The Express Water Elite Alkaline Reverse Osmosis filter provides impressive filtering certifications at a relatively low price. But it’s still a significant investment for an under sink filter, and like any RO system it may lower your water pressure. Its extra alkaline filter step does make some truly delicious tasting water, too.
What We Like
- Affordable for what you get
- Excellent filtration certifications
- Remineralization makes for great tasting water
What We Don’t Like
- Still a significant investment
- May negatively affect water pressure
- Produces a lot of waste water
Reverse osmosis (RO) filters offer an impressive level of filtration that can clean up even the nastiest water. But that often comes with a hefty price tag, and installation can be a bear. So if you’re looking to buy one, you want to know that you’re getting the best for your money — and this system might just be it.
For our review of the Express Water Elite RO filter system, we compared the results of dozens of hours of research and testing for under sink filters. We learned a lot along the way, and now we’re here to share it with you so you can make the best buying decision for your household.
This Express Water system, like any RO system, comes with quite a range of components. Because of this, any reverse osmosis system is going to take a little more install know-how than other under sink filters.
Here’s what’s in the box for this filter system:
- Filter set (5 filters)
- Water storage tank
- Leak stopper
- Pressure regulator
- Quick connect tubing
- Feed valve
- Housing wrench
And while that’s a lot of parts, the install for Express Water’s system is actually quite a bit easier than other RO systems. More on that in the “Installation” section.
How It Works
The Express Water Elite RO Alkaline Reverse Osmosis system has a whopping nine filtration stages.
Stage 1 is a sediment pre-filter. It targets dirt, dust, sand, and rust. By removing these first, the life of the proceeding filters is lengthened.
Stage 2 is a granular carbon filter. Its job is to filter out common chemical pollutants like chlorine and VOCs that make your water smell and taste bad.
Stage 3 is the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. It removes the most troublesome contaminants water can contain. That includes lead, arsenic, chromium, fluoride, TDS, radium and others.
Stages 4 through 8 are specialized alkaline filters. They successively add minerals, antioxidants, and oxygen to your water through contact with natural and organic materials. This mimics the process that natural spring water takes, making it great tasting and healthy.
Stage 9 is a post-activated carbon filter. It acts as a safeguard for any last bits of bad taste or smell that could be left in your water.
Water passes from your cold water line through these filter stages. Then it’s kept in a storage tank for dispensing through the system’s dedicated faucet.
The tradeoff here is that going through all those filter stages means Express Water’s RO system makes quite a bit of wastewater. On average, it produces three gallons of wastewater for each gallon of clean, filtered water. Not a deal-breaker, but not exactly good for the environment either.
Certification 42 means that it’s fully guaranteed to remove aesthetic impurities. That means it will remove any “off” flavors and aromas, like those caused by chlorine. It will also reduce turbidity, or cloudiness in your water.
Certification 58 is specific to reverse osmosis systems. It guarantees both the ability to filter known harmful contaminants, and certifies the system’s build quality. Essentially, it’s the gold standard for RO water filters.
Certification 401 is the final piece of the puzzle. It protects against emerging contaminants — things that are suspected to cause negative health effects, but aren’t yet regulated by the EPA.
Taken together, those certifications mean that the Express Water Elite RO filter system is incredibly thorough. It ranks up there with the best of the best water filter systems.
If you already have low water pressure, installing an RO water filter will take some extra work. That’s because this type of filter system always has at least some negative effect on water pressure and flow rate. If that’s the case for your house, you’ll need to get a water pressure booster.
If you already have decent water pressure though, this system won’t make much of a dent in it. And it dispenses at a hearty 0.8 gallons per minute through its dedicated faucet. That’s more than most under sink filter systems with their own faucets.
Express Water has gone out of their way to make what could be a difficult installation much, much easier.
The components for this system have all been simplified as much as possible. With a little bit of DIY know-how, a drill, and a wrench, you should be able to install it in about an hour.
To get a better feel for whether it’s a project you can handle, check out their helpful installation videos:
All five of this system’s filters will last for about 1 year. And when it’s time to replace them, it’s as easy as unscrewing the old filter cartridges and attaching the new ones by hand. For a filter system with this many stages, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
All five filters as a bundle cost $120. That’s a very fair price for a year’s worth of filtered water, and it compares favorably to the cost of replacement for many other brands.
You can rest assured that the build quality for this alkaline reverse osmosis system is top notch. That’s because it’s verified by NSF/ANSI certification 58, which guarantees the durability and effectiveness of its build quality. But even taking a look at the components can verify that for you as well. The tubing and housing are high grade plastic, and the metal fittings are well-threaded for ease of use.
Warranty & Support
Express Water offers a 1 year warranty on their Elite RO system. If anything goes wrong with the product in the first 12 months of use, you can return it for a full refund or have it repaired or replaced. After that, Express offers lifetime customer support via phone or email.
In short, Express Water has made an excellent quality RO system at a relatively affordable price. Its filtering certifications are top notch, and installation is relatively easy. As long as you have decent water pressure and don’t mind the waste water it produces, it’s a great choice. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive system with less waste, you’ll need to consider a non-RO under sink filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does this Express filter system cost per gallon?
Calculating an exact amount per gallon is difficult for this system. It will rely more on how much water you use in a year, which is the approximate filter life. But at $120 for yearly filter replacements, it’s affordable in comparison to many other under sink filters.
What contaminants does the Express Water Elite RO remove?
This Express Water Elite system removes 108 different contaminants, including but not limited to sediment, chlorine, volatile organic chemicals, TDS, fluoride, heavy metals, and limescale.
How long do the Express Water alkaline reverse osmosis filters last?
All five filter cartridges last for an average of one year. This can be increased or decreased based on the relative quality of your water.