In this review, we take a much closer look at some of the top APEC reverse osmosis systems and replacement parts that you can consider, and reveal how they perform as well as their pros and cons.
- APEC Water RO 90
- APEC Water ULTIMATE-RO-Hi
- APEC Water ULTIMATE RO-PH90
- APEC Water ROES-PHUV75
- APEC Water RO-PERM
- APEC Water RO-LITE-18
- APEC Water RO-QUICK90
- APEC Water RO-PUMP
- APEC Water RO-CTOP
- APEC Water ROES-PH75
- APEC Water ROES 50
APEC Water RO Systems Reviews
APEC Water is an American company that was established in 1995 in California and it has grown to become one of the most popular and leading brands in producing water purifying systems and solutions.
In its over 20 years of existence in the industry, the company has released a good number of high-quality RO systems that offer high levels of performance.
Their product range encompasses different kinds of RO solutions which include under sink and countertop RO systems, whole house RO systems, commercial-grade units, and a wide variety of RO replacement parts and filters.
In this review, we take a much closer look at some of the top APEC Reverse Osmosis systems and replacement parts that you can consider, and reveal how they perform as well as their pros and cons.
Each of APEC’s RO systems falls under a certain series which are the essence series, ultimate series, countertop units, and commercial-grade systems.
Our article only covers the best models in each of these series so that in the end you can easily and confidently decide which one is really right for you. Therefore, read through the reviews and find out what each unit has to offer.
Group 1 – Essence Series
The ROES-PHUV75 is one of APEC’s high caliber models within its Essence series providing a comprehensive filtration process that guarantees the purest water possible.
The unit is amongst the three versions of the APEC Essence ROES-UV75 model which only differs a little bit in terms of features. The first version is the ROES-UV75 itself with a 6-stage filtration process featuring a UV light filter. The second version is the ROES-PHUV75-SS with a 7-stage filtration process featuring a PH filter and stainless steel UV light filter.
The third version is a variant of the ROES-PHUV75 which equally has a 7-stage filtration process that features a PH filter and a white UV light filter which is slightly different from the stainless steel UV light filter in the ROES-PHUV75-SS version.
In this review, we look at the second version which is the ROES-PHUV75 model with a stainless steel UV light filter.
As I mentioned earlier, the APEC Essence ROES-PHUV75 is a comprehensive RO system equipped with 7 filtration stages that deliver super contaminant rejection rates and reliable performance.
The 1st stage of the unit consists of a polypropylene sediment filter which eliminates sand, silt, dust, rust, and other particles down to 5 microns.
The 2nd and 3rd stages are the same quality coconut shell carbon block filters which effectively absorb and get rid of almost all the chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, and chemicals that lead to unpleasant tastes, odors, colors, and cloudiness in the water.
A high rejection TFC RO membrane sits in the 4th stage and it removes all the remaining contaminants down to 0.0001 microns. It gets rid of 99.99% of the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water and 1000+ contaminants including fluoride, radium, chromium and heavy metals. The filtered water from the TFC membrane is then delivered to the RO storage tank.
5th Stage – UV Light Sterilizer Filter
From the storage tank, the RO water is passed through a 5th stage which consists of a watertight chamber featuring a UV light sterilizer filter.
This stage is what makes ROES-PHUV75 exceptionally effective at ensuring you get purified water that’s completely free of contaminants. The UV light sterilizer contains a powerful UV lamp that emits strong UV light with a wavelength of 253.7 nanometers.
As the water flows past the lamp, all the harmful microorganisms are exposed to the lethal germicidal UV energy of the emitted UV light.
The germicidal energy effectively attacks and destroys the genetic core (DNA) of the microorganisms stopping their ability to reproduce, and ultimately causing them to die completely.
The best part is that unlike ordinary UV sterilizer filters, this one features a stainless steel interior. It reflects the UV light evenly throughout the chamber hence facilitating the highest UV coverage possible.
Therefore, no microorganism gets to escape the lethal germicidal energy from the UV light. The filter will kill up to 99.99% of all the harmful microorganisms in the RO water from bacteria to viruses to cysts and other microbial pathogens.
In addition, the filter uses an all-natural process. It doesn’t change the taste or composition of the water in any way.
6th Stage Post-Carbon Filter
From the UV light filter, the water passes through the 6th stage where it’s further refined by an advanced coconut shell carbon filter that clears any possible residual chlorine and taste from the tank.
7th Stage Alkaline Filter
The final stage in the ROES-PHUV75 RO system is APEC’s calcium mineral cartridge which is an alkaline re-mineralizing filter and it adds calcium carbonate into the RO water thereby raising its pH level. It increases the pH value by 1 to 1.5.
