RO-90 system

Everybody wants clean, safe, and great-tasting drinking water, right?

But, more often than not, that's not what you get when you turn on the tap. The best solution is usually some kind of water filter.


There are several different methods of filtering water to consider. Most of them make the water taste better, but not all of them remove harmful contaminants. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective ways to purify water so that it tastes good and it's safe to drink.

The APEC RO-90 is a top-selling reverse osmosis water filter for home use. It has a lot of great things going for it, but it's not for everybody.

In this review, I'm going to tell you how it works and how effective it is. By the end, I hope you'll have enough information to decide if this is the right filter for you.

Don't have time to read the whole review? Just want to know how much it costs? You can click here to check the current price of the APEC RO-90 at Amazon.

You can click on one of the questions in the Quick Navigation, or scroll down to read the whole review.

How does the APEC RO-90 reverse osmosis system work?

The RO-90 connects to the cold water plumbing in your house. Water pressure pushes the water through the filter system and out the faucet.

There are several steps the water goes through in the filtering process:

APEC RO-90 reverse osmosis system

The RO-90 connects to the cold water plumbing in your house. Water pressure pushes the water through the filter system and out the faucet.

There are several steps the water goes through in the filtering process:

  1. The water goes through a sediment filter to get rid of dust, dirt, and rust.
  2. Next the water enters a carbon block filter. This takes out chlorine, bad tastes and smells, and chemicals.
  3. A second carbon block filter removes anything that the first carbon filter missed.
  4. Then the water goes through a reverse osmosis membrane. This eliminates contaminants like lead, fluoride, viruses, and bacteria.
  5. Waste water empties into the sink's drain.
  6. The purified water goes into a pressurized holding tank.
  7. The water leaves the holding tank and goes through one last refining carbon filter on its way to the faucet. This final step takes away any taste it might have picked up in the tank.

What does it remove from the water?

Does it work as a fluoride water filter?

Yes. Reverse osmosis is one of the few types of filters that will remove fluoride from water. 

Is the APEC RO-90 WQA certified?

Yes. The RO-90 was tested and certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA), and it meets NSF/ANSI 58 standards. So you can trust that it really is making your water safe to drink.

How fast does it work?

That depends on a couple of factors. If the water pressure is 50 psi and if the input water temperature is 77 degrees F, it will produce 3.1 gallons of purified water per hour. That's 72 gallons per day.

With water pressure of 60 psi, it can produce up to 90 gallons per day. That's why this model is named "RO-90".

Most people on municipal water have adequate water pressure. It's more likely to be a problem if you're on a well.

Lower water pressure and lower temperatures will slow down the flow rate. Fortunately, that means that when it's hot outside and you're using more water, you're going to have a steady supply.

How much water is wasted?

For every 1 gallon of filtered water, 3 gallons go down the drain. This is one of the few things that I don't like about reverse osmosis filters. That seems like an awful lot of waste to me, especially if you're in a drought-prone area. But, some resourceful people collect it and use it for the garden or pool, or for cleaning.

Also, consider that this only includes your drinking water. It's actually only a small portion of the total water you use in your home.

What comes with the APEC RO-90 system?

It comes with everything you need:

  • All five filters.
  • Fittings and hardware.
  • 5 feet of food grade tubing.
  • Versatile 1/2” to 3/8” feed water adapters.
  • High quality lead-free chrome faucet.
  • 4 gallon pressurized tank.
  • Instruction manual.

Can I install an APEC water filter myself?

Yes. The system comes with step by step instructions so you can install it yourself. That means you can skip the plumber and save yourself some money.

Many reviews I've read say that it's easy to do and only takes an hour or two. The biggest challenge seems to be working in the tight space under the kitchen sink.

Several reviews also mentioned that APEC customer service was very helpful if they needed help.

How much room does it take up under the sink?

The system dimensions are 15"w x 7"d x 18"h and the water storage tank dimensions are 11" dia x 15"h. It should fit in the cabinet under most kitchen sinks. If the height of the tank is a problem, you can lay it down on its side.

If you have a basement with an unfinished ceiling directly under your kitchen sink, you could install it there and run the tubing up to the sink. Doing this would save some of that precious space in your sink cabinet.

Are all parts BPA free?

Yes. The filters, plastic fittings, tubings, and housings are NSF Certified and are BPA free. They're made in the U.S., too. I know that's important to a lot of people.

