Reverse Osmosis Membrane & Replacement Filters

Here you will find everything you need to know about reverse osmosis membrane and its filter cartridges.

Choose the questions that you want to see the answers or just scroll down to read all.

The reverse osmosis membrane and filter cartridges are perhaps the most important parts of any RO system. They determine the overall performance of the reverse osmosis process when it comes to filtering water.

In this article, we will primarily focus on RO membrane and filter cartridges plus steps to replacing them.

Reverse Osmosis Membrane

What is a reverse osmosis membrane?

RO Membrane & Filter Cartridges
RO Membrane & Filter Cartridges

A reverse osmosis membrane is a Thin-film Composite membrane (TFC) which is made up of three or more layers of semi-permeable materials that work as a molecular sieve that allows water molecules to pass through while stopping wide variety impurities and contaminants.

Usually, the layers include a thin polyamide layer which is deposited on top of a polysulfone porous layer followed by a non-woven fabric support sheet below it.

This three-layer configuration is what gives the RO membrane a high rejection and filtration rate against undesired materials as well as good mechanical strength.

The pores of the membrane are sized from about 0.001 to 0.0001 micron which basically excludes most of the dissolved contaminants in the water as it passes through the membrane.

Aside from the Thin-film Composite (TFC) membrane, another common type of RO membrane used in household RO systems is the Cellulose Triacetate (CTA) membrane. What sets these two types apart is their filtration ability and chlorine tolerance.

CTA membranes are chlorine tolerant but tend to be more susceptible to organic fouling plus they have a rejection rate of only 93% against standard contaminants. TFC membranes, on the other hand, have an average rejection rate of 98% and much less susceptible to organic fouling.

However, they may require carbon pre-treatment filters when dealing with chlorinated municipal water as they are mostly quite effective at purifying chlorine-free water.  

How does an RO membrane work?

How an RO membrane works
How an RO membrane works

As mentioned earlier, the RO membrane is made up of several layers of materials. On one side there is the polysulfone layer, on the other side is the impenetrable polyamide layer which is the actual purifying material and in the center is a perforated collecting tube. 

All these components of the membrane are then placed in one housing chamber which is designed to separate the filtered water from the waste or rejected water.

After the initial filtration through sediment and carbon filters, the feed water pressure forces the partially filtered water through the membrane chamber where it flows in a spiral direction starting from the top layer down to the center tube.

Inside the chamber, the polysulfone filtration layer allows the pure water to pass through leaving behind contaminants and other undesired particles.

The polyamide film is nanofiltration membrane high levels of dissolved solid rejection and water permeability. It possesses the properties that facilitate selective water permeation while restricting most other soluble contaminants.

From the polyamide layer, the purified water is channeled into a collecting tube in the center of the spiral wounds of membranes. The perforated collection tube then directs the purified water into a pressurized storage tank where it’s stored.

By pushing the feed water through the RO semi-permeable membranes, the natural osmosis process is reversed and overcame thereby leaving impurities behind down to 0.0001 microns while the filtered water molecules continue through the system.

The water is separated into two pathways.

The wastewater containing the dissolved compounds and other organic and inorganic impurities is subsequently flushed down a separate drain line while clean, purified water goes into the RO tank for storage.

The polyamide layer is selected primarily due to its high permeability to water as well as relatively high impermeability to various kinds of dissolved substances like salts and other impurities including small, unfilterable molecules.

It’s responsible for the high rejection rate which is almost 98.99%.

One innovative thing about the design of RO membranes is that it utilizes the same water pressure and flow to clean and rinse the membrane layers throughout the process.

The contaminants are flushed out and away on a separate line hence reducing waste build-up and accumulation inside the membrane chamber.

This feature protects the membrane from potential clogs and obstructions that often caused by bio-fouling, contaminant saturation, and scale hardness.

The lifetime of an RO membrane

What is the lifetime of an RO Membrane and when should you change it for each stage?

The RO membrane is actually the component that does all the work. The pre-filters prepares the water by removing most of the larger impurities that may cause damage to the RO membrane.

Typically, the lifetime of an RO membrane can be between three to seven years based on the water quality as well as application.

For softened water (with a water softener), you can get about 5 years out of your RO membrane provided you replace the other pre-filters regularly.  

For hard water or if you never flush the membrane, it may last a little shorter than 3 years. Even while the RO membrane is capable of rejecting most of the minerals, some of it can come out of solution and end up clogging several parts of its surface.

Therefore, you may need to replace the membrane in one or two years.

A TDS meter can help you test your membrane and when the TDS starts to climb, then you will know that your RO membrane is beginning to go bad.

To be on the safe side, we would recommend changing the membrane at least every three years.

This video will show you how to determine when you should change the RO membrane.

GPD of an RO Membrane

The GPD (gallons per day) of an RO membrane will determine the amount of water you can get on average. It’s the actual production rate of the RO membrane in terms of how many gallons of purified water it can produce in a day.