The outcome of combining these 7 highly-effective RO filtration stages is total contaminant-free purified water with much-improved alkalinity and great taste.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
The production rate of the ROES-PHUV75 is 75 gallons per day which is the same as the APEC ROES-PH75 and makes it an ideal choice for small to large families.
A 4-gallon storage tank is included with the unit and it can hold up to 3.2 gallons of water which is also a good capacity that should suit the needs of most households.
The unit releases 3 gallons of wastewater for every gallon of pure water it delivers, so it falls a little short with regards to filtration efficiency. But again this tells you how thorough the filtration process is despite the amount of water wasted being relatively high.
Installation and Maintenance
Installing the ROES-PHUV75 may not pose a lot of difficulties with some basic DIY skills. It comes quick connection fittings and all the tubing are colored to enable fast and easy installation and maintenance.
There’s a detailed manual to guide you throughout and you can even refer to several videos on YouTube to help you out if you get stuck.
The filters are really durable and this is one of the things that set apart APEC’s Reverse Osmosis systems from the rest. The prefilters and the 7th stage UV filter will last up to 12 months while the membrane, post-carbon filter and the alkaline filter can go for up to 2 to 4 years.
To sum it all, the APEC ROES-PHUV75 is a system designed to deal with highly contaminated water especially where there are concerns of possible microbial contamination. It will effectively eliminate all contaminants in your water and give it a great, natural taste.
- Fights off all kinds of contamination
- UV light filter helps kill harmful microorganisms
- Raises the pH level of the water and enhances its taste
- Delivers 75 gallons per day ideal for small to large families
- Easy to install and the filters are durable
- Wastes 3 gallons of water to produce a gallon of pure water
In the fourth spot, we have the APEC RO-PUMP model which is designed purposely for households that have low water pressure.
It’s much similar to the ROES-50 in terms of the filtration process but with the addition of a booster pump that makes it a suitable model if your source water pressure is quite low.
The unit comes in two versions, one which features a 100V transformer and another one that features a 220V transformer. Our review below focuses on the APEC RO-PUMP-100V model.
The RO-PUMP-100V model utilizes the same APEC’s standard 5-stage filtration process we saw in the ROES-50 to purify water.
The 1st stage features a 5-micron sediment filter made from polypropylene and it traps all the large sediments and particles present in the water like dust, silt, sand and rust.
The 2nd stage consists of a 5-micron coconut shell carbon block filter which is specifically designed to absorb chlorine, chloramines, VOCs and other common chemicals that lead to cloudiness and unpleasant tastes and odors in the source water.
The next prefilter in the 3rd stage is also a coconut shell carbon block filter that further helps clear the remaining chlorine and chemicals that slipped through the 2nd stage.
The main filtration element, the RO membrane takes the 4th stage. It’s a quality 0.0001-micron TFC RO membrane with a pretty high TDS (total dissolved solids) and contaminants rejection rate.
This membrane will clear up to 99% of contaminants and total dissolved solids in the water. It will remove fluoride, lead, arsenic, chromium, radium, viruses, bacteria and more than 1000 other contaminants.
From the RO holding tank, the water goes through one last stage which comprises of a coconut shell post-carbon filter that performs the final polishing of the water by absorbing any residual taste picked up from the tank. What you get is clean and safe drinking water that’s free of odors and unpleasant taste.
Now the outstanding feature in this APEC RO-PUMP-100V RO system and what differentiates it from the ROES-50 model is the inclusion of an efficient 100V booster pump.
It’s a great addition that makes this unit a reliable option for use in areas or situations where the source water pressure is low (lower than 60psi).
The pump can perform under source water pressure from as low as 0 to 30 psi which means this system will still operate well on low water pressure or when there’s no water pressure at all like in the case of well water usage.
By raising the water pressure, this booster pump will ensure the filtration process runs optimally and quickly to give you clean water despite any variation or a drop in pressure.
The RO-PUMP-100V comes with an effective RO membrane with a standard filtration capacity of 50 gallons of pure water per day. This is an average capacity that should suit small to medium families.
The unit wastes about 3 gallons of water for one gallon of pure water it generates. With the pump running and a decent source water pressure, the ratio can reduce to 2:1 which is fairly good for an under sink RO system.
Installation and Maintenance
As far as installation is concerned, the APEC RO-PUMP-100V is a straightforward DIY unit that anyone who can follow the detailed instruction manual can set up. However, the pump will need a power source which may make things a bit challenging.
It comes with everything you need to install it under your kitchen sink or basement. The maintenance is equally easy and low because the filters are all durable.
The three prefilters will last 6 to 12 months while the membrane and post carbon filter has a service life of 2 to 4 years. Furthermore, the pump is of good quality. It doesn’t consume a lot of power and runs quietly without causing any disturbance whatsoever.
