Reverse osmosis removes almost every contaminant in water hence the most reliable and efficient water purification method.
The RO membrane has a pore size of around 0.0001 microns that only allows water molecules to pass through. It filters out larger molecules of organic materials and other contaminants.
This type of technology might be expensive, right? Yes and No. While some RO systems are highly-priced, others come at very affordable prices.
So, how much does a whole house reverse osmosis system cost? You’ll find the answer to this and more questions in this post.
What's in this Guide?
What is a Whole House Reverse Osmosis System?
A whole house RO system is a water filtration system that filters your entire home’s water through reverse osmosis. It is installed at your home’s water entry point.
The RO membrane treats every drop of water getting into your household’s plumbing. From your drinking water at the kitchen sink to the water you use to shower, shave and flush your toilet.
The system ensures that your home is free from any traces of salt, chemicals, TDS, and other contaminants. In fact, it eliminates over 98% of dissolved organic and inorganic matter.
If you have extremely challenging water conditions in your home, a whole house RO system might be all you need for exceptional water quality.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems
The cost of a whole house RO system can be affected by a number of factors. They include:
- Filtration process
- NSF certifications
- Additional features
Filtration Process: Some whole house RO systems feature a more sophisticated water filtration process than others. Some feature UV light to kill microorganisms, while others have a remineralization stage that helps restore essential minerals to your water.
The more complex the filtration process of a unit is, the more you should expect to pay for it. In fact, your water purification needs will dictate how much you’ll have to part with.
Brand: Some brands are just more expensive than others. This is mainly because their products are of high-quality and more popular.
NSF Certifications: NSF certifications guarantee that the system removes or reduces one or more specific contaminants. In fact, there are different certificates for different types of water pollutants.
The most important certifications for RO systems include NSF 42, 58, 401, and 473.
Additional Features: The more features a system has, the more money you should expect to pay for it. Some of the additional features include a booster pump that increases water flow rate and efficiency while reducing waste water.
Other popular features include a remineralization stage that helps balance water pH and a modular design for easy filter replacements.
Whole House RO System Prices
The least you can part with for a small whole house or light commercial RO system is $500. Add an atmospheric tank + bladder tank or delivery pump, and the price hikes to a minimum of $1,500.
Larger whole house systems have a price range of between $5,000 to $10,000+ depending on the amount of water the unit purifies on a daily basis and the sophistication of the purification process.
Whole House RO System Installation Price
After purchasing a Whole house RO system, you still have to install it. And since setting up the unit is more complicated, you may want to hire a professional plumber to set it up.
To install the unit, you’ll require adapters, connectors, fittings, and valves, among other materials. All these add to the total cost of the system.
Although it’s really hard to estimate the installation cost of a whole house RO unit, be ready to spend at least $500 to set it up.
Maintenance and Operating Costs
The initial price tag of a whole house RO system is only a tiny part of the equation. You have to add expenses of regular filter and RO membrane costs.
Waste water costs also contribute to the total cost of the unit.
Filter and Membrane Replacements
You have to change pre and post-filters according to the condition of your feed water and daily water consumption.
Most filters require replacement every 6 to 12 months. RO membranes last 2 to 3 years, depending on the quality.
Therefore, the annual cost for maintaining a whole-house unit range from $300 to $1,000. The expenses are higher if the system comes with more filter stages.
The added cost for waste water will increase your water and sewer bill. Modern whole house systems waste up to 2 gallons of water for every gallon of purified water.
To get the actual cost of a whole house RO system, you have to add installation, operating costs, and waste water to the unit’s initial price.
Although these systems tend to come with a high price tag, they are worth investing in. In simple terms, the unit pays for itself a few years down the line.