For under-the-sink and countertop home RO membranes, the common production rate you will find are 50, 75, 90 and 100 GPD.

There are also other RO membranes with much more capacity which are meant for large RO systems for the whole hose. These can have a GPD of 200, 300 or 500.

A 50 GPD-rated membrane is ideal for a common household of around 2 to 4 people while 75 90 and 100 GPD RO membranes are best suited for families of 5 to 8 people.

A 300 GPD or 500 GP RO membrane will be adequate if you are using the RO water for other purposes other than for drinking like daily laundry, for mopping the floor and to wash your utensils.

The GPD performance can dramatically go up or down depending on such factors as water pressure, water temperature, the total amount of dissolved solids in the water being filtered, condition of pre-filters, etc.

If your RO system uses a standard-sized membrane, then you can change it to increase the GPD in order to increase the daily production capacity of your RO system plus the speed at which the purified water is produced.

However, one thing you should note is that if you change your RO system membrane from the original size to a higher capacity, then you must change the flow restrictor as well because it is sized to go together with the RO membrane.

The size of the flow restrictor should properly match with the RO membrane capacity or rather the GPD. For instance, if you change from a 36 GPD membrane (uses a 350 ml per minute flow restrictor) to a 50 GPD membrane, then you will need a 500 ml per minute flow restrictor.

Flow restrictors help create pressure throughout the Ro membrane as well as maintain a proper ratio of permeate (product) flow and reject flow (to the drain).

Therefore, the RO membrane GPD much match the flow restrictor to ensure that a proper balance is maintained between pure water and wastewater.

Not matching them properly could lead to excessive wastewater flow to the drain line or even cause premature membrane fouling.

Replacing the RO membrane will depend on the quality of your input water and the type of membrane you are using in your system.

Types of RO membrane replacement

Universal RO Membrane

Universal RO membranes are standard TFC RO membranes found in most common household RO systems. For this kind of membranes, they can last for about 2 to 3 years.

Therefore, you will have to replace them every 3 years, but they can go up to 5 years if you are dealing with softened water and take good care of your filter cartridges by replacing them on time.

You will probably need a TDS meter to help you check the TDS level in the purified water produced. This is the best way to determine when you should replace the RO membrane.

Branded RO Membrane

When it comes to replacing branded RO membranes, you will need first to figure out the brand and model of your RO system. You have to determine the brand and model number so that you can get the right replacement membrane or filter cartridges.

You can find this information on the plastic or metal manifold which holds the filters in place or on a small sticker on the back part of the manifold. However, the labels on the unit may not indicate the brand or model of the RO system.

The good thing though is that most brands of RO systems usually provide great customer support and even send the customers reminders of when it’s time to replace the membrane or filters on your system.

They may not also come with clear instructions on how to replace the RO membrane or filters but we are going to help you know how to do that now.

RO Membrane Replacement Procedures

Before starting, you need to turn off the water supply going into the RO system, close the ball valve on the storage tank and then turn on the RO faucet so that the water pressure can bleed out.

Once, you’ve done that, follow the procedure given below to replace your old RO membrane.

Disconnect all the tubing from the RO membrane housing cap.  

Unscrew the RO membrane end cap from the housing and slide out the old membrane. You may need a needle-nose plier to pull it out as it may be a little difficult.

Rinse the inside of the membrane housing using warm water without soap (you can remove all the other cartridges and sanitize the entire system at this point if necessary)

 Insert the new membrane inside the housing making sure that the O-ring sits securely and correctly otherwise your system won’t work. The O-ring end should go first.

Screw the end cap back onto the membrane housing while also ensuring that the O-ring is still securely in place.

Re-connect each tubing into their correct location making sure they are properly secured as well. You should re-install the tubing to correct fittings as far as possible.

Now, open the water supply valve and turn on the RO faucet. Let it on until there’s a steady dripping. Check for leaks.

Turn off the RO faucet and let water flow into the storage tank and check for leaks again. If there’s none, then your RO system is ready for use (don’t drink the initial water produced after the membrane replacement)

Filter Cartridges In An RO System

What are RO filter cartridges?

Filter Cartridges In An RO System

RO filter cartridges are simple, modular filters which are made up of media that’s used to capture and remove particles that might otherwise block the small spaces between the RO membrane layers as well as the submicron particulates that may foul the membrane surface.

They consist of pre-filters and post-filters with the pre-filters comprising of mostly a sediment filter which makes the first stage of the RO filtration process, a granular activated carbon filter that makes up the second stage and an activated carbon filter which takes the third stage in the RO filtration process.

These pre-filters can range from 10 to 5 microns and capture most of the sediments, chlorine, fine particulates and a number of other contaminants.

The post-filter, on the other hand, is mostly another 5-micron activated carbon filter that takes up the 5th stage in the RO filtration process and polishes the purified water from the RO storage tank as it’s channeled to the RO faucet.