In general, if you are struggling with low pressure, then this APEC RO-PUMP-100V model or its counterpart RO-PUMP-220V will certainly solve your problem and give you clean water for drinking or cooking.
- Eliminates all kinds of contaminants
- Booster pump raises water pressure to ideal levels
- Average filtration capacity of 50 GPD
- Decent wastewater to pure water ratio of 2:1
- Installation is a breeze and requires low maintenance
- Comes with 1-year limited warranty
- The pump needs a power source which may make limit your installation options
- No ideal for households with high water demands
Group 2 – Ultimate Supreme Certified Series
After checking the best APEC’s RO systems in the essence series, we look at the top models within the ultimate series and our first pick is none other than the APEC RO-90 model.
The models in the APEC ultimate series are all WQA gold seal certified systems which means they guarantee the highest standards and contaminant removal rates in the industry.
Besides the certification, what puts them ahead of the essence series models are there high-performance filters and larger capacity.
As one of the flagship system in the ultimate series, the RO-90 provides great performance and results with about twice the amount of purified water that you would get with any standard RO unit. It’s a serious consideration for large families with a high demand for water.
The filtration process of the APEC RO-90 system involves 5 stages featuring super-effective filters and membrane.
Composed of a quality polypropylene sediment filter, the 1st stage of the system removes particles in the water like rust, dust, sand and silt down to 5 microns. The 10” filter has a large dirt holding capacity which makes it more durable and efficient in filtering out the sediments.
The 2nd stage is fitted with also a quality 5-micron carbon block filter that can remove chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, unpleasant odor, taste, color and most other chemicals present in the water.
Another similar 5-micron carbon block filter sits in the 3rd stage and it takes care of the remaining chlorine, VOCs and chemicals that passed through the second stage.
The two carbon block filters have particles of carbon made of coconut shell and fused into a homogeneous region. Their large surface area and effective coconut shell carbon media ensure optimum contact time which boosts their absorption ability.
Stage four features APEC’s high-rejection 0.0001-micron FILMTEC RO membrane which performs rigorous filtration that eliminates even the tiniest contaminant molecules in the water.
Certified by the WQA, this high-quality membrane will filter out up to 99% of all TDS and contaminants including bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, fluoride and much more.
In removing the residual taste that often arises from the RO holding tank, the APEC RO-90 is equipped with an advanced coconut shell TCR (Total Contamination Removal) filter. This post-filter refines the RO water eliminating every remaining taste and odor from the tank.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
While the superb performance of the RO-90 is commendable, its high water production capacity is as well a major factor that has made it an attractive option on the market.
The unit can generate up to 90 gallons of purified water in a day which is amongst the biggest capacities available for residential under sink RO systems.
This great capability to produce a lot of water make this model absolutely perfect for any large household and family that often consume more than 50 gallons per day.
Moreover, the high capacity filters help facilitate a much faster flow rate and filtration, about twice faster than standard RO systems. Therefore, you will be able to draw much more water from the unit within a shorter time. It’s ideal for filling those large pitchers.
The only downside though is that like most of the other systems from APEC, this system is set to use 3 gallons of water to rinse out the contaminants for every one gallon of pure water produced. So, there’s no improvement with regards to filtration efficiency.
Installation and Maintenance
You won’t need to seek professional help to install the unit. It requires just basic DIY skills, but even if you are not that handy, it really won’t be an issue because it comes with JG quick connect fitting which allows for easy tubing connection.
The installation manual is comprehensive and straightforward with everything you need to set it up included in the package.
However, the filters in housing may be somewhat difficult to replace compared to the modular filters. The good thing though is that they are super durable which means fewer change-outs.
The stages 1 to 3 prefilters need changing just one a year and the membrane and the post-carbon filter will go for 3 to 5 years before requiring replacement.
For anyone looking for high quality and high output coupled with the lowest maintenance possible, the APEC RO-90 is a unit worth considering. It’s ideal for situations where the demand for filtered water is higher than average.
- High-performance filters clear all contaminants
- Larger water filtration capacity of up to 90 GPD
- High capacity filters ensure a faster flow rate
- Simple and quick to install with everything included
- Easy to maintain with long-lasting quality filters
- Backed by 1-year limited warranty
- Produces slightly more wastewater than average
- Filters and membrane houses are a bit hard to open
The RO-PH90 is the best model in APEC’s ultimate series when it comes to providing great tasting water. It’s much similar to the RO-90 above but features an extra stage which comprises of an alkaline filter that enhances the taste of your source water.
If you prefer a more natural and better-tasting water with some healthy minerals in it, then the RO-PH90 might just be the right choice.
