Frequently asked question for Reverse Osmosis Systems
|RO filtration: How effective is Reverse Osmosis filtration compared to other methods?
RO is the most convenient and effective method of water filtration. It filters water by squeezing water through a semi-permeable membrane, which is rated at 0.0001 micron (equals to 0.00000004 inch!). This is the technology used to make bottled water, it is also the only technology capable of desalinating sea water, making it into drinking water.
Non-RO water filters typically use a single activated carbon cartridge to treat water. They are much less effective, and the pore size on these filter media are much bigger, generally 0.5 - 10 micron. They can filter out coarse particles, sediments and elements only up to their micron rating. Anything finer and most dissolved substances cannot be filtered out. As a result, water is far less clean and safe compared to reverse osmosis filtration. Click for more detailed information on reverse osmosis technology.
|WQA Certification: What is the WQA and what are the benefits of purchasing a certified system?
Click to View Certificate
We are proud to offer premium quality WQA Std 58 Gold Seal certified systems at affordable prices directly to consumers. Only the best systems in the marketplace will become certified to WQA Gold Seal standards.
To receive WQA Gold Seal certification, a RO system must be constructed to meet strict public health standards and pass weeks of rigorous testing for material and parts safety, structural integrity, and contaminant rejection performance. In addition, the manufacturing processes, operational procedures and facility maintenance of the manufacturer are also audited annually to ensure total compliance and accountability. Therefore a WQA Gold Seal certified water system is a strong assurance of product quality, durability, and safety for the consumer.
The Water Quality Association (WQA) is a not-for-profit trade organization representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. As the preeminent voice in the water quality market, the WQA provides leadership and influence at all regulatory levels to benefit the industry and consumers. They also operate an ANSI-accredited product certification program and is dedicated to the certification of water treatment products.
Certified Contaminants Reduction %
Click here for a full contaminant rejection table
|Ultra Violet light: When do we need to add a UV light to our system?
The primary use for a UV light is to disinfect filtered water at a certain flow rate. Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms are destroyed by the UV interfering with the DNA and RNA in the organisms' reproductive cycles.
If you are on a municipal water system (chlorinated tap water) in the U.S., chances are you will not need a UV light on top of our Ultimate RO System. If you are on well water, or if you suspect your water source is unsafe and want to have extra protection, then you can add a UV light to ensure safe drinking water. More info on UV lights.
|Shipping Schedule: If I order your system today, when do you ship?
We ship most orders the same day or within 24 hours, because we have most items in stock. Depending on your location, you'll receive the shipment in 2-5 days by UPS ground service. Faster service and international shipping are also available. Please see shipping details here.
|Location of System: Typically where can I put this system? In the kitchen? How about the basement?
Typically our systems are installed in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Our systems are quite slim so they can usually fit inside any cabinet, even if you have a garbage disposal. The storage tank can be laid on its side to save space. You can also install our systems in the basement, garage, or anywhere there is water supply. If you have good water pressure in your home, then you can even run long lines(20-30 ft) from the water supply to the system or from the tank to the faucet. You can order additional tubing cut to your specs here. Please note that our systems come with 4 ft lines for a standard installation.
|Easy Installation: Can I install this myself? What if I am unable to?
Our systems are DIY, Do-It-Yourself units that come with color coded tubing, detailed manuals and instructions and are very easy to install. Most of our customers (95%) have successfully installed our systems themselves without any professional help. However, if you really cannot or are intimidated by the task, not a problem; just call on any plumber in your yellow pages and they can install it for you for a small fee.
|Simple Maintenance: What is the maintenance schedule and cost?
*Replacement schedule may vary depending on water quality and usage volume.
|Buying filters: Do I have to buy replacement filters only from APEC?
We highly recommend that you buy replacement filters from us whenever possible, because only we carry the original, top quality APEC filters made for our systems. Our filters are specifically designed for optimal performance, and only they can provide 100% proven compatibility and long-term reliability with our systems. APEC ROs are built to accept industry standard 10" filters (excluding tankless and some models), therefore other brands will work with our systems; however performance and durability may be affected by inconsistent filter quality. Poorly constructed filters can cause contaminants leaching leading to lower water quality and higher maintenance costs down the road. APEC filters are constructed of materials which are FREE of BPA, lead and phthalates to guarantee the safest drinking water for you and your family. For your convenience, we offer yearly filter reminder emails making reordering filters online fast and simple. With over 20 years of sales and service in the industry, you can trust in APEC to deliver the highest quality support for your system for many years to come.
|Moving system: If I move, can I remove the system to bring with me?