The water produced by the RO system is highly pure but slightly acidic and as such some RO systems include a 6th stage in the RO filtration process which consist of a remineralization filter that introduces healthy minerals in the water, particularly calcium and magnesium, which as well help balance the pH level of the water and improve its test.

Some RO systems also have a 7th stage filter which is an UltraViolet filter that uses UV rays to destroy any biological contaminants such as harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, E. coli, and microbes.  Each of these filters is inserted into housing where the impurities are left behind in the filter material as the water flows through.

When should you change the RO filter cartridge?

To ensure the optimal performance of the reverse osmosis system particularly the RO membrane, it is crucial to maintain the filter cartridges and change them on time.

You should schedule the change on a regular basis because the contaminants from the water can clog the filters within a short time without frequent cleaning. This will affect both the quality of the water and the filtration capacity of the entire system.

Typically, the main RO filter cartridges which consist of the pre-filters should be changed every 6 to 12 months based on how bad the feed water is or how much water you purify. In other words, you change your sediment and carbon filters at least once a year.

If you have an RO system that produces a large amount of pure water, then the cartridges are likely to get saturated by contaminants quickly. They can get exhausted within 3 months, hence you will need to change them more often.

If you continue to use the filters for a prolonged time without changing them on time, then chances of contaminants and other impurities passing into the water you drink are high which in turn can be harmful to your health.  

Filter Cartridges Replacement Procedure

Like in the membrane replacement, you need to first shut off the main water supply going into the RO system before starting. Close the ball valve too and turn on the RO faucet to relieve the pressure in the unit. Let the stems to stand for about a minute.

Put a shallow tray right under the filter housing to collect any water that can spill while changing the filters.  Now you can start the replacement as follows:

Unscrew the filter housings by twisting and rotating them counterclockwise. Remove the caps and the old filters, for stubborn filter housing use a filter housing wrench.

Make sure to carefully remove the O-rings too without tearing or damaging them. Put them on a clean surface.

Rinse out the filter housings thoroughly with warm water and a bit of liquid soap but make sure all hope is completely rinsed out before placing the new filters.

With a soft clean towel, wipe the O-rings clean and visually inspect them for cracks, tears, and blemishes. A damaged O-ring may not seat properly inside the housing. So, if any of the O-rings appear damaged, then replace it.

Lubricate each of the O-rings slightly using a silicone lubricant and insert them back into their respective housing. Make sure the O-rings are properly seated into their grooved area to provide the watertight seal between the caps and the filter housings.

Now insert the new filter cartridges inside their respective housings and re-inspect the O-rings to ensure proper seating.

Screw back the filter housings to the filter caps, hand tightening only. You should measure the new filters just to be certain they are of proper length and type.

Turn the water supply valve on as well as the RO faucet and let it run while checking for the integrity of the system to ensure there are no leaks.

Let a few gallons of water run through the system and out through the RO faucet while the storage tank is still closed. You should get a steady stream of water which means the new filters are working correctly.

Turn off the faucet and then open the RO storage tank ball valve and let the tank fill completely. Now your system is all set for use.

Side notes: RO membrane and filter cartridge replacement

Like mentioned earlier, the reverse osmosis membrane and filter cartridges are the most vital part of an RO system. The RO membrane is the component that actually does all the work.

The other filter cartridges like sediment and carbon filters are equally important as they prepare the water for the actual filtration by the RO membrane.  They protect the RO membrane from getting damaged to ensure optimal performance.

Therefore, you need to take good care of both the RO membrane and the filter cartridges and replace them at the right intervals. For filter cartridges, you are required to replace them every 6 to 8 months.

RO Membrane & Filter Cartridges Reviews

6 Best Universal RO Membranes Replacement

Now that you have full insight about RO membranes, here is our list of the top 6 universal RO membranes that we believe are worth spending your hard-earned cash on should you need to change your old RO membrane.

1. Membrane Solutions Universal 50GPD RO Membrane

Membrane Solutions Universal 50GPD RO Membrane

Taking the first spot is the Membrane Solutions Universal membrane which is a quality standard RO membrane suitable for most residential RO water filtration systems.

The unit is 11.75 inches long with a diameter of 1.75 inches which is the typical industry standard size hence it will fit in almost all standard-sized membrane housing.

The membrane can purify around 50 gallons of water per day, so it will pretty much meet the water demand for a small household. Plus it can operate at feed water pressures of 45 to 100 psi, so you can use it without a booster pump.

When it comes to removing contaminants, you can expect consistent performance from this membrane as it’s designed to work effectively.

It has a high-quality polyamide film composite material which removes impurities down to 0.0001 microns with a stable 97% salt rejection rate.

Therefore, it generally has a high removal efficiency of contaminants and other harmful substances. It will remove soluble salts, heavy metals, cyanide, carcinogens, bacteria, viruses, and any other microorganisms.

The membrane also utilizes FDA registered and approved materials. They are non-toxic hence you are guaranteed safety and zero contaminations. Plus the membrane has smooth contact surfaces that help prevent dirt and bacteria buildup.

