It’s very well priced and massively popular, but does it deliver? We review the iSpring RCC7 and see how it stacks up against its competitors.
Can’t be beaten for value
Filtration Stages: 5
Warranty: 1 Year + 1 year money back guarantee. Lifetime support.
Dimensions: RO unit: 15 x 5 x 16 inches, storage tank: diameter 11 inches x height 15 inches
Filter Lifespan: Stages 1-3 = 6 months, Stage 4 (membrane) = 2-3 years, Stage 5 = 1 year.
Filter Cost: Cheaper than rival brands.
Water production: 75 gallons per day (with perfect conditions)
Similar Models: APEC ROES-50 (reviewed)
The iSpring RCC7 is a 5-stage reverse osmosis water filter. It continues the iSpring theme of being cost-effective and functional. iSpring actually state that this system offers “The most cost-effective technology” indicating that they focus on value for money, contrasting with APEC’s claim of having “The most effective filtration technology in the industry”.
iSpring have targeted the running cost of replacing filters as a key selling point and boast that their filters for this system are “guaranteed to last longer and cost less”. Costing less is certainly true with a years supply of filters plus an RO membrane costing less by my calculations. Lasting longer on the other-hand seems a strange boast to make, when iSpring pre-filters are recommended to be replaced every 6 months, and APEC every 6-12 months. However, these figures are dependent on water pressure, temperature, and chemistry.
The iSpring RCC7 also boasts a bigger RO membrane which gives a faster water flow and longer membrane life. This is an upgrade introduced in 2014, and now clean drinking water can be made at a faster rate. The membrane is now better protected and must be replaced every 2-4 years. A further improvement is the transparent filter housing. This means the filters can now be easily inspected, and decisions can be made more accurately about their state. Though it’s important to say that the water quality or filter effectiveness cannot be accurately measured just by looking. An external water testing meter would have to be purchased to be sure. These are relatively inexpensive and pretty accurate.
We have also reviewed iSpring’s more feature-rich sister model (6-stage with alkaline filter).
The iSpring RCC7 is advertised as producing 75 gallons of drinking water per day. Though, this figure is likely to be closer to the average figure of around 45-60 gallons per day. The water production rate depends on the input water quality, temperature, and pressure. In ideal circumstances the production rate might exceed 75 gallons per day but this would be rare. Should your water pressure be below 45 psi, iSpring actually recommend the RCC7P model, which comes with an electric pump. The addition of a pump can reduce the drinking water to waste water ratio to almost 1:1, so it’s worth considering for the more environmentally minded. Sadly, there will always be waste water in a reverse osmosis system, but 1:1 is about as good as it gets.
It features a 3.2 gallon storage tank with a 2.5 gallon holding capacity. There is an automatic shut-off switch, should it reach maximum capacity. Storage tanks can be increased in capacity should you wish, as an optional extra.
iSpring made changes to this model in July 2014 after listening to customer feedback. Small improvements have been made to improve its functionality. These improvements are:
- More attractive faucet.
- Addition of feed water adapter to make installation easier.
- More durable and better quality storage tank valve.
- Improved automatic shut-off valve.
- Upgraded 5th stage filter. New version is made of higher grade carbon with stronger absorption capability.
- Improved RO membrane. Better rejection rate and more consistent quality.
This shows a real commitment to quality by iSpring and also a duty to their customers which few companies match.
The RCC7 is of course a 5-stage reverse osmosis system. Next we’ll describe the role of each stage of the process.
Stage1: A polypropylene sediment filter, housed in a transparent case. Removes rust, sediment, dust, sand, and particles.
Stage 2: A carbon filter which removes unpleasant odors, tastes, colors, chlorine, and cloudiness.
Stage 3: A carbon filter that removes residual tastes, colors, and odors. It also improves the pre-filter’s efficiency and extends the membranes life.
Stage 4: The reverse osmosis membrane. Removes contaminants such as radium, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, chlorine, lead, and bacteria.
Stage 5: A carbon filter that ensures good tasting water.
More information about reverse osmosis water filtration can be found in our reverse osmosis guide.
The iSpring RCC7 is of dimensions 15 x 5 x 16 inches (RO unit), and diameter 11 inches x height 15 inches (storage tank). It also weighs 25 pounds. Installation is said by iSpring to be “easy” and should only take 2-3 hours. The video below is quite comprehensive and should answer any questions you might have about the installing an RO system.
Following the video, we’ve listed the tools that you’ll need.
The installation requires a basic tool list, including :
- A Variable speed drill
- 1/8” ¼”, 7/16”, ½”, and 5/8” drill bits
- Philips screwdriver
- Utility Knife or scissors
The RCC7 package comes with everything else needed for installation:
- Storage tank
- Color coded tubing
- Lead free faucet
- Tank valve
- Feed water adapter
- Drain Saddle
- Teflon tape
- Two wrenches
- Spare O-rings
- Spare elbow fittings
- User manuals
Pros and Cons
|Great price||A few isolated complaints of leaks due to weak fittings.|
|Filter cost||Installation a bit harder than similar APEC systems|
|Recently upgraded||Filter lifespan|
Bottom Line: The RCC7 is really hard to beat when it comes to value for money. It’s probably the cheapest RO system of real quality on the market. There aren’t many water filters that offer this level of contaminant reduction at this cost.
- High Capacity Reverse Osmosis water filtration for safer, healthier…
- Experience clean, safe, good-tasting water every time you turn on the…
- Easy, do-it-yourself installation, typically in a couple of hours with…
Frequently Asked Questions
Is reverse osmosis water better for you?
Reverse osmosis water has far fewer contaminants than unfiltered water or even water that uses other types of filters. The system works by eliminating molecular compounds of sizes smaller than water. This process can be compared to squeezing out what is good and throwing undesired residue away.
As such, you can clearly see why osmosis water is simply better. Not only that, but restaurants usually prefer cooking with reverse osmosis water because it offers a better taste. Blind taste tests have shown that reverse osmosis water is preferred over tap water, as tap water has traces of sulfur, lead, nitrates, and other compounds that make it unpalatable.
What is the difference between filtered water and reverse osmosis?
Most people want to know whether a water filter or reverse osmosis water filtration system is more effective at reducing the number of contaminants in water. To fully answer this question it is important to understand that these systems are both highly effective at removing contaminants, but that they remove slightly different contaminants.
Reverse osmosis filtration removes the following pollutants from the water:
- Salts and nitrates.
- Heavy metals like copper and lead.
- Reduces mineral content from hard water.
- Some organic chemicals like fluoride, which is added to tap water.
- Protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
- Viruses like Hepatitis A, Norovirus, and Rotavirus.
- Effective at removing bacteria such as Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli.
- Reduces arsenic
What is the disadvantage of reverse osmosis water?
One of the major disadvantages of RO systems for the home is that they remove most of the minerals from the water leaving it with an acidic pH. Also, during the purification process, up to 20 gals of water is flushed down the drain for every gallon of filtered water produced.
Now you’ve seen all the good and not so good parts about the iSpring RCC7. You should have a more clear picture of whether it’s right for you or not. Still not sure, however?
To see how this water filter compares to its competitors, please read our guide to reverse osmosis.
If you require a cheaper water filter then check out countertop filters.