What makes a good RO system? Recommendations?

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New Member
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Bay Area
I'm looking to replace an existing Watts WP-5 RO system that we've had for many years. It's a pretty standard system with 1 sediment stage, 2 carbon stages, RO membrane, then post-tank GAC polishing filter. I added a permeate pump to the system on my own. There's nothing wrong with the existing system, but it's probably about 15 years old.

I'm looking to replace it with a "modular" system where you change the filters by just pressing a button to close the valve and pop it out, and the entire filter + housing gets replaced. I know this type of system has higher ongoing costs because the filter replacements are more expensive, and you're stuck with the OEM filters. But I think I'm willing to pay for the convenience.

Watts RO Pure is a system like this, and is essentially a direct replacement to my current system except the filters are modular. But I see there are other manufacturers with similar systems.

I have limited space under the sink, so I am not looking for some crazy 9-stage system with every filter under the sun. I'm on city water and will have a whole house catalytic carbon filter and softener before the RO.

What do you recommend and why?

Thank you!


Water systems designer, R&D
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Ontario California
There are hundreds of designs and unfortunately most companies have gone to the "lowest bidder" designs due to the proliferation of the online market. Too many consumers look primarily at cost. I prefer systems either made in the USA with mostly USA components, or systems that are made by the larger companies that do not sell the systems in the big box stores. Once these companies get stuck in the big box stores, the squeeze is on when it comes to price so quality starts to suffer and lower cost components need to be substituted. We have been approached by several big box stores and we have always declined since we know the way the game works from when we were working at different companies. I will send you a PM, I don't like to give out too many name brands since someone will always PM that I should have mentioned X, Y or Z brand instead.
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