Overall, this is a great replacement membrane that can work with both standard residential or commercial RO water purification systems. It will work effectively and has a user-friendly design and installation is a breeze.

2. Express Water FLTMEME50 RO Replacement Membrane

Express Water FLTMEME50 RO Replacement Membrane

The Express Water FLTMEME50 is equally another universal RO replacement membrane that’s of good quality and built to consistently produce clean water for your household consumption.

The membrane measures 11.75 inches in length and 1.75 inches in diameter thereby you don’t have to worry about replacing your old housing. It’s a standard membrane that would fit any standard 2 inch RO membrane housing.

It’s as well compatible with almost any standard RO system tubing and can deliver 50 gallons of water a day which is sufficient capacity for small households. It can efficiently work with feed water pressures of 45 psi up to a maximum of 80 psi with a temperature range of 40 to 100 ℉.

The Express Water FLTMEME50 as well offers one of the highest contaminant rejection rates with regards to universal RO replacement membranes.  It utilizes high-density membrane layers including the polyamide thin-film membrane element.

They give the filtration process the most surface area to catch a lot of contaminants. Together, they provide up to 99.99% rejection rate of contaminants in water which is very commendable.

It will remove all contaminants that are as small as 0.0001 microns which should sweep away total dissolved solids, potentially harmful chemicals, metal ions, fluoride, microorganisms, and many other unhealthy contaminants.

The membrane is enclosed in an airtight vacuum sealed polypropylene casing which is not only a safe, 100% pure, food-grade material but also helps prevent spoiling of the membrane.

In general, the Express Water FLTMEME50 is a replacement membrane that would certainly not disappoint you once installed. It will effectively get rid of major contaminants and it can last you up to a year with average quality feed water supply.

3. HiKiNS HIKINS-2012-100G RO Membrane

HiKiNS HIKINS-2012-100G RO Membrane

HiKiNS is a reputable hi-tech company in the water filtration system industry and its HIKINS-2012-100G RO replacement membrane is built to superb quality.

This is an ideal option for those with a small-capacity membrane and looking for a replacement unit that will offer a little more capacity than what they have.

It’s a 100 GPD standard membrane hence it’s very capable of producing more water and at a much faster speed than a regular 50 GPD membrane. It perfectly suits small to average size families.

The overall length of the unit is 11.8 inches while the diameter is 2.0 inches, so if you have a standard 2-inch membrane housing, it will fit correctly without any issues.

As for the operation pressure, the HIKINS-2012-100G can handle from 43 to 90 psi feed water pressure which is a pretty decent range and suitable for household RO systems. The performance of the membrane in terms of delivering consistent quality water is equally amazing.

Using a high-quality polyamide film composite material with an overall pore size of 0.0001 microns and a rejection rate of up to 97%, this membrane will effectively remove all kinds of contaminants both organic and inorganic.

The film has a thicker functional separation layer and a high degree of cross-linking which translates to very high physical strength as well as great resistance to chemical biodegradation.

Now the best part about this HiKiNS membrane is that it’s designed to ensure water efficiency. You won’t worry about wasting water as the unit is built to operate at pure water to wastewater ratio of about 1:1, so no more water is wasted away. 

The whole unit is well constructed to prevent leakages and all the safe and non-toxic. Therefore, if you are replacing your old RO membrane and need a reliable replacement with a bit more capacity, then this HiKiNS membrane is worth considering.

4. Geekpure GP-TW-1812-150G RO Membrane

Geekpure GP-TW-1812-150G RO Membrane

The Geekpure GP-TW-1812-150G is another perfect option for those seeking to upgrade to a large capacity RO replacement membrane.

With the ability to deliver up to 150 gallons of purified water per day, this membrane will cater for the needs of most average to large families that have a high daily demand for clean water.

That capacity is enough to ensure a constant supply of pure water throughout the day with little to zero waiting time even if you draw 2 gallons of water every hour.

The unit measures 11.75 inches long with a diameter of 1.75 inches. It will comfortably fit any standard residential RO membrane housing.

Besides, the membrane is designed to work with feed water pressures of 35 to 100 psi. It will function well with your municipal water supply and you can as well use an RO boost pump with it.

You should also expect highly effective filtration results from this Geepure RO membrane. It’s a reliable TFC membrane with an overall 0.0001-micron pore size that provides up to 98% rejection rate. Thereby, all contaminants bigger than 0.0001 microns will be totally filtered out. 

The pure water to wastewater ratio is 1:2, so for every gallon of pure water produced, the membrane will release 2 gallons of wastewater.

It’s not as efficient as the HiKiNS HIKINS-2012-100G model above but it’s still a decent ratio that’s within the limit of most standard RO membranes.

To sum it all, the Geekpure GP-TW-1812-150G is an RO membrane that no doubt offers a great value for money especially for those seeking a large capacity replacement membrane.