The system uses a 6-stage filtration process to enhance the water purity and its pH level.
The 1st stage is the effective 5-micron polypropylene sediment which traps all the dirt, dust, rust, silt, sand and other large particles and contaminants in the water.
The 2nd and 3rd stages are occupied coconut shell carbon block filters. These are premium-grade filters that will get rid of any unpleasant taste, odor, colors and cloudiness.
More importantly, they will remove chlorine, chloramines, VOCs and many other chemicals present in the water.
All the remaining contaminants are completely removed at stage four. The 0.0001-micron FILMTEC TFC RO membrane captures up to 99% of the total dissolved solids (TDS) and contaminants from heavy metals to chemicals to microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
The 5th stage is occupied by another coconut shell carbon filter which absorbs any unpleasant taste that may arise from the RO holding tank.
6th Stage – Alkaline Filter
The RO-PH90 features an additional stage which consists of a calcium mineral cartridge that serves as an alkaline filter. It effectively raises the pH of the RO water naturally by adding calcium carbonate which neutralizes the slight acidic RO water.
It increases the pH level to about 8 to 9 which makes the water more alkaline with a much better taste than the plain RO water.
Like the RO-90, this unit comes with a high capacity membrane which is capable of delivering 90 gallons of water per day. That capacity will satisfy the water needs of any family or household whether medium or large.
The wastewater to pure water ratio is 3:1. It’s no different from the other APEC’s models. It will waste some water but a moderate amount not to hike your water bills.
Installation and Maintenance
The installation of the RO-PH90 is pretty straightforward too. The instruction manual is clear and easy to understand plus there is nothing complicated to set it up. If you have basic DIY skills, it can take you about an hour.
APEC’s RO systems, parts and filters are always built to last and the RO-PH90 is no different. The filters are of high quality and long-lasting.
The prefilters and the alkaline filter require changing only once a year while the RO membrane and the post-carbon filter can serve you for about 3 to 5 years.
In short, with regards to performance and overall functionality, the APEC RO-PH90 is up to the task. The addition of the alkaline filter is a big plus especially for those that prefer great-tasting alkaline water.
- Gets rid of more 1000 different contaminants and TDS
- Raises the pH of the RO water and makes it taste great
- High water production capacity with a fast flow rate
- Installation is simple and needs little maintenance
- Strong build quality with long-lasting filters and membrane
- Adds back only calcium to boost the pH
The RO-Hi is yet another fine model in APEC’s ultimate line of RO filtration systems. This premium WQA gold seal certified system is a perfect fit for those searching for a fast-flow system with a high output. It’s purposely tailored for high usage or fast-flow output.
The RO-Hi is equipped with premium-quality filters that deliver high performance for an extra-long time compared to those in other standard systems. The unit uses a 5-stage filtration process to get rid of all kinds of impurities and contaminants in the source water.
In the 1st stage, there’s a polypropylene sediment filter which takes out all the particles and large particles in the water down to 5 microns. This step clears out all the dust, rust, silt, sand, scales and any other solid contaminant.
The 2nd and 3rd stages consist of effective coconut shell carbon block filters with a large surface area. They absorb up to 99% of chlorine and chloramines that often lead to unpleasant tastes, odor, colors and cloudiness. These filters also efficiently remove most of the common chemicals and VOCs from the water.
At the 4th stage, a FILMTEC high rejection TFC RO membrane gets rid of even the tiniest remaining contaminant in the water including 99% of all the TDS (total dissolved solids).
It clears out everything larger than 0.0001 microns which pretty much doesn’t much around other than pure water molecules.
The final stage of the unit is an advanced coconut shell carbon filter which ensures the water you draw from your faucet does not have any unpleasant taste from the holding tank.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
With an output of 90 gallons of purified water per day, the RO-Hi is another model within APEC’s ultimate series that will comfortably suit any large family out there that requires a high amount of water regularly.
Besides that, what makes this model one of the best on the market in terms of performance is that it has a fast-flow output design.
It features 3/8” output quick dispense design which increases the water flow rate allowing it to fit the tank twice faster than standard RO systems.
This will reduce waiting time, especially when filling large pots or pitchers. You will be able to use it often without lacking clean drinking water.
With regards to the amount of wastewater generated, the RO-Hi is still not that efficient and this is something we’ve noted in most of APEC’s RO systems. It wastes 3 gallons of water for every gallon of purified water produced.
Installation and Maintenance
There’s nothing complicated when it comes to setting up the RO-Hi. Everything you need is included in the package plus the installation tools and manual.
It will as well require very little maintenance because it has longer-lasting filters. The three first filters can last up to 12 months while the post-filter and the membrane have a service life of 3 to 5 years.
