APEC Portable Reverse Osmosis System [RO-CTOP-PH]

The RO-OCTOP-PH is without a doubt the best countertop RO system from APEC. It’s a combination of function and portability in one unit that will deliver pure alkaline mineral water.

If you are searching for a countertop system that’s ideal for homes with low pH, then this is an option you should check out.

The model comes in two versions, the RO-CTOP-PH and the RO-CTOP-PHC. The difference between the two is that the cartridges of RO-CTOP-PHC come with casing while the ones in the RO-CTOP-PH are exposed. Our review below is based on the RO-CTOP-PH.

Filtration Process

The RO-CTOP-PH is a 4-stage system featuring two prefilters, an RO membrane and an alkaline filter.

The 1st stage is made up of a polypropylene sediment filter which removes dirt, sand, rust and all larger impurities in the water down to 5 microns.

The 2nd stage is equipped with an efficient coconut shell carbon filter that captures chlorine, chloramines, VOCs and common chemicals that cause unpleasant taste and odor. It also helps to further trap smaller sediments and remove color and cloudiness. 

In the 3rd stage, we have the 0.0001-micron FILMTEC RO membrane where up to 99% of all TDS and remaining contaminants like fluoride, bacteria, viruses and heavy metals such as lead and arsenic are totally removed from the water. 

The 4th and last stage in the RO-CTOP-PH system is a food-grade calcite mineral cartridge. This filter adds calcium carbonate into the water which introduces calcium minerals that neutralize the acidity of the RO water and raise its pH level. The resulting water has a more balanced alkalinity and a much pleasant, natural taste.

Filtration Capacity

Despite being a compact, countertop RO system, this APEC RO-CTOP-PH model offers a high water output. It’s capable of generating 90 gallons of pure water per day making one of the best countertop RO systems for those with high water consumption.

Installation and Maintenance

Considering that it’s designed to stay on a countertop, the installation of the RO-CTOP-PH is a simple, straightforward process. The four filter cartridges come already assembled on a base. You only need to hook it to your faucet and you are done

The unit is compact measuring 14 x 6.5 x 6 inches. Therefore it won’t take up much space on your countertop and it weighs just around 10 pounds making it really portable. You can even carry it if you travel a lot and want to keep your water fresh and clean.

The only downside to this particular version is that the filter cartridges are exposed which may not look presentable. However, if you prefer the casing, you can go for the RO-CTOP-PHC which comes with casing.

It’s also worth noting that the unit is compatible with standard faucets only. It will not work with any off-size designer faucet, sprayer or pull-out taps.


  • Great water filtration performance
  • Alkaline filter helps raise the water pH level
  • Water tastes much better with added calcium minerals
  • Delivers up to 90 gallons of pure water a day
  • Lightweight and very portable
  • Installation is straightforward with little maintenance required
  • Two options to choose from


  • Compatible with only standard faucets
  • Does not feature a storage tank

Read moreAPEC Portable Reverse Osmosis System [RO-CTOP-PH]

APEC Portable Reverse Osmosis System [RO-CTOP]

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.

Filtration Process

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

Read moreAPEC Portable Reverse Osmosis System [RO-CTOP]