5. SimPure RO Membrane

SimPure RO Membrane

In the fifth position, we have the SimPure RO membrane which is a nice alternative to the HiKiNS HIKINS-2012-100G model if you are looking for a 100 GPD replacement membrane for your RO unit.

Like the HiKiNS membrane, this one too can give you a maximum of 100 gallons of pure water a day which is sufficient for households with an average daily demand for filtered water.

Measuring 12 inches in length and 2 inches in diameter, this unit will fit any RO systems’ standard 2-inch ID membrane housing on the market.

Even much better is that it can work with a feed water pressure of up to 300 psi which is amongst the highest limits for a standard RO membrane. Therefore, it’s an ideal choice for use with a boost pump and high feed water pressure.

The efficiency and performance of the membrane in terms of removing contaminants is also superb. The polyamide thin-film composite material has a stable rejection rate of 97%.

It’s very capable of effectively removing any contaminants that are larger than 0.0001 microns. If you have 280 TDS source water going through the membrane, then around 008 TDS will be coming out which is a good value.

The wastewater ratio is 1:2 which again like we mentioned above is not the best ratio out there, but it’s just within the range of most standard RO membranes.

All the materials used to make the membrane including the casing are of high quality and compliant with NSF, FDA and ANSI 58 certification standards. They are safe and non-toxic plus they provide a smooth contact surface thereby there won’t be any dirt or bacterial build-up.

Installing the unit easy too as no tool is required. Overall, if you looking for a 100 GPD membrane and the HiKiNS HIKINS-2012-100G model above didn’t win you over, then the SimPure RO membrane is a reliable alternative you can consider.

6. FS-TFC TFC-1812-50 RO Membrane

FS-TFC TFC-1812-50 RO Membrane

Closing our top 6 universal RO membranes replacement list is the FS-TFC TFC-1812-50 RO membrane. This is a 12 inch long and 1.8-inch wide membrane that will fit all standard RO systems as well as any 2-inch ID membrane housing.

The unit can deliver 50 gallons of purified water per day which should be enough for a small household.

While it’s pretty much a standard replacement membrane, the FS-TFC TFC-1812-50 has a maximum working pressure of 300 psi which is really commendable. It’s ideal to use a pump to boost the pressure of your municipal water supply to 80 psi or even higher.

The membrane will filter out up to 98% of total dissolved salts in the feed water and all other contaminants including bacteria, viruses, and metal ion. Anything larger than 0.0001 microns will not pass through the membrane.

Furthermore, the unit has a high cross-linked diaphragm which gives it superior physical strength and resistance to chemical biodegradability.

You will have no problems installing this membrane either as a housing wrench plus additional quick connect fittings are included in the package to simplify the whole installation process.

This is quite a decent choice for anyone that is after a standard 50 GPD replacement RO membrane with high maximum working pressure. It will certainly not disappoint when it comes to filtering out all kinds of impurities.

10 Popular RO Filter Cartridge Replacement Sets

We also looked at several RO filter cartridges replacement sets on the market and picked some of the best options that are equally worth considering. Below are our reviews of the top 10 sets we picked.

1. Whirlpool WHEERF RO Replacement Water Filters  

Whirlpool WHEERF RO Replacement Water Filters

The Whirlpool WHEERF is a set of two RO replacement filters that offer a convenient and simplified way to ensure the optimal performance of your RO system in filtering your water supply.

The unit consists of a pre-filter and a post-filter which make up the 1st and 3rd stages of the RO water filtration process.

The two filters are very effective in eliminating a wide range of contaminants. The pre-filter is a sediment cartridge consisting of an activated carbon block that reduces sand, silt, dirt and other sediments. It also reduces up to 90% of chlorine including the chlorine taste and odor.

The post-filter is also an activated carbon type filter and it helps remove any remaining chlorine tastes and odors that passed through the RO membrane. It also helps remove arsenic, barium, ammonium, sodium, sulfate, cysts, lead and other contaminants that were not captured.

The set is also designed to facilitate quick replacement. It features Whirlpool UltraEase technology which allows you to replace the filters with just a quarter turn.

It’s a total stress fee process plus the filters are also equipped with the EZ-change indicator light to alert when it’s the right time to replace the filters.

They have a life span of 6 months which means you will have to change them once every year to ensure proper operation of your RO system. The filters are compatible with Whirlpool’s WHAPSRO, WHAROS5, and WHER25 RO systems.

Therefore, if your current filters are exhausted, then these Whirlpool WHEERF replacement filters can help get your system back on track and ensure your family has a constant supply of clean drinking water.

2. APEC Water Systems Filter-Set-ES RO Replacement Filter Set

APEC Water Systems Filter-Set-ES RO Replacement Filter Set

The APEC Water Systems Filter-Set-ES is a bundle of 3 standard size filters designed to enhance the RO system performance and facilitate the production of high-quality drinking water at quite an affordable price.

