iSpring Water Systems sells a variety of reverse osmosis water purification systems. One of their most popular models is the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System. This system includes three pre-filters which are intended to remove bigger contaminants before the water reaches the reverse osmosis membrane, the fourth step of the purification process. After reverse osmosis treatment, the last step is a granular activated carbon (GAC) filter. This filter removes any remaining contaminants after the water exits the storage tank. Another popular model is the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System with Alkaline Remineralization. This model adds an additional remineralization step in which the water passes through both red mineral stone and calcite.
System Price: $178 for the 5-stage model and $223 for the 6-stage model on Amazon (December 2016)
Replacement Filter Price: $34 (December 2016)
Upkeep: Most filters should be replaced every 6 months.
Pros: iSpring seems to provide excellent customer service. The representatives are knowledgeable about potential issues that can arise with iSpring systems and can provide excellent troubleshooting advice when any problems arise. They also generally respond quickly and can provide real solutions to problems with the system, including replacement parts, if necessary. Another benefit of iSpring is that their replacement filters seem to be significantly cheaper than competing products, so you may save money in the long run. Additionally, iSpring systems have a 75 gallon per day rating (while many competitors have a 50 gallon per day rating), which may be beneficial if you are concerned about flow rate.
Cons: Though many customers are happy with the initial taste and smell of their water after installing an iSpring system, after months of use, some customers have noticed a sharp decline in water quality. Customers have complained that their water both smells and tastes bad, with one customer likening it to “dirty fish tank water.” Most customers seem to experience this drop in water quality after replacing filters. Some customers speculate that their filter replacements were not sterile (a complaint echoed by some customers who purchased the iSpring F7-GAC 1-Year Filter Replacement Supply), however, iSpring representatives have suggested that declines in water quality are due to issues with the automatic shutoff valve. According to an iSpring customer service representative, when the filters are changed, an increase in water pressure can occasionally cause the automatic shutoff valve to get stuck in the “open” position. When this happens, the waste water from the system get mixed with the pure water, resulting in very low quality water. Though a fixable problem, the possibility of wastewater leaking into the “pure” water supply is not a very appealing attribute of the system. One final issue may be the faucet that is included with the system. Multiple customers complained that the faucet did not fit with their sinks and had to be replaced.