Ann Hutchinson is the heart of the team, senior editor and our Head of Product Reviews which means she sets the testing parameters of each group review ensuring that tests resemble everyday use.
Expertises: Paint, Home improvement, Wood, Car, Painting
Restocking your fridge with bottled water can be a strain on finances and the environment. A great alternative is installing a quality water filtration system.
After all, using a filtration system can clean out normal tap water, removing up to 99.9% of impurities. Bacteria, fluoride, chlorine, viruses, and lead are all filtered out to produce clean drinking water.
When looking into a quality system for water filtration, two models are worth considering – the top tier APEC and the iSpring RCC7. These units are well-known for their five-stage filtration systems that perform with incredible efficiency to produce the cleanest and safest drinking water.
We will compare every stage of both filtration systems, and their installation processes, to see how each differs from the other.
So, between the two, which is a better option for your home? Let’s find out!
The APEC water filtration system passes the water through a high-capacity sediment filter. This helps remove particles larger than five microns and contaminants such as dirt and rust carried along the water pipes are stopped here.
Additionally, it helps extend the actual lifespan of the system by keeping the larger particles out. Large contaminants in the water can damage the internals of the system so getting them out before further filtration is vital.
The RCC7 system also has a sediment filter for larger particulates. However, this filter is composed of a polypropylene sediment. Much like the APEC system, it can keep out potentially dangerous particles around five microns large.
Another difference that the iSpring has is a transparent case for this first filter. Being able to see into the filter can help determine whether or not it needs to be changed.
Stage Two And Three Filtration
After passing through the first filtration stage, the water enters a double-carbon filter that makes up the second and third stages. Activated carbon is used as the interaction it has with the tap water is maximized.
By having two consecutive layers which are constantly interacting with the incoming water, chlorine and chemicals are filtered out. Cloudiness, any strange odors, and discoloration of the water are also removed by these activated carbon filters.
Now that the water has been treated with carbon filters, it is now safe for your plumbing appliances. However, it is still not quite ready for consumption.
That said, where the iSpring RCC7 differs from the APEC system is the type of filters used in these stages. While the second stage consists of a carbon block filter, the third is a granular activated charcoal filter.
iSpring justifies this decision by stating that a free-floating carbon block removes larger particulates in the water. After that, the activated charcoal filter picks up the smaller contaminants. Both these filters working in conjunction with each other are supposed to be better than two carbon filters.
Furthermore, these filters protect the delicate RO membrane further along in the filtration system. This is on top of the extended lifespan of the system brought on by removing contaminants.
Stage Four Filtration
Essentially the heart of the entire filtration system is the reverse osmosis or RO filter, which makes up the fourth stage of the APEC system.
99% of all contaminants like bacteria, radium, viruses, chromium, fluoride, and hundreds of other impurities are removed by the RO filter. After passing through it the water becomes safe to drink.
The RCC7 also uses an RO filter in the fourth stage, and as such it does not differ much from the APEC system. Only water is allowed to pass, keeping any particles larger than 0.0001 microns filtered out.
One helpful feature of the RCC7 system is the large capacity tank which can hold up to 75 gallons a day. No matter the size of your family, there will always be clean and fresh water available.
Fifth Stage Filtration
For the final stage of filtration, the APEC uses a coconut shell to clear any unpleasant tastes still in the water. Furthermore, this shell adds a softer texture to the water for a pleasant drinking experience every time.
Where the RCC7 filtration system differs from the APEC is the use of another granulated charcoal filter in the fifth filtration stage. Placing another charcoal filter here will remove any taste the water has as well as any odors, resulting in pure water.
Ease Of Assembly
Setting up the APEC filtration system is quite easy even for a novice. There are included detailed instructions as well as video tutorials to help you along.
All the tubes of the system have high-quality builds and materials within them. You can rest assured that any maintenance work to fix leaks or gaps in the piping is not required.
Compared to the APEC system, the RCC7 requires a bit more expertise and knowledge before installing. It does include detailed and video instructions as well, but it may be a good idea to have a professional on hand to step in just in case.
Comparing Both Filtration Systems
For the most part, both models share many similarities in their filtration system’s components. However, they still have their differences which make them unique. To get a better idea of how they differ, let us look at the differences in every stage.
iSpring has the upper hand when it comes to the first stage due to the transparent casing, which can monitor the status of the filter and maximize its lifespan. However, if this is a feature that does not interest you, both systems work essentially the same way in the first stage.
When it comes to the combined charcoal filters or the second and third stages of both systems there is little that differentiates the two. While the type of charcoal filters used may be different, both have a similar quality water output that is indifferentiable. Neither system has the upper hand in terms of water quality up to this point.
Moving into the fourth filtration stage, the RO filter is quite similar in both systems. The effectiveness of the RO filter is indiscriminate across either system. It removes contaminants effectively no matter which model you go with.
Where one system pulls ahead is in the storage capacity of the iSpring RCC7. It is capable of storing up to 75 gallons at this stage. This can be helpful for those who require more volume of water on hand.
The final stage of filtration differs in both systems; however, the difference is again negligible. Either of the two options will be able to successfully remove any residual taste in the water.
Difference In Installation
Other areas where the two may differ is in their installation process. Both models include detailed instructions and videos to guide you through the entire process.
Although, the iSpring model may require a bit more expertise for a proper installation. However, this does not and should not affect your decision on its performance. The RCC7 is still capable of providing clean and safe drinking water on par with the APEC system.
Besides the slightly difficult installation process of the RCC7, there is no main difference between the two. It is fully possible to install either model so long as the instructions are followed carefully.
Benefits Of Using A Water Filtration System
A water filtration system cuts out many unnecessary wastes by delivering clean water directly to you as and when needed. Installing the system in your home will help filter normal tap water into safe water for drinking or cooking.
By using tap water, the system eliminates the need to package, transport, and sell plastic bottled water. Not only does it save you money, but also time and energy.
There is no difference in water quality between a water bottle and filtered water from a filtration system. The RO filter alone is efficient enough to clean tap water.
Now compare this to having to go out and buy more water bottles every time you start running low. Not only are you spending time and energy, but money as well just to get water as opposed to filling up a cup of water right from your kitchen.
Not to mention the huge amount of waste generated from just one bottle. If not being reused or recycled, the bottle becomes waste in a landfill somewhere.
Overall, the cost of buying and installing a water filtration system is minimal compared to how much money would be spent in replenishing water bottles. The system essentially pays for itself in the sheer volume of clean water it provides.
It is easy to see all the benefits that installing a water filtration system brings. Any possible drawbacks are miniscule in comparison to the higher quality of life that a new system brings.
A water filtration system is a solid investment for any home. It saves not only on water bottle expenses, but it prevents unnecessary waste as well. Having a constant supply of clean water on hand is definitely a useful commodity to have.
Installing either system is easy and simple; so long as their included instructions are followed carefully. What’s more, the affordable pricing of both units makes it even more accessible without breaking the bank!
No matter what purpose you need clean water for, either of these filtration systems will serve you well. Invest in a quality model today and rest easy knowing the water you drink is safe and clean.