The set is made up of a pre-filter for the 1st stage, a carbon block filter for the 2nd stage and another carbon block post-filter for the 3rd stage of the RO filtration process. All three filters have excellent ability to remove different kinds of contaminants.

The pre-filter is a 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter that eliminates silt, sand, rust, dirt and other particles in the feed water that may damage the other filters and RO membrane.

The two other filters that form the 2nd and 3rd stages are extruded carbon block filters that remove contaminants down to 10 microns.

They are uniquely designed with a large surface area to maximize contact time hence they can achieve maximum efficiency in removing chlorine, chemicals, lead, toxic fluoride, arsenic chromium, unpleasant taste and odor as well as other many other impurities.

The filter set can last over 6 months and are compatible with any APEC Essence Series RO system. They can also work well with all other 10-inch standard size RO systems.

In short, these are high-performance replacement filters and they come at a very competitive design which makes them highly attractive for anyone looking for a set of three replacement filters.

3. iSpring F7-GAC Filter Replacement Set

iSpring F7-GAC Filter Replacement Set

If you are searching for a more comprehensive filter replacement set, then the iSpring F7-GAC filter set is the real deal.

It comes with 7 quality replacement filters giving you a complete filter pack for a 5-stage RO filtration system. The only thing missing is the RO membrane and the alkaline mineral filter.

The set has filters for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th stages of the RO system filtration process. The 1st stage consists of two 10-inch FP15 sediment filters that remove dirt, sand, rust and other sediments down to 5 microns.

In the 2nd stage are two 10-inch FG15 granular activated carbon filters (GAC) that absorb chlorine, odors, halide, organic contaminants and other toxins that are larger than 5 microns.

The 3rd stage is made up of two 5-micron CTO carbon slab filter that eliminates any remaining chlorine, tastes, and odors in the filtered water.

The final filter is one FT15 post-carbon filter which helps polish the water from the RO storage tank before it reaches the faucet. The filters have a secure push-fit quick connection which makes replacement faster and easier.

The filters also have a decent life span. All the 6 filters in the first 3 stages can go up to 6 months before requiring replacement while the post-carbon inline filter needs to be replaced every 12 months.

The filter pack can fit most of iSpring’s RO system models including the RCC7, RCC7P, RCC1P, RCW5, and RCB4T. It can fit most other RO systems with standard-sized filter housings like the PuRoLine, Crystal Quest, Flowmatic, and Apec.

The iSpring F7-GAC filter set is no doubt highly efficient and by far one of the most cost-effective replacement filter packs on the market especially considering that it comes with 7 quality filters. 

4. APEC Filter-Set RO Replacement Filters

APEC Filter-Set RO Replacement Filters

The APEC Filter-Set RO replacement filters are premium quality filter set that provides a longer lifespan than most other options on the market.

The unit comes with three filters for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages of the RO system filtration process. The first stage is a 10-inch 100% pure polypropylene sediment filter which has a very high dirt-holding capacity and will remove sand, silt, rust, and other particles down to 5 microns. 

The second and third stages consist of premium 10 micron extruded carbon block filters. They are made up of activated carbon particles which are fused into a uniform block giving them a more enhanced adsorptive capacity and efficiency.

They will effectively remove chlorine, unpleasant tastes and odors from the water as well as VOCs and other common chemicals. The filters will also not bypass or channel like most granular activated carbon filters because of the excellent uniformity of their core.

Now the best part about this set of APEC replacement filters is that they have a much longer life span than other standard RO filter cartridges.

They can last up to 12 months which translates to fewer filter change-outs and lower system maintenance than average resin-bonded or string-wound filters.

The filter set measures 10-inches in length which is the industry standard size and as such it will fit all under-the-sink RO systems. It’s also compatible with several of APEC’s Ultimate RO systems including the WFS-1000, RO-PUMP, RO-PERM, RO-90 and RO-45.

For those who want a replacement filter set that can last fairly longer than their current filter cartridges, we would recommend considering these APEC Filter-Set RO replacement filters.

5. GE Profile FQROPF RO Replacement Filters

GE Profile FQROPF RO Replacement Filters

The GE Profile FQROPF is yet another great pair of RO replacement filters that will do well to improve the quality of your water and enhance the durability of your RO system.

The unit includes two filters, one pre-filter and one post-filter that make up the 1st and 2nd stages.

The pre-filter is an activated carbon block filter that can remove up to 99% of most common impurities including chlorine, arsenic, cysts, asbestos, lead, magnesium, zinc and other particulates in the water.

The post-filter is also an activated carbon block filter and it eliminates any remaining chlorine and contaminants that leak through the RO membrane.

Another commendable thing about this replacement filter kit is that it features a twist and lock design. This simple design facilitates an easy and quick filter installation as it requires no tool.

The filters can last 6 months and they are compatible with PNRQ15F, PXRQ15F, PNRQ20R, and PNRQ21R RO systems.