This system is very easy to uninstall. There is no need to completely uninstall; just close the water inlet needle shut off, take off the water inlet tubing, and take off the whole system in 5 minutes. You can order a moving-kit from us and just install a new shut off tap at your new residence.
|Water Chemistry: Does the reverse osmosis process affect water pH?
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. We humans drink a variety of different beverages with varying pH ranges, from highly acidic orange and apple juice (3.3 pH), to mildly acidic milk and coffee (6 pH). Liquids that have a 7.0 pH are considered neutral and anything above that starts to become alkaline. Prior to any chemical reactions in the body, almost all drinks are naturally acidic. Water is an exception and can be both slightly acidic to mildly alkaline and drinking water ideally falls between a range of 6.5 to 8 pH.
Reverse osmosis filtration may or may not reduce the pH level of water at a noticeable amount. The pH difference after the RO depends on the composition of your input water source as well as the amount of gases such as CO2 in your local water supply. Water pH is actually a very complicated subject involving water and open air chemistry.
We have done many laboratory tests on the effects of our RO systems on water pH composition. The Southern California water sources used in our tests were slightly alkaline with an average pre-treatment rating of 8.12 pH. After filtration through our RO systems, the resulting pH averaged 8.06. Our results confirmed the conclusions of others in the scientific community –the reverse osmosis treatment process has very minimal effect on water pH chemistry.
People that wish to increase the pH of their RO water can also easily add an optional calcite filter to increase the alkalinity of their drinking water.
|Mineral Content: Is it beneficial to have minerals in drinking water?
This is actually the biggest myth in the water industry. To understand the issue clearly, first we need to examine "what minerals" are in our tap water. If we were to send a sample of water to a testing laboratory, we would get back a report that includes calcium, magnesium, and sodium along with a list of other minerals and contaminants. While some of these mineral are safe and benign, there are also many toxic ones on this list including fluoride, arsenic, chromium and radium just to name a few. Unfortunately there are no filtration systems available that can differentiate between good and bad minerals. Basic carbon filter systems will leave in all the minerals, including the highly toxic and radioactive ones. On the other hand, RO systems will remove 90-99% of these undesirable contaminants.
The truth is the majority of healthy minerals our bodies need come from the food we eat and not from drinking water. The main concern with water is actually over toxicity, not mineral content. Whether water contains 1 or 100ppm (parts per million) calcium isn't really important, but the difference between 1 and 100ppm arsenic is of grave importance.
|Membrane Maintenance: How much water is used to flush and clean the membrane?
All APEC RO systems use quality reverse osmosis membranes which offer long lasting performance and reliability. These membranes use a process known as "crossflow" which allows the cartridge to continually clean itself during water filtration. It is this innovative feature that allows our membranes to routinely last from 3-5 years between replacements while still providing 90-99% rejection ratings to deliver exceptional value and performance.
The water used to wash and treat the membrane is known as RO rinse water and is normally directed towards the drain. However many RO owners do reuse this water in their gardens, swimming pools, aquariums or for many other general household purposes. The rinse to product water ratio will vary depending on water conditions and the type of system, but normally falls between a 3:1 (undercounter) to 2:1 (countertop) ratio for open tank situations. For a small household, that is the equivalent of an extra 2-4 toilet flushes a day of used water.
|ULTIMATE series: How is the ULTIMATE product line different from APEC's original Ultra line?
APEC's ULTIMATE product line is a new and improved version of our original Ultra line. Officially renamed to ULTIMATE, this line now uses upgraded Quick-Connect fittings for easier system, installs & maintenance. The primary filters and housings have not changed, therefore if you own an Ultra system (Pre-MAY 2013) you will use the same replacement filters as the ULTIMATE series. The system model numbers are also unchanged and can be used for easy system identification. The ULTIMATE models include: RO-90, RO-PH90, RO-PERM, RO-PUMP & RO-CTOP. If you have any questions about this change please feel free to contact us directly.