Review- Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from Costco
We decided to purchase the Watts Premier RO-Pure Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System from Costco since the Brita pitcher takes up so much room in the refrigerator and can barely keep up with the amount of water I drink. The system seems to be the most economical one that is easily available to purchase. The replacement filters are supposed to be easily available also from the website. They don't carry them in the store. Interestingly, I searched Costco.com for this model, but the system doesn't show up, only the replacement filter pack. They also only sell the sediment, pre-carbon & post carbon filters with this pack. They are missing the membrane filter so I'll probably need to buy those somewhere else and the membrane filter is the most expensive! I think I'll ask Costco to also provide that missing membrane filter since the box says, "replacement filters available at costco.com".
Even after the major re-design of my apartment's kitchen, there is still dead spot that isn't very useful. This corner in the photo and the dead spot is under the dish rack. It's the only partially inaccessible corner. I am able to crawl under the sink and stick stuff deep inside and 10 years later crawl back in and discover some ancient artifacts, but basically it's not very useable for much. The sliding racks found at stores that are supposed to make use of these dead zones will not work because the stuff will just end up banging into the sinks drain pipes not to mention having to remove everything stored under the sink area just to slide out that storage slider. I decided this would be a perfect spot for the reverse osmosis system.
Here is a photo of the under-sink area and the difficult to reach void to the right. As you can see, there is still lots of space to put my time capsule of things to be rediscovered when I move out of this apartment, but the reverse osmosis system is already installed. I installed it in the interior of the front panel, the most difficult area to reach. I kept the area that can be seen in this photo open because it's the easiest to access if I store things there.
Here is what it looks like installed. I have the tank as far in the corner as possible and I opted to mount the reverse osmosis filter manifold horizontally. With the filter manifold mounted horizontally like this, all I need to do to replace one is swing the filter out 90 degrees and push the release button. The feature of allowing the filters to swing out 90 degrees is very convenient for me using this odd location.
This is what the filters look like when they are all swung out 90 degrees for replacement. It's a 4 stage filtering system. Stage 1 is the sediment filter and is estimated to require replacing approximately every 6 months. Stage 2 is carbon filter that is also expected to require replacing every 6 month. Stage 3 is the expensive membrane filter that is estimated to require replacement every 2-5 years. The 4th stage is the final carbon filter that should be changed every year. I won't need to be accessing these filters very often.
After the 4 stages of the reverse osmosis filtration process, how does the water taste?? Fine. I can't say I taste any difference between the water filtered by the Brita pitcher or the reverse osmosis system, but I do know there is a difference. I notice a significant difference in the ice cube. The ice cubes made with the Brita pitcher water, on the right, were like normal ice cubes. Softer with lots of white colored ice in it (like air bubbles and stuff). The ice cubes made with the reverse osmosis water, on the left, are crazy hard and clear as ice. The photo of the ice cubes might be difficult to distinguish that the right one has a larger, denser white center in the ice cube than the left, but it is distinguishable in person. You can tell there aren't any (or as much) impurities in the reverse osmosis water ice cubes. Another side affect is that it has made using these silicone ice cube trays very difficult. The reverse osmosis ice cubes are so solid that I can't twist this tray to pop out the ice cubes! I'll have to go back to the solid plastic ice cube trays until get a refrigerator with a built in ice maker.
It's so convenient to have the drinking water available on demand rather than having to wait for the Brita pitcher to filter a half gallon at a time. This system's tank store about 3 gallons of purified water for use on demand, cost about $130 at Costco and took about 30 minutes to install. The most convenient thing about not needing the Brita pitcher anymore is all that extra space in the refrigerator!! =)