6. APEC Water Systems FILTER-MAX-ES50 Replacement Filter Set

APEC Water Systems FILTER-MAX-ES50 Replacement Filter Set

Like the iSpring F7-GAC filter set, this APEC FILTER-MAX-ES50 pack is a complete 5 stage filter set that includes even the RO membrane. It provides a full RO filtration system at a very affordable cost.

The 1st stage is a sediment filter and it removes all particles, silt, sand, rust and other sediments that are larger than 5 microns.

The 2nd and 3rd stages are extruded carbon filters which help get rid of the unpleasant chlorine, odors, tastes, cloudiness, and colors. They also eliminate VOCs, common chemicals as other any particle that’s bigger than 10 microns.  

The 4th stage consists of 50 GPD RO membrane which is made up of a thin film composite layer that’s a very effective filtration element with a high contaminant rejection rate. 

It remover a wide variety of contaminants including bacteria, lead, chromium, fluoride, arsenic, bacteria and all other contaminants greater than 0.0001 microns.

The final filter which forms the 5th stage is a coconut shell carbon filter which is a high-quality post-filter that will remove any remaining chlorine, odor, and unpleasant taste once the water is drawn from the RO tank.

The three pre-filters have a life span of 6 months while the RO membrane and the post-filter can last 2 to 4 years. The set is compatible with any APEC 50 GPD Essence system as well as all other standard size RO systems.

To sum it all, this APEC FILTER-MAX-ES50 certainly guarantees optimum performance of your RO system and the fact that it comes at an affordable price makes a superb option that’s worth considering.

7. iSpring F9K RO Replacement Filter Set

iSpring F9K RO Replacement Filter Set

The iSpring F9K like its counterpart the iSpring F7-GAC is a very comprehensive set and even much better while the latter comes with 7 filters, the iSpring F9K gives you a total of 9 quality filters including a remineralization filter.

This set is meant for the 6-stage RO filtration systems and the only thing missing in the pack is the RO membrane.

The 1st stage filter is the sediment filter which protects the other filters and the RO membrane from getting clogged and damaged. It effectively removes solid particles down to 5 microns including silt, rust, dirt, and sand plus a significant percentage of other contaminants.

The 2nd stage filter in this set consists of 2 pieces of 5 microns granular activated carbon (GAC) filters which trap and absorb chlorine, halide and other organic chemicals and contaminants that contribute to unpleasant tastes and odors in the water.

They not efficiently improve the water taste but are capable of preventing bacteria colony growth in the RO systems hence prolonging the lifespan of the RO membrane.

The 3rd stage is made up of another 2 pieces of CTO carbon block filters which further removes any traces of chlorine and organic chemicals that may have passed through the second stage.

The next filter in the set is an activated carbon filter which serves as the post-filter in the 5th stage of the RO filtration process. It polishes the water from the RO tank before it reaches the faucet and helps capture any particles which may periodically accumulate inside the tank.

The set also includes a pair of alkaline remineralization filters that form the 6th stage of the RO system. This is a big plus compared to the other sets of replacement filters in this list because the filtration media in these filters are all-natural mineral stones.

They quite efficiently restore healthy minerals like ionized calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium back to the water hence producing perfectly PH-balanced alkaline water which makes the water taste much better.

Both the alkaline mineral filters and the post-carbon filter have a secure push-fit connection which makes replacing quick and easy. All the filters in the first three stages can last a maximum of 6 months while the post-carbon filter needs replacement after every 12 months.

The alkaline filters can last around 6 to 12 months based on the quality of your source water and usage. The set can fit most 6-stage RO systems with standard size filter housings. They fit well too with iSpring’s RCC7P-AK and RCC7AK RO systems.

8. Watts Premier 531160 RO Replacement Filters

Watts Premier 531160 RO Replacement Filters

This 4-pack filter from Watts Premier is perfect for anyone looking for a complete set of replacement filters for their RO system. It comes with all the three main filters of the RO system as well as the RO membrane.

The 1st filter which is the stage 1 filter is a 5-micron sediment filter that traps all kinds of sediments from dirt particles, silt, rust, and sand which affects the appearance of the water.

The stage 2 filter is a pre-carbon block filter that reduces chlorine, chloramines plus other minerals and contaminants that are bigger than 5 microns.

The 3rd stage is a 50 GPD RO membrane that can effectively remove a wide range of contaminants from bacteria, cysts, lead, copper, arsenic, chromium, and TDS.

The final one is a VOC carbon filter which is specifically formulated to reduce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound) such as herbicides, pesticides, DPB, TTHM and other chemicals like MTBE’s,  Benzene and Atrazine.

You will have little trouble when it comes to changing these filters. They snap out easily and inserting them is a breeze as they feature a push-button assembly. Furthermore, the built-in shut-off valve help ensures minimal mess while removing.

They also don’t take much space due to their slim design hence giving you more room for easier filter replacements.

The sediment and carbon pre-filters can last up to 6 months, while the VOC carbon filter can go up to a year before requiring replacement. The RO membrane, on the other hand, will need to be changed every 2 to 5 years.