Overall, we would say this system is best suited for larger households that have five or more members. It’s built specifically for high usage and will ensure you get a constant supply of water to meet your needs.
- Reduces contaminants to close to zero
- High capacity filters with a high flow rate
- High pure water production ideal for large families
- Easy to install and filters have a longer service life
- Backed by a 2-year limited warranty
- Wastewater generated is a little on the high end
The APEC RO-PERM like the other models in the ultimate series is equally quite identical to the RO-90 model except that it’s particularly designed to provide boosted performance.
The unit comes with a permeate pump which is a feature that sets it apart from other standard RO systems. It’s an efficient unit specifically built for use in homes or areas with low water flow where a regular RO system would be really slow or not function at all.
APEC offers the unit into versions, one for homes with pressure ranging from 0 to 30 psi and another for areas with a pressure of 30 to 50 psi such some well water homes. Herein we review the second option which is the RO-PERM (30-50 psi) version.
Both versions of the RO-PERM perform a thorough filtration using the highly reliable APEC’s 5-stage RO process to deliver the best quality, safe drinking water.
Composed of a large capacity polypropylene sediment filter, the 1st stage of the RO-PERM is responsible for clearing out every large particle that is bigger than 5-micron. It filters out dust, rust, silt, sand and many other sediments that may clog the system.
Stage 2 and 3 feature two carbon block filters made from coconut shell. These two filters are quite powerful and have a large surface area. They eliminate chlorine, chloramines, nasty tastes, odors, colors and cloudiness. Other common chemicals and VOCs are as well filtered out from the water in these two stages.
APEC’s highest quality FILMTEC TFC RO membrane with a high rejection rate of 99% ensures complete purification of the water in the fourth stage. The 0.0001-micron membrane removes all the remaining contaminants and TDS including fluoride, bacteria, viruses and heavy metals like arsenic, radium, chromium and lead.
The 5th stage advanced coconut shell carbon filter performs final polishing of the RO water clearing out any tastes and odors from the storage tank to deliver the purest water possible.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
Similar to the other APEC ultimate series models, the high capacity membrane of the RO-PERM can produce up to 90 gallons of clean water a day. Hence, it’s a suitable unit too for those that desire large amounts of purified water regularly.
Pre-installed Permeate Pump
The highlight of this APEC RO-PERM model is the pre-installed permeate pump it comes with. The pump utilizes hydraulic energy often lost to the drain to effectively enhance the tank pressure enabling the RO-PERM to fill the storage tank quicker.
It can fill the tank around 2 to 3 times faster than the rest of APEC’s systems and most other standard RO systems on the market.
That extra boost in filling pressure also leads to an increased delivery pressure at your faucet. It makes the water to flow out of the tank to the faucet faster facilitating a quicker fill-up.
Under normal feed water pressure of 60 psi or above, the permeate pump can also improve the overall performance of the system by boosting the flow through the filters.
It can as well help cut down the amount of wastewater generated. With most of APEC’s systems having wastewater to pure water ratio of 3:1, the inclusion of this permeate pump will help this RO-PERM to significantly reduce this ratio and conserve water.
This particular version is pretty effective for homes with minimum feed water pressures of 30 psi while the second version is designed to work well with inlet water pressures that are as low as 0 psi.
The best part is that the pump in either version doesn’t require electricity to run because it’s powered by the hydraulic energy from the wastewater going to the drain. Therefore, it’s a cost-effective addition and you won’t have to worry about the filter not working in case of power goes out.
Installation and Maintenance
Putting together the RO-PERM doesn’t need much expertise. The permeate pump comes pre-installed which simplifies the whole process and it uses JG quick connection fittings for fast installation.
All the filters have a longer service life to ensure fewer change-outs and low system maintenance. The prefilters have a lifespan of 1 year while the membrane and the post-filter will last 3 to 5 years.
The bottom line here is that this RO-PERM model is the most suitable APEC RO system for any home with a low inlet pressure of around 30 to 50 psi. If your pressure is 0 to 30 psi, the other version of the RO-PERM will be a great fit. Both versions guarantee to increase the rate at which the filtered water gets delivered to your RO faucet.
- Clears out 99.99% of all contaminants
- Increases the delivery pressure significantly
- A non-electricity pump ensures no energy cost
- Generates 90 GPD suitable for large families
- Permeate pump helps reduce waste water production
- Installation is simple with low maintenance
- The manufacturer offers a 1-year limited warranty
- The system might be a little noisy while the pump is operating
Group 3 – Portable Countertop System
The RO-CTOP is another excellent countertop RO system from APEC. It’s a hassle-free, portable unit that offers nothing but convenience and ease of use.
