If you are looking for an affordably priced but high-performance reverse osmosis filter, we recommend the iSpring RCC7.
It is a 5-stage reverse osmosis system capable of removing over a thousand contaminants from your drinking water.
It has a Gold Certification from the Water Quality Association (WQA), guaranteeing high filtration performance.
The system is relatively easy to install under the counter. It comes with all the parts and fittings you need including a modern Euro-design nickel faucet.
Read on for our full review of the iSpring RCC7 RO system.
If you are looking for an RO filter with additional features such as a remineralization stage or a booster pump, see other top recommendations in our recently updated best reverse osmosis filter reviews buying guide.
What Size of RO Membrane Does The iSpring RCC7 Use?
The iSpring RCC7 uses a 0.0001-micron semi-permeable membrane. Not even bacteria and viruses can pass through these holes.
Chemicals, heavy metals and dissolved minerals and salts are also trapped by the membrane.
1. 5-Stage Filtration System Design
Which Filters Do You Need to Replace in the iSpring RCC7?
The iSpring RCC7 uses a 5-stage filtration system to remove hundreds of contaminants from your drinking water. They include three pre-filters, the RO membrane and a post-filter.
Here are the five stages:
- 5-micron Sediment filter: Filters out particulates suspended in water including sediment, sand, rust and silt. By filtering out these large particles, the sediment filter extends the life of the carbon filters and RO membrane and leaves them to deal with the toughest contaminants.
- 5-micron GAC filter: A granular activated carbon filter removes chlorine, organic chemicals, mineral oils and any other substances that affect the taste and smell of water.
- 5-micron carbon block filter: A denser carbon filter removes any remaining odors, discoloration and taste. It also filters out chloramines (this is great if your city disinfects water with chloramines instead of chlorine).
- RO membrane: This is the heart of the system. A 0.0001-micron semi-permeable membrane traps most of the remaining impurities including biologicals (bacteria, protozoa, viruses and cysts), heavy metals and dissolved salts & minerals. It also filters out fluoride.
- Post-filter: Water passes through a final GAC filter on its way from the tank to the faucet. This removes residual tastes and odors, ensuring your water tastes fresh.
In addition to the 5 filters, the RCC7 system also includes a 3.2-gallon pressurized reserve tank that ensures there’s always purified water on demand.
2. High Filtering Performance
How much purified water does the iSpring RCC7 produce per hour?
About 2-3 gallons per hour.
With 5 stages of filtration, the RCC7 does as good a job filtering out impurities as other pricier RO systems.
Having two carbon filters is essential in producing fresh-tasting water. They effectively reduce chlorine, VOCs and other chemicals that affect the taste and smell of water.
At the heart of the system is a high rejection rate RO membrane that allows virtually nothing through except pure water molecules.
So your water not only tastes great, it is also healthy and safe for your family.
If you’ve been looking for a way to replace your bottled water purchases, the RCC7 is a great choice. You’ll make your money back in no time and get to save the environment as well.
If you want to be sure that the RO system is actually working, get a TDS meter. Most users who started out with a TDS reading over 100ppm got a reading of less than 5ppm from the purified water.
3. Water Efficiency
How Much Water Does the iSpring RCC7 Waste?
The iSpring RCC7 RO system drains away 3 gallons of wastewater for every 1 gallon of purified water.
Where the iSpring RCC7 lags behind its competitors is in flow rate and amount of wasted water.
This model doesn’t have a booster pump.
This significantly reduces the number of gallons it can produce per minute and per hour. It might take a while to fill a large water bottle or pitcher.
It also increases the amount of brine water that goes down the drain.
The wastewater to pure water ratio of the RCC7 is 3:1. Compare that to the RCC7P – the same model but with a booster pump – that has a ratio of 1.5:1. It wastes half the water of the RCC7 for every gallon of pure water.
Luckily, you can get the higher flow rate and lower wastewater ratio of the RCC7P by buying the booster pump separately and connecting it to your system.
Installation & Maintenance
Like other RO systems, the iSpring RCC7 goes under your sink.
If you don’t have enough under-sink space, you can also install it in the basement. Just make sure it no more than 10-15 feet from the faucet. Otherwise, the water pressure will be too low.
The system is designed for DIY installation. All the parts and fittings, including the faucet, are provided. All you need are basic tools to complete the installation.
The tubes are color coded to make installation easier.
How to Install the ispring RCC7
Remember to use Teflon tape where the manual calls for it to prevent leaks.
After installation, follow the flushing process described in the manual before you start drinking the water.
How Much Are the Replacement Filters for the iSpring RCC7?
The replacement filters are quite affordable. A set consisting of 2 sediment filters, 2 GAC carbon filters, 2 CTO carbon filters and 1 carbon post-filter costs about $37. You can also get a set that includes the RO membrane for around $63.
The 3 pre-filters and the post-filter last 6-12 months. If you use city water, they should last one year.
If you use well water or your city water has a high TDS reading, replace the filters every 6 months to protect the RO membrane from damage.
Replacing the filters takes only a few minutes.
First, turn off the cold water supply.
Use the included wrench to unscrew the filter housings. Remove the old cartridges and sanitize the system before putting in the new filter cartridges.
How to Sanitize the System
What We Like The Most about the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage RO System
1. Great value
There are some features missing but overall, the RCC7 delivers the same filtering performance as premium RO systems for less money.
2. Easy installation and maintenance
Sure, it might take you a couple of hour to set up the RCC7 under your sink. But at least you don’t need to spend more money on a plumber. Maintenance is a piece of cake as well.
3. Affordable replacement filters
Some companies sell their filters affordably but make replacement filters expensive. The RCC7 replacement filters are just as affordable as the main system.
What We Don’t Like about the iSpring RCC7 5-Stage RO System
1. No Remineralization Stage
A pH/remineralization filter is not essential to overall performance but it would have improved the taste of water.
As it is, the RCC7 produces slightly acidic water that doesn’t taste quite as good as bottled mineral water.
But most people don’t notice the difference. So if you don’t care much for minerals in your water, the lack of a remineralization stage is not a big deal.
2. Low Flow Rate and High Water Wastage
A booster pump would help boost the flow rate out of the faucet and reduce how much water goes down the drain.
But since you’ll likely be using the water for drinking only, the system won’t waste a lot of water.
If you’d still like to reduce the amount of wastewater and get better water pressure from the faucet, buy the booster pump and connect it to the system.
3. Noise and Vibration
Several users say they can hear when water is getting into the reserve tank. They’ve also noticed some vibrations when the system is dispensing water.
But they are minimal and soon, you won’t even notice them. Rest assured, the noises or vibrations are not an indication of a problem with the system.
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Our Bottom Line
More for less. That’s how we sum up the iSpring RCC7 5-stage RO system. At every step from purchase to maintenance, you save money. The upfront cost is reasonable, you can install it yourself (no need to pay a pro) and the replacement filters are affordable.
Spending less doesn’t mean you get lower performance, however.
The RCC7 delivers excellent filtration performance that ensures clean, healthy and great tasting water for your family.