The kit is designed to work with Watts Premier RO systems particularly the RO Pure Plus, Zero Pure Plus (531417), Zero Pure Plus (531517) and RO Pure (531411, 531407).

9. Express Water FLTETS6C6G6I3M502 Replacement Filter Set

Express Water FLTETS6C6G6I3M502 Replacement Filter Set

The Express Water FLTETS6C6G6I3M502 replacement filter set is as well a complete filter solution for RO systems offering 23 high-grade filters including an RO membrane. It’s a full filter set that gives you a 3 year supply of replacement filters in one single pack.

The set consists of 6 packs of 5-micron multi-layer sediment filter. They are premium quality filters with 4 distinct layers of pure food-grade polypropylene microfiber which give them a very high capacity to capture much more contaminants.

The outer layers remove all coarsest contaminants from sand, silt, scale, rust, and dirt while the inner layers capture finer contaminants.

The 2nd stage is 5 microns granular activated carbon filter which consists of efficiently arranged carbon granules with polypropylene shell creating a full coverage filtration. This eliminates chlorine and all other chemicals that cause bad tastes and odors. It’s equally a pack of 6 filters.

For the 3rd stage, the set offers 6 5 micron activated carbon block filters which are made up of well-packed granules of pure coconut husk carbon and polypropylene shell. They offer a high rejection rate of chlorine, halide, VOCs, and chemicals that passed through the 2nd stage.

Aside from the filters for the three first stages of the RO system filtration process, this Express Water FLTETS6C6G6I3M502 kit includes two RO membranes.

These are quality 50 GPD RO membranes with compact high density graded membrane films that catch contaminants that are as small as 0.0001 microns.

They will eliminate up to 99.99% of all contaminants in the water including microorganisms, viruses, lead, chlorine, benzene, industrial solvents, fluoride, cyanide, heavy metal, total organic carbon (TOC), and countless other impurities.

The final filter consist of a pack of 3 activated carbon made up of coconut husk carbon and polypropylene shell. These are 5th stage post-filters which help to polish the filtered water leaving the RO storage tank.

All the filters and the RO membrane are of standard size hence are fully compatible with any standard RO 10-inch filter housing and 12-inch membrane housing. The lifespan of all the pre-filters is 6 months while the post-filter can last up to 1 year.

The lifespan of the RO membranes is 1 to 2 years which is a bit short considering that most standard RO membranes can last 2 to 5 years. The good thing though is that it comes with two RO membranes to cover for the short lifespan.

10. Geekpure RO5-5 (100GPD) RO Replacement Filter Set

Geekpure RO5-5 (100GPD) RO Replacement Filter Set

The Geekpure RO5-5 (100GPD) filter set wraps up our list of top 10 popular RO filter cartridge replacement sets. The pack comes with a total of 4 filters and an RO membrane, so it’s also a complete replacement set for RO systems.

The first filter in the set is a polypropylene sediment filter for the 1st stage of the RO system filtration process. It’s a 5-micron filter and will do well to remove all sediments from dirt to sand to silt and rust particles.

The 2nd stage filter is a granular activated carbon filter that eliminates chlorine, colors organic matter, and unpleasant taste and odor in the water. It also removes fine particulates down to 5 microns. 

The 3rd stage is a 5-micron carbon block filter which further removes any remaining chlorine, residual chemicals, and other suspended particles.  

The 4th stage is a 100 GPD RO membrane which has a contaminant rejection rate of up to 99%. It will remove all contaminants that are larger than 0.0001 microns which includes lead, arsenic, fluoride, heavy metals, microorganisms, bacteria, viruses and much more. 

The 5th stage post-filter consists of a 5-micron coconut carbon filter which polishes the water and remove any possible impurity and taste from the RO storage tank.

The three pre-filters have a service life of 6 to 12 months depending on the quality of your feed water. The RO membrane can last 1 to 2 years and the post inline coconut carbon filter can go for 1 year.

In addition to the 4 filter cartridges and the RO membrane, this Geekpure set also comes with two pieces of ¼ inch NPT quick fittings plus one roll of Teflon seal tape meant for the post-carbon filter. The set is compatible with all standard RO systems and 10-inch filter housings.

Conclusion

The effectiveness and productivity of any reverse osmosis system solely rely on the quality and efficiency of the RO membrane and filter cartridges it has.

Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that all these components are in perfect condition so that they can perform optimally and guarantee a constant supply of quality, clean purified water that’s safe and free from all harmful contaminants that may pose danger to your health and that of your family.

All the RO membranes and the replacement filter cartridge sets listed herein are of great quality and come at a very affordable price.

Most of them will fit any standard under-the-sink RO system as well as any standard 12-ich RO membrane housing and standard 10-inch filter housings.

If your current membrane or filter cartridges are not standard, then you will have to get a new housing along with the replacement RO membrane or filter set.    

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