apec vs ispring: Why I got the (cheaper) apec ispring





Home Master


The biggest challenge you’ll face getting a reverse osmosis system (assuming there’s enough under sink space for one) is in choosing the right model. Just like most kitchen appliances, I believe reverse osmosis systems are one of those things you should only buy once in a lifetime. As long as you replace the filters regularly, these units won’t break as they’re simple machines. They’re relatively easy to install too and you will be surprised that plumbing contractors charge close to $800 for installing a $200 unit. Apec systems are the best-selling on Amazon and there are many glowing reviews saying that they give crystal clear ice and tasty water. Can the ispring reverse osmosis system challenge Apec? In this apec vs ispring post, we’ll compare both models and you’ll see why you should shy away from the ispring.

apec vs ispring: Their similarities

(according to the manufacturers), both water filters purify water by removing up to 99.9 % of contaminants. Compounds like lead, chlorine, and viruses that may make tap water impure. Even though they both come at a steep price, they’re a great investment in the long run compared to buying bottled water. And you get peace of mind knowing that your family isn’t ingesting harmful compounds present in tap water. Again, they both make use of five filters and this is the most effective filtration technique as you’ll come to see.

Their Differences

Apec’s first filtration stage

The first filter in this system is the largest and blocks particles larger than 5 microns. Things like rust, dirt, physical debris and mud are blocked by this filter. Apec claims that this 100% polypropylene is durable and effective but other cheaper filters are just as effective and even last longer. The biggest advantage of this first filtration stage is that it blocks out all large particles that would have otherwise blocked the other filters requiring frequent change.

isprings’s first filtration stage

It has a 5-micron polypropylene filter too but this unit has a rather innovative design. Unlike the apec that has a sealed filter, this unit has a transparent filter and you can see how much sediment it has collected and if its due for a change. The outer casing in this unit’s filer is transparent and you get to know if the filer should be replaced without disassembling the unit.

Why I would go for the ispring

Performance-wise, both filters are impressive. They’re designed in such a way that they don’t require frequent replacements without impairing on their functionality. However, the ispring has a transparent filter casing and you’ll never forget to replace it.

Apec’s carbon filter

In the third and second filtration stage, the Apec uses two activated carbon filters on each stage. With two filters (instead of the conventional single carbon filter we’re used to), the water is in contact with the filters longer and this is how most of the chlorine is eliminated. Turbidity, staller particles and odors are removed by these carbon filters too. Most of the impurities are removed at this stage and the water is crystal clear.

ispring’s carbon filter

Unlike the Apec that uses two carbon filters, this unit uses one carbon filter and one activated charcoal filter; getting the most out of both materials. Water first passes through the carbon filter strips that block fine particles and impurities. The third activated charcoal filter’s membrane is sufficiently protected from large particles and you will notice this as it doesn’t require frequent changing.

Reverse Osmosis filters (where the magic happens)


Reverse osmosis systems wouldn’t be functional without this membrane. This is the filter that gives you tasty (and clean) water after removing all heavy metals and bacteria.


The apec is no match for the ispring here. The decision to get an ispring unit is an easy one as it filters out 99% impurities through its 0.0001 filters. This unit is a workhorse too and you will notice this as its able to filter 75 gallons of tap water every day and this is enough after for a large family. You get soft, odorless water from tap water.

Is it true that reverse osmosis systems waste a lot of water?

Sadly yes. Technically, this isn’t “waste” water as its already saturated with salts and other contaminants that would otherwise block its filters. Either way, the amount of water “wasted” will depend on how hard and contaminated it. On average, they use 2s.5 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of drinking water. You could get more water by pressuring the chambers but this would damage the filters in the long run. At the end of the day, installing a reverse osmosis system is cheaper than buying filtered water from the grocery store as they get it through reverse osmosis sets too. Thinks of this “waste” water as a byproduct as the harmful contaminants have to end up somewhere and you wouldn’t want them in the purified water.

Why do aquarium stores recommend using reverse osmosis systems?

Unfiltered water contains the nitrates and phosphates that fish need but also contains other harmful contaminants. In most municipalities, tap water is “purified” by chlorine and this is certainly harmful to aquatic animals. Chlorine bleach is the last thing you’d want in your tank and if it won’t kill your fish, then it would still be cloudy/foggy.

Which reverse osmosis system should I use on my homebrewing setup?

Store-bought distilled water makes great beer but its certainly an inconvenience when you need to go to the store every time for 5 gallons of water. This is where a reverse osmosis system comes in handy.