Like the RO-OCTOP-PH, APEC has designed two versions of the RO-CTOP model, one without casing (RO-CTOP) and another without casing (RO-CTOP-C). In this review, we look at the latter version, the RO-CTOP-C.
The RO-CTOP-C utilizes a 4-stage RO filtration process that features the powerful filters and membrane found in APEC’s under-sink residential systems.
Stage 1 is occupied by a sediment filter made from polypropylene and it does well to trap dirt, silt, sand, rust and every large particle that’s bigger than 5 microns.
It’s followed by a coconut shell activated carbon filter with a large surface area that helps to efficiently get rid of chlorine, chloramines, odors, cloudiness, colors and unpleasant taste. The filter as well removes other common chemicals and VOCs like pesticides and herbicides.
Stage 3 of the system consists of the FILMTEC TFC RO membrane which is a super-effective membrane that deals with the tiniest and most difficult contaminants to remove. It clears out everything larger than 0.0001 micron which basically eliminates up to 99% of all the TDS and contaminants in the water from heavy metals to microorganisms and more.
Stage 4 which is the last part of the filtration process is fitted with an equally large capacity coconut shell carbon filter that serves as the post-filter and it performs the final polishing of the water by getting rid of any residual chlorine, taste, odor, particulates.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
With regards to water production, the RO-CTOP-C can output a maximum of 90 gallons of water in a day. The rate at which it will deliver water may be slow if your pressure is low but that’s much more capacity for daily use.
Not only is this capable of producing high amounts of water but it’s also surprisingly efficient than most of the other large under-sink systems from APEC.
It only wastes 2 gallons of water for each gallon of clean water it produces. This is lower than the 3:1 average ration on many APEC’s residential systems which is a big plus.
Installation and Maintenance
Aside from connecting the feed and wastewater hoses to the system and the pure water hose from the system to your faucet, no other installation is required. It’s that simple and straightforward. It will hook up easily to any existing standard faucet.
The same simple installation applies too to maintenance as there’s nothing much you will need to do. All the filters are durable. You will only have to replace the pre-stage filters once every year. The RO membrane and post-filter need changing after 2 to 5 years.
One of the things we liked much about this particular APEC RO-CTOP-C version is that it’s quite compact and designed very well than RO-OCTOP-PH model above or its counterpart, the RO-CTOP-C.
All the filters plus the RO membrane are nicely enclosed in a cover and clipped to a backplate. Nothing is exposed to the open. The whole unit weighs about 10 pounds and measures 15.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches.
Therefore, it’s lightweight and highly portable especially with the complete encasing which makes it easy and convenient to carry it with you.
If you need a portable countertop RO system that can provide the same filtration power and efficiency like any large under-sink RO system, then this APEC RO-CTOP-C would suit you fine.
- Filters out most of the TDS and contaminants in water
- High water filtration capacity of 90 GPD
- Relatively efficient with 2:1 wastewater to pure water ratio
- Easy to install and requires not much maintenance
- The lightweight, compact design makes it highly portable
- Comes in two versions you can choose from
- Fits no other types of faucets other than standard faucets
- No water tank. It may take time to fill containers especially with low source pressure
Group 4 – Compact RO System
The APEC RO-QUICK90 is specially designed for those who want the same performance and reliability of an under-sink RO system but don’t want a large unit that takes up a lot of space.
In other words, the RO-QUICK90 is APEC’s version of a compact under sink RO system as it’s a combination of a countertop unit with storage tank. If you have limited space to install a full under sink system, then this RO-QUICK90 model may be the right choice for you.
With a much similar design to the countertop models we’ve reviewed above, the APEC RO-QUICK90 comes equipped with a 4-stage RO filtration process that can tackle many kinds of contaminants in your water.
The unit features two prefilters consisting of a 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter which removes all large particles in the 1st stage.
The second prefilter is a coconut shell activated carbon filter in the 2nd stage where chlorine, VOCs, common chemicals, odors, cloudiness and unpleasant tastes are cleared from the water.
APEC’s FILMTEC high rejection RO membrane takes the fourth stage in the unit and it eliminates all the remaining contaminants and TDS down to 0.0001 microns allowing only almost 100% pure water to pass through.
To further polish the filtered water, the RO-QUICK90 is fitted with an advanced coconut shell carbon post filter which absorbs any residual chlorine and taste to deliver fresh and clean drinking water.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
As for the filtration capacity, the RO-QUICK90 will produce enough water for your entire family since it also uses a high capacity RO membrane that can output a maximum of 90 gallons of purified water a day.
In addition, a 4-gallon holding tank is included with the system which means you will not have to deal with a slow flow rate often experienced in countertop systems. You will be able to draw your drinking water fast whenever you want.