Can I hook it up to my refrigerator?

Yes, you can hook up your refrigerator for great tasting ice cubes and cold drinking water. You'll need to buy a special kit, but it's less than $15. 

APEC icemaker kit for reverse osmosis system

APEC Icemaker Kit

It may be a bit tricky, though, if your fridge is on a different wall from your sink.

How often do I have to replace the filters?

The manufacturer recommends replacing the Stage 1, 2 and 3 pre-filters every 12 months.

The Stage 4 membrane and the Stage 5 post-filter should be replaced every 3-5 years.

The life of the filters depends on your water quality and usage. The harder the filters have to work, the faster they will wear out. The only way to know for sure if they need to be replaced it to test the water with a TDS meter.

Who should not buy an RO-90?

You might not want to buy this filter if:

  • you have low water pressure (30-50 psi). If that's the case, you might consider a different APEC water filter system like the RO-PERM. It has an extra pump to make up for lower pressure.
  • you want a portable filter.
  • you want a filter for emergency situations where there is no water coming into the house.

Where's the best place to buy the APEC RO-90?

I recommend shopping at Amazon. Because the prices at Amazon can change at a moment's notice, I don't include them in my reviews.

But, you can check the current price at Amazon by clicking here.

The manufacturer sometimes has sales that offer a slight discount. However, there is a charge for shipping, and it's not cheap.

Do APEC water filters come with a warranty?

Yes. APEC systems come with a 1 year manufacturer's warranty.

My Take

I'm very impressed with this filter system. The fact that it's WQA certified assures me that it does what the manufacturer claims it does.  

And the 1 year warranty is also a big plus. 

If I were in the market for an under sink reverse osmosis water filter, I would definitely consider this one.

There are other models of APEC filters to choose from. If you have issues like low water pressure or a need for portability, there's a solution for you. Read my review of 4 popular APEC systems here.

If you think that the RO-90 water filter will meet your needs, head over to Amazon to check the price and availability.

Last Updated on July 2, 2023

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  1. We own this system (RO-90) since 2018. It has worked flawlessly, delivering clean, good tasting water. I replaced the 3 filters as recommended – yearly. On the 5 year I replaced filters 4 and 5. Unbeknownst to me I switched two lines and ended up with weird tasting water and humming in the tank. I contacted APEC customer support and they quickly helped me trouble-shoot the problem. Once the lines were switched back to the appropriate spots we once again had clear good water and no humming. The system is working great again and I recommend. We bought ours from Amazon as well as the replacement OEM filters.

  2. Thanks for this great review of the product, as well as the reviews for other products. I've looked at your reviews, they all have certainly helped me out. The WQA certification does it for me, I like buying 3rd party tested products, and USA made products. I do see that this product is USA designed and assembled, so that means that components are more than likely made outside of the USA. It appears that the filters are USA made. Great information on your reviews, thank you very much.

  3. All that are out there and Reading this Article, I recommend this system as I have recently purchased this and installed it myself under my sink (took about 45 minutes with replacing and old system). I have the APEC RO-90, which I bought on Amazon. I cannot tell you how happy I am with this as is gives you great drinking water, and with this I was able to include a line to my ice maker. Simple, easy, and worth the time effort and money.

    1. Hi, Lance! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with APEC. I’m glad to hear that you’re happy with it!

    1. Hi, Scott! I don’t know what a trimode faucet is. Can you explain? I even googled and couldn’t find it.

    2. Yes, if trimode means hot/cold from the house and purified from the RO tank. We have a real nice version from Rohl set up in a bar sink next to the kitchen.

  4. Do you have any recommendations on a under-sink water filter that removes fluoride that does NOT need a separate water holding tank? We have limited space under our sink and the tank pushes us over that limit. But I really want to make sure we get rid of excess fluoride because we have a 1.5 year old.

    1. Hi, JP! Propur makes an under sink filter that removes fluoride. There’s no holding tank. I included it in my review of the best under sink water filters, and you can find it here:

      Clearly Filtered also makes an under sink filter (without a tank) that removes fluoride. I haven’t had a chance to review it yet, but I have one sitting here in my office that I’m going to install soon. Then I’ll be writing up a review of it. In the meantime, you can check it out here: Also, if you enter the code SafeHealthy when you checkout at the Clearly Filtered website, you’ll receive an additional 10% off.

      Hope this helps!

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