Installing a high-end reverse-osmosis (RO) filtration system in your home isn’t a small commitment. It’s a permanent or at least semi-permanent addition to your plumbing. So, finding the right system for you is something that deserves serious consideration. Reviewed here for such consideration is the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System.
The iSpring RCC7 RO System works in five stages: the system ‘pre-filters’ by polypropylene sediment (PP), granular activated carbon (GAC) and carbon block (CTO) to phase out particulates and substantially reduce total dissolved solids (TDS), and then filters by reverse-osmosis (RO) itself, followed by GAC post-filtering to complete the process. This is basically the same sort of system as the mains-sourced RO vending machines found at, say, grocery stores. What sets it apart is that it’s yours, it’s discreet and it doesn’t need a small stack of quarters to run.
Again, residential RO is a commitment which can either have a big payoff or be a big headache. Paying attention to one’s circumstances can make the difference between jumping in with both feet or running a mile in the opposite direction.
RO has a general set of advantages and disadvantages compared with other methods of filtration. Within this method and the marketplace for RO filtration systems, the RCC7 has its own particular advantages and disadvantages. Whether this product is right for you depends on how these are weighted, according to one’s needs.
The RCC7 filtration system is a plumbed-in RO unit designed to provide high water quality, conveniently provided from its unobtrusive, under-the-sink setting. RO units like the RCC7, because they’re permanent filtration systems, have much more substantial filters which last considerably longer than, for example, filters for portable units. Within the residential RO market, the RCC7 is a much higher quality system than store-bought brands (e.g. Pur). That’s because it’s designed for long-term use and has filters appropriate to this end. The RCC7 is worth considering if these are your requirements.
iSpring RCC7 5-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System Features:
- Five-stage filtration (pre-filtration for solids, followed by RO proper)
- Under-sink unit measures 14½” x 5.2” x 17½” and weighs 25lbs
- Water storage tank measures 16” x 11”
- Gold Certification from the Water Quality Association (WQA)
- One-year money-back guarantee
- One-year warranty
- Lifetime tech support from iSpring
- System includes a sturdy brass faucet for the sink, with a brushed nickel finish
The iSpring RO Water Filter has distinct benefits and quite a few drawbacks.
Location has a big effect on RO in general and the source-hungry RCC7 in particular. Supposing, for example, you live in a state with a cheap and plentiful water supply, a high ratio of wasted water probably isn’t going to be a dealbreaker. Conversely, if you have high water bills and/or you’re living in a state with a troubled water supply, like California, which hovers perilously on the brink of drought, this will be a serious impediment. Waste water is also determined by differences in contamination levels, especially TDS, which can vary considerably based on where you live.
Moreover, you might have other, more fundamental problems with your location. RO needs a treated, high-pressure water source to function properly, unless you’re willing to put extra money and work into attaching effective yet expensive pumps and additional pre-filtering (for excessive TDS) to your system.
The RCC7 line is well-priced and has many satisfied customers, but there are almost as many who aren’t. They’ve reported various faults from pre-filtering, to filters themselves, to water storage. iSpring has acknowledged these faults and is aware that entire batches have ill-fitting connectors. So, there’s a risk with the RCC7 filtration system that your unit could be faulty. Fortunately, the money-back guarantee and warranty mitigate this risk.
Besides these possible issues, RO systems are bulky and take up a lot of space, even under the sink. However, if under-sink space isn’t an issue, then contrariwise RO saves a lot of counter-space, versus other filtration methods.
One of the bonuses of the RCC7 is the faucet which comes along with it. It’s well-constructed and has an attractive brushed nickel finish which could complement different kitchen styles, but it’s also fairly basic and doesn’t fit all sinks. An added component which turns out to be useless for the customer is also not a real bonus to the customer. So, if the faucet makes a difference for you, it helps to double-check that it will fit properly with your sink.
We’re back on firmer ground with filter longevity. After all, a strong selling point for reverse-osmosis process as such is the filters’ lifetime – again, determined by source quality factors like TDS. Specifically in the case of the RCC7, with even longer-lasting filters, this advantage is pronounced.
Deciding whether to commit to RO and, especially, to the RCC7 Filter System depends on knowing the costs and potential problems involved, then weighing them according to one’s needs. Are this filtration system’s rewards worth its risks? The right decision ultimately comes down to personal preference.
- Effective Multi-Stage Filtration
- Moderately Priced
- Quick, Hassle-Free Installation
- Discreet Under-the-Sink Mounting
- Filter Longevity – System’s filters last a year, except for RO membrane, which lasts two.
- Transparent Filter Chamber – Helps the customer gauge when to replace filters
- WQA Certified Quality
- Risk Reduction – Risks mitigated by money-back guarantee and warranty (both lasting the first year)
- Lifetime Technical Support from iSpring
- Complimentary Faucet
- Bulk – Takes up a lot of space
- Wastes Water – Depending on a number of factors, e.g. initial water source quality, the ratio of wasted to filtered water ranges from 2:1 to 5:1.
- Needs Pressurized Source – Without high pressure at the source or, failing this, expensive pumps, RO doesn’t work.
- Likelihood of Faults – Many customers report leaks, contamination and other faults throughout all stages of the system.
- Unpleasant Flavor/Odor – Some customers report that filtered water tastes or smells different.