The unit is pretty efficient too with only 2 gallons of wastewater generated for every gallon of clean water it delivers. Therefore, you will worry less about high water bills even when using the system daily.
Installation and Maintenance
You can easily set up this unit alone within an hour. It only has four filters to fit in and uses JG quick-connect fittings to simplify the process plus everything required for the installation including the instruction manual and faucet is provided.
The outstanding thing about the design of the unit is its compact size measuring just 14 x 6.5 x 6 inches which about the same size as the RO-CTOP-PH. Even with the inclusion of the tank, it requires little space, thereby it can fit in nicely in a cramped under sink cabinet.
Moreover, the system has low maintenance because all the filters are fairly durable. Stages 1 and 2 filters can last 6 to 8 months before requiring replacement. Stages 3 and 4 filters have a lifespan of 3 to 4 years which is pretty decent.
- A reliable 4-stage filtration process
- Large capacity membrane delivers 90 GPD
- Comes with a 4-gallon holding tank
- Wastes just 2 gallons to produce one gallon of pure water
- Compact design that doesn’t take up a lot of space
- Simple to install and filters are long-lasting
- Not ideal for use in areas with low source water pressure
Group 5 – Commercial Grade System
Offering double capacity filters and high production capacity, the APEC RO-Lite model is a unit solely built for light commercial use or large-scale residential use.
It has the features and capability to effectively purify highly contaminated water than any standard under-sink RO unit.
The model comes in three versions which are the RO-Lite-180, RO-Lite-240 and RO-Lite-360. The three options have the same number and type of pre-filters and post-filters. What sets them apart are the water production rate and the number of membranes they have.
The RO-Lite-180 has two membranes, the RO-Lite-240 three membranes while the RO-Lite-360 has four. Below is our review of the RO-Lite-180 which will give you a better perspective of how the other two models perform.
Same as the other two versions, the RO-Lite uses a 5-stage RO filtration with three filters in the pre-stage, two membranes in the 4th stage and one filter in the post-stage.
For the 1st stage, the unit is equipped with a high-grade 20” polypropylene sediment filter. It will trap dirt, sand, silt, sand and any particle that’s greater than 5 microns to protect the rest of the filters and membranes from getting clogged.
Next, the water passes through a 20” 5-micron premium extruded carbon block which clears out chlorine, chloramine, odor, tastes, cloudiness, some large organic contaminants, and VOCs. The filter also helps remove the remaining sediments and several other common chemicals.
The 3rd stage features another 20” 5-micron premium extruded carbon filter which further removes any residual chlorine, chemicals as well as VOCs that slipped through the 2nd stage.
In the 4th stage of the system, the water passes through two APEC 0.0001-micron FILMTEC TFC membranes. The fact that each of these membranes is really of high-quality guarantees optimal filtration when it comes to contaminant removal.
Together, they double the rejection rate of the system enabling it to consistently eliminate 99.9% of the TDS, chemicals, microorganisms and thousands of other contaminants present in your water.
Lastly, using an advanced 12” coconut shell carbon filter in the 5th stage, the system performs final refining of the RO water by getting rid of the residual tastes, odors and impurities collected from the RO tank to supply almost zero-contaminant water.
It’s worth noting that the first four stages of the unit consist of 20″ industrial standard sized filters and membranes that offer double capacity and surface area compared to those in regular RO systems. They provide maximum contact time with the water making them super effective at removing contaminants at each respective stage.
Filtration Capacity and Efficiency
The two high capacity RO membranes of the RO-Lite-180 can output 180 gallons of clean water per day at a normal municipal water pressure of 60 psi. It can go up to 250 GPD with source pressure of 80 psi.
The large capacity coupled with a high-performance filtration process is what allows this unit to withstand constant heavy usage.
It’s an ideal choice for light commercial applications like in small restaurants, labs or offices. You can even use it in a residential setting where the demand for drinking water is very high.
The other factor that makes this RO-Lite model a great commercial grade system is the equally large capacity holding tank.
It comes with a 14-gallon pressurized tank featuring a heavy-duty stainless steel construction. This large storage tank will ensure you have a stable and continuous supply of purified water on demand.
Furthermore, the unit uses big 3/8” input and output tubing which help boost the flow rate of water into the system and from the RO tank to the faucet hence cutting down the waiting time when drawing water or filling large pots of water.
Installation and Maintenance
Although it’s a commercial system, installing the RO-Lite is no different from the other standard under sink RO systems on our list.
It requires some basic RO skills but if you are handy, you will have no problem setting it up. The installation manual and everything you need is included.
Maintenance has been made easy too with the filters and the membranes lasting twice than those of many regular RO systems in the market.
In general, you can certainly rely on this APEC RO-Lite model for light commercial use. The quality, high-capacity filters, double RO membrane and large output at a fast flow rate guarantees optimum performance even under heavy usage.
