve
You can check out this unboxing video for a better look.
Overview of Features
The Apec RO 90 is a beast in terms of size and capacity. Still, it requires an input water pressure of at least 40 psi and the maximum pressure is 85 psi. It cannot handle hot water, so the feed water temperature should be between 40 and 100º F.
At 77º F, it can output 90 GPD at 60 psi and 75 GPD at 50 psi. But as we’ve said, this is achieved thanks to its reasonable size. The system itself measures 16”x5.25”x17.5”, and the 4-gallon tank is 11”x11”x15”. These dimensions increase to a whopping 16”x16”x25” if you upgrade to the 14-gallon tank.
The filtration system itself is where the RO-90 excels. After all, it received a WQA Gold Seal, a stamp of approval that stands for reliability and quality.
The first stage is a high-capacity sediment filter that aims to remove dust, particles, and rust from the water.
This is followed by stages 2 and 3, which are both carbon filters. These blocks remove the chlorine from the water, along with any unpleasant colors, odors, and tastes.
The 4th stage is a FILMTEC reverse osmosis membrane. It removes pretty much every contaminant that hasn’t been removed in the previous stages. This includes harmful microorganisms, as well as substances like arsenic, cadmium or radium.
Finally, the 5th stage is there to remove any residual taste that may have been left in the water after filtration. It is a coconut shell carbon filter.
How To Use It
Installation of the Apec RO 90 is not exactly rocket science, but some expertise in plumbing is advisable nonetheless. You can try it yourself if you feel confident, or you could call in a specialist. Either way, a video tutorial is available on YouTube to help with the process. It is divided into 4 parts:
Video 1: Assemble the RO-90 filter and membrane
Video 2: Install the feed water and drain saddle
Video 3: Install the water faucet
Video 4: Connect the tubing
The RO-90 won’t give you much trouble maintenance-wise. You’ll just have to replace the filters every now and then. According to the instruction manual, the pre-filters (stages 1, 2, and 3) should be replaced every 12 months.
The replacement period of the Stage 4 filter depends on the quality of your water supply. If it is municipal water, replace the membrane every 3 to 5 years, and if it is a private well, you should replace it every 2 to 3 years. The stage 5 filter should also be replaced every 3 to 5 years.
The Apec RO 90 is not exactly lacking in features, having a great water output capacity and even a water storage tank. However, it requires the input water supply to have a minimum pressure level to reach its rated flow rate.
If your water supply has a pressure level lower than 50 psi, you have two options: the APEC RO-PERM for water with 30 to 50 psi, and the RO-PUMP which comes with a pump for the most extreme cases, namely less than 30 psi.
If your problem is not water pressure, but rather lack of kitchen space, you will be better off with a portable alternative. The RO-CTOP measures just 14″x 6.5″x 6″ and is light as a feather at 11 pounds. The installation is almost plug and play.
The quality of tap water may be raising some health concerns, but thankfully there are good filtering solutions available on the market. One such solution is the APEC RO 90, a reverse osmosis water filter system.
This piece of equipment has great flow rate, built-in water storage, and WQA Gold Seal certification. If budget is not an issue, this is one of the best systems you can get.