In case you need even more filtration capacity, then you can go for the RO-Lite-240 or RO-Lite-360.
- Performs thorough filtration to remove a wide range of contaminants
- High output and flow rate ideal for light commercial use
- Large capacity 14-gallon holding tank
- Three versions to choose from based on your water demands
- Easy to set up and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance
- No remineralization filter
- Requires a bit more space to install
APEC RO Replacement Parts
If you have an RO system with an alkaline stage or you want to include one in your current system to improve the quality and taste of your water, then you may consider getting this APEC PHPLUSKIT alkaline filter.
It’s a 10” calcite filter that can fit any standard RO system and effectively boost the pH of the RO water produced by the system.
The filter works by adding calcium carbonate mineral into the Ro water which introduces calcium ions that not only neutralizes the acidity of the water but also raises its pH level.
It can increase the pH of your water from as low as 5 to about 8 to 8.5 which is a more balanced alkaline level. By reducing the acidity of the RO water, the filter also improves the taste of the water making it more pleasant to drink than the slightly-acidic plain RO water.
Another advantage of this APEC alkaline filter is that the calcite mineralizer used is a natural FDA grade material with self-limiting property, unlike other common remineralizing media.
When properly applied, it enhances the pH just enough to attain a non-corrosive equilibrium. Therefore, it won’t overcorrect the pH under normal conditions.
Plus it as well adds around 2 to 5 ppm of hardness into the water which is equally an excellent way of reducing the corrosiveness of low TDS water.
The filter is easy to install and you can choose from two options depending on the type of tubing your system uses. You can choose one with ¼” quick connect fittings or 3/8” fittings.
The APEC UG-UVSET-1-4-SS is a perfect UV sterilizer kit for those looking to add an extra layer of protection to their RO system to guarantee completely clean drinking water.
The filter comes in two versions, the UG-UVSET-1-4 with a white plastic housing and this one, the UG-UVSET-1-4-SS which features a stainless steel housing.
There is no much difference between the two other than that the UG-UVSET-1-4-SS model is a little more effective and durable compared to the UG-UVSET-1-4 version due to its stainless steel construction.
Both versions are equipped with a powerful ultra-violet lamp which emits strong UV light into the water as it flows through the filter.
The light penetrates deep into the water molecules thereby exposing all the harmful microorganisms to the lethal UV rays emitted by the lamp.
The rays effectively disrupt and deactivate the DNA and RNA of the microorganisms present in the water. This, in turn, causes them to be inactive stopping any further reproduction and ultimately destroying them completely.
The UV lamp is highly effective and will kill up to 99.99% of all the viruses, protozoan cysts bacteria, and other many microorganisms that may be lingering in the water or your RO system and the tubings over time.
The two versions also feature natural quartz sleeves that help protect the lamp and as well facilitate maximum penetration of the UV rays to disinfect the water.
As I mentioned earlier, the UG-UVSET-1-4-SS is slightly more efficient than its other counterpart, the UG-UVSET-1-4 version.
The main reason for this is that it has a stainless steel interior that allows the UV light to be reflected evenly throughout the chamber thereby providing optimum coverage which maximizes the killing power of the UV rays.
The housing of the filter is also made of stainless steel which makes it highly durable and suitable for both residential and commercial applications.
The APEC white UG-UVSET-1-4 version is durable too as it features a strong polypropylene housing but it’s more fine-tuned for residential RO systems. Both versions can give more than one year of continuous operation before requiring replacement.
Installing either filter is quick and easy because they require only one electrical connection and two water connections. They can fit in any existing standard RO system as an additional stage or replacement for old UV filter operating on alternating current at 120 volts.
Other APEC’s RO Replacement Parts
Aside from the individual alkaline and UV-light filters listed above, APEC offers a wide range of other RO replacement parts. The manufacturer has a great selection of replacement filter cartridges and membranes for almost all the RO systems we’ve reviewed here.
They often come in bundles that include a filter for each stage of the RO system you are using. You can also get replacement storage tank, faucets, O-rings, pumps, fittings and other accessories that can help your system maintain optimum performance.
Installing an RO system in your home is one of the best and reliable way to ensure your family always has clean water available for drinking or cooking.
If you are thinking of investing in a new RO system or replacing your old one, then you can never go wrong with any of the APEC’s models we’ve listed above.
These systems are amongst the best on the market. They do a superb job in removing all kinds of contaminants in the water and have very solid overall construction, and perhaps the most durable filters you can find out there.
Although there are many other good systems from different brands, we would strongly recommend getting an APEC unit, especially if you want great value for your money. It will give you a long service life with low maintenance compared to most ordinary RO systems.